SP2. Final Stages and Completion.
As before with the first project, the assessment guidelines for this project are that there must be no clipping prior to master channel limiting. The limiter plugin that has been used is, again, the Maxim Limiter/Compressor plugin in Pro Tools, the ceiling of which has been set to -0.2dB, another important piece of the assessment criteria. Below is a screen shot of the Maxim plugin.
The main aesthetic goals of my second studio project were to effectively utilise Phil Spector’s technique of ‘Echo Chamber’ recording and also to successfully use this and other recording techniques in order to get a sound that was satisfying to me. The main achievement derived from this second project was, from the outset, to re-record a version of a previous track of mine using played instruments as opposed to synthetic ones. I wanted the piece to have its own distinct character although I wished for it also to have a strong aural relation to the original version of the track. Although intended, this is something that I did not want to try to force out of my production, for example by either replicating the drum pattern of the original track exactly or by adding similar sounds or FX.
Throughout the production of this track, I thought more about Eno’s Oblique Strategies and thinking about this projection laterally, rather than vertically. This was done more with regards as to trying not to be so forcefully creative with my recorded audio but thinking simplistically about where the sounds felt right in the mix and letting them do the work in aiming for aural satisfaction.
The reason behind wanting to re-create a version of a piece of computer music using played instruments is that the majority of the music I create is done solely on a laptop. I wanted to gain a different perspective on the music I had produced and begin to think more about the possibilities of what the tracks I create could sound like should they be performed by musicians in contrast to computer synthesisers and sequencing software. This in turn has led me further into thinking about not just my own, but other composer’s/producer’s tracks and how they might sound if turned into instrumental versions and productions and whether or not these tracks would then have the same impact on me as the listener.
When carrying out some of the production techniques of the proposed producers, and more specifically Phil Spector, I thought about how they might approach my project from their individual mind-set. This was reflected more when recording the echo chamber which, although was a lot of fun, made me think about this as being the only way Spector had to add reverb to a track. Without the use of FX plugins and digital software, I began to think about how this project could have been approached from a different perspective, and again, would the end product have the same impact on me listening back to it.
Although the project has not nearly the aesthetic finesse that I could have perhaps achieved through a laptop composition, I do however feel that it is a thing of beauty in that its raw feeling, derived from relatively under-processed audio, could hopefully leave the listener reacting with awe and amazement or at the very least liking and/or appreciating the track and its instrumentation.
Finally in contemplating the thinking behind the track in retrospect, by considering a re-recording of an original track to be the basis for my second studio project, I may have prematurely restricted the creative process. Although my creativity was directed laterally and not vertically, in the same sense it was still confined to intentionally replicating a particular feel rather than starting a track from scratch and letting the production techniques assume control of what direction the project was to take, free from my own creative boundaries. On the whole, however, I do feel that this second project was a success in that it consciously emulates a past or present producer’s particular style of production and demonstrates it through an original recording.
- Eno, B. (1983) ‘The Studio As A Compositional Tool’ in Cox, C & D. Warner, Eds. (2006), trans. D, W, Smith. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, New York: Continuum.
- Harrison, G. (1972) ‘The Concert For Bangla Desh’, UK: Apple. #STCX 3385. 2x Compact Disc. CD LP 102:57 min.
- Lennon, J & P, McCartney. (1989) ‘Paperback Writers’, Europe: EMI. #CD3R-5452. Compact Disc. CD Mini 4:44 min.
- O’Donnell, M & M Salvatori. (2003) ‘Halo: Original Soundtrack’, US: Sumthing Else MusicWorks, Inc. #SE-2000-2. Compact Disc. 61:56 min.
- Reznor, T. (2005) ‘With Teeth’, UK/Ireland: Nothing Records. #988 144-0, CID 8155. Compact Disc. 56:05 min.
- info on trent rezone accessed at 29/11/10
- info on MS micing technique accessed at 01/12/10
- info on The Beatles release of Paperback Writers accessed at 07/12/10