INDRA – Music Production 101 Interview

IND:RA continues to appear on the Electronic Music scene as a captivating talent, impressing fans with his unique signature sound as he blends across the genres of House, Techno, and Acid to create impactful music. With such a devoted passion for the genre, a love that has seen him playing a role in the growth and evolvement of the Electronic Music culture of his homeland, India, IND:RA no doubt remains an unstoppable force. 

Now, he joins us to talk through his approach and perspective towards music production, giving us an exclusive glimpse into his creative workflow and technical processes in this exciting interview.


Hi IND:RA, how are you? 


Hello guys, Can’t complain. Enjoying the weather here in Istanbul currently and hoping to return to some sun in London next week. 


Firstly, what initially drew you to music production, and how did you begin leaning towards producing Electronic music?

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I have always seen myself as more of a Performer than a Producer. However, I was drawn by seeing some BTS videos of Electronic Music being made around the start of the millennia, when there was more of an analogue element to production. Once DAW became more accessible, I initially started with creating edits, and mash-ups for my sets. I moved on to bootlegs and after understanding more about synthesis and workflow, I started working on originals and remixes for my friends.  


Can you walk us through your typical workflow when producing a track, from idea generation to final mix?


The idea of the track can come from anywhere. Sometimes a melody in some web series, or pads in some cinematic moment, or even a really good track that you love playing. If it’s a melody that comes to me, I hum it into my iPhone to refer back to whenever I sit down to make music. I use both kick-first and melody-first approaches, depending on what I am working on. I usually try and create the chorus first and then deconstruct it to lay down the full track. However, no one technique works, and it changes from time to time.


What software and hardware do you use in your music production setup, and why?

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My setup is fairly basic. I use Ableton, an NI M32 Midi keyboard and a Focusrite Scarlett along with 4.5” nearfield monitors. Though Ableton has enough stock plugins, I love working with Serum and Diva and have recently been trying Pigments. It’s tough to find extra space in London, and I kept a compact setup as I was renting for a few years. I just got my own place and will buy some gear now once I can sort out some acoustic treatment of the 2nd room. 


What are some essential tips you can give to aspiring producers for creating a strong, cohesive track? 

I believe that the more organized you are, the quicker and better you can produce. I have attention span issues, and I used to get frustrated when I got stuck looking for a project file or if I wasn’t getting the right kick, and it affected my productivity and quality of production. I learned how to organize samples, presets, and VSTs with a perfect file management system and cleaned up my work style. I created multiple track structure templates, made folders for reference tracks and saved my favourite effect racks and presets to a ensure quicker workflow. These things sound simple but made a massive difference in the creative process for me. The less time you spend searching, the quicker and better your track will be. 


How do you find and select sounds that fit your track's vibe and style? 


I have a selection of sound banks and samples that I have collected over almost 18 years. I keep adding to these and save and name them according to the vibe. Komplete is really useful as well, as they keep updating and I have found some good stuff on it. 

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How do you use effects and processing to enhance your tracks and create a unique sound? 


I love creating multiple layers to get as close to the sonic soundscape I want as possible. For that, I ensure there is enough frequency space for all my layers, usually by cutting the low end from mostly everything apart from kick and bass. Panning certain elements also help in making them stand out and clears up the mix. Using stereo delay, reverb etc can help widen the track, and make these elements sound clear. It’s always good to experiment with layering effects, you can play around until you are happy with what you hear. 


Can you share a production technique or trick that you find particularly effective or interesting? 


This one has been around for a while but it’s one of those basic things that really help enhance the production subtly. While layering my kick, I usually record one with long reverb and pre-delay with a high pass, chop and reverse it, and add it under the dry kick. It adds a bit of character to it.  


How do you balance the technical aspects of production with the creative aspects to achieve your desired sound? 

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I believe that there are no rules in creative inspiration, you can get an idea from anywhere. However, being organized in your production can convert that idea into a track in a more efficient way. I don’t worry about the mix or the technical aspects while writing a melody or a hook as these can be sorted later, it’s important to write an idea down while it’s fresh. 


How important do you think collaboration is in music production, and do you have any memorable experiences collaborating with other artists? 

I believe collaboration is intrinsic to creative development for an Artist. You can learn a lot by collaborating with Artists, sometimes from a different style from yours. Producers should always look for like-minded people to work with, and you can pick up a lot by bouncing ideas with someone who might be better at some aspect of production than you are. 


What advice would you give to someone just starting in music production and looking to improve their skills? 


I would say two things. One is to always read the manual of your DAW or any VSTs you plan to use. It’s no use having multiple plugins if you don’t know them inside out. Secondly, if you are just learning music production, learn the short-cut keys of your DAW and practice them while learning, as it can really quicken your workflow and it’s an easy habit to form while learning rather than later. 

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We end our interview by thanking IND:RA for his time and look forward to following along with him as he continues with his musical journey; sure to remain on just as an enthralling path, IND:RA is not to be missed so, make sure to keep up-to-date with him by following him across social media.


IND:RA Online 

Soundcloud | Instagram