Running Your Own Sample Label - Interview with Yakov Morozov (aka REZONE)
Singomakers and IQ Samples are used by many artists in tracks released on Spinnin Records, Warner, Sony, Hexagon, Axtone, Armada, Ultra Music, Dim Mak, Toolroom and many more. Same as in movies, TV Series, and TV shows. As the latest example - the soundtrack of ‘America’s got talent’ TV show.
All Things Sampling?
Hi Yakov - you have built up quite a catalogue of sample labels (Singomakers, IQ Samples and Class-A Samples) as the owner and creative director for these, how many years have you been providing Royalty-Free Samples for now?
Hi, first of all, thank you for inviting me to the interview. When did it begin? Hmm. I feel like it was yesterday, but it’s already 7 years as Singomakers, and before it, I was producing my own sample packs as a sound designer for Loopmasters.
Why have you chosen to break out your productions under different labels, and in broad terms can you describe the difference between these labels?
Most of my artists are graduates of my music production school ‘Singomakers’…and they had a lot of musical collaborations with me on labels like Armada, Black Hole, Sirup, Mixmash and many more, so when I started my sound-design business, I brought them all on this journey with me.
Soon our team of residents became too big and our Singomakers schedule became too crowded, plus we had been licensing many packs to Loopmasters parent label too. So one day I took under my wing IQ Samples and Class A Samples labels. Now we have enough free scheduling space for all of our packs.
Singomakers are a parent label with an amazing reputation and support from our fans. We focus on specific genres for it, it could be Psytrance, Drum & Bass, House, EDM, Hip-Hop, Trap, Rawstyle, Reggaeton or Cinematic, or Folk sounds, or an experimental mix of something absolutely crazy! But all we do here is done with Love and Passion, from every recorded sound to our artworks. We love to put eastern-eggs into our artworks, sometimes it’s secret messages to our fans, or references to popular movies, or just stupid jokes. Just check our latest pack ‘Latin POP’ and pay attention to the badge on that leopard-lady :)
IQ Samples is more focused on trending sounds, we follow trends and sometimes trying to get ahead of them. Here are the sounds of tomorrow, and I’m proud to say that after IQ Samples started their original design, many labels have started to copy that. That makes us proud!
Class A Samples is a great place for mainstream sounds, and we love to put some small but useful packs with great vocal chops and other tasty stuff there!
What type of producers do you see using your sounds and where are you aiming each of the labels?
Everyone! We have a lot of big names on the list of users. KSHMR used our vocal samples from ‘Astral Psytrance’ sample pack in his track ‘Shiva’ Sunburn Festival Anthem, 6ix9ine - ‘Bebe’ more than 1.5 billion of streams and views in total, and it’s fully constructed using our Majorton sample pack, Demi Lovato - ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ 1 Billion streams, Armin, Futuristic Polar Bears, Joachim Garraud, Steve Angello, D.O.D, Dannic and many more. Same as we are very proud of our army of regular users and bedroom producers who often tag us on Instagram/facebook when they are using our samples in their tracks. We love it and appreciate it a lot!
Your products are nearly always in our Top Sample Packs chart, where do you get your inspiration to create so many incredible products?
Some of my artist's joke that it’s because of the mortgage :) but nope, it’s because we just love making music! We hate to finish long tracks with one melody, much more fun is creating hundreds of 15 seconds long tracks! I think someone called it - samples :)
Have your visions for Singomakers stayed the same or evolved with the label?
Since our first pack we use our branded jingle at the end of the demo tracks ‘We make the future’. It’s not just the words for us - it’s our vision of music, life, and the future. I’m a fan of progress, technology, innovations, and I’m trying to use some new and experimental equipment in our packs, searching for new ways for sound design and music production. That’s why I called my sound design label - ‘Singomakers’, this name is derived from ‘Technological Singularity’ - bringing the technical future and people together in Music.
You are now also the proud owner of IQ Samples and Class A Samples. What're the plans for these great labels?
A lot of new great packs and extensions for Loopcloud Drum and Play!
What makes IQ Samples stand out from the crowd? And Class A Samples? 100% original design artworks and contemporary HQ sounds!
What gear do you use for the content of the labels? Do you use different producers/sound designers?
I have a team of Singomakers residents and team IQ Samples/Class A residents. But it depends, sometimes I see that pack fits better to Singomakers or vice versa, IQ Samples, so I just put it there. All my artists have their own studios, so equipment is pretty different, but in the end, we make mixing and mastering on our main Singomakers studio. Right now we are building a 2nd studio BTW! We use outboard gear from Manley, SSL, Tubetech, UAD, mics from Neumann, Rode, Soyuz, Oktava, Synths, from Moog, Korg, Virus, Roland, Arturia, many modular modules, monitors are Focal, Dynaudio, KRK, Barefoot, APS and some more.
Do you actively use the label samples in Loopcloud in your own productions?
Always! I have to say that several years ago I didn’t use it as I thought it’s not fair for me to use samples as, I’m a «professional producer» with releases on many top labels blah, blah, blah..but then I realized that I hear every day my own sounds on radio in tracks of world stars…so WTF, why can’t I use my own sounds in my own tracks. So yes, now I often use it, and Loopcloud helps me a lot to find a correct sound in seconds!
Can you tell us how you use Loopcloud to help build a track?
I have a lot of my personal tricks for Loopcloud, sometimes I just make a drum groove, then search for a Bass Loop, changing a pitch inside Loopcloud to make that sound less recognizable (Pitch algorithm there is perfect), all already goes in sync with my drum groove in DAW.
Then I use cut tool in Loopcloud and chop this loop and change the groove and even pitch on separate slices and I can do it all even before I bought this sample..what?!>?! damn, that’s why I love Loopcloud. Then I can apply some integrated effects, like filter or reverb and after it starts magic - I can simply change that bass loop to another one and Loopcloud keeps all those changes and apply it to a new loop, even my edited chops and changed groove!!! It’s insane!
Sometimes you get absolutely unexpected but amazing results! Now you know my secret weapon - it’s Loopcloud!
Any advice to Singomakers fans on how to get something down quickly using Loopcloud and the Multitracks/FX?
Just try my previous TIP and do it using 2-3 tracks. Ah yes, one more cool tip: import Drum Loop to Track 1, Bass in key D (for example) to 2nd, and then search in Loopcloud for melodies only in D key and load it one after one into Track 3 until you will find a perfect one. With Loopcloud it takes less than a minute!
What plans for your label stable do you have in the pipeline for 2019 and beyond?
Sounds. Inspiration. The Future :). Small spoiler alert - myself and legendary French producer Joachim Garraud (artist of Ultra, Spinnin, Toolroom) started a new group ‘WEAREBRUT’. Our first track ‘Noiselife’ has already been premiered by Carl Cox on Burning Man and starting to get noticed. So maybe you can expect an artist series pack from ‘WEAREBRUT’ next year!
Thanks for your time and we all look forward to your next releases…