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Blog Week 5 - Here's the Remix!

So I’ve completed the remix for my EMP project at SAE. I tried to keep things as simple as possible because being new to Ableton, my work flow for this project wasn’t very efficient but I’m pretty sure that given some time and practice, I’ll be able to fully understand the true capabilities of this amazing software. Below are the techniques that I used for this remix.

I started by slicing up the guitar intro into MIDI samples and then experimenting around with the keyboard to find a suitable melody. After getting the right melody, I increased the tempo to 133 BPM because I wanted to emulate that late 90s and early 2000s electronic music style. After adding a basic rhythm beat to the melody, I started working around with filters and EQ’s to get the desired mix. I used Subtractive synthesis, FM synthesis, Arpeggiator, Granular synthesis and many other techniques taught in class by Mr. Nick Wilson.

I used the Arpeggiator to create a 64th notes up/down style picky guitar arp and used a 3 step transpose and a longer Gate settings to achieve the desired sound. After this is I added a chorus effect to the arp to make it sit well in the mix and then added EQ to reduce frequencies above 4kHz to give more space to the percussive elements and the vocals in the mix.

In addition to the lead guitar sample discussed above, I chopped up the same guitar sample and used MIDI notes to trigger them to create a new backing guitar track suiting the new melody and then added a filter to it.

For sampling I downloaded a creaking door sound sample from and then chopped up a 1 bar loop from that and transposed it up to 35 steps to create a percussive element that I thought would sit well with the track.

I used Granular synthesis to create an interesting FX rise sound by using a guitar sample and then adding pitch LFO modulation in the sampler. I added two more layers of the sample in the zones tab and changed the root key and loop range of them.

I used a custom effects rack that I created in class and then used automations on the filters on both Reverb and Delay returns to create some interesting drum effects. Unfortunately, I do not own a MIDI keyboard at home so had to manually draw the automations instead of mapping the parameters to physical MIDI knobs and playing with them in real time, which would’ve been so much more fun.

Other than the above, I did not face any difficulties with the vocals as they were easy to manipulate with the warp button.

I sent the remix to Michael Timothy, one of the producers for the original song. He seemed very impressed and gave me a thumbs up. He complimented my sampling of the guitars and liked how I used it to create something entirely new.

"Such a dope remix! As a producer I'd definitely put this on the record along with the original! It's got a unique take on an Indie track! Really loved this" - Michael

To summarize, I’d say that this project was very interesting and I had a lot of fun doing it. I’ve learnt so much from this class and this assignment and I’m really excited to implement all this knowledge in more projects like this in the future.

Here's the remix. I hope you enjoy it.

Below is the original song by "The Smirks"

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