Wednesday, February 11, 2009

introducing Nick Nack

Introducing Nick Nack


I had the pleasure to have a type out with the technology savy Nick Nack of Austin TX about the industry of technology in music for the musician out there. Catch him around town. I'm still jealous about the Zebra shirt he is rocking in the pic.

What is your history with technology in the music world and how did
you get started?

The first influential piece of musical technology that I owned would
undoubtedly be a Fisher Price turntable that my sister and I used to
listen to story book LPs on. I still have one of our favs, "The
Amazing Adventures of PacMan" ->

I purchased my own turntable when I was around 12 years old and that's
roughly when I started taking DJing more seriously. I started by
trying to imitate DJ Aladdin's scratching on Low Profile's debut
album. I DJ'd my first house party when I was 13 or so, it was in a
barn and my dad had to drive me to the gig. Later I was in several DJ
battles in Dallas and continued that when I moved to Austin. While at
UT I had my own hip-hop radio show where I mixed live on KVRX.

As far as production, I started on an MPC around 1997. I wanted to
play more basslines, etc... so I quickly migrated to the ASR10 and
around 1999 fully to the computer. Funny, I remember quite a few
people in the Austin hip-hop scene snickering at the fact that I made
my RE: Construction album partly with my computer.

What are some changes in the status quo of technology in
entertainment you've seen?

Now a days most people make music on their computers. It wasn't like
that even 10 years ago! Crazy how times change. These days you can
make a very dope studio and only spend like $5k. Just 10 years ago
that same studio would have been cost prohibitive for us indie

Anything you favor or prefer?

I actually started out on PC in the early 90s around Windows 3, but
after being getting a rootkit I have decided that I need to migrate
all my systems to Mac or Linux. I just don't see Windows being a
secure platform until they fully address the registry issues.

With production tools where do you see it going?

I think in the past 2-4 years there has been a massive movement
towards producing for live shows and merging the two. Ableton Live is
a prime example. I remember when it was first introduced in 2001 and
now it's taken the industry by storm in less than 7 years. We will
see more production apps gearing themselves towards performing live or
integrating with live performances.

Any new upcoming changes for the digital jockey?

Changes? Hmmm...maybe not so much, but DJs have to be able to adapt
to new technology QUICKLY. Serato and other DVS came onto the scene
hard in 2003. I still can't believe some DJs just got a DVS in the
past year or two. To me, if you aren't evolving and adapting WITH
technology, you are losing. There will always be new technologies and
lots of hungry new DJs.

That being said, I think there has been a movement back towards
respecting DJs who actually have skills. Whether it be scratching,
beat juggling, mixing, remixing, etc... B/c technology is so abundant
and so cheap, there has been a proliferation of DJs. Everyone is a DJ
today! Most of them suck ass and I think that's why audiences are
going back to appreciating real skill. It's something you certainly
can't fake ;)

What are some of your past production tools that you favor? Still
keep around.

A real Fender Rhodes Suitcase 88. A Fender Jazz bass. Congas, bongos
and various real percussion instruments. Oh and last but CERTAINLY
not vinyl collection. I was raised by hip-hop. Sampling
is in my blood. While I enjoy crafting songs from scratch myself, I
will never give up the desire to sample. It's a true art form.

Any tips for people getting into the saddle of making beats or
getting there foot in the door?

Have fun. Don't worry about what the current trends are, speak with
your soul. Anything else is simply work.

What's your favorite film monster?
Robert DeNiro from Tax Driver


More info about Nick Nack can be found at the following;

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