Music producers when I came into the game, I was blessed with friends that loved giving and I had producer homies that you know they were like look man, I’m bout to bless you with all these sounds. Even my mom, my mom you know, she bought me a drum kit. You know, these drum kits that used to come in a DVD case, she bought them for me for a Christmas and I remember, I’ll never forget, I sat there with them drum kits and I was like, man these sound so official. They were probably trash, but they sounded so official and I was like, man I’m bout to go flip I don’t know, the Donnie Darko theme, the tears for fears, Donnie Darko theme. And that’s what I did, I ended up flipping that and you know, having that access to the sounds and the collection of sounds that I pretty much you know, got from friends over the years and that I’ve collected like Pokémon.
What you find is that – and this is my opinion – having a whole lot of sounds is not always a good thing. You know, I don’t know if you ever heard of something called analysis paralysis, but this is basically where you have you know, way too many things that you’re analyzing to the point where you’re not doing anything at all. So, imagine having access to over, and I had access to like 25 gigs worth of drums. More drums than I’ll ever need in my whole production career, but I had access to it and for a minute I felt powerful like man I have the opportunity to use you know a kick drum from Just Blaze drum kit, a snare from 9th Wonder’s and then maybe some high hats from the Neptunes kit and then maybe, I was mixing everything together and I was like yo, this is the greatest thing in the world but what happened was, you know over time, and it really wasn’t a conscious decision, I just really stopped using a lot of drum kits, you know, unless I get real curious or I get in a beat rut. I just stop using certain drum kits because they weren’t producing the sound that I needed and I had to work a lot on the EQ and a lot on the reverb and the effects to make it sound like something worth using.
So, you know, you may be getting discouraged as you’re looking at your favourite you know producer tutorials and you’re like man, do I need to have Omnisphere, do I need to have that Kontact library? Do I need? You know, you don’t need anything except for what you need and when you’re starting off as a producer, do you have any sounds? If you got the stock sounds in FL studio, you know, I’m not gonna say that you won’t make something amazing, I’m not gonna say that you will. But I’m saying that you have a starting point, and I always believe that before I upgraded into other equipment, you know I felt that I needed to outgrow the equipment first. I didn’t need to just buy new stuff because I could afford to buy new stuff or because other producers are using it, because that’s what happens when you’re trying to keep up with everybody else. You’re not really focusing on your own growth; your story is different from everybody else. So, focus on your story, focus on your circumstances.
I remember the first time I started producing, I was producing on a Playstation, you know, and I got the Playstation and people were laughing at me and they were like, no real producer uses Playstation, but guess what? I made it work. Eventually you know, I wanted to upgrade the sound cause I was like man, I can’t record you know, my microphone to the T.V for these beats anymore because it’s lacking a low you know, base frequency from this old T.V that I had. And so, I said, you know what? I need to find a way to you know, cos I had a desktop computer at the time, find a way to get one of those drives that have auxiliary inputs on them and then basically take the audio directly from my PlayStation 1 into my computer.
So, I made the upgrade. You know, I didn’t go trying to go buy something that I didn’t need, I needed that in order to get what I needed to get. You know, and it was a really logical decision. Now, have I splurged on things I didn’t need? Sure, I got many controllers that I hardly even got use out of and it just, I got it for the pads and didn’t even use the pads. I got a drum pad one time, ended up selling that to try to get some speakers you know, because at the end of the day, it didn’t matter how great I was on the drums if I couldn’t hear the quality of my sound. So, for you, make logical decisions as you approach it and really understand you know, are you making a decision for your own growth, or to try to keep up with somebody else? Because their journey is their journey, your journey is your journey and I don’t suggest you doing that. I think that you’re growing at the speed that you need to and if you feel like you need to increase that? You know, find somebody to mirror, get around somebody and I guarantee you, that mentor of yours, or that producer that you’re gonna be mirroring. I guarantee you right now, they got probably like 5 or 6 go to kits that they go to.
So, to answer that question. No, you don’t need an abundance of sounds to make amazing beats and be successful, especially not in the beat leasing business, not in any, you don’t need an abundance of sound. Now, is it great to have variety? Is it great to get exposed to new things? Absolutely, that’s part of growth. But do you need them? No, and don’t let that stop you from growing, don’t let that stop you from being a success you’re supposed to be.
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