Interview withMilco B

Guitars, pop, electronic music and great melodies. We talk with Milco B about his creative process in Los Angeles.

Interview with Milco B

You made a track that’s beautiful and complex. Can you tell us about your influences?

I was actually a serious guitar player for over 10 years. I studied classical, jazz, rock, blues, basically anything that had to do with guitar. So using beautiful chord progressions with complex melodies and lines is something that I’ve learned over the years. I studied so much music from Beethoven to Justin Bieber, you’d be surprised in a lot of the similarities still to this day!

What genres did you combine in this track?

In this track I wanted to combine guitar with electro house. I was very much influenced by Alan Walker’s melodic drops with his punchy kicks and deep subs.

Please tell us about your creative process for the song: how did you get it started?

I started with the kick and snare. After, I added the guitar chords, then the lead guitar you hear in the beginning. The chord progressions are inverted chords that I was practicing earlier that day. It just fit perfectly with the mood! I always love using vocal chops, so it was a no brainer to include that as well on top of the guitars to fill space. Basically after that is just figuring out the arrangements and adding FX to smooth out the transitions!

You’re using lots of guitars on your tracks. There were always some songs that used guitars (mostly Red Hot Chili Peppers remixes, some Robin Schulz tracks, but the majority of dance music did not). Why do you think it took this long for guitars to become part of electronic music?

That’s a good question. I feel that most producer’s primary instruments are of course the computer and usually the keyboard as well. It just makes sense I guess, it’s mostly just a bunch of buttons. And unfortunately many of the guitar sample packs I’ve heard are so limited. It’s hard to find ones that are truly unique which is why I think guitar hasn’t come a long way in the EDM world. Although a lot of live acts are now including guitar like Illenium and San Holo!

What are your favorite tools and sounds to use in your productions?

I actually use mostly stock Ableton plugins for most of my sound work. I have a digital guitar amp called the Axe-FX which has thousands of unique guitar sounds which I also use to resample to make a lot of the ambient sounds you hear in this track. I think a lot like a rock band; just add your drums, bass and guitar, and some FX, and let the notes do the work. Oh and lots of reverb and delay automation!

Please tell us about the composition for this track: how many layers of chords, melodies and samples did you use? How did you layer them all together?

This one is pretty simple actually. Of course you have the drums (kick, snare, hats, rides, percussion) and FX (white noise, downlifters, uplifters, impacts). With the guitar chords I double tracked them and hard panned them left and right. I did the same with the lead guitar. I added a synth that mimicked the guitar chords that went in the center to fill up the space and I used a violin ensemble at the end for the climax. That’s basically about it!

Who are your biggest heroes in music production, and how do they inspire you?

Definitely Avicii, he was the main reason I decided to make EDM a few months ago. His song “Levels” really helped me develop a sense of melody in my own songs. I’ve also been a huge fan of Skrillex for a long time. His production techniques are absolutely insane and his ability to switch genres is extremely inspiring. Also Illenium is a big influence of mine. He uses a lot of guitar and organic instruments while being very cinematic which is everything I love in music!

Do you have any favorite tips or technical hacks to share with music producers?

Reference tracks are a must! If you start right, you’ll have a better chance of ending right. Whereas if you start by just guessing, you might end up in a bad spot later in your track.

Will you continue making tracks like this one – is this a style that’s true to your artistic vision, or a happy surprise that you made it? We’d love to know what you think about this track.

This track is definitely the first step in the direction I want to take as a musician. I feel like I found a nice combination of EDM and guitar, as well as using interesting vocal lines to complete the combo. Of course every song is a little different, but I hope to bring more live elements in as well.

What would be a dream goal for you as a musician?

I’ve been a musician a majority of my life. From playing in bands, quartets, orchestras, to jazz combos. I love to perform. My dream would be to take my music on the road and showcase them for many people to enjoy as well as connect with other artists to create music forever!

Milco B on the Web

Captain Plugins 5.0

Available on Mac and Windows. Use Captain Plugins to write your own Chord Progressions, Hooks, Melodies and Basslines and export to your DAW.
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