HOW TO PRODUCE OLD SKOOL TUNES? (vintage style)

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Postby warriorsteppas » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:00 pm

many thanks for all the feedback, I really appreciate it alot! dougie do you have any idea's where I can purchase the yamaha dx 100 keyboard?

And about when I say non-commerical I was reffering to the roots rock reggae style! just thought I would make myself clear as possible because when most people hear dancehall they may think of sean paul and other mainstream related artists. Apologies for the confusion!
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Postby system failure » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:18 pm

I think this VST is pretty cool for digi sound - and free!
Its modelled after the Yamaha CS01
http://rekkerd.org/pethu-releases-hahah ... nd-cs01ii/
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Postby i M@N » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:52 pm

Hello
Junior wrote:Yes, live onstage it's probably a very different feel. But when it comes to digital productions, you don't 'feel' any difference if it's a 'programmer' or a 'musician' producing the riddim
...
How on earth can you tell the difference between a digital drum pattern made by a 'real' musician and one made by a 'programmer'?!

my humble opinion is you can feel it. i can't explain it perfectly but for example those hithats regular as clocks just break my pleasure in many "nu-roots" tune nowadays.
And about the quality of the sound i'm not sure any digital kit can replace a real vintage one, all those things with lamps, tapes and so ...
it's for those reasons i prefer the sound of 60/70's even if some productions nowadays like BDF's ones (inaky is to humble to say it but BDF & Roberto Sanchez productions sounds truely great).
i relly enjoy nothing more than Lee Perry productions at Black Ark, Studio One stuff, or out of JA the Motown sounds for example.

This doesn't mean i can't enjoy dancehall from the 80's and Jammys but i think you can feel when it's a quartz and when it's a live drummer on most of the tunes even if the samples are very good, it's a matter of regularity of the sounds as it's really difficult for a computer to imitate a human being : it would take less time to play the partition live to get something that sounds ... how could i say ... spontaneous. But sometimes it's really hard, especialy when the programmer is called Sly Dunbar !

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Postby KayaLion » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:21 pm

Check this interview with Steevie and Cleevie, some interesting points made about the feeling in digital music:

http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/video-archive/lectures/steely_and_clevie__easy_snappin

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Postby loyaljester » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:09 pm

Interesting thread... In particular I have found it hard to distinguish if the bass on old digital riddims is played live throughout the tune or programmed/seqouenced/looped. Steelie & Cleavie, Music Works etc. riddims sounds steady like a sequencer for most parts but then comes a wicked little pitch glide, change in tempo or melody making you feel like this was something spontaneously played live by a musician. I can't tell but if you say it's live I take this to be the case.

As for drum programming, I think you can hear when a real drummer programs the machine... For example, I would be surprised if Dougie (IMO one of the the drum programming champions of modern days) isn't an old drummer.

Regarding dx100, I recently picked one up but haven't had the time to dig that deep into it yet. What sounds was it typically used for back in the days... bass, keys, synth effects, horns, etc? On a general level, is it the presets that make those wicked old digi sounds or is there a big potential in programming your own sounds?
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Postby dougie conscious » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:51 pm

dx 100 try ebay about £100.if you cant get one of those a dx 27/21 will do,they used the piano sounds off these keyboards for that 80/90s piano chop sound,they sometime used the flute sound for bass,the yamaha cs 01 for bass steelie + cleevie firehouse crew even jazwad use this for bass it has that hollow rubber bass sound{and a wicked pitch bend}you will have to program your own bass sound but its quite easy,the oberhiem dx are quite expensive{£300/400} same as the lyn drum{of witch you can hear the snare sound in 100s of early digi tunes, the ha ha cso1 plug in is very good{again you will have to program your own sound} still not as boomy as the origial,As time went on the akai mpc 60 took over the drum machine role then the 60 mark 2, then the mpc 3000 gussie clarke used to use a yamaha rx 5,15,11,21,drum machine cant remeber witch one but it had that trade mark orchestral stab on it the one used for rumours and countless rydims like report to me etc, even to this day im sure sly steelie and cleevie still use the mpc 3000 and cso1 for bass,you can get plug ins or samples for all these drum machines{i have most of them}but i still think the originals sound better,PS YES I CAN PLAY DRUMS{not that great thou}
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Postby dougie conscious » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:58 pm

ps again if your after the sling ting sound a casio mt40 is all you need, it has the rydim biult in and them mad rock n roll drums,of witch ive used on numerous tunes,
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Postby Rootsman » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:36 am

loyaljester wrote:Interesting thread... In particular I have found it hard to distinguish if the bass on old digital riddims is played live throughout the tune or programmed/seqouenced/looped. Steelie & Cleavie, Music Works etc. riddims sounds steady like a sequencer for most parts but then comes a wicked little pitch glide, change in tempo or melody making you feel like this was something spontaneously played live by a musician. I can't tell but if you say it's live I take this to be the case.


The reason that it's hard to tell is that these riddims were created master musicians who when playing live are incredibly tight. As Dougie/Inyaki rightly point out, the great riddims from the digi era are played live with the exception of the drum machine. This is how these riddims have so much life in them, unlike poor imitations made by non-musicians on their PC.
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Postby Inyaki » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:10 pm

KayaLion wrote:Check this interview with Steevie and Cleevie, some interesting points made about the feeling in digital music:

http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/video-archive/lectures/steely_and_clevie__easy_snappin

Irie


Steelie and Cleavie tell it like it is!
Undeneath their diplomacy, you can listen to a lot of truth and inside knowledge about how the music is created and by who. The "feel" and approach.
Both of them are formally trained and articulate.

I think some people got the wrong end of the stick...I'm not against sequencing, quantizing or computer based technology at all. I've been using it for more than 20 years. I used to be a "programmer" of music ( but I wasn't convinced by the results.... quite stiff and rigid ), I realized there is more to it than that and taught myself to "play music" in the old sense ( playing keyboards and bass backing JA musicians onstage)....that little extra "swing" is a huge difference IMO.
It works for me...and all the musicians I mentioned above tell me the same.
If people can hear the difference or not is up to them, musicians can tell.
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:10 pm

Some great comments in this thread - for the few doubters:
Note the experienced producers in this thread all say it does make a difference who is at the steering wheel - live or in the box. I also agree, it makes a huge difference. Get Sly Dunbar on a drum machine and Joe Blow off the street - would anyone not be surprised by the result that Sly's beats will be smokin' ? Even a quantized drum machine - it makes a huge difference, who is doing the programming.
I have witnessed with my own eyes before 2 people, both musicians who got the same 'magic box' with the same exact sounds - one produced incredible Universes of songs from it, the other plodding sad weak anemic fragments.

And indeed - the caliber and depth of knowledge of the musicians / programmers around Jammy's on the classic digital stuff - eg Steely & Clevie et al,, it just can't be matched by random amateur programmers on Reason or what have you...just more modern myths of the internet & technology being the grand 'leveller' of music - couldn't be further from the truth...at the end of the day it still comes down to experience, training, depth of knowledge, taste, feel, collaboration, bouncing of ideas, vibes.
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Postby Junior » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:56 pm

I think this thread is filled to the limit with false presumptions and distorted comparisons. Like Chocolate Soldier comparing Joe Blow from the street with Sly Dunbar. Well, obviously sly is a better programmer. The comparison is a joke, nobody would argue that anyone can program riddims as good as Sly. It's a false premise.
And some in the thread are having a completely different debate. Namely, the difference between analogue music and digital music, which is something that has no relation to the subject at hand. Chocolate Soldier argues that the experienced producers have some special elite say that elevates their argument to something we can all behold in awe. I disagree. And I think my original argument has been distorted. I've never said that there's no difference between an experienced musician and an amateur programmer. Af course, there is. Any third grade kid would know this to be true.
My argument is this: distinguishing between a 'programmer' and a 'musician' is ridiculous. The distinction makes no sense. You can't put music into such categories and produce anything that makes sense.
It's like this: there are good musicians and bad musicians. Someone who's really good at programming riddims is a good musician. So what if he can't play a live instrument? If he knows how to use HIS instrument, the sequencer, he's a good musician.
Bad musicians are to be found everywhere. Some of them are really technically talented, but produce shitty music. So what if they know how to play the guitar if their riddims suck? And some bad musicians use sequencers and suck. But it basically makes no sense in distinguishing between 'programmers' and 'musicians' unless you live in the 80's and you're still in shock that people a replacing bands with computer based technology.
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Postby i M@N » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:59 pm

Hello.
Junior wrote:it basically makes no sense in distinguishing between 'programmers' and 'musicians'

in my opinion the whole difference is here.
programming is telling a computer to play a partition with some setups.
A musician is a human being taking an instrument and expressing his feelings though it. Then you can have a musician who knows how to program a computer to play a partition. You can also have a musician playing a keyboard with digital samples built in.

in the one hand something programmed (ie sequenced) usualy sounds quite regular as it's like a clock and you have to program it so long and so finely to get something more "alive" but still it has this clock thing in it even with the best samples in the world.
in the other hand a musician, a human being, even playing the most digital sounding instrument (ie Dougie with his keyboard) will sound different and never like a quartz.

Junior wrote:unless you live in the 80's and you're still in shock that people a replacing bands with computer based technology.

i live in the present and for the next 100 years, be sure that a computer will never replace a human being for something that require a feeling like live music !
i love computers and i love musicians, but if a computer (not yours, the Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)) that can go up to 1.64 “petaflops,” or quadrillion mathematical calculations per second (source) it can't have any feeling at the present time.

A computer (ie keyboard) can just replace an instrument, not a musician.
Music is more than maths.

But what i say doesn't means programming is worst or better than live. it's just facts.

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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:40 pm

Junior wrote:I think this thread is filled to the limit with false presumptions and distorted comparisons. Like Chocolate Soldier comparing Joe Blow from the street with Sly Dunbar. Well, obviously sly is a better programmer. The comparison is a joke, nobody would argue that anyone can program riddims as good as Sly. It's a false premise.
And some in the thread are having a completely different debate. Namely, the difference between analogue music and digital music, which is something that has no relation to the subject at hand. Chocolate Soldier argues that the experienced producers have some special elite say that elevates their argument to something we can all behold in awe. I disagree. And I think my original argument has been distorted. I've never said that there's no difference between an experienced musician and an amateur programmer. Af course, there is. Any third grade kid would know this to be true.


Lol - obviously the Sly vs Joe Blow comparison is ridiculous,
but on the other hand is it any more ridiculous than this current 'age of the amateur' we are in where everyone is an 'expert' and you can have a 15 yr old high school student with O levels in math debating experimental maths with a nobel prize winner for mathemathics on a Wiki forum, seemingly 'on par'.
Where does the line get drawn?
Note people: I am all for people doing their own DIY thing, especially in musical expression, be it sampladelic, turntables or whatever. Personally I was hugely influenced by the whole DIY ethic of the punk rock & indie rock eras - but at the same time I think its just common sense to recognize that there are people in this World who have built up considerable expertise and experience in their given field be it plumbing, roofing, medicine, astro-physics, music production etc & , while not saying people should always listen in awe to the 'experts' - placing them on a pedestal - it goes without saying that it can often be wise to listen to the information and thoughts imparted from these figures..
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Postby Junior » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:35 pm

Experience and wisdom is everything, I completely agree there.

My point is simply that a computer is an instrument. And as I see it distinguishing between a real musician and a programmer is utter nonsense.

If you don't like digitally produced music, fine. That's you're problem, but there's no need to try to elevate your own personal preference to some higher and more noble principle.

It seems to me that there are some Lloyd Bradleys in this forum who just have an automatic anti-modern dancehall notion. It's easy to look down upon dancehall and praise 70's roots as something more sophisticated and classy. But in my book it's just a bunch of bull. Music is music. Some of it you hate and some of it you love, but trying to make it into a question of programming vs. live instruments is just too old school for me.
Welcome to the 80s! - that's all I can say.
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