Track 8 - Look At Yourself


Recorded: January 23rd, 2015
Instrumentation: Samples, Drums, MiniMoog, Vocals, Piano, Strings
Tempo: 131bpm
Audio Stems: Yes

I’m all for new technology in music. Whether it infiltrates your life, permanently changing your workflow or not, there is always something to be learned from using it.  The main reason I feel this way about technology is every designer looks at music from a different perspective.  In the end, music is composed from 12 notes, recording comes down to a few basic concepts, and mixing is really just a few basic processing techniques. The inherent simplicity of everything we do only highlights the vast scope of individuality every person has.

This week's track, “Look At Yourself” was made entirely on Maschine by Native Instruments. For the past few years I had been using an MPC in Augustines to trigger samples live on stage. After years of countless shows and abuse, the MPC finally gave out on me and I switched over to a Maschine. At the time I had no idea how to use it, so naturally I started writing music with it.  The best way to learn anything is hands on. 

This song started with a sample from Feist’s “The Bad In Each Other” that I later heavily processed with parallel compression and EQ. Up next was the simple chord progression with strings and arpeggiated piano. I really wanted to explore more sampling, so I grabbed a Billie Holiday song and chopped it up, trimmed it down and came to the simple phrase, “look at yourself."  The chorus has a sub bass that is a Mini Moog emulation through a distorted Leslie. If you don’t know what these instruments are, it’s definitely worth a google search. The final element was a free pass of vocals that I distorted, heavily EQ’d, and ran though a stereo delay and reverb. If you don’t know about the PSP Echo check it out, I find it wonderful and easy to use. All of the banging and clanging you hear comes from this vocal track. Rather than deleting all of the “dead” space, which so often happen in digital music, I turned it up. I live for the sound of space, always trying to push that in a mix.