Spinnin’ Some Phat Beats
Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of electronica and Drum & Bass music — I’m on this kick where I can’t seem to get enough. I started listening to the Hospital Records podcast, too, which is a really great show with an excellent DJ by the name of London Elektricity. He pretty much spins stuff off the Hospital label, but occasionally they play demos submitted by various indie D&B producers as well. Its always really interesting to hear different producers from around the world, and their take on the Drum & Bass and electronica scene.
Mixing a D&B track takes a lot more work than most people realize, and there really are a lot of subtle nuances that really start to stand out when you’re exposed to all the different producers and styles out there. A lot of it comes from your own imagination and concept for the music, though; one of the nice things about mixing electronic music is that one person can pretty much be the whole band, taking a concept from its initial stages all the way through to the final mixed track, and having direct control and responsibility for each and every aspect of the music along the way. In a way, it makes it easier for the artist to truly ensure his concept becomes a reality, but it also makes it more difficult as opposed to, say, a band, because if the artist is lacking in any part (let’s say his rhythm is great but his harmonies are way off) it can really ruin the effect of the finished track. A really good producer is not afraid to bounce his ideas off his friends or co-producers and get feedback to really enhance the track and make the concept come alive.
It’s really a lot like working on a 3D animation here at DDA. Generally, when I work on a 3D project, I am involved in all of its stages of production, from gathering the reference material, modeling the assets, creating the lighting and textures, to rigging, skinning, animating, and rendering the finished product. But every step of the way, I am constantly showing the results of my work to the great DDA staff members, who are never afraid to let me know when something looks off about a model or animation. Sometimes I get really excited about the team dynamic we have here at DDA; we all use our different specializations in harmony to bring together a project, elevating it above mediocrity into really polished work that stands out above the competition. It’s like we are the greater Philadelphia area’s website design, marketing, media, and animation DJ’s for the 21st Century!