Jul 22

Five Modern Funk Artists To Listen To

by in Fundamentals, Interviews, Music, Pro Tips

This week Melodics released some brand new Modern Funk lessons. To commemorate this we have decided provide our list of five modern funk artists to listen to this week. Let us know if we missed anyone and who you have been

Sven Atterton

This United Kingdom multi-instrumentalist released his first full length project “The Cove” back in 2015. It sold out quickly and led to much critical acclaim. Expect beautiful synths, slapping bass in his soothing instrumentals.

Psychic Mirrors

The six-piece Miami band got together in 2010, releasing a couple of records on their own Cosmic Chronic label. Since then they have gone on to release a few more big projects most notably their Nature of Evil album. Check out one of their most notable cuts “Charlene” that will give your body moving.

Tuxedo

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One make up Tuxedo. Started way back in 2006 when the two exchanged mixtapes with each other, the duo have gone on to release a full EP back in 2015 via Stones Throw. The production and Hawthornes vocals compliment each other perfectly.

Dam Funk

Another Stone Throw don Dam Funk has been in the game since 1988. Producing his unique style of funk for the likes of Mack 10 MC Eiht in the 1990’s. However after seeing other artists get gold plaques all around him he decided to go ‘full funk’. In 2006 he launched Funkmosphere Records and a couple years later he dropped his first LP with Stones Throw. Things have been good since with Dam collaborating and performing with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Flying Lotus.

Brian Ellis

Brian Ellis is a multi-instrumentalist Brian Ellis hails from Escondido, Californian. His Reflection EP was held in high esteem and dubbed one of the most modern funk projects of the year. The EP includes a cameo from West Coast electro pioneer and super freak, the Egyptian Lover, and showcases Brian’s one-of-a-kind musical witchcraft.

Like what you have heard? Try learning the elements of modern funk today with our brand new lessons.

Jul 05

An Interview With Decap – Talks Production Techniques, Ableton & His Career So Far

by in Fundamentals, Interviews, New Lesson Tuesdays

When asked in the past about what advice you would give to upcoming producers you said “Create something new every day, and release new material frequently to build a momentum and a following.” Are you able to give a bit more depth into these steps or add anything you’ve learned since?

One thing I would add to that is: be yourself and create authentically. Make the music that moves your soul, and avoid trying to force your art to fit a mold. Avoid people, situations and career paths that influence you to conform so much you lose your authentic voice.

How does the BOSS SP-202 Sampler, a Tape Deck and a HR16 Drum Machine fit in your production story? How have you grown equipment and sound wise since then?

Haha — the humble beginnings.

At the time, my workflow was to sequence drums on the HR-16, loop it, then trigger samples in realtime on the SP-202. I was 13, just starting out, and didn’t really understand MIDI at the time, so there was no quantization and everything had a really raw feel. There was no looping on my 4 track tape deck, so I had to make the whole beat in one take, part by part.

Once I started getting into the power of desktop computers for production, everything really changed. I started using Cool Edit Pro with a program called Tuareg (by Hammerhead). I would sequence the drums in Tuareg, load the drum stems into Cool Edit Pro, then copy and paste samples in time with the drums. People thought I was crazy for making beats this odd, complicated way, but I made some bangers and was able to capture the sound I wanted. After years of making beats this way, I got into Reason for a bit, then the MPC 4000 which was a game changer at the time. My main setup for a while was the MPC 4000 with some hardware sound modules.

Now my setup is really simple: Ableton Live 9, Push 2, NI Komplete Kontrol… and my newest addition – the Dave Smith Tetra. This setup allows me to work in the studio, and have a portable setup I can take anywhere with a backpack. As I expand as an artist, I continuously discover new ways to create in Ableton.

You performed an amazing video of your single “Feeling” for Ableton back in 2015. Explain the process of performing that video and how your relationship with Ableton began?

Push’s 64 pad mode was in beta at the time so coming from the 16, I had to learn a new skill before shooting. I wasn’t used to finger drumming with two hands. There was no quantization in my performance and the video was shot in one take, so I was forced to nail it all the way through with no mistakes. It was a lot of pressure, but I definitely grew from it.

Back in 2013 I did a YouTube video collaborating with Ski Beatz, while showing him Push. Ableton picked up the video on their site, and our relationship has continued to grow.

You’re first ever Melodics lesson teaches “Feeling” and how to perform it like you did in the Ableton video. What can Melodics users expect from this lesson? How will it help their skills?

If you want to learn or get better at finger drumming and performing live, practice is the key. I partnered with Melodics to put this lesson together because I feel its a great tool for artists to step up their performance skills and have a great time. Like anything, the more you practice, the better you get.

You took three years out of music between 2009-2011 to find yourself through spirituality and meditation. Out of this came the project ‘Omnilove’ which you have said “embodies the essence of what you are trying to communicate”  Explain this process of taking a hiatus from music and how it has served you both personally and musically since your return in 2011?

That time was a strong wake up call. I dropped everything in my life to experience who I was on a deeper level. I was looking for my purpose. I hardly made any music during that time. This hiatus from music turned out to be revelatory. Because of it, I am definitely more focused. Coming through that helped me to create and hold a bigger vision for my life and art.

You mentioned in a previous interview it was the likes of Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre that made you begin your production journey in the 9th grade. What is it like years later producing a track that your influence Snoop Dogg was featured on called “The Weekend”? I can only imagine it must be quite surreal things coming together full circle like that.

Snoop is a legend – I’m honored to work with him. Doggystyle was the first tape I ever purchased, and one of my favorite albums of all time. It feels great to work with the people I’ve looked up to — then and now.

You have a drum pack online called ‘Drums That Knock’. This came about  after being repeatedly asked how you get your drums to knock by your fans over the years. Outside of getting this pack are there any other production techniques you would suggest to get those drums cutting through the mix?

Some techniques that work well are a mixture of compression, saturation, pitching and crafting the transients. I use a lot of soft limiting (but never letting the signal clip). My advice to sound designers is to take some time and mess around with plugins. Use your ears. Try boosting, cutting, distorting, shaping, layering. Try things that seem unorthodox – create a sound that is unique and never been done before.

I wanted to create a kit that producers can load up and that inspires them to take their mix and sound to the next level.

How did you get involved with Melodics? In what ways do you think Melodics will help the next batch of producers and beatmakers?

When I started performing, I specifically remember wishing for an app that would help me practice finger drumming, but I couldn’t find anything like it. Recently a buddy of mine introduced me to Melodics and I checked it out and thought it was dope. I really appreciate what Melodics is putting out there. This is a great tool allowing producers and performers to get good fast with structured lessons.

You are a massive Ableton and Ableton Push advocate, with this combination giving you a live performance element now. Are you able to talk about how this has helped your performance skills and how the art of finger drumming ties into this?

Before Push came out in 2013 I thought of myself more as a producer than a performer. After rocking Push for just a few months, I shifted towards crafting live performances because I realized its always been natural to me to perform. Freed from the computer screen, Push becomes an instrument and it’s a matter of mastering that instrument.

What does the rest of 2016 have install for Decap?

I’ll continue to release new music every month. I have a couple secret projects in the works. I might drop another drum kit ondrumsthatknock.com … we’ll see ;).

If you were stranded on an island for a year and could only bring three records with you what would they be?

Kaytranada – 99.9%

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

J-Essential – Smash City

Apr 27

Top 5 Novation Launchpad Finger Drumming Videos

by in Fundamentals, Pro Tips

There is no doubt that Finger Drumming and the Novation Launchpad are match made in musical heaven. The 64 pad layout and the lights all make for a mesmerising spectacle both sonically and visually. The internet is full of such performances but we thought we would countdown our Top 5 Novation Launchpad Finger Drumming videos of all time.

5. Madeon – Pop Culture

Leading our countdown is arguably the first notable Novation Launchpad performance video. Dating way back in 2011 little known French producer Madeon decided to use his Launchpad to mash together his 39 favorite songs. The rest is history as the video went viral landing 39 million views and igniting Madeon’s career. Since then he has gone on to release and album and has charted in numerous countries around the world.

4. Official Novation Launchpad S Performance Video

Coming straight from Novation themselves is their official performance video for the Launchpad S. This video has everything from all colours of the traffic light to a section where the mystery player manages to play in the dark. Now that’s impressive.

3. UnderWaterRobots – Dubstep Mashup

Taking our third spot is a 64 sample 30 song mashup from a Launchpad player who goes by the name of ‘UnderWaterRobots’. While this video has close to 200k views it is the last known recorded performance from ‘UnderWaterRobots’ since 2013. It is unsure as to why he left the game and if he will ever come out of retirement. Rumour has it still meticulously planning his next performance scheduled for 2023.

2. R!OT – How I Feel ft. Bonnie Magbitang

Taking the number two spot is from the talented R!OT! The cool thing about this Launchpad video is that is a music video as well. Strapped with a head mount R!OT is able to easily finger drum the tune and also jams out on a Keytar. Yeah I know a Keytar, doesn’t get much better than that. Also you might be wondering what’s up with the door to another dimension in the video. I have no idea.

1. M4SONIC – Weapon

M4SONIC the finger drummer and producer out of Australia takes out our number one spot with this live Mashup ‘Weapon’. The mash up is awesome and the numbers don’t lie with over 37 million views and 700k subscribers M4SONIC is killin the game right now.

blog-footer2

Honourable Mention – DJ Ravine On The Launchpad Crayola

DJ Ravine with a demo on the brand new Launchpad Crayola! According to Ravine this video was his hardest yet with paper cuts being a real issue. But he was able to pull it off and present something truly special. Ravine was even kind enough to post the Ableton Project Files for this monumental performance. They can be found on his Youtube Channel.

Apr 27

Top 5 Akai Finger Drumming Videos

by in Fundamentals, Pro Tips

Akai are the O.G’s of the Pad Controller game bringing to the market the original MPC way back in 1988. The device is quite simply iconic and has been used by some of the all time greats such as Madlib, Kanye West, DJ Premier, Pete Rock and the late J Dilla. The 4×4 pad layout makes Akai products ideal for finger drumming with their devices being present in some great performances.

5. Finger Drumming In The Office On An Akai MPD218

Starting things off with a dope video from our office as our Designer and resident finger drummer takes on one of our Thugli – Overtime lessons on an MPC218. Check out this short clip and watch out for the ‘Woo’

4. David ‘Fingers’ Haynes Making It Look Easy

Their are many great finger drummers on the internet however David Haynes is among the best. His technique and relaxed hands can be make some of the most complex arrangements look easy.

3. Spinscott playing Jungle beats live

180 BPM with one-shot samples and no loops? No problem! The immensely skilled Spinscott has carved niche following on social media with his breath taking MPC performances. Spinscott also has a range of lessons now available to learn on Melodics.

2. You are now listening to araabMUZIK impersonating Skrillex with only an MPC

Probably the most high profile ‘finger drummer’ in the world araabMUZIK is an absolute beast on the pads. Back in 2011 he absolutely went in and provided a live finger drumming impersonation of Skrillex. The Warsaw were astounded and with many claiming it to be the greatest musical performance Poland has ever seen.

1. Beats By J Black breaking necks with his skills on the MPC

Atlanta based beat maker ‘Beats By J Black’ has been having an incredible 2016 already and is on the verge of blowing up. His finger drumming videos on him playing his flipped beats on his collection of MPC’s are the reason why. Always with a smile on his face and impeccable timing make sure to check out his channel and watch this space.


blog-footer2

Apr 27

Top 5 Maschine Finger Drumming Videos

by in Fundamentals, Pro Tips

Maschine is the flagship device for Native Instruments and has sold millions of units worldwide. The 4×4 pad layout reminiscent of the MPC is sleak, modern and a common item in many producers studios around the world. Maschine has also been featured in numerous finger drumming videos on the web. Lets check out our top five.

5. Tim Kroker Drum Solo on Maschine

Tim Kroker has been a professional drummer for 25 years. So the transition into finger drumming on Maschine was relatively easy. Check out his drum solo video as well as some of the other work he has done at events such as the Sample Music Festival.

4. David “Fingers” Haynes vs Maschine

David “Fingers” Haynes is a Grammy nominated drummer who like Tim Kroker has taken to finger drumming. Currently living in Berlin David continues to refine his path and pull of patterns on the pads imitated by very few. In this video he lives up to his nickname “Fingers”.

3. Strofik – The Maestro of Maschine

Strofik is an Melbourne based finger drummer and DJ who has produced some incredible finger drumming videos over the past year. What sets him a part from the previous videos is the way he can finger drum his entire set via Maschine. Have a look at Strofik doing what he does best in this 15 minute live finger drumming set.

2. Emiliano Torquati

What is harder than finger drumming on one Maschine? How about two Maschines? Emiliano Torquati is able to do just that. Playing the drums with his right hand and a range of samples with his left he is able to create a truly unforgettable performance worthy of our number two spot.

1. Jeremy Ellis performs on Maschine Mikro

For our number one spot we could not go past the O.G Maschine performance video. Jeremy Ellis captivated many in the music production world when he released this video on Maschine Mikro back in 2011. If you have not seen it yet prepared to be blown away.

Had to be number 1. The video that opened many peoples eyes to finger drumming as a whole. Jeremy Ellis.

blog-footer2

Honorable Mentions

Thought our Dubstep Office Sessions video deserved and honorable mention. This lesson has proved to be very popular on Melodics, and we hope this video is part of the reason why.

Native Instruments have a lot of my fans. However this video takes the cake. Watch as Dominik Petzold takes you through a typical day in his life. That includes finger drumming on his Maschine while on the toilet, at the beach and brushing his teeth.

blog-footer2

Apr 08

Justin Aswell on The Importance Of Daily Practice For Finger Drumming & Production

by in Fundamentals, Interviews, New Lesson Tuesdays

Justin Aswell is a Finger Drummer, DJ, Producer, MC, Record/Mix/Master and teacher at Dubspot. His skills on the pads can be seen in his awesome Youtube videos that he began posting way back in 2006. Since then he has appeared on Native Instruments and Dubspot displaying his finger drumming prowess. While indeed talented there is a strong regimented work ethic behind Aswell’s success. We were lucky enough to talk with Justin about his practice process. The following is a must read for any beginning or aspiring producers.

You are well know online for your finger drumming skills. What got you into finger drumming and inspired you to post your performances online?

Well I’ve always been a drummer at heart.  I was always banging on pots and beating rhythms on tables since I can remember.  I played drums throughout my youth and when I eventually got a sampler it only made sense.  Here’s this thing with drums loaded on it and I can tap out patterns like I would anything else.  I didn’t really know I was doing something different for a long time.  I’d been finger drumming for many years before I ever uploaded a video.  It wasn’t even really planned out honestly.  My roommate at the time bought a new camera and wanted to record something.  I was already practicing and he just started filming.  We uploaded it to YouTube and at the time there weren’t many MPC videos at all.  It started picking up speed and before we knew it, it had made the YouTube home page.

What was it about Melodics that made you want to get involved? What do you like most about the app?

I was tagged by several of my friends in a video review done by DJcityTV on YouTube.I remember as soon as I saw it I knew I had to be involved.  Ever since the days of Guitar Hero and Rockband I’d dreamed of an application like this.  I’m really surprised it took this long for someone to create it!  My favorite thing about the app is how well it shows wether you’re dragging or rushing particular rhythms.  That’s always been a concern of mine.  Sometimes you know you’re off but you just can’t figure out how to correct the problem.

You have released three lessons this week based around daily practice. They are called ‘8 on a hand’,’16 note accent’ and ‘Bucks’. Are you able to give a bit of detail as to what each exercise help users with?

Anyone that’s been in a marching band will recognize these to some degree.  These are classics in the Drumline world.  I’ve adapted them to make more sense in the finger drumming context.  8 on a hand is meant as an initial warm up and should played focusing on being relaxed and playing even.  Bucks will get us accustomed to playing doubles and triples evenly. 16 note accent is both for technique and for a rhythmic understanding of the 16th note grid. This understanding will help to give the player a better ability to express rhythms on the fly.

You’ve previously stated that you believe that practicing five minutes a day, seven days a week is more effective than practicing once a week, for 35 minutes. Are you able to give insight into why this is the case?

Absolutely! Each day you don’t practice is an exponential loss. You lose more and more each day you don’t practice consecutively. I like to think of each day as stacking time towards improvement. If you practice back to back days you’re not going to lose any of the time you put the previous day. You may even find you’ve GAINED time by using consistency in your favor. This is called the compound effect. And the sooner you start using it, the bigger the gain!

How can becoming a better finger drummer help a producer or DJ get better at their craft?

Creativity is all about capturing moments. Ideas come and go very quickly. Have the ability to just play what’s in your head instantly without deliberation allows the artist to capitalize on ideas with ease. I’ve had so many people tell me “I just can’t get the rhythms I hear out of my head” over the years. It’s never the serious finger drummers.

Have you always been a naturally gifted finger drummer? How did your practice routines help with your development?

I don’t really buy into the idea of “naturally gifted” honestly. I think people may be naturally inclined or drawn to certain skills but it takes work to get good. I often say the only way to get good is to be bad for a real long time. I still feel I have tons of work even at the skill level I’m at currently. That’s why I still utilize things like Melodics in my arsenal of improvement. I practice constantly. I’m always tapping. My practice routine is my development. I wouldn’t be answering these questions had I not implemented them.

You have made videos with the likes of Dubspot and are very in involved in teaching music in particular finger drumming. Do you have any examples of how finger drumming has evolved since you have been involved with it?

Finger drumming is still very new to the scene. There aren’t any rules you know? The major difference I see would be how many people are out doing it now. When I first started posting videos there were only a handful of people posting content online. Now there’s a new video by a new artist daily. There’s groups that have a finger drummer in the line up. It’s really on the verge of blowing up. It’s super exciting to see.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out and is wanting to become as good as you are?

Start practicing now. Practice often. Make a lot of music. Collaborate with diverse artists. Play shows. Play lots of shows. Post your progress online. Analyze your progress. Focus on both strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be overwhelmed by what you don’t know. Be excited there’s so much to learn. Stay consistent. Don’t stop.

What does 2016 have install for Justin Aswell in terms of music?

I’ve got a collaborative record with my dear friend Andy The Doorbum coming out in May on Fake Four Records. I’ve got a handful of records I’m executive producing. I’m traveling all over and taking up residencies in cities to do as much collaborative work as possible. 2016 is a year of fearless collaboration.

Justin Aswell has released some new practice exercises on Melodics this week that cover the ‘8 on a hand’ , ‘Bucks’ and ’16 note accent’ exercises he uses daily. While playing the hard lessons is awesome building a rhythmic foundation through daily practice will solidify your skills.

So try out these new lessons and start your daily practice today!

Follow Justin Aswell:
Youtube Instagram Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

blog-footer2

Mar 18

New Lessons From DJ Jazzy Jeff Out This Week

by in Fundamentals, Melodics, Music, New Lesson Tuesdays, Pro Tips

The legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff shares an inspiring Hip Hop instrumental called “Don‘t Forget” as his debut Melodics lesson. This instrumental was also used as the fourth track on Dayne Jordan’s debut album ‘Memoirs of Dayne Jordan.’

Like what you hear? Learn to play this beat made with one of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s drum kits from his personal collection today! Also check the trailer video we have put together for this lesson featuring some wise words from the man himself.

There is more insight to come as we have an in depth interview from Jazzy Jeff, hopefully arriving next week. So keep an eye out for that.

Finger Drumming Video Of The Week

A video posted by BeatsByjblack (@beatsbyjblack) on

Our finger drumming video of the week comes from the super talented BeatsByJBlack who flipped our Tall Black Guy lesson in Melodics. This kid is an up and comer so make sure to check out his Instagram page.

Finally the team are loving watching all your performance vids on social so keep them coming. Just post your video with the hashtag #melodics and we will find and regram / share them on our social channels :)

Mar 02

An Interview With Spinscott – Gives Advice & Answers A Very Important Question

by in Fundamentals, Interviews, Music, Pro Tips

Spinscott has just released his second set of lessons for Melodics users to enjoy. It has been an awesome 2016 so far for the American ‘Junglist’ with his incredible finger drumming performances at NAMM earning a lot of social media coverage. Scott was kind enough to answer a few questions about his musical journey and share what he has learned so far.

You uploaded your first finger drumming video to Youtube just under 4 years ago, and got an amazing response. What prompted you to upload this video and were you surprised by the reaction? 

I originally got my first drum machine for a Hip Hop production project in July 2012, but the first thing I decided to do was to try cutting up and playing classic breaks. (Junglist mentality). I had no idea that MPCs were used for live drumming, and coming from traditional DJ formats had never heard of “finger drumming”. I briefly searched youtube for live jungle, and couldn’t find anyone doing it with all one shot drums, so I decided to cut the breaks into single drums (one-shots) and film a quick video. I didn’t think it was a big deal, and was definitely surprised by the reaction. People requested more, so on it went.

 In a previous interview you said “I tend to consider myself more of a music fanatic & performer than anything else really”. Are you able to explain this a bit more?

Sure! In my opinion, terms like “DJ”, “Producer”, and “Remixer” have become largely ambiguous, and at the same time kind of limiting. Some DJ’s mix realtime, others use auto sync, some say “Live PA” and are triggering sequences and loops, others actually play Live real-time sounds, and it goes on and on. From the production perspective, that can mean something as complex as composing an entire track from scratch using all original and custom sounds, to something  as simple as combining a couple of sample pack loops together and releasing a track.  Regardless, I think it’s cool that there are so many ways that people can experience, create, and share music! For me personally, I think Music Fanatic & Performer best describe who I am, what I do, and how I do it. (although, I certainly consider myself a DJ, Producer, Remixer, Coffee Drinker, happy dog owner, etc.)

What was the first Jungle track you ever heard? What was it about Jungle that captivated you?

The first Jungle I heard was actually on a mixtape my sister brought home from a rave in 1995. It was by a DJ called Mastervibe. Having been a drummer since the age of about 5, I was instantly pulled in by the complexity of the drums, and the way that the melody, pads, atmospheres, etc played smoothly with the beats. Jungle just seemed to have so many different sounds and influences, and SO MANY rhythms that were not limited to what one could play on a kit. The track “I Can’t Stop” by Lemon D, pretty much sums up what I love about mid-90’s Jungle.

You’ve also previously mentioned that you used to drum along to drum heavy tracks in your car and not leave the car until you got every note right. Delve into this story and how it relates to the amount of time that you practice.

Ha! Been “dashboard drummer” since I got my license… probably to the amusement of people who’d pull up next to me on the road. I’ve always played and learned music by ear, even back in the marching percussion and jazz band days in school… so when I got those first Jungle tapes, it immediately became a task to master every note.  If you listen to mid-90s style Jungle tracks with Think, Amen, Apache, and other breaks a billion times and drum along, eventually they become burned into muscle memory. It also wears away the steering column and dash…  After a while, you can completely freestyle with all of the intricacies of the breakbeats. Each one has its own characteristics, and that all settles in with time. I have never really spent dedicated time practicing, because I am always drumming on something and challenging myself with the beats. Lately my new fun self-challenge has been turning the drum machine around 180 degrees and trying to play my programs upside down.

 What advice would you give to a person who has just downloaded Melodics and is wanting to get as good as you?

First point of advice would be to HAVE FUN! People succeed when they enjoy working towards success. What I love about Melodics is that it starts off very basic, and steadily increases in difficulty. I encourage people to focus on the style they like and are comfortable with, but also try the other lessons in styles they are unfamiliar with. Diving into new sounds is how new music and skill is born. If you really want to get accurate, try to start with the very first lesson in level one, and don’t just move on after getting a passing grade. Get a 100% perfect score 5 times in a row before moving on, and be obsessive about it.

I was constantly air drumming along with the records. Years later after buying the drum machine and learning it for a few weeks, I decided to try adding real-time Jungle rhythms over the mix, and that is where my format “Jungle Plus Drums” was born.

How did you find out about Melodics? What about the software intrigued you enough to make lessons?

I got an email from the CEO of Melodics, inquiring about my Jungle videos and a new lesson program, and I wanted to get involved immediately. When you have lots of content out there, people tend to ask how to learn and get started, and until Melodics I really didn’t have a way to show people how to begin finger drumming. The ability to share music and teach through Melodics lessons is something I am very excited about, especially because people can now try playing true 100% Loop-Free & Sequence Free beats. 

How have you seen finger drumming evolve since you have been involved with music and where do you see it heading?

It seems to be becoming a lot more common to see DJs hitting pads during sets, which I think is cool.  The convergence of traditional mixing and live performance is a primary driver in the electronic music realm, which can be seen as all of the major gear makers are adding pads to their new equipment. Also, the live elements bridge the gap between electronic music performers and other musicians. I predict that it will continue to grow, as there are so many different ways to integrate pads and finger drumming into projects. Just like scratching and creative mixing, it is another tool that can help differentiate a DJ’s performance.

If you really want to get accurate, try to start with the very first lesson in level one, and don’t just move on after getting a passing grade. Get a 100% perfect score 5 times in a row before moving on, and be obsessive about it.

 Your live performances have a bit of everything, with live finger drumming, mixing, a bit of scratching, and real-time remixing  being key components. What made you want to incorporate all these skills as opposed to being a traditional ‘DJ’?

Back in the late 1990s when I was spinning Jungle on vinyl, I was constantly air drumming along with the records. Years later after buying the drum machine and learning it for a few weeks, I decided to try adding real-time Jungle rhythms over the mix, and that is where my format “Jungle Plus Drums” was born. As I built full routines, I incorporated those into the show. Ultimately, being able to drum, spin tunes, and multitask in the booth makes things very fun, and every set is different and quite unpredictable. Sometimes I bring my bongos to gigs too and play on those with the music.

You are a skilled drummer. How has this helped with your finger drumming performances and what are the key differences between the two?

Thanks! Coming from a drumming background definitely is a great advantage to bring to the table, but I don’t think it is necessarily required to become proficient with finger drumming. Actually, I think hand drums (Bongos, Congas, etc) are more closely related to finger drumming than kit drumming is, however the standard drum rudiments apply across the board. Any experience with drums helps build chops, so where it really comes into play is from a stamina and endurance perspective, and obviously the rhythm is helpful!

You absolutely killed it at NAMM this year getting a lot of social coverage from the likes of DJ Tech Tools and Pioneer DJ. Tell us about your NAMM experience and how it has impacted the rest of your 2016.

NAMM was an amazing experience, and something I have wanted to attend for quite some time. When Melodics asked if I would do demos at their station in the Pioneer DJ booth, I decided to book the trip. I spent a lot of time working the booth and showing folks Melodics, and was asked to do finger drumming demonstrations on the Pioneer DJ stage and the AKAI booth. That was awesome, and it was definitely a highlight some of the DJ Tech Tools guys. NAMM was a great demand creation opportunity, and has led to several opportunities with manufacturers and for booking opportunities for 2016.

A video posted by DJ TechTools (@djtechtools) on

What has been your musical highlight so far since getting into the DJ game?

There have been so many great highlights with music, it would be hard to pick just one or two. Overall, the highlight in all of this for me has been the opportunity to share music with people, and meet other music fanatics through traveling to shows, releasing tracks, and pushing limits on my video routines. In 2015 I was able to tour through 15 cities/states in the US, and it has been great to see the audience on my channels expand at such a nice pace.

Name one place you have always wanted to visit and why?

Well, I have been to the UK twice, but not for performances. That would have to be the place I’d most like to bring Jungle Plus Drums sets to this year, as it is the birthplace of so many of the styles of music I love. As for visiting, I have always wanted to see the Phi Phi Islands.

In preparation for this interview I have watched a lot of your videos. In almost all your performance videos I have noticed there has been a gold beetle and a coffee cup or thermos in shot. What do they mean?

Ah, you saved the most popular question for almost last! There are many strategic and subliminal reasons why I use those objects in the videos… watermarks for authenticity and brand imaging are two of the primary ones. You may also notice that many videos have electric clocks in the background. That is to show that the video was recorded in realtime with no speed alterations. As for the Beetle, that one’s gotta remain a secret.

Like what you have read so far? Catch the latest videos from Spinscott on his Youtube channel and read our other insightful artist interviews here.

Also don’t forget to give his new lessons ‘160 Juke Jam’ and ‘DnB Roller’ a jam on Melodics.

Jan 19

Practice Mode On Melodics // Melodics Fundamentals

by in Fundamentals

Our most requested feature is finally here. ‘Practice Mode’ has been officially added to our latest release and can accessed by all Melodics users.

In a nutshell ‘Practice Mode’ will be an essential tool to helping you learn harder Melodics lessons faster. This feature will enable you to slow down and speed up the tempo of the lessons before attempting them. What is even cooler is that ‘Practice Mode’ runs on a continuous loop so you can keep practicing over and over without having to press that pesky spacebar.

While ‘Practice Mode’ allows you to slow down the tempo you will still need to complete the lessons at their original BPM to gain points. For a more comprehensive look at the capabilities of ‘Practice Mode’ check out the video below.

Let us know what you think about ‘Practice Mode’ and how it has helped you so far on your Melodics journey. You can do so via the comments section or links below.

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter

Dec 23

Melodics Fundamentals – New Lesson Screen, Long Notes & ASIO Support

by in Fundamentals

This week we have added some cool new features that will help you navigate and use Melodics even better :)

These features include New Lesson Screen Design, Long Notes and ASIO Support for Windows users. Check out the videos below for a visual look at these features.

New Lesson Screen – Navigate With Ease. No More Scrolling

Metronome Control, Long Notes & ASIO Support For Windows

Like these changes? You will receive them as a part of our latest build. If you have any issues with getting the build feel free to get in touch with us via support@melodics.com

Outside of this send us through any videos of yourself playing Melodics via Instagram, Facebook and now Youtube.

– The Team At Melodics.