This is a song written by a talented singer/songwriter named Julie Smith. I contributed a few bars to it as well. I hope you enjoy.
This one came together much differently than other songs I’ve recorded. I didn’t spend a ton of time on pre-production. I knew that this song would be synth heavy so I started out by playing with different sounds until I came across this echo-ey piano sound with a gentle layered synth sweep. I built the whole track around a piano riff that sort of popped into my head from playing with that sound. I really enjoy the KeyRig software from M-Audio. It alone was worth the $99 that I paid for the keyboard controller it came bundled with. To this, I added:
Warm Pad – also from KeyRig
Bass Pad – Roland GrooveSynth
Kalimba – Roland GrooveSynth (with echo/delay)
SIDE NOTE: I didn’t know what a kalimba was until just now when I went and googled it. It doesn’t sound anything like it looks.
Percussion loop – Toontrack EZDrummer cocktail kit
Shaker track – audio loop
Air synth (choir aahs) – Roland GrooveSynth
Follow lead synth – Dreamstation Analog Synth
Bass guitar – Cakewalk Studio Instruments
Electric guitar (two tracks – clean and dirty)
Drumkit – Toontrack EZDrummer – this was my first time with this virtual instrument and I really enjoyed working with it. It sounds great!
To this, Julie sang a lead vocal and some doubles in places for emphasis. She also sang one harmony pass and I sang a harmony.
Effects plug-ins on this were fairly simple:
- Reverb aux track for basic instruments and vocals,
- In-line EQ on most channels to get them to play nicely together
- Compression on lead vocal, acoustic guitar, and drum kit
- Distortion and analog tape simulation on bass guitar to give it some presence without overbearing volume.
- De-esser on lead vocal
- Chorus aux track for background vocals to give them some shimmer and presence without the need for more volume
- As always, Boost 11 final-stage peak limiter on the master bus to glue the whole mix together.
Is there any part of this you would like explained further? Don’t be shy.