Breaking down Azealia Banks '212' Article in DJ Mag Weekly 127
The Azealia Banks '212' Tutorial video I made for Point Blank Online College was published recently in the DJ Mag Free online edition. You can check it out here: http://www.djmag.com/djweekly/ Its DJ Weekly 127.
I'm also attaching the offline version for you to download. You'll find the attachment underneath the picture..
You can also download the Native Instruments Massive Patch I created in the tutorial here.
Here's the accompanying text:
Although Lazy Jay is credited as a featured artist on this track, Azealia actually laid a vocal on his original instrumental, ‘Float My Boat’ which was released on Big & Dirty Records back in 2009. With her sleazy rap style perfectly complementing the beat, she transformed the track to become a massive hit in 2011.
For the analysis of this track I wanted to focus on the two main sections. The bulk of the song is centered around a swung beat with a distinctive Tom Tom pattern. Jay uses some great rising FX underneath to provide tension, as well as alternating various percussive elements. The other addition to this beat is the hooky synth line. Although I was working in Ableton, I decided to recreate it using Native Instrument’s Massive, due to it’s comprehensive range of Filters, Oscillators and overall fat sound. I assigned a Macro within the Synth to control the pitch of the Oscillators, which I was then able to record as Automation after recording a single note midi pattern into Ableton.
For the second section, the beat is filtered down, and some new synth parts are introduced. Azealia switches from a rap to a sung melody which copies the lead synth line. The melody uses quite an unconventional scale, which I was keen to investigate. Although I managed to identify the Key Signature as F# Minor, there were two notes not found in the F# Natural Minor Scale which were C Natural and D#. It is actually possible to play the Scale of C# Harmonic Minor over the F# Minor bass line to achieve all the correct notes!