Ryan L. Morgan
Project and Portfolio I Final Track Project
My approach to this track was setting a scene of taking a drive cruising down the street letting the wind blow in my face without a care in the world watching the sun shine into the sun set. I could hear this track being used for the a commercial or a movie. I could also hear it as a country pop record kind of like Taylor Swift.
The back-beat rhythm at 100 beats per minute worked well to set the bounce I wanted for the record. Using the acoustic drums just had a feel that matched the vision I was headed in I wouldn’t have been able to capture the same vibe from a drum machine. The thick punchy kick and the snap and ring of the snare gave me a groove I couldn’t resist accompanied by the hi hats which gave the track some movement and bounce. The bassline I took a less is more approach by keeping it simple yet adding enough notes to provide addition groove elements. At measures 17 through 25 I completely removed the kick and snare only leaving the hats remaining during a break in the beat also brought in claps to fill out the section more and play off the bass line which was altered to really bounce during this break I wanted to continue movement so the beat doesn’t lose moment with the drums being removed during this section. Only to reverse that and bring the kick and snare back in while removing the hats I thought that would be a nice twist introducing the B section of the beat. I didn’t stop there I also changed the entire cadence of the beat to give a different vibe and I feel this brought a whole new element to the production.
The harmony and melody are in the scale of A Major to give a more upbeat happy feel verses the darker feel of minor chords. I used this thought process to paint the picture of the mood and setting that I described earlier. The warm yet bright strings just have a welcoming happy feel. The Bright MK II Blackface keys are what capture you in the car with the happy movement of the chords being played. The Guitars To me just took the track o another level no matter if they were used for just melody accents to the chord progression or as rhythm in the break or just slower melodic lead in the B section. They gave the extra to bring out the vision.
The track while containing mostly acoustic instruments also contained synthesized instruments as well, I wanted to have a pluck melody, so I used the ESP to create a bouncing pluck synth on track 11 because I just wanted everything bouncing in this record, I never wanted to lose the bounce. I also created synth chords on track 12 to fill out the break and to accent the strings in the B section. The claps I used in the break were recorded live and input into the sampler in logic pro x. From there I layer them as if they were chords and slighting changing the timing of each clap to give it more of a bigger and real feel.
When it came to the mix, I tried to eq and shape the instruments as they were being laid down. So, there is plenty of eq going on and of course getting the balance right between instruments and finding space in the spectrum for everything using panning. I used some compression for my drums to get them tight and I drove the compression a little harder with a fast attack and release to get the gritty overdrive to my bass. I used reverb bus 1 and 2 and delays bus 5 and 6 as sends to create the depth in my mix.