Weekly Music Project - Song #20

May 21, 2014

Music has always impacted me in profound ways, and it has a unique way of tagging memories with its sonic imprint such that they bubble up years later feeling more real than ever. Certain sounds or songs can trigger a memory and all the nostalgia surrounding it before you even realize what's happening. It is this magical quality that compels me to consume and create music endlessly.

Give this week's song a listen and perhaps create a new memory of your own:

This week's inspiration: big, bendy synth melodies, and the memory of summers past. Layers of reverb-laden synth chords glide in and out of tune using some simple automation of LFO modulation on the V-Synth's oscillator pitch, and we quickly arrive at my next favorite element: the drums.

The first triplet kick drum pattern comes from the tried and true Maschine MK I with its version 1 software, and the next glitch-filled pattern from the always-inspiring BreakTweaker. But what comes next is a bit different; the shaker rhythm and pitch-modulating claps come from the fantastic new drum synth engines in the Maschine 2.0 software, sequenced and automated from my shiny new Maschine Studio controller. This thing is huge, both literally and figuratively. Seeing that I only had it for three days before having to wrap up this song, it didn't exactly get the workout it deserved. But I'll be diving deeper next time and look forward to the wonderful new sounds and performances I can get from this impressive hardware/software combo.

I'll wrap this one up sooner than later, as the other song elements hopefully speak for themselves and come at you from the usual assortment of instruments in my collection. Phonec provides an excellent lead line and the beautiful bass arpeggio for the outro, and the Eos reverb is in full effect all over the place. I enjoyed recording this one immensely, and hope the nostalgic vibe of its melodies and arrangement resonate with you. For now, I have to get back to experimenting with that new Maschine machine.

Key equipment/software used for production:

- Novation V-Station synth plug-in
- Psychic Modulation Phonec synth plug-in
- iZotope BreakTweaker drum plug-in
- Native Instruments Maschine Studio
- Audio Damage Eos effect plug-in

Key: C# Major
BPM: 79
Time Signature: 4/4

And a look behind the scenes at a few phases of writing and recording this one, starting with the makeshift backyard studio setup:


Lights out...


Maschine Studio's glowing lights: