AMA with VHS Glitch
SquidTheSid: What got you into synth composition?
VHS Glitch: As an artist I like to create things constantly, but it doesn’t mean that I want them all to be the same, I need all of them to be diferent and in terms of composition to cover more than just one kind of sound there is nothing better than a synthesizer. You can play any instrument you want which is perfect to compose any kid of sound you want.
SquidTheSid: What were some of the inspirations for the VHS Glitch project?
VHS Glitch: Basically action, technology, the good old days (80’s and early 90’s), crime, big cities, dystopian landscapes, VHS’s, cassettes, vinyls, etc
SquidTheSid: Who are some of your favorite synth composers?
VHS Glitch: Definitely Vangelis, Carpenter, Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Jam Hammer, Moroder and Goblin.
SquidTheSid: How would you describe the transition from Evil Technology to The Land With No Future?
VHS Glitch: I would describe it as necessary. Evil Technology was pure action, it was inspired by darker sounds, you can feel more modern touches, the whole story was a real war between me and Neotech coporation in the middle of the city. Land With No Future explains the first sequel of the full saga on a whole new different scenario, everything is destroyed, it is a dystopian place, it is not a constant battle due to there were just a couple of enemies to defeat, it is more like a soundtrack than a electronic music album.
SquidTheSid: What is it like to compose for video games and how does it differ from your traditional album releases?
VHS Glitch: Not really due to I always write music based on a full concept so at the end of the day a video game it’s also a concept/story so all I have to do is translate images, scenarios, atmospheres, etc into music.
singfx: Do you use any hardware synths and drum machines or VSTs?
VHS Glitch: As I mentioned before I use Korg software and hardware, M50, MS-20, Wavestation, M1 , Polysix and monopoly but I also used some Yamaha like the DX7 on Evil Technology.
singfx: I really like the Reverbs you use. Are there any specific effects you use that help get that vintage sound?
VHS Glitch: Not really, to be honest I use FL Studio reverb, nothing fancy 😀
Emmanuel98: Why isn’t your music on Spotify?
VHS Glitch: Spotify it’s a platform which is perfect for signed artists that dont really care about the value of their music or independent artists who don’t know how it works but they just want to be there as their favourite signed artists. Spotify is paying way less than a cent per play, way less than Youtube partners and even though I sell 13 songs albums for €4 I don’t like to see that the value of a play is less than one cent but they are getting over a cent per play. Same reason why I’m still independent even though I received several proposals from labels.
Kae: Do you plan to rename yourself “DVD Glitch” in your later years?
VHS Glitch: Hahahahahahahahaha this is a good one. Not really, I was stored in a VHS tape so I will keep that name forever 😀
True911: I’d like to try making music myself, but I’ve no idea where to start. What are some early steps to begin recording some sick synth of my own. There must be some basic programs. I can play guitar but not the keyboard. Am I out of luck?
VHS Glitch: At the beginning everything looks f’n hard but trust me that all you have to do is visualize what you want to achieve. As I mentioned before I use FL Studio to write and record my music. It is a very intuitive tool that also let people who can’t or don’t want to play keys write the notes on a simple piano roll. If you know how to play guitar you can always use midi guitar to record your synth chrods, arps, etc.
True911: How long have you been doing this? Through the social media scene?
VHS Glitch: I have been doing this since April 14th 2014 so pretty close to 2 years now 😀
True911: Very awesome. Thanks. I’m 39yrs, so this retro move feels like home to me. Are you guys all buddies? Is there a distribution company or promotion company that pushes your names? Is it relative to upvotes and likes? Yours is familiar to me, cause I’ve heard your stuff and click at any material you might post.
VHS Glitch: Even though I don’t consider myself a “retrowave” artist (I’m more like a synth artists) I have a couple of buddies in that scene but except a few people most of them are so cool and supportive so I guess most of them are good friends which is fantastic :D. In my case there are nothing behind me and my project, I’m a one man army. I write and record my music, I make the mix and master of them, I do my own artwork, I do the marketing and promotion, I handle my own business in terms of getting hire by any company, etc.
FrakkinPhoenix: What is your favorite sandwich?
VHS Glitch: Chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, caramelize onion, pickles and a touch of mayonnaise 😀
da_billz: Can you give us insight of your process?
VHS Glitch: I sit myself in front of the screen, open FL Studio, Turn on the synths and plug the guitar.
I start playing some random stuff on the keys sometimes a bass line, sometimes an arpeggio sequence, sometimes a lead, it depends.
As soon as I feel like anything that I played could be a good part of a song I instantly start building based on it.
I set a basic drum loop without a lot of details (That will be done later), if the main idea was a chord progression I write a bass-line for example and I continue adding
layers till I reach a decent amount of em so I can start with the sequences.
I start sequencing the song, intro, phrase, hook, bridge, end, what ever I feel like I need to add to it.
I fill any point needed once the main structure of the song is finished. Maybe a different bass line, maybe a bit more of background atmosphere with some pads. Everything is
finished now so it is time to adapt the drum loops and also give em some more details.
Full review and final touches, EQ and compression. Last listen and that’s it 😀
jayschin: I want to ask if you do music as a full time job and if you do, do you have any tips for people looking to make production a career? I also was curious if you use soft synths and if so which ones do you recommend? Thanks 🙂
VHS Glitch: Not really, I get money from other side :D.
Anyway, the best advice I can give you about that is to enjoy and forget about get rich with your art. First of all make a decent plan for your music, get everything perfect and fitting your songs. Work alone as much as possible and stay true to what you want to do, no matter if society says about it (Hype stuff), keep your idea alive and don’t change it unless you really feel like you want to change it.
I use Korg software and hardware, I highly recommend you to get the Korg Legacy collection which includes the MS-20, Wavestation, M1 (I own the hardware version as well), Polysix and Monopoly. I also used a DX7 on Evil Technology, in case you don’t want or can’t get the hardware version you can buy FM8 by Native Instruments which can emulate almost perfectly a FM synth like the DX7
ThatGuyYork: whats your musical education background? Are you self taught or taken classes? How long have you been playing guitar, piano, etc.
VHS Glitch: I don’t have any musical background, I’m 100% self taught and I been playing guitar since 11 years ago, playing bass since 4 years ago and piano about 3 or 4 years.
I’m going to be 100% honest, I wish I had any support or oportunity to learn how to properly play an instrument or write music but sadly it didn’t happen…
SinnieOnFire: What are your favourite writers? did anyone influenced your music?
VHS Glitch: Probably Issac Asimov, William Gibson, Lovecraft, Stephen King and absolutely yes, their novels definitely inspired some of my songs.
GodzillaDude: Which DAW do you run?
VHS Glitch: I write all my compositions on FL studio 10. There are a couple of newer versions but I use a pentium 3 computer with 2GB ram so it is impossible to get a decent live processing with any of them so I keep it vintage 😀
Vrasguul: since you’ve composed music for game soundtracks in the past, and a lot of your music is concept based/has film like stylings, have you ever had any desire or opportunity to compose a soundtrack for a film?
And are we ever going to get that neo-classical synth project you talked about a while ago? Thanks for everything!
VHS Glitch: I wish I could score a movie but for now all the opportunities I had couldn’t afford my rates so I had to decline them 🙁 I really want to score any kind of movie to be honest, I enjoy a lot writing music for video games so I’m 100% sure that I will love to score movies as well 😀
I definitely want to release that project but sadly last year was full of work as you probably know so I had to prioritize the paid work. If I will keep working on it I will post some information on my Facebook page 😀
Hexatona: What would you say is your favourite video game. It might not be the best, but it’s your favourite.
What kinds of music do you listen to when you’re not in synth mode.
Coffee or Tea.
VHS Glitch: Tetris for life, I never get tired of it, the more I play it the more I love it 😀
Every kind of music in the world, from metal to chillwave. I love music in general I need to listen to every single genre.
Ice tea with lemon 😀
SquidTheSid: Sweet or unsweet?
VHS Glitch: Always sweet
SquidTheSid: Nice. You’d be at home in Texas (where Lazerhawk, GosT, and Mega Drive live), where we enjoy sweet tea.
VHS Glitch: 😀
Ausrufepunkt: How do you deal with the pressure of always wearing sunglasses and a baseball jacket?
How annoying is it to only drive old cars that are as reliable as a presidential candidates promises?
VHS Glitch: Sadly, due to my android head I can’t wear sungless so I can’t answer this question. I wish I could know how it feels :(S
zigokubasi: I love your work. I’m 37 and I’ve waited most of my adult life for the return of the 80’s new wave aesthetic. I am very pleased with what the outrun and retrowave artists like yourself have done with it. My question is: do you see Outrun having a future as a genre or will the idea become an institution and be co-opted by another, more permanent genre?
VHS Glitch: I can’t answer this question because at the end of the day it will depend on the artists involved and their future decisions, but I can tell you that I will keep doing this kind of sound no matter if the hype continues/grow or not 😀
flushkz: Do you ride motorcycles?
VHS Glitch: Sometimes 😀
harper247: why do you think your genre of music has become so popular recently?
VHS Glitch: I would say that Drive made Outrun much more mainstream and games like Hotline Miami and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon exposed people to a competely new genre of music.
harper247: why do we not have our own outrun awards every year?
VHS Glitch: Probably because Outrun is still a relatively niche genre, and I’m not sure how many awards we can make without phoning it in for categories.