Exploring the serene soundscape of VAAMP’s Debut EP ‘Time Sensitive Material’

"Music is a sonic journey that can transport you through an array of emotions. A catchy emotional melody and groove is what helps me escape reality and experience deep emotions"
18 March 2024

Embark on a journey into the artistic realm of VAAMP, the mastermind behind the captivating debut EP, Time Sensitive Material. From his home studio in Nashville, VAAMP meticulously crafts each track, infusing them with ethereal melodies and intricate beats, then fine-tuning them with MixCave Mastering. With a focus on evoking joy and comfort in listeners, VAAMP’s music serves as a serene escape from life’s chaos. Join us as we delve into the depths of Time Sensitive Material, revealing the extensive skill set of this Nashville producer.

Meet VAAMP, an Electronic/Alternative project breaking genre barriers and embracing the tranquility of nature. Starting with a passion for guitar and drums, VAAMP has blossomed into a promising artist with tracks like Ohio and Either Or. Now, with the release of Time Sensitive Material, VAAMP offers a deeper glimpse into his meticulous approach. Follow VAAMP’s journey using the links below to stay updated.

I love my MX88 because the onboard sounds are incredible and it also functions wonderfully as a MIDI controller and a keyboard

What inspired the title Time Sensitive Material for your debut EP, and how does it reflect the themes or emotions within the music?

I named the EP Time Sensitive Material as an ironic jab at myself for never releasing any solo music before VAAMP existed. I’ve written so much material and it took me 10+ years to finally release anything as a solo artist. 

Can you describe the creative process behind writing and recording Time Sensitive Material in your home studio in Nashville?

For Time Sensitive Material as well as new pieces, I will typically record a melody on piano or guitar first. If I have an idea of what I want the melody to sound like stylistically, I will begin scouting out that sound and if I don’t find it, I will come back to it later. Sometimes I need to develop more of the track before I fully commit to an instrument or sound style for the leading melody.   

I’ve learned to ‘soft commit’, which is committing to the melody during that writing session. It is not a ‘hard commit’ so I am allowing myself the freedom to modify it later. However, for the purpose of that specific writing session, I try to keep the melody the same so I can begin developing and arranging other parts of the track. 

I started doing this because I used to get hung up on the lead melody and was unable to move forward with writing accompanying parts of the track. It would take months, sometimes years to complete a track. I also allow ear breaks and take a few days off between tracks. I almost always have two tracks in development and just bounce back and forth between the two. 

Could you list the recording gear available in your studio?

Macbook Pro, Ableton, Tascam 16 x 8 Interface, Audio Technica ATH-MX40 Headphones, Pyle PDC21 Direct Box, Yamaha MX88 Synth, Shure SM58 Mic, VOX Tonelab ST Effects Processor, AKAI Midimix Mixer, AKAI MPK Mini Midi Controller, JBL 3 Series MKII Studio monitors, self converted Mapex Saturn Kit with DrumTec triggers and heads, ATV cymbals, and Pearl Mimic Pro module, custom modified Fender Telecaster, PRS SE Zack Myers, Fender American Professional II Stratocaster, Squier Mustang Bass, Epiphone Thunderbird Goth Bass, and many VST plug-ins, and cats.

Which piece of studio equipment do you prefer most and why?

I love my MX88 because the onboard sounds are incredible and it also functions wonderfully as a MIDI controller and a keyboard. 

How did MixCave Mastering contribute to the final sound of the EP, and what was your direction for them in the finishing touches?

MixCave helped take my mixes from good to great. I am still learning the ins and outs of recording and mixing and I wanted an experienced engineer to polish the final masters and make them radio ready. MixCave was a pleasure to work with and I recommend them to any artist that wants to take their mixes to the next level. 

Your music incorporates elements like intricate drum beats, atmospheric vocal samples, and retro-tinged synths. How do you balance these components to create a cohesive sound?

I do some basic mixing after recording each instrument to smooth out the sounds and make sure everything is sounding cohesive. As I am creating, I try to let the song tell me what it needs. I do not want to force something that doesn’t fit the overall vibe of the track. If I end up creating something that doesn’t fit, I save it in a new session for a new track. 

In your own words, you aim for your listeners to feel “joy and comfort” when experiencing your music. Can you expand on how you craft your tracks to evoke these feelings?

Music is a sonic journey that can transport you through an array of emotions. A catchy emotional melody and groove is what helps me escape reality and experience deep emotions. Mentally and emotionally transporting through music brings me immense comfort. It is almost a meditative process. 

I aim to craft my music with these emotional melodies and grooves in hopes that my listeners can also experience this mental and emotional comfort. 

The track Ohio is highlighted as a journey to unexpected places. Can you share the story or inspiration behind this particular track?

I had just finished binging Stranger Things and I was so inspired aesthetically. I wanted to write a heavy synth track with nostalgic vibes so I incorporated that 80’s sound with a scratchy radio broadcast, and what better event to promote nostalgia than your classic American baseball game. Ohio is an experimental track that has helped guide and shape the direction of future tracks. It was the first track recorded and released as VAAMP. 

With influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Gramatik, how do you integrate such diverse musical inspirations into your Electronic/Alternative sound?

VAAMP is still a very new and experimental project, only 6 months old now. I have never written or created anything like this in my past musical ventures, so I am still learning and growing into my sound. I listen to many genres of music and try to incorporate parts from different genres to create a unique sound. With all of my musical inspirations, VAAMP is sure to deliver something quirky and unique with each release. 

What developments in the music scene have thrilled you the most in the last year?

I love that more and more artists are staying independent. There seems to be a huge influx of artists, big and small, that are taking their careers into their own hands. It is a beautiful thing to see artists having the freedom to create and market their art the way they want.