Everything was recorded/midi mapped in Ableton Live 10. All drum sounds were royalty free, one-shot drum samples from the sampling service “Noiiz.” Anything external was recorded with a Sennheiser MD 421 microphone and all the guitar was played on an Ibanez Stratocaster copy from 1983 or so, run through a Marshall tube amp. All live bass was recorded on a fender mustang, run through a fender bass amp. All vocals were written and sung by myself.
The design process during the production phase was essentially “blitzkrieg,” as I created the sounds in lightning fashion without overthinking the mix. Once the songs were written and produced, I had to mix each of them, which was more of an iterative process. I would make a mix, then send them to my dad who has a background in music and he would test it in his car and let me know if any parts of the mix bothered him. I would then make changes and repeat. Near the end, when everything was almost done, I actually sent some of the songs to music bloggers to get their feedback and make changes. Music bloggers, being some of the most blatantly opinionated (but usually musically educated) people, provided some of the most important feedback I got. Their opinions are essential as they reflect playability on a commercial level.
Disclaimer: So if I went into every little tweak and parameter I changed to create every sound, this description would become a novel. Instead, I will describe jus the basic idea of every sound throughout the album. If anyone has any specific questions about specific sounds, I am happy to explain.
Also, EQ and Compression is a given with every sound so I will not state that they were used foray of them. Another given is that each song had some degree of mastering to increase overall loudness, and I used an abbey road studios vinyl press emulator to add warmth, white noise, and pitch modulations all over the mixes.
List of the sounds of eachsong
- R2D2’s Existential Crisis (0:00-1:42)
- A riser sample from Noiiz
- Drum samples
- Snare with a modulated delay
- Shaker sample
- Closed Hi hat
- Arpeggiated synth plucks with chorus and delay created from scratch in Serum
- Synth pad with chorus and delay created from scratch in Serum
- Hard To Forget (1:42 – 5:10)
- Warm synth pad with a slap delay created from scratch in Serum
- Warm bass pad with overdrive and distortion created from scratch in Serum
- Vocals with delay and distortion to create a psychedelic “radio effect”
- Guitar part 1: distortion, chorus, and delay
- Guitar part 2: overdrive, slap delay, and pitch manipulation using Ableton’s sampler
- Guitar part 3: Wah pedal with heavy distortion and light chorus
- Outro guitar part: Vibrato, light chorus, delay.
- Electric bass
- Drum samples:
- Snare with crunch distortion
- Snare with crunch distortion and reverb
- We’ll Find A Way (5:10- end)
- Ambient synth noises created by running the “Synth lead” *see below* backwards through a delay.
- Electric bass with heavy distortion, ignorant sideyhain compression from the kick, as well as various lowpass filtering.
- Synth lead created on a Korg Monologue analogue synthesizer, double tracked with delay.
- Ambient guitar sounds created by sliding fingers down guitar with delay
- Vocals with heavy filtering and delay, at times double tracked.
- End guitar solo created with chorus and delay.
- High pass filter over mix to end the song
- Drum samples:
- Acoustic snare
- Acoustic ride with alternating velocities to emulate a real drummer.