Drake’s producer Noah 40 was not sure what to do when COVID hit. Drake and Noah always worked so closely together that COVID threatened how they worked. This could have delayed projects if Noah 40 did not discover a new way to collaborate with Drake.
This is when a new software called Unity Connect came into the picture. Along with Facetime or Zoom, the producer was able to access software from Drake’s studio and cook up beats live. Noah says in an interview with Pensado’s Place, “So basically I’m running Connect Unity,” he said. “I’m using their software to, I can move 64 channels of audio between facilities … so what I’ve been doing with Drake that’s kinda cool through COVID is I set up Connect on his laptop. Now Connect is what goes onto the network and lets you choose a sound card to receive and share. And the latency you can get down so low that I can play MIDI instruments by sending the MIDI over the network and get the audio back through my MacBook speakers while I’m standing in the middle of an intersection and playing something out of my studio.”
He continues, “So what I’m doing with Drake is, we’ll go onto Zoom or something where we can communicate, FaceTime, it really doesn’t matter … but I like Zoom because I can screen share him my ProTools screen to his laptop. So he opens up his laptop, he sees my Pro Tools screen and he sees me in the corner on Zoom … and then he’s listening to the playback in realtime of what I’m playing and he’s got his headphones plugged into his MacBook so he’s got digital audio coming off his Mac converter. It sounds incredible… almost zero latency loss.”
It is clear that Unity Connect is very impressive to the duo that it lead to Noah 40 discouraging artists to visit a studio in person. In person studio sessions can sometimes drag along while the cost is going up. Now, the studio process can likely be remote and likely be more productive than hoping in the studio, smoking etc.
Serious questions arise whether it would be best for rappers to work remotely with producers. 40 Noah ends the conversation by saying, “Honestly, if I was an artist, I’d be like, ‘I’m done going to the studio,’ he said. “‘Yo, set me up on Connect. I’ll be in my hotel room. I can see your Pro Tools. Finish the mix. I’m listening on my headphones. I’ll tell you when it’s done.”
What do you guys think about working remotely with your producer?