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:

Novation Launchpad

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!!

Geist

 

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.

After hearing great reviews about the touchAble app for the ipad, I have been looking forward to getting my hands on one to trial and have finally had the opportunity. It sounds like a possible contender to my novation launchpad, or indeed the need for an Akai APC40.

So first for those of you who do not know what the touchAble app is all about, here is a quick description: Read the rest of this entry »

So at last here it is:

 

It’s taken longer than I expected to do the mixdown on this one, mainly due to the fact that the distorted bassline in the second section of the track ended up becoming quite complex in the lower end. I sorted this out with a high pass filter to take the offending lower frequencies out and replaced it with another synth line. I am much happier with the outcome, so it was worth it 🙂

The Kosmos is near

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Destination B Music

So the track is nearly completed and will be uploaded in the next few days.

Hopefully you will think it was worth the wait 🙂

Over the weekend I finished another track, called “Kosmos”, or so I thought!!

I must admit, I was very happy with myself that I had achieved a very good mix so quickly. So I headed down the pub on Saturday night, armed with my ipod to test it out on friends. I was very surprised to find that it went down really well, especially because the friends I tried it out on are not hardcore Drum n Bass fans. I was a bit worried that they would find the distorted bassline towards the end of the track  too much for them, but this did not seem to be the case.

At this point I was still well happy, it sounded great on the ipod, studio monitors and hi-fi, but then I had a listen in the car. Ahhhh, my worst nightmare, it sounded crap. The bass kick was punching that hard, it was going to put a hole in the car doors and the distorted highs on the bassline (yep a weird mid-bass with gnarly highs) had fallen into the background of the mix. Oh no, back to the drawing board.

On Sunday, I worked on the mix, splitting the Bass track into two parts, applying a bit of EQ and changing the compression settings. I made plenty of mixes and got it sounding much better in the car, but I soon started to realise that I was not happy with one of the basslines ,so I decided to watch a bit of TV and then sleep on it.

The next morning I listened to the track again with a fresh set of ears, and yep I’m still sure that there is an issue with the second bassline. I am though really liking the track, it is designed to become gradually more and more aggressive and distorted, really pushing the boundaries. But it is this nature of the track, that makes it a very tiring process to mix, as your brain can only take so much distortion played back over several hours. That’s why I will have at least a day off, before I go back to the mix again. This will allow me to listen to it with a fresh perspective.

Oh yeah and I forgot to say, I found a fantastic vocal sample that I have used in the track. I am really looking forward to sending my final mix to the guy who originally sampled his voice. His voice does not now sound anything like the original sample, so it will be interesting to see his response, lol.

I also added a new rising, rushing sound towards the end of the break section of the track to provide a build up of anticipation to the coming change.  I knew what sound I was after and thought that I had heard similar sound presets before.  After searching through the preset lists of some of my software synthesizers, I decided it would be much quicker to make the sound myself. To create the sound I used one of my bread and butter synths, Native Instruments Massive. To be honest, I should have done this from the start, as it did not take me long to make the sound, certainly a lot less time than  it took me to search through presets anyway.

So this it what happens when you are smug with yourself too quickly, lol, I was hoping to have uploaded the finished track to soundcloud over the weekend, but now it looks as though it will be a couple of more weeks away. It’s all fun though, part of the journey 🙂

I am currently working on three new tracks.

The first one due to be finished, will be a DnB track, but with a very twisted, distorted and heavily modulated bassline. The main parts of the track are finished, but I need to source some nice samples and I am thinking of providing an atmospheric start to the track. I am not totally sure about the atmospheric start though, as I have another tune that definitely deserves an eerie start to it.  I am also thinking about maybe mashing up the beats a little bit more. Then of course I need to mix it down!!

I am really looking forward to feedback on this track, as the bassline really is quite unique!!

 

 

I like the idea of being able to get samples for free, without worrying about copyright infringement and so decided to add a few links. I use these websites myself and licence my music under the Creative Commons Licence so that people can sample them without any worry, but you must give the artist credit or pay up if it goes commercial. But hey that’s fair enough, so if you use any samples from the free sample sites, then do your bit and upload samples yourself, put something back into the community.

Whilst I was at it, I decided to also list a few companies that I own hardware or software from, and also a list of forums that I have found useful.

Check it out at www.destinationb.co.uk