Deadmau5 Will Be Teaching a MasterClass

November 17, 2016

This is something to get excited about for producers at any level.

You can’t argue with the fact that Deadmau5 is a god-tier sound design and production legend. He’s given some really great tips freely in the past, but there’s surely so much more to learn. The folks over at MasterClass definitely snagged a master of his craft for the course, and at just $90 it’s even cheaper than some of the most popular VSTs out there.

What do you think about the prospect of being taught by the Mau5? Will you be signing up or just waiting for a torrent to pop up somewhere?

6 Companies Always Giving Away Their Own Sample Packs

November 12, 2016

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to start a new track, or maybe just looking for some new sounds to tinker with, the big players in the sample game are always trying to give their stuff away as a taste test. Here are 6 of the biggest (and best) websites where the most you need to do is give up an email address for some great free stuff.

1. Rankin Audio

Started by the illustrious High Rankin, this guy is always giving away some really stellar stuff. What’s noticeable about Rankin Audio’s offerings are not just the quality, but the diversity of genres that’s constantly being put out. Whether you’re looking for the perfect snare to punch up a Drumstep song, or maybe some nice effects to fill out something more chill, Rankin Audio’s definitely got you covered.

2. Vengeance

For every producer, Vengeance should be a well-known name. They’ve been around the game for a long time, and have garnered praise for their quality (albeit among hate for being so widely used). There’s an endless supply of great stuff to work with, and the free stuff they offer is a great place to jump in and feel out how you like their sounds.

3. What About Productions

Arguably a little less-known than Vengeance, these guys have a stellar selection of samples and tools for any level of producer. Whether you’re looking for something to play around with in your favorite VST or just want some samples to dive right into, you could easily get lost in their library.

4. Cymatics

These guys have been making waves in the producer community recently with some really clever marketing and endorsements. It also helps that they give away a crazy amount of their stuff for free. If you felt like downloading just the stuff they have in their vault, you’d be sitting pretty on a mountain of really great sounds to play with.

5. Prime Loops

Another well-known player in the sample game, there’s no end to the variety these guys offer. Don’t be fooled by the name, you can get a lot more than just loops to get your tracks popping the fuck off.

6. Loopmasters

Yeah, yeah I’m sure everyone knows about Loopmasters. But have you seen the amount of stuff they have to offer? Even if you’re feeling thrifty, they’re constantly having sales on different packs that always feel like one hell of a bargain.

Honorable Mention: Splice Sounds

The lovely folks over at Splice have a ridiculous amount of samples you can access for less than a Netflix subscription. Yeah, it’s not quite free, but boasting over a million royalty-free samples is something that’s at least worth a look. For that cheap, how could you not want to at least give them a whirl?

There are plenty of places to get your samples, but these are just a handful of the obvious ones. Did I leave out your favorite? Be sure to share a link and spread the wealth!

DJs: Why You Should Know How to Beatmatch by Ear

November 4, 2016

The folks over at PassionateDJ are always posting great, helpful stuff. While they’ve listed 10 stellar reasons for any DJ to know how to beatmatch by ear, we’d like to expand a little on the subject.

1. You Can Play On Anything

This is easily the most important reason to know how to beatmatch, especially for DJs that are just starting out. You might be comfortable with your own controller and setup, but realistically there won’t always be a place for you to bring in your favorite controller.

At most clubs and gigs, you’re likely to find a traditional setup with a mixer and two CDJs or turntables. If you aren’t prepared to use the equipment provided, it can turn into a technical nightmare. Figuring out how to squeeze your controller into a crowded DJ booth will probably make the sound guy hate you, and take up valuable time in between sets for other DJs trying to set up.

There’s a reason this is such a common standard, and aside from making everything at the gig run smoother, it will also ensure that you can play your set without any hiccups. Nothing kills a crowd’s vibe faster than silence, and if your setup is on the fritz you’re likely to make everyone hate you (at least for a few moments).

Moreover from getting eye-rolls from sound guys and fellow DJs, it’s WAY easier to carry a few CDs or thumb drives than a whole rig. Save everyone the possible trouble and be prepared!

2. Your Mixes Will Sound Better

If you haven’t taken the time to learn the old fashioned way, you’ll rely too heavily on the Sync button. You should know that it’s not always perfect, but you’re also opening yourself up to missing the proper cues to mix in to. If you’re one beat or measure off, your transitions are going to suffer.

Also, mixing tracks at different tempos is way easier if you know what sounds right instead of relying on technology. Not to mention when tracks aren’t quantized properly – you’re setting yourself up for a trainwreck at least every once in a while.

Having the “human element” of DJing keeps things more interesting for not only the crowd, but for yourself. Sitting safely while all your tracks digitally sync up doesn’t necessarily make things boring, it’s just a lot more engaging.

Tips For Learning

The original post pretty much nailed these points, so take heed no matter what level of DJ you are:

  • Beatmatching is the one “big” DJ technical skill that usually takes the most time for people to learn.  It’s going to be frustrating… it takes perseverance. But it’s worth making the investment. Try it a little each day and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can pick it up.
  • You don’t have to have a pair of turntables to learn how to beatmatch (though, they are the most challenging). You can beatmatch manually using just about modern “deck controller by simply turning off your software’s Sync function and turning your screen away, or on your CDJs by hiding any displays and BPM counters with a piece of tape.
  • When matching two tracks, it helps to push the cued track’s tempo (pitch fader) up significantly faster than the track that’s already playing. That way, there’s no question of which track is playing faster than the other (and which way you need to adjust the tempo)… you can pretty much guarantee that the “incoming” track is faster and you need to start slowing it down to compensate.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The concepts aren’t hard to understand, but the process can take weeks, months, or years to master.

People will argue all day and night about what makes a good DJ, but at the end of the day it’s all about the music. If you can provide a better musical experience for the crowd AND yourself, go the extra mile and master the craft you’re so passionate about!


November 2, 2016

Welcome to a strange little corner of the internet.

Made for producers, by producers and in spite of producers.

Stay tuned for helpful shit and all sorts of unhelpful shit.