Xavier Dotson is better known by his music alias Zaytoven. He’s undoubtedly one of the best producers in the game right now and his work reflects that. He has produced for artists like Gucci Mane, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, and Future to name a few. Zaytoven was born in Germany on January 12th, 1980 and has always been passionate about making music. His piano skills may come from his years playing the organ at the church he attends. Watch Zaytoven cook up a beat in front of an audience with only a drum machine and keyboard below to get a gist of this guys talent.
Zaytoven was awarded a Grammy for his work on User’s v. Raymond album and from 2009 to 2015 he helped put out fifteen mixtapes. If you want to talk about hustle, this guy has got it down to a science. In case you were wondering too, his producer name is inspired from the legendary German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. With his skills on the piano it’s no wonder he chose it.
Xaiver’s career really took off as a producer when he began working with Gucci Mane. The two together have made that symbolic producer/rapper duo that many try to emulate today. Zay produced a song for him and Young Jeezy in 2005 called “So Icey” that blew up and placed 23rd on Billboard’s Hot Rap Tracks chart. From there he was able to continually produce for Gucci while networking with other upcoming artists.
Outside of the producing game, Zatoven is married and doesn’t smoke or drink. He regularly attends church and is active in his community. He’s truly a man we should all look up to in the music industry. With that being said, here is a breakdown of what equipment he uses to kill those tracks every time so you can too.
Keyboards Zaytoven Uses
Akai Professional Advance 49 Key Controller
If you have some bills to spend, this is a wise choice. Akai is renowned for their keyboards and the Professional Advance series is no exception. It has incredibly playability, smoothness and no restriction when it comes to manipulating sound. It’s available in 25, 49 and 61 key sizes depending on what you need. With its full color interactive display, you will play keys like you never have before.
- 4.3-inch high-resolution ful lcolor screen with interface buttons.
- Real-time feedback of plugin parameters.
- Virtual instrument preset management, control mapping and multi patch creation with built in software.
- 49 premium velocity sensitive keys for the perfect playing experience.
- 8 large control knobs to tweak your sound just right.
Korg Kronos 61-Key Music Workstation
Korg is another brand that we can’t forget about when it comes to MIDI controllers. Their Kronos series has taken every resource they have and crafted it into the perfect instrument for serious producers. It’s refined, visionary, and features state of the art sound generation. Korg only builds products that are made for the most demanding artists and producers so they deliver nothing but extremely high quality.
- 61-key weighted hammer action keyboard you’ll love playing.
- Huge array of incredible sounds to choose from.
- Top quality effects and sampling that will take your beats to the next level.
- Massive synthesizer engine to create unique sounds.
- Built-in audio interface.
- Already equipped with audio I/O.
- 8 inch touch screen.
- Many different manipulation controllers.
Drum Machines Zaytoven Uses
Akai Professional MPC Renaissance
If you’ve watched Zay produce before then you know he always has a drum machine in front of him. A lot of his best performing tracks were made in under 10 minutes by combining one of these with a MIDI keyboard. All of the pads on them can be synced with sounds whether it’s a drum, synth, or anything in between. You can hit the pads to make any pattern you want a record it on the MPC or into a work station. The Akai Professional Renaissance is one of Xaiver’s favourites.
- Included MPC software allows you to connect your computer to this drum machine for the perfect workflow.
- 9+ GB of sounds included already so you can instantly start making music.
- 16 Genuine MPC pads, 16 touch sensitive Q-Link controls with note repeat and swing functions.
- XLR-1/4-Inch combo inputs and dedicated turntable inputs let you sample anything.
- Integrated with a 4-channel USB 2.0 audio interface and 2-port USB 2.0 hub.
- Keep your studio connected with its 2 MIDI inputs, 4 MIDI outputs, and S/PDIF I/O.
Akai Professional MPC Studio
This is a much more affordable MPC you can get your hands on that features an ultra slim profile and light build. It’s easy to play on and take around if you travel. It has a brushed aluminum body which creates a beautiful appearance along with sleek buttons and knobs.
- Powerful tool to have in a home studio.
- Compact and light design.
- MPC software with 128-track sequencing capability.
- 16 backlit genuine MPC pads.
- USB-powered so you can plug it in and use.
- Large LCD screen for easy use.
- Four touch-sensitive knobs.
Software Zaytoven Uses
Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2
As a hip hop producer myself, I can vouch for Omnisphere’s incredible power. If you have ever used Nexus or similar synth plugins then you will be blown away by this VST. It features over 50 gigabytes of 10,000+ sounds that will make you wonder why you even used other plugins besides Omnisphere. It’s made for elite producers, sound designers, and engineers. There is an enhanced arpeggiator, 25 new effects with manipulable attributes, advanced browsing, and other things you just have to see for yourself. All of the best producers are using this VST right now because it is truly one of the best you can get your hands on.
- The synth osicllator has over 400 new DSP waveforms compared to the original Omnisphere.
- More than 3,000 new patches and soundsources to give you any sound you want.
- Clean user interface that is easy to use and navigate.
- Audio import capabilities so you can use your own samples.
Native Instruments Komplete 11 Select Software Suite
If you’re in search of a great bang-for-your-buck product, it has to be Komplete 11. It takes all of their best products and combines it into one for less than 80% of the combined cost. They have carefully selected the best drums, synths, and other samples to put them all together in one amazing VST. It’s truly everything you need in a plugin like this.
- 11 products with over 2,500 sounds, and over 25 GB of instruments/effects.
- Includes MASSIVE, REAKTOR PRISM, SCARBEE MARK 1, SOLID BUS COMP, DRUMLAB, THE GENTLEMAN, VINTAGE ORGANS, MONARK, RETRO MACHINES MK2, WEST AFRICA, REPLIKA
- You save over 80% of the combined cost of all these individual products.
Image Line FL Studio 12 Producer Edition
Who isn’t using Fruity Loops these days? I know I do and you should too because it’s fun and easy to learn. Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz, and many mainstream producers including Zaytoven are using FL studio as their main workstation because of its flexibility, power, and ease of use. Everything from composing, arranging, recording, editing, mixing and mastering is all available to you.
- Features include audio editing, manipulation, pitch correction, pitch shifting, harmonization, timestretching, BPM detection, sample slicing, audio warping and more.
- Simultaneously capture all the inputs on your audio-interface.
- Includes over 32 software synthesizers already built into it.
We hope you enjoyed our report on Zaytoven’s producer setup. He’s one of the best musicians that gracing the hip hop world at the moment. If you want to step up your game, consider getting some of the equipment and software he uses himself.