Two things that are pretty cool this week. Griffin Avid hooked me up with some questions about making music from a site called Producers Corner and couple of tracks I produced with Fallout Shelter got bundled with the newest issue of Rapper’s Delite Magazine. The deal is, you can download a bunch of beats for free in every issue or get a bunch more when you become an MC Subscriber. There’s even some beats from my friend Sean Maru; the writer for the Vintage Series.
Here’s the issue sampler so you can get an idea of what everyone donated.
And here is the interview hook up.
Drew Spence is the Owner and Editor in Chief of Producer’s Edge Magazine. It is a quarterly publication centered on the production of Hip Hop, R&B and Rap music. After creating a raucous underground radio show called the M-Train at Adelphi University 90.3 FM, Drew Spence worked as media editor for Don Diva’s Magazine D3 DVD. He creates music under several aliases that range from underground hip hop, Nu Jazz, pop to Electronic Dance Music. After collecting numerous accolades and glowing reviews, he has turned his attention to creating a modern journal for beat makers and music producers.
”Music production is the relationship between the creativity of the artist and the craftsmanship he is able to employ through the mastery of his tools.”
1. Sampling. How important is it in producing music?
There’s a distinction between sampling and using samples. For Rap and Hip Hop music to be accepted in a larger commercial sense, it had to be sell-able. Un-cleared samples became such a legal problem, that sample interpolation became the new sampling standard. Being able to create music without using the works of others is paramount for establishing a career in this modern industry.
2. Where do you see new producers making mistakes?
Sharing their music too soon. Every beat maker thinks it’s time to share a beat once it’s finished. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Why have someone come to your site or profile and hear unfinished music or tracks that are not up to par? It taints your image and lessens any confidence a potential customer could have about your music.
3. What software do you recommend for making beats? And why? And what do you use?
I don’t see an influence in a producer’s sound depending on what he uses. The most I hear is producers only using the very basics of their tools, because they haven’t taken the time to learn them properly.
4. To all those new aspiring producers reading this learning to produce music / make beats, what advice can you give them starting out?
Great writers do more reading than writing. If you intend to make great music, you need to understand the working behind what we consider to be the best music. That means knowing the history of your genre to understand where it has been, where it is going and gaining valuable insight to where it’s going next. Higher understanding also involves absorbing music outside of the genre you intend to produce.
5. What are the 3 most important steps to making beats?
I’d say One is choosing the direction of the instrumental which is tied to understanding the purpose behind creating the track. Making a story track? – then it means to be evolving and dramatic. Making something for lyricists? – then it needs to be open and have room for the vocal to lead the intensity. That’s the general principle.
Two, would be immersing yourself in the culture of the intended genre. They are different approaches to every genre, tempos, song length, arrangement and even complexity.
Lastly would be understanding the industry behind the marketing, promotion and selling of the music. Making battle track and presenting it in the same fashion as a club banga is a mistake.
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 it? What do the ones that make it do that the ones don’t?
People that don’t make it fall in to two categories: ones that give up and those who don’t take advice from those around them. When you are sure that you know better than everyone around you and you are still not making forward progress, it’s time for a reality check.
7. Which do you prefer new producers start with when learning to make beats: Hardware or software? And Why?
Use whatever you’re attracted to. Understand the final delivery medium and be sure you are able to present your tracks in a proper industry format. You don’t need Pro Tools, but understanding how records are made should influence your early choices.
8. What makes a quality beat? What must it sound like? How do you know when you’re done?
A quality beat actually sounds like the instrumental to a full record. Many producers only present the foundation, which is enough to inspire the artist to create over the basic skeleton. Even in this open state, the track should indicate a general direction for the artist to build off of.
9. Should I go to school to learn more about music?
If you feel you learn best in a formal setting then yes, but don’t discount the life experience gained from internships and mentoring programs. Real world experience is invaluable in transforming yourself into a valuable asset in this production industry.
10. Any final thoughts or advice to aspiring producers?
Take the time you spend doing music seriously. You never know when your life will change course and music won’t be able to be your number one pursuit. When beat makers have the luxury or time to make music every day and to follow music as their number one interest, it should be cherished. Regrets based on the things you wished you did outweigh the things you wish you didn’t do. Do music, take it seriously. No one will take you seriously if you don’t take your music and art seriously.
Thanks you for supporting Producer’s Edge magazine.
Rapper’s Delite Magazine is back with their Winter 2011 Issue. It’s The Original Sugarhill Gang y’all! We’re taking you back to the first top 40 hip hop chart buster and dive into the movie based on their trials and tribulations entitled I Want My Name Back. This interview is a must read for any true hip hop head. Also in this issue, Grafh, Fred the Godson, Pac Div, Casey Veggies, Chuuwee, Emilio Rojas and film director Roger Paradiso.
A big thank you to DJ Cut Supreme for supplying us with the Sugarhill Mix. You can find the full mix spinning on our Soundcloud Page.
Spinning and Winning in this Issue
Fallout Shelter, Legasey, Neurologists, P.R.O. and Sean Maru
* Direct download link is found inside the Current issue. Thank you Producers for submitting your music.
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