Monday, June 16, 2014

Evolution & Opportunity


After H.A.W. I started to do a lot of thinking about those early days in Drake's career. "So Far Gone" specifically and how we got here today. One of the things that will always stand out to me is the timing of how we put that project out from a technical perspective. It was the beginning of a lot of new realities and we were right there to exploit them. 

The thing is that in the past ten years all the rules have changed and recording has moved from studios to living rooms. Faster processors, more ram and bigger hard drives started to make Native and LE systems real. My own personal testament to that is recording, mixing and mastering "So Far Gone" in 2009 on a macbook pro with 4 gigs of ram and all the Pro Tools LE boxes you can think of. M-Box 1, M-Box 2 Pro, M-Box Micro, whatever I needed for the job. M-Box 1 had USB protocol. M-Box 2 Pro had the I/O options and the micro was for the plane (which is now obsolete as of Pro Tools 9). Although the speed of Firewire 400 is greater than USB 1.0. I always liked my M-Box 1 and used it the most. The whole album was done in hotel rooms, condos and the occasional studio. But at the end of the day, the album was mixed in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on the M-Box. So, with all the success of that project and all the weight on a Pro Tools 7 LE system, I had solidified that reality for myself forever. That was 2008 and 2009, fast-forward and now it's tough for studios in 2014 because of that reason. 

So in-turn studios are not quite what they used to be and in a new industry with new rules, new equipment and new methods, it's even harder to find the right balance of quality and flexibility. The 2 things I needed on the road.  I look at any old laptops or M-Box's like gold and that's where it starts. The hungry kids with what they can get their hands on making it not just work, but work at a professional level. That aligned with technology was the beginning of the Naitive revolution. Now it started far before "So Far Gone", around 2004 is when I was personally fully functional on a Toshiba laptop running XP and Pro Tools 6 with my M-Box 1. Pro Tools 6 had really made leaps in its MIDI sequencing from 5. So at that point I was able to produce, track and mix all on the run. Anywhere, anytime. Quality and Flexibility. 

Now this may not be anything overwhelming in 2014. But in 2009 to be nominated for a Grammy and have multiple # 1's, it was still fairly astonishing that it wasn't an SSL 4K or a 1073 with a C800. It was a Neumann TLM 103, an amazing reasonably priced mic that gets the job done, a laptop and an M-Box. That's it. I taught myself how to use Pro Tools on an M-Box 1, but now you can download Pro Tools 10 and 11 and kick open new doors and make all the things I've said here even more true. So the point of all this is to deliver one simple message. Anything is possible. And with what technology has done for us, it makes it a reality for almost anyone. Thats how we did it. Go on YouTube, watch some videos, save some money, download anything you can get your hands on and learn. It's an amazing thing and by far the greatest satisfaction in the world to be creative and impact someone somewhere.

40.

108 comments:

Anthony Gray said...

Amen 40. Greatest producer of all time

Anthony Gray said...

Amen 40. Greatest producer of all time.

Falox said...

xx

Unknown said...

This is definitely truth. My producer MiZUnderstatistic says this ALL the time. The stuff out now is crazzzzzyyyyyy.

Anonymous said...

WE LOVE YOU 40!!!!

Saox said...

True!. Respect from Málaga (Spain)

Granger said...

Noah! you have completely changed the game of music. Your style will last forever. Your hard work and dedication is inspiring. I will be working with you one day!

Anonymous said...

I love YOU and thank you 40. I wish you much success.
Love you always,
Chloe'

OVO Jb said...

Real talk man. Inspiring. Thanks

King Vali said...

Thank you ��

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is even greater than Music or Entertainment Industry. Tim Ferris puts it out in his book "The Four Hour Work Week" brilliantly: new technology has allowed all of us to tap into resources that were once in the hands of privileged few. Be it a business venture, making a film, or recording a hot single, YOU can do whatever you want now. No fucking excuses.

Summer Ray said...

sooooo much has been going on with me within the yrs.. i just want you 2 check my vocals out.. I would love to love you i mean sing with you lol... i think your voice would help my voice stand out.. @1SummerRay

Anonymous said...

Not only did you make it work, you created a unique sound that is your own. I have so much respect for this man. His intention in the last paragraph is quite clear. He does this to help others. God bless you.

ANTHoNY WiLLiaMs said...

.. *AMaZiNG, I'M BUiLDiNG RiGH NoW, THaNK YoU, YoU'Re THe TRuTH* .. MR.*A&W*

Gabriel said...

Another nail in the coffin to the in the box/out the box debate lol. Good stuff 40 it's always a pleasure.

Anonymous said...

I want that mic!

Anonymous said...

Toshiba?

Daniel Matthews said...

WAOH! you make history 40 !

Brittney Ridley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dylan James Reddy said...

Thank You

Dylan James Reddy said...

Thank You 40. Wiz Khalifa!

Dylan James Reddy said...

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NajeePapi said...

Wow thats was inspirational. I taught myself how to use protools,I record and mix everything myself I def came a long way.

I listen to my old music now and the quality sucked but at the time I thought it was professional sounding.lol

I have a tohisba 4 gb ram a apk m5 mic and a c600 + protools mp9.


Reading your story
Makes me wanna go back and finish my project.
I Stoped because I hate the quality
Sometimes I feel I dont know wtf im doing
But ima learn and let the world know
Even if I dont become famous.
Just to accomplish something I love doing.

-najee

Cousins Working Together said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cousins Working Together said...

Respect...

Drake mentions JJ often, esp when in Houston. I am asking that he reach out to his son, Da'Jon, and JJ's parents, Wanda and Gene Johnson. They really do appreciate all the love that he shows Jonathan. If this message can reach him, I would be forever grateful.

email: sbattle09@gmail.com for parents info

nate dizZy said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I read this at the perfect time 40. You and Drake both have been an incredible inspiration to me and my music.
-@thisisnatedizzy

Anonymous said...

Thank you..those words had weight.

Anonymous said...

Drake is a ugly fag. Nobody would make a go a big deal over him if he was dark skinned and struggled.

Andrew S. said...

Great article - I call this an article because it is something that I would find equally inspiring on a website like Forbes. Anything IS possible if you're willing to make it work. Well done, not many people have the kind of tenacity you describe. Wouldn't mind reading a few more articles like this from yours or anyone else's experiences in OVO from the 2008/2009 days.
Cheers.

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sóouvidos said...

the greatest, here from brasil i can tell!!!

come to RIO

Mark said...

40 the god.

Vik said...

Thanks for the inspiring words. You're a legend and do Toronto proud every day.

Seth De Silva said...

Crazy, I was just watching your interview on Pensado's place. You're a bad ass producer but your eloquence makes you so much more!

This is exactly what I needed to hear today, thanks and don't ever stop making music.

Seth

Dom DeFrancesco said...

Well said bro. Although i do feel that having fone through the different generations of new technologies, has made you more adaptive, versatile, and effective than most new pople starting with the latest. Eitehr way, technology in my eyes, is like having teh Key to the city. You can learn and open any door you wish to with hard work, motivation and perserverance. !!

Foreign Yard said...

So True

thats what Im doing now

hard work and you will soon be trying to contact me LOL

https://soundcloud.com/foreignyard/secret-keeper

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Gamage said...

40 the Gawd. Truly inspirational !!

Anonymous said...

I Luv U Guys :)

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Hutson OVO said...

OVO40 & OVODrake forever. Greatest duo in the world. Shaped my 2009-2010 years and even today. Much love from Montreal (Canada). So many memories have been made, with "So Far Gone" playing in the background. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything. Your work kept me from a lot of trouble and pain. You guys will forever be a part of my life.


OVOHertzson

B Martin said...

inspirational

Anonymous said...

Drake is gay. He never fucked Lorde.

Anonymous said...

Lorde is beautiful, great, talented, iconic, sexy, hot and amazing. She said she don't relate to Drake's songs. Lorde is the best singer of all time.

Anonymous said...

Nobody gets it quite like 40. Not only has this dude influenced the whole game, he takes inspiration from it and continues to progress it. The Bay is up next, but Toronto goin' nowhere

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Anonymous said...

So wait 40 and Drake are Pensados "brothers" ?!

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Anonymous said...

Drake is so lucky to have 40

Bakari Powell said...

Greatest. Sign Tinashe to OVO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9gyUskJxoU

Jahte Fields said...

With a producer like you I could bring ovo sound , BILLIONS! Just listen please "THESE FEELINGS"-written and performed by Jah-Te …: http://youtu.be/AqmvaRXfpXw2

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David Topel said...

40-

Any way you could check out my Choped not Slopped Mix I'd be forever grateful.

Either way keep up the exceptional work and killin em! OVO crew till I'm 6 feet under

https://soundcloud.com/david-isaac-t/topszn-drizzy-apprecition-chop

Thanks,

OVO Sandman

Anonymous said...

thank you

thatt guyy said...

this just made me believe in myself at a time when i needed it man 40 hope to meet u one day til then im working hard love u drake ym the whole gang #real music last forever#other shit gone tomorrow

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Dj said...

Well said, that ovo sound is an inspiring key in my journey to success. You should come visit trebas before the end of the year.

TDrew said...

Thank you 40. Posts like this are what make me believe, and keep me believing.

Fuck you, Drake. Shoot yourself. said...

You're gay as fuck, Drake. I hate your homosexual high pitched voice, ugly blobfish face, Young Money. Tyga is a cheeseball who can't rap, Nicki Minaj is a fake bitch, Lil Wayne is a faggot, Birdman is a old fart. 40 has Alzheimers. You'll fall so hard without him. You and your whole team is gay and tries to be something they're not, motherfucker. You try to co-sign everybody just to get money. Thanks for killing Hip-Hop.

Kolic Beatz said...

this is so true ! great post

gielle said...

you have completely changed the game of music. Your style will last forever. Your hard work and dedication is inspiring. I will be working with you one day!

mj said...

Very inspiring post. Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

WTF? Drake still hasn't wifed Amanda Bynes? Amanda has a beautiful face and she looks like her pussy is sweet as cake. She is a 10. Drake has no taste. Singing about fat strippers, ugly singers and fake models lol. He's dumb.

Mpumi Ngcamu said...

inspiring stuff man, thank you.

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John Spezzano said...

I got 40 in the studio, every night, late night / Gotta watch that shit, don't want to make him sicker / That's my nigga

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Anonymous said...

40, would you ever remaster the older mixtapes?

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Anonymous said...

Drake's album is gonna be forgettable and will sell under 500,000.

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Not sure if anyone from OVO will see this but I want to propose to my girl at OVO Fest - any one know a way to do this during the concert??

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Anonymous said...

40 you are fucking amazing!!! I love Drake, but I can't be a Drake fan without being a fan of yours.You are the man behing the muscle. You mfs are like Sly & Robbie!!! I pray I get to meet you both at the concert!!

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He's next up.

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Derrell Johnson-Koulianos said...

People don't realize that mixing is what makes us go crazy about Drake music. You 40, are a God with this shxt.

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Author said...

This post just brought me so much life, it was around 2008-09 that I got my hands on protools and later i would get the hook up on an m-box mini for 50 bucks. I've been recording and mixing with it ever since.

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