Richard Vission’s musical career started when DJ culture was taking flight in Los Angeles. There were no superstar DJs to follow. It was just two turntables, a mixer and hours spent perfecting mixes, buying records, and making mixtapes. Vission’s DJing style was so addictive that when he and his friends starting throwing house parties – literally, in someone’s backyard – 2,000 kids would show up and be happy to pay $3 to get in. Local club promoters couldn’t help but notice, and booked the DJ responsible for them. As his club DJ career took off, Vission began working at a local radio station. He started at the bottom, working his way up for two years, building his street credibility at local events, always a mixtape ready in his pocket, until the chance came: “They didn’t have a DJ to mix so they played my tape. More than 100 people called in asking, ‘Who was that mixing?!?’” The response opened the door to hosting and mixing Power 106′s POWER TOOLS (the #1 rated station in Los Angeles for the past three years). Now at fourteen years strong, POWER TOOLS the longest running underground mix show in America, and it won Vission the 2003 DanceStar Award for Best Radio Show.
Vission didn’t leave the clubs behind: he continues to DJ more than 80 shows every year. New Year’s Eve 2001 he played at the L.A. Coliseum for more than 35,000 screaming fans – and the polar opposite of the party spectrum, at Madonna’s private birthday party at her house for 60 people. That comes close to performing with her at the Grammy’s, the same year he received his Grammy Remixer of The Year nomination in 2000.
That Grammy nod kicked his remixing into high-profile gear, with everyone wanting a little Richard Vission twist: recently The Killers, The Bravery, Usher, Sting and Felix da Housecat. Already under his belt are over twenty #1 hits on Billboard’s Dance Music Chart. His DJ mix compilations have made him one of the best selling American DJs, with SoundScans exceeding 700,000 units, numbers usually unheard of in electronic music, much less DJ mix compilations.
Please tell us about your most recent projects
I’ve recently remixed Will.i.am, Madonna, Cheryl Cole and I have a new single with Luciana called When It Feels This Good that just entered the Billboard Dance Chart.
What do you like best from the production you did?
What I’ve been concentrating on as of late – is the over all mix. I’ve been kind of obsessed by it!
Can you briefly tell us about your workflow and how you achieve the end result of your mixes?
The way I’m getting my results is by programing in Logic first and doing a rough mix. After the rough mix I then bounce out 12 stems to do a final mix in Ableton Live. Within Ableton Live I bounce out the final mix from the 12 Logic stems. We then take the final mix and create another Ableton session just for mastering. We’ve been using Izotope’s Ozone to master final mixes.
What is your preferred DAW of choice and go-to instruments / plug-ins for creating music in the studio ?
Logic 9 and Ableton Live are my preferred platforms for writing and mixing. I use Nexus, Massive, and Sylenth for most of my synth sounds and I create my own drum libraries from sampling. I’ve been using the Waves SSL channel strip a lot as of late for dynamics and EQ on individual tracks or busses.
Any tips or advice for DJ’s moving into music production?
Tips for DJ’s…Test your production in your sets before sending out to people.