Producer’s Edge writer speaks on using construction kits

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Okay, yall know we’ve had this discussion numerous times.

And you also know if I have my choice I usually go for a huge collection of various loops broken down by sound type over the construction kit format.

And with my construction kits I will usually break them down this way anyway.

BUT….. my answer is always the same. These are just pieces, no different from having a session musician come in and fill in where you/I lack.

Griffin Avid from Producer’s Edge Magazine (it’s dope, check it if you haven’t before) wrote an article earlier this year that I really enjoyed and wanted to share in light of recent discussions on the topic.

He says much of the same stuff I say, and touches on some very good points about a producers, beatmakers, musicians, pride…etc.

Check it out:

Using Construction Kits in your Production (loops of music phrases etc…)

by Griffin Avid

I feel every artist/musician has to decide for themselves that amount of creativity/control they need to have in their music to feel “right” about it.

That’s balanced with the “Arrogance of Isolation” where someone thinks they have so much…talent or magic to offer that they must compose or create everything themselves.

“producers” have twisted the definition of Producer into One Man Band.
I do Drums
I do Melody
I do arrangement
I do engineering
I do Mix
I even do master….

And somehow that becomes a more accurate definition of making music when A BAND or Orchestra or any group of individuals working together is FACTually able to achieve more with broader results.

It’s actually the reason music has dumbed down since the invention of the one-man-band. It was hidden during the sample era since Samplists were sampling Bands – i.e. Group Efforts.

Those libraries are meant for more than just Producas.
There are PRODUCERS who don’t play anything (Drums, keyboards, synths, guitars etc..) They are using the same process they always have. Listening to a phrase/part/performance and deciding if it fits -and where and how.

That’s actually what it is to be a producer at its core (aside from all the other business elements ofproducing a record). That’s the ear part.

If I am submitting for a commercial project (and those that know this world understand deadlines) I may not have time to get an Uptempo/Urban/Pensive/Driving track done in one night. I might use loops to see what fits when my ideas for a melody or synthline are stalled. Hell I may not want to spend a whole night studying Crunk music to learn its language. I may just pop open a folder called Crunktified Loopsand take the crash course. Snag a loop and build my signature on top of it. That would account for the project description of “with a taste of Crunk, but not too much” Bingo.

Also, Producas tend to do everything just enough to get over. Not a pianist, but they play the keys. Don’t play drums, but program drums…etc…

As a musician I might actually have serious keyboard chops, but can’t play the drums. I would then use loops for my drums and play everything else.

Guitarists use loops without batting an eye lash. Why? Because they consider themselves musicians. And as a musician, it’s okay to play a single instrument. As a Produca (who doesn’t really play anything) it’s not.

That’s the joke of it all.

You gotta decide for yourself how much control you need to feel truly creative. And it makes sense to have that decision be made based on creating the best music possible and not the ego of the creator or anyone else.

link to original article: http://producersedge.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/using-construction-kits-in-your-production-loops-of-music-phrases-etc/

Producer’s Edge writer speaks on using construction kits
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83 Comments

    • @Triple-X, ahahahaha, I knew that would get ya out. What you think about his statements in regards to producers and the “one man band” beatmaker complex? Similar to the stuff I was saying lol.

      Reply
      • @saintjoe,
        see its conflicting for me yo. I started off playing guitar and drums at 12 years old, and played in bands growing up, Only to get into electronic music around 18-20yrs old. and been doing that for a while now. so Im from BOTH schools of thought and can see both sides of it. But for the most part, I can play anything you hand me. Some instruments better than others, lol. From drums to drum machines, and from guitars to basses, to guitar and bass patches on a synth. I also do mix and record and engineer all my stuff as well, so I can relate to that too. I agree with him saying that each person has to decide for themselves how much creativity is enough.. I know each person does.

        My problem with it, is that alotta these new cats are just straight LYING to themselves! LOL

        But in the end, with everyone having a differing opinion or take on what substantiates CREATIVITY, or whats acceptable to do in order to reach the goal of producing something HOT, I think theres always going to be controversy with this topic. There will never be one set in stone point we can all agree on is more or less what I’m saying. The way some cats produce may be wack to me, and dope to someone else. And thats that.
        I have no problem wit ppl doing “them” so to speak. do you. go 4 it. I just have a problem wit wit these fake wanna be cats always trying to find the fastest, cheapest, easiest most unoriginal, non-creative ways to go about “producing” a track they have the audacity to call their own, and then refer to it as “doing work”.
        LOL.. that shit is funny to me.

        I’m from the school of “If your gonna do something, do it right, or don’t do it at all”.

        I guess the problem now is our definition of the word “right” as it pertains to OUR craft.

        Underdig?

        Reply
        • @Triple-X, lol, I feel ya fam, already told ya that…I think we actually agree on the subject, you’re speaking of cats who take the kit, put it back together with everything in it, and say they made the beat lol.

          That’s a lot different than taking a loop, or riff, or a couple to help fill out the track or because you’re not really a keyboard/guitar/bass player.

          I just know there’s a stigma about sample cds in general, but if folks looked at it from a different angle, not so much as “man that’s cheating” they’d find use in them.

          But I think many see the same stuff you’re talking about, no creativity just piece together stuff, so….yeah, it gets a bad rep lol

          Reply
  1. I have a boat load of records but have been adding more and more construction kits over the past year or so. For me it’s just another source for content plus in the end I don’t have to ever worry about sample clearances. The bottom line is always whether or not your beat sounds dope right?

    Thx.

    Reply
    • @Mstrklla, indeed, my feelings exactly, but there are many who feel it’s not “pure” if you use sample cds, loops, etc. Obviously I’m not one of those folks, as I just look at it as you said “another content source” or as a way of getting access to someone that is a better musician, without having to rent a studio lol.

      Reply
  2. My two cents on the matter of loops, samples and construction kits is this. They are a great way to build a project, a quick way to put ideas together. If you take a construction kit and put it together exactly the way it is compiled in the folder, and tag your name on it as the composer, you are fooling yourself, lol. But if you take a piece here and there and make it fit to your creative production, then there is a collaboration of you and the person or company who has made the loop minus the sample clearing fees. I know many producers who do not play any instruments at all. but they use live musicians, and the producer directs them on what he wants.
    It is what is it, this is the era we are in, computerized music, software instruments loop and gadgets. Anybody can be a one band today if they choose to, but it will NEVER, EVER take away the feeling and groove of a live band and playing real instruments, period!!!

    Reply
    • @Teacee, exactly lol, and many of these libraries actually hire the real live musicians to play keys, guitar, drums, etc… so it allows those who don’t have access to live musicians, the opportunity to get that feel.

      Also like you said, producer and beatmaker are different, and many producers are not beatmakers at all, they conduct/direct the flow of the project. They tell who when to play, where to play, etc…that’s how I approach this stuff man. I look at it just like that. If I need a dope key riff, I know my chops aren’t like that, so I’m gonna find one lol.

      Good input yo.

      Reply
  3. THIS IS SUPER SIMPLE HOT IS HOT. IF IT’S BANGIN THEN USE IT FLIP IT OR BLEND IT IN JUST GET THE DEAL . PEEP TREY SONGZ GTRS ON A CERTAIN PLATINUM RECORD . IT’S THE SAME AS
    SAMPLING RECORDS EXCEPT CATS SAY YES INSTEAD OF GIVE ME 80%
    OF YOUR PUB ONE …..

    Reply
    • @asharpe, word fam, it’s all good yo, just do ya thang, folks like to talk a lot about this or that but in the end it don’t matter, like most said, it’s all tools. End result is end result no matter what folks say.

      I use loops, kits, instruments, utensils, whatever I need to get my ideas down lol.

      I don’t just “piece together” the tracks as they come in the construction kits, but I see no issue for someone who’s an artists and just need the tracks, or a media person that just wants some background music, not the same as someone trying to put out their own musical productions.

      But really man, it’s just not that serious as folks make it seem, sampling, swiping, using, taking, replaying, hiring, whatever…it’s all a way to get the sounds you want.

      Reply
  4. Now this is what you call irony. Back in the day me and other producers would argue over the purity of sampling. Back then if you sampled the whole 4 bar loop “as is” and didn’t freak it then you were wack. Also, if you sampled anything past 1977 (because the sound was too clear) then you were wack. But this was before clearances and what not. Do what you feel and make it dope, because in the end whether you get that horn loop from a record or a sample cd the bottom line is you didn’t play it. Have we all forgotten how the game started? When I cam through I didn’t have a band or instruments….but my mom and my uncles had hella records. But I made beats anyway.

    Reply
  5. Joe, I dont do construction kits although you know saving them in seperate flies and whatnot sounds like an okay idea, but I just cant get my head around taking all the trax in a song thats already done then putting them all back togetrher again???? Or maybe with a diff drum track???
    Iono man, if I see its one of those kits I just keep it movin .
    lol, now Ill go read the article!

    Reply
    • @Relic, yeah I’m not talking bout taking it and putting it back together lol, I’m talking about taking a riff or two for your own track, or something like that.

      That’s why I break them out of construction kits into sound folders and I prefer libraries that are like this already, I don’t like to deal with the premade beat, but I do like to deal with various loops and riffs.

      I was at one time really persistent about avoiding them, until I realized I could just treat them like anything else, just because they had them together in a “beat” didn’t mean I couldn’t do whatever I want with them.

      I’m sure the libraries that come already separated were created in a similar way and separated later as opposed to left together…

      I dunno lol….

      The more I’m around them the more I find ways to use them just like any other source. But I feel you, I think it’s the idea and way they are packaged that turns a lot of people off.

      It’s like we got that “finish your plate” syndrome…we feel we gotta use everything in that “kit folder” lol

      Reply
  6. I’m on record as saying: “I Hate Construction Kits!” But! I agree with The Saint and a bunch of ya’ll who say: “There a good starting point and inspiration tool.” “Do what You Do!”
    I started Beat Making with Acid (way back when) and dudes would tell me using Acid Loops was “Cheating”. But, these were the same dudes up on the MPC “Whole Salin'” James Brown loops. Move forward to today. If your Sampling to build beats, it just makes sense to Sample from a Commericail Disc. I bought SoulTown for under $50 and I don’t have to worry bout Motion Samples hunting me down if I make and sell a hot track with their samples.

    Reply
    • @Vinnie Badverbs, there it is right there lol, my thoughts exactly lol. I won’t say I hate them….I will say this, I really, really, REALLY, like loop libraries more than construction kits 🙂

      Reply
  7. This is a good article. I’m not a musician, but I can play piano by ear. I love to sample and can put together something dope! Just my opinion…most musician aren’t producers and most producers aren’t musicians. I’m a producer, not a musician.

    Reply
    • @liltimme, word, good response and you’re right, just because you’re a producer/beatmaker doesn’t make you a musician, and just because you’re a musician doesn’t mean you can produce or make beats. Some do all, some do a couple, some have one role, it’s all music, and it’s all good 🙂

      Reply
  8. Hey,Joe. I loved the article and the discussion that’s taken place. I’m a musician and I also like the idea of using sample interwind with my own music (even though I haven’t done that yet). Listening to some of the samples, especially the rnb stuff, gives me inspiration to create my own parts for my music. My main instrument is guitar, but I also play a little bass and keyboard as well. Anyway, keep doing your thing as I’m quite sure everyone else will too. I know I will. Peace!

    Reply
    • @William, word man! thanks for the love, yeah you know me, I really don’t care what a person does as long as they having fun making music lol, I just like to get some good discussions going 🙂

      Reply
  9. i really dont like to use construction kits myself unless im chopping a sound out of it. i kind of feel like less of a producer using something not mines. especially since when i began production on something i usually have the whole beat patterens and all in my head unless im sampling. i do however chop sounds from construction kits as some of the kits have amazing sounds. who know tho maybe some day ill absolutely need to use a loop or two. i would just feel weird proudly sayhing i produced that beat knowing somebody elses pattern is attached to it.

    Reply
    • @william m, I hear ya man, there really is no wrong way to use them, some use the full loops, some use parts, some chop, some put different parts together to make new samples, some use the whole kit (sorta like ghost producing) The end result should be if they are happy with the song, music isn’t about rules man, it’s about using the tools we have, however we feel, that’s why I love this stuff…so many options and ways of working that everyone can do it how they feel

      Reply
  10. Great topic my first software was acidpro I got tagged as a looper by guys who used fruity loops before it became fl studio and reason.

    I’d combine loops from different kits and sample libraries to make beats I’ve made some good stuff with loops alone I got dogged so much I bought myself a microKorg synth a Roland MC808 groove box and the mpc 1000 just to silence the haters.

    Constuction kits can be a vitale tool when you have no musical background everybody had to start somewhere mine was with loops.

    I hear loops and sounds in a lot of the major artist songs not chopped or rearranged every sound sampled or not had to come from somewhere .

    I never planned on becomming a professional I still got my day job this is just my hobby and thanks to you Saintjoe for all the info and knowledge you pass along good lookin Bro …holla atcha later

    Reply
    • @E-GOLDS, yeah man I feel you, I think the thing is, unless it’s another producer, no one cares lol. And they only care if they know/have the same library lol…if they never heard it, they wouldn’t know. If you never told folks you used acid, they wouldn’t have had anything to say…people are weird like that. I say do what you want. And you’re right, hits have been made with many sample libraries, kits, and garageband loops lol. It’s all about the end result man.

      Reply
  11. Talk about a panel discussion! All things considered traditional musician or non-conventional it’s all a form of expression be it construction kits or sampled loops. That person’s own innate creativity, or lack there of, may usually be the deciding factor. There’s something to be said for some degree of knowledge of the characteristics of a real world instrument so that when reproduced via the electronic medium (MPC, Maschine, Kontact, etc.) one hopefully can avoid sounding overly synthetic, unless that’s the goal. I’ve had some formal training (sax/keys) time signatures and all that went along with it, however some of my most pleasing moments have been playing by ear or trying out an instrument I wasn’t familiar with. Long story short (as it relates to Hop-Hip music anyway) innovation has always been the foundation of discovery, regardless if one labels themselves a “purist” or not, being tasteful and creative should be what matters. So good people let’s keep learning, creating & progressing be it via construction kits, loop libraries or vinyl samples. *(I wonder what would be Griffin Avid’s take on the Beat Tips Manual?)

    Reply
    • @jamari, yessir man! Exactly, for some reason there is just a huge “stigma” on construction kits. I personally just don’t like the layout I’d rather have them in sound folders, but it’s really just a different way of organizing lol…I just find it easier to get what I want if I have a folder of keys, guitar, etc. But it’s still using a sample, someone elses work, but I have no problem with that at all because other people are better at certain things than I am. Also it’s useful if it’s a style you don’t normally do, helps get the right feel, etc. Like you said, let’s keep making music, and realize it’s all a form of personal creativity no matter what you use to get there.

      Reply
  12. I just read through all the posts and I gotta say everyone has brought up some excellent views on this subject. If only the whole internet could be so balanced and thought out (lol). I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I have a self imposed rule with construction kits and just libraries in general. The rule is no more than one loop out of a folder or kit, and the loop must be chopped and re-arranged. I will even force myself to never use drums from a library where I got a musical loop or one shot from. Long story made short, even if I used sample libraries to make an entire track, I end up using like 16 pieces from 16 different libraries. I don’t mean 16 loops, I mean like 1 hi hat here, a kick from somewhere else and so on. I leave the original folders intact (although I can see why you re-organize them SaintJoe), and just keep reminding myself my HD’s are one big buffet of sounds, then try to work that to my advantage as far as variety and creativity.

    The craziest thing to me is the fellow beatmakers and producers who act like I’m wack because I use quality stuff like Big Fish and FatLoud and other quality sound providers. If cats feel like they’re above it or better yet have the chops to do their own thing, cool that’s peace. But the dudes I’m describing are the type that when they share a song file with you and you see their sequences/racks etc. , it’s all the stock kits and sounds! I ask them directly “I’m wack for spending money on good sounds and making my own kits, but it ain’t wack to use the same Reason kits 50,000+ other people use?”

    Anyway it’s cool to see everyone here give the subject a fair look, and it was really cool how everybody looked at both sides of it, whether they use the retail libraries or not. Thanks for a great post and the subsequent discussion SaintJoe!

    Reply
    • @Metatron72, yeah bro lol, I say the same thing. Folks can use presets all day long ( I love them myself on synths and workstations, it’s all good) but when it comes to libraries it’s somehow different. I mean, unless you playing out every instrument and creating every sound from scratch you using someone elses work…why reinvent the wheel. I know people who look down on folks that use presets….I’m like…man, these folks GET PAID to design sounds, why would I not use them? That’s like sayin “nah, I’ll build my own house instead of using someone else to do it, I’m sure I can fumble my way into doing it” why not just have someone who does it for a living do it and you make it fit what you want it to be? lol

      thanks for the comments yo!

      Reply
      • @saintjoe, Thats a double edges sword right there SJ.
        sure why not just by a house pre-built.. it takes way to much work and resources to build a house. Let someone else do it. Even I bought my house pre-built. Werd.

        But MUSIC used to be this way as well. Studio techniques, learning instruments, knowing whom to present your finished music to, and all in all just being able to CREATE something people wanted to listen to? It was hard back then.. It took bands and concerted, collective efforts to create music back in the day. Enter HipHop. Sure bands were mad cause one cat wit two turntables could rock the fuck out of a party.. but it was CUTTING EDGE, NEW, FRESH.. and UNDERGROUND! (Can we REALLY say that about now?)

        Fast forward to today….This has become so ridiculously EASY now, that ANYONE and their Grandmama can make some damn music. It takes no talent, little to no musicality, no skill, etc.
        Imagine Yung homo and his LiL Grandmama go buy a MPH2010(Make Phat Houses 2010) and a few “CONSTRUCTION Kits”(Pun Intended) and toss together a shortcut ass shack of a house, with several code violations, Fire Hazards, neighbors driving by saying “EWWW! you know what that P.O.S. House is going to destroy our PROPERTY VALUES!!!” But Yung Homo and LiL Grandmama Love that house!
        Cause THEY built it.

        And that is the state of HipHop…… EVERYONE wants to do it, so they all do, and pow the flood gates are opened. Most are wack.
        A few shine through. But finding those few? Extraordinarily difficult in a flood. Plus the Industry no longer rewards Talent and Creativity. Does it?

        P.s. A lot of cats won’t realize what I’m getting at until they realize shit like; with record sales in decline and people stingy on the “buy song” button, the MAKE music Industry(Gear) is probably outselling the Finished Music Industry(Cd’s & DL’s).
        After all, Its just business right?
        No different than taking advantage of a wack rapper by sellin him a beat and studio time to make a little money. You know he aint gonna go no where.. so F it.. get that doe. Or someone else will.. right?
        shit.. another double edged sword. Now Emce wackalot thinks he is dope cause he has a demo that YOU made for him, essentially co-signing on him, and he is on Myspace, and Facebook, and Soundcloud, and Soundclick, and Reverb Nation, and finally pressing his garbage up on CD-Baby, and his daddy works for Apple so HIS SONG JUST MADE IT ON iTUNES!!!!

        And that is the state of HipHop.
        (p.s.s. obviously I was being a little more candid and sarcastic on my second rant, than the first. lol)

        No go rock some D4L and Flo-Rida and THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR DOING

        Reply
        • @Triple-X, I hear ya man lol…it’s nothing new, same argument been going on in every generation of hip hop fam, folks think it’s too commercial and wack, warning folks to “keep it real” and then you have folks that ride the commercial wave and get paid. then you have those who flow down the middle and just do the music they feel.

          Folks that play instruments think the electronic instrument cats got it too easy, cats that use the hardware electronic instruments think the software cats got it too easy, cats that use the software to compose think the fruity loops cats got it too easy lol…

          everyone can always find something wrong with another person and their methods, but in the end, if you didn’t know the method being used, and you liked the music that’s all that should matter, same as if you don’t know the method, and don’t like the music

          I’ve never been one to play the “blame game” and I’m not so foolish to not know that what’s popular isn’t always what’s good in my opinion, what’s popular is what sales, and what sales is what will be exploited by everyone until it stops selling lol…that’s just the truth…

          you will always have copycats, shortcutters, and folks looking to “get over”, it will never change, and will keep on just like it has for our entire lifetime, sure it looks different, but it’s all the same underneath

          folks been saying hip hop is dying for the last 15-20 years…seems it’s still dying, but somehow, it’s not dead yet lol

          Reply
          • @saintjoe,
            we agree 95% or so, so Im not trying to argue or insight conflict here.. but this statement..

            “everyone can always find something wrong with another person and their methods, but in the end, if you didn’t know the method being used, and you liked the music that’s all that should matter, same as if you don’t know the method, and don’t like the music”
            I respectfully DISAGREE. Why would we subject athletes to random drug screens, if performance enhancing drugs are okay? Shit as long as they players do well, who cares how?
            Nah man…

            So my questions is..your saying that you believe we should show the same respect to two different cats that make equally Hot/Dope tracks, while one cat played live guitar, bass, drums, keys, and used a couple vocal samples on his track, while the other cat only played drum samples, on nothing but uncut/unchanged loops from a few construction kits?

            In my opinion the shortcut cats track looses all its credibility based on how it was created. The problem is we can’t know. But those with a trained ear can. Its the mainstream listeners that get cheated mostly tho. But they’re too dumb to care.

            Now…I’m always gonna do me. I maintain that I starting making music out of sheer love for it and always will(which is why this topic really strikes a “chord” wit me.. *pun intended yet again*). I was one of those kids in the 80’s that recorded live radio to cassettes and mixed it up into my own mixes, then began playing guitar totally by ear with no lessons, and could replay exactly what I heard on tapes. Same with drums, till finally at about 19 I got a mpc and been rockin mpcs and samplers and synths AND live instruments for the last 12-13 years.

            I just don’t appreciate how talent is no longer being rewarded, let alone looked for. I have no problem with anyone doing anything they love, that produces joy for them. Thats personal. This is business, and when these untalented guys can do something that requires skill and talent with ease by simply purchasing and making use of tools like construction kits, and come to (what listers consider)the same conclusion.. that is just wack to me.
            And the end listener doesn’t know the difference. Hot to them is hot. They don’t care if the producer is wack and cheated the track by dumping a drum beat onto someone elses love and joy and hard work. Sorry. That pisses me off.

            and Nah I dont think hiphop is dead. I just think its under water right now, drowning looking to grab onto a life preserver. I think that life preserver being accessible is up to us. Its up to us to make great music, and to do it by exercising our talent and skill and RESPECTING the craft.
            And when we see fakers and cheaters, or hear something that’s wack.. point em out, point em out!

            so all in all.. yes we are beating a dead horse. But if ONE single person reads this and decides to man up and not act like a bitch by shortcutting and faking their shit.. then I succeeded in taking a stand. If we ALL do that, and help to educate these younger cats just getting in the game, then maybe the music will get better. Maybe it wont.
            But how will we know unless we try?

            Reply
            • @Triple-X, lol, aight fam, I’m gonna leave it alone. It’s obvious we are on two different wavelengths here.

              Peep this, unless you have a kit, pack, or loop library that someone else does, or you’ve heard it, how would you know? Don’t pull that “a trained ear can tell” because most of these libraries use REAL MUSICIANS lol..you would have no clue. You would be vibin out to a beat thinking it’s the illest track since TROY…till you found out someone “cheated” by using a loop or two lol…THAT’S what I find hilarious.

              To liken using loops to using steroids? lol..come one fam? Are you serious? So what if I hire folks on the net to make my keys, drums, guitar, strings, etc…then I just lay some drums. Is that cheating? Or is it not because I hired someone to do it instead of buying it in a library?

              It’s all good man, we really agree more than anything lol, I just don’t think it’s as black and white and I for one am not mad at these “shortcutters” who “make it” because they aren’t doing anything I want to do lol…I don’t feel like they make it “harder for me to get on” or anything like that, I feel like my success or failure is up to me, not anyone else “getting on”…

              thats’ where we differ. I think dope music speaks for itself, as does talent, that hasn’t changed. Folks just showing it to the people who aren’t looking for it.

              What about the cats making a living providing these loops? You think they love what they do? To them it’s no different than going in and making a record, I know, because I’ve talked to many…and that’s exactly how they approach it.

              They get paid, they “get on” in a different way and still get rewarded for their talent and skill 🙂

              We can keep going but I think it’s pretty much over and where we stand is where we stand, that extra 5% is just where we will disagree lol…that’s cool

              That’s why I like this types of convos, so folks can get their thoughts out! Where else can ya do that! lol…holla!

              Reply
              • @saintjoe,
                Im good wit that. 95% is good wit me!
                my point about the althete comparison though was legit though.
                Kinda like if two players both perform extremely well, but one uses drugs and the other dont.. sure the fans dont care so long as their team is winning.. that is, until they find out that their star athlete is juicing up.

                Then he gets publicly humiliated and fined or traded, etc.

                It almost falls into the “what ya dont know wont hurt ya” category. But when we find out.. we’ll be PISSED!!!
                haha

                and yes.. a trained ear can hear certain shit man.
                specifically producers.. No different than you might here a smaple and say.. oh thats from…
                You might here some cats track on soundclick and be like.. ahh hell nah, all he did was take Loop 1A from so and so construction kit and put drums on it.

                thats what I meant there..

                anyway.. we can agree on one thing for sure though..

                lets put this topic to bed and have a drink or something!
                LOL

                p.s. after this epic discussion, you may wanna look at a new format for the board. It got really hard after a while to find where we left off at, since some of the replies within a reply end up being above the most recent reply, etc etc. Especially when you get an email alert about someone replying and then click that to answer.. im scrolling all over trying to find shit.. lol

                Reply
                • @Triple-X, lol! It’s all good lol, I think we all love music man, that’s the main point we here 🙂

                  as far as the layout, well it’s a blog first, I don’t want to change it into a forum 🙂

                  I feel ya on the scrolling though!

  13. I really hate the political side of creating music..me myself, i keeps it simple..find a dope sample freak it to the likes of your ears..cause if its good dope,everybody gonna want it in the end.

    Reply
    • @Sky, THANK YOU lol, that’s how I feel man, the only way it gets political is when folks start asking how you did something. All that matters should be what is sounds like, that’s your interpretation on the music you want to make, period.

      like I said, I don’t care WHAT a person does man, if they having fun, and they like it, it’s all good.

      Reply
  14. I hear an understand all of you, it dont matter where the sound comes from, it,s a sound man. Lightning Hopkins had his own sound, I could name alot of people who have made there own sounds. I have played guitar, bass, sax, each take time to learn, even the bag-pipes, they are sounds and thats what Music is about. Yeah, use what-ever to get the sound You hear in Your head, before it drops out and some-thing else takes its place, the kids shouting,a fool smashing his wheels around the corner, it dont matter. The sound you hear inside is what matters an it aint easy to get down on paper or do da do da into a tape. Sinatra played in a movie where they played the last post tune, I have never heard it played like that since. just as it dont matter, the sound is what it,s all about an how it sounds. You may not like it, But, some-body else does. I dont cry at sad movies, but to hear and feel what others are doing with Music, Makes me wanna sing, an I am far from sounding good, But I still sing Because the Music has that feel, no matter where it came from. All I can realy say is ” There are alot of Box,s out there, use them ” Keep Smiling. Jock

    Reply
    • @Jock, Exactly sir! Great response and I feel the same about it, sound is sound in the end and however you get the sound from your head to your music is all good to me, as long as you can express what you hear in your head, that’s beautiful to me.

      Reply
  15. I put it like this I not going to knock how you came up with something if you put your own spin on it. The new school cats of I make a hit in five minutes with note repeat and straight stock sounds and synths is horrible. It’s killing the music but a lot of people feelin the wackness and keepin it on the air. Originality is número UNO no matter how you got there loops, samples, playing it, tweekin, but you gotta come from your angle with it. Bitin is not an issue nowadays that’s the real issue along with not being able to say you don’t like somethin commercially successful without it being hatin.

    Reply
  16. Once again, great work and a great article saintjoe. I have learned to use loops and kits liberally, while staying totally original and true to myself. One person posted that you couldn’t get a certain feel because of the pre-determined direction of the musicians playing the loops, but that isn’t true. If a producer has a certain level of talent(a gift) then anything can be flipped. My demo album is almost ready, so you will hear what I’m talking about. Peace -Echo

    Reply
  17. It’s all about originality, as producers or beatmakers we are always SUPPOSED to look for our OWN way to sound or flip a something we did not make(i.e., sample, loop, etc.) The biggest problem is that now people have the access to make music for next to nothing and they people using stock sounds and loops without any originality getting the commercial success. People are followin the money and their own style because they feel if they do them noone will buy their music. I feel it is really lame to make a whole beat out of stock sounds and loops and call yourself Producing a song when you did not put work in on that song. But like I heard somebody say if you don’t like something make something better then you cant complain about people having a choice. If you gonna really produce music short cutting is only going to get you so far. Hard work will pay off in the long run.

    Reply
    • @Panoramic, I hear ya, but I think we need to establish the meaning of “stock sounds” because you can make a whole track with “stock sounds” from a keyboard, or from a workstation like kontakt, or just with the stock sounds in Logic, Ableton, etc…so I’m assuming you mean someone just taking loops and putting them together for the track?

      Either way, people will do what they do, I use everything available to me to get my ideas out, I rather enjoy the process of making the music so just throwing loops together doesn’t interest me.

      On the other hand, I do like to put a bunch of different loops together to make my own “samples” from some of these kits, which I think turn around and chop up, etc…

      creativity comes in many forms in my opinion, commercial success shouldn’t determine what we do or do not like.

      Reply
      • @saintjoe, AS for the STOCK SOUNDS comment.
        I whole heartedly agree with panoramic on this..
        Construction kits are like session players you say.
        Synths and Workstations and their respective presets are just multiple instruments in their PRE played forms.
        If I want a guitar I pull up a guitar preset. If I need a Rhodes I pull up a rhodes. Bottom line.. I GOTTA PLAY IT. I gotta be musical, original and have at least some SKILL or TALENT. (hopefully both)

        The construction kits.. anyone can just take that shit and use it as is. I mean why not, they paid for it right? Oh…. what about that cats that DL shit for free on rapidshare tho… they aint pay for it.. and STILL use it that way.
        at least with STOCK SOUNDS from a SYNTH or workstation cats gotta play their shit out.. If they’re wack YOULL HEAR IT.

        Construction kits in general are difficult for me to love or hate. As far as saving me from having to get clearance.. sure, That is the MAIN reason I would SAMPLE from them, or from those meant to resemble a time or style of music. But then there is shit like Jeezy’s Hood, or T.I. Trap Sounds and all that BS.
        Its INSTANT GRATIFICATION CITY. And instant gratification is the LAST THING we need to be giving these kids as a tool for music production.

        Reply
    • @Panoramic,
      I agree that hard work usually pays off in the long run. Your right about that.. But in the beginning of what you were saying, you pointed out that people are “short cutting” using stuff without adding their own take on it. The problem as I see it, is that IS paying off for some of these WITHOUT putting in any hard work.

      Then somehow it gets packaged and marketed as whats NOW/NEXT and people are brainwashed into buying/listening to it.
      I’m so sick of it really. Its just wack.

      I’m tellin you tho… After last night.. Couple Friends of mine opened for Redman & Method Man last night.. It was SO REFRESHING to not only see them again, and a real hiphop show with tremendous energy, but to hear THEM on stage talking about how WACK shit is in the industry right now. Hearing it from cats like them, who then back it up with REAL HIPHOP on stage? Dope.

      Tools are tools.. Im all for using a tool to make my job easier or work turn out better. But there is also cheating. Deep down inside cats know whats up. So lets just hope Panoramic is right about the hard work part.

      and FYI, if you aint seen RednMeth live ever, or lately… go do that.

      Reply
        • @saintjoe, yeah that vid is ass… one of those in the moment joints despite knowing my cell takes ass vids.. lol

          and yeah the last time I saw them was around 99/2000 as well.
          Its amazing the energy level they come with considering they are 39 and 40 respectively. I see teenagers walking around on stage and standing in one spot that think they’re rockin and shit.. Its funny really.

          But yeah RednMeth …They’re some real down to earth dudes too. Outside the tour bus mingling and taking flicks n shit.. They was really giving out hiphop 101 lessons last night. lol
          It was too dope.

          Reply
          • @Triple-X, alot of new school artist don’t know what it means to have stage presence, most don’t know what it means to get booted off stage if you’re wack. Truth is, old or new, some artist just know how to rock the crowd. When I saw them, they came out on cables and was flying over the crowd performing “how high” lol…who does that?

            Some folks got a good show, some just walk the stage. I saw them at a concert with jay z and dmx…they had the best show. dmx was next, jay z didn’t do much at all lol, his set was pretty boring…even though he was the “headliner”

            Reply
            • @saintjoe,
              Yeah I saw that concert too. Jay has always been more laid back on stage.. like he gets a “one of the dopest emces of our time” pass or somethin and can relax on stage. lol

              Red n Meth are definitely entertainers.. I’ve seen the show were they do how high on cables and all that. But this show last night was at a club in downtown ATL called the Masquerade that I think has a capacity of like 1500 ppl.. and there was about 1000 there last night. so it was a more personal and powerful, less COMMERCIAL show overall. Albeit a PERFECT environment for a REAL HipHop Show!

              Reply
  18. @Everyone that has posted previously, you have all made some very good points and I agree that using loop libraries are valid and can still help maintain some originality. The bottom line is sample clearance issues. I would rather sample from a loop library than a piece of prerecorded material TODAY but I used to decry these loop CDs back a few years. I still will use records to a degree but I am conscious of the costs of selling such a track as opposed to getting 100% of a loop enhanced track. I was bringing this discussion forward with my boy the other day and posted a comment on the George Duke article a few days ago about similar feelings..

    Reply
  19. I have already a comment earlier on this subject of construction kits. But I have listened to all the comments, rants, justification for using construction kits. I have a question and would like to know how does everyone feel about giving credit where credit is. do. If you had a studio musician come in and lay down a bass line or piano part on one of your songs, you would give that musician credits on the album or cd. If you sampled from a published recording _album cd) you would give the credits of the source of the sample, (name of song, artist, or publisher). Now with construction kits, you buy them depending if they are exclusive or not really doesn’t matter, do you think or feel they should get the same credit rights, even though they are not receiving any money from the sales of the cd? Seeing that someone had to record and lay the chops, same as a studio musician, do you feel its ok to take the credit?

    Reply
    • @Teacee, I say that it is okay to take credit b/c in most cases with sample companies wanting credit you have to send your song to them to get clearance and blah,blah,blah, blah, when in most cases especially mine, I use their loops creatively enough that I shouldn’t need clearance. It is more of a hassle. Lastly, no one likes to give out their resources if they don’t have to.

      Reply
    • @Teacee, That’s the whole point of royalty free libraries, you aren’t obligated to go there with it, sure you can if you want, but that’s the whole point. Of course if you have someone play with you, you’re gonna credit them as you actually worked together on the track.

      A lot of times you won’t even know who made the tracks/loops in a library, so who do you credit? the company? That’s another reason people deal with loop libraries, because you don’t have to keep track of and or document the sources.

      Now at the same time, just because I got the George Duke library don’t mean I can credit him as working on the track lol.

      so yes, it’s still a bit different than a full collaboration on a track.

      Reply
      • @saintjoe, LOl I know the whole point of royalty loops, I said that in my post, I know anyone is not obligated to give credit to the sample provider. and I also made the point of giving someone credit for playing on your project, and as far as not know, I believe a lot of know where the loops come from if you are actually buying them. I just asked a general question just to see how people feel on the matter. So all the points you mentioned i realize and know that as well. I just wanted to see where most feel on the matter. I realize and know most people making beats and songs will never get past there desktop or posted on some site on the internet. Like I said it was a general question to see how people felt personally on the matter.

        Reply
        • @Teacee, I know yo know homie lol…just saying, that’s kinda the point of them lol. The only people that know or even care about this is folks making music lol. The reality of it is, the end users, or “listeners” far outweigh the folks that are in this small area of “music making”…the fact is, outside of beatmakers…no one really cares.

          For some reason, it only seems to really get any attention amongst urban/hip hop producers…other genre’s embrace loops to the fullest 🙂

          Reply
  20. Yo I saw an interview of Boi 1da, he said that he has no idea about musical notes, said he didn’t know what the hell a C# or B flat was. Yet he was able to create really good music, in fact multiple grammy nominations, I’m sure he’ll win at least 1 for Eminem’s “Not Afraid” He was having his room\studio remodeled. The only equipment he had was a laptop, not even a midi controller of any sort. I know a lot people think if you’re serious about music production especially hip-hop, that you must have a Mac and Pro Tools. Well he had a PC and FL Studio, which he still uses by the way. He taught himself to hear all the subtle nuances of different instruments, so if he heard a C# minor chord and a B major chord he just knew they were in the same key even if he didn’t know what key or scale it was or even what a key or scale was. By doing it that way he forced himself to be a lot more creative than us people who only play in A minor or C major cause their the only scales we know, and since you have to play everything yourself your limited to 2 keys C major and A minor which is really the same (almost).
    The goal is to make the best possible music with whatever tools you have. Like if you could get Carlos Santana to play on your track but choose to play it yourself with Electri6ity. That’s ridiculous. You think fans refuse to listen to any song that musicians collaborated on? That’s ridiculous too right?

    Reply
    • @Digg Dugg, good input, I think the Mac/protools outlook died a while ago though 🙂 At least it’s not as prominent as it once was, most realize there’s more programs, tools, and platforms that we can use nowdays. I hear ya though man, lol @ playing in only two keys. I’m not a person that can quickly pick out a chord or key, but I know what keys/scales go together and which sound off.

      That said, nothing wrong with trying to educate yourself either, I play by ear now but that doesn’t mean I don’t continue to learn so that I am more versatile.

      And yeah…I’d take Carlos Santana any day over me and Electri6ity lol.

      Reply
  21. We can’t do it all. But im sure we would love to. Does using a VST make you a cheat? I make advertising music and find these kits a blessing! I use them for inspiration and use it as a bass fit the track. I haven’t got the gear to make these kind of tracks. I’m on a mac pro with great plug ins, SSD, nexus, project Sam etc. it’s the guitars that I struggle with cos I ain’t a great guitarist.

    Reply

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