Weekly Music Project - Song #11

March 18, 2014

A brief escape from rainy Portland last week allowed (forced?) me to work in a new environment with a very slimmed down mobile setup. The results are not terribly different from what I often record in my home studio, but the process was indeed new to me, and took some patience to get going. Mixing solely on headphones is never my preferred method but nevertheless I'm happy to report that this week's song turned out better than expected. Enjoy!

It's good to be back home but I'll sure miss that California sunshine. I'll keep this one brief, as the production of the song itself was rather quick and to the point.

Armed with only a modest mobile studio setup - comprised of the HP laptop, MOTU Track 16 audio interface, Korg nanoKey, Tascam recorder, and my trusty AKG headphones - I set out to record a slow, brooding ambient piece. I first captured some field recordings of the playground sounds echoing from a nearby school, as well as some subtle ambience and chirping birds from the area. Putting to use a heavy dose of reverb, a few lesser-used software instruments, lots of volume automation, and some subtle percussion, we end up with a moody, nicely-evolving piece topping 7 minutes in length!

This is not a format I'm completely used to working with, but I must say I'm quite happy with the results.

Key equipment/software used for production:

- Tascam DR-2d digital recorder
- Korg nanoKey
- AKG Q 701 headphones
- Native Instruments FM8 plug-in
- Boscomac Air Piano Reaktor ensemble
- Novation V-Station plug-in
- Native Instruments Maschine MKI
- ValhallaDSP ValhallaRoom plug-in

Key: F# minor
BPM: 108
Time Signature: 4/4

For the curious, this is what the contents of my mobile studio backpack looked like: