Q&A Session 17: Danny Byrd / Utah Jazz

Apr 22, 2008

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Croms

    Croms
    2,185 posts
    Since May 8, 2001
    Danny Byrd was one of the first artists to sign to Hospital Records in 2000. His first Hospital singles were Do It Again and Changes. Later in 2000, BBC Radio 1's Fabio championed Danny's remix of London Elektricity's Wishing Well. Remixes by Danny Byrd for High Contrast and contributions to the Hospital Records compilation "Weapons of Mass Creation" followed. From 2005 to 2008 there have been the singles Soul Function and Dog Hill on Hospital Records as well as contributions for Spearhead, V Recordings and Advanced.

    Danny Byrd is a popular club DJ. Danny Byrd has been touring nonstop, taking him from Los Angeles to Paris, from Romania to Vienna, as well as at Hospitality nights all over the UK. In January 2009 he mixed the Hospital Mix 7 album.


    This Q&A is closed!
  2. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Ez guys!

    Thanks for the q's so far, will make sure Utah and Henry get on this too. Just landed in Pittsburg, so will reply as much as I can at some point tommorow morning!

    Thanks!

    Ps. Im off to the steak house! God bless the stars and stripes!
  3. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Hi Freddy! Here goes...

    1) Are there any sample CD's you would recommend for drums?

    I have a "Public Enemy: Welcome To The Sampledome" sample CD which has good drums and percussion on it:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug03/articles/sampleshop.htm

    2) Do you use sidechaining when making d'n'b? If so any tips?

    No. And I could do with some tips too if anyone can help me?

    3) Do you have any tips for getting a loud mix? A lot of people recommend lightly clipping drums would you agree with this technique?

    Most definitely. I push the mix as high as I can until it distorts (as a way of covering up the fact that I use little EQ & no compression on any of my tunes!)

    4) How many breaks do you usually use when making drum and bass? any favorites?

    I tend to have about 20 different tracks of drums - normally 5 percussion, 5 each for all the different kicks and snares then the rest are drum breaks.

    5) Any tips for getting the kick to work well with the sub while keeping the phatness?

    Not really - I'd like to know this too. Sometimes things just seem to work but if not, I end up scrapping the whole tune (have around 50 unfinished tracks on my HD just because I can't get the sub to fit properly).

    Hope I haven't asked to many questions!

    Yes, yes you have. You're fired!
  4. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Although I'm always learning more and tending to move away from it now, I still think the amen break is without a doubt the best break in D&B.

    I find it very warm sounding and (although ppl always cuss using high pass amens) it does tend to fil out a break really well. I sometimes put a gate on the whole amen so I end up just using the clippy top end of it...
  5. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Your parent's music collection

    I could possibly do this. Will have a think about it and try to attach some screen shots / samples etc at a later date...
  6. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Hi Snaz!

    All of the above really. I sometimes take different parts of a few rolls and create within Battery sampler but generally I'd just use one sample and sequence the parts of it as MIDI notes if needs be...

    Interesting question and something I've been thinking alot about recently whilst finishing my album. I think it often depends on what style of D&B the track is and what project it's for?

    For example, I've been making a real effort to do some different arrangements and intros to my recent new tracks because I know they're going to be on (an unmixed) CD and I need it to flow nicely.

    However, there are also some of my previous Liquid V tracks on there which started with beats because I made them to play in clubs...

    I have no way of recording vocals and have never done it. All the vocals I have ever used have either been sampled or I've been given some vox by someone which I then chop up in Recycle (if needs be) or import directly into my Logic song (if not)
  7. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Danny is much more qualified in answering this one I think! I have the same problem and I think it just depends on what the notes are / what frequency they fit into?

    Sometimes I find some samples, try a bass underneath and it fits perfectly (4 hours work - tune's a winner!) but other times I just can't hear the bass properly so, as I mentioned above, I scrap the tune all-together :(
  8. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Definitely the latter.

    I sampled the intro from Michael MacDonald's 'Keep Forgetting' which is the hook the also sampled for Regulate. I worked some drums around it, chopped it into a couple of different loop versions and rolled the accapella over the top (out of time too - whoops!)
  9. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Too many to mention! Any old records - funk / soul / 70s stuff but I also sample alot of soundscapes / sound FX from TV and documentaries (that's my excuse for sitting in front of the box too much.... I've even been sampling sounds from the snooker this week)

    Get down to your local car boot sale or charity shop, buy as many 12s / CDs as you can for as cheap as you can, take them home and start recording anything which catches your ear.

    It's often a long, drawn out process but after 2 weeks non-stop sampling earlier this year, I wrote half my Liquid V LP in 10 days! If you've got the sounds then it's just a case of working them together and that's where the creativity comes in ;)
  10. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    If Danny can afford my exorbitant fee then I'm deya! Think he did have plans for a seminar further up north so let's see if he's got any further info.
  11. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Apologies again, will get into these questions later tonight! Looks like the Jazz is holding the fort for the min!

    Any questions directed @ Henry from the dubstudio will be answered by email and I will post up his reply's, he wants remain a bit distance from the forums! God knows why?
    :teeth:

    Stop the hating..... and start the beatmaking!:bgrin:
  12. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Hey Freddie

    Obviously the nutone sample back backed by Hospital Records! Hahah! Just kidding, it is good tho imho. Depends if you mean for single hits or breaks? For breaks Jungle Warfare 1 & 2 are great for all the classics, I would say the vegence stuff but everybody and their dog is rinsing that currently. I guess its more about just finding hits that work for you, which can come from anywhere, net packs, sample cds, etc


    Yes but depends on the tune. I use it as more of a effect and feel, used it a lot sidechaining on Labryinth on the pads, and the high end percussion so its pumping nicely. We also did a lot of sidechaining on the pads in goldrush, plus the bass in the 2nd drop, but as a rule I don't do it on every tune, only if im after that pumping type sound.


    Many things go into a loud mix, and for some reason I've found some of my tunes can go a lot louder than others. For example Shock Out was hard to get a good level out of it, old school jungle breaks sound horrible pushed, but other things with loads of musical elements are real loud, strange. Obviously it comes down to limiting and pushing the main output into the red, how much you push it is up to you, but if all the other elements are controlled like limiting a drum buss and not having the sub up too loud can all effect it. I generally go into the red 2/3/4 dbs, before I hear the distortion, but everybody is different.

    I use maybe like 3 or 4 real breaks, then various percussion, single hits, until the drums sound full enough basically. My fav break is a high passed hotpants! Picks the energy up everytime!

    I could fob you off and tell you to sidechain the bass to the kick and to eq etc but in all my tunes I never do this, I just make sure the kick is good to start off with and more often than not, when the tune is finished the kick may need replacing or reinforcing with other kicks etc



    Urrrr were you the small blonde girl with breasts far too big for your small frame? If so i'll PM you my number, if not no!
    :teeth:
  13. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
  14. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Samples usually stay at 16, as they usually sampled from CD. Always stay 24bit for recording vocals or anything via a mic tho, just good to keep the resolution although personally I don't think you can hear the difference in say a wall of sound D&B track.
  15. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
  16. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Originally posted by snaz


    Was pleased to meet your all down at the production tips weekend a few weeks ago, enjoyed that heaps!

    Q 1: I was wondering how you go about making a drum roll, do you program these in a drum sample, or just create them in a sequencer, or do you just use a drum roll sample?

    Hi Snaz!

    Drum roll's I have 2 ways of doing. The best way is to use a rexed up fill and basically rearrange the hits, it never sounds right just as a straight rex, but if you fiddle around with it and rearrange the hits you can come up with something cool. Just remember usually when a drummer does a fill he hits the high toms first and then down to the low, so make sure your fill makes sense like that.


    The second and I do love doing this but has a similar sound each time is to solo your drum bus and bounce one bar out, so you have the whole loop. Load it into your sampler of choice, and truncated to just the snare of your loop. Draw in 16ths over 2-4 bars and do a pitch bend from top to bottom, make sure that you have the pitch bend range set to 12 on your sampler. This will give you those classic MIST Outerspace type fills!

    Q2: I was wondering what your opinions were of intros, some people say you should do something interesting within your track within the first 30 seconds for a dance floor tune, whats you opinions?

    Mmmmm, all opinons, and depends on the track. But if it were a floor tune, as a DJ speaking, a strong plain 32 bars of drums is always good, if generic as hell. As a listener I wanna hear something huge building up from nothing, and have a big euphoric high point. I think we need to change the arrangements in D&B again tho, things have got so generic, me included, if you look at the arrangements even pre 2000 or all the old jungle stuff. On one track "From Bath with Love" on my album I spent ages on this really big plain string intro and acoustic guitar but I don't play it out becuase its hard to mix. I guess the DJ's are as guilty as the producers.

    Q3: I was wondering how you guys go about getting in a vocalist for your tunes if you do. If so how do you go about it, and what are the usual session fees to be paid on average ?

    Good question there! Its quite hard to get good vocalists, you need to build up a network of other musicans. Go to live gigs in your local pubs etc, all muscians seem to know each other, if you can get your foot in the door you have all these great vocalists and players at your finger tips. But one thing is getting them to the studio! Vocalists are notoriously hard to pin down, unless you pay them a session fee, so this is what I do now. It saves a whole lot of time, they are far more proffesional too. I generally pay £75 for say like a few hours work say for a few adlibs or recreating a sample etc, or £150 for a whole song, verse/chorus etc. If they wrote the lyrics tho, you may need to split your publishing with them, which is only fair I think.

    Vocals often seem like more hassle than there worth, but when you really pull it off it adds a diemension to your tracks that no sample can!

    Cheers guys and let me know when your doing more production seminars!

    Snaz [/B][/QUOTE]
  17. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    If I had a pound for everybody asking me about subs this week?? What is it about subs that is so hard?:teeth:

    OK my 2 cents:

    Your bass notes may be disapperaring due to your acoustics in your room, but sometimes even with a good room I get this too. Try moving the bass note up and octave or down octave. Basically rather than trying to eq it or compress it try coming up with a different riff or change the whole key of the track if possible. If all this fails, try loading up a few other subs, one will jump out and do the trick I promise!
  18. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Originally posted by thetaco [/i]
    @Danny:

    1.) Any tips on chord progressions?

    Mmmmm.... I'm no great player or musically trained, but well a good tip is say you have like a chord that sounds great, keep repeating it but add a subtle live bass or electronic bass (but something gentle) and try first find the same note that the key of the chord is in, now try another note with the bass higher up and again, you can get that really euphoric uplifting feel (some might say gay!). I do this trick all the time, cos you can have just a one bar musical loop but have a bass that moves around it for 4 bars, so essentially that sample keeps your interest for a lot longer and your putting your stamp on it, tbh this stuff is quite hard to describe in text, so I hope it makes sort of sense!

    2.) What made you decide to gate the vocals in "Feet Won't Touch the Ground" ? :love:

    Those vocals are original! My singer came and did them and we pitched em up to sound a bit chipmunky and sampled! Same as how we did shock out, I got a video of all the studio sessions and making a behind the scenes youtube type thing so it will all be on there. As for gating it, I basically just took one part of the audio and repeated it, as for why? urrr I thought it sounded more interesting! No real reason behind it!

    3.) Todd Edwards style vocals, how do you go about it? :biggrin:

    Kind of hard to explain just in text, basically a lot of accapellas, a lot of paitience and luck! I will do a tutorial on it on monday/tuesday, that will explain it better!

    @Utah Jazz:

    1.) Favorite sample source? (genre of music, tv shows, movies etc...)
    [/QUOTE]
  19. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Yes possibly, Its trying to work out an area that would be easy for everybody to travel too, if you have any ideas? I know leeds does have a big music scene, I will def look into it for the end of the year!
  20. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Originally posted by Dj NEOFLY


    Q1:My first problem,when i create a new project and add a couple of breaks(wav,aiff or rex2) to sequenser window,my output level clipping at once.And my drums in not a powerfull.What i have to do?or what i do not correctly?

    Hi mate, ok so..... you need to understand that for D&B typically adding a couple of loops will not make your drums powerful instantly, they are merely layers which you you usually reinforce with single hits and percussion to beef it up. I suggest you try and turn your loops down straight away when you start, so you leave yourself with enough headroom to add more beats etc

    Doing beats is always the part I find the hardest and it takes a lot of trial & error to find drums that work for you, but theres lots of help and great threads here on the grid.


    Q2:All sample CD's now recorded to 0 db,and when i'm start mixing bass loop+drum loop+some music loop my final mixdown sound shit!Any advices how to work with samples from CD's,or any level,frequency advices?


    It sounds that its more down to your ear than the sample cds themselves. You need to look at each element and treat it with care and think how it will work with everything else in the track. It all comes down to your attention to detail, so if your just taking a loop, then throwing on a bass loop and music, its usually not gonna sound great, so its taking care and attention on each part.


    Q3:About bit rate and Bounce dialog in Logic.You now that all samples now have different bit rate(16,24)i use all of them in my projects.What i have to do,when bounsing my project(dithering,sample rate,normalize)?

    I usually just bounce and dither to 16bit within logic, using 24 bit files as always had compitable problems for other people like Hospital etc who just have to convert it themselves, you cant always just burn them to CD and play etc


    Q4:About a fantastic soulfull rhodes,pad's sound.Can give pair advice how correctly write down keyboard tools and any"atmospheric" instruments?

    Actually playing a rhodes instrument (like a plug in) always sounds a bit cheap to me unless your a really great player, so I'm usually all about using some crusty samples for this. Pads if I want them really clean i'll use a synth, if I want something a bit less clean, some samples from deep house records are always great!
  21. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Ez M8

    All I can tell you is what I do now in 2008, others will do differently, but I know most of the Hospital guys are the same. I basically now try and get the track mastered myself, which is generally a mix of limiting and pushing the main out into the red, before I hear the distortion. Doing this alone I find can add a extra energy boost to the track, which I feel if i give to a mastering engineer flat he may miss out. So what I will do is cut it to dub as it is, test it out, if it sounds fine I will give the mastering engineer the exact same WAV as I use for giving out to other DJs on dub etc.

    Its that fear of losing that energy that you created by mastering it if you see what I mean?

    On the other hand, a tune from my album called weird science I sent off to be mastered for vinyl and the mix is verging on distortion but sounded great on dub, came back fine for vinyl and club use. But for the CD version of the album sounded horrible! So I had to ease back and do a less limited version for the CD.

    Hope that anwsers your question mate!
  22. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Really depends, I do like to have things pretty full, I use lots of little snippets of sound to make up the bigger picture, but everyone is different, also makes a nightmare to mix and having track counts of 150+!

    Ive dabbled in a bit of garage when that was the cool thing to do!:teeth: (long time ago). Bit of R&B, bit of house. I've done stuff for corperations like the lacoste website, which required lots of different styles of music. D&B is still what motivates me tho! Personally I would love to make it as some r&b producer, but in the UK I know those options are limited and I have to see the carrot in order to put in the hard work to get there!
  23. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Yes to use a beat, bass loop, musical loop and vocal all off the same sample cd is totally lazy and cheating, on the other hand to someone just starting out this can be a good learning experiance, to see how things come together.

    You have to treat your productions with a wide varied sound pallet. So I will use a sample of a sample pack, I will use a old sample ripped from vinyl, then maybe a apple loop, etc. Also it comes down to what you do with it, an obvious sample that has been used time and time again is not worth using unless you twist it up in some new way. But using sample cds is not a crime!:eek:
  24. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Will check out when i'm on some proper speakers! Nice one! :smile:
  25. dannybyrd

    dannybyrd
    976 posts
    Since Dec 13, 2003
    Hi Seraan!

    Yes im talking totally In the box mixing! So I push it into the red by about 2/3db's with limiting also. Some tunes you can get away with it more, like if they are stripped back dancefloor rollers with drums and bass there less to distort in there, a big trap to fall into is to just push it and push it to match a really loud tune, every tune is different.

    Regarding using a desk, ive always been digital in one way or another. My first desk was the yamaha digital 01V mixer, so I got used to that sound and always had total recall, which is the main downside of desks the lack of recall. No doubt the all the in the box digital sound fatigues my ears alot more than using hardware stuff and its harsher but D&B's saving grace imo is that most of it is mastered to vinyl, that eliminates that brittle top end.
  26. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Ha ha!

    Yeah, those horns are great. They were from a special version of an Earth Wind & Fire track but pitched down too... will try and find the original and post a link.
  27. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    5 year old G4 dual processor 1.25 w/ 2 x studio displays. I audition / chop up my samples in Recycle then import into Battery sampler within Logic 7.2
  28. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Hi Graphx,

    Sorry for the delay!

    Yes - my approach to D&B is definitely sample-based. I've been listening to hardcore / jungle since the early 90s and I loved the fact that non-musicians could make productions using snippets of different sounds.

    However, I do try and fill out my tracks with different synths. I actually use alot of the Logic presets for different sounds. Some of the EXS string sounds are really nice and I often tend to double up my sub basses with a funk organ from the EVB3 which gives a lovely, warm sounding bottom end.

    I tend to spend time auditioning samples until something really stands out and then I chop it up and save in a new sample folder. If I've still got the sounds / loop / vocal in my head throughout that day, I'd usually import into Logic then start finding some other sounds which work with it.

    If I can find 4 or 5 different samples that are rolling well together then I get a quick beat on the go and finish the tune. Or if not, I'll save the sounds, scrap the tune and start again...
  29. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Sounds really good to me! Can I use it? :teeth:
  30. Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz
    298 posts
    Since May 12, 2005
    Yep and I've done so since I finished studying Sports Science @ University 6 years ago. DJ-ing though more than production these days! ;)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.