Steve Riggs (dharkfunkh)
CEO / Head Plugin Developer / Sound Designer / Producer
HOUSE & TECH PLAY REEL
ORCHESTRAL PLAY REEL
METAL PLAY REEL
I’m Steve Riggs. CEO and Head Software Developer at Anarchy Audioworx.
I’m a Producer, Sound Designer, Plugin Developer, Content Creator, Composer, Engineer, Guitarist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Live Act, DJ, 3D Animator, and Music Production Mentor from Birmingham, U.K.
I’ve been producing for 21 years and have covered many different genres, under many different names.
My main production name at the moment is ‘dharkfunkh’ which focuses on the deeper side of tech house, techno, and house.
Under this name, I have had releases on labels such as Suara, Armada Music, Nervous Records, OFF Recordings, Glasgow Underground, Pacha, Interscope, Bunny Tiger, Milk & Sugar and Kevin Saunderson’s KMS Records and have had tracks featured on over 170 albums on Beatport.
I have remixed for deadmau5, Yolanda Be Cool, Robbie Rivera & Preditah which have been supported on BBC Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra and Capital FM.
I’ve also engineered tracks for many artists that have been signed to labels such as Sony, Perfecto Records, Armada, Cr2, Ministry of Sound, Black Hole Recordings and many more.
Previous gigs as dharkfunkh include the legendary Tresor in Berlin, Ritter Butzke in Berlin, Trackside on the Moonlight 2 at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Formula 1, and Sankeys Manchester, as well as countless dates in the Ibiza and UK scene over the years.
There is also my ongoing side project producing a portfolio of orchestral, hybrid orchestral, and cinematic music that I plan to pitch for films, tv shows, video games, and tv ad’s once they are all finished.
I launched Anarchy Audioworx in December 2018.
Behind the scenes,
RELEASES IN CURRENTLY DEVELOPMENT INCLUDE:
* A brand new line of standalone VST instruments and effects plugins, which you can check out here: https://anarchyaudioworx.com/currently-in-development/
* Maschine Expansions
* Sample libraries and Kontakt Libraries
* Preset banks for VSTs
* DAW templates for all platforms. We currently have templates for Ableton, Logic and Reason https://anarchyaudioworx.com/project-files/
* + much more
OTHER PROJECTS IM WORKING ON RIGHT NOW:
As well as developing more products and content for Anarchy Audioworx, full time producing, engineering, and mentoring, there are also many other projects that I’m working on…
I’m currently developing a VST plugin for Swedish company ISOVOX which will be showcased at the CA NAMM show in Jan 2022.
I’m also in the
I run the Anarchy Audioworx Youtube channel creating music production tutorials, plugin reviews, gear reviews, and other content. You can check it out and subscribe here: https://bit.ly/2ZDTeEe
There’s also the ‘Audioworx’ Facebook group. A community I created for music producers, composers, musicians, and artists from all genres to gain and share knowledge, network, and discuss all things music creation. https://www.facebook.com/groups/audioworx/
Back on the electronic music side of things, I also produce Synthwave under the Alias ‘Iron Cobra’ and have many unreleased projects in the pipeline.
MY MUSIC PRODUCTION JOURNEY (THE LONG VERSION):
After starting on keyboards from a very young age and then being in bands playing guitar and drums all through school, I discovered electronic dance music in 1997. I bought some turntables and got myself a vinyl addiction, and soon began DJ’ing in clubs in 1998.
I started collaborating with friends at their studios working on tracks. This led to me wanting to learn the software and methods myself so I could make and play my own electronic music.
I have been producing using DAWs since 2000. Originally starting on Music 2000 on the Playstation, I quickly moved on to using Reason once I had more of an understanding of the workflow. I started using Cubase then in around 2003 and started my own record label.
I carried on churning out tracks and collaborating with other producers and then started a second sub-label in 2005. This then landed me a couple of residencies at large U.K club nights pushing my
I started getting tracks licensed to compilation albums and signed to larger labels and started playing overseas gigs where I would play full sets of my own productions.
During the week when I wasn’t
After a couple of years of this and starting yet 3 more vinyl labels, I wanted to move things forward and start working on a solo electronic live show.
I set myself the challenge of using only hardware and no computers. I also wanted to incorporate live guitars into the underground hard dance tracks I was working on.
I built myself a live rig using 2 x Korg Electribes (1 EMX and 1 EMS) as the main sequencers and MIDI clocked everything using a Steinberg Midex 8 through a Nord Rack 2, Roland JP 8000, Roland JP 8080, Korg Kaoss Pads, a Roland SP 505 sampler and an original Korg Electribe ES-1 for extra samples and finally a BOSS GT-10 pedal for my live guitars. All of this ran through a Yamaha 01V digital mixer that I would send the master output of to
I toured with this setup for a while and also started working on more
In 2009 I started my own club night which started to take off in my home town so I then decided to work on a fresh new live show for that.
In an attempt to make things simpler this time round, I opted for using Ableton Live as the main sequencer along with MIDI controllers, guitars, synths, effect units
The more ‘jamming’ approach of improvising, playing and constructing live on the fly crossed over to the studio when I was producing. Instead of the usual ‘copy and paste along a timeline’ method, I could now play drum pads and keys into midi clips and record audio onto clips to sketch ideas down in its session view and keep the track looping while coming up with more layers and recording in new parts keeping the creative flow going. I map any device parameter I want to automate onto the rotaries of the Akai APC40 mk2 so I can instantly try out different combinations of filter sweeps, reverb/delay swells or any other effects, live as the track is playing. Once the main section of a tune has been sketched out and is looping on a scene in the session view, I then deconstruct it and trigger the clips live while recording onto the timeline to get a rough version of an arrangement printed, bringing in elements one by one trying out different arrangement ideas. I’ve stuck to this method since and tweaked the workflow swapping out equipment and plugins as things have evolved.
Through 2009/2010 I moved my studio to a complex in the city
I also started a new band project where I wrote all of the material, lyrics and played lead guitar and vocals. We fused our core Metal sound with samples and synths running through Ableton with a click track sent to the drummer to keep everything locked in sync. Our first gig was a headline slot on the Area 51 stage at the 25th Anniversary of The Bulldog Bash.
I also continued
Continuing to produce and add new genres to my eclectic list of projects through the next couple of years eventually came around to starting the dharkfunkh project at the start of 2012.
Early projects were picked up by a large German deep house and tech house label where I soon got taken on as in-house producer for their artists and also as the labels A&R scout.
I also engineered a sample pack for the label boss over the course of 6 months which was released on Sounds2Sample and reached number 1 in their sales chart on the week of release.
Shortly after this, another track I produced for an artist on this label reached number 1 in the Beatport Deep House chart and Number 5 in the overall Beatport in December 2012. This led onto more high profile artists being added to my engineering client list and more overseas
As my solo tracks and collaborations started to get signed to bigger A-list labels such as Interscope, Nervous Records and Suara, I started getting approached to do official remixes for artists including deadmau5, Yolanda Be Cool, Robbie Rivera
Through this time, I also helped out doing A&R for 2 other labels finding them new talent.
I signed a publishing contract with Notting Hill Music / 23rd Precinct at the end of 2016 and started writing and pitching tracks for artists on their network. This covers everything from Japanese and Korean pop artists, to placements in tv adverts.
As well as still engineering and producing, I started teaching music production online using a remote access streaming program that allows me to screen share HD video and audio to clients while working in realtime with 2 way mics and video conferencing and mouse sharing.
My sessions are tailor-made to suit the level of experience of the client and fit around exactly which aspects of music production they want to focus on learning. Sessions can also be recorded and uploaded to the client for them to refer back to at any point after the conference call session is over. You can find out more about these sessions here: https://anarchyaudioworx.com/music-production-tutorials-2/
In summer 2017, a friend and I had the idea of making a Christmas record. The main objective was to make a classic sounding Christmas song that would work in line with today’s pop music sound, so we teamed up with a group of 4 other songwriters and musicians and wrote, recorded and produced the track. You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/8EXUnbiQkBg
After working with Abbey Road Studios on the final mixing and mastering, we finally finished the track
Over the 2017 holidays, I started working on producing a wide variety of tracks and video trailers for all genres of video games and film that I intend to pitch as soundtracks to companies in the industry. My completed tracks so far are a hybrid of epic orchestral and electronic music aimed at the war/stealth/shooter/adventure genre and I have many other styles and genres planned for upcoming projects.
In early 2018, around my usual full time engineering and mentoring, I started work building the Anarchy Audioworx website. I learned how to build my own Kontakt libraries and delved more into graphic design, animation, and basic coding.
Eventually, after 12 months of setting everything up, Anarchy Audioworx was finally released to the masses in December 2018.
The time spent between Jan 2019 and June 2020 has been spent learning how to code and developing a long line of standalone VST’s, effects, and other virtual instruments for Anarchy Audioworx, which are all set to be released over the coming months…
Keep up to date with all of our future plans and releases by following our social media pages below.