Wow, lots to catch up on. I guess we should start with OHC.
Tonight’s theme is Heaven VS Hell. Choose one. Let’s rock.
Well, when it came to this (last) week I kinda felt like doing something weird and ambient-ish and dark-ish. When I think of Heaven I think of airy pads and nice sounds and warm textures, and when I think of Hell music I think of really angry gritty synths with really aggressive sounds. So I was like, aw shucks…but then decided I’d go with the idea of “Limbo” so I could do something more meandering.
The song starts off with a weird humming and some percussive sounds, made with some unusual VST synths that I have lying around. There’s a lot of silence here in the beginning, and I think it works to great effect. Then we have this burbling sound and then we fill up the soundspace a little with a neat evolving pad from Ugo Motion (gotta love it for these evolving pad sounds!).
Next section, we have a really nice downtempo beat that I’m really happy with. I didn’t actually use my “usual” technique for sequencing drums this time. I usually use kick drum + snare samples to lay down a skeleton beat, throw down some hats for rhythm, and then use a drumloop with the low end taken out to fill out the sound and make it more interesting. This time though, I ended up just using one instance of Slicex to cut up a drumloop I had lying around and sequence it. Of course, there’s also some tasteful glitching going on, courtesy of dBlue Glitch. The reverse at 2:31 is especially nice, I think.
After that the dotted-eighth-note bassline idea just popped into my head and I ran with that. Again, another background pad sound provided by Ugo Motion, and the bass here is courtesy of EVM Bassline–a not-very-well-known bass synth that I’m beginning to use again and again and again as my staple bass sound (i used to use BooBass). I love it!
Now we get the same drumloop, only faster. And then we also get a taste of what seems to be becoming my new favorite lead–an NES-style pulse wave lead. I use FL’s built-in TS404 for this–funny how it’s supposed to be a bassline synthesizer but everyone uses it for leads and such. Anyways, I just turn off the silly gating function that it has by default, set it to one pulse wave, and set the PWM at 50%. I would actually love to use a 3xOsc for this instead (I love the 3xOsc, though I’m actually starting to use it a little less often), but unfortunately the 3xOsc doesn’t have PWM. darn!
This lead always goes really well with vibrato, and the TS404 makes that pretty easy, so I threw some of that in there. To round things out there’s this really neat gated pad sound from Alchemy (which has quickly become a staple for me; though the sound selection isn’t =quite= that good).
All in all, something I was extremely happy with when I made it. Too bad we didn’t really have that many people show up for this compo. It was really random; we only had 10 entries for some reason.
Tonight’s theme is ‘The Dreamer Awakens.”
This week was another one of those times when I sat down before OHC started and asked myself “what do I feel like doing this week?”. The answer was a really phat sidechained supersaw bassline like the one I did a few weeks ago in “Far Side of the Moon”. Okay, so before compo started I quickly threw together that synth (amazing how streamlined I’ve become at just throwing down a BooBass, an EVM Bassline, and 6 or 7 3xOscs and tweaking them appropriately, slapping on some effects, and sidechaining it to get a really neat pumpin bassline), and made sure it sidechained nicely.
Then I looked at the theme as was like “aw shucks, this isn’t gonna work”.
Oh well. Well, “dreamer” says “ambient soundscapes” to me, so I loaded up a soundscape patch in Alchemy and ran with that. The tinktink muted triangle sound that persists here is actually just because the soundscape patch has a weird rhythm and I wanted some semblance of the beat. Then I have this weird motif that I play both slowly and quickly at the same time. Neato. More building up of different sounds, and then we get a bassline. I do this neat “fade out into a reverb” effect and then we finally get a beat drop.
The beat…isn’t actually as “epic” as I was hoping for. I was looking to recreate something similar to what I’ve heard from mv in some of his entries, but I guess I don’t have that “epic buildup -> really meaty beat” thing down yet. Oh well. The beat is still alright, and then we end up getting the epic-ness anyways from the strings that come in afterwards.
And then we hit a climax and…all of a sudden, here’s that phat bass I made. =D Funny how mv actually called this one coming before it happened while we were listening, haha.
Anyhow, now we get into UNTS UNTS, but with this really great bassline that’s just kickin. There’s also a secret–there’s a standard offbeat bass being layered underneath the fat bass to fill in some of the sound holes. It makes things flow much better and it sounds “fuller” and more energetic.
And then…we get that tasty NES-style TS404 lead, only this time the sequencing is really rad. For some reason I was really “feelin it” today; I really really really love how the pattern for the lead came out, with the gating and the pitchbends.
Ended up submitting right at the deadline. It was hard to think of an appropriate title and then give a long enough description that would justify the second half of the song, haha. But who cares?
This entry was extremely satisfying to make. Not only because the second half is just really, really awesome, but because this past week I had been working on another song that had been giving me all sorts of trouble and musical writer’s block. So to make this awesomeness in one hour without any of those kinds of stumbles felt really, really satisfying.