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In the studio with Aaron Steel
Jaz from the RepostExchange Team
Sep. 14, 2023

This week, we had the pleasure of catching up with Aaron Steel, a Florida-based metalstep producer with over a decade of experience. Having caught our eye when listening to the RepostExchange charts, we decided it was time to get to know this energetic performer and producer. Join us as Aaron takes us through how he got his start using Ableton and using Rekordbox to enhance his life performances. Find out what his favourite plugins are and how he finds time to finish his tracks. Read on for more!

How long have you been producing music and how did you learn? 

I started producing in 2012. So 11 years now. I learned from online tutorials and apprenticeships.

What DAW(s) do you use and why?

I use Ableton because it is what I started with and it has been easy to find educational material to expand my knowledge as the years progress.

What are your favourite pieces of gear and why?

My favourite piece of gear is a miniature laptop and Rekordbox video. It allows me to DJ music videos and provide a very unique visual experience at my show.

What are your favourite software plugins and why?

soothe2 and clipshifter are my favourites because of how they have sped up my workflow.

How would you summarise your approach/workflow when creating a track?

I normally come up with an intro idea on the guitar and re-create what is in my head with Ableton. Once I have a good concept in place it is much easier for me to write a drop around it.

What is the last YouTube tutorial you watched that you would recommend to other Re-Ex members?

What knowledge or advice do you wish you'd learned earlier?

How to EQ properly.

What challenges related to making music do you face and how do you overcome them?

Time is an issue. It takes me longer than I would like to finish songs. I just take it one day at a time and don't rush the process. I have to remind myself often that the most important thing is making a great song and that can take time.

Can you share any killer tips or techniques?

soothe2 has the ability to sidechain from any other channel. I have been using this a lot to make space for the main elements of the mix. For example, I'll put soothe2 on my guitar group and route the main vocal into it via sidechain so the frequencies of the vocal are being ducked on the guitars.

Do you try and get feedback or suggestions to improve your music? If so, how?

I used to do this via Defyre Society but that is no longer around. Now I just asked other producers in my local dubstep community.

Which track are you most proud of and why?

My last release Righteousless because it has a deep meaning behind it and the chorus has a very uplifting, energetic feeling to it before it delivers an unexpected and satisfying drop. The track is a journey.

Has RepostExchange affected the way you make music? If so, how?

It has given me the ability to be heard by people who would have never otherwise heard my music.

Desert Island Gear

Top L-R: Heavier 7th strings, soothe2.

Bottom L-R: Macbook Pro, Ableton, Serum.

Connect with Aaron Steel on RepostExchange, SoundCloud, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Want more? Sign up at RepostExchange.com.

This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.