Wednesday, November 10, 2010


When I was contacted to participate in the Process Series with a DJ mix or a track, I knew that it would be with a track, as I am not djing. Also, doing a mix at home with the music I like would´ve be fun but I guess less interesting and personal than composing something special for the occasion. So I tried to plan this with enough time in advance to be sure I would have the time to sit for one or two days in the studio to work.

I also decided (after checking other issues of the series, especially Dntel´s) that keeping detailed written track of everything I did in the process of producing could be interesting for me and maybe also for the readers. I wrote almost everything, even if it was just a thought, an event, an idea or something stupid.

As a result here is the detailed list of my composing process and the resulting track.

I would say that the track it is not even finished and probably the mix needs a lot of work still. But I am quite happy with the general feeling of it and maybe in a future I would modify it and release it somewhere. For now it should be taken as an open experiment or excercise for self-discovery.

As a conclusion, I would say the inspiration and the process to transform it into a "finished" product, unlike many other artists, usually comes from my everyday routine. As a strange as it may sound, waking up, going to the studio and starting with a few sounds, takes me on a tunnel where the outside world disappears and the ideas, melodies, etc. start to flow. Obviously, this doesn´t happen every time. I guess that is the magic of it. But, as someone said: You never know when inspiration will come, but it better find you working when it does!!

Monday, 11th October 2010

- 10:30: I wake up with a bad pain on my back. I should probably change my pillows or my mattress...or probably better: do some excercise. I read emails, prepare my "mate drink", eat some toasts and start to plug my studio.
- 13:20: I add the first kick.
- 13:26: Straight four to the floor is not my thing today. I add some small variations.
- 13:30: I start a bassline with a simple sinewave oscillator with an extra click on the attack. An easy, moody melody on A minor.

- 13:40: I create a new channel with an interesting succession of chords, but it doesn´t fit with my previous bassline....mmm...I delete it. You can always start again.
- 13:43: I add some delay and LFO modulating the filter frequency to give some movement. It's a very moody and happy atmosphere. A minor 7 and D minor 7 chords.
- 13:50: A cowbell helps for the rhythm...not sure about the sound...but I'll have time to change it later.
- 13:55: I open the wonderful Collision (Applied Acoustics technology in Ableton) and add a mallet sound. Same note, variable rhythm, almost random. The modulation capabilities are a bit with it to get a moving feeling on the background.
- 14:05: I add a shaker, timbal and new bass line. A groove starts to take form. Nice :)
- 14:15: After some minutes listening, I start to imagine a new melody...quite cheap and pop...but I say to myself that with a nice percussive sound, it could help the rhythmic and instrumentation of the loop. I put it on the keyboard and register with an awful sound. I will have to change it soon.
- 14:22: The track without the kick misses the groove. I realize that the problem is my LFO modulating the filter of the chords. It´s not set to oscillate in synchro with the beat. Problem solved.

- 14:25: Suddenly, I get a new bassline melody in my mind. It sounds familiar. I hope I'm not stealing without even knowing it. I put it on the keyboard. It's an awful sound, but nice idea. I tweak the sound until I find something decent.

- 14:40: After listening a few times, the personal test moment arrives: mute the main melody part and hope that the loop still has enough consistence to groove alone...(I´ve been always stronger for melodies than for rhythms). Nice! I think it passes the test. Minimal but hypnotic. I think I have something worth continuing.
- 14:50: I like it. It still needs tons of work, but it is going somewhere. I stop to work. I am hungry. I will continue later.

- 17:00: I reopen my project and play for few minutes, muting parts, playing around. I definitely like it. I arrange the sounds, the mix, clean some samples, etc.
- 17:10: I change the kick figure...more variations.
- 17:30: There are some interruptions, email, etc...I stop work on the project.

- 18:15: I come back again to my loop and realize that is quite ezquizofrenic. But no worries, it gives some tension. I add some more percussion, sporadic fx, some dynamics processing, compression, gate, etc.

- 18:20: I start to be worried about the arrangement suitable for this track. It is not a club track, and it is not just home listening either. What is it? What to do? Where to go?
- 19:30: For the last 30 minutes I've been adding fx and some more little melodies coming in and out of the track. Without the main chord, it sounds quite mysterious, almost vodoo-like.
- 19:55: I feel like I am starting to ruin the track, so it is better I quite for today.

Tuesday, 12th October 2010

- 12:20: I open the project. Listen few times. No new ideas coming yet, just arranging the mix and the sounds.
- 12:40: I can´t find new ideas. I close the project.
- 14:50: Back from lunch. I try again to find some ideas.
15:00: No great ideas about composition, but good ideas for effects, delays and reverbs.
- 15:20: I stop. I will continue another day.

Friday, 15th October 2010:

- 15:15: I reopen the project after few days. I was busy working on other urgent stuff. I listen to the loop a few times. I decide to take the day to work on it.
- 15:30: I do a real time recording of everything and I end up with a 12 minutes loop. Now I need to cut, arrange, delete, etc. and then I will have a better idea of the final arrangement.

- 1
6:50: After more than one hour of changing details, mixing, arranging, etc., it's time to take pause.
17:20: I continue working on the final details. I am almost ready but need to correct some last details on the mix, bounce and do a home made mastering.
18:30: The render is done. Final EQing and mastering are done.

alejandro mosso - process part 241 by modyfier


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