So, its all been a bit quiet here lately on my blog. This has been due to a couple of things, mainly changing jobs and also the photography course I have been doing for the last 6 months (still got more ahead of me).
I have though put my new photography & photoshop skills to good use and made a Destination B image for my music.
My latest tune is basically finished, so just need to get around to sorting out the final mix. So I hope the wait has been worth it, in the meantime here is my Destination B image. Do you like it?? If so leave a comment
Due to the complex nature of the bass lines I write, I often use soft synths such as Native Instruments Massive. The soft synth realm allows you to modulate and twist up sounds to your hearts content, with DAW’s such as Ableton Live providing ultra flexibility. So I surprised myself, just over a year ago when I bought my first hardware synth, the Moog Slim Phatty.
I was in my local synth store (Production Room, Leeds) and one of the guys said “Hey Keith, check this out, you will love it”, and there it was, a Moog Slim Phatty. I must admit at first I was thinking “Are these guys nuts, it’s a Moog, it’s just for prog rock guys, have you forgot that I do dnb?”. Once I played it though, and the speaker cones started shaking, I was like “Wow I need one of these!!!”.
So now back to the current time line, I want to share with you my experience with this synth for Modern Electronic Dance Music production. Read the rest of this entry »
In most forms of modern music compression is of great importance, especially dance music, where it is often used as an effect in addition to being used for traditional compression.
In the past, I have tried out compressor plug-ins, but had never got the “wow” factor, certainly not enough “wow” to make me spend $99. But this has changed with, Cytomic The Glue. I had one of them rare moments, when suddenly your productions improve through the introduction of a new toy.
A quick intro
The Glue is based on the SSL Bus Compressor, so the first thing you will want to know is, does it sound like a real one? Well I have to admit, I have not got a clue, as I don’t own a hardware SSL Bus Compressor, but I can say that it does impart some very pleasing warmth to your productions and has a magic ability to balance things out nicely, but more on that later.
As it is based on Hardware, the user interface is laid out in a nice easy to understand classic design. This also means that unlike with some modern software compressors, you are a bit more limited with your settings, for example set release times. But I found this not to be a problem, as the settings seem to have nice sweet spots. (I’m sure this is the same with the hardware). I also found the display showing the gain reduction to be nice and clear.
In Use Read the rest of this entry »
At last, after a nice break in Dusseldorf I am back in the UK & back on track for my next tune.
The track is heading down the Neurofunk/Darkstep sub-genre of Drum & Bass, and is definatley going to be on the darker side of things. I am currently developing some patches in the Native Instruments Massive Synth and collecting some samples, both vocal snippets & dark textures.
As mentioned, Native Instruments Massive is going to provide the basis of the twisted sounds, that will be then bounced down into Audio and further processed. But, as I also love the analog sound, I may try to include into the tune some sounds from either my Moog Slim Phatty or the amazing soft synth U-he Diva.
Talking about the Diva synth, I downloaded this a couple of weeks ago & I have got to say that it eats up your CPU, but it is worth it for the sound. This is the first soft synth that I have heard that sounds like real analog to me. I have put similar settings into my Moog as the Diva, and it is hard to tell the difference, as Diva does sound very analog. U-he does seem to have got the algorythms right on Diva, you really get the analog drifting effect. After I have spent plenty of time with Diva I will write a thorough review on it. The full review may be some time yet though, as I will only review something once I have used it for a good length of time, which means in the future there will also be reviews on Focal Solo Studio Monitors (I’m loving them), Cytomic The Glue Compressor and my Moog Slim Phatty.
My creative juices now seem to be flowing again, although I am still locked into sound design mode. I suppose though this is one of the great things about Electronic Music, if you are stuck in a rut in production, then move to sound design, to keep things fresh, never a boring moment.
Talking about boring moments, I have been trying to write some dubstep beats, but so far am just not enjoying writing them. I fancied doing some dubstep hoping that it will allow me greater creative freedom, not with the beats, but with the rest of the composition. But I am missing than DnB feel of the beats, I am sure I will get around to doing a pure dubstep tune at some point, but for now, the time is just not right (that may change tomorrow though, lol).
I went to the peace in the park festival at Sheffield over the weekend (a great free festival for charity www.peaceinthepark.org.uk ) , which was great, and it certainly gave me a bit of a kick to want to play music in a live scenario, so I had better buckle up and get writing some tunes!!!
So if you are a producer, do you flirt between sound design & song arrangement mode?
Posted: May 9, 2012 in Destination B Music
Since my last tune Frozen, I have had a creative block, so instead of making music, I have been spending my time messing around setting up my new pair of speakers.
After listening to some tunes in the car, I decided perhaps I should play around with some Dubstep for a change, so started making some beats. But things were still not flowing, so I changed tactic, back to Sound Design.
Over the last week I have been trying out different ideas on sound design ranging from Trance Chords to Screaming Dubstep leads, in fact describing the patch as “screaming” does not do it justice, it is better described as downright filthy!!
I was thinking, this time it will be different, I fancy a change, lets do some Dubstep, but semi chilled (for me that is) with some Trance, but it seems that this lead patch may be taking control and leading me down the dirty path again (I just cant stop myself).
So what music food shall I serve you up, a Happy Meal or Mc Filthy??? Or are you greedy and want a serving of both??
It’s not exciting, it does not have flashing lights, but it in my experience it has been the best investment for my studio, so here is why….
I have always struggled, like many producers, with trying to get the low end to translate well across different systems. I have done many a mix where I have mixed on my monitors, checked on headphones, then gone to the car, then my hi-fi and found that the bass level either sounds too loud, or too weak. So you just keep going from house to the car and back again, and again and again and again, for weeks on end. So much so that your neighbours start twitching at the curtains, wondering why the hell the strange guy next door keeps going to the car to listen to music for a few minutes, disappears then keeps repeating the process. Read the rest of this entry »
So here it is, my first track featuring my new Moog Slim Phatty hardware synthesizer.
The Slim Phatty is well suited to Electro, so I thought “lets mix the electro sound with Dnb!!!!!”. As you can hear the bass sounds pretty dirty, which was made possible by using the Overload control on the Slim Phatty, sweet!
I must admit when I first bought the Moog Slim Phatty I was a bit worried about it sounding a bit dated, as most examples of the Moog are with bearded guys playing prog rock. Obviously there was no need to be worried, with the overload it sounds awesome and to be honest, it is how you play it that makes it sound old or cutting edge.
I hope you enjoy the track!!
When I first got into music production I had my heart set on an Korg Electribe, I wanted hardware, but the nice guys at the Production Room Shop in Leeds suggested that I try out a Launchpad at a fraction of the price, and use the free software that came with it, Ableton Live. What great advice it was, as I found the Launchpad (and Ableton Live) was a great introduction to music production, great fun & shaped the way I make music.
So I thought a Launchpad review was in order, as it has been so instrumental to how I make my music.
Right, first a quick overview:
The Novation Launchpad is a 64 button USB powered midi controller (no power cable required) and comes with Ableton Live (music production software). You can use each of the buttons to trigger loops (clips) in Ableton Live, pan, change the volume, add effects, programme beats, the list goes on. It feels well-built and the buttons have a nice feel to them.Lets now go into a bit more detail on its functions:
Launching clips and Scenes
I have got to say that the launchpad is excellent for Launching clips and scenes. Basically the Launchpad Grid copies what’s on your screen, indicated by a red box on your Ableton Live Set (whatever is within this box, is displayed on the launchpad). It works pretty flawlessly with the Launchpad providing coloured feedback on the state of each clip (playing, recording, stopped). Read the rest of this entry »
Ok, Ok, I have not really seen a Geist, but I have been messing around with Geist, which is a drum machine/sampler. As Geist is the absolute dogs for chopping up samples, I chopped up an Amen break and layered it with Kick’s and Snares, and hey presto, inspiration for a new track . I’m not really sure where this track is heading yet, I am trying to decide between making it mega evil & dirty, or just spicing it up with some analog juice. Either way, one thing that I am definitely going to do, is chop that break up even more, or to be more precise, sample my newly made beat and slice it up again, sweet!!
I must admit, Geist, really is a fantastic Drum Sampler and it gives me the workflow that I want. I know most producers these days have started using Native Instruments Maschine, which I have played with, and its cool, but I just find it easier and quicker to use a mouse. But hey stop………I’m not going to do a review on Geist yet, lol, I will leave that for another day.