Weekly Music Project - Song #37

September 15, 2014

Time for another vacation tune, this time produced on the iPad from Mexico's beautiful Yucatán Peninsula (hashtag PDX2MX …!). We traverse two distinct movements, beginning with a dense blend of synth layers, oddly-distorted General MIDI drums, and a field recording of our flight from Dallas to Cancun.

Most of our instrumentation comes from the built-in Cubase sampler HALion Sonic SE, simply due to convenience/necessity in the Cubasis mobile app. We round out the mix with Choir, Strings, Bass, and Percussion… although I had to replace the "e-piano" sample with my preferred LazySnake plug-in for the main chord progression, which has a cool synthesized Rhodes tone. Automation is the name of the game here, with volume, delay time, and reverb mix providing movement throughout the first half.

But then the layers fade, and focus is placed on the sound of jet engines taking us off the runway and towards a foreign land. So let's cue up a new drum pattern, this time more bass-heavy and full of skittering hi-hats and filtered delay gestures. That familiar electric piano returns with a custom arpeggio combined with layers of the Phonec synth passed through plenty of Valhalla reverb, swelling to a peak before giving way to the sounds of gentle splashing in the courtyard pool directly adjacent to my mobile studio setup on a beautiful Mérida evening.

Key equipment/software used for production:

- Steinberg HALion Sonic SE sampler plug-in
- Ers LazySnake electric piano plug-in
- Native Instruments Maschine Studio
- ValhallaDSP Room & Shimmer reverb plug-ins

Key: C Major
BPM: 96.8
Time Signature: 4/4