Previously featured on or Music Spot, Self-taught producer And a part of the due "Convolute" @Mathijs Baas is this month SoundGym Hero!
So how long have you been on SoundGym?
Since the end of 2018. 9 months to be exact. I became interested in good mixes in general but just like producing I thought, There has to be a way to train this. So I stumbled upon a youtube video (can`t remember which one exactly) that got me into SoundGym.
What was your first connection to music?
I was around 7 years old and we (my family and me) were walking down a fair. This fair had claw machines with music playing where they had this song playing that attracted my attention almost instantly. My uncle saw I liked it and gave me a CD (which he also used to listen to) so I could play it in my Discman. The track was `Oxygene, Pt.4` by Jean-Michele Jarre.
But also my mom has been a great influence on my connection with music. I used to listen to all the CD`s she had and I got lucky that she listened to really good music back in the days haha.
DId you get a formal Sound/Production education?
No, nothing. I`m fully self-taught. But only for the last two years or so, the knowledge I gained seems to fall a bit into place.
Tell us about the recent project with Sander Postma, "Convolute"?
Well, Sander and I knew each other for quite some time but weren`t close friends. One time at a party we had a conversation about music and we found out we had a common interest. The common interest resulted in a tighter friendship. I had been making music since I was 15/16, 21 now. (also with periods without making music at all, maybe even 2 years). Around 6 months ago we decided that it would be a good idea to combine our forces and jump into the scene of music we liked.
Convolute is focused on making tracks that will capture the dancefloor. Making people enjoy themselves, creating energy and tension. But we`ll never know what the future will bring us. We could change this vision when we feel like we`re in a different creative zone.
You guys recently released your EP "Stone's Throw", Tell us more about the process behind it?
Sander was in America for his internship while we wrote this EP, so we used the almighty internet to send each other the results in between. Most of the time it`s either one of us who lays down the idea and see the track progress. It`s just a switch, I turn off my mind and just get in a flow and all of a sudden there`s an idea or even in some cases a whole track.
Have you made music today?
Yes! We`re working on a lot of Convolute tracks right now and I`m also working on solo stuff that will see the light of day soon too.
Who have been the most significant musical influences for you?
This varies from time to time. Lately, it has been a lot of Adriatique, Woo York and Luigi Tozzi. Also, Burial is a huge source of influence for me. But this is just to name a few, I have huge respect for a lot of musicians and how they have created their own sound, just too much to name here.
Tell us a bit about your workflow at the studio?
My workflow consists of chaos. It`s based on a fully random process. It can be dragging a random plugin to a channel and just fiddle with some knobs or tweak presets. It`s almost all an action/reaction thing where I react to what I hear and build a track from it. This just gives me the most ideas and original tracks.
Any habits you have before starting a session?
Hmmm, not really to be honest. I have the habit to do SoundGym with a nice cup of coffee though.
What is one of your favorite production technique?
The use of drones and single note synthesizer patches that evolve a lot. Creates a sense of atmosphere which I really enjoy, It just makes the track more warm and coherent. While also, when I want to open up the energy in the track I bring the drone forward by opening the cutoff. Since the space is already there for it in the mix, it gives a nice sense of increased intensity.
One Free plugin that you recommend?
Softube Saturation Knob. Sounds better than most paid ones.
Favourite piece of studio gear?
My monitors, Focal Alpha 65. Love them from the first day. I used to mix on cheaper monitors but as music became more serious I noticed that it would be a wise move to invest in a decent/good pair of studio monitors. It really took my mixes to another level. And maybe not `gear` but also Sonarworks Reference 4 is a must in my opinion.
Which three plug-ins you can`t live without?
U-he Diva, great sounding synth with the capability of coming close to the real analogue deal. It`s my go-to synth.
Valhalla Delay, the new Valhalla delay plugin. Such a delay beast. You can do cool sound design things with it. You can create atmospheres with the diffusion (sounds like a nice reverb).
Soundtheory Gullfoss, a really subtle but amazingly sounding `intelligent` dynamic EQ. Normally I`m not a fan of plugins that change things without knowing how. But this improves your music in such a subtle and musical way, it`s always on my master bus.
What does the future hold for Mathijs Baas in the music industry?
A lot of new work! And striving to achieve the best mixes in my genre. In my opinion, it`s a matter of consistency. Sometimes you`ll have a little dip in your performance but that`s not going to stop me from continuing this journey which I`m enjoying a lot so far.
Last question, What is your favourite SoundGym Feature, and why?
Actually, a hard question because there`s more than one thing I like.
But to name the most important one: the ability to keep learning constantly. Doesn`t matter if it`s in the form of the games, the courses or the spaces which are open for discussion/feedback, whatever you may need it for. The whole package provides a platform for you to become a better producer and/or mix engineer.