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Q & A with RJD2 Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 7th June 2011
  #211
Gear Maniac
 

overgrown-cool beans, thanks man. alot of "the colossus" sessions have been covered every which way til sunday-im sure a google search of interviews would turn up better results than a 10 second redux right now. yea, i think about that blueprint line alot.....


smokingrobot:
gear-yea, CL and ebay and also a technique i call the 100 dollar bill forehead trick. you basically tape a 100 dollar bill to your forehead and go look for a seller, in essence. or, make yourself known as a serious, cash in hand buyer. the gear will come out the woodwork.

thanks for the offer on help. re:building gear-im on temp hiatus, too much other stuff going on. making records, running label, etc.

oh, and im gonna do a breakdown on the insane warrior album shortly on my site. ill post a link when its up.
Old 8th June 2011
  #212
KT1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd2 View Post
overgrown-cool beans, thanks man. alot of "the colossus" sessions have been covered every which way til sunday-im sure a google search of interviews would turn up better results than a 10 second redux right now. yea, i think about that blueprint line alot.....


smokingrobot:
gear-yea, CL and ebay and also a technique i call the 100 dollar bill forehead trick. you basically tape a 100 dollar bill to your forehead and go look for a seller, in essence. or, make yourself known as a serious, cash in hand buyer. the gear will come out the woodwork.

thanks for the offer on help. re:building gear-im on temp hiatus, too much other stuff going on. making records, running label, etc.

oh, and im gonna do a breakdown on the insane warrior album shortly on my site. ill post a link when its up.
Dude! I'm working through your discog. Just listened to ' since we last spoke'. Fantastic album - Loving the old school break/funk and latin inspirations. Congas sound wild over those breaks.

Iced lightning got me though..Why? Because my current project is an all analogue project using 'Voyager and a prophet 8 mostly'. Got a Juno 60 on the way (fingers crossed - cmon ebay!). The synth work was incredible. The way you maintained movement by bringing in each different phrase while the bassline although repeated has enough variation to create bottom end body. The melody of the lead synths playing off the bass note harmonics..etc..Just WOW. Funny thing is i bet none of that was intentional - aside from playing what felt good. Dude you killed it..

Now..what about this label? Are you looking for new talent? What genre of music? Exciting times for you - GOD BLESS man..
Old 8th June 2011
  #213
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when you havent been working on production for a while (i dont know if you ever take breaks) or if you're just generally uninspired...
how do you start off to get back into it.
is it going to the sample first? or finding a sound and playing out a groove that get's you going?
Old 14th June 2011
  #214
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 

All I gotta say is that in addition to being a ill producer, RJ is an amazing business person, and recording and mixing engineer. a one man motown
Old 14th June 2011
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
Iced lightning got me though..Why? Because my current project is an all analogue project using 'Voyager and a prophet 8 mostly'..
ironically, that song is almost all done on the mpc. most of the sounds are samples.

overgrown: usually, "soft eyes". digging thru records always rejuvenates. so does finding or making a patch on a synth. or hearing a track and thinking how i could have done it differently. mostly, just having different environments that i place myself in, and wait for something to happen.

"switchcraft"-thanks bro
Old 14th June 2011
  #216
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 

yeah RJ, old DJ name stuck in geaslutzinland.
Old 15th June 2011
  #217
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**** a wooden snare.
Old 15th June 2011
  #218
KT1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd2 View Post
ironically, that song is almost all done on the mpc. most of the sounds are samples.

overgrown: usually, "soft eyes". digging thru records always rejuvenates. so does finding or making a patch on a synth. or hearing a track and thinking how i could have done it differently. mostly, just having different environments that i place myself in, and wait for something to happen.

"switchcraft"-thanks bro

No way? that's incredible..I need to know where you got those samples haha! They are rich and sound like they were taken from analogue synths..Wether or not you did or didn't i'm stunned at the 'synth work'. I can't quite get over it.

RE: I find creating bass patches sooting also!
Old 24th June 2011
  #219
Gear Maniac
 

hey folks, just a heads up-i finally put up some more notes on the making of The Insane Warrior album right here:

rjselectricalconnections.com
Old 26th June 2011
  #220
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Hey frikkin RJD2!

I haven't read everything, but I really think your points about time management are spot on.

I just want to say that I think your stuff is awesome and it is one of the reasons that I am working in a studio today.

I remember when I was still at school and you came to Bristol, UK which was near where I lived. I thought it funny that you had on shorts and white socks pulled up neat like (very American)! After the gig there was a long cue and you sat at a table patiently signing everyone's stuff. I still have a CD somewhere with your sharpie on it.

One thing I would say is that I think your records are mastered too squashed like and have a raspy 'exciter' sound to the HF and maybe you would consider giving your future stuff some room to breath? I think you mentioned Sterling sound somewhere who I think push it too much. Don't be shy to leave in some transients and ask your audience to just turn up their sound systems!

Many thanks!
Old 26th June 2011
  #221
Gear Maniac
 

jimdrake-thanks man. i remember that tour.

would you mind telling me which records you think are mastered too loud? all of them? they werent all mastered at the same places. would love to get an idea of which records you find worse than others. thanks.
Old 27th June 2011
  #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd2 View Post
jimdrake-thanks man. i remember that tour.

would you mind telling me which records you think are mastered too loud? all of them? they werent all mastered at the same places. would love to get an idea of which records you find worse than others. thanks.
Off the top of my head (sorry haven't listened for a while).

I listen to deadringer and since we last spoke. I think they're both too squashed, and (maybe) since we last spoke is where I hear the 'raspy' HF?

I think mastering is purely a A&R or executive producer thing. And if I understand correctly you're in more of the indie position with less pressure from these types of guys?

If you're making the descisions about your mastering, then I always quote Fugees The Score. I think many people around the world view this as a benchmark hiphop record. Listen to how quiet that is compared with most everything else! Solution? Turn your speakers up and it sounds good!

Sorry to talk tech. I think your comment about 'art trumps gear every time' is cool and spot on. Thing is that if the music hits it bang on, and the mastering is **** then this point still appies, right? So, if that's the case, how about the argument that the mastering does not matter to the 90% either way, so just master for your tech head listeners anyway? And I'm sure they would all agree that more room is better!

Thanks again.
Old 28th June 2011
  #223
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smokingrobot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimdrake View Post
Off the top of my head (sorry haven't listened for a while).

I listen to deadringer and since we last spoke. I think they're both too squashed, and (maybe) since we last spoke is where I hear the 'raspy' HF?

I think mastering is purely a A&R or executive producer thing. And if I understand correctly you're in more of the indie position with less pressure from these types of guys?

If you're making the descisions about your mastering, then I always quote Fugees The Score. I think many people around the world view this as a benchmark hiphop record. Listen to how quiet that is compared with most everything else! Solution? Turn your speakers up and it sounds good!

Sorry to talk tech. I think your comment about 'art trumps gear every time' is cool and spot on. Thing is that if the music hits it bang on, and the mastering is **** then this point still appies, right? So, if that's the case, how about the argument that the mastering does not matter to the 90% either way, so just master for your tech head listeners anyway? And I'm sure they would all agree that more room is better!

Thanks again.

RJ - I believe the Score was done (not the recording - obv, that was done at quad and anchor) over @ Studio 4 in Conshohocken not too far from us philly folks if you're ever looking for other places to get stuff done. I think it might have even been mixed there but i need to find some evidence on the internet first before i say that's 100%, thought i found something credible a second ago but i was wrong.

Either way, I get a bunch of stuff done over there, holler if you want any other information about the place. Obviously Phil himself is a legend but everyone ive worked with over there is awesome.

Do you mind if i ask you who did the work @ Sterling?

Last edited by smokingrobot; 28th June 2011 at 08:21 AM.. Reason: trying to back up my claim w/ proof
Old 28th June 2011
  #224
Gear Maniac
 

3rd Hand + The Colossus were mastered by steve fallone. inversions+insane warrior was mastered by tom waltz. DR+SWLS mastered by emily lazar at the lodge. its obviously all over the place.

smokingrobot-thanks for the recommend.

jimdrake-i understand the concept of what you are saying, but without you committing to an actual record or song that you think has a HF problem, im gonna have to take the advice w/ a massive grain of salt. i dont hear any HF artifacts or "problems" related to a heavy handed mastering job personally, but if you can point to a specific moment/song/album, maybe there's something im missing.
Old 28th June 2011
  #225
CT1
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Hey RJ,

Thanks for doing this, I've been a big fan since deadringer. I just wanted to say it's great to see you getting tv placements. When I saw the wells Fargo commercial and mad men it made me very happy to see you are getting that kind of exposure. Well deserved my friend.

How did those placements come about? Were you approached directly, or do you have manager that seeks those things out for you?

Thanks,
Chris

P.S. That can ox - f word remix you did is one of my favorite hip hop songs.
Old 30th June 2011
  #226
Gear Maniac
 
harness's Avatar
no questions

just want to salute you on the quality control of your output. you are one of those 'buy on sight' artists for me.

thank you for what you do.
Old 2nd July 2011
  #227
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smokingrobot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd2 View Post
3rd Hand + The Colossus were mastered by steve fallone. inversions+insane warrior was mastered by tom waltz. DR+SWLS mastered by emily lazar at the lodge. its obviously all over the place.

smokingrobot-thanks for the recommend.
Personally I always liked the sound on Deadringer and SWLS. Even off youtube those drums snap and are definitely not smashed transients. I'll be honest and say its been a while since i really sat down with the albums and played them front to back on headphones. But I have listened to some tracks off both DR and SWLS recently for referencing something i was working on...

...and i had plans on using the same drums on Chicken Bone Circuit (which is DR's unsung hero imo on that album)*

Appreciate the response - did you have any reasons for changing mastering studios beyond budgetary? Or did some folks seem better candidates for the different albums?

No problem on the recommendation, thought i'd share since its close to home and options never hurt imo.

*although i probably wont be using those drums now only because it just seemed to not mesh as well as i had hoped with the rest of the track. i've been looking for opportunities to use 'em ever since i heard your work with them and found it super inspiring what you did with them - always loved the OG track etc etc too.
Old 9th July 2011
  #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT1 View Post
Hey RJ,

Thanks for doing this, I've been a big fan since deadringer. I just wanted to say it's great to see you getting tv placements. When I saw the wells Fargo commercial and mad men it made me very happy to see you are getting that kind of exposure. Well deserved my friend.

How did those placements come about? Were you approached directly, or do you have manager that seeks those things out for you?

Thanks,
Chris

P.S. That can ox - f word remix you did is one of my favorite hip hop songs.

Hey man,

Also curious about this....
Old 9th July 2011
  #229
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Umlaaat View Post
Hey man,

Also curious about this....
ive worked with several reps, supervisors, etc over the years in a number of incarnations. in hindsight, i think that most of my synchs have come about directly with the client. so contrary to rational thought, it seems that just putting music out consistently has been a bigger benefit than finding the right rep, or whatnot. alot of them have happened from the creatives hearing a record, and coming to me.
Old 9th July 2011
  #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd2 View Post
ive worked with several reps, supervisors, etc over the years in a number of incarnations. in hindsight, i think that most of my synchs have come about directly with the client. so contrary to rational thought, it seems that just putting music out consistently has been a bigger benefit than finding the right rep, or whatnot. alot of them have happened from the creatives hearing a record, and coming to me.
hmm.. interesting. so directly with the client is say, wells fargo coming to you and asking for music?
Or is it someone like ogilvy asking?
Old 10th July 2011
  #231
Here for the gear
 

Hey RJ,

I loved your work but became in complete awe of it when I saw you at play in your home studio in a video somewhere online. You seem to have a kinship with your instruments that allows you to get more out of them than other people.

I can't say your milk drip to spatula cobbler trick (as seen in the aforementioned clip) is indicative of the same kind of proficiency in the kitchen though. The two words are often used interchangeably, but a cobbler and a crisp are two different things and I think what you made is a hybrid (Cobblers traditionally have a topping made with milk and baking powder, while crisps are classically just butter, sugar, oatmeal and maybe spices.)

I digress for my question:

If you could only have three pieces of equipment to produce your next record on what would they be and why?
Old 10th July 2011
  #232
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marreson View Post
Hey RJ,

I loved your work but became in complete awe of it when I saw you at play in your home studio in a video somewhere online. You seem to have a kinship with your instruments that allows you to get more out of them than other people.

I can't say your milk drip to spatula cobbler trick (as seen in the aforementioned clip) is indicative of the same kind of proficiency in the kitchen though. The two words are often used interchangeably, but a cobbler and a crisp are two different things and I think what you made is a hybrid (Cobblers traditionally have a topping made with milk and baking powder, while crisps are classically just butter, sugar, oatmeal and maybe spices.)

I digress for my question:

If you could only have three pieces of equipment to produce your next record on what would they be and why?
hey, yea-im not the most "by the book" baker. i fail on occasion. but hey, its fun. anyway....

mpc, protools, and a mic, i guess? i'd get the most mileage out of them for sure.
Old 13th July 2011
  #233
Here for the gear
 

Hey, RJ

I had to make an account just to say I love your music and you're a big influence to me! Thanks for taking the time to answer questions here. Also, I dropped your bassnectar remix at a house party this past weekend and everybody went nuts! 15 different people came up and asked me who that was. Keep up the good work.
Old 14th July 2011
  #234
KT1
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RJ, Just a quick note to say that i took your good advice to surround myself with as much creative juice as possible. Got a couple of nice synths and controllers etc. Thinking now to add some kind of DJ peice for production only to get some resamples of beat juggling/loop and scratch type stuff. Very excited as this whole approach of plugging at a track with easy experinmentation has now begun to really improve the workflow. Everything is plugged in at all times by expanding my power outlets and I/o.

Fantastic advice and very much appreciated mate.

God bless and take care!

P.S - have you had any more time to do a little more module builds? I love the idea of doing some electronics course and building a basic modular set up. At this time it is seriously daunting. I suspect after doing some more research into electronics it should make a little more sense.

Kid Icki
Old 14th July 2011
  #235
Gear Maniac
 

good deal, thanks guys. glad the advice is helping.

for the most part, no more building for now, too much to do. i ripped through a clone pedal last week, and it didnt work upon 1st try. not in the mood to go tracing right now, too much music **** going on.
Old 14th July 2011
  #236
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Eutoxita's Avatar
 

"it sounds dumb, but im being serious here folks: the arguably most important studio technique EVER CREATED IS TO CLOSE YOUR EYES. seriously. cant stress this enough. across the board, this is a crucial discipline to have at your disposal."

Amen.
Old 26th July 2011
  #237
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Glad to see this thread is still alive! Got to be my favorite on GS, for sure...

I would like to ask my business related question again as it wasn't answered...figured it just got over-looked.



What would you say is the most important thing for someone who has no manager or lawyer to do to ensure they get credit for a song provided to an emcee to be used on his album?


Thanks again for the Q&A...you are a huge inspiration for those of us who aspire to obtain your respect and just plain bad-assedness within the music industry.
Old 26th July 2011
  #238
Gear Maniac
 

spitfire: sure thing, although its kind of a loaded question.

the easiest thing to do is to file a copyright on the song, if his album isnt out. its $35 and can prove that you created something with a time stamp.

the reason i say that your question is loaded, is that it presumes the importance of that kind of thing. you should care, but only within reason, IMHO.

you should be MUCH more concerned with having a repeatable creative process. in short, nobody writes just ONE hit, and has it stolen from them. it just doesnt happen.

another way to look at it is like this: to me, the antidote to getting jerked for your work is not to AVOID getting jerked, but to own, make, release and control enough work that getting jerked once or twice becomes irrelevant.

that make sense?
Old 27th July 2011
  #239
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spitfire8898's Avatar
 

Thanks a ton for the speedy response! I do know what you mean and this is a big help...thanks again.

I think my distrust stems from having a handful of artists agree to use a a song or two of mine on their album, with zero follow through. Ideally, I would like to collaborate with artists that I respect and trust to not jerk me around, but unfortunately- living in a small TX town with no artists I know personally makes that an unrealistic option.

It does make sense to focus on the creative process being repeatable as you mentioned...it's just a downer when you get excited about a project and it gets shelved though. Onward and forward, I suppose!

Thanks again...
Old 29th July 2011
  #240
Gear Nut
 

Hey RJ, just wanted to ket you know that I got tickets to come see you perform at 930 club in DC. If you want to meet up to discuss music after the show just send me a PM. It would be cool to grab some beers and talk shop, synths techniques and whatnot. Im not sure if you're familiar with DC but I could show you some really cool stuff in the city.

Either way keep making the awesome music and rocking out brother. Huge fan and can't wait till the show
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