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 Oct 21, 2015 6:48 am

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.
jamie wrote:Some interesting posts here and lots of great info with an insight into what went on back in the day!

Another question please Ron if I may - when other producers/engineers were using the studio, did you all share presets?

Or did you all guard your own to keep your own tweaks on presets? Did you ever let others have sole use of your studio?

You can always tell that Sound Entity sound, as to me it does and always has sounded amazingly good.

Cheers!
Last edited by RonWellsJS on Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by lien » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:33 am

When putting on your trousers left leg in 1st or right one?

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:36 am

LOL,

Always left leg 1st... I'm left handed and footed so that figures.

;-)
lien wrote:When putting on your trousers left leg in 1st or right one?

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by Traffic Cone » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:01 am

RonWellsJS wrote:plus there is little in the way of music in it.
So, based on that...have you always included a melodic element in your work?

Obviously there's a lot of techno, and drum & bass, which is more exclusively about rhythm and percussion and so on. Has anything like that ever appealed? (to make or to listen to).

And - how much of that is based on your tastes, and how much on how easy/difficult it is to make music like that?

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:08 pm

Traffic Cone wrote:
RonWellsJS wrote:plus there is little in the way of music in it.
So, based on that...have you always included a melodic element in your work?

Obviously there's a lot of techno, and drum & bass, which is more exclusively about rhythm and percussion and so on. Has anything like that ever appealed? (to make or to listen to).

And - how much of that is based on your tastes, and how much on how easy/difficult it is to make music like that?
Always tried to write chord structures and melodies but you have to work within your limits, I was pretty clueless when I started out and it shows.

Without doubt it's miles harder to compose original music than chop breaks and program drum patterns, obviously there are the good and bad at both.

Sometimes though you hear (or create) an individual sound that is so rich in harmonics, whatever you do with it sounds amazing and therefore many simple, very sparse tracks just work.

With Jungle I was referring to the, for me, horrible period where there was a total lack of musicality, often foolishly thrown over Amen Brother.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by dial1 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:51 pm

RonWellsJS wrote:
Traffic Cone wrote:
RonWellsJS wrote:plus there is little in the way of music in it.
So, based on that...have you always included a melodic element in your work?

Obviously there's a lot of techno, and drum & bass, which is more exclusively about rhythm and percussion and so on. Has anything like that ever appealed? (to make or to listen to).

And - how much of that is based on your tastes, and how much on how easy/difficult it is to make music like that?
Always tried to write chord structures and melodies but you have to work within your limits, I was pretty clueless when I started out and it shows.

Without doubt it's miles harder to compose original music than chop breaks and program drum patterns, obviously there are the good and bad at both.

Sometimes though you hear (or create) an individual sound that is so rich in harmonics, whatever you do with it sounds amazing and therefore many simple, very sparse tracks just work.

With Jungle I was referring to the, for me, horrible period where there was a total lack of musicality, often foolishly thrown over Amen Brother.
Yay people like Rob Hood, Jeff Mills, Surgeon etc can create very sparse minimal tracks but because the sounds they've chosen are so good the track grooves along.

For me the funk and groove is more important than overt chord structures at times. It's all in how minimalism/atonality is used. Some people use it as a rough template (and bring their own ideas and influences into it) others use it as a literal guide, which is absolute shite.

Dance music is all about rhythm and how textures/melodies can relate to that rhythm. It's a fine art mastering what works and what doesn't work.

Basic Channel tracks have practically no melody but their rhythmic motifs just work very well. Same for some of the chicago acid stuff.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by dial1 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:06 am

RonWellsJS wrote:
Traffic Cone wrote:
RonWellsJS wrote:plus there is little in the way of music in it.
So, based on that...have you always included a melodic element in your work?

Obviously there's a lot of techno, and drum & bass, which is more exclusively about rhythm and percussion and so on. Has anything like that ever appealed? (to make or to listen to).

And - how much of that is based on your tastes, and how much on how easy/difficult it is to make music like that?
Always tried to write chord structures and melodies but you have to work within your limits, I was pretty clueless when I started out and it shows.

Without doubt it's miles harder to compose original music than chop breaks and program drum patterns, obviously there are the good and bad at both.

Sometimes though you hear (or create) an individual sound that is so rich in harmonics, whatever you do with it sounds amazing and therefore many simple, very sparse tracks just work.

With Jungle I was referring to the, for me, horrible period where there was a total lack of musicality, often foolishly thrown over Amen Brother.
By lack of musicality do you mean lack of interesting compositional ideas? As you well know I'm sure there can be some great atonal and rhythmic music that is compositionally rich...

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:23 am

Agree, their is intelligence in rhythmic composition and it's the interaction between this and the melodic composition and sonic textures, combined with the production layer that presents the end user experience.

... in that the best tunes get all of the above right, but there are also some tracks where the drums are so damm good that music on top isn't required.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by dial1 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:29 pm

RonWellsJS wrote:Agree, their is intelligence in rhythmic composition and it's the interaction between this and the melodic composition and sonic textures, combined with the production layer that presents the end user experience.

... in that the best tunes get all of the above right, but there are also some tracks where the drums are so damm good that music on top isn't required.
These two oldskool/93 tunes are perfect examples of thoughtful rhythmic composition imho.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5C92sjbeEE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzz1GxjRLRk

Top top tunes. :)

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by rage » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:18 pm

Great pic of you with Phantasy and Mayhem on Instagram. I'm hoping after a studio session. :D

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by silky » Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:22 pm

That's the first time I've seen a proper picture of you Ron. Where you been hiding all these years. :wink:

Great picture with the 3 of you.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by lien » Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:44 pm

What was the longest studio session you did back in the day, were they "get the ahem, ahem booze in" & spend 2/3 days solid off your box like the alleged Goldie/Playford ones were or was it 16 hours then I'm done, sleep in the studio for 5/6 hours then back to the grind stone!

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:07 pm

lien wrote:What was the longest studio session you did back in the day, were they "get the ahem, ahem booze in" & spend 2/3 days solid off your box like the alleged Goldie/Playford ones were or was it 16 hours then I'm done, sleep in the studio for 5/6 hours then back to the grind stone!
Probably max 12 hours, I didn't ever indulge whilst working... I believe people call this professionalism.

;-)

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by RonWellsJS » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:09 pm

rage wrote:Great pic of you with Phantasy and Mayhem on Instagram. I'm hoping after a studio session. :D
Brilliant afternoon, look forward to the next one, we got Alex Hazzard on the phone so he was there in spirit too.

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Re: An answer i had from Jack Smooth..

Post by dial1 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:30 pm

RonWellsJS wrote:
lien wrote:What was the longest studio session you did back in the day, were they "get the ahem, ahem booze in" & spend 2/3 days solid off your box like the alleged Goldie/Playford ones were or was it 16 hours then I'm done, sleep in the studio for 5/6 hours then back to the grind stone!
Probably max 12 hours, I didn't ever indulge whilst working... I believe people call this professionalism.

;-)
Interesting, I actually find trying to find sounds/samples stoned very illuminating, it becomes very visual and tactile for me, but that might be due to my visual impairment.

I also have a groundrule that any music that sounds shit sober to me is music not worth listening to under the influence. This avoids me trying to make psychedelic trance or some such...

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