Name: Freddie Joachim
Location: San Diego, CA
Afiliations: Freddiejoachim.com Melloworange.com
Background: Freddie Joachim (pronounced “JO-AH-KIM”), began his music career as a DJ in 1996. He started out as a mobile DJ in his hometown of San Diego, and for a while spent much of his time focused on being a battle DJ/turntablist. Since then, Freddie has become a DJ that spins and listens to an eclectic mix of genres, with a strong focus on hip-hop and jazz. In the Summer of 2010, Freddie released his third full-length album, “Midway,” which is a collection of instrumentals which Freddie wanted to show his range as a hip hop and soul producer. Midway was the first full-length artist album released on the San Francisco based label, Mellow Orange, a label established by Freddie, and good friend, Yusai. (Midway is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Last.fm)
Whats on Freddie’s workspace:
1. CME UF5 49-key midi controller
2. Sony MDR-V700 headphones
3. M-Audio Trigger Finger Midi Pad Controller
4. Midway CDs
7. Hard drives
8. Rubix Cube
9. Girl Scout Chocolate Almonds
10. Canon 20D
AWKP: We are a big fan of your style of production. For the people that
are not in ‘the know,’ what would you label your style of music?
FJ: I would say my music is mellow and chill for the most part; jazz and soul with a few electronic elements. I like visiting both ends.
FJ: Well, I use the pads for mainly sample chops and drums. The other for more keyboard based, melodic stuff. The pads are definitely more portable than my main keyboard.
AWKP: Is it true that in a recording studio there should always be a good
set of headphones as well as studio monitors. Do you ever run your mix downs with just your headphones?
FJ: Yeah, it’s always good to have a nice pair of headphones present. I can never truly rely on headphones with mix downs. I use them when I’m in a pinch, but overall I need a pair of monitors.
AWKP: What is your take regarding beat machines vs. software based
programs? Is one better than the other?
FJ: In terms of time efficiency, I feel software is better. Well, faster anyway. Analog instruments definitely have characteristic sounds, a punchiness, and a warmness, which I feel software is very difficult in duplicating. I used to own a few samplers, mainly an MPC 2000xl, but never really utilized it because I found recording and editing on it was too slow for me. Sometimes working that slow can produce a great sound. Ultimately, I learned software was the best choice for the types of music I wanted to create.
AWKP: We understand that you are a sound engineer besides being a producer. In the movie Hustle and Flow, there were egg crates on the walls of Djay’s studio. When you first built your studio, did you have egg crates on your walls? Should someone without a budget for studio foam invest in egg crates?
FJ: No. I never believed in actual egg crates. I would say, try to have an understanding of how sound works, and what’s best for your sound and budget before deciding on putting any type of soundproofing up. You can buy some really nice stuff, but find out that it does nothing for “sound proofing” or not knowing exactly where to place it. You can put a bunch of egg carton crates up, but it might do nothing for your sound, and now you have ugly walls.
AWKP: At first glance, we noticed the Iphone but then you threw us off with the computer. We almost thought you were going to be an apple junkie like most of the other interviewees. Why the mix of *gasp* pc and apple combo?
FJ: I’ve always been a PC user. And just to spite everyone else, I may never switch to a Mac. Ha! No, really. There’s a lot of VST’s, plug-ins, and synths that I utilize, that aren’t available for Mac. Even though I don’t necessarily condone this, but you don’t have to pay for any software if you have a PC. Macs, PCs, they’re just tools.
AWKP: You also possess a few hard drives. Besides bootleg blockbuster movies, what else is saved on your hard drives?
FJ: Mainly Music. I have a hard drive just for music. My sequences and recordings take a lot of space. I have a few television shows such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “The Office.”
AWKP: Speaking of shows, I am a huge ‘The Office’ fan and am a little jealous that you own a Dwight bobblehead and I don’t. Do you feel that you possess some characteristics from the actor on the show? And when I say characteristics, I am not necessarily referring to his sinister ways but more of his drive and focus to be #1 and also the fact that he owns a beet farm.
FJ: Dwight characteristics? Probably none. Other than my extensive knowledge of “beets,” he was just my favorite character on the show. One Christmas, my buddy Kenny got it for me as a present. It also came with a Dunder Mifflin t-shirt.
AWKP: I used to have a Rubix Cube but I could only solve one side. Out of
frustration, I would disassemble all the blocks and lock it back into place correctly. Did you really solve the Rubix Cube or did you peel off the stickers and cheat? Is this your form of a stress reliever?
FJ: Solving the Rubix Cube is easy as pie…or pi…the way I learned, was just memorizing a few algorithms. Honestly, if you can remember a sequence of buttons to push in a video game, you can solve a rubix cube.
AWKP: Ok so this is an AWKP first. Girl Scout product on the workspace. When the opportunity is there, I usually pick up 5 boxes each of the caramel delight’s and peanut butter patties. You opt to run with these Chocolate Almond joints. Are we missing out on something here?
FJ: My niece is in Girl Scouts. I think they run the assorted nuts before thanksgiving. They’re pretty dangerous to have around. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t care for Thin Mints and Samoa Girl Scout cookies. Tagalongs all day!
AWKP: What producers currently inspire you? Is there anything in your Ipod on heavy rotation?
FJ: Currently, I’m listening to Hudson Mohawke, Nosaj Thing, Dorian Concept, Afta-1, Adriana Evans, Vikter Duplaix, Spinna, Dilla, Exile, Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta, and whole bunch more.
AWKP: The 20D is a really nice camera. We are hoping it’s not an expensive paper weight. Besides making beats, are you a closet photographer?
FJ: It was actually a hand-me-down from my dad. I also have a 7D but I’m not a photographer. I just like taking photos every now and then. Having a DSLR forces you to learn how to use it correctly and learn more about a camera and lighting.
AWKP: Midway is such a dope album. What solo projects can we expect from
you in the near future? Are there anymore collabs to come?
FJ: I’ll probably come out with a handful of new releases, mainly vinyl. I’m working on a couple soul artist’s albums but there’s a whole lot coming out from our label, Mellow Orange. We’ll keep everyone posted.
AWKP: Finally any last words, shoutouts or plugs?
FJ: Big thanks and peace to AWKP for this. Peace to Mellow Orange and Organology. My current album, Midway, is available everywhere (iTunes, Amazon, record shops, here and overseas) on digital, as well as a 2 cd digipak with a lot more music. We’ll have some vinyl on the way.
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