What’s up guys?! Back with our report from the Stones Throw Beat Battles.
Here is last week’s interview with battle winner MUMA who joins us for a few words about his track.
The STBB is a weekly beat battle, where anywhere from 50 to 100+ participants from all over the world, are provided a sample to flip/chop/edit/screw, and make a beat out of it within just a few days. All the participants then cast out a vote, and the winner picks the samples for the next round. We provide a weekly report and an interview with the battle winner.
Cleared sample provided by Stones Throw: (provided by Fredson Jacobs)
- Use the provided sample
- Outside everything allowed
- No time limit (just don’t expect people to sit through your 18 min track)
- Special rule: Make variations in your track. For extra variations you have to incorporate some of your own recordings. Whether it is some field recordings or an instrument you have recorded.
Interview with the battle winner, MUMA
Congratulations on your win on STBB 402 MUMA.
MUMA: Whoohoo thanks, party all the time!
Care to introduce yourself?
MUMA: I’m Joël, 23 years old and I am from Den Haag. (In a heavy The Hague accent for fun)
Can I be a smartiepants and ask how you came about your artist name? 😉
MUMA: To begin with I called myself Mute Maximus. That name came because of Jim Carrey, he is my favorite actor and at some point in the movie “Liar Liar” he sang: “Happy birthday dear Maximus” and It happened to be my birthday so I thought: “Hey , I’m Maximus!”
Plus I don’t talk a lot in my tracks so I added the Mute.
But then there was this annoying little dude on the internet who kept abreviating my name and at some point I thought it actually sounds kinda cool. ( me ed.)
You won STBB before right, which one was that again?
MUMA: Oh shit, what week was that? it was with that Falling In Love track, I won together with Scottie Royal.
Let me look it up real quick, oh STBB 376.
Aight, and how long have you been making music?
For about a year and a half.
What kind of equipment/DAW did you use?
MUMA: For this beat I used mostly Ableton. I programmed the drums over there and most of the synths. For the sample I used my SP Three O Three. Just to eq it, filter it, and give it a lofi touch. I also used my MicroKorg for the chords in the chorus that’s layered with the sample. I used some VST’s from Native Instruments like Massive and Monark. Oh and there is this little synth, the Korg Monotron I borrowed from a friend. That I used in the track too. So basically that’s everything I used. I mixed it in Ableton, panned it, compressed it, and of course the reverb. I used a huge amount of reverb on everything because I like to drown everything in reverb. Like, I like to drown in my alcohol.
Haha, next question. What was your approach to get started?
MUMA: Well, I started Sunday when I first heard the sample. I thought it was not my kinda sample.
I came up with a corny house track, I wasn’t even gonna upload or something.
I just gave up, I was like f*ck this sample.
Later that week I was doing the mastering on that track of Areou the Astronaut and JoaGymshoe.
So I was feeling what they did with the sample and I was like “Yo, they can make a descent track with that sample, I can do that too.”
Then I listened to the sample again, on wednesday. It was a last minute beat.
I found a four to ten second part which I liked but there were a lot of drums in there, so I just eq’d the shit out of it. Used some filters and basically ran it to through the lo-fi on my 303.
So I played around with my chops and I recorded that into Ableton.
After that I just started with the drums. I had a lazy drumbreak with a lot of swing in my mind so it would fit the sample.
Although it was a pretty basic drumloop. who doesn’t have that? …I do.
So I had the loop for four bars and was feelin it.
Then I came up with a bass. I made it with Monark. I found out the key of the sample was G-minor. I didn’t pitch it though.
I used a totally different bass at first, which just had a huge amount of release, which I didn’t like afterall so I changed it. Played with the Oscilators and everything, the cut off and so on.
Then I layered some chords on top of the sample on in the ‘chorus’.
And also some bells, basic stuff.
Okay. And how did you go otherwise go about creating the drumwork?
MUMA: Well, this is why I called it Typewriter,
The rules it said: “Use field recordings” which is a rule I really like because I Always use some Field Recordings because that is just what I like.
I recorded myself typing on the typewriter. Eq’d it. Layered it with a soft shaker so you get this longer release. To get that ‘tsh tsh tsh’
On every fourt and eighth count I layered the snare with this sound of sliding the typewriter to its original position.
I also gave that a huge amount of reverb to give it that wide/snappy feeling.
Moving on to the ‘verse’ with that synth lead.
I wanted it to have a part that would really stood out.
So I went back to the original loop that I made and chopped that up for variations.
To get that feeling of ‘the sample is still there but it’s kind of a different vibe’.
The lead is an arpeggiated synth I made with Operator, an internal plugin from Ableton.
I arpeggiated the synths while I was playing the chords. For that synth I used also a huge amount of reverb, some ‘saturation’ and more stuff.
What else did I do… Oh yeah, I got out that little Korg Monotron I mentioned.
Played some notes from the G minor scale, I played it kinda off beat to make it more funky, sort of.
And for the bass I looked at my first loop and cut that up a little. Oh, and I forgot I layered the lead synth with an arpeggiated synth which I played on the MicroKorg it’s coming in on every first count.
Also, if you listen closely to the sample chops, at least I heard it when I made it.
He says: “Dir – ty – MU – MA” I was like: “Whoop whoop! Damn son, that’s funny! I have to do that!” That’s the reason why I played the sample that way. And also some little changes to get a variation of eargasms!
What was really special about the track. Any interesting aspects?
MUMA: Anything special? Oh yeah, it was funny because it was a beat when you are not trying
to make a beat. I just happens and you’re like: “WHOOOO! I JUST MADE A KILLER BEAT!” And then you upload it and eventually win!
I was very amazed!
Yeah, that’s gonna be the headline if this interview “I just made a killer beat!” 😉
Okay, so I thought of a new weekly question: What kinda smartass question would you have liked me to have asked you?
MUMA: Can you repeat the question?
MUMA: Hahaha, for real though… Oh, yeah!: “What is your favorite midnight snack?”
Okay… What is it?
MUMA: Cereal with yoghurt.
I could have said vagina but hey, that’s too obvious…
That’s going in there too!
MUMA: That’s what she said! Hahaha
MUMA, thanks for this interview it was highly entertaining. Anything you still want to say?
Anything outside of STBB that might be interesting to mention, maybe about this collective you are with?
MUMA: Expansions Collective, Yeah!.. I’m busy working on an EP and there’s a single release which is coming very soon! Maybe now! maybe tomorrow!
Or next week or the week after or after or after…
Alright, that concludes the interview.
MUMA: Aight, thanks for having me mayne!
Other beats worth checking out: