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A Conversation With The Artists of The Class of 808 Volume 2

The artists featured on the latest Producer Dojo Compilation share their experiences from behind the scenes.

The Class of 808 Vol.2 showcases some really talented artists from The Producer Dojo. I had the chance to connect with them about their experiences and asked them if they can tell us about the making of their tracks for the compilation and share the lessons they learned along the way. 

iLL.Gates + Mitch Brady – Origami Envelope

Dylan, can you tell us about the making of Origami Envelope with Mitch Brady?

Origami Envelope was made basically by accident… It all started when I was giving a lesson on chord based song writing. I needed a nice chord progression to form the basis of a song during a one-on-one session with a Ninja. I found some really nice chords and then very quickly generated some new parts using maschine and nexus. The song REALLY started to grow on me, and I found that with those chords in place pretty much anything I did over top sounded great! After the lesson Mitch Brady said he liked the track too and wanted to add some stuff. I sent him the project and he worked his magic, bringing some really nice leads and vocal textures to the project. After that happened I was doing another private lesson with Mitch and wanted to show him a technique where you chop up the entire mixdown to make new patterns and glitches… suddenly THAT sounded amazing too! The first half of the second drop is all me showing Mitch how to chop up audio and make new patterns, and then the second half is Mitch showing me his chops. After that happened we realized we had accidentally made a sick tune!

Is there anything else you would like to share or promote?

Yes! I’d like to share and promote the idea that the internet has caused a fundamental shift in the dynamics of human interaction. It used to be that you could be a famous person and secretly be a jerk to everyone. Now the internet has made the world super small and being a jerk will catch up to you and ruin your life. Now, for maybe the first time in human history nice guys don’t come in last any more! Being kind and thoughtful and making other people feel good is now not only the right thing to do: it is the most practical way to be for the longevity of your music career! Amazing. What a time to be alive!

Seancy – Got Dat Fiya

Seancy, can you tell us about the making of “Got Dat Fiya?”

Creating my track for the project was actually a pretty cool experience—I mean come on it’s called “Got Dat Fiya.”  First of all, had the aim to create this banger, attention grabbing track that highlighted my signature style because I was writing this track for the Producer Dojo cypher called “Say My Name.” It’s also needed to literally say my artist name and be like this set opener that makes it obvious who’s playing, but honestly it took some steps to get there!

Initially I started a completely separate track, that although it did highlight my futuristic reggae hip-hop sound, it didn’t have that eye opening catchiness, so started a track with more gusto. After laying the foundations, I was super psyched at how it was sounding.

Submitting it for feedback was funny because I originally had used this sample from the Key and Peele from probably their most outrageous skit titled “draxx them skloust” (if you don’t know it, do yourself a favor and Youtube it). I’m sample junkie, so I always like to sneak in some recognizable or wisdom touting lo-fi samples into my tracks. Dylan’s feedback was on point and immediately shot down my Draxx sample, laid out some awesome knowledge about the 3 extremes of sound and pointed out that I really had to include my name audibly in the track to fit the guidelines. At that point I basically said to myself, “alright, that’s how it’s gonna be? I’m gonna smash this!”

The rest of the process I really fell into this flow-state and over a couple long nights the track started to shine and really get catchy. I asked a good friend Rochelle with an amazing voice to lend her vocals to the hook and that really added the icing on top. It was pretty obvious from everyone’s feedback since then that this song was something special.

I learned tons through my process on this one. For one, how to take some constructive criticism, and use it as fuel too.

I realized that having some constraints can really help make some of the bigger decisions in the process easier. I also had to do what Dylan famously calls “kill some kittens” during this project. I had to lose the Key and Peele soundbite, and also chose to cut another section of the original arrangement that made it all a bit too busy. It was this dubby Island breakdown (think Chase Romeo – Chase the Devil) that I really love, so I made the choice to create an all new track from that spark as a compromise. I also learned that people are totally willing to help you with things you’re passionate about. Big thanks to my friend Rochelle!

I was so stoked on this project that I immediately thought I needed to create some kind of visual element to complement it. I actually never expected to create this full fledged music video but things just came together pretty effortlessly on that tip as well. Again my tribe of friends were super inclined to help me make this project pop. Big thanks to everyone that helped me film and dance with fire for the visuals! I also spent tons of time getting better acquainted with adobe premiere because I had this amazing footage that needed to get some serious quality editing to back it up. So all in all, this was a major growing project for me and I’m thankful for that.

You can check out the video on my YouTube @seancymusic

Trigem – Suburban Terror

Casey, can you tell us about the making of “Suburban Terror?”

Suburban Terror is the first track I made after starting the Dojo. It tip toes around the weirder vibes that my tracks now consistently sit in. It was a huge boost in motivation to write it, and have it accepted for the cypher it was made for.

Is there anything else you would like to share or promote?

I have a new EP, “Kismet” that will be releasing on the Producer Dojo label on Feb. 22nd!

Vaedynn and Matter – Cold

Dustin, please tell us about your experience of collaborating with Vaedynn on “Cold”

It honestly took Vaedynn and I about 5 hours to write the track start to finish and then another 5 hours to mix down. we sat down and decided we needed to do something fun yet weird for World of Dance. since Vaedynn has way more experience than myself dancing he took the lead for most of the session where as I was working more on the technical side of the drum beat and 808’s. The funnest part of the whole song writing process was probably mashing the buttons on my push as hard/fast as we could and then slowing down the speed of the sampled midi until we got the pattern that was off beat for the track. Another thing we did to get all of the fills in the track is we used a random automation to play each of maybe 10 percussion sounds in a random order. we sampled that randomness for about 10 minutes and chopped up the results to get most of the fills for the track. It honestly felt like we were in this zone where the track was writing itself and we were just there to make sure it was ok.

Veinz – Ariados

Li, what can you tell us about the making of “Ariados?”

The elements of Ariados came together at just the right time. Dylan said that the key for that cypher had to be in the hirojoshi scale, a scale I heard over and over playing Pokémon as a kid. I remember this specific “kimono house” in Ecruteak City in Pokémon Crystal and that’s where I based the “Ariados” melody from. Also at the time, I was watching weekly downloads on how to make basses in serum and Dylan said something about modulating distortion with an LFO. So what I did was modulate the cutoff at a specific rate with an LFO while also modulating the distortion at the same rate with an LFO whose peak was delayed a slight bit later than the first LFO. So the first LFO would trigger and just before that one died down, the distortion would pop up quickly, giving the bass line that delayed feel.

For some reason, the way the song was turning out made me feel like I was being poisoned and a rage was taking over in my blood, so I decided to go with the theme of a crazy spider—hence the name of the Pokémon Ariados—and use that image to drive the song forward. That’s why the “put your fu*king hands” part gets pitched up and reversed in the first verse—it sounds like some crazy guy having a tantrum. I also watched clips of the spider scene in lord of the rings to get ideas for the sound design.

Is there anything else you would like to share or promote?

From here on out, I’ll be releasing a new song every two weeks! Check out my Instagram to stay up to date on the latest releases! @veinz_offishul

Also, I live in Baltimore and go down to DC often. If anyone lives in the area, feel free to hit me up, I love to meet new dojo members!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the latest Producer Dojo compilation EP, iLL.Gates Presents: The Class of 808 Volume 2, please check it out here and share with your friends!

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