Dubspot’s Nate Mars catches up with up with Paul Baümer and Maarten Hoogstraten a.k.a. Bingo Players to find out about how they prepare their DJ sets, their production workflow in the studio, and their plans for the future.
Paul Baümer and Maarten Hoogstraten a.k.a. Bingo Players have emerged from The Netherlands to quickly become two of the world’s most prominent EDM DJs. The duo have created an international reputation through epic releases and a massive touring schedule and most recently dropped “Get Up (Rattle)”, which was a number one single in the UK two weeks in a row. This success came after the original version of Rattle shook up European charts for nine weeks during last year. 2013 is going to be a big year for Bingo Players. Along with numerous hit productions to their name, Bingo Players have over 30 worldwide music festival performances under their belts. Just ahead of their show at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Dubspot’s Nate Mars caught up with Paul and Maarten to speak with them about how they prepare their DJ sets, their workflow in the studio and plans for the future.
Nate: So first of all, how does it feel to be playing at Ultra Music Festival this year?
Paul: Ultra is one of the biggest and most special festivals, so you want to play there, you know? The vibe is amazing, and it’s an international festival. You have people coming from all over the world to see their favorite DJ’s. The energy is always amazing.
Nate: This is your third year playing Ultra. Did you do anything different from the norm to prepare for your set?
Maarten: We have prepared some really new songs. We just produced them in the last two months, and we’re going to premiere them here today, so that’s pretty special for us to see what the feedback is. And we always have some special bootlegs, some mash-ups.
Paul: We have some cool new visuals that we’re going to do for the first time today so we are looking forward to that as well.
Nate: Have you been performing with a VJ?
Paul: Yeah we have our own VJ with us at the moment.
Nate: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of preparing with a visual artist?
Paul: We had meetings, and first told them what kind of vibe we want and what kind of feel. Then they came up with ideas and a storyboard.
We loved it, and then we sent feedback back and forth.
Nate: With regards to your DJ set up, what are you guys using for performance?
Paul: We use the CDJ’s. Old school DJ’s man, old school DJ’s, no computers (laughs).
Nate: What do you guys think about the new technologies coming out for CDJ’s such as Rekordbox?
Maarten: Well it has its advantages. The cool thing is that you can find your music so easily, you can scroll through your playlists and that’s great. Everybody is talking about the fine old days where you had to beat match and nobody can do that anymore. But we think it’s obsolete to do that nowadays, it’s more about giving the crowd what they want; playing the right tracks at the right moment.
Paul: We still beat match though. We do it the old fashioned way and we don’t want to have things in the same order, we change it up, it depends. Especially now, you have DJ’s before you, they’re playing songs and they might play a song that you wanted to play. We don’t want to play a song twice you know, so then we just switch it up.
Nate: Can you tell us a little about your production setup? What are you using in the studio?
Maarten: We have a Mac Pro with some great monitors from Focal and we are using Ableton Live with some plug-ins. We hardly use outboard gear. It’s great to have it, but these days you can do everything in the box, and it’s so quick and easy.
Nate: What are some of the plug-ins that you have been using?
Maarten: Well, its pretty basic, everybody uses the Nexus, we do too, (Lennar Digital) Sylenth, (Native Instruments) Massive and of course some sample packs, but most of the time we like to tweak our own sounds. We don’t want to use sounds that you hear in someone else’s tracks. Sometimes you hear the same sound- “ok the Sylenth plug-in with the preset 14, out of this bank. That’s what we hate, so we always try to disguise that, or to make it our own. I think it’s really important.
Paul: Our only rule in producing is always to make a unique song, we never want to copy another song. Everybody says we’ve got to make another “Rattle.” No, we’re not going to make another “Rattle.” It’s boring, we want to make something new and fresh.
Nate: What projects are you working on now, anything in the works coming up that you want to talk about?
Maarten: We have several songs, but we always have to test them out. We have 5 or 6 songs done, but we’re always tweaking them after playing them because the crowd is the best feedback.
Nate: Are you going to test them out tonight (at UMF)?
Paul: We’re going to play our first single for the first time today. That’s really, always a special thing, because you’re playing the song, and are still nervous to see how the crowd is going to react you know, because you really want them to really feel the song.
Nate: Any advice you would like to offer up and coming DJ’s or producers?
Maarten: Well, first of all, stay unique. You can have inspiration from other tracks and try to copy them, that’s fine, but give your own twist to it. Never make a 100% copy of an existing track. And take a risk. You do something that you think is maybe really weird, but….
Paul: Then do it. Think outside of the box.