Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Unfortunates & Nocturns & The Making of Persephone

Well, first thing is first, no new music posts until next month. Not to say that I am terribly busy, only that my Soundcloud account is entirely out of uploads for this month. Apperantly I lost track or possibly I lost one in the newest build. So there is that (.__.)

On the other hand, this gives me a couple of new opportunities, not the least of which is to use this blog for some actually blogging for once, which is what I guess I'm doing here (such as it is).

Anyway, moving right into it I recently recieved a message from none other than the Audiobooth guy!

Hello bud,
Love this track - alot - and wondered if you ever blogged about 'the making of'?
I'd like to link to it on if so. Really well structured and produced.

Audiobooth is a wicked cool thing and it's super awesome to me that you like my music Mark. Now the idea that interests me even more from this is the "making of" idea, so I think I might actually give this a try. I generally shoot from the hip so much that running through it this way might give me a chance to reflect on the results. The idea that at least one guy would be interested in this sort of thing is motivation enough!

Re-posting this for her pleasure...

The first thing that you should know is that all of my songs are arranged, mixed, and mastered all at once in Live. Basically what you hear in any given song is 4 tracks representing what I call "Lead", the "Bass", "Drums" and finally "Vox" representing, respectively, the Highs, Lows, Low-mids, and High-Mids. All of these go into a couple instances some Modular Software(tm) running what are called "Smart Mixers". It gets pretty technical but basically they are sidechain multiband compressors. What happens is each tracks dominant frequency range pushes down on that range in the other tracks, so they all come in clearly. Moldover pretty much invented the idea, and he explains it better here

ANYWAY on to the track itself!

This song actually represents a load of indecisiveness. Short on ideas I started throwing together riffs and techniques on my various soft synths until I ended up with basically 3 distinct songs with similar foundations to each other. Rather than just pick one I arranged the finished parts into a medley and ran with it. First in a row, and then overlapping the loops into each other.

The song starts with a loop I called "Morse" for obvious reasons. I find it's stunning what you can accomplish with free synths and effects sometimes. In this case 2 instances of the Tal Elec7ro synth both with the Tal Juno chorus effect for added sexy. I use that synth absolutely all the time, it can do just about anything! The Lead line is a bunch of midi clips being triggered at random by Live follow actions.

I've been told that it sounds like a dot matrix printer. I like to imagine a computer lab late at night, the equipment comes to life when no one is around and they perform this music as a musical love story between an old Atari, and an IBM. They were never meant to be. They are not compatable.

Bringing the D&B drums, which I love too much

I like to give all my songs some unity with each other, in this case a faint, filtered french horn blast from an earlier song. "Eat The Sun" I think...

Time to break it down a little bit. Some delay and a beatmashing plugin bring it hard. It's great to be able to trigger all those stutters and reverses by just hitting a drum pad. I used to have to cut them up by hand, which sounds nice, but it's also a pain in the ass.

Part 2 of our story fading in. The Rhodes line for the digital lovers first tender meeting. It sounds like more follow action, but actually isn't, though it IS constructed in a similar way. I made 5 midi clips with 5 different 2 chord notes on a (software) Rhodes and triggered them as I saw fit with the QWERT keys. Then just a little delay and we're done!

I love this bass line. It was a last minute addition before I arranged this. It is a testament to the FACT that rum makes better synth playing. FACT.

Don't every worry about drum fills that are clearly not from the same source. Just ask Portishead.

BREAKDOWN TIME! I love breakdowns because I can abuse my beatmasher. Don't do it too much, or you can grow hair on your palms. This is where the computers are making love by interfacing their serial ports. The lab is alive with lights and paper flying through the air.

4:25 or so
The introduction of our featured vocalist and the namesake of the song. It's some kind of Swedish doll girl or something counting to 4. It was broadcast from Number Station Persephone, the enthusiast name for one of the many mysterious shortwave broadcasts that are theorised to be transmitions to overseas spys. No government has ever admitted to even the existance of so called "Number Stations" so no one actually knows for sure.

The second Rhodes line begins. I made it for a different song that never went anyplace, so I poached it. The computers know that they will soon be moved to different wings of the building. Tragic really.

They are in seperate wings but see each other from across the courtyard, where they long for each other. Starcrossed.

That just about has it. Interesting experience anyway. Me and my friend Abe thought up an idea for a demoscene chiptune musical around that little subplot. Just imagine old computers being pushed around stage, playing 8 bit music and representing emotions with little BASIC hearts and angry faces.

For now then, good night. Let me know if there is anyone that would be interested me doing this kind of thing in the future. I need something else to do until my account refreshes!

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