Posts Tagged ‘Su-Preme Sun’

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!

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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!!!

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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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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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