HWB Q & A with Sam Littlemore from Pnau
Ladies and gentleman, please say a big hello to our latest Q&A guest, the incredibly talented Mr Sam Littlemore. 1/3 of Aussie dance music legends Pnau, Sam’s production/writing and remix CV is second to none.
Robbie Williams, Peking Duk, Gwen Stefani, Nellee Hooper, Rick Nowels, Nelly Furtado, The Potbellez, Kaskade, Freestylers, Sneaky Sound System, Gus Gus, TV Rock, The Similou, P. Diddy/Kelis, Empire of the Sun, Cassidy, Ladytron, The Doors, ESG, Mutiny and Random House Project/Robert Owens. This list goes on and on.
I know the whole group will join me and in saying a big hello and thank you for joining us for a Q&A.
Usual format, post will be pinned for a week or so and you guys post your questions. Sam will get to them when he can
Q: Klaus Hill i’ll get started….what’s you current DAW of choice? Whats your current top 3 plugins? And care to share 1 production tip?
A: Sam Littlemore DAW is Pro Tools on a 2015 MBP. Top 3 plug-ins may be UVI Falcon, FabFilter Saturn & H-EQ. 1 production tip – get to know your waveforms.
Todd Danger Huggood Tagging onto this question. Do you use much external Hardware or primarily ITB
Sam Littlemore I’m all ITB but I’m currently building a studio (my first) and hope to get some analogue & FM synths.
Lucas Reid that’s hectic man, would not have guess ITB. have you favoured any specific headphones over the years or use a subpak etc.
Q: Klaus Hill How does the Pnau writing process work? I know you’re based here in Sydney, with the others in LA. Is there a lot of work done online?
A: Sam Littlemore I spend a few months each year in LA working on Pnau. We don’t do a lot online as I think the collaborative space is so valuable. I prefer starting with Nick’s demos to give us a seed as he writes everyday, works fast and has a punk attitude at heart. Pete works in conjunction with Nick to ensure his ideas are somewhat in tune and structured. I get involved once i can hear a potential hit and try not to kill it.
Q: Christian Pillot Thanks for doing this Sam. What inspired the direction for the latest pnau album?
A: Sam Littlemore Conceptually, Changa is pretty well documented as a DMT inspired album but from a production POV, our influences were 80s electro & 90s acid-house.
Q: Ian V Jones I’ve heard you referred to as the “hit maker” in certain circles.
And that you have the ear to add that last piece of magic to a track that somehow lifts it far beyond what the artist expected.
And all the tracks you’ve had a part in reflect this.
What advice would you offer to a producer wanting to add magic to a track? Is it just a case of being brave and trusting your instincts or is it a more clinical process?
Sam Littlemore The clinical aspects of music-making are very time-consuming. I spend a lot of time recreating every sound in a track, trying to increase the resolution, so to speak. If I hear harmonics that are out of tune or unresolved, I will add those in to increase the payoff. The most important thing I do however is trust my instinct when choosing which songs to work with. I have certainly made the mistake of working on songs for the money rather than the love.
Klaus Hill Sam Littlemore very honest reply…..thanks for that…..i think there’s a lot of pros in this group have definitely taken on work for the $$ first and regretted it