Archive for February, 2013

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Legendary Producer/ Lyricist/ Recording Artist Pete Rock checking out drum machines.

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It was the year 2004 when I was first introduced to Fonk-C. We were both at a show in Alexandria Va. to perform that evening along with a host of other artist. I remember the energy coming from Fonk and his crew as they bounced around the stage to a funk based sound track of absolute rhythm.
A year later, I would purchase a cd from then, Culture Cypha group member Enoch 7th Prophet, who had collaborated with Fonk-C for his solo EP entitled “Tone Scientizt”. Fonk’s prouction gives you a bit of an abstract vibe, mixed with a little boom bap, and a blend of southern crunkness to make it all complete. Beatmakers, Producers, and Music Lovers, meet Fonk-C!

INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?

El-Ra: El-Ra Is Fonk-C from Augusta Georgia, living In Hollywood California.

INST: Who are some of the artist you’ve worked with and how long have been producing?

El-Ra: I’ve worked with Eastern Standard, Clutch Brady, B-Ez, K-Dubya, Enoch 7th Prophet, Freedom Black, Jappa, Ed O.G. , JoeNice , Sun-God, Goddess Lyric From Bad Girls Club, F.Durty, SpaceJamShawty, to name a few:
Making Beats / Producing Since 1995 Professionally.

I’ve Recorded at Patchwerk Studio (ATL), Grand Hustle Studio (ATL), Dobbler Studio (ATL), I Zoom Studio (Augusta/Atlanta).

INST: Can you tell us what type of equipment and software you are using?

El-Ra: Hardware— MPC200XL, MOTIF ES7 WORKSTATION, TRITON RACK, AKAI S2000, OLD RECORDS, 1200’s, WAV.FILES, ECT.
Software: ROLAND VS-2400CD Maxed Out, ROLAND VS-8 TRACK, REASON

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INST: How did you first get started creating beats?

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El-Ra: I started making beats because I’m a DJ first. After Dj’ing for a while and learning how to count bars and matching BPM’s, that made me want to become a Producer!

INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?

El-Ra: I use samples and I also play live.

INST: Who influenced your style?

El-Ra: DJ Premier, Q-Tip, DJ Magic Mike, 2LiveCrew, Rza, Erick Sermon, DJ Quik, Dr.Dre, James Brown, Russ Rock, and Russell Turner.

INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?

El-Ra: I retired last year. You have to balance life and work or else you won’t LOVE your craft!
Although I’m currently making HEAT!!!!

INST: Do you feel that there is a difference when being called a producer or being called a beat maker?

El-Ra: A Producer Creates WHOLE ALBUMS. A Beatmaker Just Makes BEATS.

INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?

El-Ra: Whatever Your Passion Is Follow YOUR HEART!!!!! Stay true to yourself And You Will Progress Long Term!!!! Surround Yourself With PEOPLE That Think Like You And Want The same things in life no matter what COLOR they are!!!!

INST: Where can we hear your work?

El-Ra: Google (El-Ra Is Fonk-C) / SoundClound ( El-Ra Is Fonk-C)

Contact: FonkCrazy@gmail.com

LOVE IS THE BALANCE!!!

As a music producer, selling beats should be you primary concern. Sitting down at your keyboard to use your reason 5.0, Fruity Loops, mpc, or pro tools is fun… But if you don’t sell those beats you can’t pay the bills and really live.

To find out how to increase beat sales visit http://www.liveoffbeats.com

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J Dilla making a beat in empty room!

“Do what you love, and love what you do!” -James Yancey aka J Dilla.

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WE, as beatmakers and producers tend to purchase equipment that suits our need for a certain quality of sound and style. Some of us run out and by the latest new peice of equipment no matter how expensive it may be. Then you have the few that hold on to their relic pieces of equipment because they have become accustom to using it. However, many beatmakers and producers lack the care of keeping their equipment safe from accidental spills, dust, smoke, ashes, etc. Most beatmakers, producers, and music engineers smoke and drink inside of their music studios plus allow recording artist to do the same. I’ve always heard that if you smoke around your music equipment or any type of electronic devices such as comupters, cell phones, gaming consoles, etc. it will get damaged earlier than its original life span. Dusty and damp areas are also no good for your equipment so if your setup is in an unkept basement, attic, shed, or a room that doesn’t get much air circulating through it, then chances are your equipment will suffer in the long run.

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Here are some tips that I’ve put together on how to care for your equipment.

Tip 1: Always cover your equipment up after using it.
Doing this will help protect it from from any lingering dust particles that can build up on top or inside of your equipment

Tip 2: Turn off your equipment after you’re done with usage.
Give your machine time to rest. Keeping your equipment on for a long period of time can cause over heating and eventually blowout. Avoid leaving your equipment running all night while you’re sleeping. Not a good move!

Tip 3: Invest in a feather duster and cadenced air.
No matter how well kept your work station might be, you can’t avoid dust. Wipe down your equipment with a dry cloth or feather duster. Use canned air on equipment that has space in between that can hold dust. This helps to keep the dust to a minimum.

Tip 4: NO EATING, DRINKING, OR SMOKING IN THE STUDIO! This goes for every and anybody including yourself that smokes cigarettes etc. We’ve all heard the horror stories of how “so and so” was recording a hit record, got over excited and in his excitement, he knocks over a drink that spilled onto his equipment causing it to short out. My advice to you is to create an area where your clients can eat and be comfortable while you’re working. Smoking should “STRICTLY” be kept outside.

Tip 5: Avoid setting up your equipment in areas that are liable to get water danage.
Rain storms cause flooding to basement areas and leaks to attics due to damaged roof tops so find an area that will be lease damaging to your equipment or invest in some remodeling of your basements and attics and safe proof those areas.

Final Tip: Get insurance for your equipment.
This is one of the best things that you can do for your equipment especially if you are a self made business.

Last bit of advice, Set up some rules for your music studio and stick to them. If you take care of your equipment, your equipment will take care of you

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Let’s discuss it in the comments section of my blog.

Peace and BoomTap!

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Since the beginning of Hip-Hop, women have gotten very little credit for their roles and contributions to the art form. We often hear stories of how femcee’s have taken the backseat, in order to stroke the male ego. Although a few women in hip-hop have broken through the barriers, there are a lot more women in hip-hop who’s legacies go unnoticed. This is especially true when it comes to production. In a male dominated field of producing, women are starting to emerge and putting their stamp on hip-hop production. I caught up with PHB, cleverly known as ProducHerBeats who is a beatmaker-producer residing in Brooklyn, NY. Her resumé of artist that she has worked with is impressive and her production is full of soul, giving you that good ole boom bap feeling again.
Beatmakers, producers, and music lovers, get to know ProducHerBeats.

INST: Let the world know who you are.

PHB: I am ProducHerBeats.

INST: How long have you been beat making or producing?

PHB: I have been making beats for about 4 years now.

INST: Can you name a few artist that you have worked with in the past or currently?

PHB: I have worked with Lil Fame (MOP), Termanology , STSquad, and R.E.K.S.

INST: What equipment and or software are you using?

PHB: I use LogicPro, Fl Studios, ProTools and turntables, I am a big Fan of the Vinyl world.

INST: How did you first get started making beats?

PHB: I was out of touch with radio and t.v. for a while and when I came back from my little get away, music had changed. The big group was D4L and when I heard their song laffy taffy, I knew I could make better music. So I decided to give it a try and ProducHerBeats was created.

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INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?

PHB: I prefer sampling all day. The feeling you can create out of a record that already moves you is a priceless sound if you ask me.

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INST: Who influenced your style?

PHB: Dj Premier , 9th wonder, Dj Statik Selektah, Kanye West, RJD2, and Jake One.

INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?

PHB: Never, It’s what I was born to do! You can never give up on something that’s in your soul, it won’t let you.

INST: Is there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?

PHB: Yes, when you’re a beat maker, all you hear is the beat. When you’re a producer, you hear the beat but can also picture an artist on it and new instrumentation to bring out the beat more. A producer can see the bigger picture.

INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?

PHB: Don’t ever stop working. There will be a lot of people with advice and opinions and you can take some of it and help make you better, and some of it will be crap. Know how to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good. People will saying things to get you down but it’s the will in the soul that will keep you going. Everyone has a story continue to build yours

INST: Where can we hear your work?

PHB: You can hear my work at: soundcloud.com/ProducHerBeats

PHB: My website will be up and running by end of this month. Which is PHBeats.com where you will be able to listen to new music as well as lease or buy songs of your choice.

PHB: I will have my first album out by June called
“We Never Heard Of You Either”
Ft by Lil Fame (MOP) Termanology,
Dj Statik Selektah, R.E.K.S. Focus Entertainment, and Lil Glen.

Thank You for the love and stay blessed

PHB

Peep PHB’s Production!

20130212-192953.jpg Producer/Recording Artist Alchemist Making A Beat!

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Lester “EazyBeatz” Angeles is a producer/ beatmaker from Hong Kong who I met online in a producers group on Facebook. After a few conversations with EazyBeats, I gave his beats a listen. I was impressed instantly with his style and production. Since EazyBeatz lives on the other side of the world, I had to email him the questions for this interview.

INST: Let the world know who you are?

EB: Eazy Also Known as EazyBeatz (Asian HipHop Producer) Founder of Hongkong’s Filipino Rap Group “Pinoy Wit Attitude”

INST: Who have you worked with & how long have you been beat making or producing?

EB: To be Honest, I started tryin’ out (making beats) was around 2004/2005.
But when one of my friends showed me (SOUNDCLICK.COM) where you can find downloadable hiphop beats, I was like F*ck it!!!
I’ll just concentrate on writing and start to focus on my “Rap Career”. Then years later, after I found out how important original beats are, because I wanted to do an independent album, I started researching again on how to make a proper hiphop beat. Then I started buying these cheap DRUM PADS, messin’ around with different types of sounds.

Throughout my whole entire years in the Music HipHop Scene, I have worked with Some of the Finest Underground Talents. It’s gon’ Be Pretty Long if I name them out 1 by 1 haha. And; I’m currently not in good terms with some of them haha. Ya’ll Know What’ HipHop is. RITE?!?!?

I’m Currently working with some Top Knotch Artist.

Internationally, I’m working with some underground rappers around New York, Los Angeles, Canada, New Zealand, Florida, Japan, and of course my city “HONGKONG” and Many More….

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INST: What equipment and or software are you using?
EB: Alesis Q49, Studio Projects C1, Akai Mini-MIDI Keyboard, Akai MPD 18 , FL Studio 10 , Abelton 8 LIVE, Alesis MultiMixer 4USB, Korg, NanoPad 2

INST: What made you want to create beats?
EB: Its All about the MONEY (haha), Naaaahh just kidding. I’m a son of a professional musician in Hong Kong, so music has been around me since I was a kid. Growing up I heard different types of music from rock, jazz, pop, and hip-hop. Looking at the music scene rite now, it’s really hard to hook up with some producers around that sell very cheap beats. So I decided to make my hobby into a small business.

INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?

EB: Well of course I prefer Playing Live Instruments Than Sampling. Hmmm.. it depends though because I use Both of them. depends on what type of music quality you’re bringin’ out.

INST: Who influenced your style?

EB: Swizz Beatz, Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, Jahlil Beatz, The Runners, AraabMuzik, Lex Luger, 808 Mafia, Dj Primiere, Bo1da, Cardiak, The Bizzness, HitBoy, MikeWill, Mannie Fresh, Cool & Dre, Young Chop, !LLM!ND, and Lowkey the Boy Wonder.

INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?

EB: Nope!

INST: Do you feel that there is a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?

EB: Nope! A BeatMaker Does Sampling and a Producer Plays Live Instruments. But in the END, they still make music. “AINT NO DIFFERENCE”.

INST: Do you have any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share with aspiring Producers and Beatmakers?

EB: All I can say is that when you’re creating music, Put it into your Heart. Trust Your Ears and Forget the Blings. Always be creative about makin New Crazy Sounds. Never Stop learning new stuff. Always watch beatmaking tutorials on youtube and do some research. Always remember that you’re never gonna be called one of the best producers if no one has ever rapped on your BEATS!!!

INST: Where can we hear your work?
EB: Here’s My Own Website: http://lestereazyangeles.wix.com/eazybeatz
Follow Me @ www.soundcloud.com/lester-angeles, www.youtube.com/lesterangele , Add Me on Facebook : Lester Eazybeatz Angeles, http://soundcloud.com/lester-angeles/brand-new-sound-eazybeatz

Checkout Eazy’s Production for your self and leave your feedback.

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For as long as I have been producing music; It has never crossed my mind to question whether there is a difference in using the term Beat maker or Producer. This new thought of whether their is indeed a difference stems from a retweet that I read a few weeks ago, while I was reading my twitter timeline. The retweet read “Beatmakers are not Producers” there is a difference. Quoted by the legendary and to some, iconic, Dr. Dre. With that being said, I decided to do my own independent research in order to learn the proper terminology, when calling myself a beat maker or a producer. There are a few blogs online with articles about this topic, but a lot of what was being explained about the difference was not thorough or either made no sense to me at all. So, what is the difference when using the terms producer or beatmaker?

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A “Beat-Maker” is the person or persons that will create the beat. A beat-maker will then lease the beat or sell the beat exclusively to a song writer. Depending on the role of the beat-maker he or she will also play the role of the producer.

A beat-maker can also be a person that strictly makes beats, that is all, that is it! He or she may make beats for hobbies sake or because their parents bought them a MPC 2500 XL for their birthday or something like that. Others want to pursue their dreams of becoming the next hit-maker but lack the knowledge what it takes to market their beats.

A “Producer” is one that will produce, manage, or finance a project or production. He or She will see the project through from beginning till the end. The producer will arrange the song and usually can point out any mistakes and will be quick to edit (re-do) any area’s that need corrections. A producer is a perfectionist at heart.

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To me; a Beat maker and a producer are both one and the same but what separates the two are the work they are willing to put into their business and creation also their drive to be successful.

 

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let’s discuss this in the comments section.

Peace & BoomTap to all beat makers & producers!

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Producer, Lyricist, Teacher, & Student of Hip-Hop Culture and Beat Making!

Here is an EPK of VERSE*ALL chronicling some of his past performances as a lyricist, his views on hip-hop and just having fun. Enjoy!

Producer/Emcee, VERSE*ALL – EPK from VERSE ALL on Vimeo.

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