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2 May

DJ Manipulator bangs out a dope ass beat for us in the 2nd installment of ‘Badland Sessions’. DJ Manipulator kills it using samples from vinyl and The Drum Broker’s International Breaks, Marco Polo’s – Pad Thai, and Jake One’s – Snare Jordan Kits exclusively!

Follow DJ Manipulator on Twitter by clicking here and download the Drum Samples from The Drum Broker by clicking here


29 Apr

DJ Manipulator bangs out a dope ass beat for us in this episode of ‘Badland Sessions’. DJ Manipulator kills it using samples from vinyl and The Drum Broker’s International Breaks, Marco Polo’s – Pad Thai, and Jake One’s – Snare Jordan Kits exclusively!

Follow DJ Manipulator on Twitter by clicking here and download the Drum Samples from The Drum Broker by clicking here


Sample Shootout: Akai S900. Akai S2000, MPC Ren, & E-Mu E4XT Ultra

10 Jul


Very Dope Sampler shootout from Drum Broker customer Fanu (

Read on:

I’m a sampling freak. And a sampler freak.
I’ve been loving hardware samplers since early 2000.
Mostly, I’ve been using a whole lot of Akai as well as E-MU.

(At this point it’s relevant to say that if you’re one of those ADHD heads, or belong in the cult of TL;DR, I wouldn’t blame you for scrolling down till you see a Soundcloud player, as that’s where the goodies are)

Around 2009 I, like many, went all digital and thought my hardware days would be over as I considered DAWs so convenient and magnificent; quick, easy to use, and you can take them wherever you go. Little did I know that I’d go back to my roots. I made an album and some EPs with my all-digital setup (mixing some of it in an outboard desk for a while), but ever since I sold my hardware, I realized I missed working with a hardware sampler plugged into a desk.
You can say what you want about working with a laptop setup, but I’ve always found that hardware samplers, when plugged into a good desk, have that certain warmth that I find extremely pleasing to the ear.

Anyways, cut to the chase and fast forward to today: currently I’ve got an Akai s900, Akai s2000, Akai s3200, Akai MPC Renaissance, Akai MPC Studio, and E-MU E4XT Ultra. Here’s a few brief words about each.

The Akai s900 (made in 1986) I only use for sampling sounds, and then I sample sounds out of it into other samplers or my laptop. It’s got this sweet 12-bit crunch that nicely rounds off the top end and it brings some presence into the mids, which helps get especially the drums to stand out in the mix. Seriously. Someone once said, “Beats coming out of an old Akai sound like bricks”, which is a compliment. The s900 is still the choice for many hiphop producers because of its “organic” sound. Its drawback is the display which only has two lines of text. And oh, its ram is 0.7 megabytes. You read that right!


Khrysis Interview

1 Apr

Exclusive interview with producer Khrysis brought to you by The Drum Broker (

Illmind – 12 Laws For Rappers

8 Feb

If you haven’t already stumbled upon Illmind’s 12 Laws For Rappers, then I highly suggest that you take a minute to read it. Whether you are a producer, beatmaker, or aspiring rapper in the making…. there is something for everyone.

I wanted to elaborate on point #8 which Illmind outlines in the following excerpt:

8. Never Say “Let’s Collab”

The word “collab” is short for “collaboration”. Most hip-hop producers understand a “collab” as nothing more than you asking them for a free beat (or more). This is not a good starting point. A producer must feel like the partnership will become lucrative (either immediately, or in the future).

As a paid producer ala beatmaker & entrepreneur I couldn’t agree more. The word “collabo” is an instant turn off to me. I make it no secret that I don’t work for free (in the proverbial internet music sense). Illmind hit the nail on the head with the partnership idea. Approaching a producer with a solid plan that is mutually beneficial to both the artist and producer is wise alternative to asking for a “collabo”. Here is one possibility that I am always personally open to…

Artist approaches me for beat x which is going to feature a well known artist, lets call this artist Kool G Rap. Having always wanted to work with Kool G Rap and hear Kool G over an Alkota Beat, I’d gladly pitch a beat that would feature such a monster on the mic. Further, the Artist has plans to shoot a music video for the song featuring Kool G. This is a mutually beneficial situation. While I wouldn’t be gaining anything monetarily from this partnership/”collabo”, I could add Mr. Kool G to my resume and having a music video on YouTube featuring an artist of Mr. G’s caliber would certainly draw in some fans, potential clients, and respect. Above all, I would get the satisfaction of hearing Kool G spit over my beat.

Of course this is a hypothetical scenario, so don’t expect to see Kool G + Alkota Music video next month, but I’ve done several deals similar to this in the past few years even partaking in the financing of certain ventures. The bottom line is, its competitive for us as beatmakers/producers, however I don’t think working for FREE is a smart move unless you redefine FREE. Handing out beats for free will get you on the radar of a few people if you are smart about it and work with the right people,  but get involved as much as possible. Ask to be present for the mixing, mastering, or recording sessions. Ask for some love on Twitter from the artist following. Just make sure you get something for your hard work.

With all that being said… I hope that Illmind’s Law For Rappers spreads like  herpes and that people start to absorb some of his commonsense business acumen


Interview: Tommy Tench on MPC Renaissance, NI Maschine, Dubspot, & His dynamic role in the industry

3 Jan

1. Take a minute to introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Tommy Tench and I’m a Producer and DJ operating out of my studio in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. I specialize in sampling and making beats, and I’m a huge fan of Turntablism, which I practice daily. My YouTube channel, which I started posting videos to a few months ago documenting the process of beatmaking, currently has 1300 subscribers and shows no signs of slowing down. I have numerous few projects lined up for 2013, working with artists (most of which I am supposed to keep quiet!) as well a super limited run of vinyl pressings with some producer friends of mine. I am also former student and current employee at Dubspot, a music production and DJ school, where I oversee the Tech Department.

2. How did you transition from being a Dubspot student to an employee?

I started taking classes one summer, and spent as much time as I could there. I got to know everyone pretty well, and one day they needed help setting up a private event because a few people were sick and couldn’t make it. They kept asking for help over the next few weeks, and I approached them to make it a permanent position in the Tech Department. I worked for about a year and a half as a regular Tech, until this past august when I was put in charge of the entire department.

During this time, I was able to learn and listen to everyone around me and really soak up tons of information. Everyone there is so talented and knowledgeable, its crazy really. The whole place breathes music, and can cater to everyones’ specific tastes.  It really helped me be where I am today. It’s incredibly important, no matter how good you are, to keep your mouth shut and listen sometimes. I do a lot of that.

Alkota: A lot of “up and coming” beatmakers & producers assume that the the music industry has a single linear path to success where licensing and selling beats is the name of the game. What most of the new jacks don’t know is that the industry is a multi faceted and dynamic beast.

Oh man. Couldn’t have said it better myself. The modern producer has to wear many different hats. He has to not only produce the track, but mix, master and release it himself. He also has to promote the song, coordinate with artists, get studio time, and in a lot of cases, coordinate the legal side of it with contractual agreements and licensing stipulations. Gone are the days where you show up at a label with beats and they write you checks on the spot. Now, if you’re one of these elite producers, these things may not apply as much. But I see that changing rapidly.

But having to do all these extra things are what makes it fun and interesting. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to learn and try to be the best producer out there, then go ahead and make your $5 beats off your pirated version of FL Studio. Just remember that theres a glass ceiling with that style, and you’ll never reach your full potential. No disrespect to anyone who pirated FL Studio and sells $5 beats, just try to do something different on top of what everyone else is doing. I mean, I bought a DSLR to record my videos, now I understand photography really well. White balance, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal length, etc. I also understand lighting and video editing. I then promote it online as much as possible. I understand SoundCloud really well to the point where I have videos on how to share to all your groups in one click using html scripts. You really get to learn a lot of things inadvertently through this process. Is it harder? Yes. But you don’t gain as much if aren’t trying to figure everything out all the time. I mean honestly, the whole beat making process is really just a puzzle you have to put together. This part here, this part there and so on. The other things are basically the same, just a different puzzle!

3. Can you talk about your role in the industry from the standpoint of an educator?

I get to meet all these big named artists through Dubspot, and there are two kinds of people. The ones that are always learning and trying to get better, and the ones that have what me and my friends call “Old Man Skills.” Now the Old Man Skills have nothing to do with being old. I know 22 year old kids with OMS. Its the refusal to try anything new, which is essentially the unwillingness to keep learning and elevating your craft. These people literally get stuck in time. I firmly believe that if something works, stick with it by all means, but who’s to say that theres not something you could do differently to make it that much better? This is especially true in Turntablism. Guys that are legends in the game but for some reason stopped learning new scratches, new juggles, etc. I would rather choose to not use something, (like a particular trick or technique or even new software) then to discard it without at least testing it out myself. I think it all boils down to being humble and willing to learn, while still thinking you’re the best out there. Its a fine line between the two, but if you really do become the best remember this: The best producers are also the best at learning.


Stompboxx Music – The YAMS Tape

26 Dec


Stompboxx Music is back with another beat tape just in time for Christmas & the end of 2012. The YAMS Tape, produced by M.Simp was produced entirely using Propellerhead’s Reason 6.5 and mixed/mastered using a slew of Rack Extensions that are readily available for the production software.

Peep the excerpt from the Stompboxx Team:

YAMS, or Young and Musically Inspired is a free instrumental project from M.Simp of Stompboxx Music. The collection, inspired by his son, includes an eclectic blend of soul/southern/gritty/funky/bangin’ records! Please download, jam, and share the project.

*All tracks were fully produced in Propellerheads Reason*
*Grandeur contains additional programming by @JRSwiftzVA*
Download the tape below:

Behind The Beats with Khrysis

21 Dec

Khrysis talks with Digital Hustle Films & The Drum Broker about making beats, workflow, sampling, drums, & much more. Don’t sleep on Khrysis playing some crazy NI Maschine Beats.

Follow us on Twitter: @digitalhustler @khrysis @drumbroker & don’t forget to get the Official Khrysis Drum Kit here:

Blap On The Radio – Theme Song feat. Skyzoo (produced by Illmind)

14 Dec

Brooklyn Nets: YES Network TV Intro (prod. by Marco Polo)

13 Dec

You don’t have to be a patron of the Barclays Center to be familiar with the soundscape that’s now symbolic of the Brooklyn Nets. The anthemic horns and infectious beat, produced by the Brooklyn by way of Toronto producer Marco Polo, is also used as officially licensed music for the Nets, courtesy of the YES Network, the team’s official cable broadcast channel. Those that tune into the games will be sure to recognize the animated video clip, which is used at both the intro and outro of all their broadcasts, as well as during highlights, commentary, and transitioning to and from commercial breaks. The instrumental, which is now available for stream, exclusively via Pigeons & Planes, is also played during the games in the house that Hov built.

This sync placement was made possible by Beats & Rhymes, the Indie Urban subsidiary of DeWolfe Music.

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO STREAM (Extended Beat): Pigeons & Planes