Josh Butler, up & coming producer & DJ, who has recently toured with the legendary Nile Rodgers & Chic, talks to Create Pro about production, DJing, music, Macs & more
Josh Butler got started with music at the tender age of 12 & since then has released a multitude of tracks on labels including MTA Records, OFF Recordings, PURA Music, Rawthentic & more.
Known for both his outstanding productions as well as his well crafted DJ sets he recently spoke to Create Pro about music & Macs. Check the Q&A out below:
House music popularity is currently at a major high. Do you find the mix between commercial and underground fans means producers have to have quite an adaptive production style?
I can only really speak for myself here but I find this gives me much more freedom to express my mood. Some of my music can be quite light hearted, whilst other tracks can be darker and a little moodier.
It seems like right now, it’s mostly producers that are getting all the DJ gigs. Did you start DJing or producing first? How important do you think DJing skills are in the current house music climate?
I started producing before DJing, then around 3 years later bought a pair of decks. DJ skills are essential, if you want to be playing gigs anyway. I find there are some producers out there that only seem to DJ for the sake of it, sometimes not enjoying it or loosing a flow of the night.
Aside from house music, how have other genres influenced you? Can you think of any specific tracks that have had a significant impact on your own production style? If so, how?
I listen to all sorts of music, from Nigerian Juju to Hard Trance. Pink Floyd are a pretty big influence on some of my music, as I grew up surrounded my their music. Pretty sure my Mum & Dad went to a Pink Floyd concert whilst she was pregnant with me.
Do you play any instruments or pay particular attention to music theory? Some producers do, some don’t, what is your opinion on the importance of music theory in modern day electronic music production?
I can play bits of keyboard & drums but nothing special. No music theory though, all by ear. I feel that benefits me as Im not sticking to set rules. If I enjoy how it sounds, then I go with it.
What spec Mac Pro did you go for?
It was a Mac Pro 5,1 3.06GHz 12 core with 24GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, an ATI 5770 1GB GPU, a 2TB HDD as well as two 4TB HDDs.
What do you use your Mac Pro for? Which software do you run & how does the system handle it?
Along side my audio interface the Mac is the hub of my studio. I mainly run Ableton Live and so far have not had any issues with the processing power in my new system.
How integral is your system/software to your workflow? Do you see your reliance on your Mac/software increasing in the future?
I use Ableton as a tape recorder and mixing desk. Id like to say I don’t want to rely on it, but obviously its so much more convenient than older methods of recording.
Do you use any additional hardware in your workflow? What impact does this have on how you use your Mac Pro/software?
I have some outboard valve units, a Korg Triton and the new Roland TR8 & TB3. They help me step away from the computer and only use it for the essentials.
Are you currently working on any projects using the Mac Pro? How does your workstation fit in with this project specifically?
I have just finished a remix for Fatboy Slim on the new system, this was a particularly big project in terms of CPU usage. I think my old PC would have fried.
How important is your system’s performance to you? Does not having to worry about what you workstation can handle help you spend more time on being creative?
In the past I’ve been battling with overheating CPU’s. In some ways limitation is a good thing, but this gives me much more room to play with.