Through the journey of different gear, sounds, vst's and vinyl... Yes, vinyl! I will be talking about that one a lot. Thinking back to when I was a kid, I have always been passionate with anything involving audio. I loved anything I felt I could control, especially gadgets. The first time I saw someone scratching a record, (yes, you guessed it) my entire life changed. Of course, I had no clue at the time but I was sure something happened: I became obsessed. Now, I did not become a music producer or even a DJ overnight. Actually, my first set of turntables were a pair of belt drives (I know all you DJ's out there can relate)! I played around with these for about a year or so until my love of music took a backseat to my addiction of drugs and alcohol. I let music slip away from me for a few years until I found sobriety. I came back to my music with nothing but a vestax mixer, one belt drive and one direct drive for scratching. I knew I would have to work hard to become the DJI knew I could be. Heaven came early when I found a pair of Technics and a whole collection of vinyl from a retired dj. I began practicing day in and day out with real vinyl. I was finally able to purchase Serato and taught myself the art of mixing and scratching. One day, a friend of mine told me about a sampler called the MPC 1000... oh, baby. The first time I hit those pads, I knew it was game over. It took me about a year but I was finally able to master the sampler. I was hooked. I bought any little piece of gear I could find: rack mounts, MPC chords, slip mats, and RECORDS! Record shopping became my newest habit. I would go every couple of days. People found out about my record obsession and started dropping them off to me by the crate. As I mentioned before, my new sampler was love at first sight. My true passion is and will always be my MPC. It is the biggest weapon in my arsenal and the brain of anything I create. I became friends with the owners of every small shop I could find. I think they were pleasantly surprised when such a young kid would come into their store and talk about the oldies and ask weird questions like: "do you have any records that only have drums?" They would make the funniest faces. (This was before I knew how to sample my own sounds, of course). To this day, artwork plays a key role in the records I buy. If I can look at the cover and the artwork looks the way I want the tracks to feels, it's mine. Don't get me wrong, it is also important to learn how to read the information on the back of the record: musicians, instruments, genre, style, the year it was released, etc. All of that is really important. You should also know how far down the rabbit hole you are willing to go. I would binge for weeks looking for a certain style, collecting literally hundreds of records from stores and radio stations and realizing I only liked 10 of them. All of this is part of the passion. If you love something as much as I love creating music, you know exactly what I mean. It's the entire process: the hunt, the methods, the gear, the smell of the dust.. OH GOD.. the smell of DUST!! That's my favorite part. When you get home from the record store and realize the tips of your fingers are covered or your body is sore because you were hunched over in weird positions all day digging. When I get home with the records, I turn the world off. I put those records on alongside a large pot of coffee and some nicotine. I look for something the makes my jump, makes my head move, makes me want to dance, makes me feel anything at all. I look for grooves in the grains of the record, skip through the tracks quickly and record lots of little pieces of each song. I can only explain it as a sexually spiritual experience. After I record everything, I chop up the samples, program it onto the pads, find the right drum sounds, and begin to create. I've recently been using the the MPC studio and the Akai MPK25. I mentioned that I went though my phase of buying everything but I've since sold it all except these two pieces because that's all I need. I always told myself that I wouldn't produce on the computer but with all of the vst's and software out there, I love using the computer now!! My setup is perfect for me, someone who needs to be touching and playing with knobs but also needs a very fast work flow.
Akai makes really solid gear and has never let me down with anything I've purchased from them.
This post was to hopefully give you an insight on how I became a music nerd. I will go into more detail about various things in later posts. Thanks for reading my blog and I'm looking forward to chatting with you very soon.
Drop any comments, ideas, or thoughts that came up when you read this. What was your first piece of gear? What's your process? How did you fall in love with music? Comment anything you want me to know!