It’s hard to believe 2019 is over. It was a whirlwind time for the music industry. Taylor Swift announced she was going to re-record her masters! Rihanna was named the world’s richest female musician by Forbes! And when it comes to money, music revenue, in general, saw big gains, according to the RIAA! Whew, there were a lot of high moments.
Over at Output, we were busy making big gains of our own. A lot of 2019 saw us taping some of your favorite producers in their studios, showing off gear, and making music on the fly. Now that’s inspiration fuel.
Get ready to kick-start 2020 by watching some of our favorite videos from last year.
1. Trusting the process with !llmind
Ramon “!llmind” Ibanga Jr. churns out platinum hits like it’s as simple as playing a scale. He let Output watch him make a song from scratch as he explains how and why he makes choices along the way. As a bonus, we even get to see what plugins he uses to give sounds a little extra oomph in their character. “My whole process is just all trial and error, and I’m just trusting my ears, trying different things. See what works, see what doesn’t,” he says.
2. Head to head with the Cobra Kai composers
The ’80s are back, baby! We had the Cobra Kai composers Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson go head to head in a battle for the ages. They picked a random Kit and had a mere 30 minutes to come up with the soundtrack for an epic training montage. These two might be longtime friends, but there’s no mercy in karate… or composing.
3. Ryan Elder talks Rick and Morty
If the Rick and Morty theme song has ever been stuck in your head… or “Get Schwifty,” or any of the other quirky hits from the popular TV show, stop what you’re doing and watch Ryan Elder talk. Elder is the composer behind Rick and Morty, and let us grill him about important questions like, “How do you decide what alien instruments sound like?”
4. Engineering tips with Hit-Boy
It’s not often you get to bend the ear of a producer behind some of today’s biggest hit songs. Chauncey Alexander Hollis, aka Hit-Boy, has worked with everyone from Travis Scott to Beyoncé and sat down with Output to give insights into his creative process. “I feel that in a lot of my career if I had focused more on the engineering side and EQing things, I would have had a lot more placements,” Hit-Boy tells Output. Budding musicians, take note!
5. Sage advice from Larrance Dopson
As if getting Hit-Boy wasn’t enough, Output also snagged a sit-down with Larrance Dopson. Dopson has worked with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Kendrick Lamar and gave sage advice about how to work with others in the studio. For Dopson, it’s all about trusting your gut and getting out of your own way. But, that only comes with experience. “Most people skip the fundamentals because making beats is so easy and fun,” Dopson says, “but you have to know the language.”