What is your name and role within Davey P?
Dave Petrin, I produce / write / mix / master the music that gets released under Davey P.
How did you start?
I started production when my second PC came with Sony Acid 2.0 back in the early 2000s. My friend Brandon produced and gave me some pointers very early on. I ended up fumbling through music production on and off for several years until Rusko did a “Producers Masterclass” video. After watching that over and over, I felt I made a giant stride in the quality of my productions. Then over the last few years ADSR’s tutorials really helped me make another great stride. Those online music production sources along with countless books, articles, youtube videos, etc really helped get me to where I am today. Now I feel like I can create music freely without having to emulate artists I like exactly. I continue to make incremental improvements to my production skills by reading and watching videos here and there.
Where are you based?
Currently I am based in Chicago IL, but will be moving to Phoenix AZ very soon for work, warmer weather, and a cheaper cost of living.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
My process varies from track to track. I tend to start out with the chorus and establish some drums to set the tempo, which is usually inspired by a track I like. Then I usually write a chord progression, baseline, and melody in a variety of different orders. I’ll do some sound design, change up / enhance the drums if they don’t fit with the rest of the music, and add incedentals / fx as needed. I’ll start the process over for different sections of the song pulling elements from the chorus. Lastly, I’ll send the track to my wife and bribe her with foot massages to write vocals and sing on the track.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I have various tracks in multiple stages of development. My newest track “On Top Of The World” will be released on June 16, so I spend a fair amount of time pitching the track to a variety of tastemakers. I have another track that is mixed and mastered that just needs to be printed, sent to my distributor (Symphonic, who has been great thus far), and backed up. This track, “I Want Your Love”, might be my favorite production I’ve done yet, because it is truly my most unique track. I’ve pulled from all of my influences on this one: trap, drum & bass, reggae, pop, among others. Really looking forward to this release. I have a third track that I have nearly finished mixing, just referencing the tune and making minor adjustments before it’s ready for release. Lastly I have a few tracks that are in various stages of production, partially written / waiting for lyrics, drums laid out, etc. So I work on whichever project I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I have writers block, so it’s nice to be able to do some thing that is a little less on the creative side.
What is your gear setup?
I have a Macbook Pro with the best of everything that was offered in 2015. I use Cubase Pro 8.5 for writing / mixing / mastering. Native Instruments Komplete 10 Ultimate gets used extensively on all of my productions along with Serum, the Fabfilter Bundle, and a handful of other plugins that are quite common. The Komplete Kontrol S88 keyboard really has helped speed up my workflow. All of my tracks get sent out to a Komplete Audio Interface routed to Yamaha HS8s and M Audio BX5s for an alternate reference. I pick up additional gear here and there, but I feel all I really need is Cubase and Komplete to make a track that I’m happy with.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I like spending time with my wife and kicking back with friends outside of music which I’m sure does have an effect on my music, but I’m not really sure how. I also enjoy reading and learning about space, the future, and the frontier of physics. Not sure this has directly affected my music, but I did name a future release “Deep Space” because I binged watch a Neil deGrasse Tyson series on Netflix “The Inexplicable Universe” and the track had a spacey vibe to it. I’m really fascinated by what the future holds for mankind and wish I could have some way to see how advanced we will become hundreds, thousands, and millions of years from now.
How would you describe your music genre?
I’m not sure. I am conflicted because I don’t want to be associated with only one genre of music and I also don’t want to be so wild that it’s hard to build a fan base. I have produced tracks that are on the Chromeo side of the electronic spectrum and drum and bass tracks that pull very sinister sounds from my Pendulum and Rusko days, but none of them will get released because they are so far out of scope of what I am trying to put out. One thing though is I really enjoy my music being at the intersection between Electronic Music and Pop Music, but more on the Electronic side if that makes sense. Vocals really help make a song complete in my eyes.
Do you know any music theory?
Kind of. I’m familiar with how to write / read music, but rarely rely on these skills. I thought the Hooktheory books were extremely well written and these books have really helped with the composition aspect of music production. I like thinking in terms of relative notation which has helped with my writing tremendously. I play guitar a little bit and am trying to learn piano / keyboard. I know what scales and chord progressions really resonate with me and those that I don’t find appealing. So I guess I have some mangled knowledge of music theory.
What are your plans for the future?
Lots of big changes coming for me in the future: have a baby on the way, moving across the country, working in a different office. Music has always been my release and a passion of mine. So in the immediate future I would like to keep producing music, releasing a track every month, and trying to accumulate a fan base in efforts to make a live performance a worthwhile endeavor. I have been a bedroom DJ for years, but never felt playing out was worthwhile until I have my own music I could share and fans who are interested in it enough to come listen to it. I really appreciated the era of the dub plate and would love to share unheard remixes or changes to my tracks in a live setting only to make the live shows more appealing. That isn’t totally lost, but it seems much less common.
How did you get into music?
I loved music ever since I was a kid dancing to my parents oldies on the radio. In grade school I got a guitar for Christmas and played heavy metal on that for a short period of time. Then became an avid listener of most genres of popular music until my discovery of Sony Acid where I got more engaged with it again.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I thumb through my Spotify Weekly playlist every week looking for new music, but can only seem to come up with a few tracks I absolutely love every other month. Most of it is right in the sweat spot between Electronic and Pop Music and some of it is more on the Electronic spectrum. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m very black and white on music. I love it or don’t really care for it. Occasionally music grows on me though.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
That’s tough because there are so many. The Chainsmokers hit a stride over a few years where they were putting out music that I consider to have the ideal balance between Electronic and Pop Music (Don’t Let Me Down, Roses, Waterbed, Closer, etc). They were too Electronic before that stretch and now are too Pop for my tastes, but I still enjoy their stuff. Chromeo is one of the few bands / groups / musicians that I virtually enjoy every song they write. Love the funk flavors and often wish my music took more from that influence. Daft Punk was a big favorite too, I could listen to that catalog front to back and be very satisfied. Major Lazer also has a number of songs that hit that perfect Electronic / Pop balance too. Then I get stuck because there are so many others on the top of my influences that I can’t possibly choose: Shy FX, Benny Page, Rusko, Flux Pavilion, Sub Focus, Dillon Francis, Skrillex, Visionary, and the list keeps on going.
When are you playing next?
No shows lined up at this point. Need to build a catalog of originals and dig through Soundcloud a bit harder to find those gems that are out there before I can put together a worthwhile set. I also love the possibilities that are presented with the Native Instruments Stems format. Certainly want to incorporate that into a show.
Please feel free to include any extra info.
Big thank you to Partae for reaching out. It’s tough to get exposure when you’re just starting out, so thank you for the help.