1. Introduce yourself to the readers who may not be familiar with The Arcitype
My name is The Arcitype, and I’m a hip hop producer based in Boston, MA. I’m originally from New York City but have lived in Massachusetts for 22 years now and have been in Boston for the last 8 of those roughly. I went to school out here and stayed after because I had found myself a nice place int he hip hop community out here and felt like it was a good place for me to set up shop. I run my own label, AR Classic Records, and produce for all the cats on there. I also my own full scale recording studio, The Bridge Sound & Stage in Cambridge, MA and have production credits with a number of artists including Kool G Rap, Edo G, Big Noyd, Ruste Juxx, Killa Sha & many more.
Alkota: I recently caught your beat making video on YouTube (via Crate Kings) . Pretty dope! You were making a sample free beat from scratch that sounded sampled.
2. Are all your beats sample free? Or do you dig in the crates too?
At this point I pretty much only make sample free work unless I’m specifically asked by an artist to sample. I used to sample all the time so I have plenty of beats that are sample based and I still have love for the whole process. I have THOUSANDS of records that I collected over numerous years and still love that feeling of finding something amazing of a record. But I will say that the feeling of making something completely from scratch that really hits hard is actually more gratifying for me. In the beginning I was making sampled and sample free work back and forth. I began to lean towards sample free because of clearance issues initially, and then it later built into publishing dollars for myself, my artists and my label so it was sample free from then on. My biggest goal in my sample free work is to try to make people think there is a sample in it, or for it to just be so hot it doesn’t matter haha. Nah but I really aim to give the music the feeling that sampling does without the legal issues. At this point I’d have to say I really do prefer making sample free work over sampled.
3. Are you a software or hardware beat maker/producer?
I mainly use Propellerhead’s Record and Reason. I do have an MPC 2500 and a 1000 that I did plenty of work on at one point, but at this point I really use Record the most. I did just recently pick up NI’s Maschine and have started to dabble in it here and there and it shows some promise, I just have to stack up some more VSTIs at this point. I prefer using Record at this point because it really gives me everything I need right at my fingertips and doesn’t get in the way of my thought/creative process. I have all my sounds right there, I’m always expanding and getting new sounds and I know the program so well I can just breeze through it. And now, with Record, anything that I want to add from outside of the program is easy because it allows audio recording straight into the software, so I’m able to add live guitars, basses, other keyboards, percussive elements, really anything I want or could imagine. the program doesn’t inhibit me at all. The sound quality is great, and and allows for me to really play with the tonal qualities of the parts. I can get everything from crystal clear to completely dirty, and the advantage of being able to bounce out all my stems in one click and bring them into Pro Tools only allows for more mixing and tweaking with little to no downtime at all.
4. Walk me through your workflow when you make a beat.
Well it’s never really the same. Sometimes I start on the keys or a synth, sometimes the drums, kinda depends. At times I will basically play around until I find something that catches my ear me and inspires something and then run with it while other times, I’ll sit down with a clear notion of what it is I’m going for and what I’m gonna do. All depends on the day. I will say that I pull inspiration from all sorts of places not just music, and that can often affect what comes out of the studio. I also listen to all kinds of music in my spare time so that will often play into what I sit down and try to capture. Like I said before, I really aim to make it the listener feel like there is a sample in the beat or that it’s on par with beats that are sampled, so I will play a lot of live instruments on my work to get that feeling, I will add live guitars, live bass, acoustic keys if need be. All depends on what the song is calling for and what I hear. I do have a couple little tricks that will stay with me in regards to making things sound more sampled, but the most important part for me is putting MUSIC into my work and not just hitting one note and laying some drums on top. I try to mix the beats to a place where they hit hard in Record knowing that I can take it further in Pro Tools. Depending on the beat I may put more time into it before shopping it, but often I can get them sounding nice enough out the box. At this point, I do always make my beats for an artist to work on. Doesn’t necessarily need to be a rapper, I have produced R&B joints as well, but I find that it’s important to not only give a voice to the tracks but to include a collaborative energy into a track so that I’m not the only one bringing something to the table. People like songs, and especially ones they can sing along with, so I need the aid of someone else with those talents for my products to be complete.
Alkota: Aside from making beats, I understand you own your own studio in Boston.
5. How did you come about owning your own recording studio?
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