Timbaland chats to Justin Timberlake about how they produced some of their greatest songs: “He started humming and I’m like ‘Oh, this is it. He the one. Like Neo.’”

Timbaland has released his first drum kit sample pack, available exclusively to annual members of his Beatclub platform. This features sounds from his enviable back catalogue of hit records.

Drums created during the sessions for Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds album are among those included, as are sounds that were made for projects by Jay-Z, Missy Elliott and Aaliyah.

Known as Bounce Coming Up, the pack features hundreds of samples - snares, hi-hats, 808s, beatboxing, percussion and more.

“I’m happy I can finally share my sounds with everyone from some of my biggest hits over the years,” says Timbaland. “I look forward to hearing what ya’ll make!”

A Timbaland Beatclub Edition of Akai Pro’s MPC Live II is also in the works, and one of these is set to be given away to the winner of Beatclub’s How To Bounce challenge, which requires you to submit a beat that was made with the soundpack. This signature MPC will contain all Beatclub soundpacks, the Timbaland drum kit and an exclusive Beatclub boot-up screen.

In celebration of the pack’s launch, Beatclub has released a video of Timbaland in conversation with Justin Timberlake, in which the pair discuss some of their greatest moments in the studio.

Timberlake recalls that, at the age of 13 and having heard Timbaland’s work, he vowed that he was going to work with him in the future. “I don’t know if you believe in manifestation out there but I do,” he says.

Discussing the creation of Cry Me A River, one of the highlights of Timberlake’s debut album Justified, Timbaland says that the starting point came when Timberlake walked in and heard him beatboxing. “I think I wrote, sang and did all of the backgrounds [vocals] in Cry Me A River in about two hours, but Tim[baland] had just made the beat for it,” remembers Timberlake. “I don’t know, but that feels like instant chemistry to me.”

Of the same session, Timbaland adds: “I think a high moment for me is when I was in the studio and I was beatboxing, and I had this like [sings beatbox part of Cry Me A River]. And so he [Timberlake] walked in the room. You know, he had this face, it hit him right there and he started humming [the melody]. And I’m like ‘Oh, this is it. He the one. The one one. Like Neo.”

Timberlake goes on to reveal that his sessions for Justified with Timbaland only lasted about a week, but that the pair managed to come up with a song or two a day. At this point, the star had just left NSYNC, and knew that he wanted to make a different kind of album that was more representative of the kind of music that he grew up listening to.

The duo’s working relationship was cemented on FutureSex/LoveSounds, Timberlake’s 2006 follow-up album. That record has a “complete rock ‘n’ roll mentality,” says Timberlake. “We were driving around Miami and we were bumping David Bowie, Billy Idol… we were jamming out, just me and [Timbaland] to White Wedding.”

Discussing the production of the album more specifically, Timberlake reveals that “the first three songs that we did, the first one was What Goes Around… the second one was My Love, and the third one was SexyBack. And, funnily enough, the way the singles came out were in that reverse order. But, to me, those three songs started a sound that I feel went on for, humbly speaking, a whole decade.”

Discussing My Love, Timberlake explains that “If you take out the arpeggiated synth and you just play the drums and Tim’s beatbox it’s almost like the same tempo as one of the old Ginuwine records on The Bachelor or even close to [Aaliyah’s] One In A Million. But that certain element [the synth] made it feel like it shuffled in a different way.”

“My Love, I knew the beat was jammin’, but I was more excited to see [Timberlake’s] approach,” notes Timbaland. “He sang slow, which I wasn’t expecting. Some people would say ‘how do you sing over something that’s moving?’ But he slowed down time on that song.”

Of Sexy/Back, Timberlake says that he knew where his vocal should come in almost instinctively, and that Timabaland’s ‘yeah’ response was equally spontaneous. Expanding on Timbaland’s skills as a producer, Timberlake says that “he’s so locked in with the artist that he knows exactly how to push you to do something that you haven’t quite done but knows that you will fit so perfectly into that framework, and that, in turn, you’ll shine.”

You can watch the full conversation above. An annual membership to Timbaland’s Beatclub costs $180. 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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