Happy 2015. I hope the start of the new year finds you well and vice versa. As predicted, the start of 2015 has jumped off, music production-wise, as expected. Most of you know, the debut release by AfterSix Productions (Dan and I) What Love Is, is available on Bandcamp, another CD recording project for the band I play in, Divine Intervention, is underway, I’m tightening up some tracks for a show that will be “airing” on FB this quarter, along with a few other things. This post, obviously, as about the upcoming release: Halcyon Sky – The Regrooves EP.
This morning I had a great conversation with one of the remixers about the status of the remix he’s working on for the project. He began to tell me about how this opportunity really stretched his ability as a producer, made him realize the criticality of how he sees his work, wanting to make sure the vibe of the track fit the essence of the project, etc. These things were not foreign to me at all because I’ve often had the same thoughts when produce music to be used in other capacity, let alone just listened to and hopefully enjoyed by the masses.
Within the discussion I had learned the track was already delivered to me on New Year’s Eve, but I hadn’t checked my email to know it was even there. I shared that a big aspect of releasing Halcyon Sky was to meet my own deadline and achieve the goal or releasing the product as planned. The remixer also shared that it was a driving factor in getting it to me when he did but like all conscientious artists, he is very critical of his work. I asked him if he wanted more time to submit a new track. He accepted but asked me to listen to what he had submitted first. I assured him I would, but that I was certain I’d like it because of the time I took to listen to all this particular artist had shared on IG videos, YouTube videos in terms of music snippets he’s composed. In addition, his posts showed his passion for creating music in the genre he likes most – all that played a part in me choosing him for the project.
Thirteen hours later, I finally remembered to check the mail for the track and give it a listen. As I thought…I was 100% spot on. I’m feelin’ the vibe of this track and cant wait to release it on the project. In case you’re reading this bruh….much thanks (I know you got my text message already! ha!)
Sunday night, 9:43pm. As usual, where did the weekend go? It seems like a long minute since I posted. This is probably do to a simple necessity of replacing a dying hard drive in my studio computer. What’s the correlation to not posting? The correlation (reasoning, whatever) is due to the fact that not only did I get it replaced (on Black Friday no doubt), but had to spend day after day reinstalling not just the OS software, but music production software I mostly had backed up to DVD, or frim the original DVD. In 2014, as in other applications of software, many installs are done from the cloud and with a not so spiffy wireless connection, the entire process became too tedious. In addition, add another long desired unit to the production arsenal (one that also need software installation and updates from the cloud), the Maschine Mk2, and time to at least play with it, and there you have about three weeks of time taken up.
So, what’s the deal with the Regrooves EP? I’ve heard one of the remixes that will appear on the project and I *like it*. The concept for the remix I’m providing actually (finally) came to me today (why great inspiration always finds me in the shower is how is for another story, another time!)
As mentioned in an earlier post, this will be a five track EP and the remixer artists I’ve chosen to participate have already released their own tracks, so from what I’ve heared them release, I’ll looking forward to manifestation of their interpretations on the tracks I’ve assigned to them
In any event, I may leak the track names in the next post (wink).
I just finished the final base arrangement of the mix. Added a little track automation to the acappella track, as well as a jazzy guitar riff towards the end. I tend to like using a nice combination of a clean tone with just the right delay on it. Here’s a screenshot of the arrange window:
Leveraging technology today, for creative purposes. is really quite easy. As Bill commented on the last update post here, it allows worldwide collaboration no matter where the participants are, or what time of day (or night it is). Some of you know of the collaboration by me (DC), Todd Kelley (Cali), and Fave (Houston), namely Cross Country Collective.
Another thing that helps is to know the tools you’re working with. In this case, I use Logic Studio (Logic Pro 8), and Bill is using Logic Express 9. Same software but as usual, an “express: version of software usually has less functionality than a full version, but in this case, I put together the session such that he could import it into his version and nothing would be lost…pretty much the same process used for the C3 EP (with Todd and Fave using Logic Studio 9).
It’s off to Bill C in NYC…handle it, bruh! Stay tuned for the birth sometime this week.
Below is a short video on the status of the remix. This is a collab between me and Bill Cammack.
In the last update, I had just started chopping up samples from the timestretched vocal acappella. Analyzing the acappella is where I always start. Knowing the BPM is always helps, but if that isn’t readily available, you could always import the original track and use Logic’s BPM counter to determine what that is. Here’s a video he did on beat mapping for this remix:
There are a few ways to timestretch an audio file. What I find easiest to do (without using any external plugins) is to use Logic’s Time and Pitch Machine. Once you know what the BPM is of the original audio file, you enter the new BPM, and let Time and Pitch Machine run the Complex algorithm selection to stretch (or sometimes called time compress) the audio to the BPM you want use. The Complex algorithm setting seems to work the best in dealing with any problems from any audio aliasing resulting from the time stretching.
From that point it was adding some other elements from my sample library and arranging how I wanted them to be. My thought, throughout, was to have the mix include some dynamics to it…in terms of audio effects, at minimum (after all, this IS a dance club remix). THe first thing was to incorporate some delay on the samples. This is pretty much where I ended up going, while keeping focus on how I wanted the drum track to be.
Fast forward to some back and forth discussions with Bill on FB, and a collaboration was born. Bill has a good working knowledge of just not Ultrabeat, but Logic in general. I sent him an mp3 snippet of what I had so far and we went to work on it! The video clip below gives a lil background on how it’s been going so far.
Day 2 – Ok, I have the first two tracks kickin’ off this tune. I know that at some point, I’ll probably chop the vocals up, and some track automation, etc. As mentioned in the audio clip above, I’m thinking of some specific vocal samples to add, if I can find them. For this version of the remix (I will probably do three max), I’ll maintain the original tempo.
I’m using a standard software Apple loop for the basis of the drum track, but may program my own at a later day…I’ll see how the overall track flows….
Day 1. About to get started on this remix. I always begin my gathering all the audio stems for the foundation. As said in the audio clip above, that usually is at least the vocal accapellas and the instrumental, if need be. I’ve got the BPM so…it’s time get started.