Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Throwback: Missy, Tim, and Jimmy D in Remix

Here is an excellent interview with Missy Elliott, Timbaland, and Jimmy Douglas for Remix magazine. The interview takes place back in 2003 when Missy was recording This Is Not A Test. I never knew that the album's first tracks created were "Pass That Dutch" and "Wake Up" and then they built the rest of the album around the sound of the two. Timbaland offers a small glimpse of his vision for the album and for producing in general. The best part of the interview (to me) is all the wise words of advice that Jimmy D gives to all the future producers and beat makers out there. Check it out:

****Elliott and Timbaland's process works like a well-oiled piece of machinery. It all begins with Tim filtering through his sound library, keyboards and sound modules. He comes up with beats and little sounds for a handful of tracks and then hands them over to Elliott to check out. From that, Elliott will pick one or two. “I pretty much try to listen for the different sounds that I haven't heard in other people's records,” Elliott says. “This time around, I went with more of a hollow kind of sound. A lot of the beats that Timbaland had pulled up and I embraced were the ones that didn't have a lot going on. It was kind of like an open track. I picked those kinds of beats because a lot of the records this time around were having a lot going on, so I wanted mine to be more empty, kind of like back in the day when people probably wasn't that good on the drum machines, so they would take maybe a kick and a hi-hat.”

Although previous albums were more thick, lush or action-packed, This Is Not a Test shows off Elliott and Timbaland's restraint. “It's at a next level,” Timbaland says. “I don't think it's like we evolved — yet. The songs are just more consistent. It can develop into something bigger than that, but people gotta accept what you're doing. At that level, that's when you go to the moon. But we've already been to the moon.” The emptiness of Elliott's album was part of the master plan. “It's a good empty feeling,” Elliott says. “It's like you can appreciate the beat more. Sometimes, you might have so much going on that it's just too much. It's almost like you just got that kick, and that kick is the thing that drives the whole record.”

Engineer Jimmy Douglass is a fan of 2-inch tape, but he used none on This Is Not a Test. “When we used to do it in analog, we found that it sounded much better than the [digital] 2-track did,” he says. “But when we laid a basic 2-track to digital to work off of, it actually competed with the analog in terms of clarity. Maybe sonically it didn't kill it, but it kind of did claritywise. So we started staying in digital until the end on Missy's projects.”****

Full Article



  1. For so long I tried to safe money up for an ASR10, but these days the BEay prices have blown the roof away for these machines. In the beginning I was watching ASR10s go for 300Euro including the output expander, fully expanded 16mb memory AND the SCASI-interface AND an additional harddrive or at least a ZipDrive all hpoused in a sturdy roadcase.
    Nowadays only the ASR alone gets 500Euro.

    And funny thing is if your looking for the famous Neptunes and Timbaland sounds, like the gated and pitched Snares etc. you'll find that in those E-MU Modules not the ASR10.
    The ASR10 is said to be somewhat not too userfreindly in operating it. It comes with a big instruction-manual which is said to be absolutely necessary cause some of the functions are not intuitively reachable.

    Sampling, chopping, FX and Sequencing. If your looking for that and if you want to do it the way that many producers these days do it then maybe its your machine, but they picked it up in the early 90s because it was state of the art back then, and they also picked up all the other gear that was new back then. And they would do the same today.
    Why risk that you'll be disappointed cause theres more to making hot beats than just using the vintage outdated gear?...especially if you're just beginning. If you already knwo, its your passion then why not try out every machine, but I guess using newer Synths and Samplers would get you hot beats earlier than an ASR10.

  2. BTW whoever has been to Hannon Lanes Myspace and has seen him in the Studio with Raje for example can see that the E-Mu Modules are still in use and you dont need to chop the samples, use FX on them or whatnot, but the signal is VERY(!) hot already - as if they are already mastered. Or why would you think that Tim ordered all those E-Mu libraries into his own Signature MiKo,.Biko,Triko,Diko,...???
    If anyone thinks of buying an ASR10 I would strongly recommend himm to check with PlanetPhatt, Mo'Phatt or the TurboPhatt first!

    It may already be what you're looking for.

  3. That was a great article. When Timbaland said:

    "If you listen to all my records, you gonna hear this whistle. It's just a plain old gym whistle. I have to have it on every record. If I could have it on a ballad, I would."

    I couldn't stop laughing to myself. Only he could get away with doing such a thing. *lol*

  4. read properly man Missy said that...Everybody miss quoting Timbo now a days

  5. I it's funny that they purposely made the beats simple they were good but craziness is better their chemistry makes it work


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