For nearly 2 weeks I have been working on a new sound. This is how it usually begins. I have a broad idea based around a sound or a rhythm I have in my head, I choose sounds close to what I want and then tweak the living hell out of them like Christian Grey probably does to his nips (I don’t really know what I’m talking about there, I’ve never read her bloody book haha!). This time however as I clicked through some presets I found a bell sound that tickled my ivory.
Using that sound on its own would have been lazy. I’d just been reminding myself about some of Live 9’s features on delaying when notes or sounds are played (Seriously, this is what is really wonderful about modern production – tutorials are free and they are plenty!), usually this is to add a little human element back into a track. But I had another idea – what if I could create a musicbox effect? Not only that but pan everything out as a stereo field? This sounds simple but what you end up with is a group of instruments and delay lines adjusted by a factor of milliseconds, those individual instruments panned, eq’d, remerged with lightly used compression and some very subtle reverb applied.
I chose some of the rhythms simply because they were not a simple 4/4 time signature. Two of the tunes are in 5/4, Sequence itself is actually in 4/4 but is spread out enough with a slightly complicated arpeggio arrangement to hopefully trick your ears. The beats were also put through some deep audio manipulation after arrangement. You split the signal with an audio rack in live and then send bands of frequencies to its own line of distortions, compression etc.
Sometimes I admit it is easier to simply use presets. And I have in the past. But there is this little voice in the back of my head that says, or more demands, “what the hell would this sound like through that?!” I learned from The Beatles as a kid that music could be an exploration of its own right.
And another thing I learned from Lennon was this: he dreamed of a time where you could write, produce and release in the same time frame. We now live in those times. What with the technological power of the internet we now face another thing entirely – simply getting out music heard in the first place. There are so many great voices vying for attention, so many music websites, and so much music out there waiting to be discovered!