Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?
My name is Sebastian Döring and I am a music producer and DJ. My music projects are called LOVEBIRDS (SINCE 2000) and KNEEDEEP (SINCE 1998). I started working with music production equipment in 1991.
What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?
Musicwise? Not that much. I tried to take piano lessons a few times but I am simply not patient enough for all that practicing. And also every sort of playing or practice starts ideas for tracks in my head which I follow sooner or later, so I never really did what my teacher told me to. But I highly recommend taking piano lessons. Think of a language called music where you can finally choose from all words instead of playing around with letters.
What hardware are you using?
Mac Pro 8 core – never enough power but it has quite a lot.
UAD-2 QUAD – some lovely plugins on this one.
Genelec 1032A – just got them a few months ago, looks like they are going to be the ones.
MOTU 24 I/O
Harrison 32-channel console – Michael Jackson “Off The Wall”, “Thriller” … need I say more?
Micromoog – probably my fave monophonic synth. I just love it for all sorts of bass, leads, etc.
Minimoog Voyager – a friend parked it at my studio, haven’t developed a strong love yet. I prefer my micro.
MPC3000 – I wish I wasn’t so lazy and used it more often cuz it’s impossible to do lame drums.
Sequential Circuits DrumTraks – it’s such a classic and I needed to own it, fave 80s drum machine.
Fender Rhodes mk2 suitcase – the centre of my studio, always turned on, always turning on.
JUNO-6 – exchanged my 106 for it. I’m an arpeggio addict and the chorus is awesome too for pads etc.
ARP Solina String Ensemble – only 4 sounds but the best synth strings out there.
Oberheim Matrix 1000 – Get one! Now! Best value for your money. Mono output, but sample it twice, pan left and right, and it’s huuuge!
What software are you using?
I’ve been using Logic Pro ever since I sold my Atari and Cubase. Plug-in wise there’s so much available out there – I think it’s more about having less options these days. I do love all UAD plugins though.
What would be your dream setup?
My #1 item on my list is a big Oberheim synth like the OB-Xa. I am a huge fan of Oberheim, they have such a unique sound. But of course a Jupiter 8 or Prophet 5 are just as nice! Plus some nice outboard compressors and EQs. I also have to get out of my room by the end of the year and I haven’t got a place to move yet, so a well treated room would be nice too!
Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?
I am totally unfocused. I work on 10 tracks at the same time. Once I don’t feel the tune anymore, I put it aside and sometimes leave it there for 5 years. To me the most important thing is the freshness you have in the beginning. That’s why I could never spend 20 minutes on cueing a hi-hat in the beginning. I need to get down the basic elements ASAP. And if I don’t get on well arranging it – I put it aside again. That’s why there are hundreds of almost finished tracks on my hard drive.
Where do you shop for and discover music?
My fave place is the recommendation of a friend. I don’t spend a lot of time searching for music. When I DJ I play a lot of older stuff because I just look at what I like most. And usually those tracks win over some new tracks. Ah – I’m a huge fan of WEFUNK Radio! Underground Hip-Hop, Funk and Boogie 24 hours. I usually start my day listening to this in the background. It’s such a good education! Whenever there’s something I like, I just find it on YouTube and add it to my favourites! And also radioIO Jazz Standards, which I listen to even more often. Both are available on iTunes Radio.
Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?
Our upcoming release on Teardrop by 2 guys from St. Petersburg. It’s called “St Petersburg Disco Spin Club & Lipelis – I Need You”. Everybody that hears it says it’s a hit and I hope it will be!
What’s brewing in your studio?
I’m finishing an album with a singer from Tokyo which is sounding something like Little Dragon, AIR, etc. Really excited about this as I develop more and more a passion for non Dance music. Our project is called “Minako and the Lovebirds”. I met her in February in Tokyo and we’ve been sending stuff back and forth ever since. I sent her probably 50 tunes, some of them from 2003. It felt unbelievable to finally have found someone who can work with my music the right way!
Other than that I will have some Lovebirds releases out on Winding Road, Teardrop, Toolroom and just now my new EP on Freerange! And I’m just compiling a best of Lovebirds compilation, soon to be out on Beatport!
Any production tips & tricks you’d like to share?
Be sure that you don’t sound like another 150 other producers out there!