It’s been over a year since Wolfgang Gartner has participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” but yesterday he took over two hours out of his day to mingle with the internet locals. After attracting over 1400 inquiries, Wolfgang answered what he could and revealed some personal thoughts on the Beatport Top 10, Big Room Trends, and offers several nuggets of advice for aspiring producers.
We have nothing to do but sit around and read gossip on Twitter all day so we had plenty of time to comb through the posts and stitch together a tidy recap. Check out what the man had to say below:
Distaste For Big Room Trends
[Q]dukebd2010 You’ve been very vocal about your beliefs so I’m curious, what do you think is the biggest problem with the whole “EDM movement” and A) How do you see the problem being fixed and B) Do you think there’s any chance of it happened?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: in a nutshell: “Big room” house, SFX Inc, major label A&R’s shoving digestible cheap dance music down teenager’s throats, and oversaturation of festivals and events in north america (too many events not enough people to go around). and a whole lot more. i.e. it’s totally fucked. will it be fixed? i think so. the bubble already burst. but there won’t be a crash, it’s what they call a market correction. this market got a bit too inflated but not so much that it’s going to deflate like crazy, it’s just going to correct itself. it will take a while. that’s my interpretation.
[Q]elspiderdedisco: What’re your thoughts on the Big Room House trend?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: the big room house trend? to me it’s a joke. it’s a lot of marketing and back scratching and publicly traded conglomerates buying festivals and music sites. . . . it all goes hand in hand.
The Beatport Top 10
[Q]letsgetlucky: What is your opinion on the Beatport top 10 chart vs. the chart 3-4 years ago?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: I can’t even listen to it anymore. Like, it will make me fear for the future of humanity if I listen to that top 10 these days.
[Q]metac0rtex What is your process for finding new tracks for your live sets?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: I mostly shop on Beatport, but I have a huge list of artists and labels in my “favorites” that i just shop for, i’ll scroll through a few dozen pages and just listen to all the new music that my favorite aritsts and labels have been putting out. i used to use the charts to shop sometimes but i don’t really have any luck with that these days.
Playing At Home or Away
[Q]inbiggerside: I saw you in San Diego a few months back during your hounds of hell tour, and I have to ask, do you prefer your hometown crowds, (LA, SD, OC), or are you more keen to the far off exotic places?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: my worldwide touring agents probably wouldn’t love me answering this but, . . . . . i enjoy playing in north america the most. USA and Canada. The crowds right now are the best and it all feels like home to me.
[Q]Squeaky192: Who/what would you say provides you the most inspiration in your recent tracks?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: rap. i pretty much just listen to rap and then translate that attitude into house music i guess. for recent tracks at least.
[Q] smtn_bass: Who do you think are some underrated producers/DJs in the industry? Love and respect your work very much.
WolfgangGartnerMusic: i think Gregor Salto doesn’t get as much attention as he deserves. first that came to mind.
[Q]kasuddarth What has been the biggest inspiration for the theme of the music you make- by that I mean the sound, beat, structure (build up -> drop, etc)?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: probably disco house from the late 1990’s. i’m essentially using that same formula that i learned from guys like Olav Basoski, Paul Johnson, Cleptomaniacs, all that stuff. Except the breakdowns are just a little bit more climactic now and the “drops” are a little more heavy. but the formula is the same.
[Q]Ben_zona: Are you an audiophile? Which sound systems do you most prefer the audience to hear your music through?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: not at all. i can’t tell the difference between 320’s and wav’s.
[Q]nightowl798: Hey Wolfgang, I heard that you hang out in your hotel a lot and aren’t big into the party scene when you tour. Is there a reason why?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: I don’t understand how other DJ’s can go out and party and drink and wake up the next morning, get on the plane and make it to the next gig and play a good set. I tried it for a bit, . . . it didn’t work out so well. Traveling takes so much out of you already, there’s no room for any more battering of your immune system!
[Q]BranLandry: If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: I’d produce a track with Quincy Jones and resurrect Freddie Mercury for the lead vocals.
[Q]jackie4244: Hi! What is your favorite festival that you’ve played at?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: Sasquatch 2011
[Q]fizz_zix: A teacher I know from Ex’pression college claims that you attended there and left shortly after your enrollment. Is this true?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: yep. i dropped out when all the checks came in my mailbox from the first release on my first record label in 2004.
[Q]letsgetweird99 Your wiki page says you’re from San Luis Obispo, CA. What was the music scene like when you grew up there? Also, In your opinion what’s the most fun thing to do there?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: it was huge. there was a record / dj-gear store, parties almost every night (the kind where you had to go to 7-11 to get the paper from the guy who sent you to the guy at the corner of 11th and 48th to get the number for the guy who had the location in the woods where the party was). Tortilla Flats was actually the best club in the city, I had a residency there Wednesdays, . . . . . . I left a lot of brain cells on the floor of that club. It’s also where I played my first public set at a real club. A lot of the earlier 90’s raves were at the Vet’s Hall and out in the mountains outside of city limits usually.
[Q]CarlosAdesign: who is your favorite comedian?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: Louis C.K.
[Q]mv0087 What is your favourite kind of tea?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: black tea. but now starbucks has this “green tea lemonade” that’s like crack so if that counts, that would be it.
[Q]Skroly Wolfgang!!! Huge fan here! One question! How do you fill out your tracks to make them sound so full? A lot of white noise, low volume effects?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: compression, mixdown, mastering, it’s a combination of all the factors, there aren’t really specific tricks. i do use a lot of very low volume / subliminal hi-hat / percussive noises to fill up the treble space organically though. maybe that’s a tip.
[Q]Kayshot Any saturation plugins you find yourself coming back to time and time again?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: Waves Kramer tape is amazing but really drains your system, PSP makes a couple good ones too. But I haven’t used those on the master in at least a year. usually on individual tracks.
[Q]Johnjohn223 I saw in your previous AMA that Guitar Rig is your favorite plug-in from NI. I struggle to use it properly so I’d like to know which Guitar Rig units are your favorites when working on your leads/basses (which amp, which distortion for instance)?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: i just go through the presets and find one that’s somewhat close, then remove / add units and adjust all the settings until i’ve got it right. the only thing on there i use alone a lot is the reflektor verb, . . . i’ll use GR just for that one unit in a lot.
[Q]Exalite :do you premaster to get your track “loud” enough? if so what do you use on your master chain?
WolfgangGartnerMusic: i master all my own stuff, from studio to iTunes. a lot of stuff on my master chain but all used sparingly. Multiband compressor is very important. I like Waves C4. I will say I use 2 limiters, i’ve found a combination that works well together to get it decently loud without killing my transients. and i’m also slowly starting to release my music a little quieter trying to battle the loudness wars.