Posts Tagged ‘Producers Edge’

Arturia DrumBrute: Analog Drum Machine & Sequencer

DrumBrute is a powerful beat-making instrument


DrumBrute is an all-in-one analog drum machine designed with performance and in-depth sound editing at its heart.

Providing 17 distinct, fully analog drum and percussion instruments with an intuitive sequencer, massive connectivity, a two-mode Steiner-Parker filter, and dynamic performance controls, DrumBrute will take your beat production to the next level.

Create energetic and exciting drum beats with a single, user-friendly device. With its vast sonic potential and smooth workflow, DrumBrute meets and exceeds the expectations of demanding musicians. Bridging the gap between inspiration and technology, DrumBrute offers punchy analog drum sounds, advanced 64 step / 64 pattern sequencing possibilities and ultra-effective performance controls.

Find out more:

Arturia DrumBrute Key features:

  • Analog powerhouse: DrumBrute contains 17 fully analog drum & percussion instruments, including two kicks, snare, clap, open & closed hats, high & low toms and conga, maracas, rimshot, clave, tambourine, zap, cymbal, and even a reverse cymbal.
  • Exciting synth features: the main output contains a highly regarded two-mode Steiner-Parker filter, allowing you to add dynamic frequency sweeps and satisfying bass drops. Not only that, but every drum sound has multiple parameters that can be tweaked to achieve your perfect kit.
  • Easy to use, quick to learn: each one of DrumBrute’s 64 sequences can contain up to 64 steps, and can be chained together in a song mode. Despite this massive performance power, punching in your perfect beat is simple and fast. Fans of vintage drum machines will feel right at home with the familiar layout.
  • No menus: every feature has its own dedicated button, knob, or pad, so you’ll spend less time navigating endless sub-menus and more time making music.
  • In-depth editing: get in the groove with the natural Swing feature, inspire yourself by dialling in some Randomness, mix up your rhythm with Step Repeat, Roller and Looper functions, accent particular drum hits to add some punch to your beat… DrumBrute has a wealth of advanced features that will satisfy even the most discerning musicians and producers.
  • Plays well with others: DrumBrute has extensive connectivity and sync options, including MIDI, Clock, 1PPS, 2PPQ, DIN24, and DIN48. This means that DrumBrute will work seamlessly with all of your other modular, synth, and sequencing gear.
  • Amazing in the studio: DrumBrute boasts dedicated audio outputs for each instrument channel giving almost limitless options for external processing and multitrack recording; 3.5mm and ¼” headphone outputs so you’ll never have to hunt out an adapter again; and it can act as a fully-fledged MIDI interface to control your DAW. DrumBrute is an essential tool for the modern producer.
  • Reliable on stage: with rugged housing, chunky pads, and wiggle-free knobs, DrumBrute can be relied upon to perform show after show. Always striving to improve with every new release, Arturia have created a strong, enduring instrument that’s ready for life on the road.
  • Punches above its weight: DrumBrute stands toe-to-toe with the leading drum synths on the market, but at a fraction of the price. No other all-analog drum machine features such inspiring and dynamic features while retaining a sense of intuitive, tactile fun.
  • ————————
  • DrumBrute is priced at 449€ / $499.

    DrumBrute will shortly be shipping, and will be arriving at your local music store in November. DrumBrute is available to order now from the official Arturia web store, and from retailers worldwide.

    For more information on features, specifications and dimensions, visit:


What Exactly Does Producer Mean, Anyway?

September 1, 2016 Leave a comment


Image of Premo

What Exactly Does “Producer” Mean, Anyway?

Music production. The term likely conjures mythical images of Sir George Martin running frantically around Abbey Road Studios, or Phil Spector conducting a massive orchestra. In their time, the term “record producer” simply referred to the person overseeing the completion of the musical product. Given the myriad music-making tools at our disposal today, however, this once-simple definition has become diluted and confused. So let’s clear up a lot of common confusion around the modern record producer’s roles, responsibilities, and duties.

“Producer” Defined

According to the performers rights organization BMI, “a producer is to a recording as a director is to a film. When it comes to making a film, the buck essentially stops with the director. It’s the director who steers the ship, working with everyone from the technical editors to the actors in order to achieve his or her overall vision of the movie. It is exactly that way with a producer when it comes to making a recording.”

In musical terms, this means that a producer needs to have the technical expertise to make critical decisions about a mix with the engineers, the songwriting expertise to craft the arrangement of songs with the artist, and the entrepreneurial acumen to manage budgets, find studios, and negotiate contracts. In short, the producer guides the creative process, acting as part project manager, part creative consultant, and part artist.


A Producer’s Role in the Recording Process

In this traditional sense, the producer must possess a set of technical skills, as well as the big-picture mindset to manage the project from above. To help craft the “sound” of an album or project, the producer must understand the nuance of engineering a full mix in order to knowledgeably ensure that certain sounds are more emphasized than others, and that the mix carries the artistic message intended by the project. At the same time, the producer must have an understanding of the recording process; finding the right studio with the right equipment to record the right sounds is essential to the mix, the sound, and the perception of the album.

With the rise of the Digital Audio Workstation, the traditional studio and analog model have been turned inside out. What happens to the notion of a producer when the “studio” is contained inside a computer?

What’s more, while recording, the producer must be able to coach the musicians on getting the right sounds out of the instruments at hand — be it vocal takes in the booth or different voicings of the same chord on a piano. In this way the producer also treads into songwriting territory, often helping to craft the trajectory of the track.

+ Learn more: Explore chord voicings and much more in our course, “The Building Blocks of Piano”

Of course, as with most deeply artistic endeavors, this role varies project-to-project, and indeed, producer-to-producer. Though it sounds like a lot, different genres and artistic styles have different needs. According to producer Donny Baker, “the music producer is hired because of his ideas in your genre of music.” That is, often, producers will have a specific specialty that they excel in; this specialty, likely their genre-based experience, will make them a desirable managerial and stylistic compliment to the project at hand. For instance, sometimes a project needs someone to think about instrumental arrangement, whereas other times artists will want complete control over that aspect of their songs. Producer Phil Ek sums it up: “I think a good producer agrees with what is the best for the band and helps bring out the best and makes it sound the best and have them perform at their best. Whether it’s the producer’s idea or not, that’s the proper creative direction.”

The Rise of the Digital Audio Workstation

In years past, a producer would fill these traditional roles across a project slated for release through a label, and would get work through studio-based projects and timelines. However, with the rise of the Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW, for short), the traditional studio and analog model have been turned inside out. What happens to the notion of a producer when the “studio” is contained inside a computer?

It gets even trickier for the so-called “bedroom producer,” who pulls samples and software synths together into an album. The beatmaking, songwriting, mixing, and engineering all take place simultaneously in the DAW.

The answer, as you might have guessed, is rather complex, and has lead to a fragmenting of what one might traditionally consider a record producer, as well as a heated debate within the music community at large. But, in many ways, the roles are still similar, and the difference hinges on one key distinction: beatmaker vs. record producer.

Beatmaker vs. Producer

In simple terms, the distinction between a beatmaker and a record producer is similar to the difference between an old fashioned songwriter and a record producer: the songwriter would simply be in charge of writing the song, which would be in turn performed in the studio by musicians and artists who would ultimately release the song. (Note: This still occurs, but is much more confined to the upper-echelons of pop songwriting.) The analogy holds: the beatmaker creates the beat or beat idea, which is sold or absorbed by an artist’s project and turned into a full-fledged song by the producer.


However, in increasingly popular forms of songwriting that are informed by technological production in DAWs, this distinction treads into murky waters. What if, say, a producer of a hip-hop album made a beat in a DAW that the artists runs with, only for the producer to come in and engineer the vocal performance, all of which is sent off to a separate mix engineer to be glued together. The “producer” is now beatmaker, songwriter, and record producer all in one. It gets even trickier for the so-called “bedroom producer,” someone like the artist XXYYXX, who pulls samples and software synths together into an album — in this case, the beatmaking, songwriting, mixing, and engineering all take place simultaneously in the DAW.

The distinction between beatmaker and producer is in whether someone makes a beat and hands it off to be turned into a song, or whether they make a beat and a songwriting idea and see it through to completion.

How can we sift through these semantic weeds? And why does it even matter? Well, crediting in the music industry is a big deal — and getting paid for work done matters immensely to producers, managers, and artists alike. Ultimately, the distinction between beatmaker and producer lies in differentiating between someone who makes a beat and hands it off to a crew of people to turn into a song, and a person who makes a beat and a songwriting idea and sees it through to completion with the artist, album, or project. If you’re doing all of that work to take a musical concept to market, then you’re producing. Maybe in this example the producer also gets a songwriting credit — but they still craft the final product.

In this way producing is more accessible than ever — but making a beat in Ableton isn’t producing outright. The challenge still remains: can you write, record, engineer, mix, master, and release your own material on your own or with an artist on your team? Taking that next step — that’s the mark of a true producer.


Other articles from Myles Avery

Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer,TB-3, VT3 Sam Ash

March 24, 2014 1 comment

Roland TR-8 overview with TB-3 and VT-3 VIDEO


Roland TR-8

The Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer

Sam Ash Huntington hosts Roland’s Demo Day as Dave Dickerson stops by to run through the features of the new AIRA line. TR-8 Rhythm Performer, TB-3 Touch Bassline and VT-3 Voice Transformer.

Studio AVX and the Roland TR-8

 Sound examples from the Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer


Kit samples captured through USB. Elements normalized and fed into Propellerhead Recycle 2.2.4 and exported as individual slices.

Drum kits were left at default positions with no additional tweaks.

Some sounds, including High, Mid and Low Toms are excluded.

Sound Manipulation Examples :

 Tuning a Kick

Kick sample is started at 0%, 9, midnight, 3 pm and 100% or 6

Decays a Kick 1 and 2

Tune 12 O’clock

Attack at 0%

Compression at 12o’clock

Snare Tune + Snare Snaps

Taken through six positions and captured

Tune and Compression at 12. Decay at 0
Snare Decay

Tune, Compression and Snap at 12.

Taken through six positions and captured Better Sounds for Beats

Producer’s Edge XC Subscribers have been sent a package containing all the audio samples and kits.

Check your email for download links.

*What’s an XC Subscriber?

Carving out space for Rap Vocals – MIXING TIPS

Sonnox drops some science….

Jonathan Roye at MixNotesTV has again come up with another nice quick tip. In this video he describes how to carve space out of a Hip Hop track for a Rap vocal.

This week I’ve got a quick tip for you. A subtle eq move for mixing rap vocals to a beat or 2 track mix.Throw on some headphones to really check this one out!

To learn more about the Oxford EQ go here:…

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Sounds and Samples review Prime Loops Party Anthems – Electro Synth Sessions-EDM Essentials Progressive

Prime Loops: Samples and Loops review

Party Anthems – Electro Synth Sessions – EDM Essentials Progressive

words by Griffin Avid

Prime Loops hit us with 3 packages this week so we are going to go in and explore what’s on offer in a trifecta of producer tools. Firstly, these are packages in zip file format that are downloaded instantly once your order is placed. After unzipping, you are usually presented with two main folders; one is MacOSX and the other PC. They can be ordered specifically as WAV, Apple Loops, Rex2Loops, Ableton Live packs and as Reason Refills. 24bit, 44100


Prime Loops Party ANthems

Party People Proper Props

Party Anthems ~ $27.80

In sub-folders you’ll receive 44 Basslines, 22 drum loops, 10 synth chords and 47 Synth Leads. Under one shots you also get about a dozen hits of every category including kicks, snares, hats, percs, claps and even a combination of kick and snare layered together. The Vocal FX loops and vocal one-shots (about 8 each) range from the sweeps used in breakdowns to little snippets of vox with delay effects.

The Synth Chords are several bars of a melody ready to be dropped straight into a mix by a live DJ. In the studio, you would need to build counter or additional melodies or use these longer loops with generous effects to add variation. They are straight [No chops] synth lines with the only accents being slight note bendings as if they were played from a touch pad like a KORG Kaossilator, iPad or Moog Voyager. Only a few have alternate versions, as in ‘this one is verse and this one is for choruses.

On both synth chords and Synth Leads, you’ll get BPM and key so working out the rest of the tune won’t be a guessing game. I’m going to suggest Party Anthems as being more pitched towards live DJs and remixers than producer-in-the-studio only because this is an offering of ‘perfect as they are’ elements and they have the polished sheen of effects already added. The drum sounds and one-shots are obviously meant to be added your arsenal of EDM sounds & kits. As a push for someone who creates much of their material from scratch, it would be the mission to change the small elements, like chord stabs or note pitches (a bit of work) or simply be inspired by the melodies and recreate or build off the ideas presented here.


Prime Loops Electro Synth Sessions

Elite Electro Elections

Electro Synth Sessions ~ $26.25


The package starts as three folders of 43 Basslines, 19 combined synth loops (layered mix of bass + synth [more on that later]) and 148 synth loops of chord progressions. The basslines have that signature rezzed-dub-chopper feel that needs little more than a breakdown and backing drums to get you going. There are 8 main bassline groves with 5 or 6 variations. As a producer, you would build your arrangement with these variations and have the main elements of your track already lain out. Nice. The first loop is the main verse type pattern and the following set of loops grows to become more twisted and affected. These 148 loops are based on approximately 13 different foundations. This means you’d have (potentially) 13 different songs with a great number of similar, 2-bar length alternates. In the studio, it would be easy to create your song by stringing these loops together and spending your time on the total arrangement, like breakdowns and other effect (post) processing.

In a live context, this is more about a single song (of yours) being broken down into pieces and triggered on the fly. Although I really love the sound design and quality of the engine behind Electro Synth Sessions, there is a little too much sameness going on across all the loops. It does sound like the same synth patch (with some modifications) was primarily used to create the chord progressions part of the library. That’s good news if you like ANY of the demo samples, but not so good if you were hoping this package would cover your next several releases. Your best bet- would be to buy several different Prime Loop products or space out your release schedule to avoid too similar a sound. There is a third folder called Combined Synth Loops that has, what feels like, a random bassline mixed with a random synth line. I took this folder as a hint as to what is possible when…well…when you combine the loops. To my ear at least, only some of the 19 combined loops sounded useable. The big hint seemed to be what I could do if I were to chop up the different bass and synth loops and re-arranged the parts into my own (totally) original tune.

The bassline loops have a nice range of character. Some are background foundation-type elements that you build on and others stand alone and might be suitable for other genres besides electro if tempo-adjusted. As good as some of those basslines are, I would say the highlights of this package are the 148 chord progression loops. Those are records in the making. Enough said.

Prime Loops EDM Essentials progressive

Foundry of Foundations

EDM Essentials Progressive ~ $20.05

This is a package that offers constructions kits. This would be something close to entire songs broken down into loop-able parts and presented in various folders. You have 20 bass, 10 SFX, 20 Synth loops and also 8 folders of full drum loops- further broken down into isolated kick, snare and hat/perc loops. You also get one-shots of SFX, bass and drums as kits. There isn’t a huge selection of individual hits (between 4 and 8 of each), but it’s enough to sprinkle extra hits in any of the included drum loops to add variation or further add-ons for your growing EDM drum library.

The idea here is pretty straightforward. You can combine different loops and sub-loops from these folders and create your own variations. You can choose to use as little or as much of this library as you see fit. The synth loops are very nice but you only get one exact 2-bar loop so creating variations enough to fill out a whole song is somewhat of a challenge. I consider the music to be suited for bridges, hooks or some kind of drop. A sweep or gate effect could increase the usefulness, but I do wish some of these did have alternate versions.

And so, EDM Essentials Progressive offers some very nice bass and synth lines, but the real prize here are the drum loop elements. They have the potential to be a key piece of ear candy or simply a role player adding support to one of your productions. I would consider this library to be the most universal and adaptable. The term ‘essential’ is appropriate as it speaks to the kind of foundation this series could provide if added to inspire and push you along.

All and Overall

Prime Loops creates a strange paradox and circular relationship with the EDM world. These libraries and offerings are inspired by today’s top records and artists and at the same time provide the foundation for tomorrow’s hits. They come in at such a low price point, it makes sense to grab one when you need a little nudge of inspiration. Each package offers something for every production style and scenario. So far, Prime Loops has found that perfect balance between giving us too much help and supplying enough elements to gently guide an artist towards a creative end. You get to decide whether these are a trail of breadcrumbs, a roadmap or a compass.


Prime Loops extended information

Prime Loops provide award-winning sound libraries, fresh in tune with the evolving music scene. We are an extremely passionate team of engineers, sound designers & DJs, hailing from London, UK. All of our loops, samples, sounds and presets are completely royalty free and have been designed to give you instant inspiration for your music productions, scores, sync projects and a whole lot more!

Big Fish Audio’s 25 Days of Christmas Sale!

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment
big fish audio logo Christmas sale

big fish audio logo Christmas sale

Announcing the Big Fish Audio 25 Days of Christmas Sale! Starting December 1st on each day before Christmas, Big Fish Audio will have four products priced to spread holiday cheer! Save 40% off four new products every day!

The 25 Days of Christmas Sale includes products from our entire catalog. Look for savings on premium virtual instruments and the freshest loop products on our site. No coupon needed. Each set of four products will be on sale for only 24 hours and then we’ll roll out a new set of specials. So check back often and Happy Holidays!



Producer’s Edge Issue 10 Mr Porter

Producer's Edge Issue 10 Mr Porter

Mr Porter is transported. Issue 10

It’s Mr Porter, the producer behind Eminem, D12, Xzibit, Busta Rhymes, Game, Lil’ Kim, Obie Trice, G-Unit and so many more. Before he helped 50 Cent P.I.M.P, he was P.U.M.P.ING up a huge cast of rappers with monster tracks. He’ll take us back to his first placement and help you get to first place. We also have sick feature on Kerry ‘Krucial’ Brothers.

 Also, find out why your next studio secret-weapon might be downloaded from iTunes. This issue is jam-packed with sounds and samples from Big Fish Audio, Bluezone Corporation and Prime Loops

Read the Magazine for FREE here…

Why do so few people wanna be artists ? Drew Spence weighs in

Found this on one of the music forums I am a part of.  I replied.

Will Make Beats for Food

The Passion for Music verse the Pursuit of Profit

I actually WISH that I didnt want to be an artists. Too much effort, chances you will make it is little, spend too much money and might not blow up.

And think about your family. My mom wish that I wanted to go to college and study, but whenever I told her I wonna do music I can just see it in her eyes that she thinks “Your throwing your life away son”. There is just too few people who will ever make it and you have to work really hard to even have a little chance.

Think about when you have a teenage child. Do you really want to see your child lock her/himself in the room making beats all day? Or would you rather have your child go to lawyer/doctor/manager school?

Mostly the following is not particularly aimed at YOU, but you represents many of us pursuing this musical ambition.

Ten reasons why I disagree with that line of thinking:

 1. Wishing you didn’t want to be an artist? Like it’s some uncontrollable passion that guides your life? A joke. It’s an idle thought, just as valid as you saying “I wish I didn’t want to be President of my country, an actor, a doctor, a chess master” etc…..

2. Either you are or you are not. Either you’re an artist or you are not. There is no “Want to be”. Either you are a great artist or you are a poor artist. If you are struggling with technical concerns that prevent your creations from being enjoyable then you are some sort of apprentice- still learning HOW to express yourself in a wholly meaningful way.

 3. Too Much Effort. An artist struggles with themselves. Creativity is centered around a million judgements. Anything that interferes with that process can be farmed out. If it is too much ‘effort to create art’ then you are not any kind of artist. See #2

4. If your struggle is with the business side and “breaking in” the source of your great efforts and pained labor then simply focus on creating and let the world worry about your place in it. Your greatest obstacles can be easily eliminated by a simple mindset adjustment.

5. spend too much money Art requires almost NO MONEY ever to be spent. We can do (A FREE BUDGET) this with EVERY art-form in existence. The problem is that non-artists believe art can be made greater or better by acquiring or using greater or better TOOLS. The process is the same no matter what the level of tools. Precise Tools (which is different from expensive) allow the artist to concentrate on the finer details. The same finer finer details they are only apt to control AFTER mastering their craft.

6. might not blow up That’s never the goal of a true artist. Creating is its own reward.

7. might not blow up Every artist has a goal in mind. Being compensated and recognized for their work is usually one of them. That’s fine. Blowing Up is usually reserved for those who want Success in Excess of their Accomplishments. They want to noodle around with some toys in their bedroom and make millions. They want to have “Fun” being a produca and retire at a young age. They basically want money for almost nothing. That’s the dream and fantasy. You want to BE LUCKY. Be at the right place at the right time and meet the right person, say the right thing have the right 99 cent beat.

8. might not blow up no one ever imagines themselves being worthy of DEMANDING THEIR COMPENSATION and that being worth millions. YOU GO FIRST and accomplish the kind of stuff that makes you and your art/music WORTHY of millions. You always imagine it being GIVEN TO YOU- never REPAID TO YOU. What? Imagine making 4 or 5 big accomplishments FIRST and then restating what you are worth as opposed to someone else making your art worth supporting. But alas, no one wants to actually work hard without some kind of GUARANTEE of being paid. Which is what this meant: you have to work really hard to even have a little chance

9. You have no idea what it is to do art for a living. It is not the same when you have exact expectations, timelines and pressure. There is no ‘mental block’, turn on the XBox and try again tomorrow. There is no “I made 12 beats today” You need useable music for whatever your industry is- and useable means that they WILL BE USED. You are no longer creating for yourself, you are trying your best to create for others. It’s your JOB to please others so any thoughts of making ART needs to go out the window. And you will not have the energy or ability to do both. You will find that ‘your own stuff’ takes a back seat to what is commercially viable.

10. Do you really want to see your child lock her/himself in the room making beats all day? If that’s what they enjoyed doing, yes. Suppose my kid wanted to stay outside and play all day- as opposed to staying in his room and studying? Would that be okay? Should there be balance? Of course, but if I ever saw any kind of obsessive inclination I would support it. Maybe convert the den, garage or shed into a studio or make a skating ramp or basketball court or…or….

Or would you rather have your child go to lawyer/doctor/manager school? There are people on both sides of the fence. People making tons of money, but hating what they do and people doing their art with no money that are miserable. Happiness is about time management. How much or the ratio of doing what you like to do and doing what you don’t like to do. Minimize the boring, arduous and tedious- Maximize the engaging, fun and awesome. That’s life. That’s relationships. That’s the universe.

As far as money goes, you can basically have and do anything you want in life- it’s just that you may not be in the position you envisioned when it happens- and you may squander those perfect moments trying too hard to decide how your life is truly meant to go. Some people limit their creativity by looking at their resources and some use their creativity to increase their resources.

Look at what a person goes through to become a doctor.

1. The HOURS spent studying.

2. The loans and inve$tment in medical school.

3. The mental capacity to survive those LONG WORK HOURS

4. And it’s even a cut-throat hospital system too. Lots of politics there too.

You get a lot of money but you get even more RESPECT. Why? Because your “job” is making people’s lives more enjoyable- sometimes even extending their lives.

You would get that from music too- if your aim was to make art that impacted peoples lives. If you were doing more than seeking to be rewarded for your musical luck.

Would mom be happy if you were a world famous musician? Would she respect and love you if your art was respected and loved by the world? Yes. But your goal(s) are materialistic things. Things you could get being a manager, a consultant, a stock broker or any other job that pays well, but no one cares about.

Imagine what you could accomplish in music if you pursued it like any other professional who considers their work to be ART.

-Drew Spence, Editor in Chief Producer’s Edge Digital Magazine

I say stuff

Producer’s Edge Magazine Issue 09 Special Holidaze FALL 2011

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment
Producer's Edge Issue 09 Cover Happy Holidaze

Are you Naughty or Nice with it?

Producer’s Edge Digital Magazine Issue 09 has dropped. This is a special Holidaze themed issue. It’s all about the giving and the getting- – ready to have a productive 2012 and beyond. We’ll rewind with tips for making better beats and finding your signature sound. By the end we’ll know if you’ve been Naughty or Nice.

Xtra Content Subscribers do not need to download any of the FREE content inside this issue. You will be getting every item included in your normal Issue Download Package. Check your email. This issue’s Download is 1 Gig in size and can be purchased separately.

This issue’s package contains samples from:

Big Fish Audio Southern Grilin

Big Fish Audio Grind Mode R&B

Big Fish Audio The Crate Ultimate Urban Samples

Big Fish Audio Beatage

Visit Big Fish Audio

Enjoy the Holidaze Season and be safe, full of sound and productive.

-Drew Spence, Editor in Chief Producer’s Edge Magazine.

Issuu Producer’s Edge issue 09 Holidaze Special

Subscribe to the Producer’s Edge Downloads

READ PREVIOUS ISSUE or BUY their Downloads

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D.A. The Future is Now! Rapper turns front man and wins In the Groove’s Battle of the Bands

December 4, 2011 2 comments

D.A. The Future is Now!

Rapper turns front man and wins In the Groove’s Battle of the Bands.

DA Future and ADD after performance

The band backstage and back walled

We have recently been extolling the virtues of adding live musicians in to your production system. The idea of having live instruments mixed in with your electronic and sampled foundation is nothing new to our music. While most producers are content to have samples replayed, there is a whole ‘nother universe behind working off of a live chemistry. On the Rapper’s side, there is the idea of performing a show to something other than the stale and unchanging dat-tape or worse, performing on top of their own record. As part of this new identity, D.A, The Future,  a young and up-coming rapper, has embraced the idea of adding a full band [A.D.D. = Always Determined & Dedicated] behind his sound. Chapter one begins with winning a Battle of the Bands in Long Island City New York.

D.A. The Future Jams for In The Groove

The Band jams

You knew things would be different once the host did the roll call and asked “Is long Island in the house?” and the place roared. The performance was tight and solid. To be honest, it might have been over once D.A. hit the stage. He came to win. The band played to win and so they did. It was a four song set, including “It’s all so Clear” and “I’m addicted to You”. DJ Shuttle worked the wheels and did the hype-man honors while interacting with D.A. The crowd participation was brand new and fresh – it was actually very …Churchy. Yeah, there was a lot of stomping of the feet and hand waving- all while rocking.

D.A. The Future performs at a Battle of the Bands in Long Island City New York

In the Groove meets the Future

Judges panel at In The Groove Battle of the Bands

Jordan, Jamiee and Jake "I hold the microphone like a judge"

Ali from Scarlet Fade hosts the Battle

Ali moves the crowd and moves things along

The host and judges for the night have a band of their own (Scarlet Fade) and are all related- yeah, some kind of 2012 Partridge Family. Ali, the host, kept it moving between sets and Jordan, Jaimee and Jake struck the perfect balance between showing natural emotions and critiquing the performances. They offered helpful comments to the bands and left each group feeling like they won for simply being there. The judges took note of DAs’ commanding presence, the power of Shea’s voice (they all mentioned her standout talent) and the killer violinist [Classique]. They never saw anyone play the violin and jam-on-it like an electric guitar.

Afterward it was something to eat next to the 5 Points and we took time to honor the legend. Kings from Queens indeed. Congratulations to D.A. The Future and everyone that helped make this win possible. The event was sponsored by Local recording studio Tonic Couture, the musician’s one stop shop Sam Ash and New England’s School of Groove.

Jam Master Jay Graf in the 5 Points

Legendary DJ Jam master Jay is immortalized

Afterwards Words

While I was there, I connected with another band called Johnny Hirsch. They play all over the city and sound like a mix between Steely Dan and Jamiroquai.

Johnny Hirsch band

Johnny Hirsch bands together

As we got to talking, they asked me “What do you play?” and I said “Um..everything. I’m more of a producer who…” and it dawned on me- about how much we really are a one-man-band. Now of course, I’ve been around for a minute and play a bunch of instruments (horribly), so I’m NOT suggesting you go out and take lessons for four different instruments, but I am saying respect their nature enough to study the musical context and consider the idea of bringing in a true player instead of noodling around on your keyboard for every instrument. I think D.A. is forever changed by the experience of performing in front of a band and I think every producer will be changed for the better when you unlock your own musicianship by influencing and being influenced by actual players.

There is a great article by Phil Clendennin in Producer’s Edge [Issue 04 Teddy Riley Page 32] that touches on voicing traditional instruments in our workstation keyboards. It’s really a great read. Here’s my parting shot: Next time you’re in the studio creating a joint, try turning your room into a stage and see what happens. Stay Productive.

Drew Spence Producer’s Edge Magazine