Will Loiseau, the Editor In Chief of our bro mag Rapper’s Delite wrote a book about his experiences in Haiti during the Quake. That has inspired a song by P.R.O.
Wishing you well in the coming year…
Words by Drew Spence
I‘m sure you’ve heard the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” Or that old(er) people become “Set in their ways“. We look at that- as a statement related to stubbornness and unwillingness to change or adapt. That rigid and dogged determination to remain the same is rooted in believing you have ‘mastered yourself’. And mastering means you have learned enough about yourself to tell others exactly how you operate. The problem is, I have never heard this sentiment used in a positive way. It usually refers to or outlines an imagined boundary and leads to excuses.
“I’m the kind of person that needs….”
“Knowing me, I probably won’t….”
“See, the way that I am…I can’t….”
“I really don’t do well, when…”
Instead of learning about where you need work, you’ve adopted a policy of avoiding anything that requires real work and effort.
“I tried that before and it didn’t work for me”
And so, instead if changing or improving the ‘me’, it’s easier to settle for living your life based off your natural talents and tendencies. You basically won’t do anything if it doesn’t come easily. Your definition of Mastering Yourself is actually learning to live within your limitations.
True Mastery is knowing how much work must be done on you before you can tackle a task. It’s realizing you may need to temporarily become a different type of person to achieve a particular goal.
A wise Kung-Fu Master once said:
‘Becoming a [Martial Arts] Master is not about being a master over others or an art. It’s becoming a master over yourself. You still have limitations, but you realize you can overcome them in the important moments you need to.”
It’s all about adapting and adopting…and adding new traits. How can you arrive someplace new by following the path you’ve been down before?
Resolutions and Re-Solutions
So why is this on the Producer’s Edge Blog and not The Dynamic Universe or even Rapper’s Delite? Because, as producers and artists, we tend to create a body of work and then use the overall assessment to assign limitations. They can sometimes be hidden by starters like “I work best when…” or “I’m in my zone if…”. That opening is usually followed by a narrow parameter which, in truth, is another limitation. Have you ever heard someone claim they have a dating type? This person is ‘my type’. And they know this by having several failed relationships with that ‘type of person’. That’s not their type, that’s simply who they keep choosing to date- regardless of the success rate or outcome. Your type is found in the relationship that works, not in the many that don’t. And that relationship works or fails by what you become while you are in it, not simply what passed easily between the two of you. That is our producer’s Edge – that understanding and choice of achieving something beyond the expected. The push to be more and find that limitation and then move the bar higher.
Learn yourself to learn what more you need to learn
I close with thoughts on resolutions. They seem to always be external.
I want this to be better…I want more…I want a new…
Imagine if all that change was focused on improvement… if we were focused on attitude instead of altitude.
a BETTER state of mind.
MORE willingness to grow and acquire new skills and habits.
a NEW way of looking at ourselves
Let’s choose to be where we want and achieve what we want by Wanting to improve where we place focus and even what we choose to focus on.
Have a productive 2015.
-Drew Spence, Producer’s Edge Magazine
interview with Drew Spence Producer’s Edge Magazine
Those of us familiar with your story might appreciate the idea that Raphael Saadiq was on a phone call and overheard you going to town on a keyboard, in the background, and decided then, that you were a talent verse adding to his sound. But I find it more important to know, to gain insight on how an artist should treat their passion before being discovered that allows blessings to happen. If I am driven and do have desire what should I be doing, every day, to bring opportunities closer?
The opportunities just come, I believe. Whatever is driving you should stay in the driver’s seat… at least until you get to your destination. However, when starting out, I think it’s good to not know [the destination] sometimes. Take the time to hone in what you THINK you want to do…you may discover that it’s not what you thought. Once you know what it is, the opportunities come by being in the right place at the right time. And by right I mean the opportunity lining up with your passion. You will know. Everyone that knew me in 90s knew I was the biggest Tonies fan there was…and then Raphael calls…it was just right, and I knew it.
As a multi-instrument player, aside from the common traits of each, what attracts you to each piece?
Curiosity, I think. I always desire to find a common thread with each instrument I play. Basses and guitar have a similar makeup, but I relate them to the piano in my mind.
A guitar or piano seems like a natural addition to any session, but what about the more unique instruments, like the tuba and even acoustic drums in such an electronically tilted scene?
When done in good taste, sounds from anywhere can really work well together. Sound is sound, and texture is texture. You get that texture however you can. In my case it’s with a tuba, a fuzz box on a P-bass, or a saw-wave bass from Massive. In many ways I like where music is heading when I hear acoustic with the digital. It always refreshing on the first listen because you never know what could work together until you actually hear it.
And I do see the balance. True musicianship will always be valued but the advances of technology opens up so many doors. How are you able to incorporate a live musician aspect with programming and even gear pieces like NI Maschine?
It’s crazy, because the Maschine is the backbone of my workflow now. I just play it with feeling, trying not to quantize too much, and also using organic or real drum samples. Sometimes hearing the right acoustic kick or hi-hat on pad will dictate how it should be played. I will approach the sound as a real drummer would most of the time. I like the fact that the sounds are act my fingers sometimes and not turning on the console and miking the kit. It’s easier in my opinion to get the idea out and on to the next thing. Sometimes I may replace with the real thing and sometimes it’s fine how it is.
Is it okay to just play or does the modern scene demand a knowledge of computers and digital workstations? Do I need to know both; a musician’s language and now the techie jargon, just to get my creative ideas down?
Being a musician, it sure helps to know both sides. Modern advances are tools, and if used correctly the opportunities open up greatly. Just so long as you never forsake one for the other. I can spend more time being creative on axe when I’m not devastated by the computer screen. Shucks, the computer can play something I hear in my head that I can’t physically do sometimes. I’m not out for an award to be the most proficient on my instrument. I’m trying to make a track feel good. And the computer helps a lot when it’s just me and it. I’ll shred the lick when it’s time to do it live….
I’ve always felt players add a unique aspect to any session and offer a greater creative contribution – beyond the instrument they play. What advice would you give new producers, when considering going that next step and adding a session player or musician to their productions?
At whatever level, I think it’s important to hire the right musician for the job. Having a musician in his or her element means you don’t work as hard and pull teeth in the session. The morale stays high and everyone has a sense of worth and accomplishment. You’re more likely to be that much more respected in the musician community when that musician leaves telling their peers how much fun they had working with you as a producer.
And, at what level should the production be at before adding outside help? Is it about a gear level, a sound that should already be in place and is the mind set a factor?
It depends. You should be able to at least convey your idea to the player and they understand. If it’s a drummer, make sure the click track works for that drummer. If it’s a trumpet playing a super specific line, see if you can record a dummy track of it for reference…especially if you can’t write it out or don’t know your notes. When I’m the producer, I handle all the techie stuff so a player can play and relax.
Does the base musician skill set translate over generations or do you feel like you need to update your sound or technique every few years? Does a Jill Scott want the same artistic contribution that, say an Anthony Hamilton or Chrisette Michele would?
I think if the want you as the producer, they want what you can contribute from the base. While working with Saadiq for years, we’d get new toys and sounds for us, but wind up playing the same ole lines that people like. We knew we had our own vibe and that’s what artists liked. We tried to stay as relevant as possible by adding new soundsets every now and then.
Do you listen to modern tracks and allow the current sound to influence you or is it always about tapping in to your own voice and staying with what you naturally lean towards?
Oh, I listen. I listen to be heard and to be relevant. To adapt means to embrace the changes, at the same time not leaving what you do.
A studio is more than a room with equipment- It’s about the attitude and atmosphere. A studio should create a comfortable space that allows artists the freedom to tap into their most creative energies. Please tell us a bit about WoodaWorx and how you came to have such a diverse clientele.
I really like a lot of different music. I never know where my musical endeavors may lead, so I create a space for all to feel at home. From country to hip-hop, gospel to alt-pop… I want everyone to feel a sense of creativity from the room itself.
And what is the working system there? Is it more of a family tone where creative ideas are tossed about at leisure, or is it more directed towards a productive work ethic? Would you say there’s a general vibe or does it vary from artist to artist?
It changes and adapts to the artist or the client. If it were left up to me, I’d watch stupid and senseless Youtube videos 50% of the time! Those videos are icebreakers for a dull and dry session.
Me and Anthony are like brothers in and out of the studio. We rarely have any notions prior to recording or writing…if it comes, we seize it. If not, we’ll go eat and watch more Youtube videos. The music has to breathe, I believe. Laughter is place where we feel comfortable and can breathe. Once we aren’t thinking about the music, we make the best music.
And my final thought is about what kind of advice you offer the readership and what lessons you’ve learned about unlocking the creative potential by working alongside musicians and other talents that share our interests.
I’d say don’t think about it so much and just do it. It’s easy to unlock if you never lock it up. Don’t ever think you have to be at some super high level to be heard. You never know what resonates with people. Do it and get it out.
PE Mag would like to thank Kelvin Wooten for taking the time to talk to us.
You can bring home Anthony Hamilton’s Home for the Holidays this Holiday and make sure it’s locked in for every year as a new favorite. We have!
Earwaxx Sessions week 14 Channel Zero and Horror Fam
words by Drew Spence
The energizer showcase keeps showing and we like who shows up
In a previous post [Located here] I went in to detail about why it is important to put rappers over your music- more important than trying to sell a beat to someone you don’t know for chump change. Working on a career starts with working in the field you have an interest in. It’s an old saying (maybe not that old since I stole it from Griffin Avid) that
“Whatever you want to do for money, you will first do for free.”
It’s a simple truth that you cannot claim to do something, and even be good at something you have never done. But that’s what we, as hobbyists, do too often. We say we are producers– yet we haven’t produced anything or anyone. Moving on from semantics and word-definitions we touch the reality of your resume.
Presume to resume from you resume
You can create a nice logo or banner for your website. You can write a nice bio that tells the world how great you are. What counts is what you can do. What you can do is backed up by what you have done. What you have done is what ends up on your resume. Yes, before you get a career, you get the job. Before you get the job, you’ve shown an ability to do the job. That’s your portfolio. That’s your catalog. That’s the show your work part of the answer.
The Waxx Museum to see them
Last night was week 14 of the ongoing showcase Earwaxx Sessions. [Read the opening blog post here]. The line up included a hard-rocking metal band called Go Deep and the rap collective Horror Fam as Channel Zero and Swerve Boyz. Horror Fam is a deep roster of artists that center in Amityville New York. I came across them a few years ago by their manager and mentor Bone. They have dropped numerous mixtapes, videos and pretty much rock out as an army.
The forming up formula
They also figured it out. – How to crowd the stage with friends and fam, but make it work by everyone knowing the songs and performing as one mass. That energy translates to the crowd and they put on an awesome show. The Earwaxx Sessions continues to be a party that we are all invited to. More than that, they have become a community conscious organization that puts on food drives for the holidays. They have been featured in the paper (Long Island’s Newsday) and the their sponsor list continues to grow week by week. Connect and get involved here.
Connecting the Dots….
So how does this all relate? After their show, while they were making their way through the crowd. One of the artists said ~ You know we did some of them songs at your studio right? Yeah, I was reminded that I have done something– that I am connected to a large body of artists that are putting in work. It’s really all the stuff I’ve done before that makes the doings of tomorrow easier. That why I say Pursue a place and be patient for a paycheck. No one wants to pay for potential or possibilities. The current state of the industry is Risk Management. No development, no investing, no betting or hoping that someone pans out. You need to think the same way and start your journey today. Get involved with your local talent and be a part of what’s happening. For Long Islanders, Earwaxx Sessions is a perfect launch point and networking system. Find your resource and become a resource.
You can catch the vid bits on the Earwaxx Instagram
and some clips @ the DynamicaMusic instgram page
SUPPORT LOCAL, GO GLOBAL
Krudmart Grand Re-Opening with Craig G and Buckshot
Producer’s Edge digital was invited to the Krudmart (@Krudmart) Grand Re-Opening hosted by Buckshot (@Buckshot) with special guest star Craig G (@MC_Craig_G). The Krudmart event took place in the Setauket location in Long Island NY. Craig G, the golden age rap master, with classic records like “Droppin’ Science” and “The Symphony” was there to meet and greet and explain why he’s in full support of an independent footwear movement. Buckshot broke the line down and explained why we need more options for gear-wear and how important expressing your own individuality can be.
Big Earth, a store owner and independent retailer has made the boutique experience affordable and accessible with a cultural center that doubles as a sneaker store. DJ Cut Supreme (@cutsupreme) was on hand and handy behind the decks keeping the Boom Bap on tap. He was joined later by Craig G’s tour DJ, Callie Ban, who utilized his style of blending the classics with the original records that were sampled.
Big Earth stepped up his hosting game by getting free pizza and drinks and after sundown we went a block down to the Country Bar (ignore the name for now) to see Buckshot and Craig G perform some of their biggest hits. You can imagine what happened when “Who Got Da Props” came on. Craig G went in and covered every inch of the bar with his energetic set and even went freestyle, rhyming about the people at the bar. All in all, it was a solid event and I have Krudmart bookmarked as a place to up your style at. You should bookmark them too. http://krudmart.com/
EarWaxx Sessions Week 4 recap
Going…going…STRONG! And a legend surprises all.
words by Drew Spence
I would never say that I hate on something, but I am a skeptic. I mean, when news about the EarWaxxSessions first hit my Editor’s desk I said “Every damn week?! These kids crazy. It’s Long Island; you can’t get kids offa that couch and outta that house EVERY week. Nah, son, they need to do this joint monthly.” I was wrong and I can admit it.
Crowd still strong? Yes.
Still enthusiastic? Yes.
Still well-organized and starting on time? Yes.
Tight Acts? Yessir
So, now that I see this engine has got no quits in it, let’s recap, rewind and reflect on week 4 for Long Island’s freshest artist/producer/talent showcase. The night opens with hosts @ChadLaw & @Rah_licious welcoming the crowd at exactly 10pm. [Yep, they be starting on time] After a few barbs and well-deserved attention to the lovely Rah_licious, ChadLaw brought out Fallout Shelter for the opening producer showcase part. Conflict of interest aside (ahem), it was a live hybrid-set of beats, bumpers and skits. The energy of rap arrived right after as Keez, YRA, CASTLE HEAD and the crowd that is Frank Buick by himself, tore up the stage. Shaun Sutton got the ladies going with some sultry R&B. A.T.E BOYZ and AMA rounded things off before a surprise appearance by rap veteran and Juice Crew member Craig-G dropped his science for a new generation that’s more trappy than backpacky. It was an angry old man showing showmanship and why you still want a few veterans active in every war. Now that they’ve added guest appearances to the mix, there’s no telling what you’ll get next week.
Why should you care?
Every artist and entertainer needs a place to show out and the EarWaxxSessions is providing a dope atmosphere by having a dope crowd assemble to enjoy and support good music. If you was thinking of doing it, get it together and do it there. Finally, we have a growing spot that combines generations, genres and future greats. Make Tuesday more than the day that follows Monday. They have.
Born-on-date a little early? Don’t know as much about hip hop as you should? Read into the history and career of rap veteran Craig G. There’s a lot more than the legendary verse on Marley Marl’s posse cut “The Symphony” and his own rap classic “Dropping Science”. Oh and if you are a fan of those battle rap leagues, this guy was doing it when it was raw.
Sign on, Sign up, Show up and Show out
Inquire Via email For Tickets and Bookings
All Categories Listed & More
Like our Facebook Page
Follow Us on Instagram & Tumblr
Follow Us On Twitter
Product Review + Free Horn sounds from Diginoiz!
“Orchestral One Shots” contains 202 perfectly sounding multi-format one shot sounds in Hip Hop, R&B, Modern Pop and more genre.
So yeah, I picked this up from Diginoiz and had some pretty high hopes after hearing the demo. This product does not disappoint. I loaded up the 202 bits of juice into NI Maschine and was inspired instantly. I place this Orchestral One Shots into the category of essentials since it’s just so useful. I know there will be a point where I’ll be working on a track and ask myself “What goes there?” and answers like these usually fit nicely. They also pitch well, so the options vary.
“…a package of over 200 orchestral one shots, ready to use in Your compositions and productions. If You are in love with hard and dynamic sound or You are looking for something that will enrich Your music, You are in the right place. In “Orchestral One Shots” You will find hip-hop strings, brass, pianos, orchestral drums, hits and more! All of the sounds are in one-shot form with root key included. Have a nice and creative time with our “Orchestral One Shots” “
“Orchestral One Shots” contains 202 orchestral one shots, 288 mb multi-format material (24 bit WAV, 24 bit AIFF and 16 bit WAV) ready to use in your favorite sampler or sequencer, both hardware and software, including: Logic, GarageBand, Soundtrack, Digital Performer, Sony Acid, Ableton Live, Adobe Audition, Cakewalk Sonar, Pro Tools, Emagic EXS24 and many more.
Every purchase you make is containing 1 multiformat ZIP files
Wav / Acid / AIFF (237 MB)
– 202 instrument sounds (24bit WAV)
– 202 instrument sounds (16bit WAV duplicate)
– 202 instrument sounds (24bit AIFF)
INSTANT DOWNLOAD PRICE: €20.00 EUR
More information, free audio demo & demo pack visit:
This is free and free is a lovely price. I have no idea why it’s free…buy anyhow. Pretty simple: 50 horn/brass loops/ They sound like hooks to beats, but can be easily chopped and rearranged to be whatever you need to choose to flip.
How do I get them?
Follow the normal and simple procedure like it was a purchase and after checking out with your cart (cost of zero) you’ll get the download link.
Produced specially for You, a product of the highest quality in the Urban genre, that will bring Your tracks to the next level. “Heavy Hop Brass” is a collection of 50 heavy, melodic and climatic brass loops. All loops were prepared on professional equipment with highest attention to detail in order to obtain the highest standard of sound. All of this You can find exclusively at Diginoiz.com to free download!
“Heavy Hop Brass” contains 50 perfectly sounding loops (85-105 BPM) in Hip Hop, R&B, South Style and Modern Pop genre.
Wav / Acid
– 50 instrument loops (24bit WAV)
– 131 MB total size
INSTANT DOWNLOAD PRICE: FREE
More informations, free audio demo & demo pack visit: