Feb 17

An Interview With Eskei83 – Discusses Djing, Touring And Being A Champion

by in Interviews, Music, New Lesson Tuesdays, Pro Tips

Eskei83 is a German DJ and producer that was the winner of 2014 Red Bull Thre3style World Championship. His victory has catapulted him to the upper echelons of the DJ game which sees him tour the world doing what he loves. This week we were fortunate enough to ask him a few questions about his DJ journey, touring the world and get insight into what inspires him creatively.

Your hometown is Dresden, Germany. Tell us about the city and how it shaped you musically?

I started my club DJ career in a local club in Dresden. At this time it was the only club for hip hop, RnB, funk, soul, etc. I came there with just Rap records to play my first show, but the manager said I won’t need my records – they had a whole collection built in the DJ booth. I discovered a lot new music, new & old. I learned about the history of the music and about the tracks that made this club so popular. They had some tracks that nobody else in the city played. I learned a lot about selection, building a night & became creative because I was DJing Friday & Saturday each and every week for 4-5 hours straight. I tried to come up with a different set every week. All on vinyl records.

What made you want to become a DJ? Was it a particular moment,artist or song etc? How old were you?

I started getting interested in Hip Hop culture & Rap music when I was 14 and wanted to become part of it when German Rap got popular. I wanted to be part of the movement and was impressed by the DJs for each group. So I made my own beats and got turntables to record scratches on my beats.

What was the first DJ equipment you ever bought? What equipment are you using now for your live sets?

I started with belt driven Turntables and a 2 channel mixer with no EQ, only 2 up faders & 1 crossfader. That’s it. After my first gig on Technics 1210 turntables I knew I had to get them. I also got a Cassette deck to record my mixes.

Now I use a Pioneer DJM S9 mixer with turntables & Serato DJ, after rocking years with the Rane 62 in combination with a NI Maschine MK2.

What was the hardest thing about learning to become a DJ when you started out?

Bringing records from A to B :) But honestly it is to stay focused and rock the party no matter what. You’ll never have a crowd in front of you, where everyone knows you. So it’s about making people happy and showing them your way of putting songs together. I like to catch their interest with interesting songs, new techniques and live performances.  Staying motivated every night, even when you play for a half empty club or your equipment is not working – That’s the hardest.

You won the RedBull Thre3style in 2014 in Baku! Your winning performance had everything from Kanye West to Lenny Kravitz and even a shout out from Grand Master Flash. How long did it take to build that set and what is your process when creating your DJ performances?

I didn’t create a specific set for Thre3style in 2014. I learned the hard way in 2013 what happens when you are stuck in your set and not able to react to the crowd/venue/judges. Everything I had for Thre3style 2014 were routines that I had been playing in my previous shows. Some of them I had been playing for years already. In regards to my winning set I decided to put it together in Baku after watching the other DJs & judges playing and made last minute changes after soundcheck. I had my bits & pieces ready and just had to squeeze it into 15 min. And that’s the way I prepare my sets all the time. Also when I come across new ideas while improvising during my shows & live streams I try to perfect them in the studio later.

Describe what winning the 2014 Red Bull Thre3style felt like.

I’m very happy about the title. I’m even more happy about all the interest I have received since entering the competition. It opened many doors internationally and it helped a lot with promoting myself as a live performing turntable act than a regular DJ just playing tracks. They book me on stages now, give me space to do my little tricks here and there. The promoters that book me, know what they will get and its cool to get booked for this type of DJing.

How did you hear about Melodics? What did you like most about the program?

I know Sam Gribben from back in the day when I was working for Serato on trade shows like Namm & Musik Messe. We stayed in touch and I was really excited to see what he will come up. Last year he wrote to me about his new app a couple of weeks before the launch to get my feedback on it. I think this way of learning is awesome. I’m a big fan of the DJ Hero game, that is similar to Melodics – however Melodics is more professional. More about learning. In my first few sessions with the software I became better at finger drumming and had so much fun learning. Some people say I’m good at this – Melodics showed me that I’ve still got a lot to learn. And to practice on Melodics with the hardware you’re also performing on stage with is awesome. You learn new patterns daily and can practice them to internalize them.  The cue point drumming lessons teach how other DJs flip classic drum loops. The lessons from DJ Day introduced me to a new way of breaking down a loop. Really dope.

How do you use cue point drumming in your live sets? How do you see this skill evolving in the future?

I use it very often to create surprise rhythm changes to popular tracks, do tone play or just jump through the track. People love it when they can see what you’re doing. I like creating something with the sounds they just heard before and understand easily. Plus it’s a dope visual element too, easier for them to understand: you hitting a pad and a sound comes out the speaker.

Scratching is more complex to understand for the regular viewer/listener, because you are moving records & fader. I love both techniques though.

I think Finger Drumming is famous already and people are interested in learning it. There are big names like Araab Muzik that made it to festival stages “just” with finger drumming. That’s amazing. To incorporate a simpler style of finger drumming into my Dj set makes it more unique and I think more & more DJs are catching on.

You have released a set of cue point drumming lessons this week for all Melodics Users. Can you give a bit of background about these lessons and what users can expect?

These lessons are actually the rhythms that I use when I play live. In these lessons I use a track from Elènne who is on my label Crispy Crust Records. The song came out late 2015. The patterns work with all kind of tracks and I use them couple of times in my sets with different tunes on all kind of tempos.

If you could give advice to a DJ just starting out what would it be?

Have fun learning and don’t get distracted when some techniques you’re trying are not working. Sometimes it takes repetitive learning to master a new finger drumming or scratching technique. I’m learning all day and try to get at least 10 minutes practice a day.

You perform over 150 shows a year all around the world. However you have previously said that you ‘rarely get to see the city you are playing in’. Is this one of the hardest parts of being a world famous DJ? Are there any other downsides?

I travel a lot and I have so much fun doing what I do. I’m blessed to be able to go and party with crowds from all over the world. The positive feedback on my shows is what keep me going. But yeah – it’s sad not having enough time to catch up with friends in the city or do exploring/sight seeing. I’m at the airport in Vancouver at the moment and didn’t managed to see my Thre3style family Kenny MacIntire & FlipOut. Another downer is to not being at home with your family. I wasn’t home to spend Valentine’s Day with my girls this year. But I’m on the way home now and happy to see them soon.

What is the most rewarding part of being a world famous DJ and touring?

Going to places you never been to before and realising that people already know who you are and who love what you’re doing. Also to inspire people and get a positive reaction is what really keeps me going. If I’m down & exhausted from touring I need just one cool track, idea, inspiring video, or positive email/post from fans to go back to being creative. It’s cool to see that I can give something back to the scene and keep people inspired.

Tell us about your label ‘Crispy Crust’.

Crispy Crust is the label I founded end of 2014 with the Drunken Masters from Munich. We met each other in 2013 and had the same vision. I’m a big fan of them as DJs but also as producers. It was logical to team up and to create an outlet for the music we make, love and want to support. That’s Crispy Crust.

Final question. If you were stranded on a desert island for a year and could only bring three records what would they be?

I think it would be a Q-Bert Super Seal scratch record and two J Dilla instrumental sampler to cut over it. After a year practicing I think I would be a lot better than I am now.

 

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Feb 10

Loopmasters Brings Dubstep Lessons To Melodics

by in New Lesson Tuesdays

Loopmasters the #1 website for royalty free sample libraries has teamed up with Melodics. Their brand new set of samples were created by Niche Audio as a part of their ‘Hyper Dubstep’ sound pack.

The team at Melodics took these samples and turned them into some fun Dubstep lessons entitled ‘Synthol’.

To get a feel for the sounds used in these lessons, check out the official ‘Hyper Dubstep’ trailer.

You can also purchase this sample pack directly from the Loopmasters website.

 

 

Feb 05

An Interview With DJ Day

by in Interviews, Melodics, Music

This week DJ Day released his first set of lessons on Melodics. In honour of this we asked him a few questions about his career and his new lessons.

In previous interviews you mentioned that a turning point for you was hearing Jazzy Jeff scratch in back in the early 1989. What was it about these performances that inspired you to want to become a DJ?

I think the first song to do it for me was “Rockit” from Herbie Hancock. I was obsessed with that song and played it probably hundreds of times. Years later I would hear the Rock the House album and then He’s the DJ I’m the Rapper, which had an entire side of the album dedicated to Jeff’s DJ skills. There was something kind of otherworldly and sonically unique that was being done with turntables and I knew from then on that I wanted to do it myself.

You have also said that when starting out you wanted two Technic 1200’s for Christmas but ended up getting two boomboxes. Can you describe this story a bit and also delve into what gear you use now for Djing and Production?

Ha, yeah it was a one piece belt drive turntable/radio/tape deck unit. I would play an instrumental or self-made tape loops on cassette on a separate boombox and record me scratching over it with the turntable on a 2nd boombox through the built in mic. You make due with what you’ve got if you’re determined to accomplish something. I would come home every day after school and try to figure out how to scratch holding down the phono and tape buttons like a crossfader to cut the sound on and off. Once I started understanding it, I just never stopped.

What are your thoughts on the increasing prominence of cue point drumming for DJ’s? How do you see cue point drumming evolving further?

I think it’s a great thing. Especially for people who might not be super technical on the scratching side, but still want to incorporate another level of expression while DJing. It’s only gonna make the art form better and more creative over time.

How did you find out about Melodics and what intrigued you about the product?

I found out through meeting with Sam, ironically at Jazzy Jeff’s house last year for the Playlist Retreat. I was hooked once he showed me how it works. I think it’s gonna help a whole new crop of people who are doing live beats and finger drumming.

Tell us a bit about the cue point drumming lessons that you have made for Melodics? What can users expect and how can they incorporate these skills in their own sets?

I wanted to use a break that everyone is probably familiar with (it’s been used on a million songs for over the last 20 years). I think flipping something everyone in the crowd knows is a great way for them to understand what you’re actually doing up there on stage. I wanted to have lessons on there for the beginner and for the more experienced finger drummer. As well as give a variety of genres and styles. Hopefully it can help inspire some new ideas from people.

You’ve collaborated with some amazing artists and producers including Aloe Blacc, Miles Bonny, People Under The Stairs and Exile. How have these collaborations throughout the years helped your skills?

I’ve gained a ton of ideas and insight into making music from all of these artists. I wouldn’t be doing finger drumming at all if it wasn’t for Exile. He put out an album a few years ago called ‘Radio’ and needed a hand on tour and asked if I would assist. I gave finger drumming on the MPC a try and together we came up with an hour long routine and toured the US and Europe. I’m absolutely grateful to work with such creative and intelligent artists.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who has ambitions of becoming a DJ and producer?

It’s such a different animal now with the need to sell yourself being almost more important than your talent itself (which is f*cking wack and should not be your main focus at all). My advice is: 1. Be yourself and take chances. Trust your instinct and your idea of what moves you. 2. Practice. 3. Practice some more. 4. Find a balance of marketing yourself and actually being good. The world doesn’t need any more lame DJ’s who are good at social media but suck on stage.

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

Man, this is always a question that changes every time. Right now at this moment it would be

Lord Echo – Melodies

Lewis Taylor – S/T

Erasmo Carlos – Sonhos & Memórias

You live in Palm Springs but have toured the world extensively for music. What has been your favorite place to perform and why?

Brasil (é muito bom!) and New Zealand (kia ora buds) are definitely at the top of the list. The vibe and the warmth of the people is unlike anywhere else.

To get access to DJ Days new lessons go to our download page.

Let us know how you get on and feel free to send videos of yourself playing Melodics using the hashtag #melodics via Instagram.

 

 

Feb 02

DJ Day – Learn To Flip The ‘Impeach The President’ Classic Break

by in Music, New Lesson Tuesdays

This week we have new cue point lessons from one of Palm Springs finest musical products DJ Day. With a career that has spanned over two decades DJ Day has done it all. From cutting his production teeth in the LA underground with the likes of Exile and People Under The Stairs, to becoming a highly acclaimed DJ behind the turntables.

The Lessons

DJ Day brings us five lessons that are cue point flips of the “Impeach The President” classic break.

This classic break has been used in numerous hip hop classics throughout the years including Unbelievable by The Notorious B.I.G. , Wet Dreamz by J Cole , The Message by Nas and Top Billin by Audio Two

In fact one of the lessons will walk you through exactly how to perform the flip and recreate the beat for ‘Top Billin’

The other flips that DJ Day has cooked up include Dancehall, Shuffle and Swing grooves. These patterns can be further applied to other tracks in your library to help add something extra to your DJ sets and production sessions.

We have more coming from DJ Day this week with an interview and a video of him performing some of these lessons. So stay tuned and enjoy the lessons.

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Jan 27

Interview – THUGLI Talks About Trap, Production & Life

by in New Lesson Tuesdays, Pro Tips

THUGLI made up of Tom Wrecks and Pat Drastik, are an exciting production/DJ duo from Canada.  Joining forces back in 2012 the pair have taken the trap scene by storm. Their unique live shows and affinity to Trap music long before it went mainstream are one of many aspects that set them apart.

This week THUGLI are releasing their first ever lesson on Melodics called ‘Overtime’. We wanted to ask them a few questions about this lesson as well as get some pointers on their music production process.

How did you find Melodics and what intrigued you about the project?

Tom: We discovered Melodics at Jazzy Jeff’s Playlist Retreat this past August. As soon as we heard the concept we were down. It’s such a creative an innovative way of learning pads, timing, flow etc.

What hardware and software do you use in your production and live shows?

Pat: For our production we use Ableton with a slew of plug ins. Live show were on 4 X Technic 1200’s, 2 X Rane 62’s and 2 X Pioneer SP-1.

A mix Thugli did for DJ City in 2014 showcasing their unique DJ set up and scratching prowess.


How have you used finger drumming as apart of your creative process?

Tom: It’s definitely starting to change our live sets creatively. It’s allowing us to incorporate more routines, tone play into the mix. Making us think outside the box a bit more about what we’re going to play and how we’re going to deliver it. Melodics has totally helped keep us sharp on the pads as well.

What is the most important bit of advice you can give to aspiring producers and DJ’s?

Pat: So cliche to say this, but be true to yourself. Make the music you want to make. Play the music you want to play. Let your personality shine through it all.

Tom: Also practice a lot!

You are about to release your first lesson on Melodics called ‘Overtime’. Tell us a bit about the track.

Tom: This track was originally a remix we did for ASAP Mob. It became one of our more popular remixes so we decided to make an instrumental version of it. It’s one of our personal favourites so we’re really excited about being able to recreate it with the lesson!

The remix that THUGLI did for A$AP Mob back in 2014. Click to around 0:55 to hear what part of this track has been used for the instrumental.


How did you guys first meet?

Pat: We both met in our teens at a park near both of our houses. We used to skateboard there with all the neighbourhood homies.

Tom: We were both really into music, Pat had already begun DJing and I was into making beats. I started DJing, Pat started making beats. It’s been quite a ride ever since!

What was the craziest gig you ever performed at and why?

Pat: We’ve had some pretty crazy ones. Really hard to pinpoint one. If we had to, maybe Digital Dreams in Toronto. It was one our first big shows at home to a crowd of a few thousand all going absolutely bananas the entire hour set. Very surreal.

You both have been producing Trap style music long before it hit was popular. Have you been surprised about Trap’s rise into the mainstream? Where do you see the sound heading to next?

Pat: That sound has had its feet planted for some time now but as it started to really grow it was surprise. Not that we didn’t think it could, We just didn’t think it would so fast. Not sure if there’s a definite route for it. It’s taking shape in many forms and heading down all kinds of different paths. That’s what’s dope about it. Constantly evolving and changing.

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

Tom: Only a year. That’s not too too bad. We can at least return to more music later so… Home Alone soundtrack, Cast Away soundtrack and Survivor the TV show soundtrack haha.

THUGLI’s new Melodics lesson ‘Overtime’ is now available to play for Melodics users. So login now and learn one of our best trap lessons yet.

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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.

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Jan 12

New Year, New Lessons – Brand New Content For All Users

by in New Lesson Tuesdays

Last week we mentioned that we are revamping our free content for Melodics users. This has been done in order to provide our free users with content spanning a wide range of genres.

New Lessons To Try Out:

‘Boom Bap Pack’ – The team went after a real gritty golden era feel for this lesson. A must for any budding hip hop producers

‘Digital Drop’ – Feel the power and drop the bass for this dubstep style lesson.

‘Wiz’ – A modern day hip hop track. Expect drum patterns that can be used for your productions

‘AB/CD’ – Easily my favorite lesson name out of our new content. Play along with the band and connect with the joys of Dad Rock.

Other New Free Lessons Include:

Footsteps in the Dark (Classic Break) , Filling Funk 3, Soul Flip, D’Bangs (Beginner)

New Lessons To Come:

EDM Beat

New Trap Beat

DnB Lesson

So that is where we are at as of today with the New Lessons. We are very excited to complete this initiative and will have the remaining lessons added in soon. We would love to know your thoughts on these changes and which new lesson you are most looking forward to playing.

Our Finger Drumming Clip Of The Week

A video posted by Melodics (@melodicshq) on

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See You Next Tuesday

Jan 05

New Year New Lessons!

by in Melodics, New Lesson Tuesdays

Hello Everyone and Welcome to 2016!

Hope you guys have had a very enjoyable Christmas and New Years period. We have been hard at work to make Melodics even better for you guys.

One of the first ways is through producing more performance videos like this :)

The other way is through continuing to produce quality lesson content. We are aware this is what drives your learning and affinity with Melodics. So what our team is in the process of doing is revamping our Free Content.

We are doing this by:

– Altering and amending our existing Free Content

– Adding in newer lessons that cover a range of genres.

These two changes are going  to show you just how versatile Melodics can be. So have a look on the lessons screen and check out the New lessons that we have added.

Over the next few weeks stay tune as there will be more fresh content from the world of Dubstep/House/Hip Hop/Rock/Trap and much more.

Is there any particular genres or songs that you would want to learn? Let us know in the comments below.

As always feel free to post videos of you playing Melodics on Instagram and Facebook. We have received some awesome content so far so excited to see more!

Bring On 2016 and See You Next Tuesday!

 

 

Dec 29

All Cue Point Drumming Lessons Are Available For The Next Seven Days

by in New Lesson Tuesdays

> How Melodics can help you become an even better DJ

During 2015 we have worked hard to bring you a range of different content with Melodics. As the year comes to a close we took a look at what have been our most popular lessons. Cue Point Drumming Basics lesson was our most popular lesson with the other paid Cue Point Lessons being very popular as well. So as a thank you – all our Premium Cue Point Drumming Content is once again available for ALL our users over the next seven days.

Make sure to make the most of this offer and improve these skills. We’ve stressed it a lot lately but Cue Point Drumming is hear to stay and is growing as a necessary skills for all DJ’s. So why not spend time improving these skills the fun way with Melodics :)

For a more in depth look into how Cue Point Drumming can help lift your DJ game check out a write up we did earlier in the year.

Enjoy the free lessons and see you in 2016.

 

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.