On July 27, 2021, instrumental hip-hop producer RJD2 is debuting his first online course, made in partnership with music education platform Soundfly. This in-depth course guides students through RJD2’s unique approach to chopping and flipping records, and how he arranges samples into fully realized songs.
Known for his groundbreaking and genre-hopping albums including Deadringer and Since We Last Spoke, as well as for composing the theme song to AMC’s Mad Men, Ramble Jon Krohn (RJ) has long been heralded as one of the pioneers of instrumental hip-hop beat making, helping to bring the art of sampling to new genres and audiences. In his new course, RJD2: From Samples to Songs, RJ opens up his creative process — sharing his perspectives on crate digging, listening, and finding samples, and walking students step-by-step through the process of turning chops and loops into sequences, and arranging those parts into thoughtful, dynamic tracks. He even opens up the Pro Tools sessions of some of his most iconic tracks, including ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ and ‘Let There Be Horns,’ and goes into elaborate detail about how they each came together.
RJD2: From Samples to Songs features nearly 40 videos with RJ, filmed in his home studio, as well as readings, downloadable tracks, and creative prompts. Students will see how he works using his Akai MPC2000XL sampler, processes that we’ll also translate into the context of modern DAWs. It joins Soundfly’s extensive library of creative music courses for both amateur and professional-level musicians and a Slack online community where students, mentors, and instructors can share work and get feedback.
“I think one of the most common obstacles that artists fall prey to is being too delicate with their own music. And I hope that one of the things I can do with this course is to provide the encouragement for students to think big, be bold, and be drastic when it comes to their recordings and their releases. I’d encourage students to find that boundary at which they might think something is palatable or acceptable and then blow right through it.” Said RJD2 about his inspiration behind making the course. “By the end of the course, I hope you’re excited to sit down and make music.”
“Creating this course has changed the way I think about the building blocks of music,” said Soundfly CEO Ian Temple. “I’ve shifted from focusing on notes and pitches to considering music to be chunks of manipulable sound. It’s been a fascinating change of perspective and I’m excited for the music it inspires in our students.”
Check out the trailer below: