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"A really important aspect of Loonaloop is that we write the music with live performance in mind." - Shiney Lefai

In this episode

Loonaloop's SHINEY LEFAI - 45 years in the music industry Writing EDM for a live band How Loonaloop produced their album "Down The Rabbit Hole" remotely and online Playing EDM with a live band on stage small and huge stages Loonaloop's many Europe tours Shiney's gear recommendations for performing live

Links from this episode

Loonaloop [official website] 


Loonaloop on Spotify


Loonaloop uses and recommends the following Roland gear:


Roland V-Drums

  

Roland SPD X


...

About the 

guest

Shiney Lefai is a talented singer, songwriter and frontwoman of the electronic fusion band Loonaloop. Her dynamic vocals and stage presence have captivated audiences around the world, while her passion for music and spirituality continue to inspire her creative journey.

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The Production Talk Podcast - The modern way of producing music


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Jan 'Yarn' Muths or mixartist.com.au, in the studio

Contact the podcast host Jan 'Yarn' Muths at mixartist.com.au

Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.

transcript

Transcript

(auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error)

Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome to the Production Talk podcast with me, Yarn, of mixartists.com.au. In this podcast series, we celebrate the modern way of producing music. We want to talk about all things related to songwriting, recording at home and music production. So, if you produce your music at home, this is the place to be. Please subscribe and recommend this podcast to all your friends. This is the Production Talk Podcast episode 76. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome back to another episode of the Production Talk podcast. At the beginning of this episode, as always, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the country that we are meeting on today, the Arakwal people of the Bundjalung Nation. And I would like to express my thanks and respects and gratitude to elders past, present, and emerging. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Today with me is a very special musician: Shiney Lefai. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you. It's great to have you. We've spoken for a while online and it's great to meet you in person here today. And we finally managed to find time because we are both very busy. So I appreciate that you're here today with me. Shiney Lefai: Thank you. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I am very curious to find out more about you as a musician, and then of course find out more about your band, LunaLoop. But let's start with you first. Give us the, the rundown of your musical career. How old were, were you when you figured out that music was something you wanted to do, and what were the big milestones for you? Shiney Lefai: Yeah. My musical career has been for 45 years, I guess. Maybe a little bit less. I started off, I didn't have any musical training. My parents actually denied me instruments cuz they said it would end up in the wardrobe. But they underestimated my passion. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: you showed them Shiney Lefai: True. So at the age of 16, nearly 17, I got a guitar, learned a couple of chords and started busking. I lived in Newcastle and so I used to catch the train with a girlfriend down to King's Cross busk all night and catch the first five o'clock in the morning train home with, with a bag full of gold Jan 'Yarn' Muths: wow. Shiney Lefai: And Yeah. That's how I started my, my musical career. Shiney Lefai: And then basically moved into original bands as soon as I could and moved to Sydney and started playing in original bands. And then I started playing with the drama from the Radiators which is Australian Rock band. And I was just doing backing vocals for him, but then him going back to the drums and that band was called Modern Primitives. Shiney Lefai: And also joined in that band with the keyboard player from the radiators and the guitarist. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: guitarist. Shiney Lefai: And that was awesome rock band. And I wrote a lot of the music with the keyboard player, Brendan Callinan. And then we got a publishing. with Warner Brothers. They were Warner Brothers back then. And yeah, that was really cool. Shiney Lefai: Back in those days, nobody had home studios, so you had to spend a lot of money on demos, you know, so I remember spending, you know, 10 grand on, on demos. They weren't even the album, you know? So yeah, after that I had another hard groove rock band. Went to LA and did some recording there, more demos, . And then after that I'd met a drummer when I was in Spirit world and we'd played together and we did a bit of jamming on bagian and guitar, and he went to England. Shiney Lefai: And disappeared. And then he came back with this English trans band and that band was in Australia for, for a couple of performances. And then they said, oh, we need to take a vocalist to Europe with us. Would you like to come and audition? And I was like, yeah. And then I asked to my friends, what's trans music? because I was a rock chick, you Jan 'Yarn' Muths: No way. Shiney Lefai: I'm like, what's Jan 'Yarn' Muths: You had no idea. Yeah. Yeah, Shiney Lefai: And then I'm like, has anyone got any trans music? They can play me. I've gotta go for an audition. So I'm trying to, you know, gather trans music, cuz that was in the early nineties. And then I went along to the rehearsal and they went, yeah, great, come on board. Shiney Lefai: So like, I think about five weeks later I took off to Europe and I went to Europe for a couple of years on a, you know, underground. Tour we played a lot of great big festivals. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Fantastic. That sounds like a lot of fun. Shiney Lefai: Mm-hmm. That was a lot of fun. And that was right on the nose of dance Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. That was all still underground. It was pretty fresh. Yeah. Yeah. What was your experience on that tour? What was the scene like back then? Shiney Lefai: The scene was amazing in that way that, well, it was new and anything that's new has a lot of like enthusiasm and curiosity and dazzle to it, which, which, which is great. Yeah, so it was really amazing. Shiney Lefai: It was. You know, there's never much money in music unless you're in that very small percentage up the top. So it was living in a bus with four guys and sometimes wondering where your next meal was coming from, and like doing things like playing like the main stage at huge festivals. And then, you know, the next night sleeping in a camping area in the bus Jan 'Yarn' Muths: you know? Yeah, Shiney Lefai: people snoring and teeth grinding and tapping away at the computers, but a lot of laughs, a lot of fun and places that I never even knew existed, like as a little Aussie girl, like, you know, Slovakia and, and, and, and Budapest and, and you know all sorts of eastern block Europe as well as, you know, England and the native lands and Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Nice. Okay, beautiful. Tell us about Luna Lubes. When did Luna Lube start? It's been a long time. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is, isn't that right? Shiney Lefai: Yeah, well, it's actually pretty special because this year is marking our 20th anniversary. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. Congratulations. That's fantastic. 20 years. That's a huge achievement. Shiney Lefai: It, it really is. And is it still the original lineup? Shiney Lefai: Well, the live lineup has changed a lot. And originally the bass player and the drummer and myself came out of Tribal Drift, which was the English trans band. We came out of that band and formed Luna Loop and that was basically, Apart from some personal dynamics, it, it was a bit limiting for me as a vocalist to be doing purely trance music. Shiney Lefai: It's a bit caged in as a, a vocalist. So with Luna Loop, we, we've ventured into much more eclectic styles. So we have a trance element. We have drum and bass, which, you know, I particularly love for vocals and, you know, House, tribal, gypsy house and dub and all sorts of ver very, very eclectic. Yes. So we started with, that was our, the core writing team, the bass player. Shiney Lefai: Then married a Dutch girl and moved to the Netherlands. So eventually we ended up not playing together anymore. His path went on a different trajectory and the drummer and I have remained as the core members and writing team. But we've had countless diri du players, violinists diri do players from all over the world, which is quite funny. Shiney Lefai: You know, we've had French, Caribbean, Argentinian, Japan, Austrian, we've had so many different Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, that's good. . Yeah, you're right. Shiney Lefai: And over the last six years, maybe a little longer we have had Jinta Simmons, the violinist that's come on board and been a really big part of Leno Loop as well. Wow. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. So what makes your band very unique to, to my Ears is that at first it actually sounds like pretty much any other EDM band, but it doesn't Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Since there was something else and then I looked it up and realized you were actually a live band. So when I first listened, I didn't even know that. Mm. I thought I was literally in, yeah. went into it with the ex expectation to hear just another Ed m band. Shiney Lefai: Mm-hmm. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm-hmm. . But then I discovered there is something very different in a very unique way that really responded well with me. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Ed M is not something that comes easily to me. Mm-hmm. I enjoy it, but I would often not choose to sit down and listen to a couple of albums in a row. Mm. Luna Loops is different. I did exactly that and I loved it. It's, it's a journey. Thank you. So Shiney Lefai: But definitely a Jan 'Yarn' Muths: human element in there. Mm-hmm. , the feeling of, of having a band performing is something I really enjoyed and I find this very unique. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: It's not something that I come across every day, so Shiney Lefai: thank you. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well done. Shiney Lefai: That's spot on is that we're, we are a DM band, but we have very much a, a. Coming from a live sensibility. Yeah. And also the fact that now the drummer and myself both come from rock backgrounds. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. So we, we, we come from playing not pro, not just programming, but Jan 'Yarn' Muths: but playing. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Shiney Lefai: And I think that's something that is unique and it's also what is really transferrable to a wider. Audience because we have a lot of people come and tell us, Hey, I don't usually, you know, if they've seen us at festivals or something, they say, Hey, it was amazing. Shiney Lefai: I, I don't usually go for that style of music, but I love your music and it's because. Yeah. . Yeah. It's because you feel, you feel that live, feel that you can relate to the instrumentation and you can Jan 'Yarn' Muths: relate Shiney Lefai: to the human feel that comes through. But you get all the gorgeous benefits of the beauty of, of dance music, which is, you know, all the intricacies and the things that you can only achieve through programming and through, you know, digital gizmos, gadgets, recordings. Shiney Lefai: Mm. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Hmm. But then at the same time, it's a real experience life. So to see an entire band perform like this Mm. I watched the videos and it, it's different. Mm. To see an entire band perform together and look each other in the eye and groove of each other. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And you see, you dance and, you know, there's so much action. Shiney Lefai: Mm-hmm. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I respond better to that you know, compared to a person with a laptop and a microphone on stage. Yeah. That's just not quite the same. So I really en enjoy the life element there. Shiney Lefai: I agree. And I think that's always been another really important aspect of Luna Loop that's been important to us is that we write the music with pl live performance in mind. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, yeah. So Shiney Lefai: what we write needs to be transferrable to this stage and not just to playing. A recording. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. Talk me through the process of a song, you know, the life of a song. When, when is it born in? Do you meet up in a rehearsal room or is it you or another band member bringing the idea to the others, how, how does a song come together and how do you work a song? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: How do you evolve a song? First Shiney Lefai: a start? We all live far away from each other and sometimes different countries, so we very rarely get in the same room. So we're very. Contemporary band in that way that a lot of our music is done via the internet. So for example, the drummer has Roland v drums and he will play the v drums in and, and record the live performance in midi and then he'll assign whatever sound he wants to the kicks or the hats or something. Shiney Lefai: So he's got that live feel in the performance data. But Jan 'Yarn' Muths: a quick note for all our listeners. You know, some may not know what a Roland v drum is, so it's an electronic drum set. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. It's an electronic Jan 'Yarn' Muths: the world of, you know, from the ecosystem of electronic drum sets. The Roland v drums are definitely up there. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: They're among the finest ones in the market. They're not Shiney Lefai: are. Yeah. Yeah. They're not cheap because they are quality and they're constantly evolving and, and yeah. Either you. Like the sounds that they have assigned in, in their particular module. Or you can just use that data and program, whatever, assign any sound from whether it's Lord Duke or Abelton or wherever you want to get your sound from. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So that's great. So it actually starts off a performed drumm beat rather than a loop. Yeah, that's right. Mm-hmm. . Okay. Shiney Lefai: That's right. And I think that's important, and I think that's sort of also the essence of, of what what we are is like, yes, we're using. Digital and programming, but we're doing it live. So even from where it starts from, you're getting this live field to Jan 'Yarn' Muths: the end, Shiney Lefai: and then it's transferring into midi. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: See, I must have missed the name of your drummer, please, Andrew. Andrew Burns. Shiney Lefai: yeah. Hey, Andrew Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Hey, Andrew. Drum master. Yeah. Much respect to you, Andrew. Absolutely. So does that mean Andrew would be basically initiate a new song? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Would would he start the songwriting Shiney Lefai: A lot of, I would say most of the songs have been started by Andrew. Shiney Lefai: And he would be probably 90% of starting the songs. I would say before I started Sa , I was. Coming on board after that. But I, I, I, I would do 10% of the songs on my own. And, and for me, I obviously don't play the drums in live. I would use loops or I would just program, you know, the basics in, get the feel I want, and then hand it over to him to do the drums later. Shiney Lefai: So basically, yeah, Andrew, he's very accomplished musician. Not only a wicked drummer, he has been to the Conservatorium and, and done music, and so he's a multi-instrumentalist, which is awesome for him. He also is a wicked percussionist, so like, just to, so it doesn't take forever. Andrew would start the tracks and then they would bounce between us, you know, so , I would, you know, put my riffs and keyboards and synths and, and the vocals, obviously. Shiney Lefai: And then we get together and we work on the arrangements together. And every song's different. Some song might be very equal, some might be one person spends more time on it. Definitely. Andrew Burns has been the major creative force as far as the programming goes, but everyone's got their own superpower and they bring Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Cool. So how, how do you exchange files remotely over the internet? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Do you all work on the same d w and exchange your Shiney Lefai: we, no, that hasn't worked for us with the daws, cuz people are always, you know, having the upgrade and this and that. You can't send it to me cuz my version doesn't talk to your version. And, and so basically, you know, quite often it will be like, well if I'm gonna put some synth down, you know, Andrew or, or vocals down, Andrew will send me like just a, a wav file. Shiney Lefai: Of mix and then I'll record just with that web file and then send it back. And yeah, so it's like that and the vis the beautiful violinist Jata Simmons. Then she will either, she also plays piano and keys and, and so then she'll add her part to it. And sometimes we get together and manage to do the recording together, but quite often it's done alone and then sent and mixed in. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah. I see. Okay. And at what stage do you then say, okay, the song is written, let's actually start to record and produce that. Is that one big process? Does it just flow from one end to the other? Shiney Lefai: or Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Where, is there actually a point where you say, okay, everybody, let's get together, let's make a record and let's start to record? Shiney Lefai: No, it's it's the, the latter. It's, it's all together. Like basically we it, it just keeps evolving until it's finished. It's not like we don't do the demo and then redo it. It's like we, we do. and it, and it evolves as as it goes until it's like, yep, that's, that's it. It's done. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. So the, the entire production process, including what we typically know as programming, recording on stage, that all happens online until it's gonna get mixed and then mastered eventually. Shiney Lefai: Yeah, that's right. And so like with down the rabbit hole, for example I mean dance music takes a long time to write, you know, the programming. is tedious and, and if you're not using loops and you're crafting things and, and you're not using formulas, but you're just kind of letting that process happen creatively, organically, then it is, it's, it, it's very, very time consuming. Shiney Lefai: So a track can take. Months. You know, with, with down the rabbit hole, we already were on tour, like we'd started the album in England. We got back to Australia. We'd done a lot of the work in Australia, hoped to be finished before we started tour. You know, we've gotta have the new album for tour. We got to tour, it's not finished. Shiney Lefai: But then all great, we're all Jan 'Yarn' Muths: together. So, Shiney Lefai: we then it was sort of like worked on in England, then it was worked on in Czech Republic, then it was worked on in Belgium and then it was. Finally finished in the Netherlands, you know, so some of that stuff I remember, you know, the violin, like the, the drummer set up in this beautiful studio apartment overlooking one of the canals and the violinist and I riding our bikes there every morning and, you know, going into, you know, working on, you know, finishing the tracks and, and mixing and arguing Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Things that happen when you produce. Yeah. Shiney Lefai: And that's not loud enough. That shouldn't be in there Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay, you basically toured and produced all at the same time and that, that's great because the band is together. Mm-hmm. And you can actually bounce ideas directly off each other. It takes the online collaboration out. Shiney Lefai: so I think that's a, a natural process with, with when you're doing music in that way when you don't have the whole band there recording like you would with, in a. Shiney Lefai: Scenario. The band turns up and we all wait our turn and we listen to other people. So a lot of the work needs to be done solo. And then you know, some of it comes to together. Maybe just, you know, the drummer and I off, we work very well together. I think we come from really different places in our creative approach and, and that sort of is very complimentary. Shiney Lefai: And then having everyone together. Sort of late, the last process. So we got to that stage, we mixed some of the track. We'll get the mix to where we can get it ourself and then we outsource those mixes. We, we had probably out of the 10 tracks on down that rabbit hole eight of them were mixed by different people. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, really? How did you manage to get such a consistent sound with that many different minds involved? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is that just the feedback you give? Shiney Lefai: I guess, I guess it's , good luck. . I mean, probably now I would pay more attention to that because well I, I started doing music production course, so that has sort of really opened my eyes to a, a, a lot of things that I was formally ignorant of. Shiney Lefai: And it's great to be able to, in the pilot's share and with a, with a more extensive understanding of the whole process, not just the creative process. So yeah, now I do, I am aware of like making sure that the tracks are sonically consistent. So, but I guess we would send some of the mixes to people that we just found. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: online. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, right. You know, just new people. Shiney Lefai: Yeah, we'd look up EDM mixers and you know, like we work within a budget, so you always trying to find someone who's the best, who's gonna deliver you the best quality for the lowest amount. True Muso style. , we don't really have much money . But we, you know, we want the best quality Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, I've thought that before Shiney Lefai: Mm-hmm. No, bet you have. So yeah, and, and then it's like getting, getting things back and going, ah, no, we don't like that. No, we don't like that. We need that. You know, because some people, I think they can just treat things stereotypically or something, or not individually. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I, I guess having a bit of inside knowledge from, you know, how mixing being a mixed engineer, what that does and what the competition does mm-hmm. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is that a lot of the cheap people from fiber and places like this mm-hmm. They literally have their presets. Yeah. They just throw the wave faults in there. Just two things hit. Export and that's it. Yes. And some, some mastering engineers do the same thing, so it, it really comes down to finding the right person. Shiney Lefai: And that's, you know, like, it's really good to be aware of that, you know, because you, you read the the blurb bar, this producer mixer sounds great, and then you get it back, you go. Like, have they even listened to what they, and then you just send back and go like, once I think, you know, we, we , we were like, no, we're not having that. Shiney Lefai: You know, you didn't, that's not at all what you we signed up for. So they end up have like, I think down the rabbit hole, had four, four or five times back and forward with the mixer before I actually, you know, I think, I mean, okay, I can't get away with this . I better actually put my hands. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: on it. Yeah, that, that's good. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's really good. What about mastering? Is that also done in-house or do you hire somebody for that? Shiney Lefai: With down the rabbit hole the mastering with the whole album different tracks were like mastered. In different ways. And then we got the end product and just put that all through a mastering thing that we just had on the computer. Shiney Lefai: So it's done pretty just do it yourself. Yeah. We've done nearly every part of it ourself. Wow. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm-hmm. , that's a proper HandsOn production. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. Everything has been hands, hands on. And do it yourself. With Leno, we've book our own tours. We've, we do our own artwork. We, you know, record. We, we just do everything ourself, which is, you know, amazing credit to us. Shiney Lefai: But because of that, sometimes it does take away your energy from what you really should be doing. But yeah, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that would've been my next question. Yeah. You know, if you try to do everything, which is so many jobs, if you think about it, you know, songwriting, that's a drop by itself. And performing is a drop, and arranging is a drop, and recording is a drop in programming and editing. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And you could keep going, mixing, mastering. Yeah. Managing a band booking, all of those are different jobs. Yeah. I guess none of us is a superhuman being and can be fantastic at every single part. You know, sometimes there's just things that others can't do better. Shiney Lefai: Yeah, that's Jan 'Yarn' Muths: true. Have you, have you considered, you know, getting somebody to do your bookings or just outsource things to Shiney Lefai: well I think the reason why that like Luna Lu is also like, not only have we been, this our 20th anniversary, we've done I think 16. Shiney Lefai: Tourists of Europe and we, we've come back not in debt, so like for a fully independent ban to, to have achieved that. We've just found the alternative route and that that doesn't involve paying for things. And if we would've had the money to pay a. All of so many things, you know, we would, we would've done that. Shiney Lefai: Mm-hmm. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I see. Yeah. Shiney Lefai: So it basically, a lot of things come down to, to how much money you can throw at Jan 'Yarn' Muths: If I may ask a personal question, maybe. Isn't it frustrating sometimes to do all of the jobs yourself? Shiney Lefai: Oh, sometimes you think, you know that drummer in Spinal Tap that's spontaneously combusted I, I understand why Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. So keeping a band together for 20 years, that, that's a humongous achievement. You know, not, not many people do that. What's your recipe? You know, you have all the burden of, of performing at all the other jobs, and you're still not at each other's throats and you're still a band. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: What? What's your secret? Shiney Lefai: Well, first of all, I think the music has a magic, you know, it's in a particular vibe that is uplifting, and it does have that effect on you. Shiney Lefai: Performing live dissolves a lot of things, you know, like you can, it's not to say that we're, we're never at each other's throats. I mean like go on tour. And I always think on tour, all those reality television shows like Big Brother and, and whatever, where they feel like they're under. Dress. It's like, come, come on tour with Luna Loof and, and feel what it's like, you know, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, right. Shiney Lefai: other's face 24 hours in compromised situations. Shiney Lefai: Then you are tired and, and you know, like maybe some of the bigger bands we don't have always you know, great accommodation and stuff. So we, we make do a lot. And so sometimes, you know, and like I said, in the process of writing, sometimes it does get to a point where you can. in a bit of conflict, but that passes. Shiney Lefai: We just don't hang onto it. Okay. And you just go for the hi. You, you don't hang onto it, and you go for the higher good and you just, at the end of the day, we're friends. And that's what relationship is all about. You, you work, you work through stuff and, and, and it's such a privilege to be able to play music together and, and tour the world and play music and, yeah. Shiney Lefai: Those things dissolve and they don't, you know, we just don't, it's not important. Yeah. That's Jan 'Yarn' Muths: fantastic to hear. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Amazing. Look, I can really sense how playing life is, is really at the core of Luna Lu. Shiney Lefai: Lu. Mm-hmm. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I can imagine coming from a rock background myself and having played, you know, rock shows as a drummer, that's very different to EDM on stage, isn't it? To play life with drums and violence and vocals and other instrument. Shiney Lefai: And Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And programming. So that's an entire new challenge. Talk me through the technical side of things. Is everybody on a click? Shiney Lefai: No. Only the only the drummer is on a click. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: click. Okay. So you've got a backing track that feeds the drummer's headphones, I guess, or Shiney Lefai: right. So we have, yeah, we use Ableton and you know, the drummer is basically working the laptop and so he also, so he also has he, he plays an acoustic set, a drum kit live, but he has triggers on it. So you know, he'll be able to change the sound of the kick. Shiney Lefai: And the snare with the triggers that, that we're gonna suit, you know, cuz like, obviously a drum and bass kit is gonna be a lot different to, you know, say a trance kit or, or some other kit on a, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Shiney Lefai: so the, he uses the triggers and he triggers the laptop. So he's on a click and everyone else is playing to the drama. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Shiney Lefai: Cool. Mm-hmm. , he is a miss of Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Fantastic. Well that is a huge achievement by itself. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: You know, that is our really hard job. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. It's a really Jan 'Yarn' Muths: so respect Shiney Lefai: and a lot of people appreciate that When they see the performance they go, oh, oh, your drummer is insane. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: It sounds authentic for edm and that's hard to play. Yeah. As a drummer. So when you say sounds are triggers, does that mean there's actually no microphone on the drums and the acoustic drums? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Only Shiney Lefai: both. There's both, yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So it's a blend between the acoustic drum set plus triggers. Yeah. That then makes the life a bit harder for your mix engineer. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. Yes and no. I mean they've got the, the programming, the or backing to mix in as well, which is quite often challenging if you're not bringing you, cause we don't bring our own sound engineer Jan 'Yarn' Muths: in. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm. Shiney Lefai: purely out of financial. Shiney Lefai: And sometimes we'll play gigs and we'll do our own sound. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Shiney Lefai: If it's a smaller gig, you know, festivals, of course, everything's taken care Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. As it should. Shiney Lefai: yeah. But you know, like when you're on tour, you're gotta find gigs during the week, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm-hmm. Shiney Lefai: Because you've gotta keep on, you know, on tour. And so sometimes we'll do the smallest shows and we'll just do our own sound. Shiney Lefai: So it's just knowing that you know, where you have to sit, the backing. and the programming where you have to sit that and where you have to Yeah. Sit the acoustic. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I see. So it's basically a backing track coming from Ableton, which probably contains some drum elements as well. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Plus live drums, plus trigger drums. Yeah. I can't imagine that console would look pretty busy. There would be heaps of signals running through. Yeah. And so then everybody else placed to the drummer, which can then keeps the band in time and Excellent. Since you're playing from backing tracks, you don't have much flexibility Changing things or deciding to speed up a little or Shiney Lefai: There's none Play Jan 'Yarn' Muths: an extra chorus if you like. Shiney Lefai: there's none of that. I mean, sure, we could be doing that with Ableton. We should could be going, oh, let's go back into a chorus or something. But the nature of our tracks is very orchestrated and it's orchestrated in something that works. And usually we've only got a certain amount of time to play, so we wanna do in an amount of tracks, so we're not. Shiney Lefai: Jamming out on a groove for, you know, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I guess that's expected for EDM and Shiney Lefai: Yeah. And some people don't like it. Some musicians don't like it. They go, I don't wanna be a slave to a, a, a really solid structure. But I, I've always really enjoyed it because of, like, for me that's a real freedom cuz it's there, you know, where you're doing and, and it's taken care of so you can kind of leave that space and fly in it, you Jan 'Yarn' Muths: know? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, I see. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, Shiney Lefai: but, but some other people feel like you become a slave to it. I, I, I, I don't ever feel like that. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. Shiney Lefai: I feel like it's a slave to us. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I can't imagine that having all this complex technology on stage, that must also be a, a challenge in some ways because things can freak out, especially when computers are involved. What, what's your recipe to, to get through a show without any crashing applications and , Shiney Lefai: there's always that random element of, of anything can happen. But if you've, if you it's like an airplane, you know, well, you, you gotta trust that all that gear is gonna work. And so, yeah, maybe there's some time where the plane has to turn around and land because something's wrong. But it's the same with us. Shiney Lefai: The, I, I know the last festival we played, for example, Andy, You know, we didn't get enough time when he was still loading up the set when they went, had introduced the band and it's like, oh, we're not ready to go. And then hardly ever in our whole career has the computer crashed or glitched. But I have been at Glass and Bri and seen that happen to gold Fra, for example. Shiney Lefai: And then they absolutely couldn't get it running. And this, you know, it was very frustrating for the band and the audience, but we've been very fortunate. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, knock on wood, long, may it be this way. Shiney Lefai: Yeah, no, that's, that's Jan 'Yarn' Muths: cool. So what, what's the stage volume like? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is that similar to a typical rock show? With, with the acoustic drum set, then you have to get your vocals on top of that, so you probably need a fair bit of, of monitor sound. Shiney Lefai: A long time ago I made my life easier with in air monitors. It was the most beautiful turning point Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Shiney Lefai: in my singing career when I discovered in air monitors. Shiney Lefai: And just particularly with dance music, you've got a wall of sound coming and sometimes it like a gentle vocal that you cannot get that kind. Amplitude outta your voice, you know? So the only way to do that is to be able to turn your, any ear monitors up, and you just can't, you just can't get enough volume out of monitors without them feeding back just as normal stage monitors. Shiney Lefai: I use both. I have stage monitors. I put one in in ear monitoring. I take one out. and if I'm singing a really delicate part, I'll put both in ear monitors and also have an effects processor that I put on my microphone stand that, that I can choose different sounds for my voice. Because if you're a, a singer with an electronic band, you can't just, you need to have your voice particular, you Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, exactly. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: You need specific sounds per song. Shiney Lefai: It needs to be processed when you're playing with really processed sounds and Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And you can't rely on a sound engineer to, to know when to change it into Shiney Lefai: exactly. When they don't know the band, they, they definitely don't know. So I can put the delay on or I can, you know, roll off all the bottom end and get, you know, that sort of sound that kind of sits into a, a particular area of the soundscape. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So in many ways you actually mix your own voice. On stage. Yeah. Why you perform. Shiney Lefai: That's right. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, it looks like you all have additional drafts, Shiney Lefai: Yeah, we do. We do have additional jobs. And then you've gotta sell the CDs and USBs afterwards. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Right. Well, well, cool. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Well, that's fantastic. Look, are you comfortable talking about the plants for the future? Are you working on new music? Yes. Is there gonna be a new album at some stage? More touring? What's, what's gonna happen? Shiney Lefai: We, we definitely are touring this year. We're going back to Europe after not being in Europe for three years. So we're booking festivals at the moment. We have quite a few booked and we are gonna have a new album that comes with that. Not even sure if I'm gonna release it as a CD yet. Shiney Lefai: Or actually just on a really nice USB because of late, we've found that that's kind of more popular than the CDs. Mm-hmm. . But anyway, we'll have a new album and I'm really excited about that because like I said, I've been doing a production course for the last couple of years and I've learned a lot and Quite a few of the tracks I've started myself as well. Shiney Lefai: So it probably will have a little bit of a different sound because it will be coming from, from my influences as to start with as well. Yeah. And Andy's been writing and we will, I mean, we're gonna put the accelerator down now because we'll be starting to tour in June. Yeah. Start, start off in England and play down in Cornwell at a festival down there, three wishes, and then head to Glassen. Shiney Lefai: Play Glastonbury. Wow. Then catch the ferry over to Belgium and play there and the Netherland. So Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh lovely. So you escaping the Australian winter to go to the European summer and tour. What a dream. What a dream. Shiney Lefai: I'm ready to do that before we definitely a migratory bird Shiney Lefai: you know, that loves to, to follow the sun. Shiney Lefai: Definitely. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow, that's, that sounds amazing. Look, I wish you all the luck you need for this. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Have heaps of fun. It sounds like you're up on you. You are cruising on a wave there. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. Thank you. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Enjoy every moment. This sounds amazing. Shiney Lefai: And if anybody is listening and they like to check out our music, just to remember where Luna Loop. , but we're l o o n a l o o P. Shiney Lefai: A lot of people get it mixed up with l u. So yeah, there's lots of stuff online. You can buy our music off our website. You can listen on Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Spotify. Cool. What's your website address? Shiney Lefai: That's just luna loop music.com. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: This will be in the show notes so you have no excuse. Finish the episode and then go to the end of the podcast players page and click the button. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: It will get you straight to the show notes and we'll have the link right there. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, and I just wanna say what a, a amazing space your studio is like just coming out here into the rainforest and everything is just so aesthetically and practically excellent. . It feels awesome. And, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: and Shiney Lefai: Yeah, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Thank Shiney Lefai: I hope to be able to, to do some work in this. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: look, we should probably tell the listeners that we are taking this interview in the middle of my maintenance period. It's quite January. So The studio is taken apart. All the rack gear is on the couch and there's a pile of cables. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So it's not very aesthetically pleasing at the moment, , but I appreciate your kind Shiney Lefai: it's momenta momentarily. Change to spaghetti circus. Yes, exactly. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Spaghetti Circus. And I'm in the process of getting everything to much better and, and uh, Yeah, more flexible than it has ever been, so I'm quite excited about that. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you sharing all of this. It's quite Shiney Lefai: Thank you so much. And can I say one more thing since we're talking about it? I have had like ongoing arrangement with Roland. So we, we have the most amazing Roland gear. A lot of my things that I've recorded that I can't reproduce live because there's a lot of synth staff that, you know, if you've used, you know, processing on the way, it's never gonna happen again. Shiney Lefai: So I use a s spdx sampler, and I trigger a lot of my own. Synth loops or soundscapes or samples through that and synths and, and yeah. So I just wanna say that, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: are you endorsed by Roland? Shiney Lefai: Not actually endorsed, but yeah. Sponsored, so. Oh, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, fantastic. Yeah. Well, that's very kind. Shiney Lefai: Yeah. So it, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: let's add a link to the show notes as well. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. That's very generous of Roland to support you. So let's give them some love back. Let's put the absolutely link in there. So good. Fantastic. So you're happy with the products, works out for you? Shiney Lefai: It's been amazing, like, like all through the years and it keeps changing. Obviously the gear keeps getting, you know, the synths keep changing and you know, as the gear evolves with Roland. Shiney Lefai: But I, I just think that as an electronic dance band, they just cover it all. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. They've been around for a long time. They were right at the beginning, so they know what they're doing. Shiney Lefai: I mean there's lots of, of synthesizers out there that, I mean, we use a lot of different synths, like digitally in the, in the, in the process of recording as well. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Thank you for sharing. Yeah. Big thumbs up to the roll on people. Yeah. Well done guys. Shiney Lefai: All right. Thank you and have a beautiful day. Nice to talk to you Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Thanks for your time. We appreciate that. Okay. The amazing shiny LA on the Production Talk podcast. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom about life electronic music, and I wish you are the best for your band. Luna Lu. Everybody go to the show notes click the links, check out her website, and if you get a chance see a live show, it's absolutely phenomenal stuff. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: As I finish this episode, let me just remind you, please to go to mix artist.com.au/survey and to vote for the future of this podcast. I need you to have your say is very important to me, that I get lots and lots and lots of opinions there, and especially yours in particular. So don't hesitate. Go over right now. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: The address was a mix artist.com au slash survey and please give me just a few minutes of your. For your chance to win a one hour coaching session with me about music production and everything related to your music. So I really appreciate you spending the few minutes to give me your opinion in the survey. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That was mix artist.com au slash survey. Head over right now. Mix artist.com.au/survey. Thank you very much. Bye for now.
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