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Drew Spence Interview and Fallout Shelter Music in Rapper’s Delite Magazine

December 28, 2011 1 comment

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.

Read this issue

Rapper’s Delite Magazine the Original Sugarhill Gang

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.

And thanks to Producers Corner

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 from Producer’s Edge Magazine (+ Free Sounds from Big Fish Audio)

November 24, 2011 2 comments

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 from Producer’s Edge Magazine

D.A. Da Future and Shea practice for a show

Clap yo hands, stomp your feet

Live and Direct

 

Sometimes I feel like a pastor trying to come up with a sermon when I try to connect my recent experiences or encounters into a meaningful theme. But it hit me this morning when I got up. See, I spent last night watching a live band rehearse a few numbers. They are preparing for a battle of the bands coming up on December 3rd. I was invited by Shea the Doll, who worked with me on the Domino Grey albums and D.A. the Future;  a skillful rapper making a big impact in my city. They needed a guitarist with both Soul and Rock so I called Jennifer Campbell from Issue 08 DJ Premier, Summer of Synths [http://issuu.com/producersedge/docs/pe_issue08_dj_premier] and in a few minutes a brand new member, with his electric guitar, walked into the session. Thanks Jen!

At first, the vibe was very studio-like and controlled- like practice-through repetition. Their band leader Curt, wanted more emotion and jamming and for everyone to loosen up. It wasn’t happening until the band started talking in-between run-throughs. Once they connected on a personal level, they were able to connect as a band.

D.A. the future and the band jam out

D.A. the future and the band jam out

Shea teh Doll and D.A. the Future work out ideas

Not every idea sounds good to the band.

Okay, here am me thoughts:

At times, our one-man-army production flow can become a dry and static experience. You rotate from instrument sound to instrument sound, never taking on the persona of someone who would be PLAYING THAT INSTRUMENT. Yeah, that’s a cool bassline, but no bass player would play the same pattern for the entire track. Same for all the other elements in your track, except maybe the person with the cowbell, who’s dating the main cat or his manager or the non-musician buddy. Where was I?

As (beat creating) producers taking on the huge task of creating all the music ourselves, we need to consider the Dynamics of Interplay the next time we construct a track. You might be saying: “Well shoot Drew Spence aint you about to give us a bunch of loops from Big Fish Audio- what a contradiction?!”

No, not really, there are numerous means of manipulating your samples into motion and adding life to your tracks.

1. Chop those loops. Avoid just using the 4 parts of intro, verse, bridge and hook and create subtle variations. Yes you can do more than double the snare.

2. Use effects (a slight EQ increase or decrease) to accent the drums for the hook or a huge change in Q at transition points.

3. Learn to modulate your bassline, over time, to create a light sweep over several measures.

4. When laying down drums from a sampled break beat, use additional versions of the different hits and avoid using only 1 snare, 1 kick and 1 hat element from an otherwise varying drum loop sample.

5. When creating drums from multi-sample pack, lay down the same pattern with different velocities so you have the same drums recorded at different intensity levels.

6. If you are creating from a limited palette, you can actually swap out drum elements. More than just swapping out the snare for a stick, you can trade between similar snares. I know you had a second choice for snare in that folder.

7. Instead of pattern recording, you know, tick tick tick of the metronome for 4 or 8 bars- try letting the track play and jamming over it for …well, until the track runs out. Use different areas to create longer loops instead of a short, repetitious perfect take.

8. Turn off that quantize. nuff said.

9. When creating different loops or manipulating loops, choose new defining names- instead of intro, bridge and hook, think about “verse with more energy”, “hook and louder hook” You get the idea.

10. And finally; try adding a traditional musician into your mix. A live player will give you energy to feed off of and if you roll with a drummer, you can experience tempo changes as a way to control the feel of a track.

Usually at the end of a sermon they pass the plate, instead, I’m hitting you with some free sounds from our good friends over at Big Fish Audio. Don’t forget to take advantage of their Thanksgiving sale and also support the companies that support us. Have a good Turkey day. Keep producing, keep creating.

-Drew Spence Producer’s Edge Magazine

Happy Holidays from the staff at PE Mag 2011

Big Fish Audio presents The Crate Ultimate Urban Samples $99.95

http://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?512593#

Come discover a goldmine of pure and raw Hip Hop and R&B samples. You won’t find any construction kits here, but only the finest urban loops and hits around for your sampling pleasure. At nearly seven gigabytes of content, you’re sure to find new and inspiring material every time you start digging through this massive library. You’ll find everything here from over 2,000 amazing drum hits to guitar loops, orchestral hits, sound effects, and a whole lot more. In total there are over 6,000 individual loops and hits in this collection. Choose between the 24-bit WAV version or the 16-bit WAV version to suit your need. So come get yo samplin’ on with Big Fish Audio’s “The Crate: Ultimate Urban Samples”.

Subscriber’s Link to FREE SAMPLES

http://www.ProducersEdgeMagazine.com/GriffinAvid/2011Thanksgiving.zip

Happy Thanksgiving from Big Fish Audio

25% OFF all orders of $199 or more

 http://www.producersedgemagazine.com/ 

Read about a Battle of the Bands in New York on Dec 3rd

 

Rapper’s Delite Magazine. Producer’s Edge has a new sister!

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

http://rappersdelite.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/read-the-new-issue-of-rappers-delite-magazine-now/

Producer’s Edge has sister publication dedicated to rappers, hip hoppers and lovers of lyric.

Rapper’s Delite Magazine

http://www.rappersdelite.com/

Rapper's Delite Issue 01 Cover MC Lyte

The first issue and the Lady of Lyte

This is issue 01 of Rapper’s Delite Magazine. Fall 2011.  Cover Story: MC Lyte.  Features Naughty by Nature’s Kay Gee, Swollen Members, Keith Murray and Canibus as The Undergods, Trick Daddy and Ed O G. & Masta Ace.  We even explore building your own Voltron.    A must read for all rap artists and fans alike!

________

The Editor in Chief Rocker is Will Loiseau.

Check out their page and Group on FaceBook.