Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deep Thoughts.

This track is the first ever musical collaboration I had with my older brother.  I played him the sample and drums and he played the bassline.  I remember we recorded the bass directly into a Marantz tape deck (which was actually really nice), and then I took it to my computer and recorded it in and moved the notes around to fit in time.  The rest of the track is full of different samples and layers, this one was done during grade 12, I remember it quite well actually. The 'Deep Thoughts' logo has very little to do with the music, but the track is called 'Thoughts' and Jack Handey is awesome so it fits.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Jazz Mondays.

I missed my posting yesterday, which I was trying to avoid but who checks these things on Sundays??  (If you do please let me know and I will try not to miss it again).

Monday is here again, so i figured some jazzy vibes would suit the mood.....
you get one guess who is playing bass on this one.

Mr. Carter

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bright Moments.

Today I have some appropriate Saturday night music, with the words of the incredible musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk speaking his piece about 'Bright Moments', hopefully some of you can relate to his words.

Bright Moments (Part 2)

Friday, November 26, 2010


There is something I've always liked about that weird in between interference you get when turning the radio dial.  I think I sampled an AM station for the intro on this track, it felt like a good way to set off the mood.  The bass is very filtered so the whole 'frequencies' thing describes a very important aspect of making music.  Understanding what frequencies blend well together and which ones do not is key to making your music sound proper. Click on the picture above to see the different range of frequencies that instruments take up.  Let me know how this one sounds (keep in mind I used cheap computer speakers combined with an 18" sub...)!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Secrets Of Life.

On some more introspective spoken word tip today with the music, here's one I made in 2001.  I remember chopping up some Joe Zawinul and Mark-Almond for this one, with the Earth, Wind & Fire spoken word free jazz nuggets on top.  Enjoy... the secrets of life.

Secrets Of Life

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Name That Break.

Drum breaks come from all different places.... where did I get this one from?  Band, album and song title required... : )  

You Gotta Learn

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I was a pretty chilled out kid in high school, and this track is a perfect representation of where my head was at back then.  Definite Endtroducing influence with this one.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Sample. Chop. Repeat.

All the beats I have posted so far were created using Cool Edit Pro and Fruity Loops (for drums only),  above is a screen shot of what a waveform looks like in Cool Edit.  I did all my chopping using that program, and it took a long time.  I used to figure out the precise lengths of samples and chop them mathematically, which was a little crazy but it worked for me.  For example,  a 2 bar section at 90 BPM (Beats Per Minute) is 5.3333 seconds long.  If I wanted to chop a 1 bar sample I would make a new file that was 2.6666 seconds long, and if I wanted to make a half bar sample it would be 1.3333 seconds long, etc, etc.  This was my main method for creating my chops/loops for the early years of beat making, and it was incredibly precise, though I don't know if I would have the patience to do the same nowadays, especially with programs like Recycle and the new features in Logic 9 which make chopping such a breeze.  Here's a Monday beat to get your week started.


Sunday, November 21, 2010


"If your conviction is not to go to war and kill people......whole lots of people have been killed for their convictions, put in jail for their convictions.  Any time you have a high moral decent conviction you never have to worry about going crazy."   Dick Gregory, 1969.

Dick Gregory says those words on his 1969 2LP, "The Light Side: The Dark Side" , and I used that section , plus more from his piece entitled 'Draft Resisters' for the track I am posting today.  I had started a beat back in early September 2001, and had been meaning to finish it but had not gotten around to it, when I remember my Mom waking me up one morning to tell me there had been a plane crash in NYC, so I turned the TV on and watched as the 9/11 saga unfolded.   I had been listening to a lot of the Dick Gregory album I mentioned and I found the perfect parts to lay over my instrumental,  and I completed the song that same day.  I had just turned 18 and I was aware of the military draft and now that this terrible tragedy had happened, I knew there was potential for a lot of young people to go to war, and I was not OK with that.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Race Against Time.

There never seems to be enough time in a day...  everyone always says this but it rings true for me all the time.  This track I am posting today is called 'Frustration', which stemmed from my desire to create music but at the same time being expected to finish my homework.  We can all relate to this constant push / pull of everyday life, balancing work that we want to do and work that we are required to do.  The key is trying not to do everything at once, as tempting as it is.  Even though I made this track 10 years ago it still seems relevant, though I didn't think about that at the time. Now off to my radio show set and DJ gig!


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Main Ingredient.

Hip-hop tracks with horn samples are such a staple in the huge catalog of classic beats from the early days, and one of the best to ever use horns in his production was Pete Rock.  'Mecca & The Soul Brother' by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth was one of those albums that I listened to over and over and over again, and after that it was 'The Main Ingredient' which continued the tight production with classic jazz and soul samples, though I do prefer their first album.   This beat was my 'Pete Rock' / Horn samples track that I knew I wanted to make.  I took samples from a bunch of different records, I know Sonny Rollins was the source of the horns, but the bassline and the piano i can't remember...A.W.B. on the BELLS!

A Thousand Eyes

Thursday, November 18, 2010


One of my inspirations when I started making music was DJ Shadow, because I listened to Endtroducing over and over, trying to hear all the different layers of samples he used to form his songs and I found it pretty amazing.   This track was my take on layering,  adding part after part on top of the track and then fading away but never dropping out elements.  As you keep checking this blog you will hear more examples where I use multiple sample sources in one beat, while maintaining a balanced sound that works.. the challenge is a fun one.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Digging Is Therapy.

I'm sure most of us can remember back in high school when we realized we had emotions, and the track I am posting today, "Pain" is named for one of those.   Despite the song title though, once the song was completed I was actually feeling "Joy".  The previous day I got the information that my girlfriend was breaking up with me, so naturally I was unhappy, but little did I know how fortuitous this breakup would be.  

The next day I had already made plans to dig through a garage full of records where a local dealer had his collection, and I was so excited I actually forgot about the previous days events.  As I went through the records I was pulling out great stuff left and right, it was one of my best digging experiences (at that time).  Lots of soul, funk, jazz, rock and all at roughly 2 bucks each.  I was so happy I could barely contain myself.  I threw the records in the car and rushed home to listen to the haul, and immediately remembered the breakup.  "Why don't I express my emotions by making a beat?" I thought to myself.  Long story short, I pulled out some of the records I found during the dig and put together a track, which I was quite happy with.  

The moral of the story is: If you are feeling down, go buy some awesome records and then make music with them and you will feel ok again. (after listening to this song again, I was definitely in an 'aggressive' mood!)


thanks for reading and listening...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Music Keeps Me Together.

My Dad was a huge fan of blues, and the artist I remember him listening to the most was Taj Majal.  He used to play his bass along to the same Taj Majal album, often keeping me awake late at night since the bass tones drifted right through the floorboards.  I inherited (I basically took their records) an incredible amount of music from my parents which I will forever be grateful for.  That is the reason when I was digging for records back in junior year of high school and I found this Taj Majal LP, only buying it because I remembered all the bass licks my Dad would play.

The album is 'Music Keeps Me Together' by Taj Majal and I.S.M.B. (Intergalactic Soul Messengers Band).  The same day I got the record I put the needle down on Side 2, Track 1 and this is what I heard:

Taj Majal - West Indian Revelation (snippet)

Here is the beat I made that same day (if my memory serves me right the other flute sample is from a Jim Pepper record called 'Pepper's Pow-Wow', which I cannot find anywhere!):


thanks for listening.

Monday, November 15, 2010

From the Vaults.


Here's a couple more from my high school years, making beats instead of making grades.

Most of these older joints were put together using Cool Edit Pro (now known as Adobe Audition) and Fruity Loops (for drums only).  I was still flossing my math skills when putting these tracks together, I used pure numbers and decimals to create my sequences and loops. More on that later......

the beats:

Fellow Man


until tmrw.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome Beatheads.

Thank you for joining me on this audio journey which started back in 2000 (age 16) and continues to this day.... I realized I have a lot of old music that has just been sitting around on a hard drive so I may as well put it up somewhere for people to hear!    I will be continuously putting up beats (both from the past and present), mostly instrumental, but might throw in some surprises here in there.  Lots of the older beats are grimy, right from cassette, or recorded poorly to begin with, but that adds to the appeal if you ask me.....

I'm going to post music every day for a long while until I run out of tracks to put up, but I have a lot in the archive so keep checking in!


Enough talk.

Here's some music:

These are both from 'Catalistrumentals', a "private press" CD that I did up in high school and gave out to friends.

Whats My Name: