An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

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RonWellsJS
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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:00 am

LOON-E wrote:Gotta admit i dont get the Ozric,s in the slightest..but my missis loves em (i dont get a fair bit of her tastes tbh lol )..does intrest me what us old enough to be into music pre "rave" listened too though..for me it was The Sex Pistols..Motown, Motorhead..punk bands and psychobilly (demented are go/The Meteors/King kurt etc) then Stone Roses/Neds Atomic dustbin and obv The Prodigy..led me too hardcore..then gabba/speedcore..sorta carried that jumping about vibe through my music..you were at the forefront Ron so there wernt all the reference points for writers/producers there is now..Was there stuff pre electronic that you still had in your mind when you 1st bought your 1st bits of kit?
For me its electric thrashy guitars..1st ever time in the studio..my 1st ideas were kick/snare and guitar riff :)

LOON-E
I was always into reggae and soul, when I was a very young I (and everyone else it seemed) was into Ska.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:06 am

ian saunders remix wrote:I see that Basement Phil has commented on the interview :D
Yes, and he's been put straight by Spencer T (Deep Shizzol). There are some amusing bits in the comments section at the bottom.

The bloke (Phil) lives in cuckoo land, but to be honest I want to stop talking about him, he actually gives me the creeps.
Last edited by RonWellsJS on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:09 am

MJS57 wrote: As for Ron, I have a couple of questions:

1) Do you have any memories of the session for Kev Bird's Unfriendly recording? I love that track, the almost backwards mid section, and pushing beats n synth lines.

2) Why did you start Smooth Recordings as a sub label? What was the impetus, or idea behind that?
1. Working with Kev was great, he's a good musician , but that track isn't one of his

2. No reason other than to allow for more concurrent releases, it was like a factory back then

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:11 am

ian saunders remix wrote: Wasn't unfriendly done by Wax Doctor & Ron?
He brought some tunes to the studio to sample, he had some good ideas, but he didn't really compose those tunes or play any riffs. I hope he would agree with that statement (or we would have another Phil on our hands).
Last edited by RonWellsJS on Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:18 am

ian saunders remix wrote: Ron, what's your favourite Kraftwerk tune?

What about Jean-Michel Jarre? I kinda grew up listening to him as my dad and one of my older brothers were into him and loads of weird, uncool electronic music (and dodgy easy listening)
I really like Aerodinamik, that's a newer one (so simple but so rich in harmonics, vocal sound is awesome):



... Tour de France, Numbers, Music Non-Stop... there's loads more (it's only ever been some of the non vocoded vocals that I haven't liked, he's not exactly a singer).

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by silky » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:13 am

RonWellsJS wrote:
ian saunders remix wrote: Ron, what's your favourite Kraftwerk tune?

What about Jean-Michel Jarre? I kinda grew up listening to him as my dad and one of my older brothers were into him and loads of weird, uncool electronic music (and dodgy easy listening)
I really like Aerodinamik, that's a newer one (so simple but so rich in harmonics, vocal sound is awesome):



... Tour de France, Numbers, Music Non-Stop... there's loads more (it's only ever been some of the non vocoded vocals that I haven't liked, he's not exactly a singer).
I can see clearly now why you regard them so highly. Fantastic, I feel embarrassed to say I have not given Kraftwerk the time of day. Aural pleasure right there.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by jamie » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:03 am

Thanks for the reply Ron. It's interesting to hear how the tunes were put together.

I've sent you a pm...
RonWellsJS wrote:I think there's 2 answers to that (for the big hooks)...

A lot of the time in the early days myself and pretty much everyone else would sample a single stab (note or chord), tune it and play new riffs with it.

Later (93 onwards) I spend 1000s of hours programming my own sounds across the entire kit, so they were, in the main, my presets... I used to embargo certain iconic sounds to other studio customers to keep my sound unique.

Typically the artist would have 6-7 records and I would be asked to sample 2-3 breaks, cut them up and make new combined beats, then I would be asked to take a few stabs and then some of the artists would play the new riffs with the samples, a significant proportion of the time I both composed and played the riffs and chords, then I would be asked to sample a vocal or two. Arrangement (the fairly easy bit) would then be a combined effort... then I would put the effects in place and do the mixdown.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by retrospect » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:27 pm

Ron, it' dificult to remember everything that's been asked in this thread, so sorry if i'm repeating a question:

1. Once you had signed for MCA, did things change production wise? Did they ask you to record tracks at their studios? If so, did you bring along your favourite bits of studio kit?

2. This one could be a question for Phil, so appologies if this isnt your domain: Before signing for MCA, what happened to the tracks after you had finished with them in the studio? Did a mixing engineer at a different studio get to do the final mix? Were they mastered for vinyl before going to the pressing plant?
Last edited by retrospect on Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by dj jedi » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:36 pm

retrospect wrote:This one could be a question for Phil, so appologies if this isnt your domain: Before signing for MCA, what happened to the tracks after you had finished with them in the studio? Did a mixing engineer at a different studio get to do the final mix? Where they mastered for vinyl before going to the pressing plant?
I'll obviously let Ron answer too, but based on the many DAT/WAVs I've managed to accumulate over the years the majority of early 90s hardcore was completely unmastered in the studio, it was down to the talent (or lack) of the cutting engineer to cut it nice and loud. I've seen very few original recordings that are what we would refer to these days as mastered.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by lien » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:16 pm

So Ron shall I ask a serious question or something random? ;) :lol:

I've not started boozing yet so choose wisely..... just saying! :badgrin:

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by pineappletribe » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:29 pm

@RG - well remembered mate:



It still sounds pretty mad!

Actually - I still love it & now I am wondering if I can class this as my first hardcore tune?! :biggrin:

Gameplay:



I am firmly of the belief that old skool computer games were much more creative than the majority of what is offered to the public these days. Despite obvious leaps & bounds in graphics, sound, gameplay. I wonder why that is, or maybe it is just my perception?


@Ron - rather tedious IT work in the airline industry mate! ](*,) But I guess it does allow me a fair amount of working from home, which allows for better pursuits ;)


I had better bring this tangent back on track with a question for Jack Smooth! :oops: It is probably already answered in thread tbh, but just so as I can come back on topic...... What did you initially use to run sequencing software (presumably Cubase?!):

Atari ST or Commodore Amiga?

I used to have an Atari STFM & the first studio I ever went to used this to run Cubase. RIP Ray Block (my good friend who was co-owner) - who was also a closet Peter Gabriel fan I might add... never forgotten mate!

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by Richruffcut » Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:09 pm

@pineappletribe loved some of the old computer game soundtracks





Sorry back 2 the topic

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by pineappletribe » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:58 pm

@33:45 / @ 38:35 - Come on! \:D/ Some of those little riffs are pretty good - especially on the SOR2 soundtrack.

-> Initial release date: December 20, 1992 -> nuff said!

From Wiki:

The soundtrack for Streets of Rage 2 was composed by Yuzo Koshiro, along with three contributions from Motohiro Kawashima. It was composed using then outdated NEC PC-8801 hardware alongside Koshiro's own audio programming language. According to Koshiro: "For Bare Knuckle I used the PC88 and an original programming language I developed myself. The original was called MML, Music Macro Language. It's based on NEC's BASIC program, but I modified it heavily. It was more a BASIC-style language at first, but I modified it to be something more like Assembly. I called it Music Love'. I used it for all the Bare Knuckle Games."

The soundtrack was influenced by electronic dance music, specifically house, techno, hardcore techno, and breakbeat. The soundtrack for Streets of Rage 2 is considered "revolutionary" and ahead of its time, for its "blend of swaggering house synths," "dirty" electro-funk and "trancey electronic textures that would feel as comfortable in a nightclub as a video game."

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:16 pm

retrospect wrote:Ron, it' dificult to remember everything that's been asked in this thread, so sorry if i'm repeating a question:

1. Once you had signed for MCA, did things change production wise? Did they ask you to record tracks at their studios? If so, did you bring along your favourite bits of studio kit?

2. This one could be a question for Phil, so appologies if this isnt your domain: Before signing for MCA, what happened to the tracks after you had finished with them in the studio? Did a mixing engineer at a different studio get to do the final mix? Were they mastered for vinyl before going to the pressing plant?
1, no I still used Sound Entity studio for everything that was released.

2, I used to ask for everything to be cut flat (no eq) and without compression, but this probably never happened, because you pretty much always have to compress to get dance music on vinyl in any case (and mastering people like to have a meddle). When I attended cuts I could limit the amount of meddling to a minimum, which is always the best way, if the mix is already in decent shape.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:18 pm

dj jedi wrote:
I'll obviously let Ron answer too, but based on the many DAT/WAVs I've managed to accumulate over the years the majority of early 90s hardcore was completely unmastered in the studio, it was down to the talent (or lack) of the cutting engineer to cut it nice and loud. I've seen very few original recordings that are what we would refer to these days as mastered.
Probably right...

... my tracks were probably identifiable because I'm not a fan of mastering, in particular over use of compression, so used to try to get the final sound at Sound Entity without others altering it too much.

Good monitors are essential if you don't want someone else significantly altering your work, most dance tracks back then were not mixed too well, so good mixes often stood out.

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