PHOTOS: LO FIDEL
We got a chance to catch up with Lo Fidel and talk about his new tape. Peep the exclusive interview after the jump.
(SC) What's the story on the tape?
I had a friend of mine JeffreyCeez that I'm in a group with (DeadKids), tell me that we needed to put out some real hip hop the old school way, on a tape cassette and make demo tapes. At the time, I had no clue how to use a 4-track recorder. Shortly after, JCeez decided to move out to San Diego, and another musician homie of mine that I go way back with said he had a 4 track recorder he had hardly ever used just sitting around and if I knew anyone interested in buying. I literally dropped everything I was doing at almost midnight that night and went over to his spot and bought it from him. Probably could have bought one on eBay, but I'm a broke ass college student.
(SC) Tell us about creating One Tape Wonder?
The project was definitely a hell of a learning experience. I experimented for DAYS on recording techniques and did lots of research. I started getting the hang of it after about a month of practice. The tape is such a tricky thing to manipulate. If it has too much bass, it eats up everything around it. Not enough bass, the music sounds faint and has no substance. jNot using a computer was something I had never tried so it was a true test of my mixing abilities. Also, the fact that you don't have all of these common simple digital options such as fading, echoing, and effects, definitely caused me to have to find other (harder) methods of doing the same effects manually. The biggest help I had was from a series of phone conversations with world renowned producer Sean-Toure' who produced "The Sound Channeler" via Fat Beats/Rosachi Music Group. He even told me, "If you can mix on a 4 track, you can mix on anything". Sean really gave me the best insight on how to record effectively on the 4 track recorder and get the most out of my sound. I'm sure I bugged the hell out of him for that time period, but I really appreciated the knowledge from a well known vet. Thanks Sean!
(SC) Let's talk about the process. What did you use?
I just ran my MPC 2000XL, Moog Synthesizer, and microKorg into a Tascam 4 track recorder and played everything out by hand. That was my 4 tracks right there (MPC stereo output and two mono keyboard outs). I would basically just start everything from the MPC, create all my chops and drums, and MIDI all of the keyboard notes to the MPC. I created all my sequences and conducted all of the transitions and drops manually from the MPC. The title "One Tape Wonder" came from pressing "RECORD" on the 4 track and recording the entire song in one take or "tape". Controlling EQ's and volume levels were probably the most difficult tasks. Everything sounds good going in, but what comes out when recording to cassette is COMPLETELY different.
(SC) How have your fans responded to your release?
Lots of people don't believe I did this without a computer! I've had to explain the process so many times to people so they understand how making a whole album without a computer is possible. I think people appreciate the integrity of going out on a limb to do something out of the norm. I feel like I have done something that not just any music producer could pull off.
(SC) Any last shouts?
Shout outs to STRICTLY CASSETTE for posting my music and keeping the tape culture alive and relevant. I would kill to have some of the cassettes you guys post! Shouts to Kevin Nottingham and Beat Tape Co-Op for always supporting me and showing me mad love. Big shout outs to JeffreyCeez and SEAN-TOURE' aka The Sound Channeler aka The Invisible Man for having my back and PUTTING UP WITH MY 20,000 QUESTIONS! Big thanks to UGHH.com for supporting my release and helping reach more fans.