We recently released our Samba Rhythms sample pack, featuring over 250 Live Percussion Loops and 100 One Shots – all expertly crafted by Joni Strugo and Juan Grabina from El Guapo Musica.
We sat down with Joni and Juan to discuss all things music, remotely recording, and more.
Juan, Joni, how are you both? Can you share with us what you’ve been working on lately?
Hey! All good here! Lately we’ve been working in full music production, which means basically improving artists’ ideas from scratch to the final songs, so they can release them on digital platforms. We’ve also been working on our own original music, which you can find here.
What inspired you to start El Guapo Music together in Buenos Aires?
Since the pandemic, we’ve noticed that our services as music producers are required not only in Argentina, but all over the world. We’ve started working on more remote recording, and we love the workflow so much! This is why recording music remotely has become our speciality.
The quality of your percussion recordings is great. Can you tell us about your recording process and set up when creating these Percussion sounds?
When we record percussion, we mainly focus on the instrument’s quality and tuning, but also a mix between close and room mics help to make them sound big and very complete.
What’s the one bit of software or hardware that you couldn’t live without?
We mainly record on pro tools, it’s our favourite software for recording. Talking about hardware – I would say we work with Guerrilla, Electrovoice, Neumann and Shure microphones, they all sound great.
What are your favourite plugins?
We mainly focus on the sound of the instruments and less so on plug-ins, but one plugin we use A LOT is Fab Filter Pro Q 3.
Do you use sample packs in your own music? If so, what role do they play?
We’re normally used to producing our music with real instruments for our productions, but this is because we normally have the time to spend on making them. Whenever we don’t have much time, we really appreciate using sample packs. We also like to use them for placeholders, to make the arrangement sound great before replacing them with real instruments and live recordings.
You’ve worked with various artists & companies. What valuable lessons have you learned from these collaborations?
One lesson we’ve learnt is to be easy to work with. We understand as artists that we all put the best we can into our art, and it’s very important to be patient. Always keep the good vibes during the process and be consistent with the work!
Our art reflects a certain moment of us – it will improve during time, and the idea is to always learn and have fun. It’s not good to try to rush the learning process.
Are there any particular artists or genres that have a significant influence on your musical work?
As artists, we are always very inspired in world music artists such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil from Brasil, Yemen Blues or Balkan Beatbox from Israel, Natalia Lafourcade and Los Cojolites from Mexico, Jorge Drexler and Ruben Rada from Uruguay, and the list keeps going…
How do you manage remote recording sessions?
We always like to have Zoom calls with the artists and companies we work with. This is very important for communication and that’s key to making great art from a distance. Also, try to have all the requirements to start the work before start, so we don’t spend too much time working and having to change everything after.
What advice would you give to those aspiring to enter the music industry?
Be very patient and passionate about it! Don’t aspire to be “famous” or have a lot of followers, but focus on making good art. Collaborate with other artists, and have fun.
Looking forward, are there any exciting projects or collaborations you’re eager to share with us?
We are now heading a tour for our originals band in Mexico, and we’re collaborating with a lot of local artists. We’re also giving a “Distance Music Production” workshop in the “VII Encuentro Bianual de Etnomusicologia” in Patzcuaro, Mexico, organised by the Universidad Intercultural Indígena de Michoacan.
And of course, looking forward to doing more collaborations with you guys!
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