Hi, Doctor Nick! - Eating Oysters and Choosing a Favorite Classic Drum Machine

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A few weeks back, we introduced Nick Hook as XLR8R's new advice columnist. Since then, we've been busy touting his various attributes and vouching for his knowledge of music, DJing, travel, production, fashion, gear, romance, and, well, just about everything. Now, it's time for Doctor Nick to prove his worth and answer some real-life questions from our readers. Keep in mind, the guy isn't actually a doctor, but this first column proves that he's more than capable of doing the job, which is why he'll be appearing here on XLR8R each and every Thursday. On the debut run of Hi, Doctor Nick!, Hook nimbly tackles his own career, oysters, and classic drum machines. Even better, he also has a present for his readers.

Hi, Doctor Nick!

So, what do you do then? If you were any good, I would have heard of you and I must say... heard of you I've not. My little brother has got more followers on SoundCloud than you and he just posts recordings of him rapping over Labyrinth instrumentals on there. You were in El-P's band... hardly the JB's, is it? Nevermind mate, it's a good start. Pick yourself up, go out there, and get yourself a Twitter page and a Tumblr blog. Grab a disposable camera or two and take pics of El-P when he's at his most vulnerable. That'll set you on your way. People are famous for less these days.

Regards, safe.
Rapper Mayo

What's good Mayo?

I'm happy for your brother. Tell him to keep rapping, but the last time I checked, SoundCloud isn't sending people checks for the amount of followers they have.

I'm not gonna go over everything I have done, but I can say I've only had a real job for three months in my whole life. The reason you haven't heard of me is because I'm doing my job, helping other people become great. I like to look at myself as one of those cats in the movies that would get the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. I can come in for 15 minutes and shoot the whole place up, but at the end of the day, the real heads know what I bring and when to call me. I'm not trying to be famous, I'm trying to make records 'til i die. My goal is to live 'til I'm at least 100.

I've done everything from blowing almost a million dollars of Warner Bros.' money with one of my bands to making records in basements and bathrooms that have had the same impact. Writing/DJing/engineering/producing/being in bands/playing live with cats... it's all connected and it keeps me hungry to give and to take. If my editors wanna zero in more and brag about me they can, but I'm not quite about that. My real goal is to always make music that I can go back to and say that I love, no matter what year it is.

El-P's band might not be the JB's, but I can say I've learned from and worked with one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time. It's an honor. It's kinda sad to think that your only reaction to get known is to take pictures of your friends and exploit them. In my world, we work hard and have each other's backs. That's creativity.

I could go on and on about it, but really, at the end of the day, I'm just making my shit. I have a solo record coming out for the first time on October 9. Give it a listen.

Hi, Doctor Nick!

505, 606, 707, 808 or 909? Or LinnDrum?

This shit's like asking your mom who her favorite kid is. We all love them for different reasons, but you can never say out loud who you love the most.

I can say that right now, you are probably hearing the 808 the most in the great trap movement of 2012 that will be forever noted in history. It's also probably the most used drum machine of all time.

You can look at the 808 and the 606 as brothers, as well as the 707 and 909. The LinnDrum was used most extensively by Prince. Think "When Doves Cry," and quite a bit of '80s stuff. I've been back on my Linn wave lately. The 909 and 707 are generally known for house music, especially the swinging hi-hats that we all know and love. The 707 has a thinner kick than the 909 that cuts really well, but no controls. With the 909, you can control knobs for the pitch of the snare, hi-hats, decay of the kick, etc. Schooly D used the 909 with heavy reverb for hip hop in the '80s, which was super unique during a time when everyone was sampling and using 808s. The 505 has a cool thing going, with some cool toms and bongos. If you see it for cheap, cop it. Actually, that's my whole gear mantra (I have a lot of it). Never overpay and always buy things in good condition, unless it's so cheap it's okay. All vintage gear holds its resale value or goes up, so at least when we all fail, we can sell it and be sitting on some loot for our kids to go to college, or something like that. Worst case, you can just sample everything the way you like it and flip it. I'm a packrat and have fear of selling gear, so you won't find me selling anything.

By the way, here's a free download link with all the sounds from each kit. Don't say Doctor Nick never gave you anything.

Hi, Doctor Nick!

How do I get my boyfriend to start eating oysters? He claims he is allergic, but I think he is lying.

I think you should trust him. What if he ate an oyster and died? We'd all be fucked.

Do you have a question for Doctor Nick? Please submit your inquires to doctornick@xlr8r.com. Nick Hook can help you.