Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?
We are Javier & Luiz Garayalde, aka Wagon Cookin’. We’ve been playing music from childhood on, and eleven years ago we released our first album as a band.
What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?
We took musical education at The Conservatory from childhood on, we studied several instruments – Luis piano, bass, double bass, bassoon, and Javier piano, drums and percussion. We studied Jazz with our father, the scholar and saxophone player Javier Garayalde, and we were part of various Jazz bands with him before developing an interest in electronic music, Acid Jazz and House in the 1990s. Books we could recommend are the “Inside Improvisation Series” by Jerry Bergonzi, and the Ramon Ricker Jazz Improvisation Series.
What hardware are you using?
Most of our synths are soft-synths, with Mac Pro and TC Electronic card, but still we use the JUNO-106 in our live shows and even in the studio. Moog Liberation definitely only in live shows, Yamaha DX-7 because it has that 80s sound and it is very recognizable to do that kind of sound with it, although we also use NI FM8 which reaches the same goal most of the time. Korg RADIAS but we don’t like this so much and we only use it in live shows but its sound is too soft. microKORG also at live shows for the talkbox, and controllers, V-Drums, Keyboard controllers, and real instruments like the Yamaha U1 piano, Premier Drums, 1977 Rhodes Mark I, Double bass, Guitars and Electric Fender Bass.
What software are you using?
Basically Ableton Live and Pro Tools, depends what we are gonna do, but most of the time we use Ableton. We have also worked with Logic and Nuendo but most of the time only for open old projects or because we are working in a studio with somebody who use them, but for us, Ableton is the most revolutionary software so far, and we use it even for to do things that we’ve never thought. The sound quality is amazing, better than most the people think, we have checked this out making technical proofs.
With a computer with a good audio interface you can do almost whatever you want, everything else can help you but is not essential, and if the computer is an Apple you will win a lot of precious time. We have worked a lot of years with PC and you can do the same, but you waste a lot of time making things that you don’t need to do in Mac to reach the same goal.
What would be your dream setup?
A DAW without latency.
Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?
We don’t have the same routine always, sometimes we play together drums and piano and the first idea comes quickly when we both have a clear goal, but many times we do table work to analyze the target. For example when we are making a remix and we want to do something with a different approach. Sometimes the magic comes from a nice beat we create or from a great bassline one of us have played. The creative process is infinite.
Where do you shop for and discover music?
We shop on Juno Download, also Beatport, iTunes, Whatpeopleplay and Traxsource. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are good for keeping up on new releases, sharing info with friends, etc.
Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?
Everyday we discover new and older tracks on digital stores and blogs. One blog we discovered with a lot of great music is Feel My Bicep. Highlights are new tracks like the new debut album by Pitchben on Compost, and one of the most beautiful songs by Lovebirds feat. Stee Downes — “Want You In My Soul”. We really love the work of Danilo Plessow in all of his projects including with Rainer Trüby.
Also from vinyl artists like: Elevation, Darkman, Mike Dixon, Runaway, Alex Agore, Dirty Jesus…and a new label “Local Talk” is rocking.
What’s brewing in your studio?
We have just released our fourth album called “Eleven” because it commemorates our eleventh anniversary as a band as Wagon Cookin’. The singles also have many remixes, videos etc. We also have two more projects called Bassfort and Kyodai in which we release our Deep House club focused side.
We have tried to take great care over the sounds to give it that 80s sound, using Roland TR-707, Linn LM-1, Oberheim DMX, Simmons, and Yamaha DX-7. We have also used many soft synths as FM8 that reproduce any FM sound possible, and FM synthesis is one of the most important characteristics of the 80s sound. We also use a Yamaha CS-80 electroacoustic piano, and a TalkBox and vocoders.
Any production tips & tricks you’d like to share?
Study music every day and learn many technical issues as much as you can. One of the greatest advantages of the internet is that we can find tutorials for everything. Learn how other top musicians and producers play and work with their equipment. There are many tips to learn online, harmony tips, keyboard voicing etc..
Look at your master output, to have a nice headroom adjusting all the levels so it doesn’t clip in red at your stereo output before your final bounce.
Have you discovered some interesting ways to generate a specific type of sound?
Like cooking, try, make mistakes, and you will reach your goals.