Archive for the ‘All Blogs’ Category

Breaking Boundaries pt. 4 (maybe last)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Not much to tell this time. Zitto liked what i had done, he only had one complaint, he wanted the piano in the chorus to sustain more, this was an easy, but time consuming job, as i rerecorded each chorus.

Then i made the break, we did discuss it for quite sometime and for once i wasn’t trying to stick to any familiar ground, Zitto wanted to make a classic rap break beat, drums and bass, nothing else. I wanted to make a more melodic break. We went back and forth, reference tracks and citing adjectives. In the end i agree with his point that it would create more tension, releasing in one last chorus.

That’s all the stuff i did, normally i would continue with doing an instrumental mix, but since i’m really out of my area here i decided not to. This however means that there will be no more updates, until we have finished recording, if we finish. While i would love to promise a finished track, i can’t, Zitto is a bit of a scatter brain and while it can really drive my nuts sometimes, fact is he works best that way, had this been a group effort i could have continue where he left of, but in this case i can’t it’s a very personal project for him. This also means that he can choose not to finish it, course he don’t want it released. While i don’t thinks that’s gonna happen, i could certainly understand it.

Here are the maybe last preview as well as the others, since i noticed the links was broken in the other posts.

First Preview

Second Preview

Third preview

Breaking Boundaries pt. 3

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Not a lot have happened since the last entry in terms of sound really, the most drastic change have been transposing the Piano to a higher octave, partly to make sure i got room for a big bass sound (Zitto’s no. 1 complaint is that i’m to stenchy when it comes to bass), personally i liked the other better, but this is not my personal project. The track is now a 4 bar intro, which is basically what you heard last time, except the higher piano, a 8 bar chorus and a 8 bar verse.

The first trouble i ran into was with the bass, now don’t get me wrong i like bass as much as the next guy, but i’m very conservative with it, stuff kills you know. I knew from the start what i wanted, a real bass player either mic’ed up with amp and all or if necessary DI’ed and runned through an amp sim. Zitto wanted a synth bassline ala the kind you hear in House and Trance. I chose the most diplomatic route i could and found a standard House bass loop, he quickly heard that it was wrong. I then ran into more trouble with my idea, since the only bass player, i know, is a metal kind of guy and had no way of making a good bassline for this track. We where at an crossroad i been at many times before, do i go for my loop library and find a suiting loop or do i go from my soft samplers and synth and start hunting for a patch and then work out an bassline. I did what i thought best and called it quits for the day, this might sound stupid, but we had been working hard and the bass was not worked out to a point where there was anything that could fade.  When work resumed i started by trying to lay down a RnB bassline myself, didn’t work, so i did something i normally try to avoid and went into my loop library and found a bass i really liked. I also by a happy accident stumbled upon a cymbal loop that was just awesome, at least to me ears as it didn’t sound like any cymbal i had heard, at least not enough to know the sound (i also made sure to cut a sample of it for my drum library). It along with a hihat loop (which was used in the verse instead) was also pulled in.  I laid down some hihats for the chorus and moved on.

The verse was somewhat easy i had found two loops begging to be part of the track, an EP and a Flute, i chose to mute the piano from the chorus and keep the bass, that along with the hihat has made the verse so far. I plan to add a synth pad to it and perhaps also the chorus, but have chosen that it can wait.

Of course none of these things are sure, since Zitto haven’t heard it yet, so it could all change tomorrow or he could love it so much.

Sadly this project is taking a direction towards being more assembling loops then play it in myself, something that i always dislike, but especially here, since i want to learn the most i can from this project and thus impart it onto you. However this isn’t a teaching project, it was never meant to be.  It’s first and foremost Zitto’s track, it’s main job is giving him something he can expose his soul over, not teach me how to make RnB style hiphop and sadly nor to let me impart any knowledge at all, this blog only exist because Zitto allowed me to write it and for that i owe him at least not to sacrifice it in the name of learning.

Here is an Audio Preview as it is, i haven’t done much, if anything in terms of clarifying the different instrument, so it’s a bit mushy i know.

Maria

Breaking Boundaries pt. 2

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Lot of stuff been happening since the last entry.  A lot of it had nothing to do with this project, except taking my time away from it. When i finally got a moment to work on it, guess what. Yeah the project file had corrupted and i couldn’t get it to load the back-up neither. Imagine the pain I felt as i concluded there was no saving what little effort i had done. Of course being used to set-backs, like anybody else in music, i started over. I could somewhat remember what i had done on the project and had a recreation ready pretty quick, and then it happen again. Total block, no idea what to do, no clue as to how it should sound. I started a massive research session, reading up on relevant music theory and played LL Cool J for hours. After some time i got an idea for the bass, however as everything else on this project, that took me about an hour to get right, for just a four bar loop. Today i showed Zitto my progress, he liked the bass and the drums, but felt it was a bit to “funny” as a whole, don’t ask me what he meant, i sure as hell wasn’t laughing. So we began something we have done on many projects discussing how it should sound, and like all the other times we did this, it was a very circular discussion, he said he wanted a bit of Ludacris in it, i pointed out that, it was limited how much Ludacris one could include in a LL type track, without changing the feel. Then he showed me some examples of synth leads he liked, i tried to incorporate them, but it sounded awfull. I suggested that we kept stuff somewhat limited to either Funk or Electro style RnB, he agreed and said he felt that what we had wasn’t smooth enough.

After about an hour and a half of this, we agree to start from scratch, i deleted my hard work with no mercy or remorse. As much as it may sound counterproductive, sometimes you need to kill things off, before they get out of hand.

Our new start did help, after showing each other a couple of reference tracks, we agreed on one very crucial thing. We both wanted it to sound like a mix of LL cool J and Big Pun’s “Still Not A Player” with the latter suppling the base of the track, more specific, we both wanted the piano line (Which is originally sampled from Brenda Russel’s “A Little Bit Of Love” after listening to it for a couple of time, i worked out a similar, but not exact copy of the part Pun had sampled, so i laid it down, it’s basic, but great. We also got to work on some basic drums, while he wanted to go with a more complex groove, i did convince him to base it of a simple Boom Bap groove, this is how most of the reference tracks was done and it’s the base of almost all grooves i know, from old school rap, to crunk,  even some rock songs are based on this. Next job was finding the right drums, this was a breeze, with a library of drum samples like mine, it didn’t take long to find a set of nice RnB style drums. We layed down a simple boom bap, we did hit a bit of a snag getting it as dynamic as we wanted, but it was only a matter of doing a couple of takes before we got it.

The biggest development was however not done on the instrumental side, but on the vocals. I have successfully convinced Zitto to rap instead of singing. Now i love Zitto, he’s my brother, i lived with him for months and every time something have blown up in my face, he been there for me, but regardless of my feelings, dude just can’t sing. Where he to sing, he would be at the mercy of my abilities with Cubase’s pitch correction plug-in, and that’s just not good enough to do the track justice, even if he managed to keep it somewhat in key, any small mistake, would be a hit or miss deal as far as correcting them. I want this track to be at it’s best, i know it means a lot to him, so i had been trying from day one to get him to rap. The crazy thing is, that while he can’t hold a tune well enough to sing, he is great at achieving a nice smooth flow that would make LL Cool J jealous, so why he originally wanted to sing is beyond me.

That’s basically the progress for this time, i realize that it might seem like i have taken over the project, not letting Zitto get his will at times, but i’m functioning as the producer of this track as well. It’s my job to lead the track in the creative direction, that i feel is most appropriate. Under normal circumstances, i would let him do a lot of hit-and-misses, letting him come to conclusions, which most often have been i was right, not because i’m better at it then him, but he is vested in the process, i can look from the outside in, i got nothing wasted, at most some time on a never going to be finished beat, but that’s just raw material for another project. However this is not normal, he had never been so focused on one project and while the focus have done away with many problems we normal have (dude has never been good at deadlines or keeping up with appointments and schedules, this is not a problem on this project). However being more focused, he is also more vested in the project and more ignorant to other angles.

Now here is the four bar loop that’s going to make the base of the song, I have only moved the piano a bit right and done some quick balancing, so it’s not at it’s full potential, it is however illustrative of our work so far.
Maria Preview

Hope you have enjoyed this

Nitten.

Breaking Boundaries or “ya want me to make whaat??” Pt 1

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I was approached by my partner in rhyme a couple of days ago, he looked me straight in the eye and said “Can you make me a RnB style joint, like some LL Cool J or Nelly type of thing”. Now if you aren’t as shocked as i was, let me tell you, that this cat grew up with me and on the same music as i did, the closest we ever got to Nelly and LL was a Game line about forgetting a LL line and using “girl give me some head” instead, so it was pretty crazy that he all of a sudden wanted to do RnB. Still our band contract states that any member are allowed to do whatever solo project they want, as long as it’s not hurting the group as a whole, which i don’t think we can bust him on in this case (after all he didn’t say he wanted to make elevator muzak).

I asked him a bit about why, turns out he want to make a song to his girl, can’t say i blame him, they been together a couple of years and are talking marriage, which of course is the bud of a lot of jokes. I agreed to give it a go, having never done something like this before, i never made anything but hiphop tracks, i have taking inspiration from other genres (like everybody else in hiphop), but there is still a lot of ground between that and actually making a track in another genre. We started out by finding a nice loop in Soul Treasure to get something to start on, then he split, i tried out some rhodes, but gave up.

Today i got down to business again, i started working some drums bass and acoustic guitars, i’m really out where i can’t swim here, it’s about 4 in the morning, i been working for about 3 hours on the track, and got about as much done as i normally do in a half hour.

So basically i got the idea to make a series of blogs following the progress (or lack off) during this particular project. I hope that i can show you a few do’s and probably a lot of don’t when out of your comfort zone, something that i think is important to do.

I will upload audio in the next part, for now you are just going to take my word, that it isn’t worth hearing at this point.

Wish me luck.

Nitten

A Primer – Lyrics

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I been putting of writing about lyrics, first off because of the enormous contribution to the topic made by Doug Shaw on Studio-Central, a contribution i can’t even begin to match. Secondly my original idea was to write a long essay on the topic, based on the many things i use when writing lyrics. I still plan on doing that, but it’s too big a task for me now, i plan on do it in the summer after my exams. For now you get a bit of basic stuff, kind of a primer on what’s in store when i get the big one done. Hope you enjoy it.

The angle

I have and always will believe, that any topic can be come a great piece of lyric, even something as basic and ordinary as a traffic jam. The thing about it is hitting the right angle, naturally there is now universal right or wrong here, so first thing first:

What do you want to achieve? Don’t answer write a great lyric about [insert the topic at hand], you need to know first of how you want people to feel or do; do you want them to think, laugh, respect you, fear you, love you or want you. This is your goal, achieve it and the lyrics will be good (how to write great lyrics is a bit more complicated, be patient). So write it down.

Okay now we got a goal and a topic, these to are the base of you lyrics. The angle you use depends on the goal, you want people to laugh, use a funny angle, want them think about it, use a descriptive angle leaving the conclusion up to them, you get the picture.

Now once you got your goal topic and angle outlined, you got all you need to write good lyrics. You don’t need to have everything specified into details, these will come along as you progess.

Now lets look at great lyrics.

Know your audience

It’s impossible to write lyrics everybody will see as great, as with anything else, therefore it’s very important that you get to know your audience.

Let’s for a second forget about music and talk communication in general.

I spend almost three years studying this, and the first thing you learn is this model of communication.

Sender–>Message–> Receiver.

That’s the most basic model of communication there is. It’s important to note that the sender (you) means the receivers image of you, not the reality, if they think you are a gangster, you are a gangster in this connection, even if you never broken a law.

You however got control how the receivers see you, the way you form your message, the pics and bio on your myspace, how you act and what you say is what create this image and while you don’t have total control, you are in control of the biggest factors in this connection.

The message is in this connection your lyrics, or rather the topic and the goal of them. You form it in verses and choruses lines and words, here you are totally in control.

The receivers are the factor you got the least control over, while you can target certain groups of people, you can never actual now whether or not you actually succeeded before the song is out, there for it’s important not only to know the people you want, but also what other groups might contribute with some listeners and how they think, this is crazy some times, and can be almost impossible to do effective, but try to learn who listens to your music in general and how they relate to your message, take this into consideration when forming the message.

Form and content

First thing first, you need to find a matching form, to your content (Topic, and goal), your already got the base of your form, that’s the angle, build upon it, a fun angle should lead to a fun form. Using multiple rhymes wordplays etc. and putting them in focus is one way to work towards this, while these may still exist in more serious lyrics, they are often understated and/or less in focus. How you phase things, metaphors and similarities are also parts of the form

Making the form your own

This is the same principal as presented by Tweak in his article about inspiration, naturally you probably already do this in terms of taking parts of other people’s style when you write lyrics and when you rap/sing them, however few people realize how they can use literature and the genre’s within it. Let me show you an example.

Lyric in symbolism (which has nothing to do with musical lyric as such) is a certain style of writing poems, this is a style of writing that deals with beauty in a whole new way at the times (around the end of the 1800s). Instead of dealing with high society, the golden literature is washed out in the gutter, it’s has it’s roots in Paris and Baudelaire’s writings. Baudelaire deals with the lowest classes of society, the prostitutes, drunks and homeless, and considered the artist a prostitute in it self. He finds beauty in the ugly. This lyric portraits the world as cold, shut and dark, while in glints reveal the beauty and light within, it often contains a animal-like lust. The style is erotic without being vulgar, it’s teasing, but never really reveals the true content, that is for the reader to find. I’ll be honest, yeah i love this genre.

Now the most obvious example is to take something similar in content, like a song about the groupie you slept with last night. Now instead of the usual we fucked for three hours and then her friend joined style lyrics, learn from the symbolists, this is not an easy way to write, you need to get into the head of your audience and figure out how to hint what happened, without letting it out.

That’s the simple version, but the great thing is you can apply the same principal to any kind of lyrics, even about a traffic jam if you want to.

I hope you can use this, even though it’s a not a lot. I will write the big one, but you’ll have to wait.

One last thing i want to say: Don’t overthink it, you don’t have to follow the rules here everytime, you don’t have to write like the symbolists or any other genre, but i hope i somehow have written something you can use.

Nitten

Nittens trackmaking recipe No. 1

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

This is one of my recipes, got a few of them and i usually mix and match them to the task at hand.

I hope this will give new guys a starting place, and give more advancer guys a few new ideas

This is a very general guide, and there are a million ways to rome, but i hope you at least will get a little out of this.

Prologue

I’ve been asked about when to add effects, and since this is related to this topic i’ll give you my view on this: If it’s part of how the instrument (sampler/synth/real whatever you use) it should doing the recording of that instrument. For example if you are using a electric bass in Kontakt, you want to add an amp from Guitar Rig to it to get the sound you looking for, you should find it and set it up before recording the bass, it doesn’t have to be that kind of effects though, let’s say you want the kick drum to sound over-compressed, i would set the compressor before recording here to. If we are talking effects that are not part of the sound of any instrument, but used on the track in general or to make stuff fit so to speak, i would add this in the mixing phase of things. That been said, if you get a cool idea afterwards, like using a specific amp model after you record the bass, of course you add it, but if you know you want it on the bass from the start, don’t wait till after production to add it, you might forget or ruin your flow while mixing.

The First Step – Chaos

Grab a cup of coffee (or whatever fuels you), fire up your DAW, MPC or whatever you use, lock the door and sit back. Alright now start with what you got, for this blog we assume it’s a basic kick snare groove, lay it down in a 4 bar pattern, add hats, percussion, toms and cymbals until it feels right. Time for the bass, simple or complex, electric,  acoustic or synth, whatever fits the bill, try out a few different ones. Once you got the bassline down take a 2 minute brake, check your mail or refill the coffee, now press play, does it feels right, if not get back to working on it. If it fits it’s time to move on, make a chorus of 8 bars and a 16 bars verse, make a few changes to both drums and bass. Now they are done get creative, load up the sampler and chop little riff or brake up, add a string section, a piano what ever. Don’t think about whether the stuff fits together, matter of fact press solo before recording, just lay it down, don’t think just do, make the stuff sound good alone, but don’t think about them together just yet embrace the chaos, i will tell you why in step 2. Make a brake, í usual just keep the bass and the drums, maybe add a bit of this and that, all depends. Make a intro and outro, a cool trick is to reverse the intro for the outro, bounce it to .wav, load it and press reverse, makes a cool effect.

All right now press play and listen, don’t think about how it sounds yet.

Reward Brake

Now it’s time for a brake, take at least 2 hours if it’s past 8 P.M. you will be better of putting it of till tomorrow. First however give yourself a reward, something that really makes you feel good, a cool beer, a piece of chocolate cake, whatever your guilty pleasure is it’s alright.

Step 2 – The clean up marathon

Okay back to work, press play again, now it’s time to get some order in the chaos, but first here’s way you shouldn’t do this before, when we trying to make stuff fit together well in creation, we may limit ourself to stuff we normal hears together, this shouldn’t happen, now we got a lot of stuff that sounds good alone, but not together. Don’t bang your head, instead start thinking, maybe keep the string section and the synth lead, maybe if i use a sitar instead of the guitar it will work maybe if i tune the chop a few semitones, maybe if i rewrite the piano line, you are going to ask a lot of maybes here, try them all, take a few brakes now and then. Save everything you aren’t gonna use either as MIDI or audio, you never know when you gonna want to use it. That isn’t really that much to this step, the proceed is almost the same as step one, but with the whole in mind this time, it’s gonna take a lot of time, a marathon of deleting, muting, editing, playing, changing instruments and scream at yourself, don’t give up, you may end with 20 tracks less or 20 more, it doesn’t matter as long as it sounds good. When done you should have a intro, outro, a chorus, a brake and a verse, now copy verse and chorus one time, so it goes chorus, verse, chorus, verse, then add the brake after the last verse, add a verse or a chorus after the brake, then the outro, now you got a basic arrangement done with two or three identical verses and chorus, a brake, an intro and an outro, now press play, it’s still a bit messy but not chaotic.

Reward Brake

Same rules as the first one enjoy.

Step 3 – Changes

Make section unique, add a bar of that synth pad you just deleted in part 2 in one of the verses (that’s why we save them). Move the Bassline a semitone down in chorus 2, that kind of things, changing drum patterns a bit from section to section. Use random quantize on the hihats, make every section it’s own. You can go extreme or subtle here, the project will tell you what to do. I find that subtle changes works best in chorus 1 and 2 same for verse 1 and 2. For the chorus or verse after the brake you might want to be more extreme, however there is no rules in being creative, the track will tell you what’s right.

Reward brake

Step 4 - Arrangement

You might have been wondering why you should make a whole arrangement, when not every song has all the sections, well here’s why: Now you got them, should you need them. Now it’s time to decide, is this a straight cypher 16 bar beat, or a complex song with it all, do you need 3 chorus or none, how many verses is the right amount and should they all be 16 bars. should verse 2 be 20 and verse 1 be 8, is the brake right, do you need one should you just fade out after verse 2, are the intro right, will it be better to extend the first verse and fade in, how about the outro, will fading out over the last chorus be better. This is a hard one, remember the rules in step 2 anything you are deleting you save, both the individual parts and the section as a whole (makes for great chopping later). In other aspects this is a lot like step 2, deleting, muting and kicking yourself, keep at it and you will come out with something great.

Reward brake

Step 5 – Rough mixers

This step isn’t too creative, make a rough mix of the beat, make sure each part is audible and somewhere near where you think it should be, i tend not to think to much about this step, usually i can get by here with some panning EQ’ing and setting the levels. This is not a finale mix, so you shouldn’t worry about bringing out all potential here, the idea is just to give the vocalist an idea of where the instrumental side of things is heading, so no need to spend to much time. Of course it need to be somewhat intelligently done here, but don’t worry about whether the bass’s level should be -10, -12 or -15, just put it in the ballpark. I never felt it was necessary to go into reverb, compressing or what ever here, but you might, just keep in mind that you risk loosing any momentum if you go to deep here. One thing i do here, if i’m making the track solely for myself is monitor using my headphones, i know i shouldn’t mix with headphones, but here’s why: I know that i use this headphones when recording the vocals, i know i use them when i write the lyrics, this mix want have to translate to anything, just my headphones, it can make this step a bit easier, so if you are in this position, (and only IF you are), i find this a great way of keeping up momentum. If somebody else is going to be the vocalist, this is where you send them the “finished” beat.

Reward brake

Double time here.

Step 6 – Lyrics

I’m not going to go deep here, i’ll write another blog on this subject, basically you want to write lyrics that fits the beat here.

Reward brake

Step 7 – Recording vocals

Again i’m not going deep here, there is a great article in the guide on this, and countless posts on SC about the technical site of things here, so read them. However the most important parameter here is the vocalist and their performance, so make sure they are motivated and comfortable, never criticizes a take, make sure they got refreshments, if they ask for a little brake give them one, listen to the takes meanwhile. Never delete a take keep it should need to compile a take afterwards, they might also make good doubles. Don’t saturate the performance, once you are sure you got what you need move on, unless the vocalist ask for another take. If possible the artist might like a reverb and compressor in the monitor chain, most sequencers can do this and even if it means you are gonna get it to, put it on, just remember to bypass when you are judging takes. After the recording you might need to compile sections from the different takes you got of this, also double parts if you feels it’s right.

Reward brake

Step 7,5 – Can i still change thing

Of course you can, while it may seem counter productive, it’s entirely possible to change anything up to the point where you release the track.

Step 8 – Post-production

Again i ask you to go to the guide and SC for technical advice here. I wasn’t originally going to include this step for two reasons: one i wanted this to be about the creative side of things, not sound quality and two it’s far beyond me to give any useful general advice that isn’t covered in the guide and SC. The only thing i really want to bring to your attention is that you should use your network here. While professionals is the best choice here, not many of us got the budget to send every track to the pros for mixing and mastering, however most of us might know a home studio guy who is better then us in one of these, so maybe you can get them to do it for less the pros. Even if you can’t afford that you might be able to get them to sit in on it with you guiding you, or just listen to what you done and recommend changes.  After you are all done, do something special something you almost never do, spoil yourself a bit you earn it.

Musings on good and appropriate

Let’s be honest here, most gear in the mid, high-mid price range are good. If you add price into it even a lot of low end stuff is at least decent. So why do we spend time and money research and investing in different preamps, effects, microphones and so on.  Because we are looking for preamps effects and microphones that are appropriate to what we do, this may be on a general scale as a go to piece of gear or for something more specific if we got the basics down. The thing is, when you start out and you get something not appropriate, you might think it’s a bad piece of kit. This leads to nothing good, so think about it, maybe it just wasn’t an appropriate choice. After some time, you realize the difference, between bad gear and gear that just not appropriate. Of course there is a third parameter in this; do you know how to use the piece of gear.

That’s all from me.

Happy Holiday

Nitten

General musing and ramblings from Nitten

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Well I got nothing better to do, and seeing it’s been a while since i last wrote a blog, i figured i might as well write one.

This blog have no subject, but hopefully will touch a few notes you might take with you. I’m basically just going to write about what ever studio related topics that jumps into my head, it might become a bit confusing although i will try to keep some structure in my writing.

Talent and skill

A question i been asked a million times about my dream of becoming a pro audio engineer is: “Aren’t you afraid you aren’t talented enough?”

My answer is: “No because i know i can become skilled enough.”

For this to make any sense, you need to know that i see talent as a ability to learn certain things quickly and easy (i.e. if you are talented at playing the guitar, then you aren’t going to have a hard time learning to play a guitar, as opposed to somebody, who aren’t talented). I see skill as the actual ability to do something (i.e. a skilled guitar player knows how to play the guitar).

My point is that no matter how hard it might be, you can learn, and if you really want to learn, you will. Dedication is the name of the game, if you are really dedicated, talent won’t matter and skill will come.

However i noticed that people often are dedicated in fields, where they are talented, maybe it’s nature maybe talent (by my definition at least) is somehow tied to dedication. The good thing is that we all got the potential to become truly skilled.

Of course i know that i’m not guaranteed to become a pro, first of you need to be somewhat lucky, it’s not exactly a big open industry, then there are connections, networks and all sorts of things, not related to audio engineering, that play a part, and of course the old proverb probably holds true: “There is always someone better out there.” I’m not scared that i might not succeed, i want to give it a chance, and as long i know i did what i could, i’m happy with it not happening.

My point is that we all been in a place where we think: “Do i got what i takes?” next time you ask your self this, answer: “Maybe not, but i can get it!” and never be afraid to fail, only chance you regrets is the once you didn’t take.

The Producer

Especial in hiphop, there seems to be some confusing on what a producer is, so i’m going to help you understand. I’m not going to go into to much detail here, just enough for you to understand.

The beatmaker.

The beatmaker is a person who makes beats and knows the difference between this and being a producer.

The producah.

The producah is a person who makes beats and thinks it’s producing, and usually the laughing stock for people who understand the difference.

The producer.

The producer runs the sessions, all practicalities are handled by him or approved by him. However he got another job to, he is the creative supervisor of the project, so to speak, while musicians have some idea of continuity, sound and concept of a project the producers job is make it work, s/he’s the wall the musicians bounce their creative ideas of, so to speak.

How to be your own producer

This section is for musicians with home studios.

Let’s face it, being your own producer is not ideal, far from it. However a (real) producer cost money and home studio projects generally don’t have the budget for a producer, if you got, get one. Just like using mixing engineers and masterings engineers are more ideal then DIY, so is the case with producers.

There are some people aspiring to become professional producers, and they might be willing to work for more affordable rates, some even free. Beware though, unless they got a grip on the producers job, they might hurt more then help. Of course chances are you won’t find the next George Henry Martin here (and if you do, sell the house and hire him permanently), but there are a few out there, that are worth the money.

Assuming you on a zero budget (meaning you got no money to hire outside help) you are going to act as you own producer. This require at the very least two different quality, self-discipline and self-honesty. First off, even though you don’t have to book your studio or engineers or anything, you are going to plan a schedule for the project (and stick to it), if you are in a group of some sort, you also need to make sure everybody knows when to show up, when to record what and the deadline. Of course chances are delays and hang-ups are going to happen, and you will need to deal with them, perhaps the schedule have to be reworked, but you can’t let every little problem push the project back, you need to be able to guide the session with authority (especially if you are in band).

As you probably figured out, being your own “wall to bounce creative ideas of” is extremely hard, basically you need to be totally honest with yourself, it might not seem that hard, but it is. A trend i seen with many musicians is that they either very critical or not at all critical of their own work. That’s not going to work, if you are your own producer you need to identify pros and cons of every little bit of project (and every little bit got both). As you might figured out, the producer provides a second perspective on these thing, that’s one thing you can’t do very well. Here it’s nice to be in a group or at least discuss ideas with other musicians, as they can provide another perspective. This is not the same perspective as a producer, if you are discussing ideas with the rest of the group, beware that they got the same viewpoint as you, being a musician in the project. On top of that, they probably like somewhat the same things you do, after all you play the same music. Outsiders on the other hand have no interest or insight in the project, this means some of their suggestion might not help the project, if it collied with the concept or idea of the project for example.

That’s all from me this time, hope it’s been a, at least somewhat, useful read.

A little trivia

George Henry Martin produced all but one of the Beatles albums, and wasn’t very optimistic when he first signed them.

Goodnight

Nitten.

Making a drum kit

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Today i’m gonna walk you through the process of making a drum kit, from scratch. It’s not uncommon that you need to edit the preset drum kit in order to fit it to the track and sometimes you need to start from nothing in order to get the right drum kit for your track at hand. This blog is not only about this process, but written while i’m building a kit for a old track that needs a new beat, this way i’m sure i got all the information i can give you.

As always this is more a “how to do it” then a “what to do” as it’s impossible to tell you what drums you need for your track, also since my expertise is in the art of making rap beats, this is not a good guide if you need a kit for a pop or rock song, but before we go into it, i got one thing i need to do.

Epilogue on my summer in hell

If you haven’t read my previous blog, skip this section, it will only confuse you. However if you have read my previous blog you know my summer been a bad on and that i was recovering when i wrote it. However i’m out of recovery now, it’s no longer summer and i’m no longer in hell. No i’m not exactly living easy now, nor have i found a job, but mentally i’m in a much better place and i’m no longer unable to do anything. The turning point was my cousins 19th birthday or rather the day after my cousins birthday, you’ll be surprised how good you feel the day after a full on, all out bender, sure i had a thousand hangovers, but i also had something worth a million hangover, a realization. I can’t keep piling it up, i can’t do it all my self. I acted accordingly gave more responsibility to my partners in rhyme, started saying no every now and then. I also worked on my mental state, i have picked up martial arts and meditation again, not on a regular basis, but when i feel, i need. All i need now is a job, or a winning lottery ticket (never stop dreaming).

Okay back to the task at hand.

Organizing

As i sit here with a fresh cop of coffee in my hand, i need to do or rather redo my organizing, before i entered the pack first and the drums where in sub dictionaries by type, this i have decided was a bad idea it need to be organized by type and then what pack it’s from, that makes it easier to try different kik, snares so on, but still let me go into certain pack so i can find a specific kind of drums (some of my packs are very specialized). This is by far the most annoying piece of poop job in the world, but you need to organize your library in a meaning full way, in the end it might take two hours here and now, but save perhaps three times as much by doing this, not having to go two steps back and forth every time. You don’t need to organize it type then pack like i do, but i feel it’s the best way to do it, of course it all depends on your way of working.

Important note: Everybody that releases drum samples packs need to name it with what drum it is, i just went trough i01 to i50 looking for which ones that where kiks.

A bit over an hour into it, i can give you one more important tip, clean up during reorganizing if you find something you know you don’t use remove it.

Now almost done i can give you one more tip, move everything in few big moves, a lot easier then small moves. Also try to use as few sub dictionaries as possible, that way you don’t have to go back ten times and then into ten folders to get from a kik in one pack to a kik in another.

Okay organization is done now, lucky you don’t need to this every time you make a new kit, just once every now and then when you get a new pack. Time to get into the actual making of the drum kit.

Building the kit

There are a few reasons for building a kit, sometimes i build one with sounds i use a lot together, sometimes i built a menu of kiks, snares, hats etc. For this blog i’m going to assume you are building one for a track, like i am. However many of these practices are universal to kit making.

First off we need to build the kit, and the first order of business is to figure out what you want in the kit, and how many. For this kit i’m following Guru’s standard set up, with 4 kiks, snares, hats and percs. This make it possible to use the kit on other tracks as wells, since you rarely use all drums in a 16 drums kit. Secondly you need some idea of the sound you want, you don’t need to know exactly what sound you want, but a general idea will make the process alot easier, i usually write down a few adjectives explaining the overall sound of the kit, for a track it’s easy to do this, what do you want the track to sound like, find drums that support this sound. We are still on the foundation of the kit, so don’t mess with layers effects or anything just yet, just find a drum sample you like for each pad. Once you have done this take a little brake, then come back to it. It’s not impossible to change the foundation later, but it’s annoying to do so, you might want to save the kit now as [trackname]_found so you can go back to it, i do this when i now there are a big risk that i want to change the whole kit later on, however i’m pretty certain on what kind of sound i want on this specific track.

Layering

I got 4 options for layering in Guru and im going to assume you got the same, most drum samplers got these or at least Velocity Spilt and All.

Velocity spilt: Absolutely essential is you want people to think it’s a real kit your playing on. However in order to use it effectively you need the same drum sampled at different strength. Another use that i have found in many tracks is to spilt between a distorted 808 kik and a clean one. This is a easy way to make have distorted main kik, with a ghost hit coming in afterwards without distortion. This can create a certain feel of the main kik hitting hard and also create a bit of texture and movement in the track.

Round Robin: Here the layers play in order, basically first time you hit the pad layer 1 plays next layer 2 and so on until you got no more layers then it starts over. To use this effectively you need to have a general idea of the pattern you are going to play. It is of somewhat limited use to me, however i used it once with two layers of the same snare, sampled in a small live room and a big one. This made the snare really move around a bit more in the track, however it limited it uses as i could use the large room snare for rolls with the decay being cut off or going into the short room coming in shortly after, so i had to dedicate another pad with the small snare for rolls. In theory you could use this to stack up drums on if you don’t have enough pads, but if that your case i think that in 9 out of 10 times that means you trying to fit too many drums into the track.

Random: pretty self-explanatory every time you hit the pad a random layer plays. I have only use this once with 4 hihats on it, made a bit more movement, but Random is in most cases useless, unless you use similar drums.

All: Self-explanatory again, you hit a pad and all layers play, this can be used to layer a Rimshot onto a snare, a snap onto a hat or a subkik onto a kik and so on, probably my most used type of layering, however it can be quite difficult to set up as you need to sat the layers volume right.

I rarely layer very much, i got a couple of pre-layered acoustic kits with velocity spilt, but i usually find one sample i want, however building this particular kit i know i want three of the drums layer, 1 kik needs a subkik, 1 snare needs a rimshot and a clap need a snap. All of them are going to be layered with the all function in this case, i’m not trying to make a realistic drum kit here, but more a classical hiphop sampled kit, where layers are rarely audible.

Once you have choosen the drums to layer and what samples to layer them with, you need to set volume and then your basically done. I’m now and i’m gonna take a break and come back in a few minutes to evaluated my choices.

I ended up layering on more kik with a sample of a empty watercooler bottle and a subkick, this is going to be my special kik for this track, i usually use a special kik right at the climax of the song.

Sounds

This is the final step off the kit, here we going to tune the drums, set amp and effect envelopes, filters, volume on each pad and any effect that are going to change the core sound of the drums.

Start by tuning the drums, this is the the core element (after the samples of course) of getting a good drum sound in our case, again you know what kind of sounds you are after, use this as a guide plan. For this track i know i want some bright snares so they are going to be tuned a tad bit higher. I’m going to turn one of the kiks into a almost subkik for addtional layering once i start recording the patterns, i also got a triangle i want to make into a weird bleep like sound.

For once in my life tuning was easy, normally i can spend hours tuning my drums, but i think my new organizing scheme has paid off already, since i now long have to go back and forth between packs, i can now find the right drum easier, making the “i see if i can’t tune it into the right” approach less appealing. I ended up turning the triangle into a bellish gong type of sounds, i could have changed it with a gong sample, but i have a very specific idea of how this drum should sound, like a abused triangle sample basically.

Next up volume this is not overly important right now, as most of it is going to be handled in the making of the track, i prefer to do it there so i can take the other instruments into account, and we already done the layers volume, but if anything is to loud or to quite compared to the rest of the kit it is beneficial to set a standard volume, is going to make the recording process much easier, also if anything is clipping at full velocity you need to turn it down a notch.

This was also a easy process only one drum had to little headroom at full velocity and it was only a few decibels i had to turn it down, so all good here.

Next i do filters, these have a similar effect as tuning, but it removes frequencies rather then shift pitch of the drums, you can also add a bit of resonance to the cut-off frequency effetely boosting it and if used much add a synth like sound, in this case I’m not going to use it for much other then remove unwanted frequency and perhaps add a bit of resonance to one of my hats and a ride cymbal.

It was a bit more demanding setting filters, then i was expecting, i decided to add some resonance to my water bottle special kik, my triangle gong and my almost sub kik as well, the rest of the kik i just filtered any unused high frequencies of, with hats i used a bit of highpass filter as well, snares was left pretty much untouched only filtered out the frequency below 20 hertz, i always do that when i’m not using the filter, it’s a long story as to why, but basically it’s to make sure i remove any subsonic frequency that can disturb the low end according to some article i once read and have forgotten where.

Next we going to envelopes, I got both a fx envelope (basically another filter controlled by this env) and a amp env in Guru, however not all samplers got these, some might have more, some might only have a amp env, some might have none. In my cases i’m only going to uses the amp env this time, it’s only to remove some unwanted decay on a few of the drums.

I ended up using a fx env on my triangle gong and doing some light attack setting on the cabasa, so it follows the waveform, other then that, nothing exciting this time around.

Now we move on to effect, i usually don’t use compression, reverbs or delay on a kit, i stick to effects that change the sound of the drum, like distorting, bit crushing, tube simulator (in theory, however i have yet to make a drum where it sounds desirable) etc. This time i don’t think i’m going to that much, i’m going to add a bit of bit crushing to a snare and a some distortion to a kik, perhaps some weird effect on my special kik and triangle gong as well.

I ended up leaving the snare alone, the kik got a little bit of distortion, but not as much as i was planing on. The special kik got some distorting and i added some sine wave ring-modulation to my triangle gong as well, making it sound like it was shaking a bit.

That’s it, the kit is done tomorrow i run it through my pattern test, basically i load up a few patterns and see if i still like the drums, i think they are okay, but after a long days work you sometimes don’t hear small (or if it’s bad big) faults in the kit. I’m toast, so i know i can’t accurately judge the kit right now.

Even if everything is alright, i know that my idea as to how the song should sound, are likely to change in the process of making it, this means i may have to change my kit a bit along the way, in rare cases i have even dumped kits midway due to changes, this is the prize you pay for choosing a creative hobby, you never know where you end up, but for now both i’m and the kit is done. It’s been a fun journey actually writing it down as i go along. It has also been a hard one, granted i didn’t make it easier by choosing to write it down a long the way, let alone reorganizing my drum library (consisting of some 10 000 samples), but several hours and around what seems like a gallon of coffee later, i’m glad i did both.

I think i might write more blogs about the making of this track, but it depends wether anything interesting pops up along the way.

A Little Trivia

I think we have gone long enough without one of these:

RZA made the soundtrack to Afro Samurai and Afro Samurai Resurrection

Good night

Nitten.

My Summer in Hell

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

This is a very personal entry, i will tell you why i write this at the end because i feel you need the back story to take anything useful from this blog. However be warned, i’m gonna be extremely blunt here, normally i try to keep my stuff totally clean, however feelings are best understood uncensored, and to understand the lesson, i hope you’ll understand it all, when you are finished reading this.

My summer vacation has been a nightmare, i’ve been lower then i ever thought i would be, i have had thoughts of quitting it all; music, school even contact with near and dear friends of mine, why i’m not totally sure, but i know that something have had a impact on this.

I been out of work for a while, since January to be exact, the rejection letters has pilled up, and when i finally got an interview they decided to get someone with experience, this has of course meant that i have had little money to work with, not anything new to me, i’m used to being broke and it never hurt me to have to cut back on parties and that kind off thing. However there was a new problem this time around, when i lost my job, i was in the middle of building up my studio, this is the first time, my music had been affected by my finances since i was just starting taking it serious with my own studio. It wasn’t that bad to start with, i still had lots of toys to learn, so it may have been a smart time to stop buying.

At the beginner of the vacation i was overjoyed, i had just finished the hardest grade, i was to have at this school, i finally had time to focus on music and finding a job, i was sure it would become a good summer, i had plans of releasing a Mixtape and a EP’en. First bullet came when my partner in rhyme’s whore of an ex, decided that she wouldn’t let us release a song where she was on the chorus, despite we had cleaned up all previous beef, she was mad at the other partner in rhymes, because he wouldn’t cheat on his girl with her, we tried to tell her, that she was crazy if she thought, it would help to threaten us and gave her a finger while we burned our contract, while we had all we needed to release the song, we decided it would be better to demonstrate that we couldn’t be threatened and that we rather would work with professional people, then releasing a track with an amateur, that couldn’t let business be business.

The second bullet came soon after, after 50 job applications during two weeks, and not getting one reply, not even a rejection, i braked, why i don’t know exactly, but i couldn’t take it anymore, i went into a frenzy of feelings, most dominant the lust for destruction of something, i started banging my hands into the wall, i screamed “I don’t want to fight anymore, i want to give up.” My sister heard me and spent the next two hours trying to get me to calm down, she has always been there for me and i’m truly thankful for her, after i calmed down, she gave me a bit of money to pay my phone bill, i don’t really know why i snapped then, like i said, i’m no strange to being broke, but something had changed, i don’t know what, but it had.

I figured i needed to focus on the music for a while, figured it would keep me from freaking out, sadly i still had bills to pay and had to borrow money for them, luckily i had my dad, he agreed to let me work it off, so i just spent a half hours walking the dog, something i always enjoyed. The first coule of days after this went smooth, i felt a bit better and i felt this could become a good summer still. This feeling was however soon replaced with desperation, my two brothers by choice and partners in rhyme had a lot to do and i started feeling isolated, i spend little time awake during the day, i was up most the night in front of my computer, trying to make some music, nothing was there, i spend more time just looking at the sequencer, then doing anything and when i did it sounded like shit, i don’t if it was my mind or it really was shit, but nothing seemed to work for me. Still out of work i spend days searching for work, thinking: “If i just get a job, i get money and can get some gear, that will help.” While these words had some truth, i could use more gear, i’m very limited by my set-up, but that wasn’t my main problem, i was blocked, by what i still don’t know. Finally i quitted, i no longer looked for work except a few half ass attempts where i already was sure i wouldn’t get it. Instead i started dreaming of winning a couple of millions, being able to spend them on gear, or if just somebody would hold a contest where i could win a fantom, a motif, a MPC, it seemed more likely to me then getting a job and save up for it, i was stupid, i know, but like i said i had given up. Same with my music, instead of opening the sequencer, i opened games start playing, i started drinking at times where i had no reason, other then escaping a little bit, i wasn’t getting drunk, just spend some more time, not having to think to much about all my problems, i took other escape routes too, i always had the T.V. on no matter what, i tried to avoid sleeping as much as possible, because i always felt vulnerable  when trying to sleep, mind open for bad thoughts, i spend most nights doing stupid stuff, looking at random youtube videos, reading recipes on stuff, i never would eat. I figured that i could use a girl, but at this time i couldn’t do anything, so it was just another daydream, i thought about contacting an old girlfriend, but thankfully i no longer have her number.

By this time my days start blurring into each other, i started smoking more and more and when i wasn’t smoking, i was either watching T.V. or playing games, my music was totally dead, worst thing was now the other two had time now, but i was dead, couldn’t write a line, couldn’t make a bar of music.

Once again i snapped, this time while smoking one night with my brother by choice Stoke, he asked me about finding a job and i just started crying, for the first time in a long time i started talking about it, i told him everything, from my fear of just laying in the bed, when i finally went to bed, to the worst horror in my life, that i wouldn’t be able to make music anymore, we spend hours talking and when i write this i do it with a tear in my eye, few people can take the amount of problems i have laid on him and still call me a brother. Back to the story, the day after i felt better, not like in the movie where it was all gone, but like i had gained a little bit strength and if i did it right i could get back. I started to refuse playing games, instead i spend my time fighting for that one spark, it was still hard, but i refused to give up. Finally it came, i wrote a track called “It’s Like That” about thinking about my past, this was the first success, since this day i have made a few beats, writing a few lines, got a bit more strength.

I’m still not completely out the hole, i have crawl a bit up and now i can see sunshine, school starts thursday for me, i hope getting a bit of routine will help me the last bit of the way, until then i will trying not to fall back, this have been the worst couple of months in my life, worse then when my first chick was cheating on me, worst then when i turned my back on crime and the friends i had there, it has costed me, while i still got my brothers and my sister, i fear i may have lost a few other good friends, refusing to take my part in the friendship, i hope it will become better once i’m out of this whole. My brother Zitto have called it my great depression, i’m not sure if it was a depression, the exact definition of a depression is beyond my knowledge, however i know i have had the worst summer in my 18 years on the earth and i hope, that this will remain the worst, i’m not sure how to handle another one, for now i just hope to be able to get the last bit out the hole and start repairing the damage.

So why did i share this blog with you, because i think we all been in an artistic block and if we press our self, it may become something worse. While music wasn’t the first problem, i’m sure it was music, that made it all spiral. I don’t think you should quit every time you get blocked, there are many ways to trying to brake the block, recreating other works, remixing older songs, working totally technical until something starts appearing. However when nothing works, when every odds are against you, don’t kid yourself, take a brake from music, but don’t try to hide it, take it as it is and talk to people, if you let it spread, you will fall in the same hole i did. Had i acknowledged the block and addressed it from the start, talked to my brothers, not letting it pile up, not trying to kid myself that it was the gears fault, i may have been out now, instead of on the way, maybe i wouldn’t have lost friends, maybe i haven’t i don’t know course i been isolating myself. This blog have a second purely personal reason to, it’s not the first time i have had problems, and writing it when it started to change have helped me before, however it has always been done on aliases only used that once, this is the first time i did it under a name i stand by and sometimes fall by, i hope you have taking something from this blog, if not what i intended at least something.

I hope to be able to complete a more beat making oriented blog soon, but i’m still not quite ready for it yet, i felt i needed to put this out first.

Until then thank you for reading this and i hope your summer have been better then mine.

Nitten

Sampling and Chopping

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Before we get really into this blog, i got a confession. This is nowhere near as complete, i would like to make it, however i feel that i’m not able to make it more complete, due to the simple vastness of the subject.

What is chopping?

Chopping is taking a piece of music and taking out bits and pieces out, then laying them down in some way. The main difference is that unlike when you sample instruments, you down sample the notes of the instruments and spread them out on the keyboard. When you chop you take a part of music it may be a loop or you may take different parts and fit them into a pattern. Riffs and Breaks are common sources for chopping. Chopping out drums from break-beats are also common, but in this blog we are focusing on chopping out melodic parts, while essentially anything can be sampled, we will focus on this, else i would need a couple of years to write this, however some of this can be used to sample basslines and drums as well.

Sampling commercial material

This is where it started, this form of sampling started with hip hop and while other genre’s by now have adopt chopping in some degree, it is still essential a hip hop thing. The idea is great in it’s simplicity take a part of a track and chop it into smaller parts or just fit it into a perfect loop, simple as that now add drums and a bass, you just made a beat, just like they did back in the 80’s when it started, no more is needed.

But wait there is a problem “isn’t commercial sampling illegal if you don’t clear it?” Well yes essentially it is, unlike back in the 80’s, when everybody thought Rap wasn’t gonna last, they want you money now, they have seen people get rich this way and want a piece of the pie.

The best way to avoid anybody suing you are to clear your samples, this is however unreasonable expensive, to me the problem is that people don’t realize it is a two-way street, if they didn’t demanded as much as 90 % of your track for clearing it along with a lot of different fees and one-time payment, more people would be ready to clear samples. Unfortunately they have the power to do whatever they want, so i don’t think we are gonna see a change here anytime soon.

While there is protocols like Fair Use and Fair Dealings, none protected you from getting sued no matter how many of the points of these protocols you are following and even if you win, you still have to pay a lawyer, which isn’t cheap.

If you feel secure in calling upon these protocols, i have nothing against it and while many people use uncleared samples everyday and don’t get sue ever, you need to know that the risk is there, you need to make up your mind, do so at your own risk, while i feel that the record companies are the problem here, there is nothing to protect you.

I have made a choice, i don’t sample commercial music, again i have nothing against it, but i feel that there are many other ways to sample, with two big advantages to this type of sample: You can’t get sued and few realize them and it might give you a edge over the sea of beatmakers.

Here are a short list and comments on some of my methods:

  • Public Domain Sounds

Go to Wiki Commons and open the music catalog under audio, here you find a lot of different stuff, most of them are classical music, a sample source i often feel is overlook.

  • Loops

You can find many free loops, while using them in they’re full form might be static there is another way, chop up that two bar loop and start banging those chop out into a new one, two, four bar loop. This is extremely fun to do especially with good quality loops.

  • Prechopped samples

Some sample packs comes with pre-chopped samplers, these are usually the old and over used bread and butter samples, just make sure it’s royalty free for recording, some of these packs are made for DJs to use live at venues with a agreement, that allows use of commercial material (same as cover songs can be played live at these venues, but not be recorded with getting cleared). If it says you can use it in recordings you will have no problems.

  • Construction Kits

You knows those loops collected into “songs.” A “song” should at least be split into a drum loop, a bass loop and a melody, the more expensive the more isolated the loops may be, some are split into section like verse, chorus etc, some are not. While these are marketed as remixing tools for DJs, you can chop them up, like you would song, except here you never have to filter out something you want out like the drums or bass, you just don’t use those loops, the main difference between this and chopping up loops are that loops normally one instrument, while construction kits normally aren’t, even if they are you can combine the parts you want into one loop and sample that, this feels more like chopping up a song, then a loop those and will also sound more like it, since they are made to fit each other.

  • Making your own samples

A demonstration of making your own sample This is perhaps the most fun thing to do. While it may seem a bit backwards to sample this instead of just recording it, sampling makes it a lot easier to chop up and manipulated it as a whole.

My favorite way to chop

Lets be real, there a probably a million ways to chop up a sample, none more correct then the other, but we all got our favorite way to do things so here is mine:

I start by taking out the part i want. Then i adjust the tempo till it fits into one, two or four bars depending on the size of the sample. Then i hit play and think “hmm where to chop?” Once figured out i open Cubase’s sample editor and start moving around hitpoints, i allways make sure they are close to a 16th or 8th note, makes it easier to fit the sample, without tuning (unless i want to tune it) after i have it where i want it to be i hit create events and dump it into Groove Agent One, set it up (mute groups, filters and level) and lay down a new loop, for breaks and such i may add a shuttering effect or have the sample drop out or something.

Tools

You need a Sampler, a source and a Sample Editor. I use Audacity to chop out the part i want and use Cubase’s built in Sample Editor for the chopping (it was really overhaul in 5,5), i use Groove Agent ONE as the sampler, almost any sampler can be used, as long as you can set the samples to cut each other off (Mute groups or setting polyphony to 1 are common ways to do this). If you got a slow computer or are handling a lot of softsynths in a typical beat hardware might be better then software, however software samples usually gives you more ways to twist up your samples, in the end it’s often more a preference thing.

I feel that the “MPC style” samplers (BPM, Guru and Maschine are software equivalents) are better for chopping, but as i said any sampler can be used, i just feels it’s more logical to chop this way, again a preference thing.

That’s it for now, like the Groove blog, there may be a part 2 for this one as well. I feel i have covered enough to call this blog finished, but like i said it’s nowhere complete, the subject is just to big to complete. I hope i have given you some insight in source’s and ways to sample.

Little trivia

“Rappers Delight” are based on a sample from Chic

Peace out and good summer from Nitten