In the studio with Gavidann
Jaz from the RepostExchange Team

Toronto-based recording artist, Gavidann, got their start in music production by watching YouTube tutorials about FL Studio. Getting a vocal mix is really important to this up-and-coming rapper and works hard to collaborate with other beat makers to get their sound just right. Find out what we learned when we invited Gavidann into the studio!

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

I've been producing music since 2012 when I bought an old laptop from a friend... I started watching YouTube tutorials about FL Studio and beat-making before I eventually got the program and the rest is history from there.

What DAW(s) do you use and why?

FL Studio is my favourite DAW, this is because I personally think it's a very intuitive program that is easy to catch on in a way that will make you start enjoying what you're doing quickly.

What are your favourite pieces of gear and why?

One of my favourite current favourite pieces of gear are my audio-technica AT2020, my ASUS laptop and my audio-technica headphones, as well as my Behringer U-PHORIA UMC22. These are my favourite pieces of equipment because they take sound to a new level, making my sound way more professional than before.

What are your favourite software plugins and why?

My favourite plug-ins are my TDR Nova for cleaning up and taming my recordings.

The Voxengo SPAN has excellent isolator frequencies to help me to weed out the sounds that I'm not hearing in a general sense and are not helping in the direction of my mixing goals.

TDR Molotok: I call this my pre-compression compressor.

QRange: mid-side EQ for the mid-side equine to help expand my voice in a more full and spatial kind of way.

Kotelinkov is the compressor of choice for my final compression.

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

My workflow is very relaxed, as to me it helps to create faster and more fulfilling tracks instead of feeling forced and rigid.

What resources do you use to improve your craft?

I use YouTube, peer-to-peer reviews and music tutorials wherever I can access them.

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

As far as mixing tutorials go my go-to YouTube channel is In The Mix this guy is very informative and is able to explain himself in a way that you don't have to be very knowledgeable about mixing to understand his teaching and I think that's just awesome!

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

When I was a boy my grandmother gave me what I think is the ultimate advice for growth and development. She said to me "understand that practice can only make you better, but never perfect." So learn to enjoy growing and improving instead of aiming for the lie of perfection.

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

Whenever I'm planning to write I always put my mind in a playful childish mode, by playing videos game or funny videos and stuff like that... this always helps to have an efficient writing/creating session.

Can you share any killer tips or techniques?

As far as tips go I would say when you're mixing make it sound as horrible as you can in the beginning and start going backwards by turning down or cutting out what you need to make it sound good. Push the knows to the max and pull back as you move forward in the mixing stage.

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

I usually release demo versions of my songs with a bad mix on purpose for a week or two so others can pick it apart and help me get a proper mix in the final release. Plus, I always try and get feedback by putting it in my music description area so anyone who sees it can offer some feedback.

Which track are you most proud of and why?

I'm personally proud of my track called FE130 on a beat produced by REIGN, I am proud of this because of how crisp and clean I got the vocals and it is the most balanced I've personally mixed a track.

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

RepostExchange is the reason I'm actually on the verge of creating a listener base, and very thankful for that... I went from 100 streams a month to 3-7k and week on average!

Desert Island Gear

Top L-R: TDR Nova, SPAN.

Bottom L-R: TDR Molotok, TDR Kotelnikov and Qrange.

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This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.