The French duo known as ABSTRAAL have been on my radar since they were picked up by one of the most reputable labels and music groups in the underground scene, Family Piknik. This affiliation, coupled with the fact that they’ve got the seal of approval from events like CERCLE and massive names like Tale Of Us, certainly has some magic to what these guys are doing.

The main question here is, how do they do what they do? What’s their secret sauce?

So with the release of their latest music, “La Magie des Rêves,” which had insane remixes from the likes of Jas/tArk Nomads and Frankllin, I wanted to invite the lads on and give them a platform to share what plugins they use and how they get such a unique sound of their favorite studio tools.

As always, listen to the EP below a few times over to acclimate your ears to what they’re doing before diving headfirst into the latest iteration of How It Was Made: ABSTRAAL – La Magie des Rêves (Family Piknik).

How It Was Made: ABSTRAAL - La Magie des Rêves (Family Piknik Music)


One of my secret weapons. I use this plugin for all my sidechains. It allows me to completely control the sidechain curve, especially being able to intervene 1 or 2 ms before the kick attack, for example. There aren’t really any presets. The curve can be manually adjusted.

On this track, I use it every time for all my sidechains. Moreover, when using a sidechain via Ableton’s compressor, it occasionally adds a slight kick attack on the element we want to sidechain. With LFO Tool, there’s no such issue.

SurferEQ 2

How It’s Made: Abstraal – Hypnotic (Family Piknik)

SurferEQ 2 is a pitch-tracking equalizer plug-in that tracks a monophonic instrument or vocal and moves the selected bands with the music. I use it on basically all me tracks. It’s my go to plugin. 

Synthesizer filters can track the pitch to maintain the timbre of the sound throughout the instrument’s voices. However, sound equalizers have always been static. While being effective for broad tone-shaping and room resonance correction, standard EQs do a poor job at maintaining the vocal or instrument’s timbre as the music changes.

SurferEQ 2 tracks the pitch of a monophonic instrument or a vocal source and can adapt its bands’ frequencies relative to the music in real-time, maintaining the natural harmonic balance of the sound source and making it possible to shape the source’s timbre relative to the notes being played

Five More Fast Production Tips

Tip #1: Don’t mono to much your sub and bass. Chorus is great to make it stereo and large without affecting the mono in club. You chorus then utility plugin to isolate frequency under 130 hrz in mono 😉

Tip #2: Don’t hesitate to tune everything, even the drums! I’ve listened to so many tracks with drums not in tune at all.

Tip #3: When you layer your drums, use a gate plugin to glue the drums together before a compress

Tip #4: It’s ok to steal your kick 😉 but I’m not going to explain here how to do it haha

Tip #5: When you are a young producer with no experience, take a reference track that you like and try your best to inspire yourself with the arrangement of this track It helps

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