Behind the Beats: STBB#400 – Robot Orchestra
Hi peeps! We know we’ve been (extremely) late with our beat battle reports lately, but we thought this special 400th edition of the Stones Throw Beat Battles, would be a good occasion to get back on track! We will steadily be adding the missing interviews in the coming days. Can you believe it’s been 400 weeks?! That’s about 8 years! Wow.
We are back at you this week with the one and only Robot Orchestra, who used to be a STBB regular and made his comeback for this special number 400 and reminded us who’s boss! He joins us for a little chat about his winning 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.
Original Samplepack: (provided by MNSTRMKK)
- Use at least one of the provided samples
- Outside everything allowed
- Time limit: 3 minutes
- For the tempo of your beat, choose either one of these categories: 1) 0-60 bpm or 2) 100-140 bpm. That means nothing between 60 and 100. No double-times or half-times. Meaning, snare on the 2’s and 4’s.
Interview with the battle winner, Robot Orchestra
Hi Robot, much congratulations the win! 🙂
Can you shortly introduce yourself?
Robot Orchestra: I go by the name of Robot Orchestra and I’m a 29 year old beat-maker from Cologne/Germany.
What Equipment or software (DAW, VST’s etc) did u use on this track?
Robot: For this track I used a Roland SP-555, a Microkorg and Ableton Live plus some external plug-ins for mixing. That’s pretty much all.
What was your approach to get started?
Robot: I usually start out with the drums and then chop the sample, pitch it in various ways and play around with it till I find combinations I like.
How did you make use of the sample?
Robot: I used 3 of the provided samples in my beat. The first sample I used, were piano chords with a heavy reverb, which I then reversed, pitched and ran through a guitar-amplifier vst. I tend to layer my samples, so I simply copied the first sample track and pitched it up too more octaves to get some more high partials going. The second sample, were some nice vocal harmonies which I chopped up and transposed to match the key of the first sample. For the third sample, I did go with some soulful mallet sounds which I used throughout the second verse. With the help of an equalizer I tried my best to remove most of the other instruments audible in that particular sample.
How did you go about the drumwork?
Robot: After picking a few drum sounds which I thought fit nicely together, I threw them up on the SP and started playing. I usually record about a minute or so and then select the parts with the best timing.
Are there any insteresting aspects of the track that you would like to share?
Robot: What was interesting to me, was the tempo restrictions, that were in effect at this week’s battle. A tempo between 60 and 100 bpm was not allowed and I don’t think I have ever made a beat below 75 bpm. Overall it was a nice challenge to to be forced to work outside of one’s comfort zone.
Check out Robot Orchestra’s projects on bandcamp
Other beats worth checking out: