Dibia$e Producing on iOS Using Lo-Fly Dirt and Fly Tape
Posted on 24 January 2021
Producer, beat maker, technologist, and hiphop production community organizer Dibia$e is one of our generations dopest gems. Not a day goes by where you will not find him either sharing some new beats he made on a calculator looking device, flipping a Nintendo 8bit sample, hosting a "sample challenge" (in which producers of all proficiencies take a stab at flipping a given sample for us all to jam online), or even better...sharing the work of those not so easily seen in an already crowded, over-saturated beat scene. As one who prides himself on being able to consistently achieve his sound on any device, he recently got into the world of iOS and MSXII Sound Design apps. Being that we've known the fam for years, it was only righteous we discussed a bit. We discuss everything from beats on iOS, Lo-Fly Dirt and Fly Tape for sample texture on the iPhone, and who he's currently jamming and inspired by. Enjoy the convo below!
1. For those that have been living under a rock, explain who Dibia$e is, where you're from and how you got your start making beats...
I go by Dibiase some call me Dibi for short. I’m a beatmaker / producer out of Watts, CA. I originally started out rhyming and needed production that complimented my sound. I'd say around '94 I got hold of an 8 second Gemini sampler. Then, I gradually got different drum machines like the Alesis Sr-16 and Roland R8 before eventually getting a MPC 2000 in '97.
I probably would’ve got an MPC early, but in all the studios I went to in the neighborhood everybody would midi the MP to keyboards so I had no idea it sampled for a good 3 years, lol! Once I saw somebody chopping vinyl on it in '97 it was over with after that. Fast forward many years later and I started going to Sketchbook, Boombox LA, and Low End Theory...the rest was history.
2. You've been an inspiration to so many on so many different kinds of devices, beat machines, software programs, and iOS apps. Can you explain your approach to learning gear & the importance of being inspired by almost anything available?
Funny thing; I used to be a strictly hardware only guy, but I had a friend Benny Blonco & he makes crazy beats. And they would knock like crazy. I thought he was using hardware for the longest, but he told me he used FL and just compression. So after that I was like, "Ok, let me try software" so I tried Reason. Once I used Reason, I saw I was limiting myself with the hardware only mindset. But I wasn’t really tech savvy for awhile and the thought of taking on a new learning curve intimidated me back then.
Later on, I had a 2 week session with Knxwledge learning Ableton in 2012. Once I learned Ableton, I felt like I could keep learning different software because it’s pretty much all the same. You gotta get comfortable navigating features, but as time went on, it kinda turned into a challenge to myself--to see if making something with the most ridiculous gadgets like Pocket Operators or the PSP or using my phone could knock like a beat made on the MPC or SP1200. With this technology now you can make quality production with a $3 app. If I had this as a kid I would’ve saved lunch money for a day or two and copped something. Lol!
3. Can you share a bit on how MSXII Sound Design samples, apps, and overall product offerings have inspired you?
MSXll sound first inspired initially from the sound design standpoint. The sound packs was always top notch inside Maschine and later Serato Studio. Then when that Lo-fly Dirt and Fly Tape dropped it was an instant cop, but I must admit for a long time I didn’t know you could route through AUM until recently. Lol!
So now that I got it working in unison with Koala, it adds a knock to it--a grimey texture. Definitely must haves on the master bus for all my beats on the phone. Lowkey, if it was a VST on Mac, I would have them there with other software too.
4. Most recently, you've posted a beat on iOS using Lo-Fly Dirt and Fly Tape from us here at MSXII. Talk to us a little about that track!
Was testing out the new chop feature on Koala and wanted to use that Keni Burke sample. I flipped 3 already on Ableton using Serato sample, but I said let me see if can attack it with Koala. And I figured a formula out on this beat regarding Koala by layering 2 kick drums, adjusting the tone to filter one of the kicks. Next, I turned the volume down on one of the kicks before combining them together. Then on the master fx I add a little dirt saturation. Then that’s when I added Fly tape and Lo-Fly Dirt on master as well. It added such a grimey texture and knock to it.
5. What are some of your favorite presets on Lo-Fly Dirt?
The 404 main setting preset is good for that tape hiss and filtered process, but I have to say the main setting 1200 preset is my favorite because it adds a knock to the drums and you hear a little of the artifacts as well. Definitely my go to for sure!
6. How has iOS inspired you lately? Kinda wild to have all of this access at the palm of your hand these days. How has it helped your creativity?
It’s crazy I don’t have headphones on or the phone plugged into speakers when making beats on the phone. I’m just usually using the phone speaker, lol. I could just be doing laundry in the garage and cook up something really quick instead of plugging up an MPC to the patch bay. It’s just instant when inspiration strikes you.
7. How would you personally describe the "Dibia$e Sound?"
Ummm, unorthodox at times and full of imperfections, but that gives it character. Versatile because I can cover all kind of styles under the scope ranging from gully boombap, 8bit beats, soulful chops flipping R&B, house, broken beat, footwork.
You never really know what chamber I’m gonna be in.
8. What new projects are in the works for you? Any new artists that you are currently jamming and inspired by their music?
I'm gonna do a session with Serato on Twitch in early February just using Serato Studio so I’m plotting a batch with strictly the Serato beats for a project soon. That’s maybe just for bandcamp, but it depends...if it needs vinyl treatment that’s an option too!
I'm currently jamming & inspired by what Vinyl Slim, Sndtrak, Cazal Organism ( he’s not new but inspiring), Ruffian Kick, Telly McClean, Lotek, and Senz are doing to name a few.