If you’ve ever caught a fraction or more of the sound of Eelke Kleijn, you know that this man is a star composer, talented producer and sought-after remixer, all in one. And since such skill is something we can only learn from, it’s high time we sought out the Dutchman and DAYS like NIGHTS founder/boss to ask him some tech-related questions about his signature sound. Budding producers pay attention, these are the favorite plug-ins of Eelke Kleijn.
My favorite DAW is Steinberg’s Cubase. I’ve been using Cubase since VST 3.5 and I am currently on version 9. Cubase really fits my workflow because I work with a hybrid of audio tracks, midi tracks and external synths and effects. It’s really easy to route channels through external gear and record the result, and because you can set delay compensation per track, you can hear all of your external stuff perfectly in sync. And most importantly, I just know all the ins and outs of Cubase, which helps me get results really fast.
I’m a really big fan of Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere. It’s incredibly diverse and can handle everything from deep basslines and lead sounds to glassy pads and marimba because it has a hybrid synthesis / sampling engine. You can even import your own samples as a starting point. It also runs really deep in terms of modulation and envelopes. After years of using Omnisphere, I am not even close to getting tired of it.
My favorite EQ is the Trident EQ by Universal Audio. It’s a digital emulation of the EQ on the trident mix consoles. It’s great for massive boosts or cuts without getting to obnoxious. You can get a guitar to shine through in a fantastic way with this plugin, but it also works really well on other sources. The result is always musical and never harsh.
There are different kinds of reverb for different results, but if I have to pick one, it would be D16 Group‘s Toraverb. I’ve been using this for a very long time and it can do everything from short, room-like reverb to long and musical hall sounds. It works great on leads and you can use it to turn a regular sound into something with almost string or pad-like qualities. It’s featured heavily in almost all of my tracks.
I actually don’t use that much compression in dance tracks, but a compressor that is always present on my master bus is the Fairchild compressor by Universal Audio. The Fairchild is great for getting your mix to sound a little bit more forward. It emphasizes the punch and high end, but in a really nice and non-intrusive way. It works magic on tracks that are a little bit bass heavy. I use it sparingly with just 1dB of compression, but it’s always there.
My secret weapon is another reverb plug-in by Audio Ease called Altiverb. It’s an impulse reverb that can do anything from orchestral-like hall qualities to totally crazy effects. Because it’s an impulse-based reverb, it can sound extremely realistic, but you can tweak it and make it sound completely weird as well. There are also great presets for sync purposes, such as treating audio so it sounds like it’s played in a car, house, church, etc. It’s pretty expensive, but well worth it in my opinion.