Archive for March, 2013

20130310-223226.jpg Van Ark is a B.M.P (Beat Maker-Producer) who has a wide range of   styles that will satisfy your listening pleasure. His musical ability to play live instruments and sample from the dustiest of crates are far beyond your imagination. Van’s knowledge of music will make you feel like a student in music class, taking notes in preparation for a pop quiz. Beatmakers-Producers and music lovers, meet Van Ark.
INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?
VA: My name is Van Ark Producer/Musician/Music Artist from Richmond,Virginia
INST: Who have you worked with & how long have been beat making or producing?
VA: I started playing trumpet in a band when I was in middle school then started making pause beat tapes during high school. Soon after, I got into making beats on various drum machines and old keyboards and went on from there. In total; I’ve been producing for 13 years and ended up working with artists such as Baatin from Slum Village, Leaf Erikson, Shuanise, and I have also done remixes for the band No Bs! Brass.
INST: What equipment and or software are you using?
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VA: Well as far as equipment, I’m mostly into hardware and live instruments
such as, Ludwig Drum set, Yamaha Electric Guitar, Bongos, Various Percussion Instruments, Cassette Recorder, The Roland Spds, 1978 Roland Vk-09 Organ/Synth, Boss SP-505, The korg Monotron analog synth, The Microkorg, Emu XL7, numark portable turntable, vinyl and as far as software i just use protools to record and mix in…lol thats alot but i make everything from Experimental music, Jazz, to Hip-Hop and Folk Rock so everything I metioned is utilized according to how I sculpt a live composition, performance, or beat. .
INST: What made you want to create beats?
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VA: When I first started; I was influenced by producers and artists, such as Stereolab, Weather Report, Prince, Bjork, Large Professor, Rza, Madlib and early Slum Village. Listening to them trained my ear as a composer, musician and a beatmaker for me to understand different ways and approaches of making music.
INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?

20130310-223729.jpg VA: I would say it depends on what mood musically I’m into, so sometimes I might want to do a one man band performance and play every instrument live, or just pull out the sp-505, some vinyl, chop up some samples and make a beat so i would say it’s 50/50

INST: Who would you say has influenced your style?
VA: Some of the artists that influenced my style is Sun Ra, Raymond Scott, Suzanne Ciani, Early Kraftwerk (70-73) J-Dilla, David Axelrod, Coldcut, Pete Rock, Prince, Stereolab, Chick Corea it’s so many to name.
INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?
VA: I don’t see myself retiring from making music because it’s my meditation and creative expression in the form of sound design.
INST: Is there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?
VA: I think it’s a difference because as a beatmaker you are just taking pieces of sound and putting it together as a collage of sound for a track as opposed to a producer who can operate as a musician, the person that sculpts the overall concept of the album, song and or compose the entire soundscape of the sonic plate.
INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?
VA: I would say as a beatmaker and/or producer get into listening to different styles of music and expand into playing instruments because it will broaden your horizons that will make you more versatile into various settings of musical enviroments such as working with bands, singers and artist from all genres…
INST: Where can we hear your work?
VA: you can tune in to my work at my music site www.arkteknologies.wordpress.com and please feel free to subscribe!

20130226-202846.jpgSince I’ve set out on my mission to find beatmakers-producers talented enough to showcase their work, I’ve come across different types of beatmakers. Style , attitude, and personality all play a major role in beat making. Some beatmakers are unsure of their work and not cofident enough to show-off their work because of the lack of artist they’ve worked with, if they’ve worked with any at all. Other beatmakers are cocky for no good reason and some are proffessional, humble, work hard, and are very talented. For instance, Here (Hear) is an example of a talented, humble, hard working, and proffessional beatmaker. SERIOUS Beats is all of the above and most of all, his name speaks for it self (Serious). His production is off the hook and varies from genre and style plus a very clean mix down.  Serious Beats is an ULTIMATE Beatmaker to say the least. Beatmakers, Producers, and Music Lovers, meet Serious Beats

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

SB: My name is serious beats i’m from the north side of Chicago

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

SB: I’ve worked with several artist’s and producers local and worldwide right now my team consists of custom made and kylive beats , i’ve been making beats for about 8 to 9 years started really making beats seriously around 2005

INST: What equipment and or software are you using?

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SB: My audio interface is the mbox 3 I use midi controllers (Akai mpk 49, m audio oxygen 49) for my monitors i use Ferrari gray edition krk rokit 8’s and i also do a lot of mixing through my kns krk 8400 headphones the software i use to make beats is fl 10 and pro tools. nexus 2 and sylenth are 2 of my main vsts.

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INST: What made you want to create beats?

SB: This artist i knew around my area had a copy of fl studio 3 so he installed the program on my computer and that was really my starting point i was going to a couple studio’s and i saw the setups and process of creating beats that really pushed me to start investing in my own equipment.

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

SB: I do a lot sampling but if i knew how to play live instruments i would definitely incorporate the 2.

INST: Has anybody influenced your style?

SB: I have a lot of influences i would say my uncle o dig was a major influence for the hip hop i grew up listening to and being around him. Video game music composers like Akira Yamaoka who produced the music for silent hill and Nobuo Uematsu who produced the music for final fantasy also hip hop producers like alchemist, just blaze, the heatmakerz, kanye west, drumma boy, dj premier, justice league, the inkredibles (lee major), the list goes on.

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

SB: No. Not anytime soon i’ve decided this is what i want to do for a living. the average person retires 60 to 70 so i have a long way to go lol.

INST: Do you feel that there is a difference in the role of being a producer and being a beat maker?

SB: Definitely, the producer helps with the song writing, song structure and concepts, beat makers do exactly that make the beat.

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

SB: Producers, do not spam people,other producers and artist’s just make your music available and think of creative ways to draw traffic, get tags recorded and throw them over your beats and release music don’t hold your beats for ransom you want to be heard. Study mixing, if you want your drums to knock start with volume control lower instruments and samples to give your drums room.

INST: Where can we hear your work?

SB: ProdBySerious.com
SeriousBeatsTV.com
Follow @SeriousBeats

Here (Hear) is a remix I did of two legendary game changing rappers, the late Notorious Big and the late Tupac Shakur. WE all know the rap war that Big and Pac went through that lead to their tragic ending, as murder was their cause of death. My first mixtape entitled: Blend:inn (A Remixtape) is a two-part series that captures that feeling of hip-hop revived as I blend my production with old accapella songs from some of your favorite artist.

You can download a free copy of the blend:inn series at: verseall.bandcamp.com