Jay Maguire talks about Music Production 101!

Emerging DJ and Producer Jay Maguire has been rapidly climbing the Dance music ladder since exploding onto the scene, thanks to his unique Tech House infused Techno records. After trading the sunny beaches of his native Sydney for the hustle and bustle of London, things have only been on a high road to the top for the exciting artist.

The studio wizard has been busy producing some of the scene’s freshest new records and his latest release ‘Red Cool Thing EP’, which was released on Flemcy Music, has been well received by the industry as a whole. We had the opportunity to sit down with Jay to talk about all things related to his work in the studio.

T.H.E – Hi Jay, thanks for taking time to talk to us about the production aspect of your career. Can you tell us about how you got involved in producing?

Jay Maguire – Hello, it’s my pleasure. I had a massive love for Dance music at a young age. I remember hearing my first Techno track when I was 9 and basically got hooked after that, leading to me falling in love with all genres of Dance music. I knew at a young age that I wanted to have a career in music. The years went on and I managed to convince my girlfriend at the time to buy me DJ equipment, she did and I got pretty good at it. Then one day a friend came over who was in a band and he was talking about Ableton Live. So, as I knew I had to produce if I wanted to become a famous DJ/Producer, I got a copy and got learning. I still have the first track I ever made on my computer. I don’t know if you would call it a track… but I may well put it up online one day for a laugh.

T.H.E – When you decided that you wanted to produce, did you take any production courses or are you self-taught?

Jay Maguire – Call it fate, but 3 days after I got Ableton Live, I got a call from a place called DJ Warehouse in Sydney, Australia, and they had a deal going on a Ableton Live course. I couldn’t believe it and ended up doing my first lesson with them. However it ended up being way too expensive if I were to keep going with them, so unfortunately I had to pull out. For the rest I learnt from YouTube tutorials; you will be surprised how many awesome free courses there are on YouTube with some really good instructors. However I did recently get a one on one lesson to give my mixdown skills a final polish with a professional producer/audio engineer. Remember you can never get enough knowledge!

T.H.E – How do you develop your music production skills and talents?

Jay Maguire – Being surrounded by like-minded people and other producers, we always learn from each other whether doing collaborations, and watching probably 3-5 hours a week of production videos on YouTube.
For an example here are some really good channels that have helped me a lot:

Point Blank Music School
Quantized Courses
Ill Factor Music
Sonic Acadamy
Sadowick Production

If you are starting out or even if you are a more advanced producer, you need to check these guys out, I highly recommend them.

T.H.E – What’s the typical process you go through when working on a new tune and can it get frustrating at times?

Jay Maguire – I get up at 6am, have breakfast, which includes one hell of a coffee, clean my studio aka my room (I work best in a clean environment), turn OFF my phone (that’s very important) and open Ableton. I start with creating a groove (drums, hats, percussion first) and then I move onto the bass and synths before finishing for the day with the effects and automation. The next day I work on the mixdown with a fresh head before having a big freak out and try to convince myself it sounds bad and I should start all over again… so to answer your question … yes absolutely I get frustrated. Even the big names do as well, but the difference between them and the little guys is that they fight through that and get it finished. If you want to be a good producer you have to finish your music.

T.H.E – Where do you get your inspiration from when producing new music?

Jay Maguire – To tell you the truth, I don’t need to get inspiration from anywhere else; it’s already inside of me. I love what I do and I’m chasing my dream.

T.H.E – What are your favourite production techniques?

Jay Maguire –

Number 1: coffee.

Number 2: leaving the bass and synths last, I have a very short attention span and if I make them first I know by the end of the track I’ll be over the sound and I’ll end up unhappy and start all over again.

Number 3: I make sure I listen to my track using different types of speakers, like earbud headphones, computer speakers and DJ headphones. It will help give different points of reference.

Number 4: taking 5-minute breaks every 30 minutes.

Number 5: get some feedback before I put a track online or send it to a label.
When you are producing, what are your go to plugins and equipment?
My go to plugins would be Kick 2 from Sonic Academy for my kicks, Fabfilter for my EQing, and Sausage Fattener to fatten up the sounds.

T.H.E – What are your top 3 synths?

Jay Maguire – At the moment it’s Massive by Native Nnstruments, Sylenth1 by LennarDigital, and Serum by Xfer Records.

T.H.E – What’s your favourite sample pack?

Jay Maguire – When I buy new packs, I rely on brands or labels, so my favorites are Saved Records, 5Pin Media, Black Octopus, Rankin Audio, Zenhizer, Toolroom, and Samplephonics.

T.H.E – Do you have any favourite plugins for mixing and mastering?

Jay Maguire – I try to send it to get professionally mastered, but if I do it myself I use iZotope Ozone 5. For the mix down I use Fabfilter for the EQing and the rest are stock plugins in Ableton. Ableton has everything you need built into it.

T.H.E – What plugins/equipment is on your master channel?

Jay Maguire – Just a limiter, I was once told by a very good producer that you should have nothing on the master channel.

T.H.E – How long does it usually take you to complete a new track?

Jay Maguire – Anywhere from 5 hours to a month, I can’t pick it, sometimes I feel it’s not up to me, it’s up to the muse!!

T.H.E – Which traits do you think make an excellent producer?

Jay Maguire – I think the key to being a great producer is finishing your music and getting it out there. Even if it’s not a hit track, known producers still put it out.

T.H.E – Finally, what can we expect in terms of new music from Jay Maguire?

Jay Maguire – I was hoping you were going to ask this, but… 100 % I am going full Tech House and Techno, so stay tuned!

Check Out ‘Red Cool Thing EP’ here.


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