Sometimes you have to take your music career into your own hands. This means no more depending on someone else to do for you what you can do for yourself. This seems to be the philosophy that Greg Savage has written across the desk of his Minimalist Production Setup. More on that later…
As the creator of the famed drum sample kit “BOOM BAP PHOENETICS”, Greg Savage has nothing to prove where it concerns his abilities in sound design. With a client list that includes the likes of EA Sports, Converse, Akai & Arturia – Greg is certainly no slouch when it comes to minding his business in production either. He seems to take his own advise too. DIY is more than a cool blog catch phrase to Mr. Savage. It’s his life’s blood.
In today’s interview we’ll get a chance to explore Greg’s philosophies on your faults and his successes.
Tell us who Greg Savage is?
I’m a freelance composer/sound designer with a lot of knowledge in sound design and music licensing. Most of my clients are either sound/gear companies or film/TV based companies.
Oh, and I’m also related to the late Gene Ammons – for all you crate diggers out there.
I always like to find out if my fellow beatmakers are classically trained musicians or not. Are you a classically trained musician or self-taught?
Um… No, I’m self-taught, my understanding of music, theory etc…. is very limited. I mean, I understand a good deal now, but not in a technical sense. I learn as I go ….with each project.
If someone needs a specific genre of music for a project 80% of the time I have no idea what key it’s being played in, so I have to figure it out. Pretty easy to do these days.
If I’ve never worked with a genre before then I spend time familiarizing myself with it, its core instruments and the way things are played. Once I get that down I move on to recreating tracks (in that genre) and that’s how I learn.
Most of my education has come from listening to and recreating music. You only learn by doing in artistic fields.
How long have you been making beats and producing?
I’ve been composing and or making music since 2003…2004.
I noticed that you use the term “composing” when I mentioned “making beats and producing.” I find that some folks don’t like to be referred to as Beat makers because it sort of, in some ways (to some of them), lessens their talent. Do you prefer to be called a composer as opposed to a beat maker?
Let me answer that with a story
I remember speaking with a film director about his project and he said something along the lines of “so you create music” and I responded with “ Yea I make beats”.
His response was “beats are ok, but we need instrumentation”. The 1st thing that crossed my mind was “did I not just say I made…beats?”
What I came to realize is that a ‘beat’ is the meter, the metronome, the click and or a drummer’s drum track. In hip-hop (& other genres) a beat is the instrumental. So there was a lingo barrier there.
Some people don’t think if ‘beats’ as instrumentals and it sounds limiting. When I started I was primarily doing hip-hop, but now I touch multiple genres so.. the term ‘composer’ is a much better fit and one that wont (or shouldn’t) confuse anyone.
What is your instrument?
Just about anything that can be powered via USB
& your weapons of choice (hardware & software)?
EEEeeeeee I’m a sound designer so most of the time I’m working with the gear or software provided by whichever company I’m working for at the time.
I like working with everything, but if I had to choose 1 piece (app or hardware) it would be Reason (any version).
Although there is 1 application I would never use and that’s FL Studio. It’s possibly the worst application ever created, it gives you lung cancer and the creators should die in a fire.
Oh wow… That is a great answer for its shear comedic seriousness. I can’t wait to see what FL Studio heads have to say about that.
OK… Tell us about the concept behind DIYMUSICBIZ.com
The whole idea behind DIYMUSICBIZ.com was to help people succeed in the music business without the labels, managers… A&Rs etc. I’m not saying Labels or managers are bad, but I notice people are fixated on the belief that they ‘need’ them in order to make a good living from music.
That’s just not true.
The whole site is geared toward teaching people how to make a living in this business. The front end is loaded with tips and techniques as well as case studies.
The back end is step by step breakdown/over the shoulder view of how I make a living doing this – That’s something people don’t share.
I’ve always hated interviews featuring *insert celeb producer* and every answer out of his mouth is literally a vague/textbook response….Worthless!
I also wanted to create a useful resource that people could trust.
Nothing ticks me off more than someone trying to tell me how to do something that they haven’t done themselves – that’s majority of online forums!
Click here for Part 2 of this interview. Keep up with Greg via the links below