'Australia' Remix II
I started out with my basic hip-hop drum beat which I used an appropriately named "hip hop rack" that was stock with Ableton. Then I wanted to but in a synth bass line so I used the bass track from the original song and converted it to MIDI before tidying up the notes and applying a synth sub bass sound to it. I decided to stick the the approximated tempo of the original song as it was already in the same groove I was going for. I looped a section of the keys from the original track and put those in to form my base instruments going forward.
It was at this point were I got completely stuck and run out ideas. I put in my first vocal track, warping it to 85 bpm but found I didn't know where I wanted to go after that. I had an idea for a breakdown section, but felt this point was too early for it so I moved ahead about 8 bars and began to work on that. I added some cymbals and white noise to create that house shimmery sweep to transition into the breakdown. I wanted a really chill vintage sound for this section, so I selected some vintage sounding drums and layed over the mellow guitar track from the original song. I thought it worked quite nicely as a break from the deep-sub-bass-ness of the rest of the track.
I continued on with the final chorus and the outro section, roughing out the main structure for my remix. I then came back to the 8 bars I left earlier and felt that a verse would fit nicely there. I warped the vocals from the verse in the original song and added some of the adlib parts I chopped up to fill in some of the stagnant areas.
I felt the whole song was still a bit bare bones so created a subtractive synth keys sound to layer over the original keys from the song. The sound I got kind of sounded like a horns section and I though that worked quite nicely with the hip-hop style. I then decided to add in a part of the keyboard solo and added some effects to set it apart from everything else.
After feedback from the track I added some more variation in the drums, another FM synthesis sound that I used with an arpeggiator to add some different textures throughout the song. I also toned back some of the bass elements after listening to the track with a subwoofer.
One requirements I didn't fulfil from the brief was the use of creative audio warping. This was the biggest struggle for me and a spent nearly an hour trying to find a way to incorporate that technique into the song. Ultimately any effort I made I felt sounded out of place and didn't add anything of worth to the track so I decided to not include it. I did use audio warping a lot to get audio from the original track into time however.
Finally I added a short section after the breakdown using a sample I took from one of the whistles in the original song and MIDI-ed it into a trap-like riff. This was another part I was not overly pleased with and spent a lot of time trying to get it sounding right, however I still included it because I felt it fit the song and added another interesting element.
I was unable to get into contact with Adrian Eagle, however I got some feedback from one of the engineers on the original track who wrote:
"It's good! The change at 2:00 is real cool. The start before that change kind of feels like it might be lacking an instrument/layer or two, maybe you could build on the drums or have another melody/hook of some kind to go along with it, even if it's really subtle it should help it heaps. I really liked the bit at 2:55 that goes back into the original beat, what you did with the vocal was neat! and what you did with the whistle around that part was really cool as well.
You said in your blog that you struggled with audio warping a lot: you have a few changes so you could always reverse a hum or held note to create a reverse cymbal kind of effect if you wanted. it's really simple and with a bit of processing you can get it sounding pretty cool. Adding more noticeable effects could help make the song feel a bit bigger; reverbs, delays, automation changes, etc... For your first ever piece of electronic music it sounds excellent, don't be afraid to experiment more in the future!"
Overall I was pleased with how the remix turned out and was surprised with the result as it was the first time I ever produced a piece of electronic music - though I hope to do more in the future.