Mawturous-EFC Challenge March 2014
Software: WaveLab LE7, ReCycle 2.1, Reason 4.0.1 build 973
Time to complete: approx 5 days [one day thinkin about it; 3 full days + 2 half days]. I am notoriously slow.
Samples cut down & reversed in wavelab. Some samples were normalised, maybe one or two, not many. The only sound sources are those of the supplied samples, as laid out in the rules.
RX2 files created in ReCycle; different versions, sliced and not sliced. Slice boundries placed with impunity for some samples; Piano sample and voices had to be placed respecting sound amplitude.
Reason: This piece consists of 26 tracks.
The rack included:
22 Dr.Rex Loop players (these were the only samplers used, I used no other sound generation or sampler devices);
20 MClass Compressors;
3 thor synths (audio input only- mainly used for delay and one filter);
3 RV7000 Reverbs;
4 Scream4 Distortions;
7 DDL-1 Delays;
4 reMIX mixers (3 for tracks; 1 for output bus);
1 MClass Mastering Suite set to default;
There were no FX routed thru mixers' Auxs; all FX in samplers signal chain before mixer inputs. There is no automation on the mixers; all volumes and eq is via FX, comps and devices. There is plenty of parameter automation (45 parameters automated).
I didn't feel the samples were too pretty. I reckon, that is by design. Can anyone make something worthwhile out of some dodgy samples? I presumed was Geeky's thinking. The voice part, for instance, is replete with mouse clicks, mouth noises, etc. (actually, the sounds between the words became a focus of my piece). Further, all the samples have detuned multiple oscillators, so it would be very tricky to create any pure tones or sines for layering into richer sounds.
I figured I'd give it a whirl, it should be fun. I started on Saturday, Mar 15, 2014. I was struggling, not really happy with anything I was making, but I did create a skeleton for the first 1min50s. On Sunday I had a really good day; I processed reverse reverb and delay phrases first thing in the morning. I have been meaning to use this technique for ages, but my limited brain powers always would get tangle-ated at the planning stage. I just decided to jump in and do it & it was more fun than I had expected. This retro, tape-based technique was actually my main motivation for taking part in the challenge. I kept hearing "way down inside" & parts of Didicts & Narpets from Rush in my mind as an influence; that's not what came out, but an influence nonetheless.
The device I leveraged the most on this track is compressors. Instead of normalising the samples to begin with; I compressed in Reason. Compression attack I used to assist with ADSR attack and it was very effective for easing clicking of my slice points placed with impunity. I didn't work too hard on creating any counterpoint or any heady orchestration scoring, it is mainly sound design.
I ended up using the synth samples kind of the opposite one might think. The bass sample was the purest tone and that is the opening synth staccato part, layered into alto, tenor and bass; playing octaves for the most part. The B section bass is what i would call the Oberhiem bell sample ( I know, I don't know what I'm talking about there). The guitar sounds are the piano. The bird-like noises in the B section are the space ship lift off sound. All of the drums in the A section are from the vocal. The drum sample is used only for the B-section drums; only 3 of the hits were used.
I had gotten about 80% done by Tuesday. Then I heard Scatterfilter's entry; Tom was using a very similar vibe to my B section, and I almost just tossed in the towel. I was purposefully not listening to the other entries to keep them out of my subconciuous mind. But then I reframed & realized that our pieces are actually quite different. If nothing else, the odd time sig of my piece was a sure difference. Also, Luke Clarke's phone video he put on You Tube and shared with us via twitter (on Sunday evening?) was further strong motivation. I don't know why, but thanks Luke, that was inspirational.
Especially, I'd like to thank Geeky for starting this off. I had a great time and look forward to doing more.
- Sonic Dementia