Studio 2.0 Artist Profile:Dibia$e
“I’m like a chameleon with the styles, man.”
Dibia$e is a producer, beat maker and instrumentalist currently based in Sacramento, California. A prominent figure in LA’s lauded beat scene, the Watts native is known for his distinctive, gritty lofi sound and his affinity for Roland’s SP-303 and SP-404 samplers.
“I wanted a certain sound, so I figured I’ll start making beats.”
Dibia$e started rapping in the mid-90s, and began making beats out of necessity to achieve the perfect backdrop for his rhymes. His first piece of hardware was an eight second sampler that he used to sample records from his grandfather and uncle’s collections, and from these humble beginnings grew a lifelong passion for beatmaking that continues to this day.
Varied, Unorthodox, Imperfect
Current Go-To Setup
Serato Studio with Roland SP-404 MKI
Jay Dee, RZA, DJ Premier, Herbie Hancock, Diamond D & Beatminerz, the WWE, video games, and dancers
Dibia$e cut his teeth at Sketchbook, LA’s first instrumental beat night, where he linked up with contemporaries like Flying Lotus, Ras G, Georgia Anne Muldrow and many others. Later he was a fixture at Low End Theory, the weekly showcase that, over the course of its 12 year run, helped to define an entire sector of music—one where hip hop and electronic meet, and where glitchy drums and thunderous bass reign supreme.
“I go by feeling a lot. If it feels right I go with it.”
While hardware and software have both evolved since he started, Dibia$e has stayed true to his roots, using a similar form of resampling today that he did with his eight second sampler. His sample-driven sound takes elements of jazz, soul, broken beat, footwork and even 8-bit video game music, dissects and rebuilds them in his signature, gritty style that favors the imperfect over the polished.
“It’s like living in a moment opposed to perfecting a moment.”
Dibia$e incorporates his tried-and-true samplers into his Serato Studio workflow, using his beloved SP-404MKII as his MIDI controller and making use of the Stems feature to gain access to samples without having to use additional plugins. The result is a trimmed down workflow that offers greater flexibility and spontaneity.