Noah ’40’ Shebib on producing Drake | Native Instruments

We’re isolated here in Toronto in our own
little world, and there’s not a lot of big names popping by. And it’s quiet and we can focus. And so this is like our army base off-shore that we train for war in. And then when we’re ready, we go to war. And no one sees it coming
because we’re not training in front of anyone’s eyes. From an art standpoint, I wanted people to walk through that door and be overwhelmed. I wanted the city to feel a part of this place. I wanted it to be a very creative atmosphere, so when you walk through those doors, immediately you feel comfortable being creative and that creativity is accepted in this space. And from a technical standpoint, this place is very unique because I built this out of passion. I didn’t build this off a business plan. This place is here to make history. it’s not here to make money. I think anybody else would be crazy to do
what I’ve done here. Unless their goal was to make literally the craziest production room ever. And that’s what this is. It’s a production
room. This room is built around Komplete Kontrol and Maschine because that’s what this room is for. You come here to create music. You can come into this place and literally
bring your laptop, and I plug in two cables and all of a sudden boom: you’re hooked
up to Maschine, to Komplete Kontrol, to all the screens, to all the keyboards,
and to the console. You won’t see many studios that have these pieces embedded into the systems the way I do because I’m a producer. So I built this from the standpoint of a producer. One of my things about making music is it being easy. Some of the most amazing music I’ve made… People have come into the studio, sat down, and in the first ten minutes, they do this, they do that. And I’m like,
“Cool! We’re done!” And they look at me like, “What?” And
I’m like “No that’s it.” “We did it. Trust me, this is all we need.
I’ll turn this into something really special.” Those are the most amazing pieces of music I’ve ever made. When it comes to Drake, my objective is to make the artist the number one priority at any cost. My goal is to make them happy. As much as I want to have integrity in the work that I’m doing, I want to make sure they’re getting what
they want. Because they’re the ones that have to go
on stage and perform it. They’re the ones that have to carry that
record for the rest of their lives and their careers. I’m notorious for this lo-fi underwater
sound. People usually assume it’s a low-pass filter. And I’m just rolling off the top end. But for the most part I’m actually degrading the sample rate. So I’m removing those frequencies from the top end. They’re not even getting sampled in the
first place. They don’t even exist. When you would take out that pristine high-end
and lower the sample rate, it would become a little more authentic almost. Different. Like it was sampled or taken from somewhere. And the most important reason was, back to what I was talking about focusing on the artist versus focusing on myself as the producer. So instead of focusing on my music, I was carving out an entire space in the frequencies so the artist occupies the top end completely, almost
exclusively, and the music sits in the bottom end. In a way that nobody would do it. Anybody would say: ‘Absolutely not, you cannot do that.’ ‘That is against the rules, I’m sorry.’ ‘We will not release this song. It sounds horrible. Where’s all the top end?’ It was just me and Drake wanting to do something different. To make a sound that we felt was unique. And it really resonated with people. But that’s also the co-production of Drake on that level. Because he is a producer by every means. And he’s also responsible for that simplicity. And he’s also responsible for a lot of the
sound that I’m heralded as creating but we created together. I have so much around me. I have so many resources, so many tools, so many sounds, so many options. It can become very overwhelming. And that’s actually where Maschine really helps because it’s like a starting point that is very well organized, and basic from the sense of its workflow.
I know where to start. I can get going. I don’t need to think too much about all the other things in the room. And then I can build off it. I use it a lot. Whether it be at the beginning of my process or at the end. For instance on 30 for 30, which is a record put out on the Drake and Future project, at the very end of the project, I felt like it
needed a little something more in that record. So I pulled out Maschine, locked it up, and
tap tap tap, done. So it’s a great closer for me but also is
the starting point for me as well. I’ll just open it with the metronome. So that click is driving the real tempo of
the session, and I’ll create some keys around that. I like starting with music more than I like
starting with programming drums. I like the feel of the music to dictate where the drum programming goes. Which is really unorthodox. Especially in hip hop. Almost all producers will start with the drum programming. I work in the opposite direction. So I will program a click at the beginning
and then I’ll just start adding. And one of the great parts about Maschine and my workflow is, once you program something you can flip drum banks. And you can just keep flipping banks. I find myself doing a lot of the editing within it (Maschine) itself. And actually, I’ve printed down mixes that
are still running the MIDI live right out of Maschine. So I haven’t even stemmed out the audio or dragged it out of Maschine. That’s a little crazy because I probably
should have stemmed it out. But, I have gone that far at times where it’s like, The mix is there. It sounds good. Now that being said, I’m routing my outputs from Maschine to separate faders inside of Pro Tools. It’s not just coming out a stereo mix. I’m spreading it out, and therefore have the manipulation of the tracks post-Maschine as well. But regardless, it’s still pretty much running from inside the box with a lot of EQ, and filters and effects coming right off the Maschine so I can achieve a different sound. In the last year, one of the biggest developments was Komplete Kontrol. Because with Komplete 10, you have so many instruments, so much sound, so much power and ability. It becomes very overwhelming. Suddenly now, you can hit one button, and see all of your sounds. All of your instruments. Flip between your
patches with one click. Patch, patch, patch. So I can type in piano and see all my pianos across all my instruments. And I can flip the patches with one button. That is ease of use. It’s access to my library. It’s access to my arsenal. Now it’s so much easier, faster, and more
intuitive. It helps me create better. And I believe it’s a fundamental part of helping the whole process of making music develop. That’s the hardest thing to do in music.
And art period across the board. Whether it’s design, or visual arts, or
music and composition. Simplicity with authenticity at the same time is so difficult. So to make something simple but good is extremely difficult. But simple usually translates to real because there’s not too much. It’s not overdone. Whereas the simplicity factor is like: ‘Hey
this is it. This is my heart on my sleeve.’ ‘This is all I got.’ ‘Take it or leave it. It’s real. this is me. This is us.’