Weekly Music Project - Song #14

April 10, 2014

Maybe the sunny weather got to me, or maybe I've been holed up in the rehearsal space prepping for a Pinscape show... either way, I have clearly not been spending enough time on World Wide Web duties. But after the dust settled a bit from the Winter Phase album release last week, I of course made time for another weekly song. Give this one a spin:

After a successful release of the first phase of this project I'm more than ready to move into the next chapter, which also coincides with the best season to enjoy in Portland: Spring. It seemed a suitable occasion to dust off my jangly no-name acoustic guitar and get to work; first on the couch to write some parts, and then ultimately to the dark basement to begin tracking.

I'm not going to embellish my guitar-playing skills as they are amateur at best, and this quirky guitar isn't much help in the playability or tone departments. But nevertheless, I'm a sucker for a unique sound regardless of conventions. This thing fit the bill, and a few recording sessions in front of the condenser mic followed by some liberal slicing and dicing in Cubase resulted in a very cool chord progression with a tonal quality of its own, livened up with the granular shimmer of one SaltyGrain plug-in. Time for the beats.

A simple kick and snare rhythm popped into my head, which I immediately recorded in from my Maschine controller. Another 20-minutes of adjusting, layering, and effecting the samples got me to the big, in-your-face drum sequence presented here. The bass line fell into place with recent favorite ARP Omni-emulating synth "The Chiller", and the arpeggiated sequence comes from the ever-ubiquitous V-Station.

The second segment of the song takes a softer turn, breaking down to just guitar and synth bass before building up with some grittier textures. I recorded this distorted pad sound live from my Roland V-Synth which has some great built-in overdrive and amp modeling effects. We return with a stripped down drum beat with more glitch elements coming from the Replicant buffer effect, and gently fade off into the sunset.

Key equipment/software used for production:

- No-name black & white acoustic guitar
- Studio Projects C1 condenser mic
- Novation V-Station instrument plug-in
- Roland V-Synth keyboard
- Boscomac The Chiller Reaktor instrument
- SampleSumo SaltyGrain effect plug-in
- Native Instruments Maschine MKI
- ValhallaDSP ValhallaRoom effect plug-in
- Audio Damage Eos effect plug-in
- Audio Replicant effect plug-in

Key: A Major
BPM: 87
Time Signature: 4/4