The first of the songs I wrote as part of the RPM Challenge is finally done! It’s pretty typical of the stuff I used to write all the time. I stretched and experimented a bit on how I wrote, but the result was pretty similar: boots-and-cats techno, basically. The title comes from the 60’s propaganda film I sampled throughout.
The Writing Process
While the end product was pretty similar to the stuff I used to make, the journey to that final destination was very different. First, I performed everything in using the Ableton Push, rather than almost entirely step editing everything like I used to. I think things feel much more organic and natural as a result, and not so rigid and mechanical. There’s plenty of quantization going on here, as I’m still a little sloppy in my performances, but it’s definitely more human feeling this way.
I also arranged a bit differently. I looped the beat for the full 5 1/2 minutes of the song, and then did the filter and effects tweaking and noodling you hear live in one pass, defining the ebbs and flows of the song on the fly rather than over-thinking the arrangement. I then went back and brought in and out the various other elements of the song to work around the beat.
The Final Mix
This, I must confess, was a bear to get mixed well. It was way too bottom heavy, a problem I have frequently as I don’t always think enough about filling the full sonic space and pile up too much bass. What can I say? I love the low end! A ton of EQ tweaking and side-chain compression later, and I think it ended up in a pretty good space.