Dutch producer Spag Heddy, known for his work in a variety of Bass Music genres, has built a significant following over the past several years. His impeccable sound design skills and consistently high-quality releases have led him to tour the world performing his music for a global audience. He’s been using FL Studio from the beginning, and we were excited to get the chance to speak with him recently about his career and experience. Read on!
Spag Heddy – Bomb – FL Studio Project Breakdown
Tell us about yourself and how you got into music.
I’m a Dutchman living in Barcelona, Spain with my wife and 2 daughters, while also spending much of the year touring in the US. I was born into a musical family with various instruments at home. Particularly, one of my brothers had an acoustic drumkit in the attic which I would fervently play on daily. The evangelical church we attended would often have a band on stage, and at one point it consisted of nearly exclusively members of my family with me on the drums.
How did you start using FL Studio & what does it mean to your productions?
It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I started getting interested in the electronic side of music, mainly wanting to compose/record my own songs using my dad’s Yamaha keyboard. FL Studio was already popular (I think it was FL 5 at the time), thanks to its complete free trial, so it was the first software I encountered and fell in love with. At the same time, Dutch Hip Hop/Rap was booming in the Netherlands, with names like Opgezwolle and Kubus being huge personal inspirations, so it was through Hip Hop that I learned the basics of FL Studio and got hooked on its workflow. The step sequencer was so easy and brilliant for Hip Hop beats, while the piano roll was, and still is, extremely intuitive and powerful. I remember using the legacy blocks in the playlist still, but being pretty happy when it went all free-form. This completely open playlist being able to be filled in however you want it – plus the nonlinear nature of FL – feels like sketching on a fresh sheet of paper.
Up until I was about 21 years old, music production was not my main passion (it was film/motion graphics). However, this changed when I lived in Utrecht and Dubstep made its way over from the UK. When I tried my own hand at making that very new exciting music style, it gripped me entirely and made me go full producer mode.
Tell us about your work and some of the artists you have worked with.
Undoubtedly most of my work consists of Dubstep, but it’s probably more true to say my Drumstep-style tracks were the ones that really found an audience and a rapidly growing (online) fanbase for me. I’ve always been inspired by the big Brostep producers like Skrillex, Zomboy, Doctor P, etc. — you can hear that in the high-energy drops and monstrous sound design found in my work.
Spag Heddy – Get To U – FL Studio Project Breakdown
I have a rather raw, unpolished production style, which has a lot to do with my extremely short attention span and working in a flow state (aka getting “in the zone”). Especially in the first years of Spag Heddy, I would make a song in 1 or 2 sessions, so from anywhere between 4 and 20 hours. If a song wasn’t done by then, it’d probably never get done because I’d already moved on and was all up in a new project. Nowadays having kids, it’s kinda rare for me to hit that sweet flow state because you do need plenty of uninterrupted studio time.
I’ve not done many collabs, but some that I really enjoyed were with Tisoki, Dubloadz, and Krimer. I’ve done remixes for The Chainsmokers, Topic, Krewella, Excision, and many more.
Tell us about your production environment and the gear you use.
I work at home on a desktop PC with nothing more than a Scarlett 2i2 sound card, an M-audio MIDI keyboard, and KRK Rokit 5 studio monitors, although I produce about 90% of the time on Beyerdynamic DT-770 headphones. Before that, I was using nothing but a MacBook with Windows installed and crappy headphones, so I got used to working with the most minimal setup. I’ve never owned or been interested in hardware gear, other than occasionally recording my voice or a little guitar riff or something on the mic. My main synths are Massive, Harmor, Serum, and Nexus. My go-to plugins would be Parametric EQ2, Vocodex, OTT, Effector, Love Philter, Ozone, and Edison.
Spag Heddy in the Studio
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
The Bass Music/Dubstep scene I’m in is pretty much dominated by Ableton Live, so I kinda forced myself to try learn that DAW. I can definitely see how people would prefer the simple linear workflow, but for me personally, I don’t like it at all and don’t enjoy building a song there like I do in FL Studio. Also compared to other DAWs, I think Image-Line does a great job on their forum, listening and replying to users. There will always be (constructive) criticism from myself and others about how the program can improve, but at the end of the day, FL Studio has incredibly powerful features/plugins like the Channel Rack, piano roll, linear or non-linear workflow option, Vocodex, Harmor, Edison, etc., and I’m planning to stick by it as long as I’ve got to live with these 2 ears.
Spag Heddy Links: