Immersed In Audio On A Stairway To Heaven
An interview with experienced songwriter, producer, mixer, programmer and drummer Emre Ramazanoglu (Michael Jackson, U2, Noel Gallagher)
“RipX is sonic wizardry on a level you’ve never experienced before. Its ability to separate individual instruments from a single stereo mix is absolutely unmatched.“
Growing up in Portsmouth on the UK’s South Coast, Emre started playing drums after his mum spotted the many benefits of learning the artform. He soon discovered his friend’s Dad’s music collection, became obsessed with Led Zeppelin and decided to move to London to pursue his dreams as a session musician.
“It all spiralled from there. Looking back, it’s really hard to pick my main influences, although I’ve mostly been influenced by a mixture of hip hop, 50s-70s jazz, and all electronic music.”
After eventually crossing over and rising to the top of his field in production, engineering, mixing, composing and writing, including landing a role working for the legendary Jim Abbiss (Adele, Bjork, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and the Stereophonics), Emre has since collaborated with a veritable ‘who’s who’ list of classic and modern music icons, including Michael Jackson, U2, Noel Gallagher, Mark Ronson, Sia, William Orbit and many more.
He’s even worked in sound design as well as fashion show mixing and composition – from full-scale theatrical productions through to sound installations and DJ sets, and has performed on the scores for two seasons of Killing Eve, Soderburghs’s Logan Lucky, Mosaic and The Laundromat as well as Mindhorn.
These days, he continues to offer a broad range of skills and services to his clients, preferring not to be boxed-in to one particular role.
“I definitely don’t have a preference and the wide variety of jobs I am comfortable doing now has been really beneficial in today’s pretty demanding music industry. Specialising in so many areas is definitely not for everybody as it requires a huge amount of work and an active interest in homing the skills required for the different roles. It’s also arguable that specialising in one area allows for more depth of study and enjoyment of the role. Everyone’s expectations and desires are different in this respect.”
And as if that wasn’t enough already, Emre also does a lot of immersive audio work and drums in the band Ill Considered who are part of the exciting and resurgent London jazz scene.
“I’m really pleased with where I’m at now I think, working with artists I really respect, playing my own music at a nice level with my band and deeply involved with immersive audio as well as stereo mixing and production. It’s a really lucky position to be in and I’m very happy.
The current London jazz scene has blown my mind! I can’t really get my head around it to be honest hehe! It’s a beautiful scene and it’s been amazing to get to produce, mix and master some of these acts too (Theon Cross, Steam Down, Wildflower, Cardboard Wolf, Don’t Problem and more). I think the current popularity has grown due to the crossover nature of the new scene with hip hop, grime, pop and electronic music generally, along with a desire for a deeper kind of musical experience by younger listeners.”
Although he doesn’t sample much, he does run his own sample library company ‘Rattly And Raw’ and is happy to share his favourite hardware and software.
“I tend to make my own samples but have no judgement on sampling at all really! Use what you like to get where you need to, give credit where credit’s due and have fun doing it!
Gear-wise, I’m currently in love with my 7.2.4 Genelec atmos rig, ProTools ultimate, Acustica, Oeksound, SubMission Audio, Nugen, Waves, Baby Audio, United Plugins, Plugin Alliance, Gullfoss, Roger Meyer 456 (I have 16!), Dangerous Monitor ST, Townsend Sphere, Royer 122s, Neves and API pres. Phonitor headphone amps and Audeze LCDX also.”
As for RipX, he believes that the software is sonic wizardry on a level he’s never experienced before.
“Its ability to separate individual instruments from a single stereo mix is absolutely unmatched. Minimal or no artifacts and then the ability to manipulate the individual tracks post-split. It blows my mind every time!
It’s becoming absolutely essential, especially for atmos mixes. I can dive in and deconstruct stems in any way I want now and that’s game-changing.
I use it a lot for writing also. I had a job for a great producer/composer recently where he wanted to replace the drums to a file that was so old he’d lost the session. I was able to PERFECTLY remove the drums from the 2-track and replace it with new ones. It was artifact-free. INSANE!
When considering the future of music in general, Emre believes that immersive audio could open up incredible new creative possibilities at the compositional level.
“Technology is making the process of creating acceptable sounding music easier and easy, but not necessarily making exciting, original music happen in equal measure. If we get past the initial take-up period and it becomes an essential part of everyday listening without being considered a premium service, immersive audio will help bring back dynamics and creativity in mixing and might help engagement with music generally.
I guess there are interesting times ahead at worst!
We’re in for masses of workflow improvements in hardware and software as well as mass availability of previously unaffordable synths and outboard in terms of quality and performance. AI intervention will become more common and may actually really help in many areas of tedious, uncreative and repetitive work. There is always a concern about machines overtaking humans in more creative areas, but we’re not there yet in the areas it matters. Unfortunately, safeguarding this requires proper quality control at the point of delivery and I’m not sure that’s always there…”
And finally, for someone starting out in the industry, Emre believes you should start by trying to make something great and releasing it yourself.
“Keep doing that. Keep self-editing, keep revising and improving. Make your own amazing showreel and learn as much about how you work under pressure as possible. Your break will come and you need to be ready for it! GOOD LUCK!”
Find out more about Emre HERE.