A Q&A with Joyeur on Music Production

Anna “Annalog” Feller is an Russian-Israeli, LA-based music producer, composer and recording engineer and one-half of electronic pop duo JOYEUR who just released their debut EP LIFEEATER available everywhere now.

Check out Girl Gang Music’s exclusive Q&A with Anna below:

GGM: Few words. What do you do?

“I’m a music producer, composer, recording engineer and I play keys.”

Alright & technically, what does that mean?  

“That means I wear many hats in my work process and that process includes several DAW’s, each for a different purpose in the making of a song. I usually start out with the Maschine. Its workflow really gives me the speed and flexibility to play around with different sounds and patterns very quickly so the idea can evolve.

“I really find that kind of ‘don’t think, just play’ constructing and deconstructing freedom gets me in a less calculated mode. When the beat has bones, I will move it over to Ableton where I can go into more detail and really expand the production. I tend to play all the parts including the drums. As a pianist, it’s much easier and intuitive for me to just play vs drawing them in the program–although there is nothing wrong with that. I love recording analog synths as well as VST’s. I also record and edit all the vocals and live instruments that I make in Pro Tools.

In layman’s terms, I compose music, edit, and record utilizing different programs and instruments that help me capture and manipulate the sounds I’m working with. And with that, I am able to create, taking a song from the initial idea to the final stages.”

GGM: How did you learn/get into this?

“I started playing piano when I was 6 years old. I was classically trained and also went to music school where I studied music theory and composition. I used to play concerts and the stage wasn’t very appealing for me at that time.

I would get very nervous and really, the performing part was always so nerve wracking. I think that was the main thing that got me thinking… ‘What else can I do in music beyond just playing piano?’

I really wanted to explore beyond piano, beyond playing someone else’s work with my two hands. I always loved improvising and playing along pop or rocks songs but something was missing. When I was a teenager, I discovered electronic music like trance and house. It was so complex yet simple, enchanting and powerful.

My sister’s boyfriend at the time (now husband) was making tracks on his computer and asked me to play a few things on a track he had made. He was using Cubase and that introduced me Midi language and the freedom to manipulate sound. That was the day my perspective on what I can do musically completely shifted. Computers always made sense to me. The piano always made sense to me and the thought of combining those two worlds was so appealing and natural to me. That was mind blowing for me. I realized there is no limitation to what you can create.I really felt like I just want to sit in that room forever and just explore.

So after that I got a little midi keyboard and installed Cubase and started creating. Then I saw that there was a sound and production program opening in my hometown in Israel so I enrolled as a sound and engineering student. It was only me and another girl in the whole school….”

GGM: Is doing this work as a woman different than doing it as man?

“I believe that somewhere down the road women got discouraged to pursue and get interested in the field of engineering and production. I don’t think it’s because of the “technical” aspect of it. I hear people say that but it’s simply not true. It’s not the knobs and faders and microphones that are not appealing to women. There are women in many other technical professions so I think it’s more how the music industry as a whole sees what role women should take.

“They see women as the product and everyone behind that product is a guy. The thought of a woman behind the board, making decisions and calling the shots is not popular yet.”

GGM: Do you think we can get more women into sound engineering and production?

“I think we are on the right track. I see more and more women breaking through the stereotypes. The more women see females represented in this field the less intimidating it will be.

“I’m excited to hear and see how women step up to the plate!”

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