Thursday, 4 February 2016

Best of 2015: J. Rizzle talks PC Hardware, Software Favourites, Scarface and More

Welcoming Back The New Beatmaker Favourite, Blogger, DJ and More, J. Rizzle, to Talk 2015

Around this time last year The New Beatmaker called J. Rizzle 'one of the most hardworking men in the game, J. Rizzle is a writer, DJ and music, sneaker and cap connoisseur to boot!  He is clearly a man who has learned the secret of how to not need sleep.'

Well...he still has told me his secret! 

His output CONTINUES to include the instrumental / beats focused blog Gimmie That Beat, the DJ-Centred Check Deez, and 'KIX & LIDZ', dedicated to his love of sneakers and caps.  I don't know how he does it all.

J. Rizzle: DJ, Writer, Music, sneaker and cap connoisseur.
















Welcome back to J. Rizzle, here's what he had to say about last year:

Favourite hardware: 'MSI's Z170A SLI Plus.'

Favourite software: 'Trend Micro Titanium.' 

Favourite freeware:  'ClipConverter.cc.'

Favourite song: 'Big Sean "IDFWU."'

Favourite music video: 'Puff Daddy & The Family ft. Pharrell "Finna Get Loose."'



Favourite album: 'Scarface  "Deeply Rooted."'

Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker: 'Apollo Brown.'

Favourite app, blog or website: 'OkayPlayer.

Highlight: When the mix I did "Forty04" reached over 3000+ plays on Audiomack.

Low point: 'Burnt a perfectly good Supreme thin Crust pizza, when it was the last thing left in the freezer, lol.'

Music based New Year resolution: 'I will expand my musical taste by making mixes in other genres of music.' 
 
Good stuff J! 

Many thanks for checking in and all the best for the year.

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Best of 2015: Evil Alex Talks Gear and Ambitions

The New Beatmaker Alumni Talks Hardware, Software, Music and Ambitions for this Year

It was only right to include The New Beatmaker family Evil Alex in our roundup of 2015, given that he released two of our favourite projects of last year ('Sounds in a Vacuum' and 'MaLAise', both of which can be enjoyed at evilalex49.bandcamp.com/)

Check out what the LA by-way-of Chicago musician and videographer had to say below.


Favorite hardware: 'Got a new allen and heath zed 18 that has been an amazing analog console.'

Favorite software: 'Been getting back into using Reason.'

Favorite song: ''Put a Flower in Your Pocket' by The Arcs'




Favorite music video: ''Multi-Love' by Unknown Mortal Orchestra'

Favorite album: ''Currents' by Tame Impala'

Favorite producer: 'Jamie xx'

Favorite blog: 'Stereogum'

High point: 'The release of 'Sounds in a Vacuum' and 'MaLAise''.

Low point: 'It was a good year for me musically.'

New year's resolutions: 'Collaborate more. Got a new EP in the works with Chicago emcee Shavac Prakash and maybe another solo record that features other artists.'

Good stuff, The New Beatmaker cannot wait to hear more!

For more Evil Alex: evilalex49.bandcamp.com/

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Best of 2015: Superior, German Producer talks Hardware, Software and more

German producer chops it up with The New Beatmaker on hardware, software and more.

 
A pensive Superior

Hot on the heels of a successful year including superb collabos with REKS, Planet Asia, and Declaime, the German beatmaker chops it up with The New Beatmaker on hardware, software and more.

Favourite hardware: 'Maschine Studio; Nice controller, nice pads, nice features, 2 colour displays – nice to work with.'

Favourite software and / or sample pack: 'Maschine Software, because it perfectly matches with the Maschine Studio controller.'
It really doesn’t matter with which tools you produce your music. At the end, it’s all about the result.
Favourite freeware: 'If you ask me, the best freeware is Audacity. It’s a perfect tool to edit the waves.'


Still going strong: Audacity is a Superior go-to. 

Favourite song: 'Of course, I have to choose my single „Superiority“ with Reks :-D'

Favourite music video: 'I really can’t choose one – there have been way too many. If I have to choose, it would be the live video of Oddisee & Good Company with Juju Rogers, Un vrai chantier à l’affranchi in Marseille. This had been the best concert for me this year.'

Oddisee & Good Company with Juju Rogers „Un vrai chantier 6“ à l’affranchi in Marseille. 

Favourite album: 'Petestrumentals 2“. Do I really have to say anything more about that?'

Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker: 'Oddisee and Pete Rock - Two geniuses'

Music based New Year resolution: 'The only conclusion I can make is: It really doesn’t matter with which tools you produce your music. At the end, it’s all about the result. So I will keep focusing on that.'

Amen to that.  Many thanks Superior, here's to a great 2016 for you.

For more Superior:

https://soundcloud.com/superior-productions-1/tracks

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Best of 2015: EMRSN Talks Kaytranada, Kendrick Lamar and D'Angelo

The rising soul star looks back at 2015; and how the music of last year takes him further into the past - and into the future at the same time

Future-Soul man, EMRSN.
With 'About Love' being one of The New Beatmaker's favourites of 2014, and 'Cold World' being one of 2015's stand-outs, it was only right to invite rising soul star EMRSN to share his favourites from 2015 with us.

EMRSN hopped on Kaytranada's heater 'Holy Hole Inna Donut' for The New Beatmaker favourite 'About Love'.

In doing so, this gave the rising soul star the chance to take a trip down musical memory lane, touching on how Kendrick Lamar channeled Death Row-era Snoop Dogg and, even all these years, Devante Swing still gets the props.

Favourite song: ''Girl' by The Internet (Produced by Kaytranada) - Kaytra on the beat with Syd tha Kyd’s voice, incredible!!

What I love about this sort of music (but more specifically this track) is that it combines elements that I have loved throughout my whole life of being a music fan.

Kaytra especially, really fuses the whole ‘future beats’ with a real nod to that lazy ‘Dilla’ Hip-Hop vibe, with some mad sounding synths - it’s the synths especially.

Kaytranada on the beat again: with Syd tha Kyd and crew's 'Girl'.  A great track and a great video, too.

Kaytra definitely has his own sound (a trained ear can pick a Kaytra track, just like a Premo or Timbaland beat) but it’s those weird synths that he uses that makes his music stand out most for me.

The chords are just SWEET!  Oh, and Syd tha Kyd is an amazing singer, I love the way she writes her melodies.'

Favourite music video:  ''King Kunta' - Kendrick Lamar.  This video just totally brings me back to when I was a young teen falling in love with West Coast gangsta rap.

All hail the King! 2015 was Kendrick Lamar's year.

I knew about Rap but wasn’t that exposed to it, I remember only really being into MJ and RnB, and maybe Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff at the time.  I remember watching Rage (Australian music video TV show) one morning and the ‘What’s my name’ video by Snoop came on.  To be honest, I was more intrigued than anything, it was just so interesting, and I don’t know why, but I was just totally drawn to it.

I loved all those West coast style videos through the 90’s, they just had that certain style and so seeing Kendrick on the roof of the Compton Fashion Center was just like seeing Snoop on top of VIP Records in Long Beach.'

Kendrick on the roof of the Compton Fashion Center was just like seeing Snoop on top of VIP Records in Long Beach.
Favourite album: 'Can I still say Black Messiah - D'Angelo (because I’m going to anyway)!

D’Angelo is a total cliché of a flawed genius - some people are just too good.  I was ready for what he was going to deliver, both on the record and at his SoulFest performance last year.  I had watched the Red Bull interview with him and he explained it what direction the record was going in musically.

I don’t really know what genre you could call this album.  It’s not your ‘stock standard’ Neo Soul, I mean, it’s definitely Soul but with a abundance of influences.  Throughout the record you can also hear way more of a nod to one of his favourite influences – Prince, plus I absolutely love the fact that the entire album was recorded organically and all live.  D’Angelo is the king!'

A very powerful, very poignant performance by D'Angelo and The Vanguard.

Favourite Musician: 'D'Angelo, hands down.  When I was growing up I would always listen to Hip-Hop and wonder why there wasn’t more vocalists singing over some of the really dope, jazzy, soulful Hip-Hop beats, then along comes D’Angelo doing pretty much exactly that.

The way I interpreted his music was simple, it was a mix of Gospel/Jazz and 90’s East coast Boom Bap.  The fact that he had that jazzy swag made him SO much cooler than the rest of the same RnB artists.  His three albums have all been totally different to each other, and I am utterly amazed at how much soul oozes from this dude!

Back in the day my favourite producer was Devante Swing from Jodeci.

Jodeci was and will always be my favourite RnB group.  K-Ci and JoJo were amazing singers, but the reason I loved them so much were the beats, Devante’s beats!  His production was heavily Gospel influenced, but he gave it this rough swag with the beats and synth bass lines he used.  I loved the repetitive sweet lines over the chords, the harp runs, but I think I loved those mega dramatic synth riffs the most - usually used at the intro’s of the tracks, they were inspiring.'


The musical prodigy, Devante Swing, wowing the crowd.

Favourite app, blog or website: 'I still use Youtube to find so much stuff I have no idea about, I'll sit there and just 'surf' for hours, making lists of all this dope stuff I find.

I’ve found a lot of my favourite stuff from Youtube channels like Majestic Casual, Just Good Music, Underground Charisma, Infinite Bass and SYZYGY.  These channels, along with Soulection on Souncloud is where I really started to be exposed to the new movement of Future Beats, and where I still go to find more.'

Highlight: 'Overall, just hearing more and more dope Future Beats being created around the world.
It's the evolution, underground never dies!

I’m waiting for the Future Beat movement to explode, but then at the same time I hope it doesn’t, because we all know what happens to things once the ‘industry’ takes over.  Anyway, it’s just so exciting and stimulating to be part of something that is fresh and dope.'

Low point: 'Being exposed to the ‘lyrical skills’ of some of these "MC's" that seem to be flooding all the mainstream music charts.'

Beatboxer extraordinaire Tom Thum and EMRSN revisit a Ray Charles classic. 

Music based New Year resolution: 'MAKE MORE FUCKING MUSIC!!!!!! That’s my one and only plan, and I’m sticking to it 100%.'

Favourite Microphone: 'The one in front of me.  (Sorry, I don’t know shit about equipment…)'

No need to say sorry EMRSN, just keep doing what you do behind the mic!  Happy 2016 to you and yours.

For more EMRSN, visit:
soundcloud.com/iamemrsn
iamemrsn.com/
facebook.com/iamEMRSN

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Friday, 1 January 2016

Press Release: BeatTips Founder, Sa'id, Drops New Single "Make It Mean Something;" Announces Album

I've made no secret of the influence that Amir 'Sa'id' Said has had on thenewbeatmaker.com (see here and here).  So it's with understandable excitement that I share the following press release:

BeatTips Founder, Sa'id, Drops New Single "Make It Mean Something;" Announces Album

Sa'id, Author of the Books The BeatTips Manual and The Art of Sampling, Puts Out New Single and is Set to Release Album that Aims to Be "Meaningful" and "Demonstrates What's in his Books"
By G. Ferguson



BROOKLYN, NY — December 9, 2015 — Sa'id (Amir Said), founder of BeatTips, the popular beatmaking and music education website, the independent publishing house Superchamp Books, and author of the books The BeatTips Manual and The Art of Sampling, today announced his new album The Best of TimesThe Best of Times, features beats and rhymes entirely by Sa'id, and in addition to being entertaining and thought provoking, it is meant to serve as an example of the ideas, methods, and practices found in his books.


"This album represents one of the best ways for me to further discuss the kind of information and insight that you'll find in both The BeatTips Manualand The Art of Sampling," says Sa'id. "Everything that I do with BeatTips is about continuing the discussion — finding new ways to help expand the beatmaking community at large. But of course, I'm also an artist: I rhyme and I make beats. So also it means a lot to me that have this opportunity to put out music on my own terms and watch it compete on the open market. Plus, I'm an advocate for beatmakers (producers) putting out their own projects. Whether it be as beatmaker-rappers or as part of duo or group, I believe that the most sustainable path for beatmakers (producers) is the path that includes creating and putting their own projects, rather than chasing or waiting for a beat placement. So I'm following my own advice."


Although The Best of Times has no features in the traditional sense, it does have an important co-star. "What makes this album really special to me is that I've done it with the help of my son, Amir Ali Said. Amir, who is the co-executive producer along with me, has been extremely instrumental — literally speaking — to this album. My son is living in Paris at the moment; I just recently returned to New York City from there. And we wanted a way to stay connected until I made my way back to Paris. So as a challenge, and a way for us to really stay connected, I asked him to dig in the crates — e-dig — and pick music for me to sample. No one knows my ear better than Amir. That's my son; he's on the cover of The BeatTips Manual. He's been hearing me make and talk about music his entire life. So I completely trust his judgment; I knew that he would send me stuff that I could catch wreck on. That's why Amir is the co-star of this album: He sent me handpicked music to flip, and I flipped it."

Coinciding with his album announcement, Sa'id dropped a new song called "Make It Mean Something." "I had to drop a new joint. I couldn't mention my new album and not drop a joint. So Here is 'Make It Mean Something,' the first song from my new album. Please share! And thank you for your continued support."

BeatTips has provided the most trusted information on the craft, culture, and business of beatmaking/hip hop production since 2002. The 1st edition of ‘The BeatTips Manual’ was published by Superchamp Books in 2002, the same year BeatTips.com was founded. Used by beatmakers and in schools around the world, in 2007, ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ now widely held as the standard for hip hop production education, was featured in New York University’s first course on beatmaking and hip hop production. Since then, ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ now in its 6th Edition, has been used in countless schools and institutions of higher learning, including The Berklee College of Music and the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and it continues to be recognized as the definitive beatmaking/hip hop production book around the globe, confirming its status as one of the most important music studies of our time.

Press Contact: G. Ferguson, beattips2@gmail.com
http://www.BeatTips.com | @BeatTipsManual @AmirSaid
###
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Soundcloud Sessions 12: Best of 2015 Part One Featuring Lapalux, Illingsworth, V. Nova and More

A Collection of Future Beats, Hip Hop, Jazz, Folk and More

With so much good music released this year I found it impossible to reduce my favourite tracks to a top 15 or some other arbitrary amount for a list. 

Instead, this month's Soundcloud Session is a special 2015 roundup brought to you in three (or maybe even four, TBC) parts.

Featured below are TNB mainstays including walkingshoe, Lanzo, Illingsworth, Ackryte and J'Von, V. Nova, Amir 'Sa'id' Said and more.  Tune in, chill out and enjoy.



Looking to showcase your music?  Find out how via 'Contact'.

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Best of 2015: Jay Bishop Talks Maschine Mikro, Kendrick Lamar, Bandcamp and More

The New Beatmaker Alumni Talks 2015; Beat Placements, Ambitions and More

Jay Bishop had a productive year.  From new 'Late Pass' podcasts through to soulful remixes; whilst his 'New Bap Swing' project proved to be one of 2015's most enjoyable outings.

As if that wasn't enough, Jay was generous enough to hop on board for a 'Soundcloud Sessions' guest slot which again showed his skills as a taste maker / curator of all things funk-filled and soul-soaked.

Here's what Jay had to say about the last twelve months.


Favourite hardware: 'Maschine Mikro.  I can throw it in a bag with my laptop and make beats wherever I may land.  Usually a coffee shop or a brewery, LOL! Or Church.'

The Maschine Mikro MKII: Jay Bishop's (and also The New Beatmaker's) favourite hardware of 2015.  Available from zzounds.com (USA)

Favourite software: 'I picked up the Korg MI VST this year. Not a new plug-in but dope classic sounds if you want that retro late 80’s/ early 90’s feel to your tracks. That classic organ from Show Me Love and other hits is worth the price alone.'

Favourite song: 'Looking at various sites Top 50/100 songs lists of 2015, I am starting to realize that this year has been trash.  Cool Garbage.  That being said, 'Classic Man', 'King Kunta', and maybe 'Bitch Betta Have My Money', 'Blank Space', 'WTF (Where They From)' might be in my top 5 as far as overall song production.  Just great work in sound design and engineering.  These joints bang yet have so much intricate detail in the mixes.'

Favourite music video: 'I don’t watch a lot of videos but Rihanna’s “Bitch Betta Have My Money” video was pretty entertaining.  I also liked Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” video.  Great concept.
Joseph Khan in a great video director.'
Kendrick put out a true work that should be listened to in it’s entirety to get a full understanding of his artistic viewpoint.
Favourite album: 'To Pimp A Butterfly has to be my favorite album of the year. In a time when the album is not really valued anymore, Kendrick put out a true work that should be listened to in it’s entirety to get a full understanding of his artistic viewpoint. Just excellent.'


Jay Bishop's (and also The New Beatmaker's) favourite album of 2015: The instant classic 'To Pimp A Butterfly' by Kendrick Lamar.

Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker: 'Jake One really got me hooked with the Tuxedo album. Just great production right in that funk / boogie pocket.'

Favourite app, blog or website: 'Beat Tape Co - Op keeps me on point on releases in the instrumental hip hop world.  Love that site.'
'Jay was generous enough to hop on board for a 'Soundcloud Sessions' guest slot which again showed his skills as a taste maker / curator of all things funk-filled and soul-soaked.' - Lee TNB (thenewbeatmaker.com)
Low point: 'Everytime I look at my Bandcamp numbers I think that I should be doing so much better.  I know I shouldn’t even sweat that, but it is in human nature to want to be appreciated.  That is why I really have to work harder this coming year.'

Highlight: 'NPR reached out to me to use one of my songs in a show.  That was cool.  I am a NPR fan.  Snap Judgement was the show (http://snapjudgment.org/presto).'

Jay Bishop's scorching-hot takeover of Soundcloud Sessions, for more, visit: soundcloud.com/thenewbeatmaker and mixcloud.com/Jay_Bishop/

Music based New Year resolution: 'I want to increase my output. I just don’t put enough music out and I have been leaning on the 'quality over quantity' excuse for too long.  So more mixtapes, original projects, youtube vids, and just overall content is what I hope to get popping in 2016.'

And getting it popping in 2016 I'm sure you will Jay.  Many thanks for the continued support Jay!

For more Jay Bishop:

jaybishop.bandcamp.com
soundcloud.com/jay-bishop 
mixcloud.com/Jay_Bishop/

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Production Video Roundup: Deconstructing Roots Manuva's 'Witness (1 Hope)'; Volume and Pan in a Mix: More Clarity in a Mix

A round-up of some of the most educational and inspirational production videos

Point Blank Music School: Deconstructing Roots Manuva's 'Witness (1 Hope)

Shout out to the good folks over at Point Black for deconstructing one of my favourite tracks of all time during a recent installment of the always super-helpful Point Blank Deconstruction series.

I always thought that the huge bassline to this UK hip hop anthem was reminiscent of a particular sci-fi TV show that used to have me running behind the sofa as a kid...


 PB instructor Ski Oakenfull deconstructs Roots Manuva's classic Witness (1 Hope) in Ableton Live.

Point Blank is The Global Music School, with courses in London, Los Angeles and Online. Voted 'Best Electronic Music School' by DJ Mag.

Learn Ableton or Logic via their online courses or in their state-of-the-art studios in London or LA: http://www.pointblanklondon.com.

The Recording Revolution: The One Hour Mix Part 1: 'Volume & Pan' 

Volume and panning of tracks is an area that is very easy to get wrong, which will scupper your mix straight from the jump.

Let another The New Beatmaker favourite Graham Cochrane help you get it right: with the first in what is a must-see series of videos, The One Hour Mix. 

An essential resource for musicians and mixing engineers: therecordingrevolution.com.

For more, visit therecordingrevolution.com and start making better music today.

'The Pro Audio Files: Tips for Increasing Clarity in a Mix'

Matthew Weiss is another The New Beatmaker favourite.  Below he provides some great food for thought on clarity within a mix.  

A pensive looking Matthew Weiss providing great insight, yet again: http://bit.ly/1X2KalK

For technical tutorials check Matthew out over at The Pro Audio files on youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/theproaudiofiles

For even more, check out The Pro Audio Files in depth courses via The New Beatmaker Affiliate / Stores page here: http://www.thenewbeatmaker.com/p/store.html

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Chances to Win with trackspark.com: Monthly Digital Goody Bag of High Quality Loops, Plugins, Tutorials and more on a Subscription Basis

Free goody bag of drum loops, a superb plugin and 2 tutorials when you enter Track Spark’s prize draw to win Pioneer RM-07’s and HRM-7’s 


Exciting news from www.trackspark.com, including chances to win.

From the guys themselves:

'Tuesday the 27th October sees the launch of a unique service from a new company called Track Spark.  They’ll be providing a monthly digital goody bag containing high quality live recorded music loops & programmed loops, plugins, sound banks, tutorials and more on a subscription basis. They aim to give exposure to companies & individuals making amazing products & content with the service.  

Track Spark are running a Pioneer sponsored prize draw to win Pioneer’s RM-07 studio monitors worth £550, 3 chances to win a pair of Pioneer HRM-7 headphones worth £150 each, and 5 chances to win a year’s free subscription to Track Spark. 
Track Spark are running a Pioneer sponsored prize draw to win Pioneer’s RM-07 studio monitors worth £550, 3 chances to win a pair of Pioneer HRM-7 headphones worth £150 each, and 5 chances to win a year’s free subscription to Track Spark. 
Everyone who enters the Pioneer prize draw/sweepstakes will receive a free goody bag from Track Spark containing a superb collection of drum loops, Valve Filter VF-1: a multimode resonant filter plug-in with vintage valve emulation from the superb www.audiothing.net , a ‘Do’s and don’ts of mastering’ tutorial by Ian Shepherd, mastering engineer and founder of Dynamic Range Day & a mixing tutorial from Track Spark’s very own Rich Lewis. 

You can enter the prize draw and get your free goody bag here: www.trackspark.com'

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Saturday, 24 October 2015

From TED Talks to Star Wars: The Beauty and Drama of Everyday Sounds

From Birds Mistaken for Opera Singers, to the Household Sounds of a Galaxy Far, Far Away

As a big fan of found sounds, I found the below TED Talk a joy to watch (and listen to). Singer-Songwriter and TED fellow Meklit Hadero demonstrates how the sounds of slowed down bird song can be mistaken for opera singing; and how musical inspiration can strike from something as easily taken for granted as the sound of a pan lid on a hot stove.



In keeping with the theme of just how inspirational and dramatic everyday sounds can be, with this week's release of the latest Trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and the subsequent clamor for tickets almost breaking the internet, it felt only right to share the below video from starwars.com.



There's a certain irony to discovering that the most memorable sounds from one of the biggest grossing film franchises of all time were created using a clever mixture of everyday sounds; many are from nature or can be found within the home.

ted.com
starwars.com

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