Producers Corner – Equipment of Choice: Ray West

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I asked my friend Ray West to divulge some secrets from the basement and here they are. Enjoy.

Q) Which equipment do you use in your beat making/production process?

A) I always use one of my samplers. Either the MPC 60, 2000xl, 3000 or the SP 12 combined with records. Depending on my vibe that day. Always have the mooG in play too. I also have other various synth for bass and other patches, besides my live percussion set.

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Q) What made you choose them?

A) I started as a DJ so I gradually become a custom to sampling due to the fact that a had 6 second Gemini sampler for loops back in the days. Like early 90s. Once I upgraded and got my first MPC I was hooked.

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Q) How long did it take to master each one or do they all have a continual learning curve?

A) I always feel like I’m learning. With music I keep evolving and I’m always changing up my gear and my process to challenge myself. It’s never ending for me.

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Q) Analogue Vs. Digital, which do you prefer and why?

A) I work analog. I do use pro tools to track things and record vocals, but my creative process is hardware. I feel connected to all those machines. Also the limitations that certain machines have gives you parameters to make it happen in. It makes me more creative. You gotta work at it to get it the way you want.

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Q) What makes the equipment special to you and your process?

A) It’s a feeling when all those machines are on and I’m vibing out. The energy is there in the white noise and all those frequencies are alive. Digging in a stack of old records is spiritual too. All those records have had a life before they made it to my basement. Hard to explain but it’s like the souls of the past are attached to them.

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Your own productions/beats Top 5

1. Snake Charmer – AG , Dave Dar & Kurious
2. You’ll See – UltraMagnetic MCs
3. 9 Spray – Roc Marc & KA
4. Light It Up – AG
5. MooG Tribute – Instro

Your favourite beats produced by other Producers/Beat Makers

1. Living Proof -Group Home – Premo
2. Stars – JayLib – Jay Dee aka J Dilla
3. Reminisce Over You – Pete Rock
4. My Philosophy  – BDP
5. The Bridge – Marly Marl

Top 5 records from record store digging

1. Barrabas – Self Titled LP
2. Ray Manzarek – The Whole Thing Started With Rock n Roll Now It’s Outta Control LP
3. 125th Street Rhythm Band – Do Your Thing
4. Isaac Hayes – Tough Guys Soundtrack
5. Herbie Hancock – The Quintet-    V.S.O.P

Twitter – @redapples45

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