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Q & A with RJD2 Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 1st August 2011
Here for the gear
Dale_G_sound's Avatar
Amazing thread, thanks for sharing all this info RJ. I appreciate your honesty, it really helps put things into some perspective.

I'm jealous of all your analogue gear. Need to start working on my collection once I graduate. Don't really have a question.

Except maybe...

can I have your cobblers recipe?
Old 2nd August 2011
Gear Maniac

thanks guys!
Old 3rd August 2011
Here for the gear
always nice to read when you post RJ. I spoke with you back at the bboy bbq in philly this year (about the wood ends). I was wondering one thing. you had the a controller mounted to your chest on a spinning plat form and it got me wondering if you had cooked up any newer devices like that maybe with one of the new wireless midi set ups? I've been looking into it a bit myself but just haven't had the time to really take a wack at it.. anyway peace from delaware man. look forward to more excellent music from ya.
Old 7th August 2011
Here for the gear
Dear Ramble John Krohn (That's what they say your name is),

What was your first favorite movie? What is your favorite movie now?
What was your first cd/cassette/vinyl/ .... 8track?
What is just one of your top 10 favorite albums now?
Where is your favorite cheesesteak?
Tell me something that will make me feel better about using a computer and a cdj to make music. Im tired of people making fun of me.

Thank you,

-Jacob B.
Old 7th August 2011
Here for the gear

p.s. Over half a year and you're still answering these... Thank You.
And thank you
Old 10th August 2011
Gear Head

whats it like working with doom (Viktor Vaughn). how did that saliva song come about.
Old 15th August 2011
Gear Maniac

Hey I was just wondering if you chop your samples and breaks right in the MPC? And do you make the whole track from beginning to end in the MPC or do you do that in PT?
Old 15th August 2011
Gear Maniac

dmarz-sample based stuff, yes. non or hybrid stuff gets arranged in PT often, but not always. no strict rule.

fakejoe-came about from a mutual friend, guy who ran soundink lives here in philly.

flux-nope, that was the last one.

jacob-those 1st ones are not too important. here's an easy way to feel fine about any workflow-google famous artists that use it. im sure there are tons of successful ppl working on the exact same rig as you. surely.
Old 15th August 2011
Here for the gear

Hey RJ

First off, Thank you. I cant believe your still posting in this thread, I just read through this whole thread and cant believe how much knowledge and insight you've given for free, out of your own time, especially about how you use mpc and how you layer your drums/tones on your songs and have answered all my big questions about producing and arranging samples on the mpc so many many thanks for that invaluable info.

Also I think its awesome that you're a dollar bin guy, cos I'm a dollar bin guy too!

Ive just got 2 quick question not really to do with anything, more out of my own curiosity.

1st Do you use the MPC Editor program on the computer for assigning samples and creating programs or do you make the program directly on the MPC?

And 2nd From what ive gathered from your posts it seems most of your tracks are done on the mpc and then later moved to pt but you also said that for non-sampled and hybrid stuff is often arranged on pt, just wondering when this happens do you use MPC as a controller to trigger the sounds or just do everything on protools?

Thanks again for you knowledge and your music. Peace
Old 15th August 2011
Gear Maniac

ehznech-when arranging in PT the MPC doesnt get turned on at all. shining path, games you can win, lots on 3rd hand, lots on insane warrior, MPC never got used. old fashioned songwriting and tracking-hit record, run for 3 mins, if u **** up start over.
Old 17th August 2011
Lives for gear
Boogaju's Avatar

Merci rjd2! thanks for being on the forum!

You started in the 90s, play lots of instruments, sing, produce, program, record, edit...and are successful at it! bravo and thanks for the music you've created along the way!
I've had people early on tell me that if didn't specialize, it would lead me nowhere, and it has proved to be partly true, in terms of career.
Maybe you have some wise words/advice on how you've kept focus and turned that drive / will to learn it all-do it all into a successful career?

Old 22nd August 2011
Here for the gear

Hey RJ

Thanks a lot for the answers

Its really interesting and a great help to see how youve evolved you music production techniques, given me some great ideas.

Appreciate all the help you've given to us Gearslutz and cant wait to hear your future projects. Peace
Old 22nd August 2011
Gear Maniac

thanks guys.

boogaju-i chase fun. its really as simple as that. there's a threshold at which x more hours of practise on y instrument is not worth it for me. i usually move on from there.

Old 22nd August 2011
Lives for gear
Switchcraft's Avatar

Honestly, I can't argue with that. Anyone I have played it for had the exact same response. that response is... "what... The ... *uck... Is... this... and who made it and where do I get a copy?". I tell em "not from me!" lol.

All those people are coming out on the 14th to union transfer. You gonna have it on vinyl? I'm havin a cook out that day if you can make it before sound check.
Old 23rd August 2011
Gear Maniac

niiiiice. thanks brother. good to hear! will try to make it to the cue.
Old 23rd August 2011
Gear Nut

Hey RJ, can you tell us a little bit more about Icebird and what your future plans are for the collab? Is it more of a personal passion project or do you see it becoming more than that? I tried to find information about the group on google but the first link to pop up is the track that was posted on SKOA.

Thanks again brother. Looking forward to the DC show! I know you're gonna kill it as always!
Old 26th August 2011
Here for the gear

Some Qs

Hey RJ,
HUGE Fan, very inspired by your work. Check out this hip-hop production I did with a Milwaukee-area rapper
Don't You Know (feat. Big Tim) (Explicit) by MatanMusic on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

2 Questions:

1) I know you work with an mpc - does this device work in conjunction with a DAW (logic, live, protools) or do you produce your albums with this unit alone?

2) Whats the best way to program flashy drum parts like in Ghostwriter at around 3:10 on?
Old 11th September 2011
Here for the gear

a good match

hey Rj...i had the opportunity to intern w/ producer/mixer russ elevado, who did a Q&A a little while back as well. he's most famous for his exclusive work with d'angelo and mixes the dirtiest drums the roots have put out. One thing that amazed me was his ability to get so much low end out of NS10's. He's also a really awesome guy. I hope you guys can get a chance to work together.
Old 12th September 2011
Gear Maniac

matankg-1) sometimes alone, sometimes with, sometimes without.


nomatter-hook it up! voodoo is one of my all time faves.
Old 25th September 2011
just to repeat - thanks for your open and honest sharing of knowledge. hope this thread is still alive.

Deadringer had such an impact on me that I had to make sure at least 10 other people parted with cash for their copies, that LP is legendary in my social circles. Double vinyl copy was essential and it still makes its way into the DJ bag on the regular.

just a few, tried not to repeat previous questions - sorry if I have!

1) Do you ever use anything on the drum bus for good distortion/grit - something like a distressor, or a symetrix 501?

2) do you track from MPC with 8 outs or via the stereo outs? a lot of MPC users seem to just use stereo outs as they claim they have better sound quality, or at least more knock. maybe thats just an issue with the older MPCs like 60, or the 3000 I use... wish I'd known this before buying 24 channel Allen and Heath system 8 mixer!!

3) do you consider any synths underrated, or great for the price? (think you mentioned Juno 60 already - any others?) mine would be roland sh-2 for ballz out bass, and Siel Orchestra for a specific type of string sound

4) do you ever use the old trick for kicks of using 808 or 909 kick under your vinyl kick - or are you mainly happy with the pitch technique you've had a zillion questions about?

5) your fav underrated genres for sampling - like folk music etc polish jazz, german prog blah blah etc etc? I like french 60's music, but some of that is bit out of my pocket range...

6) any cures for gear lust? it IS my mortal enemy!!

a recommendation for all if you've not heard it:
'Oxford You Really Owe Me' off the EP below is easily one of the best inst hip hop tracks I've ever heard, on par with tracks from Deadringer - whole EP is v good!

Old 27th September 2011
Gear Head

I noticed you said that one revenue stream you had was producing other peoples albums. How did you start getting gigs like that? And how did you do it before you where a known artist?
Old 28th September 2011
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by rjd2 View Post
matankg-1) sometimes alone, sometimes with, sometimes without.


nomatter-hook it up! voodoo is one of my all time faves.
right on! i'll be in touch.
Old 28th September 2011
Gear Maniac

dreampolice-just being out and about, making records, touring, etc. in short, "having a name".

seed78-there is a catchall answer that covers almost all your questions. it may seem like a copout, but its true:

whatever works.

just use your ears. ive done all sorts of variations on all those things, and i've done none of them. time and place for everything.
Old 29th September 2011
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Max_Apollo's Avatar
Much respect >>> jah bless
Old 29th September 2011
All true - thanks for the reply RJ.

People do get bogged down in the details - in the meantime someone else is out there banging on the pads and getting getting on with it.

Liking the new Icebird track - gonna have to pick up a 7" or 12" after payday. Loud drums and good vocal, can't go wrong.

Old 1st October 2011
Here for the gear

Good morning/afternoon/evening, Mr Krohn.
May I ask a favor of you?
I'm currently studying audio engineering and electronic music production down here in New Zealand. We were tasked with a listening analysis assignment where we choose a song to breakdown and analyse from a engineering/production standpoint, and translate into an essay, bar-by-bar analysis, and presentation to the class. I chose to analyse your song 'One Day'.
Could I possibly email or message you some questions about this song?
The reason I ask to email or message the questions is because I don't want to be stung with any sort of plagiarism if the tutors decide to do a Google search for sources. (Plus, I will most probably need to ask about samples used which you may not want the wider internet population to know about. I may have just lost you there.)
In typical fashion, I left it until the last minute. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated, but it's more than understandable if you can't.

Old 5th October 2011
Lives for gear
PhonoquO's Avatar

RJ, Name a record that you pulled out of your crates that inspired you to write one of your favorite tracks but without actually taking any samples from it? I find it weird sometimes, i set out to sample a record that has some pieces that i'm feeling, mess with them a bit then discard, but with a clear vision in my head of the emotion i'm after, either to be found in another record or a performance i play on keys, guit, bass.
Old 19th October 2011
Feel free to tell me to **** off if this is prying too much, but...: how much did you get for the Mad Men theme? Number of zeros would be fine.

Just curious. Again, if too personal, **** off is acceptable.
Old 19th October 2011
Lives for gear
godphaser's Avatar

I don't wanna go off topic at all but there is a remix contest on RJD2's website in association with Native Instruments :

Contest - rjd2

I guess it might interest quite a lot of people here.
Old 19th October 2011
Gear Maniac

Originally Posted by longbongsilver View Post
Feel free to tell me to **** off if this is prying too much, but...: how much did you get for the Mad Men theme? Number of zeros would be fine.

Just curious. Again, if too personal, **** off is acceptable.
how many zeros are in LOL? oh yea. LOL.

yup-remix contest is up.

so, yea... Icebird album is out. who's heard it? who's got it? separate thread? nobody really gives a **** if its not about samples and $$$$? lemme know what you guys think.....
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