Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 254: Skint Remix Comp

I've been remix mad recently, and it's starting to take it's toll. All my fault though as I chose to start a load of remixes without really thinking about the time required, causing me to rush a lot of them, and work late in to the night.

This one is by no means any exception. This was probably the most annoying remix I have done to date. It's a remix of Rip Groove on Skint records, as part of a competition.

Basically I started it fairly OK, then I got to a point where it was nearly 7 minutes long, and, to be honest, I didn't even really like it. Yet I persisted.

All this persisting, and it wasn't going anywhere, that coupled with loads of problems with the mix itself. The tune was falling flat on itself due to loads of the bass frequencies clashing, and I couldn't seem to rescue it. IT sounded flat, and confused, and just generally a mess.

Then, all of a sudden, I had the breakthrough. I have no idea what causes these, but thank the lord for them.

I knew I needed to trim this tune back severely, and that's effectively what happened. I dropped a bunch of loops I was using, back to the original drums I patterned, I dropped some of the bloated samples etc, and also ironed out the melodies, which themselves were a mess and trying to be too clever.

What we are left with is the following. I am much much happier with it, though I would still like a lot more time to round it off if I am honest. Sadly the deadline for the competition is basically upon us, and I wont have any more time to work on it, so I'm submitting it as is.

Enjoy (or at least try to :P)




Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 253: Advanced Ableton tutorials

I found this video recently, and it goes over something I actually discovered myself the other day, unlinked envelopes.

So what's one of them then, and why do I want to use one? Well, good question. In my case I had a short vocal loop, and I wanted to pitch it right up to an unrecognisable squiggle, then have it pitch down over time, finally reaching it's normal pitch, and to carry on as normal from then on.

This is where it got complicated, because the pitch envelop is linked tot he loop, so when the loop restarts, so does the envelope, pushing the pitch all the way back up again. Enter 'unlinking'. A feature unique to Ableton is the ability to separate the timeline of the envelope to that of the loop. In short this means you can have an envelope that is autonomous to the loop it is effecting, meaning you can have it affect the loop differently over the length of the track, much like regular automation.

Below is the track I used it on, the envelope starts at 0.45, and finishes at 1.00 on the vocal, which then carries on unaffected:

Make me Dance by Bang the DJ

Now we know what it's all about, enjoy thew following video which goes into detail about that, and other interesting techniques.

Embedding is disabled so go check it directly here:




Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 252: DJ Trade Secrets: Nighty Max

Nighty Max is one of those names that it would be all to easy to keep to yourself, and drop his tunes for those club high moments whilst shielding the record labels to protect your "genius"

The truth is, Nighty Max(Joan) is one of the most down to earth, friendliest guys I have met in all my dance music history.

What follow are his answers to BtDJ's trade secret questions, along with one of my favorite tracks of his.

Be sure to follow him on myspace:

Also, make sure you check out his latest tune (Beach Hut) cos it's friggin ACE (that bassline is summer wrapped up right there).

Iglou - Nighty Max:

Beach Hut - Nighty Max:

And here are the Trade Secrets:

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into DJing/Producing and the whole scene etc?

I started out DJing at the age of 14 because I was really into house and electronic music. Then I met a guy that was also a DJ and was starting to produce and that really got me going so I started piano lessons, although I didn't start producing seriously until two years back.

What do you think is more important, raw talent, or 'getting to know' people/making the right contacts?

Unfortunately, nowadays it is essential to get good contacts to be able to get out there, but I think that without talent it can last very long.

So far what are your top achievements as a DJ/Producer?

I am just starting out, but so far I am getting gigs in the national scene, and also I am getting a very good response with my music, specially from the blogosphere.

What for you were the key moments/things that got you from bedroom artist to professional/full timer/where you are now?

Hahahaha! I am still a bedroom artist! But I am on my way and working very hard to move out of my room.

Do you think that it's easier, or harder now to make it as a DJ/Producer/band in this electronic age?

On one hand it is easier because anyone can obtain a home studio and there a many more resources, but on the other hand, this also makes it harder because there is a lot more competition.

Top 5 tips for anyone looking to get in to music?

I was hoping that you would give me some tips! Just kidding!

1. You must know the musical basics, it is easier when you know how to play an instrument.
2. Provide yourself with a home studio.
3. It might sound typical, but have confidence in yourself, and above all enjoy what you are doing.
4. A lot of patience.
5. Have music culture, and not just electronic music, but other styles.

Top 5 things NOT to do?

1. Don't expect things to happen overnight, that only happens to a few lucky ones.
2. Not to copy other artists, try to keep your own personal touch.
3. Don't be over confident.
4. Don't think that a track is finished when it really isn't.
5. Don't do drugs.

Do you think the current scene is sustainable with the number of new artist coming through, competition for gigs, current state of record sales etc?

It is true that there are many new artists and it is hard to get heard, but then everyday there are more labels and clubs that are looking out for new things.

What would you have done differently if you had a second chance?

I would have started with my piano lessons at an earlier age.

When writing new material is there a particular approach you take (melody, then beats etc) do you have ideas in your head, or just what comes out at the time?

Usually I always create a base and work on it, but as it is with music, it is also unpredictable and sometimes an idea just comes up so I try to make it work in my computer.

On a personal note... I love the bass line on your new track "Beach Hut" it's a sound I have wanted to produce for a while, can you quickly let me know how you made it?

It is a plug-in that I use with real bass sounds, and together with EQ and compression I managed to get that sound.
P.S. I also love the bass line!

Any tips for mixing/mastering

As for mixing I do what I can in that bedroom of mine, since I don't own good speakers. And mastering, to tell the truth none of my tracks are mastered, but I'd like to find a place to do it good and cheap, do you happen to know of any?

Plans for the future, upcoming gigs, new projects etc?

Gig wise, a good plan for the future would be getting more and out of Barcelona. As for projects, keep making tracks and put together a couple of EP's.

What is the best thing about being a DJ/Performer?

Seeing how the crowd enjoys your work.

If there was one thing you wish you knew when you started out?

That it was going to be so though to place myself in the scene.




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 251: Win Win Win!

Ok, another quick vanity post today I am afraid.

A while back I posted about a number of competitions I happened to have entered. More recently, in one of my most epic posts ever, I basically mentioned that I actually won one of them (one of the better ones too) well, it turns out my lack hasn't quite finished.

I also entered a competition to win a Pacemaker, the results came out the other day, and, alas I wasn't the winner, despite making the final round. Well... they sent out a newsletter today and mentioned the competition, and that the runners up won some Pacemaker headphones (worth £50!).

My mix is the one entitles "One Summer Night"

Wha... wait up. Runners up? I forgot about that... so I clicked the link, and I only went and bloody came second! Well, they don't strictly say second place, but it is my mix in 1st in the list, and my name mentioned first, that'll do for me :)

So I missed it by a whisker... but hey that's cool, really pleased to have placed, especially again as there was such a high number of entrants.

Whats that... yes I should get some bangs for that shouldn't I.. I scored winning the other competition at a 10, as it was a fairly big comp, and I won the lot. This too was a fairly big comp, but obv I came in only with a silver... so, I'm rating that as a 5.

Here's to the next competition (which I have found already!).

Also a big up to Andy Roo who was the over all winner, nice one!

P.S. Note the last mixes thumbnail... the same lazers fromt his very blog... hmmmmm.




Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 250: Fun with Crystal meth-od

More remixes from yours truly. This time "Come Back Clean" by the Crystal Method.

It's all about showing the progress, and personally I am quite chuffed with this one. It was one of the quicker tunes I made, and for some reason (even with a hangover) it just seemed to rattle out from my fingers with relative ease.

Even though it's a remix, every part of the tune is composed originally except for the vocal. For that reason, I may well just strip that off, and claim the tune back as my own composition.

It's more regular House/Tech-House than what I might make left to my own devices, but I kinda like the drive behind it. Let me know what you think!

Come Back Clean by bang




Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 249: DJing with GPS

Yeah baby... you read correctly.

Normally GPS is only really good for Sat Nav, helping you get places. But some clever boffins have worked out a way to use it for DJing.

As far as I understand they have created a 'map' with songs occupying zones, and as you move between these zones, using the GPS data, it blends the tracks, creating a dynamic mix as you move about.

The video explains it better than me... it's pretty pointless, tho could be an interesting alternative to the Radio for a while...




Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 248: High-tech Soul

High tech soul.... or Techno as you may also know it, came out of the Detroit underground scene some time in the late 80s.

Here is a pretty smart documentary about the whole thing, featuring some of the scenes biggest players (Mills/Hawtin/Saunderson etc).

The whole thing is like an hour long, so I went to one of them "Download Vimeo" sites, and snarfed the whole thing as an mp4 for viewing on the media centre at my leisure.