This track has been a long time coming, but it’s finally done! It’s my first original track with lyrics; it’s about leaving my job after so many years there, though I wouldn’t read too much in to the words. It’s certainly a departure from my usual electronic stuff — this has just piano, bass, drums, and vocals — so I’m keen to hear what people think of it.
You can download or stream it below, or at Bandcamp. Some production notes are under the cut.
mp3 | ogg | flac | 3 minutes 47 seconds
It may not be electronic in sound, but it’s still electronic in production; the piano (Pianoteq), drums (LinuxSampler, with the Analogue Drums RockStock kit), and bass (a Soundfont I found online) were sequenced in Qtractor and then recorded in to Ardour 3, alongside the vocals. Mixing in Ardour used a lot of Calf plugins (the Compressor, Filter, and the new multi-band EQ), along with IR for reverb, using a nice Bricasti M7 IR file, and a Rakarrack insert on the bass part to apply an Ampeg SVT 810 cabinet impulse from Red Wire.
I also dabbled with the Zita-AT1 auto-tuner. I don’t have a problem with pitch correction in general, but I don’t tend to like the overly-perfect results that people often get from it, so I was very careful to avoid that. I disabled its automatic pitch detection and instead controlled its corrector with a MIDI track, drawing in corrective notes just where I thought they were absolutely needed. I don’t think it sounds auto-tuned at all as a result — it just sounds a little better than it did without the correction.
The biggest challenge (apart from the lyrics!) was to create instrument parts that sound as real as I could manage, and then get them sitting together in a natural-sounding mix. I think I’ve done a decent enough job — the piano is fine, and while the drums and bass aren’t as natural as they could be, I think the illusion as a whole works well enough.