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Itch (ElectroProg - Seismic Surface Scratching)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:28 pm
by seismic1
9 hours to record in June 2010, the original track for this was completed during one day. The November 2012 Edit/Remix/Master also took 9 hours. I made a few minor structural alterations and shortened the track by over 1 minute, but preserved the original shape of the piece, whilst cleaning up the sonics with some EQ and subtle added reverb. The levelling on the unmastered remix was very close to where I wanted it to be, and so the master was straightforward. I'm now remixing parts of the back-catalogue, hopefully for an album in Feb/Mar 2013. All instruments on this track are EnergyXT, except for the addition of Cubix.

mp3/192Kbps/6:35/9.04MB

or, on SoundCloud,

http://soundcloud.com/whatsisname/itch

Recorded in EnergyXT2.5.2/Remixed in EnergyXT2.6
EnergyXT Synthesizer
Cubix
EnergyXT Drum Sampler
IK Classik Studio Reverb
EnergyXT Compressor
T-Racks Linear Phase EQ
T-Racks Opto Compressor
T-Racks Vintage Equalizer
T-Racks Brickwall Limiter

DR - 12

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:22 pm
by Frantz
Excellent! :tu: It has all the depth and richness we seismologists have come to expect. It is also a completely unified piece. Everything develops smoothly from the initial parts. Love the bassline that makes its first appearance at 2:22. By 3:21, I'm involuntarily dancing in my chair.

The mix is great. Although I think soundwise this could be slightly improved by higher quality virtual analog sounds (e.g. Diva if your CPU can take it) than you're currently using.

By the way, what happened to the last few notes of the bassline at the very end?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:34 pm
by mrblitz
harmonically, this is extremely interesting.

overall, it sounded as though perhaps some of the perc could have a wee tad more 'oomph' in the bass freqs, and maybe some of the trebles in the piece could have been 'shelved'. more than anything, that's probably an aspect of my headphones.

anyway, it's as though - if you had a line running left to right - representing the frequency peaks, that the whole thing could be 'tilted' just slightly higher on the (left), and lower on the right (highs).

also, maybe it's just a genre thing?... part of the definition for this genre? 'less pump' and 'more highs'? and of course in any event, each person's mileage will probably vary with respect to the freq mix.

again, it's a fascinating piece, harmonically.

as for FrantzM's asking about what happened to the bass line at the end; maybe taper that off a bit more/longer?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:24 am
by tehlord
Haha awesome.

This really reminds me of the music heard in the low budget action flicks of the 80s.

What was that one with Tom Sellick and the spider robots? :D


And that bass, awesome! :love:

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:12 am
by seismic1
FrantzM wrote:Excellent! :tu: It has all the depth and richness we seismologists have come to expect. It is also a completely unified piece. Everything develops smoothly from the initial parts. Love the bassline that makes its first appearance at 2:22. By 3:21, I'm involuntarily dancing in my chair.

The mix is great. Although I think soundwise this could be slightly improved by higher quality virtual analog sounds (e.g. Diva if your CPU can take it) than you're currently using.

By the way, what happened to the last few notes of the bassline at the very end?


Thanks very much for listening and commenting FrantzM. Glad you enjoyed it :D

I'm not sure that my machine would be able to handle the demands of Diva. I have a 6Gb Ram core i5 system which I bought in a bit of a rush when funds were tight after my old 2Gb Athlon died 13 months ago. I could easily up this to 8Gb but I'm thinking that the CPU wouldn't really be up to "Divine Mode". To be honest, this lack of CPU grunt has also made me nervous about purchasing Zebra.

The ending of the track went through a few different permutations, both in 2010 and during the remix. I decided that the sudden stop worked best for me. Other people may hear this differently.

The bassline in "This Must Be Love" by Phil Collins, is a good personal example. I always felt that the rhythm of the thing didn't make sense. A few years after hearing it for the first time, it was playing on the radio and I must have heard it differently (poor sound quality or distraction perhaps). Suddenly I could hear the rhythm (presumably) the way it was meant to be heard, and the track took on a new lease of life for me.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:13 am
by mr.me
I like it!
Reminds me of the 80s a bit, but not cheezy. It gets ya pumped, very nice work in here!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:24 am
by Frantz
seismic1 wrote:I'm not sure that my machine would be able to handle the demands of Diva. I have a 6Gb Ram core i5 system which I bought in a bit of a rush when funds were tight after my old 2Gb Athlon died 13 months ago. I could easily up this to 8Gb but I'm thinking that the CPU wouldn't really be up to "Divine Mode". To be honest, this lack of CPU grunt has also made me nervous about purchasing Zebra.


I am currently even CPU poorer than you are running on a Dual Core XP machine. So I am using CPU friendly stuff like the Korg Legacy Collection and TAL-U-NO-LX. I will get a new PC soon. I have been postponing it because I don't like dealing with configuration issues.

seismic1 wrote:The ending of the track went through a few different permutations, both in 2010 and during the remix. I decided that the sudden stop worked best for me. Other people may hear this differently.


The way I am hearing it, it sounds like the final ascending notes of the bass line were omitted. Perhaps I am hearing it backwards and that is the start of the phrase?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:37 am
by seismic1
mrblitz wrote:harmonically, this is extremely interesting.

overall, it sounded as though perhaps some of the perc could have a wee tad more 'oomph' in the bass freqs, and maybe some of the trebles in the piece could have been 'shelved'. more than anything, that's probably an aspect of my headphones.

anyway, it's as though - if you had a line running left to right - representing the frequency peaks, that the whole thing could be 'tilted' just slightly higher on the (left), and lower on the right (highs).

also, maybe it's just a genre thing?... part of the definition for this genre? 'less pump' and 'more highs'? and of course in any event, each person's mileage will probably vary with respect to the freq mix.

again, it's a fascinating piece, harmonically.

as for FrantzM's asking about what happened to the bass line at the end; maybe taper that off a bit more/longer?


I don't tend to push the bass up in these ElectrProg pieces, and I like the HF clarity that is also fairly prevalent. There is a synth patch on here playing a descending arpeggio which has some PM going on. When I have used it in the past, I have applied a parametric EQ cut at around 1K, but I tried it on here and it "deadened" the effect, so I left it alone. It sounded ok on the monitors and on the phones to my ears, but that might be what you are referring to.

As far as genre goes, I label it "ElectroProg", but I'm not sure where it sits in relation to peoples' expectations in the genre catalogue minefield. I'm not noted for conformist behaviour in either my personal or professional endeavours, so that is to be expected. It's just related to my view of things.

I don't tend to go for "pump" on these instruments as a rule. I use a compressor in my mastering chain, but usually not "in the mix". This track was an exception to that practice. When I originally recorded it over 2 years ago I didn't really understand the importance of levelling or headroom and sometimes I would add a little compression just to add a volume boost to a particular instrument. As part of the re-levelling process for this track, the compressor used on the bass synth that comes in at 2:22 was no longer required. I decided to leave it on the track because I liked the sound, but for colouration only.

In any case, I'm pretty certain that this won't be the final remix of this one, if past and current experiences are any yardstick.

I've had about 5 different endings on this track in the 18 hours I worked on it. Endings seem to be the most elusive piece of the puzzle. I'll need to think about this again.

Thanks very much for listening and for the detailed feedback, mrblitz. Glad you managed to stick with it to the end :)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:46 am
by S1gnsOfL1fe
Absolutely brilliant. As been stated above, I also loved the harmonic richness...and the melodies, and the vibe...everything about it was top notch!

FrantzM wrote:It has all the depth and richness we seismologists have come to expect.


Whoa, your fans even have their own name for themselves?! That's the coolest thing EVER!!! I guess I'm a seismologist too...and proud of it!!! :D

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:13 am
by polyslax
Love the piece Tim... what really gets me going in this one is the rhythmic complexity, all kinds of pushing and pulling. Outstanding!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:29 am
by seismic1
tehlord wrote:Haha awesome.

This really reminds me of the music heard in the low budget action flicks of the 80s.

What was that one with Tom Sellick and the spider robots? :D


And that bass, awesome! :love:


Low budget action. The story of my life :hihi:

That film was called Runaway, I probably saw it but I can't remember it. Looking at Wikipedia, I see that it had a multi-million dollar budget, but it was up against The Terminator. 'Nuff said.

Thanks for listening, Geoff. Glad you liked it :) Bassline is EnergyXT

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:26 pm
by seismic1
mr.me wrote:I like it!
Reminds me of the 80s a bit, but not cheezy. It gets ya pumped, very nice work in here!


Thanks very much for listening and commenting, mr.me. Glad you liked it :)

Watch out for those steroids :shock:

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:58 pm
by seismic1
FrantzM wrote: I will get a new PC soon. I have been postponing it because I don't like dealing with configuration issues.


It took me about 4 weeks to get my new machine working in a way that I could describe as satisfactory. I found that period to be extremely frustrating. But it has to be done.

FrantzM wrote:
seismic1 wrote:I decided that the sudden stop worked best for me. Other people may hear this differently.


The way I am hearing it, it sounds like the final ascending notes of the bass line were omitted. Perhaps I am hearing it backwards and that is the start of the phrase?


Yes. That is the logical start of the phrase. I thought that killing it there had more impact than leaving the sequence to complete.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:12 pm
by Frantz
seismic1 wrote:It took me about 4 weeks to get my new machine working in a way that I could describe as satisfactory. I found that period to be extremely frustrating. But it has to be done.


Yes, I will probably go through a similar PC upgrade ordeal around Xmas.


seismic1 wrote:Yes. That is the logical start of the phrase. I thought that killing it there had more impact than leaving the sequence to complete.


I'm a little confused. If the "missing" ascending notes are the start of the phrase, then the phrase completed. But you are saying you killed it before it completed?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:36 pm
by seismic1
FrantzM wrote:
seismic1 wrote:
I'm a little confused. If the "missing" ascending notes are the start of the phrase, then the phrase completed. But you are saying you killed it before it completed?



No. I think I explained that badly. The missing notes are effectively the final 3 quarter notes of the measure, but I squeezed the first 3 notes of the regular phrase to fit into the first beat, so it became an eighth note followed by two sixteenths instead of the regular dotted eighth followed by two sixteenths.