Eats Everything: “There’s a plugin I use on almost every channel and it only cost me around $30”

Bristol has a rich production heritage of talented DJs and producers and Eats Everything’s Daniel Pearce has joined this exclusive club.

After spending years working on his productions, his first house EP entrance song (2011) won plaudits from industry titans like Carl Cox, Seth Troxler and Pete Tong. Since then, the infectious beat maker has become a prolific remixer, label owner, radio host and globe-trotting DJ.

The past decade has been a wild ride for Pearce, but the Covid lockdown has finally given him time to breathe and reflect. Returning to a more simplistic approach to production and curious to experiment, his latest single tell you what it is, feat. Caribbean duo Shermanology are a radical departure from their usual house and techno bangers.

We talk to Pearce about his evolution in the studio, stolen gear and how an enforced hiatus from the DJ circuit re-energized his creative approach.

Congratulations on passing 10 years in the industry. What does it do?

“It took me 19 years to become an overnight success, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t take that for granted. Obviously I’m going to complain about being stuck at the airport or not sleep before a concert – it’s human nature, but I’m incredibly grateful to be able to do all these amazing things. It’s gone fast, but life goes fast, right?

Did you have time to reflect during confinement?

“If I was still touring, I never would have made the new record with Shermanology. You have to keep making new club bangers to stay relevant, but the lockdown gave me the opportunity to make loads of music that I normally wouldn’t do and experimenting with a lot of tempos and styles. It really got me thinking about what I want to do in the future and where I want to go.

Did you feel the urge to hit the reset button?

“It really made me think, this is crazy…why am I forcing myself not to sleep to play this or that gig? Obviously the money is great and the lockdown would have been awful if I hadn’t been reasonable and saved a lot of money, but I hope that rainy day doesn’t come again and that no one takes advantage of a DJ who hasn’t slept and is playing his fourth or fifth gig this weekend. After eight years, I’ve finally gotten my bearings, so I try to stick to two gigs a week so I’m fresh and prepared for every set.”

When you wrote your first EP, Entrance Song, did you mainly produce in the box?

“It was all software and most of my early stuff was completely sample-based using the Ableton sampler and manipulating it like a software synthesizer. I wasn’t the first person to do this, but my way of working was different from most. Then I fell into a more conventional workflow. As I got more and more successful, I built a collection of hardware sequencers, synths, compressors, and drum machines. , but I ended up tinkering and not making music.

What inspired you again?

“During lockdown I took my monitor speakers, MIDI keyboard, laptop and UAD interface to a spare room, went back to working like before and ended up doing three or four pieces a day. I was doing it the way I remembered – the way I knew it.

Analog gear is great, but once you run it through a load of processing no one can tell the difference anyway

“Analog gear is great, but once you put it under a processing load, no one can tell the difference anyway. It doesn’t matter what goes into the speakers, what matters is is what comes out of it. Now when I’m in the studio I have all these machines around but none of them are on [laughs].”

Are you looking to whip up your material now?

“It’s annoying, when I brought all my stuff into the house at the start of the lockdown, I left some of it in the trunk of my car and it all got bitten. I had a Prophet-5 Rev.3, a Prophet 12, an MPC Renaissance and a Moog Sub 37, but some opportunist must have bought it and just skipped it Half my stuff is gone, but I still have a few bits I still have. use occasionally.

What studio are you currently working in?

“My current studio is in a place called Factory Studios in Bristol. Massive Attack is rehearsing there, but the only other people who have a static studio are rock band Idles and The Editors who have just moved in. I’m actually in Redlight’s old studio and I’ve been here for seven years now.There are no windows but at least I’m not tempted to go out on a sunny day.

The new single, tell you what it is, sounds a bit more song-oriented. Was it the result of you trying different styles?

“The track is very different for me because I had never done a song before. it was necessary to erase the voice but that became impossible.

I’m always on the lookout for new technologies, but I’m definitely more of an idea man.

“I spoke to Shermanology but Dorothy [Sherman] doesn’t do re-sings so they decided to rewrite the voice in the same vein. It’s not high-street house, it’s the kind of thing you’d hear Louie Vega playing, but I didn’t think I’d ever have the means or the skills to do it.”

Are you more driven by ideas than technology or are they indivisible?

“I’m always on the lookout for new technology, but I’m definitely more of an idea man and I actually work in a pretty primitive way. I learned how to make music on Sonic Foundry Acid, which was like a version very basic from Ableton, and I prefer using Ableton’s session view rather than clips I’m basically going to finish all the automation in Ableton, then bounce the stems into Pro Tools and use the HEAT plug-in on the master to add some color.

How do new technologies inspire you?

“They allow you to make sounds you couldn’t before and from there I’m going to be inspired to take another path. I have a maniacal respect for drum and bass producers in the modern era. like Particle, Klinical and Break because I’m still trying to learn how they make fucking noises They use the same kit as me but somehow manage to get sounds I can’t even imagine doing, although I’m beginning to realize that it’s not as hard as I thought.”

What techniques did you use to imitate some of these artists you mention?

“Using the Klevgrand REAMP plugin to overdrive things without completely killing the source sound allowed me to emulate sounds that I didn’t think I could before. It’s really a guitar amp, but the four EQ bands and the way you can manipulate the frequency ranges is so precise it was a revelation and helped me get some really grimy bass sounds. tell you what it isbut it’s a bad kit.”

eat all

(Image credit: press/mange tout)

Do you seem to be a fan of audio processing pedals?

“Everything goes through them. I use the Eventide H9, Strymon El Capistan and Strymon Deco to add some grunt and grime to things. I actually have Fatboy Slim’s 303 in my studio right now because we tried to recreate a famous acid line for a remix we’re doing.

“I tried it on a little acid box MB 33 and the new TB-303 but the resonance wasn’t going as far as I wanted so I said to Norm, look, either you’re gonna have to , either you’ll have to use a real 303, so he sent me the one he was using for Everybody needs a 303.

If there is one production tip you would recommend, what would it be?

“It’s not really a production trick, but there’s a plugin that I use on almost every channel that only costs me around $30. It’s the Infected Mushroom Pusher, which is so simple and easy to use.You can boost the hertz range on a key and get a low end you never thought possible.It’ll turn your hi-hat into a bad boy, make claps stand out, and add frequency and girth to every note.

There’s a plugin I use on almost every channel and it only cost me around $30

“I also use Arturia Pigments a lot – it’s similar to Serum, which is amazing, but has a much more grown-up sound. With the built-in sequencer and arpeggiator, you can create futuristic leads and basses and classic – which sounds like a piano.”

Do you have any leads lined up for the rest of the year now?

“We have five or six singles ready, which hopefully will lead to an album at the end of the year. Other tracks have vocals, but not full vocals like Tell yourself what it is. The tracks are a mix of breakbeat, drum and bass, garage, house, electro and a few Todd Terry style numbers. They sum up everything I’ve been into over the years and the different styles I’ve adopted during lockdown. I covered it all!”

Eats Everything’s new single, Tell You What It Is, is out now on Three Six Zero Recordings.

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