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Producer’s Corner Interview with Griffin Avid

Producer’s Corner Interview with Griffin Avid

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Griffin Avid

A blogsite about making beats did an interview with me and Drew Spence. Very Cool.


Griffin Avid is a sound designer, music producer and media editor attached to Producer’s Edge Magazine where he handles all of the content featured in the publication.

1. Sampling. How important is it in producing music?

Sampling records was the earliest production tendency and the nuances and [beloved] artifacts of the sound design have been indelibly imprinted in our minds as the sound of authentic hip hop. Every producer as some point has tried to fake it by adding sounds like turntable hum, scratches, pops and even noise to emulate a vinyl source. The lo-fi aspect is emulated with bit-reduction and some producers buy vintage samplers to capture the character of our earliest rap records. Even when beat makers are looking for drum kits and commercial samples to incorporate, the packages listed as being dirty, crusty and dusty remain the most popular.

Sampling even impacts the arrangement of our music. The huge change-ups and number of musical elements that are linked together are a throw-back to producers manipulating samples that were composed of multiple instruments playing on top of each other. Very few producers have been cable to capture that style of arrangement once they play or perform all of the instrumentation themselves.

So in conclusion, sampling as a sound is the most important aspect of rap and hip hop music. This still holds true long after traditional sampling has all but been eliminated by the modern producer.

2. Where do you see new producers making mistakes?

Thinking selling beatz is the shortcut to being a producer. They wrongfully believe they will sell a beat to a well-known rapper and once they have that one major placement; they will become the next super-producer. Being a true producer is what happens around, on top of and after the beat. There is no shortcut for this. You start the journey by producing the records of whoever you can and you certainly do not want to put off your growth by waiting. Take your career in your own hands and start making it happen for yourself now.

3. What software do you recommend for making beats? And why? And what do you use?

None of that matters to me. I’ll use anything. Usually, I get stuff to review for the magazine or at least to be familiar with to remain current and use that. I think cats should choose their tools by the amount of inspiration they feel using it. If it feels right to you, you are more likely to dive deeper and master your toolset.

4. To all those new aspiring producers reading this learning to produce music / make beats, what advice can you give them starting out?

I would suggest they avoid the trap of doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I see the advice ‘practice makes perfect’ and beatmakers think they will magically get better by simply making more beats. The learning process comes from experimenting and studying the different aspects of production, and not just from repetition.

5. What are the 3 most important steps to making beats?

1. Choosing to make beats that you like and not beats that ‘should be liked’ by others. This is really related to number 2.

2. Making sure it works in whatever context you are making the beat for. Bangerz should bang in the club. Battle beats should inspire freestyle verses. It seems simple, but many producers focus on adding signature elements and not sculpting the overall vibe.

3. Adding that final 10% that turns a beat into the instrumental for a record. That’s pretty much the part producers never show you because it’s the workings of their inner ear. Anyone will show you the building of the foundation. No one shows you the roof being put on.

6. Very few producers make it to the top of there career as a world famous producer. What’s the difference, in your opinion, between a famous producer and one who can’t seem to make it? What do the ones that make it do that the ones don’t?

Being famous is a matter of your hard work running into luck and chance. Everyone will have their turn, but for most, it won’t happen until you are ready for it. If your opportunity arrives before you are ready, you will miss out and probably never know what you could have accomplished.

7. Which do you prefer new producers start with when learning to make beats: Hardware or software? And Why?

Doesn’t matter. I usually advise producers to physically imagine HOW they want to work and go in that direction. Either approach or a mix of both will get it done so why choose?

8. What makes a quality beat? What must it sound like? How do you know when you’re done?

A quality beat sounds right for an artist to use. Lots of beat makers have beats that sound great, interesting, original and impressive. What’s hard to find among a huge catalogue of beats are usable tracks.

9. Should I go to school to learn more about music?

School is about creating an artificial environment that fosters learning. At best, it gives you real world experience. At worst, it gives a false sense of entitlement. The paper is a statement about your dedication and commitment. If you understand that most courses only provide you with the material and it’s up to grab your own education, you’ll be fine.

10. Any final thoughts or advice to aspiring producers?

Start producing today. Live the music, not the stuff that happens in-between the beats. Focus on the stuff that counts, which is the end user’s reaction to your art. I see too many beat makers overly focused on the opinions and thoughts of other producers. Rappers and those concerned with making records need to be the most important people in your mind. Thanks for the time.

Read the Drew Spence take on these same questions.

Check out the Producer’s Corner

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