Listening BoothYOUR MUSIC ONLY. Don't post music from your label or DJ night. No podcasts or radio shows, just individual tracks. Give some feedback, get some in return.
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[Genre] Artist - Title
This is my first track that was utilizing hardware synths (Electron Analog Four, Octatrack, DSI Tempest, Strymon Timeline and Big Sky FX pedals). I played around with the Analog Four until I had a flute-ish sound I liked and a bassline. Both were sent through the Timeline delay (dTape) and Big Sky Reverb (Shimmer) and sampled into the Octatrack, sliced, and re-assembled to the groove you hear. I really got quite enamored with the flute sound and that became the theme of the track. I was new to all of the boxes, so there was quite a learning curve. The kick, while processed quite a bit with saturation, EQ, and compression, is still very much the original kick coming from the Tempest. It can do well more than just fart. Some of the analog sound ear candy is also from the Tempest, as are some of the hi hats. The array of hi hats and rides were significantly augmented using custom samples in Maschine. Not too bad for a first round using all the hardware for the first time, is it?
The filter sweep was done using u-He Diva, the choir/string pad using Omnisphere (three layers: strings, male choir, and soprano), the piercing lead was done on the Analog Four, and the Reese in the beginning using xFer Serum. The arpeggio in the latter half was done using u-He Bazille and given some modulation with a combination of Fab Filter Volcano and Timeless. Hope you like it.
I'd also like to thank relic, jbvdb, and A.M. for helpful tips and encouragement as well as chasedobson, automageddon, and the afore mentioned for useful tips in setting up hardware and recording all this. It would've cost me endless nerves and been a good deal more frustrating without that guidance.
Techno starts with a capital 'T', as in TB-303 and TR-808.
We've discussed this already, and I still think it's quite good. Like techno but with enough to be interesting too. Sometimes some techno is just too stripped down for my taste.
I do agree with RFJ that the voice sample gets a little much, but that could be just me.
I am impressed by your workflow for sure! Way to include also states all your gear!
Firstly how you getting on with the AK, Ive had it 2 years and still struggling lmfao!
Good to hear you got your hardware rigged in harmony, can be a mindbending experience for sure. Hows the tempest, nearly purchased one a few year back but with the post surrounding OS issues and DSI not progressing with bug on it I decided not to bite.
The track is ok and good for if its a first outing as I know how complex it can be to get everything in sync.
To me the mix is lacking a little low end and the hi end to much top, for my ers it sounds over compressed or/and over eq'd. But that may be my ears!
As for the parts, I was fiding it tiring to listen too, a lot going on in places at anyone time and not enough space. But as someone else pointed out sometimes, the tracks can be too sparse.
I love Diva, it's one of those vsts you really wish and want as hardware, just take it away to a silent place and jam without the trails of a pc/audio interface and separate keyboard.
Yeah, you're not the only one having commented on the lack of low end. It's defo top heavy with probably too many hi hats. The bane of my productions is that I tend to cake it on good. Too good, that is. That's what I probably struggle with the most. I need to be more cutthroat and ask more often if what I am adding is really adding to the track. I think there were some intermediate stages that were more focused.
I think I should try to make some Berghain style stripped down Techno. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it'll be a good exercise for me.
The A4: I like it and after a good month thought that I got my head around the workflow and it's quirkiness. The killer app on that box is the sequencer, but it does lack in low end growl. I decided to add a Minitaur and that defo provides the girth desired. I'm running it as a replacement OSC, as the A4 allows to add an external input as an OSC replacement. I'm controlling it via the CV track, but it's interesting that you can actually run two inputs into this box and also use MIDI to control the other source(s). I also have routed it via the MOTU 828 through the Strymon boxes Timeline --> Big Sky --> Octatrack (thru machine), so I can use all the fine FX that box has, if I want to. High on my wish list is an analog mixer, as I'd like a more flexible FX send ability.
The Tempest: I've read a lot of biased opinions on this machine. It has limitations and it has a learning curve to coax good drum sounds out of it. I now have also an Analog Rytm to compare. The Tempest has a far more capable synth engine. Per Voice you have two analog Osc, envelopes for pitch, amp, and filter, two utility envelopes, and two LFOs. Then also two sample slots in addition to all of the above (with all of the same modulation sources. And the analog OSC have a sub OSC each. The envelopes are fine and have some drum specific features (delay, peak, and fast). It's deep and can easily produce intriguing analog sounds. And drums. It's deep, it takes effort, but it is capable. My guess is, people complaining have very particular workflow needs or are fairly anal about what they want. The unit has its own workflow. That said, the MIDI delay is not the greatest choice and the analog distortion and compression are not that great. They're one knob FX and both introduce a lot of noise. It took me a while to find the hiss and it's source. It was the compression on the unit. That's not that cool.
Omnisphere, Diva: The synths listed in the OP are really the cream of my ludicrous VST collection. I've spent way too much buying a lot of synths, but now a few have emerged that suit my taste and workflow. Omnisphere is a beast of a synth and so limitless in possibilities that it'll stay firmly in the toolbox. I don't use all of its features, yet. The way you can layer on and in, program the evolution of sound using scenes (like a little MIDI sequence for sound modulation), the 55 GB of all sorts of cool sounds, and all the modifiers (granulizer, unison) etc. Worth every penny. I use it mostly for pads or ambiance.
Diva sounds great, but it has an uneasy place between Monark and Bazille. The abilities of Bazille to generate all sorts of wicked sounds are breathtaking. I really love that synth. When it comes to some analog sound basics, however, Monark covers a specific Moog-ish need and Serum does a phenomenal job with basic analog waveforms. Serum's modulation abilities are clear and easy and I really like the FX section. Also, a great selection of filter modes. Probably have not spent enough time with Diva, but since I have options, I doubt that's going to change, soon. It'll be in the special tools chest. I'd love a hardware version of Bazille! Patch cables and all. All synths should have LFOs that go from 0 to 20 kHz.
Techno starts with a capital 'T', as in TB-303 and TR-808.
Overall, I think this worked. To me, the song didn't need the vocal sample at all, but it didn't feel too overused to me either. I noticed what I thought was a plucked bassline that was coming from predominantly the left/right channel towards the end. If that still moved around, but could also come out the center at some points, I felt like that could tighten up the bass a bit, might help with some of those comments you've had on the bass.