INTERVIEW
Ilya Tzvetkov
About approach and quilities you need to make music
— What is music to you?

Music to me is life. It's always playing in your head. Melodies, ideas, and thoughts arise constantly. When I feel like they might turn into something interesting, I quickly launch Ableton and make a sketch. I can work for hours on just one sound. There's something meditative about it. I enjoy working with sound, and this is the most important thing.
— What genres do you prefer to work in?

— Generally, I don't like to limit myself to any genres and try to write completely different music, even if I don't know how. I'm always interested in learning. I didn't know how to write hip–hop — I learned. Even released a small hip–hop album.

One style affects the other. For example, when making house music, I use elements from drum and bass. You need to listen to a lot of music. This affects the breadth of the view, which is very important. And, accordingly, it affects the variety of your own music. The more you know, the more you can apply to your work. Music becomes more interesting, more diverse, and more unusual . That's what makes you stand out from the competition.
Mastering and mixing begin during the writing of music and the selection of sonic textures
— Are you a perfectionist who reduces one track for a month and brings each sound to the perfect sound, or do you work quickly to capture the emotion?

— I use both approaches. I can quickly mix the composition, and I can hone its sound over a long period of time. My experience allows me to immediately use good "raw sounds" that will be combined with each other at the stage of writing a piece. In just a few clicks, I can go through the presets and select the ones that sound right, so that I can quickly write down an idea.

I often have too many cool ideas for composition. Some of them have to be postponed and used in other tracks.
I have this approach: mastering begins during the selection of the sound. But this requires experience.
— When writing / mixing / mastering a track, do you have a set of rules?

— Mixing and mastering are slightly different from track to track. There are the same things, but you can't apply one mastering preset to everything. Knowing the nuances, you can understand how to do what.
— Does track mixing start with writing?

— Both mastering and mixing start while the music is being written. Any preset, any drum or melody, any instrument is already mixing. If you work with a band, you customize the instrument and its sound.

If you are working with an already recorded track, then, yes, you need to mix it. But when we write music from scratch, we have a lot of opportunities, why not start mixing it right away? Immediately choose a cool sound for a leading instrument, a good barrel? Just a few strokes can achieve a good sound at the initial stage.

I am keen to make a good track from the start, which can then be quickly and easily brought to mind. Time is the most valuable resource.
— What is T-shape for you, and how does it help you create music?

— T–shape experience is an approach to education that draws a parallel with the letter "T". Horizontally, there are a lot of areas that you know a little bit about, and vertically, there are areas that you know more about. After that, there was another type of experience and knowledge — P–shape, that is, two areas in which you are well versed.
Then there was the "comb-shaped experience", which translates to "comb"in Russian. This is when you have a lot of areas in which you are well versed. This is my option. It took me dozens of years to figure out everything, but it shows up very well.

For example, when I write music for a video, I know how the entire production cycle of the video works, and therefore I interact better with people of related professions.
— How do I finish tracks?

— That is a very common question. In fact, you just need to say everything you want with the composition and stop. If you don't know what to do with it right now, put it off for a week. Listen after a while, preferably with a piece of paper and a pen to write down your ideas right away. I always do so and it works. Don't rush.
— The most frequent question in the rhythm section: bass vs barrel. How do you cope with them? What does it depend on?

— Bass and barrel, in fact, is not so difficult to bring together. There are several ways to make them friends so that they work together like clockwork. Naturally, I talk about it during lectures and it ceases to be a problem for students. After graduation, all students are surprised at how much easier it becomes to deal with. Their tracks become denser and sound cool. They can control this process. Now they are already choosing which method they will use
in the track, because they understand what works best particularly .

The choice of method depends on the style, desired result, and density level. There are 4 of them in total. there are various nuances, and I show you many different examples to understand them. Live music, hip–hop, dubstep — all of them have different content and density levels.
— What are the main criteria for the success of a young artist / composer?

— There Must be a competitive product, cool and memorable.
The ability to communicate is another important competitive advantage. If you write "to the table" and don't show it to anyone, no one will know about it. You can put as much as you want on different music platforms — this will drown in the abyss of compositions that are released every day. In order to advance, you need to be able to communicate.
— Is it real to release your song on a foreign label?

— To release your music on a Russian or foreign label is more than realistic. There should be a good and interesting idea, high-quality sounding music. You need to be able to communicate with labels. We talk about it during lectures at the Institute.
It is also important to remember that you do not need to write to top labels right away, you need to start with small ones and gradually increase the turnover.
I released my first track on some super small label. This is a process: you do something, get feedback, and again and again you spiral higher. Step by step.
— What dangers await students during their studies?

— For students, the main danger is failure to complete homework and insufficient hours of independent work. We give huge amounts of knowledge, but they need to be constantly applied. This way you accumulate experience. Everyone knows the phrase: "you need to spend 10 thousand hours to become a professional." You need to be prepared to spend a lot of time on this skill. You should practice all the time.
— What can graduates do after your course?

Let's start with the fact that after the end of the course, students start writing music. Even those who had no experience in this field before training. Students have all the doors open, they can write music for advertising, movies, as a ghost producer, for audiostocks. You can just write music and not release it. I know people who work as lawyers and write music for their own pleasure. There are many possibilities and everyone can choose what they like.
— You also teach students how to edit videos. What is it for?

— Any representative of the creative industry needs a portfolio. Musicians are no exception. If a student can compose their work, apply some kind of video sequence, make color correction, edit and arrange a self–sufficient video, it will always distinguish them from the competition.
By the way, do not forget about the presence of a business card site, which can now be made on different platforms.
— What would you wish for future students?

— I would like students to understand that they want to learn and they will have time to do it. The willingness is the most important thing.