Weekly Music Project - Song #16

April 21, 2014

Make sure your subwoofers are powered on for this one, and check back next week for a return to our regular programming with a gentle Rhodes-based piece I have in the works:

I like to make pretty music. I like when people like my pretty music. This is not that music.

Okay, okay…this one still has some of my usual sparkly melodic elements, but we're primarily dealing with heavy synth bass and glitch-filled drum components here. These are sounds that I often enjoy despite generally steering clear of anything in the dubstep category when producing my own material. I thought it was time to dabble in this realm and, as per usual when attempting such a thing, the results are fairly off the mark but interesting nonetheless.

We start with bass. Thickly-layered, distorted synth bass from the inspiring Alchemy instrument. This sound twists into new forms as automation moves through variations via the "remix pad"; presets within a preset, if you will. Further modulating this already-complex sound is Image-Line's Gross Beat effect which handles buffer-based stutter and rhythmic gating duties. There's a lot going on with this bass, but let's move onto the drums!

My new favorite weapon this year has got to be combination of BreakTweaker and Maschine for drum programming. These tools both have unique strengths and always seem to work incredibly well with each other, occupying different sonic spaces due to the unique sample libraries and synth engines within. These drum sequencers perform in tandem, routed to a common bus to share a compressor and The Finger glitch effect. Using the 'Kaffine' preset and heavy mod-wheel automation, I record several passes of glitch madness throughout the track. This leaves us with a bit of room for the melodic elements including an arpeggiated Retrologue synth, a somber melody from Phonec, and a heavily-distorted lead line from Kairatune. That's a wrap, and I'm off to my Easter feast!

Key equipment/software used for production:

- Camel Audio Alchemy synth plug-in
- Steinberg Retrologue synth plug-in
- Futucraft Kairatune synth plug-in
- Psychic Modulation Phonec synth plug-in
- Image-Line Gross Beat effect plug-in
- Native Instruments The Finger effect plug-in
- iZotope BreakTweaker plug-in
- Native Instruments Maschine MKI
- ValhallaDSP ValhallaRoom plug-in

Key: E minor
BPM: 84
Time Signature: 4/4

And a quick peek behind the scenes as I work out some arpeggio chords: