Part sound designer and part world traveler, Julez Jadon is a Frankfurt-based music producer creating wildly popular sample packs for hip hop, trap, and more.
We sat down with the sample kit extraordinaire to discuss his newest pack, LA Chronicles, and the secrets for designing sounds.
Can you tell us how you got into the sample game, creating kits? What was your first sample pack you created, and how does it compare to the ones you’re creating now?
In 2013 I produced a four-track instrumental EP called Artsy Trap EP. It was based on several field recordings and was documented with a four-part video series. The recording locations were the subway underground, the forest, and a basement. During the course of its production I recorded stone hits, huge wooden impacts, smashed glass, screws, subway trains and announcements, vocals, etc. Even though the EP wasn’t a huge success in terms of SoundCloud streams, the feedback I received from the producer community was overwhelming! Based on that feedback, I bounced all the sounds that I created in the beat sessions and put them together in my very first drum kit, “Artsy Trap Drum Kit.” I pitched the whole concept to Producers Choice. Based on the advance and revenue created by this single drum kit, I was able to quit my regular job just one year later. To this day, the “Artsy Trap Drum Kit” is truly special to me because it was the opener to my new career – sound design!
How do you approach sound design? Do you have a certain audio processing technique you abide by in terms of compression, EQ, etc? How do you go about creating your drum sounds?
I record most of my sounds with the Zoom H4n mobile recorder. The DAW that I’m using is Logic Pro X. My favorite software sampler is Kontakt 5. When it comes to my sampling process, Kontakt is definitely the power horse I’m relying on. I always create sounds while I’m producing music – it all has to happen in a musical context! In my opinion, editing the low and high end with EQs and filters is crucial, especially when it comes to rough field recordings.
In your opinion, what do you think makes for a good sample or sound? Can you hear it instantly in a track?
With the current contemporary trap sound, you definitely have to have slapping and crisp generic sounds, no doubt! By adding layers, hits, and fx sounds, you can easily make a unique sound that stands out. To me, a good sample is 100% recognizable due to its sound source, editing, and creative sound design approach! I definitely hear my sounds in current music production, which is sick!
Can you tell us a bit about curating this sample pack series for Splice? How did you go about recording and selecting sounds?
I love coming out to LA – it’s just a chill vibe! There’s so much talent around and being creative just comes naturally. Me and SVRN have been locked in the studio in LA for four weeks straight (Big Shout out to Justin Trugman/LMG). That’s when we also met Farsi from Wallis Lane. With LA Chronicles, we created a pack that’s the perfect all-rounder for a studio session. We put together slapping kicks and snares as well as a huge selection of inspiring percussion and vocal sounds. On top of that, Wallis Lane added fifteen amazing custom samples!
Lots of producers out there are trying to stand out in an increasingly crowded field of trap and hip hop. How did you find your own sound, and what advice can you give to aspiring producers trying to get a leg up to get themselves heard?
At the end of the day, it always comes back to the sounds that you’re using as a producer. By using the same 808 kick, snare, and hi hat as everyone else, the modulation possibilities are limited. I’m trying to record and modulate different sound sources to come up with new sounds. Sometimes you create a fresh sound on its own, sometimes it’s a dope layer, and sometimes it’s trash! But it’s always about the process and what you’re learning along the way. My advice to upcoming producers is to work on your craft first, develop a sound that feels natural to you, and most importantly, always experiment and learn new things! Use services like SoundCloud, Facebook, and Instagram to build your personal brand.
July 16, 2018