As a producer do you enter the Artist's world or does the artist enter yours?
Old 27th December 2012
  #1
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As a producer do you enter the Artist's world or does the artist enter yours?

When working with a new artist do you bend and flex yourself to fit the artist's sound, or do you just do what you know and give it to the artist?
Old 27th December 2012
  #2
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i try to create a sound that i feel the artist would sound good on according to my vision. Thats my goal. If the artist is not feeling it then i try to fit the artists sound. I will also try a few beats that are completely left field of what i think the artist may like,this usually work ironically.
Old 27th December 2012
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesmondA View Post
When working with a new artist do you bend and flex yourself to fit the artist's sound, or do you just do what you know and give it to the artist?
It depends. If the label hires you and gives you a specific mission, then THAT is your mission, and sometimes that means bending the artist to you. Some artists, many artists need a little bending, some need alot.

Otherwise, at least for me, I try to produce for who the artist is and what they are about and at the same time try to help create the very best version of that artist possible. Producers exist because we spend our entire professional lives in the studio making records. We know things about producing, about getting great performances out of artists that they cant bring forth themselves, that they cannot usually do themselves. Producers usually also know things like when and who to call if you need a studio musician, how to change up a beat that may only be 80 or 90% there.

There are def some producers who have their sound stamp. Dr Luke comes to mind, and you hire Dr Luke because you want THAT sound. Nothing wrong with that at all, especially if your Dr Luke Everyone should find their own approach.
Old 27th December 2012
  #4
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Last edited by skillz335; 27th December 2012 at 03:46 AM.. Reason: sorry didnt mean to post this here.
Old 27th December 2012
  #5
Understand the artist's vision and try to help create it with some kind of honesty.
Old 27th December 2012
  #6
I think it should be a little of both, but as a producer yourself you should be able to stand your ground and maintain creative control as well.
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Old 27th December 2012
  #7
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I try to work with an artist after they let me know what type of soudn they want, and how the rest of their project sounds

then I incorporate my own mood and vision to the track, while giving them tips on how they should approach it and vice versa

it's a real 50/50 process for me
Old 27th December 2012
  #8
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It's a bit of both with me.

I don't often make fully arranged instrumentals.

I make beats.

Folks come over and listen to the beats until they get a spark, or just find something that moves them.

They write, and then record to the beat, with a little basic verse chorus arrangement. I try to get as many takes as I can, and often ask them to record parts I hear in my head on the fly.

They leave, or hang, and then I really start doing my thing.

I arrange, replay, add, delete, and whatever else I think I need to do to mold the music around the lyrics, most times mixing as I go (production and mixing have merged in a big way for me).

So, the original beat from me inspires them to write, then their lyrics and performance in turn inspire me musically.
Old 27th December 2012
  #9
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^ interesting cool idea
Old 28th December 2012
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Govna View Post
It's a bit of both with me.

I don't often make fully arranged instrumentals.

I make beats.

Folks come over and listen to the beats until they get a spark, or just find something that moves them.

They write, and then record to the beat, with a little basic verse chorus arrangement. I try to get as many takes as I can, and often ask them to record parts I hear in my head on the fly.

They leave, or hang, and then I really start doing my thing.

I arrange, replay, add, delete, and whatever else I think I need to do to mold the music around the lyrics, most times mixing as I go (production and mixing have merged in a big way for me).

So, the original beat from me inspires them to write, then their lyrics and performance in turn inspire me musically.
I also work in a very similar way, though I often do start with fully produced instrumental "songs." But frequently enough, an artist will record on one of my instrumentals, going through various verses and multiple hooks / backing vocals, and then I'll rip the instrumental up and remake it based on the vocal parts chosen.
Old 28th December 2012
  #11
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I'll listen to the raw demos, and get some cool ideas in my head as to what I think would make the songs better. Then I program some ideas and play it for the artist, and they will like some of it, all of it or none of it, it may even inspire them to remake the track from scratch. Compromise... and we just keep doing this over and over until the song is done and we're both happy.
Old 28th December 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
It depends. If the label hires you and gives you a specific mission, then THAT is your mission, and sometimes that means bending the artist to you. Some artists, many artists need a little bending, some need alot.

Otherwise, at least for me, I try to produce for who the artist is and what they are about and at the same time try to help create the very best version of that artist possible. Producers exist because we spend our entire professional lives in the studio making records. We know things about producing, about getting great performances out of artists that they cant bring forth themselves, that they cannot usually do themselves. Producers usually also know things like when and who to call if you need a studio musician, how to change up a beat that may only be 80 or 90% there.

There are def some producers who have their sound stamp. Dr Luke comes to mind, and you hire Dr Luke because you want THAT sound. Nothing wrong with that at all, especially if your Dr Luke Everyone should find their own approach.
great post. As a person who deals with rappers who try to pay you to take their mixtape cds in mall parking lots I tend to see what the artist wants. I just need my happy meal money.
Old 28th December 2012
  #13
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If you ever meet a rap artist who has a lot of talent and is openly willing to bend to your style and vision for their music, hold on to said artist and never let him or her go. Seriously.
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Old 28th December 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesEdward View Post
I think it should be a little of both, but as a producer yourself you should be able to stand your ground and maintain creative control as well.
Co-signing this, especially the "Stand your ground" part.
Oh, and if the artist is really talented and creative you ride them like a racehorse untill the finish line.
If you gotta pull everything out of them, producing a finished song can be very hard work.
It's gotta be a love affair, sweeet love.
Old 30th December 2012
  #15
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Well you have to look at it from a business standpoint the more versatile and flexible you are, the happier your customer will be..not everyone will like your style and some artists just have they're own they like to stick to so as a professional you have to respect that and accommodate the artist if you want to keep doing business with them..but sometimes artists have no clue wtf they are doing and take criticism the wrong way
Old 30th December 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesmondA View Post
When working with a new artist do you bend and flex yourself to fit the artist's sound, or do you just do what you know and give it to the artist?
I would go into the artists world because its his song and u have to make it sound the way he wants it to sound. U need to complete his vision but also need to add a little bit of you in to the mix.

Sent from my LG-P705g
Old 30th December 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
If you ever meet a rap artist who has a lot of talent and is openly willing to bend to your style and vision for their music, hold on to said artist and never let him or her go. Seriously.
This is what i'm looking for,or at least an rap artist with an open mind.The guys around here think they have it all figured out,and are very bull headed.
Old 30th December 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
It depends. If the label hires you and gives you a specific mission, then THAT is your mission, and sometimes that means bending the artist to you. Some artists, many artists need a little bending, some need alot.

Otherwise, at least for me, I try to produce for who the artist is and what they are about and at the same time try to help create the very best version of that artist possible. Producers exist because we spend our entire professional lives in the studio making records. We know things about producing, about getting great performances out of artists that they cant bring forth themselves, that they cannot usually do themselves. Producers usually also know things like when and who to call if you need a studio musician, how to change up a beat that may only be 80 or 90% there.

There are def some producers who have their sound stamp. Dr Luke comes to mind, and you hire Dr Luke because you want THAT sound. Nothing wrong with that at all, especially if your Dr Luke Everyone should find their own approach.
great insight
Old 31st December 2012
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaP View Post
This is what i'm looking for,or at least an rap artist with an open mind.The guys around here think they have it all figured out,and are very bull headed.
Indeed.

It all comes down to having a vision for where the music can go. Most artists I've met don't really think in that sort of way. They think good music basically makes itself, and they undermine what goes into the thought process of creating a successful music project.
Old 31st December 2012
  #20
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Personally I'm willing to bend if I'm very impressed with the artist in some way. Sometimes they're naturally talented musically, sometimes their knowledge of the music biz is far beyond my own, sometimes their drive is nuts. No matter what it is when l see something that impresses me I'm much more willing to step out of my comfort zone and try to bend to the artist. On the other hand when I see that someone is 95% talk and 5% action then they get what I give em and if they don't like it they can find someone else to work with. Of course a large sum of cash changes things a lot.
Old 1st January 2013
  #21
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We are usually in the same world already. I feel my job is to do whatever I can to to enhance the artists I work with. With tracks, I let them pick out a beat or I suggest a beat I think fits them. When making a custom beat, I taylor my sound to their style or I come up with something that may challenge them and bring out something new in them.

I try not to think about it too much, I'd rather just let it happen.
Old 1st January 2013
  #22
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Think it depends on the artist. Some times the artist have their shit down. Sometimes the artist isn't as seasoned and needs some tips here n there.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #23
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It really depends on the person/goal. Even some of the best rappers I know may just go through my beats until they find something they like. That means their is very little thought on my side of what they want. This may be people I have worked with for years, I just never really "figure them out". Most people, I kind of meet in the middle. I don't make tracks for them specifically but have a good idea of what they like and will keep tracks in mind for them. We will likely discuss song concepts.

On rare occasion, I get to work with rappers who are really producers themselves but just lack the ability to make instrumentals. They really can easily be involved in the process and we truly work together. That doesn't mean they are always right their with me but we can talk about records that don't yet exist one day and have it done the next. That's a rare thing where I actually feel like the artist and I truly produced the track together but it's very enjoyable when it happens.

Trust me, I often get rappers who want to be involved in the production of a song, from start to finish, but usually aren't so great at the instrumental side of things. I have to tell them to just trust me and I either make them something, or find them what they want in my stash. Otherwise, we spend a very long time making a very wack beat and they think it's dope until they hear it wrapped up. I rarely let another artist tell me what to do until I know them and most realize quickly that I will do much better with song concepts, not melodic/sound ideas.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
I rarely let another artist tell me what to do until I know them and most realize quickly that I will do much better with song concepts, not melodic/sound ideas.
It would be cool if more rap artists were open to starting off work on a song that way. There are great benefits to be had when you establish a concept first, then build around that concept as necessary.

I've found working either way to be just fine, but things seem to come together faster and sometimes end up sounding even better when a song gets built around an existing concept.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
It would be cool if more rap artists were open to starting off work on a song that way. There are great benefits to be had when you establish a concept first, then build around that concept as necessary.

I've found working either way to be just fine, but things seem to come together faster and sometimes end up sounding even better when a song gets built around an existing concept.
Yup. Most rappers at any level don't have strong talents in composition, arrangement, sound choice, etc. Some do but most don't. However, any good rapper is going to have good concepts/song ideas by nature so it a much better place to start when you are making tracks specifically for one person, or, tweaking existing tracks for them.

I really try to train rappers I work with to to mutually develop concepts, not melodies, together. Sometimes that takes an hour of them failing at telling me how they want things as we make a beat.

I also do something I call "conceptual beat making". This applies much more to sample based music. That is having a strong, developed concept in the hook from an existing work that has words with a message. You could do the same if you rap/sing, I don't do either well. That's a good way for them to "get it", even if they don't actually like a specific concept you already developed, they always wish it said such and such. That right their becomes your concept and you showed them how easy it is. Then find/make a beat around that idea, even if it doesn't have any words, they gave you a concept. If you are lucky, you may have a beat with words in the hook section that are similar as well. Simple trick I use to mutually get on the same page.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
Yup. Most rappers at any level don't have strong talents in composition, arrangement, sound choice, etc. Some do but most don't. However, any good rapper is going to have good concepts/song ideas by nature so it a much better place to start when you are making tracks specifically for one person, or, tweaking existing tracks for them.

I really try to train rappers I work with to to mutually develop concepts, not melodies, together. Sometimes that takes an hour of them failing at telling me how they want things as we make a beat.

I also do something I call "conceptual beat making". This applies much more to sample based music. That is having a strong, developed concept in the hook from an existing work that has words with a message. You could do the same if you rap/sing, I don't do either well. That's a good way for them to "get it", even if they don't actually like a specific concept you already developed, they always wish it said such and such. That right their becomes your concept and you showed them how easy it is. Then find/make a beat around that idea, even if it doesn't have any words, they gave you a concept. If you are lucky, you may have a beat with words in the hook section that are similar as well. Simple trick I use to mutually get on the same page.
I like how you approach things 3rd degree,i will try some of these myself.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaP View Post
I like how you approach things 3rd degree,i will try some of these myself.
That's just my way of doing things. I am sure other people have their own.

Look at what Ken Lewis said, I have yet to work with labels directly. However, I have had some opportunities on semi-major releases that passed because I haven't learned to bend my style enough to produce way more on the artist side. I am talking like 95% of the artist, 5% me. I lost out on a few great opportunities but I was talking to A&R's who were not that specific. I am sure someone like Ken Lewis can read between the lines more but when I heard the album, I could hear how off I was, even though they seemed to have strong interest in me, who knows. Just saying, I wouldn't say I am well rounded enough at all right now to work for anyone I would like to work with, even though I know they would sound great on my joints.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #28
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Well, I, being the producer, am basically required to rip off what's being done in the top 10. So I enter the world of the top 10 producers at the moment.

The rapper, due to market pressures, can't be himself, he has to be what the top 10 rappers of the moment are, so he's gotta talk about liquor brands, clothing, coke, being drunk, and robbing people. So he doesn't enter my world he enters the fantasy world of the lowest common denominator.

That's how classic records are made.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Well, I, being the producer, am basically required to rip off what's being done in the top 10. So I enter the world of the top 10 producers at the moment.

The rapper, due to market pressures, can't be himself, he has to be what the top 10 rappers of the moment are, so he's gotta talk about liquor brands, clothing, coke, being drunk, and robbing people. So he doesn't enter my world he enters the fantasy world of the lowest common denominator.

That's how classic records are made.
Yep, like 'idiocracy classic'. Welcome to CostCo. I love you.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Well, I, being the producer, am basically required to rip off what's being done in the top 10. So I enter the world of the top 10 producers at the moment.

The rapper, due to market pressures, can't be himself, he has to be what the top 10 rappers of the moment are, so he's gotta talk about liquor brands, clothing, coke, being drunk, and robbing people. So he doesn't enter my world he enters the fantasy world of the lowest common denominator.

That's how classic records are made.
Um, are we in the same decade? That's the last thing I expect to hear in popular rap these days.
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