Miss Redflower: Free D’n’B Sample Pack + Interview

Miss Redflower (Katharina) has established a reputation for her unique and compelling style of Drum and Bass. A friend of ours at Devious Machines, she has also provided presets for Infiltrator 2.

This month, Katharina chats about her approach to music production, and delivers a stylish sample pack for the Devious Machines community to get stuck into and use in their studio projects.

Tell us about your journey into music

When I got introduced to Drum & Bass at the age of 16, the scene fascinated me and I felt instantly at home with the genre. I started buying records and DJing which then led me to creating my own tracks to play them out.  

One of the fascinating things about music production for me was that I discovered using a studio allowed me to play any instrument I wanted without having to actually own or learn it. To me, this was absolute creative freedom.

Back then, there weren’t tons of tutorials and info you could find online. You had to find out a lot of things by asking people, reading books or simply through trial and error. Eventually, I honed my production skills and was excited to begin to have my music released on various labels.

Since everything I had learned was self-taught, I later decided to get some more education in audio engineering and music technology. This allowed me to work as an audio professional in the industry, both just produsing my own music and recording, mixing and mastering for other musicians. I also from time to time do QA for different pro audio software releases.

Where do you see the future of music and music technology in the next decade? 

Others have said it before, but AI seems to be a big element emerging in the coming years. But I do not think that AI will just replace musicians as many may fear. I think there are many opportunities to make production more interesting and to discover new ways for creativity and productivity.

Of course, new things require learning and sometimes it seems that the time one has spent learning the old things becomes obsolete because there’s a new tool that does it all with one click. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore new technologies. I prefer to go with the flow and see where these new tools take us.

You’ve produced this awesome sample pack – tell us a bit about that 

I’ve tried to put the essence of my Drum & Bass sound into the pack and created a set of sounds that I would find interesting in my productions. Since D’n’B is my focussed genre, most of the sounds and patterns are at 172 bpm. 

There’s a selection of bass sounds, stabs and FX and many of them have gotten some nice Infiltrator treatment, which is one of my favourite tools when it comes to sound transformation and sound design. There is also a selection of melodic patterns and quirky vocals.

Furthermore, I’ve added a bunch of breaks and a few processed variations of them plus a few one-shots.

Generally, this is not a kit to put together and you end up with a finished track. It’s more like a small collection of sounds – like a palette to pick and choose from.

What advice do you have for aspiring producers who are starting out? 

The only advice I would give to people starting out is, that they should not expect to be perfect from day one and to welcome mistakes and hurdles as these allow us to learn. There is so much to learn when working with sound. Being curious about sound itself and how it behaves can help to understand how a good production should be and what it takes.

Something I would also advise to everyone is to reference a lot and to get to know your monitoring system but also to compare frequently on different monitors. By listening and analysing a lot of other productions, you’ll get a feeling for how things sound on different systems.

Also, my most important advice (which I don’t always follow) is don’t think too much and trust your ears.

What are your tips for staying productive in the studio? 

Don’t ever force yourself to be creative. For me, creativity happens when my brain is in default mode and I am not thinking or planning anything specific. Being stressed out and trying to come up with something impressive doesn’t always work for me. Of course, sometimes we have no choice but, if I can avoid it, I try to not put pressure on myself.

However, it’s still good to set some goals and prioritise them. So that when you feel creative you can direct and channel your efforts towards what you want to do. In times when I don’t feel creative, I try to focus my attention on more technical tasks such as editing or sound design or synthesizing drums or FX.

But one of the most useful strategies for me is taking time off from projects I am working on. When I have worked on a track to the point where I feel like it’s almost finished, I usually like to take a few days or weeks break from the project. This allows me to return to the track with a fresh ears and an unclouded perspective. 

How do you approach writing tracks? 

There is no one-way approach I have. Sometimes I just feel like playing around on the piano or guitar a bit and then a few nice chords or a melody comes to my mind. At other times I start creating some drum sounds and arranging a pattern and then build on that to get a spacious and transparent mix.

Free Miss Redflower Sample Pack

The pack contains:

  • 9 x Melodic loops
  • 8 x Bass Loops
  • 3 x Kicks
  • 4 x Snares
  • 9 x Drum Loops
  • 7 x Vocals
  • 9 x FX/Ambiences

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