William Renner has been consistently producing top notch work and we are proud to announce that he has earned his Purple Belt after achieving his Brown Belt with his Cypher 018: Tracklib EP Release “Descending” and he will also be featured on the Cypher 019: Say My Name Again EP releasing on April 24, 2020. I had the pleasure of catching up with William and got to know more about him in this candid interview.
William, Congratulations on achieving your Purple Belt! Tell us about your musical journey and how did it lead you to ill.gates, The Producer Dojo and the Class of 808?
Thanks! Well, I’ve been playing music since I was a kid. I used to jam with my little brother and sister on one of those tiny Casio keyboards. I also took guitar lessons for many years.
After school I moved to Montéal to start a band with some friends. It was here that I first saw ill.gates doing an Ableton Live workshop and I think I’ve been on his mailing list ever since! I decided to join the Dojo after hearing how much progress a friend had made since joining, and after hearing ill.gates mention his goal of training 1000 producers. To me that was a really generous intention and it helped resolve some karmic issues I had with being an artist.
Where are you from originally? Can you describe your life using only song titles?
I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, but have since made Montréal my home.
– Music Has the Right to Children
– The Sound of Silence
– Rejoicing in the Hands
– Let it Be
What made you want to become a music producer? What do you do when you are not producing music?
My fascination with electronic music came after hearing Boards of Canada. That music really changed my life. The Canadian festival scene has played a huge role as well.
When I’m not producing music I’m either doing Vipassana meditation or rolling bagels (while doing Vipassana meditation).
What is your Studio set up like and what are your top 5 favorite VST’s?
I’m using some Yamaha HS5 monitors, Audio-technica M50 headphones, a Subpac S1, a K-Mix sound-card, a Soundcraft Spirit, and a Moog Sub 37. Everything else is in the box.
1) TAL – DAC
2) Valhalla Vintage Verb
5) Ultra Channel (by Eventide)
What are your plans for your music (both near term and long term goals)?
I’m really loving the Dojo process, which seems to be “work on Cyphers until you have the chops for an EP.” So I plan to do this for now. I’d also like to be playing festivals and doing more collabs, though it looks like festivals will be out for a bit.
What are the top 3 “game changing” lessons that you learned as a member of the Class of 808?
1. The Approach (Seth’s way of mixing is ground-up game-changing.)
3. Skrillex Mix Template
If you could go back 10 years ago and advise your younger self of just 1 thing, what would that advice be?
Take a 10 day Vipassana meditation course and give it everything you’ve got.
Do you ever experience writer’s block in the studio? How do you overcome it? How often do you make music?
Never! 🙂 I used to get writer’s block a lot, but these days meditation and sobriety keeps me pretty clear and focused. I make music almost every day.
What are your favorite genres of music at the moment and who are your top 5 favorite artists right now?
I really love hip-hop and bass music, especially stuff from the west coast, the UK, and France. I love African music, and I love listening to classical music at low volumes.
Some of the artists that inspire me are: Ivy Lab, Michael Red, Anna Morgan, Sam Binga, and The Librarian. (Shout out Basscoast Festival)
Are you involved in any other music production communities?
Not really, but I learn a lot through collabs.
If you met with a music producer that was on the fence about joining Producer Dojo what would you tell them?
There really is no better way of taking your craft to the next level, especially if you are using Ableton Live. Being accountable to experienced producers through track feedback, cyphers, and lessons can help you drop your ego and produce objectively better music. Sell your gear and join the Dojo 😉
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
I really just want to mention Vipassana meditation again. The practice can do wonders for your life and your music.
Annnnd thank you so much to the Dojo and all the Senseis! This community is really something special.
P.s. I made a Metallic Snare.adg rack for Ableton (warning: it’s a CPU hog & requires Max4Live)
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