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Sunday, 13 July 2014

10th Week - Putin (375th Song)

After getting out all my feelings with the "Letter to fans" I can restart a new cycle now.  This is the first song of this one. I invited Dan to make some music taking advantage of that he came from London for holidays. You know him. He's been my musical partner so many times, and always getting great results. I've been working in some ideas these days and everything's flowing. I can say that I am again motivated to make music and becoming addicted to mixing and tracking.

It's curious how the song was developing from a starting idea, which is the background guitar at the end of the song. Dan was playing it just messing around with the guitar. We decided to record it in a loop and see what this would take us to, and we witnessed the creative process of the song. Firstly we stacked a piano phrase on it, we added a marimba to it, then a drum groove that I played, then a bass line and we got a good "trip-hop" track to work with. I didn't want to work on lyrics now, it'd take a lot of time and I preferred to take advantage of Dan's visit so I came with this idea of distorting the voice a lot so the voice wouldn't be intelligible. To explain this to him I covered my mouth with my hand, pegged my nose and started to rap without saying anything, this brought us the idea of making it sound like a megaphone. So we recorded my voice and worked on getting that specific sound. We also spent some time playing with effects and artefacts until the point we got addicted to it and couldn't stop. He also sung some improvised lines, which would be carefully selected later at the edition stage to take the best from the song.


I only used mics for voice and guitar. My Rhode NT-1 for both of them. We recorded many takes of the guitar sound just moving the mic some centimetres from the speaker each time til we found a one that sounded nice.


One of the things that I'm not very used to yet is to aim for a particular kind of sound. Generally speaking yeah, but when going to individual instruments is very difficult to me. This gets more frustrating when I'm working with drums, which is my instrument, and I don't know what kind of sound would fit well with the song. I've spent so much time working on grooving and dynamics and technique and how to make the kit sound as I love (very full, round and a bit flappy) in all these years but I haven't been enough aware of how to create different sounds for different kinds of music, so this is something that I'm going to work harder from now on.

I mixed it taking a lot of the ideas that Dan gave to me in the pre-mix. We discover some cool plugins, like Morphoder by Waves, which is a very funny vocoder, it's perceptible on your left speaker if you pay attention carefully, it's almost like a cacophony following the voices speech. We used the Rotor Cabinet from Logic on drums (I remove a lot amount of it for the mix cause I didn't find a way to make it sound cool). We also used a pitch shifter to put an extra voice track an octave below, this became an important piece of the song as we let this voice to show up leading the song.  Finally I think I did a lot of great job with equalization, finding spaces for all the instruments, as well the effects on the background guitar is very cool, I spent a lot of time breaking my brain to get something usable as it sounded to harsh and annoying.


This song has taught me a lot of the flow work and how working with other creative people can lead you to places that you wouldn't imaging to would go towards. It's a good feeling, just to go to somewhere that alone would be impossible, it's like getting out of your house getting in a friend's one and tour it trying to understand how's his life in it and why he does place certain things in specific spots, which make you think about himself as individual and how different is his mind than yours.

Enjoy it!

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