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 Post subject: eat STRAWBERRIES
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:41 pm 
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Location: BPM 60 to somewhere around 150
Whole project remotely coordinated with Tokyo. Wrote the tune, sent with a guide melody, Tokyo recorded test vocals, I took the test vocals and added chorus lines with autotune, sent back along with notation, recorded chorus lines in Tokyo (they sent all lines melodyne corrected), and mixed back here in NY. Pretty nice workflow that I've perfected with my buddies in Tokyo.
Image
(I'm told this is the singer... apparently I didn't know anything while I was writing the tune lol) Though I do think that the feel for the tune ended up matching her character pretty well.

The lyrics are abundantly in Japanese, basically a promo tune to promote strawberries and all the local varietals. Promoting local produce sales I guess. My instruction was to make a bouncy tune and work with this vocalist I knew nothing about. (didn't even know her range) I basically kept the entire melody in 1 keycenter, and also kept the melody line simple. I moved keycenter around too much in a previous project (with a very advanced vocalist) and had a hard time, so kept it simple this time.

Mixed in Mixbus 32C (was giving it a test go, why not)
I think I posted the comp tracks here earlier so won't list VSTi used

I like the chorus lines. Maybe a bit too "hug"-ish moving all in unison most of the time. Not the most human lines I've written. It was probably too hard for a the vocalist to execute well without melodyne. But I was expecting lots of correction anyway. Kudos to the engineer that had to do all the melodyne tweaking. He was wise in asking for notation of all the chorus lines.

You can compare the test vocals+autotune chorus vs final version. I think they did a good job in Tokyo to recreate chorus lines pretty much the way I played it with autotune. There's going to be a live performance somewhere in Tokyo on 7/31st Tokyo time. Hopefully I'll get to see a video of it. Maybe they'll sell some strawberries.

So anyway, my principle with autotune is this. Use autotune / melodyne at the most strategic points to assist in writing great lines, and to boost production speed, but all towards getting the most productive "final" studio session to get all the parts. Melodyne fixing after that is just to get it to sound right. I think we relied on tech a lot to get the vocal parts, but I don't think we over did it to the point of the robot voice becoming the primary voice, while reaping all the benefits of what autotune affords.

edit:
I guess I hadn't posted this before, so here's the instrument breakdown. They're all vsti so that might be a turn off:
1. slap-ish bass: synthmaster factory preset tweaked to super tightness.
2. scratchy sound: custom patch in Alchemy that I spent like 2 days preparing because I always wanted a scratcher patch. It's not perfect, but I was trying to get it close enough since I used to trick DJ with lots of scratching. (with like.. non-traktor records back in the day) Actually having done this stuff helps.
3. all detuned saw wave or sync stuff: charlatan <- I usually use sylenth for saw wave stuff, but don't have it on this machine
4. piano: of course pianoteq
5. analog drums: DSk Synthdrums with custom synthedit processor to beef it up a bunch (simple amp sim, bass cone + tweeter cone with different response characteristics + both going into a smooth tanh soft clip)
6. all other drums / percussion: various soundfonts through plogue sforzando with custom synthedit processor (tempo sync filter sweeps, simple amp sim)
7. melotron style strings: some preset I tweaked in Alchemy with bit redux, bandpass, and lots of comp
8. twinkly stuff in intro: custom Alchemy patch with a bunch of twinkly granular elements.
9. reverbs and stuff on bus channels: mix of waves trueverb and rverb... not super important in this particular mix
10. vocals / chorus: comp / eq on mixbus 32c channel for minimal refinement. Minimal tapesat on bus channels (built into Mixbus). Recording was very good so didn't mess with it much.
11. master: LVCAudio Preamped with "TapeD" model type with no extra drive, Waves L1. Preamped "TapeD" model is totally sweet, you should try it. I can't live without Preamped.

After hearing the final recording.. well, I'm kicking myself for not exploring her lower range more, since it sounds much more adult and expressive. I think it's easy to use a girl's belting range to sort of bring the near "yelling-ness" to the front, which isn't what you hear everyday unless your gf or wife is constantly yelling at you. But I see that as sort of a cheap shot, since I feel the belting range is actually has very limited range of expression. Of course, in the context of selling strawberries, maybe emotional expression isn't super valuable. (I was going for a near cheer leader sort of feel) From the recordings I can tell she's still not a very skilled studio vocalist (yet), so maybe we can work on something more technical in the future once she has more experience. Even with a bunch of melodyne fixes though, I think she did quite well with the difficult chorus lines for a first time recording.


Attachments:
File comment: the score for lead and chorus line if interested.
Strawberries.pdf [68.87 KiB]
Downloaded 30 times
File comment: test vocals with autotune chorus lines I sent them to learn
harmo-test1.mp3 [3.41 MiB]
Downloaded 32 times
File comment: final recording mix
strawberry studio_all_r1.mp3 [3.37 MiB]
Downloaded 58 times
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 Post subject: Re: eat STRAWBERRIES
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:17 pm 
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Very nice music, for German ears certainly a different style of music we do hear. The final mix has extreme radio compression but you hear all the details perfectly. Very well done!

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 Post subject: Re: eat STRAWBERRIES
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:34 am 
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Excellent ! Fun ! The scratchy sounds are perfect ! How did you get that ? With sample ? Does Alchemy load samples ?

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 Post subject: Re: eat STRAWBERRIES
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:09 pm 
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thnx for enjoying. Scratchy sound was made using a random voice sample that came with Alchemy's base sound set. (Alchemy accepts samples, it's very much optimized to do so) It uses a LFO to mod the pitch so the wave plays forward / back to simulate scratching. It does this at various clock rates to simulate 16ths, 32nd, etc, and uses velocity to determine the central pitch of the pitch mod. (to simulate how fast your'e scratching) I've done plenty of scratching on actual records so was trying to capture some of the control parameters. It's proved much more difficult than I'd thought though. Scratching is very nuanced.. This one was good enough to use as kind of a "toy" sound to make things interesting. As a scratch performance, this would be considered utterly incompetent, but that's not really the point. (lol)


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 Post subject: Re: eat STRAWBERRIES
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:26 am 
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Excellent ! For some scratch sounds, I like to use "Grossbeat" from Image Line, it's a completly unique concept of vst's and the result is very good.
http://www.image-line.com/plugins/Effects/Gross+Beat/
But it's not usable like you did : a scratch sound on midi note, it's totally different concept.

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 Post subject: Re: eat STRAWBERRIES
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:51 am 
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haha, their Aww and Fresh scratch is very good! But ya, it's seems more a product of detailed env curve editing and totally different from what I was shooting for.


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