Music Production

Producer Louis Bell Talks Working With Post Malone and More

Louis Bell

Chart-topping producer Louis Bell sat down for an interview on the music production show Pensado’s Place. Bell co-wrote and co-produced many of the songs on Post Malone‘s album beerbongs & bentleys, including the hits “rockstar” featuring 21 Savage and “Better Now.” The Boston native also worked with Post on “Wow.” and Preme‘s “Jackie Chan.”

In the interview, Bell talks about his studio sessions with Post before discussing his creative process, favorite plug-ins and more.

On creativity:

“I think that’s what creativity is, is taking something so small and being able to manipulate it and bend it and stretch it out, and, without watering it down. That’s the key.”

On what he looks for in his artists’ vocals:

“Feel, energy, vibe, and emotion. There’s no app yet that can fix that stuff, so that’s why I demand that.”

On what makes Post Malone unique:

“He sounds like he has so much soul and pain… and just hearing him sing, I just felt everything he was saying… There’s not one line that he sings, that he’s just singing to sing it.”

Watch the full interview above (it begins at the 7:56 mark).

Related: Chart-Topping Engineer Manny Marroquin Talks Working With Post Malone and More

Ableton Releases Live 10.1 Public Beta

Ableton Live

Ableton Live
Source: Ableton

Ableton has released the public beta of Live 10.1, the latest update to their popular music production and performance software. The update will feature workflow improvements, device enhancements, and more.

Upgrades to Live’s workflow include a resizeable arrangement overview window, pinch zooming, and streamlined keyboard shortcuts. The EQ, delay, and wavetable devices have also been enhanced, and the program will feature VST3 plug-in support.

The Live 10.1 release date has not been announced, but the beta is currently available to all Live 10 owners.

Learn more about Live 10.1 on Ableton’s website and watch the introduction video below.

Related: Watch: DJ Step1 Performs Routine Using Ableton Push 2

Chart-Topping Engineer Manny Marroquin Talks Working With Post Malone and More

Manny Marroquin

Manny Marroquin
Manny Marroquin (Credit: Ryan Hunter)

Born in Guatemala and raised in the US, Manny Marroquin started at the bottom and has become one of the most successful mixing engineers. He has worked with stars like Kanye West, Bruno Mars, and Post Malone, surpassing cumulative sales of 250 million records and 14 No. 1’s on the Billboard Hot 100.

Marroquin has also won eight GRAMMY awards and has been nominated for five this year. Two of the nominations are for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (Charlie Puth‘s Voicenotes and Chromeo‘s Head Over Heels). Marroquin’s work is also up for Record of the Year (Post Malone’s “rockstar“), Album of the Year (Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys), and Best Rap Album (Mac Miller‘s Swimming).

Billboard recently spoke with the chart-topping engineer.

On his approach to working with artists:

“I do not think about Grammys, obviously. I do not think about the charts. I honestly take it from a very basic approach. The artist or producer comes to me to work on their baby. That is what I always say. I am an expensive babysitter. [Laughs] … Whenever they come, I try getting into their mind, whether that means talking to them, or even the music [will] speak for itself. I try to understand what their vision is. It is never about me. [The process] is never about my sound or what I can bring to the table. It is always about how I can [create a moment,] whether it is a song that makes you cry, dance, sing-along, or whatever that true emotion is …”

On Post Malone:

“… he has a great team around him. He has Louis Bell which is his engineer/producer. Post has Frank Dukes. That is another amazing producer. He has a tremendous A&R team. … In today’s world, I don’t even know what genre he is. He is one of the only artists where you can not pin him down. I call it genreless music. You know? Nowadays, [people question,] ‘Is it hip-hop? Yes. Is it alternative? Yes. Is it kind of rock? Yes. Is it pop? Yes.’”

On Mac Miller:

“People who did not know Mac had no idea, he was a very artistic guy. Even before I worked with him, I did not realize he was that musical. His musical journey really shows. [The Swimming] album proves that. I hope that this album got nominated because of its’ quality. I remember working on it thinking, ‘Wow! This is such an amazing hip-hop album.’ The fact that it got nominated is great, but I hope people listen to what it really is.”

On opening a venue:

“I am working on a restaurant venue concert that is right next to [my studio] Larrabee Studios. Now, not only will we be able to create from beginning to end. They will be able to perform. We can capture the live performance and put it on vinyl.”

Related: Watch: Scott Storch Reflects on Career, Talks Today’s Rappers

Watch the Producers of Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ Explain How They Made the Track

Social House and TBHits

The producers of Ariana Grande‘s hit single “thank u, next” have explained how they made the track on a new episode of Genius’ Deconstructed. The song peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (currently No. 2) and was the eighth most-downloaded song of November on DJcity.

In the video, Los Angeles-based duo Social House and multiplatinum producer and songwriter TBHits begin by recalling when they knew the song would be a hit. They then discuss how they came up with the vibe for the track before breaking it down in Pro Tools.

TBHits, aka Tommy Brown, has frequently collaborated with Ariana since 2013. He helped produced her singles such as “Let Me Love You” featuring Lil Wayne, “better off,” and “Be Alright.” He has also worked with artists like DJ Khaled, Chris Brown, and Jennifer Lopez.

Social House is made up of Michael “Mikey” Foster and Charles “Scootie” Anderson. They’ve worked with the likes of Chris Brown and J Lo, too, and are also recording artists themselves. Last Summer, the duo released their debut single “Magic In The Hamptons” featuring Lil Yachty.

Watch Deconstructed above.

Related: Watch the Producer of J. Cole’s ‘No Role Modelz’ Explain How He Made the Track

Watch the Producer of J. Cole’s ‘No Role Modelz’ Explain How He Made the Track

Phonix Beats

Grammy-nominated producer Phonix Beats has explained how he made J. Cole‘s 2014 hit “No Role Modelz” on a new episode of Genius’ Deconstructed. The single, which has been certified platinum, peaked at No. 36 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s the highest-charting single from Cole’s standout album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

In the video, Phonix Beats recalls how he got connected with J. Cole then breaks down his process of making the track in Reason.

Phonix Beats is a veteran producer of 10 years who has worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Jeremih, and Trey Songz. He most recently worked with The Game and Bryson Tiller.

Watch Deconstructed above.

Related: Watch Alesso Explain How He Produced ‘REMEDY’

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Lose ‘Blurred Lines’ Lawsuit

Robin Thicke and Pharrell

Robin Thicke and Pharrell

A California judge has ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay nearly $5 million in damages over similarities between “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye‘s “Got To Give It Up.”

In addition, Gaye’s estate will also receive 50 percent of future songwriting and publishing royalties from the 2013 hit.

The ruling ends a landmark five-year legal battle in which Gaye’s family alleged that the artists were guilty of copyright infringement. The pair filed for an appeal in 2015 after a jury ordered them to pay $7.4 million in damages, later reduced to $5.3 million.

Related: Watch N.O.R.E.’s ‘Uno Más’ Video Feat. Pharrell Williams

Watch: Scott Storch Reflects on Career, Talks Today’s Rappers

Scott Storch
Scott Storch at the Red Bull Music Festival in Toronto. (Credit: Maria Jose Govea/Red Bull Music Academy)

In October, legendary producer Scott Storch sat down for an interview with the Red Bull Music Academy. The conversation took place during the Red Bull Music Festival in Toronto.

The 44-year-old is experiencing a comeback, having recently produced 6ix9ine‘s single “KIKA” (currently No. 1 on DJcity). He has also worked on tracks for Trippie Redd, Russ, and other buzzing rappers over the past year.

Storch covered many topics during the interview, including his early days with The Roots, producing Dr. Dre‘s classic “Still D.R.E.,” and today’s rappers. He also shared details about his fall from grace and the lessons he learned from it.

Joining The Roots:

“I started cutting school and taking the train from the suburbs of Philly into the city, and I met this guy Richard Nichols, who went on to become the manager of The Roots. And he took me under his wing. Eventually, after my parents found out I wasn’t going to school, they said, ‘You either go to school and you can stay or you’ve got to go.’ And I went. I did odd jobs and did whatever I had to do to support myself at 15, 16 years old. And I got a record deal with The Roots. It’s believing in what you do.”

Today’s rappers:

“I don’t want to offend anybody with this answer, but I feel like it’s more melodic today, and people were spitting bars more before. But you know, everybody has their own style. I’m finding a lot of these cats have what they bring to the table. Like Trippie [Redd], he’s almost like a rockstar. He’s very daring in what he does. … He’s an innovator, man, pioneer, which is the most important kind of musician to be.”

Advice for aspiring producers:

“Be a pioneer. Listen to what’s in the market but make it your own. And be the guy that creates the new sound, not just copies what’s out there. Break ground. And stay strong and don’t give up.”

Watch the interview below.

Related: Watch: Timbaland on Getting His Start as a DJ and Collaborating With Superstars

Watch the Making of DECAP and Damianito’s Track ‘Brazil’


San Francisco-based producer DECAP recently broke down the making of his and Damianito‘s track “BRAZIL.”

The behind-the-scenes look took place in a workshop at the 2018 Music Expo in San Francisco. DECAP explained how they made the different elements of the track, using both Ableton Live and FL Studio.

The 34-year-old beatmaker has worked with artists like Joyner Lucas, Talib Kweli, and more. He is also the creator of the popular sample pack series Drums That Knock.

Watch the video above and download “BRAZIL” here.

Related: Watch Boi-1da and Jahaan Sweet Explain How They Produced Eminem’s ‘Lucky You’ Feat. Joyner Lucas

The Top Hitmakers of 2018, According to Variety

Murda Beatz

Murda Beatz
Murda Beatz (Source: Instagram)

Variety magazine has shared its second annual list of the year’s top hitmakers. The list highlights the producers, songwriters, and executives behind the year’s biggest tracks.

The 2018 list includes producers and songwriters like Pharrell Williams (Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Migos’ “Stir Fry“), Murda Beatz (Drake’s “Nice for What” and 6ix9ine’s “FEFE“), Boi-1da (Drake’s “God’s Plan“), Alex da Kid (Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder“), and Frank Dukes (Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Post Malone’s “Better Now“).

Check out the list here.

Related: The Top Hitmakers of 2017, According to Variety

Watch: James Hype Breaks Down His Craig David-Assisted Single ‘No Drama’

James Hype

In September, U.K. DJ/producer James Hype connected with R&B legend Craig David for a feel-good house single, “No Drama.” The track, which reached No. 8 on DJcity UK’s monthly top 20 chart, has gone on to amass 15 million streams. It has also been named a “Future Dance Anthem” by BBC Radio 1’s MistaJam.

We recently stopped by James’ studio in London to see how he made the track. The Liverpool native explained how the song came together and broke down each layer in Ableton Live. He also discussed his creative process and the role that DJcity has played in his career.

Watch above and download “No Drama” on DJcity.

Follow James Hype on on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

Related: DJcity UK’s Most Downloaded Tracks of Oct. 2018