This is Morgan Page, AMA!
Hi everyone. Morgan Page here. I did an AMA a few years agp focused on music production, and now I'm back to answer your questions about my new album DC To Light...
BUY new album DC to Light: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dc-to-light/id993045165
http://www.mpquicktips.com <-- my tips for music producers and creative types
Thanks for all your questions guys!! Time to get back to making music. Make sure to grab a copy of my new album DC to Light! https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dc-to-light/id993045165
Sure! that GRAMMY nom was just a surprise for the remix of "Fantasy," and doing "Carry Me" together was great. Nadia is a perfectionist and I've been a fan ever since the Rapture days
Do you remember playing skylab in Denver? Your set was amazing!
Was that the one in the mud? That was pretty amazing
I love the new album, I must have listened to it 100 times already. I think your next single should be No Ordinary Life. I'm curious have you ever considered doing collaborations with artists that have similar style as you do, perhaps Deadmau5 or Kaskade? Or do you just prefer to fly solo as you have been all these years (minus a few songs such as we receive you)?
PS: Did Deadmau5 ever unblock you from twitter? Lmao
No Deadmau5 still blocks me on twitter. Dammit Joel! Not sure why -because we're friendly.
Kaskade and I have been talking about doing something for years, but we haven't even been able to find the time to grab coffee (actually he doesn't drink coffee haha).. collabs are great, and I think I'll embrace them more with the next album
Meet up with Ryan and Joel in Canada for a coffee run!
His new Tesla is perfect for coffee runs - so quiet! I want to record vocals in mine
What was it like working with Lissie ?
Lissie is amazing - it's great to work with someone so long, to really know their voice and be able to tweak the sonics just right.. she's a really talented songwriter, and nobody sounds like her except maybe Stevie Nicks :)
Which artist never fails to inspire you?
Have you ever gone through a significant change in how you create your music and what triggered it? (e.g. change in style)
Thoughts on Mat Zo's recent Twitter rant?
What's something you hate about the scene nowadays that didn't exist 5 years ago?
Conversely, what's something you love about the scene that didn't exist 5 years ago?
Thanks. Crossposted to /r/electronicmusic too.
1) Probably Daft Punk.. they've been able to sustain that mystique for so long
2) My music has probably gotten more aggressive, in reaction to crowd preferences, but I kinda want to try a different sound with the next record.. something more experimental - but still focused on big sounds
3) The whole Mat Zo thing is really interesting, and not a simple debate. There's a lot of grey areas with ghost producers, but the important thing is to focus your energy on something more positive. Chasing ghosts doesn't solve anything. That's why I put my energy into things like http://mpquicktips.com - a resource to inspire creative people rather than divide them
4) 5 years ago I didn't like Vegas.. now it's fun! I would say that things have just gotten bigger in all areas, but probably nothing distinctly new.
Just a quick extension of 2 then, do you make music more for the fans or yourself?
It's probably 50/50.. I'm always surprised - some songs do better than I expect, and some worse.. I just try to make the strongest songs possible.
Why won't you be at EDC Las Vegas?
They didn't invite me.. simple as that! :(
Great new tunes, I love Running Wild. On the new album, the low end is solid. Do you find yourself enhancing with harmonic distortion (Rbass or the like) for low midrange presence? What would be a tip in looking for solid low end presence without too much plugin surgery? Thanks for being here!!
I think the most important thing is picking the right initial sounds, layering two octaves of bass, and choosing the right initial key. C is a bitch! Doing a song in G/F/A is gonna be a lot easier.
Hey Morgan my friend Christian Kim loves you! Can you say what's up to him????
What's up Christian!?
How do you go about picking artist to do remixes for your songs?
I really like to find emerging artists, remixers that haven't developed a massive ego or price tag. I hired Deadmau5 to remix "The Longest Road" before he had the mousehead.
I saw you at the mini show at Dodger stadium!! Was super excited!! Was it your first time meeting major league baseball players?
Yeah that was a surreal day. I still have the ball from the first pitch, but I should have had the players sign it.
I love love love that you post your gmail for up and coming artists to submit their songs for your podcast! What's a memorable moment were a fellow artist once helped you when you were getting started or after) that you'll never forget? :)
Sasha was an early champion of my music and helped me get an early record deal with John Digweed's Bedrock Music. That really helped inspire some confidence after getting rejected by lots of labels.
Huge fan here.
Will you ever release the songs you produced for Tesla?
Specifically the one at the end of the Tesla battery swap demonstration video @ 6:58 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5V0vL3nnHY)
Also, what is the extent of your working relationship with Tesla, other than owning one?
Thanks- Adam from NYC
Right now there are no plans - and Tesla doesn't own them, so who knows! Maybe if DC to Light hits #1 on iTunes Dance I'll offer them as a free download :)
Is there any chance you'll bring back the #MPP3D tour?
I have nothing but fond memories from the Philadelphia show. Without that show, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to hang out with my (now) girlfriend.
Yeah! working on a new design soon for MPP3D v2
Hey there! First off, thanks for all your "in the air" podcast each week. I consider them a staple for listening while working. My question for you is concerning a comment you made during one of the podcasts you did where you mentioned the grammy's and how you were concerned that there were no EDM performances. What do you think the industry can do to increase it's presence?
Yeah definitely a real concern - most important thing is people writing great music. The material has to be there, and I think especially this year with so many albums, there's lots of great music. It's going to take more industry heavyweights lobbying for more exposure.
Can you confirm if festivals like Electric Zoo and EDC NY make you sign exclusive contracts? So you can only perform at one of the festivals?
There are definitely exclusivity and radius clauses - it's a fact of life with festivals and clubs. I would play them all if I could.
Hey Morgan! Been listening to your stuff for a long time, and Believe is still one of my favorite albums of all time.
Have you noticed changes in your musical tastes over the years? Do you have an idea of the style you're going for in your next album, and beyond? Whether it be house, progressive house, big room house, electro house, deep house, whatever it may be... or maybe more of a classical focus? I don't know. You tell me!
Thanks Morgan, keep making awesome music. DC to Light is fantastic! Farewell is probably my favorite. That and Save You. Both are incredible songs!
The future house stuff is fun.. I think there's lots more "folk-house" territory to explore that Avicii opened up.. I like the openness of doing mixes that aren't just "smack you over the head" big room style
how does the collaboration process work with the singers on your new album?
Usually I speed write 2-3 instrumental drafts every day (just a beat, chord progression, bassline, lead, arp), mute the leads, and shop around to vocalists. I have the vocalists pick 3 or 4, and have them start writing lyrics. Then we argue over lyrics, identify the key hook and themes, and continue to kick the tires over several months as I re-build the instrumental draft around the vocal
What were the five most important tips that really changed your workflow and songwriting process?
Also do you meditate at all? I know many who swear by TM.
Thanks and keep up the amazing work! :)
The Tim Ferriss podcast and books are really helpful. I've basically logged all my favorite tips into the http://mpquicktips.com site and http://twitter.com/mpquicktips - my favorites are:
1) The rule of three - that your brain can only process three distinct elements at once
2) Wabi Sabi - nothing lasts, nothing is perfect, and nothing is finished
3) Staying Centrally Organized - use Evernote and/or a journal to keep all your notes central and searchable
4) Use morning pages to vent clear your subconscious mind every day. I read about this in "The Artist's Way" by Julie Cameron
I don't regularly meditate but I run regularly and that's my "moving meditation" - I want to try TM but I don't agree with the price they charge for instruction, even though it seems to work for a lot of people
So what's the best tips you have for mixing down tunes? I always EQ and cut but I feel my mixes are missing energy when I do that
per my comment earlier, choosing the right key is really important - picking the right sounds, and not overlayering things. I feel like my mixes lose power when I highpass things too aggressively, so I'm trying to get better with that aspect.
Who's your personal favorite active DJ?
Do you have anything sick planned for us as Spring Awakening on Saturday?
Hard to pick just one! yeah gearing up some more of the album songs for Saturday. Maybe I'll play the one w/ Meiko
Hey Morgan, any chance you have a show at higher ground or in Burlington anytime in soon?
hopefully soon! fun venue. Maybe next time we do MPP3D
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate chip cookie dough of course Ben & Jerry's from my home state of Vermont
man - the itunes thing is a roller-coaster ride! ahhh.. right now in my studio I count 6 pairs of headphones.
What is the weirdest thing you have seen at one of your shows?
Love your music ❤️
oh man - so many things.. people climbing pillars, people getting naked, various states of intoxication. One guy got stuck in a cave at Red Rocks 200 feet above.
Hi Morgan! Love your music, and have loved it for many years now. Have you ever thought about having a meet and greet with your fans? That would be rad!
Definitely - we usually do a meet & greet for every show
Hey Morgan, I love your music! Thank you for the awesome tunes you've put out!
My question is, everytime I look up when you will be in the NYC area, you are either doing a show in Atlantic City or your playing a set on a weekday at a club I usually don't frequent. So, when are you going to play one of your great sets in NYC on a weekend?! Us weekday working stiffs need an opportunity to jam out to your great music!
In the past I've played Pacha, Lavo, and Webster Hall in NYC - but let me know your favorite venues - maybe we can make it happen
Well recently we've been going to places in Brooklyn, most notably Output or Verboten and Space Ibiza in the city, as well as special warehouse raves/parties thrown by production companies like Blk/Market and ReSoulte. However if you ever played anywhere in Brooklyn I would TOTALLY be there without a doubt! Thank you for the fast responds!!
Years ago I played Halcyon in Brooklyn - such a cool spot.. cafe/record shop/venue
Woohoo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! I'm sure there are good days and bad days, like anything. What's your thing you do when it gets tough?
Eat chocolate chip cookie dough.. j/k - when it gets tough, I go for a run.
What's your favorite club in Vegas to DJ at?
I'm a bit biased as a resident of Light at Mandalay Bay, but Omnia looks amazing - I haven't played there yet, but I'm doing a date at Omnia San Diego soon
First off I want to say thank you for an amazing album with DC to Light. It was actually way better than I had hoped for and I'm truly looking forward to finding the magic throughout. I have a couple questions for you: 1. What do YOU want the future of electronic music to be like? 2. What is one song that has come out recently that you hope to one day remix?
thanks! I would like EDM to find a happy balance of songs with energy that aren't just straight bangers all the time. I try to program my sets in waves, with more beautiful moments in between - but some crowds just want aggression vs songs, so it's a balancing act every night. I can't predict the future of EDM, but I think it'll be more nuanced and versatile.
Letsee - re: recent songs to remix, I love the Odesza stuff
Do you enjoy elevator music?
When it's Angela McCluskey / Telepopmuzik - "Breathe"
LOVE your new album! How does DC to Light differ from or compare to In the Air?
More clubby, less melancholy maybe? Definitely has more pop influence to it
I like Breaking Bad. Do you like Breaking Bad?
One of a handful of TV shows I would call ART.
How was it working with Carnage on a track?
Good! "We Receive You" started off as a deep track and eventually I felt we should make something more festival focused that still felt like a proper song. There's such a dramatic shift in the breakdown that I love the crowd reaction - people freak out.
Have apps played an important role in connecting with your fans?
I like Periscope a lot. Twitter and Instagram are crucial, and I've learned to embrace Snapchat. I like that Snapchat isn't a popularity contest and I can show a different side of me.
What up MP! Loved the new album you actually RT'ed me on Twitter.
Quick question, what made you decide to change your style a little on DC To Light from more of a poppy/melodic trance (Believe, In The Air) to a more club/banger sound?
I think DC to Light is pretty melodic and poppy - I wanted more songs I could fit into my set that didn't require remixes, but mainly it's about changing things up.. Next album will also be different - maybe more mellow - who knows.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? What gets you most excited about the album process? What is your number one goal for the next six months? What’s something you know you do differently than most producers? What are your top five personal values and how do they affect how you create music?
1) I made a bunch of music for Tesla that they used in announcements - about 7 songs
2) I love the beginning stages of creation, and I hate the last 20%
3) Main goal is a successful album launch, and design for MPP3D v2
4) Letsee - I don't use ghost producers, I do my own radio show. I always build a song around vocals, and never slap a vocal on an existing released instrumental
5) That's tough - the most important aspects to me in a song are: it needs to be memorable, having a catchy chord progression, have lyrics anyone can relate to, have an arrangement that tells a story, and a clear and purposeful mixdown that works in different environments
After listening to the fantastic album that is DC to Light, I must know: When's the mashup of Strike and Save You dropping? You realize, of course, you must make this happen.
I hadn't thought of that! it could happen :)
Hey Morgan, I've been a fan of yours for quite a few years. Your In The Air podcast is a weekly listen on my iPhone, and "Carry Me" is my favorite track of yours. My question is:
I noticed that in recent In The Air episodes, you have been doing mashup tracks of your old stuff along with some of the newer tracks by other artists/DJs. (For example, the "Longest Voodoo" bootleg mix with DVBBS on Episode 259.) Have you thought about creating a mashup/bootleg album in the future, or is that not on the horizon?
thanks! I used to do more mashups and release them on Soundcloud but they became corporate and starting taking them down.. it was such a great outlet for mashups. So i'm waiting for another platform like early Soundcloud. Right now I make them mainly for live use and the radio show
Hi Morgan, I am a huge fan. what is the inspiration behind DC to Light? can you do a track with Diplo?
Re: Diplo - I'm a huge fan of Lean On.. so damn good - maybe we'll collab someday
Solar power was one inspiration - technology and the future. I wanted to have a slightly more aggressive record, but still focus on strong songs. DC to Light means full frequency, which I think helps describe the record
who are you listing to outside of the EDM world? and I have been reading other comments and MPP3D v2... Portland better be on that list!
Florence & The Machine, Odesza, Mumford & Sons
Out of all the venues you'll be going to on your tour, which one are you most excited to play at?
Red Rocks is my favorite venue, but I'm not playing there - haha.. Probably El Paso - looking fwd to that one
Well, I'll be attending San Francisco at Temple! I missed seeing you at Beyond Wonderland in the Bay Area last year! Will you be playing this year?
nice - see you there! no plans for Beyond this year
Congrats on your new album. I love the songs and the variety of vocal talent. Great job on the title--I love the full spectrum reference.
How much work goes into findinh lesser-known vocalists? Is this more difficult than striking a deal with well-known vocalists?
Any chance we'll see another 3D show?
I'll often try to find vocalists that don't work in dance music. I find that a lot of the singers try to imitate other voices too much, rather than find their signature sound.. so it's tricky - it's great to see singers in an acoustic environment - no auto-tune, no effects.
MPP3D v2 is in the works
Keep going? I have another one. If you could time travel and tell a younger version of yourself one thing, what would you say?
(PS-I can ask these questions all day, I hope you know. :)
I'd say "start earlier - and ignore the idiots that made fun of electronic music"
Whats the hardest part of being a professional music producer/dj, whats the easiest?
Hardest part is the travel, the last 20% of mixdowns, and dealing with criticism and rejection (surprise! - that stuff never goes away)
There is no easy part, but the best part is having the opportunity to do this for a living, the chance to see the world, and share my music
DO you prefer the music festivals or the intimate underground parties like back in 04 ?
I love both festivals and clubs - very different experience. You feel closer to the crowd at the clubs because literally you are - the set length changes everything, so a 1 hr festival set goes by really quickly
What is your go-to for vocal timing/pitch correction? Melodyne/autotune, or something else?
Thanks a lot man, your an inspiration to me and I'm a huge fan of your work!
Right now it's Auto-Tune 8. Melodyne is great, but I never got very good with the workflow
What kind of "analog" (ie: non-synthesized) instruments do you like to use, if any?
Right now in my studio I have a Dave Smith Prophet 08, Moog Voyager, Guild and Washburn acoustic guitars, and a 75 year old Steinway piano. I love layering the analog instruments and digital synths together - definitely a big part of my sound.
Why was it important to you to use solar power to power production for DC to Light?
It just kinda worked out that way.. I had these panels installed 2 years ago right when the album process started, so I had no choice! :) It felt like an obvious decision, especially with all the sunshine in LA. It didn't cost anything to install the system, so it was an easy decision
How did it feel to be kicked off hosting The X Factor?
Was that Piers Morgan?
Any chance you might collaborate with Nadia Ali again? Love the album btw
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