The kind of retro thing is obviously in fashion at the moment and there are lots of people making records which sound like they could have come out twenty years ago or more. How do you feel about that? 

It’s funny. They’re even buying equipment that was used back then, to try and emulate it even more. It’s funny to me because over the years I’ve tried to get away from that, just because it’s a hassle, having twenty MIDI cables and trying to figure out why this synth isn’t playing or that one sounds different to yesterday.

Anyone who’s ever chopped samples in an Akai S series will know painful that was.

Exactly. I chopped them in an Akai S1100. When I did remixes back then it would take me a day. I’d give myself a day just to get the vocals ready to be chopped. I had to import each vocal stem – they’d send me the 24-track tape, then I’d have to get the stems transferred to DAT and if I had a ten vocal tracks I’d have to go through all the tracks, sample each one back into the Akai, put them each on a different key group and then get them ready to chop. That was my day.

People are buying equipment that was used back in the 90s, to try and emulate the sound even more. It’s funny to me because over the years I’ve tried to get away from that. It’s a hassle.

What are you using now for chopping, Maschine?

When I got back into doing remixes again I was thinking, ‘Wait, I’m not going to have to pull out the Akai?!’ For a while I just didn’t have anything that did it, then I bought Maschine and it was so complicated at first I was like, ‘I don’t even know how to turn this thing on.’ The remixes started piling up so I was forced to figure it out then I was like, ‘Oh, shit! This is cool.’

As far as the way you produce, obviously it was all hardware back in the 90s. Has that changed now?

Of course. It was all hardware back then. I’m a tech guy – I definitely love buying new equipment. I’ve bought gear every other day, it seems like – but it was a headache. That’s when Macs and sequencing first became popular, but you had to use all these different programs just to run MIDI. It sounded good but it was frustrating. You were using ADATs for vocals and transferring back and forth. It was definitely a hassle. Now I have three Macs and I have the same setup on each of them, so I can go on the road, take my laptop and go in the studio. They’ll ask me what I need and I just say give me a USB keyboard, a USB cable and a line out from my computer. With that I’m good to go.

What’s the key software now?

It’s still Logic. I have Ableton but I’m so good at using Logic. People say Ableton’s so fast but I’m just as fast in Logic. Trust me! I’m still using Maschine and tons and tons of drum samples. Back in the 90s it was hard just to find drums, which is why a lot of the time I ended up using a 909. A lot of times I didn’t actually want to use a 909 but that’s all I had. I use Sylenth a lot, I use the Korg M1 plugin a lot. I like finding cool patches for Massive online, just searching around. It’s a lot easier to find good sounds now than it was in the 90s.

What were the main pieces of gear back then? The 909, S1100, the Korg M1 must have been in there…

I changed synths a lot. I used the Juno-106 a lot in the early 90s, then I think I got the Korg Triton. I used the Roland JD-800 a lot, the one with all the knobs. I used the Proteus tons of times. I used the Yamaha TX81Z on Nightcrawlers for the horn sound.

That’s a great synth.

I actually have one now. I bought one again. The Lately Bass preset was really really popular. That was the reason everyone bought it. Another thing I had was a version of Auto Tune which Antares brought out in a rack mount. I remember using the Auto Tune feature before anybody used it. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is sick!’

Did that make it onto one of your tracks?

I don’t think it did. I bought it when I started doing more pop stuff. I had a talkbox because Jodeci were using it a lot and I wanted to find something that did it.

That’s what everybody thought that sound was when it first came out. Nobody knew what Auto Tune was so everyone guessed it was something like a talkbox or a vocoder.

Exactly. I had a Roland one too because I just spent all my remix money on equipment. I lived in New York, I didn’t need a car, my loft was really inexpensive so I had unlimited equipment cashflow.

Author Greg Scarth
22nd April, 2013

Comments

  • Prime example of someone who makes music for making money and not the love of the music! Dislike!

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  • Exactly what i thought! Wish this guy had stayed away instead of coming back to dance music just because there’s money in it now – this is just the kind of leech the industry could do without right now!

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  • shittiest music I’ve heard all week.

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  • Fuckn pop music. When did Pop become a standard all modern music is judged against?

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  • Can’t believe the comments on here. The guy’s a fucking legend. He was making classic house records before most of us were born. What’s the problem, that he’s honest enough to admit he wants to get paid for his work? Are you really naive enough to think that other producers don’t want to get paid? They just don’t admit it in public!

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  • In agreement with CV/G – MK has produced some great classic tracks and thats all that really matters at the end of the day.

    Many producers, Diplo being one example produce underground dance music and have produced an astounding roster of pop/RnB/hip hop artists. Musicians and producers need to make a living, and aspring to be up there with Quincy Jones isn’t a bad thing ! MK seems very fair in his appraisal of both sides of the fence and it’s great news that Hot Creations have got him back on board 🙂

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  • 20k a week in the 90’s, whos gonna say no to that? Mk worked the dam system it didn’t work him. And even if his tracks are more pop tracks are still fun to listen to props Mk maaad props =)

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  • He Is a living legend within House music in which he even influenced Todd Edwards in at least thinking of another of way of producing and making House music. He was so hot at one time (from 1992 to 1995) that he was close to upsetting the Holy grail of House music Producers at the time. He was making so much “noise” that Legendary House music producers such as Todd Terry, Masters at Work, Steve ” Silk” Hurley , Larry Heard and Kerri Chandler, were looking over their shoulders.

    However, I feel that he got out at the right time. I think that the real reason why he left was that he thought his “Sound” – The “Mk Dub” sound – would burn out!

    Like he mentioned after ” Pass the feeling on single every record exec wanted a record like that. This pressure to come up with that and also he wanted he wanted to try something different instead of becoming known as a House producer meant he was on his way.

    If there was a book to be written about about Usa House and Usa Garage Music – a proper book! Real stories, real events, no filler.. Then this man would have to be in it.

    There was another mix that he did that is legendary in my Opinion. The one that he did that used Jodeci track called “Freakin you”.
    If you listen to the original single by Joedci – it is a ballard!!!

    Also another genius track that he got to do a “Dub mix” on original done the Masters at Work – ” I Can’t Get No Sleep (MK Dub). Now this is something else!

    90’s House and Garage music was the best period for House and Garage music period! The reason why – was that the dj/producers made sure of the grooveability and a soul vibe were contain in their records which I still think is missing in todays releases. For Instance – Strictly Rhythm records was releasing a House and Garage record each week in the early 1990’s – and the the majority of today are considered classics today!!!

    Carl Brown
    http://www.electricsoulshow.com

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  • Lol @ant pure jealousy!

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  • MK is a legend

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