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More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

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AusDisciple
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210 posts since 6 Oct, 2013, from South Australia

Postby AusDisciple; Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:58 pm More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Edit (11th June 2014) - For those who haven't heard the first track from this new album, here's the link....
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=412534


Edit - direct link to download songs from this album - Hidden Gems | Instrumental Journeys

Well, here is the second track from my new "Hidden Gems | Instrumental Journeys" album and my first new track recorded with a combination of my new u-he purchase, various other software and some of my vintage analog (and digital) hardware. It is also the first track I have recorded using my new RME Fireface UFX which I am absolutely impressed with (the converters, preamps and drivers are fantastic).
This is another 70s style Berlin Electronic piece with plenty of analog sequencing. It is a very dynamic piece which starts off quietly with a gentle pulsing sequence and a solitary grand piano (Native Instruments New York Grand), combined with some SY77 pad sweeps through Valhalla Shimmer, builds to a loud climax with a guitar solo and drops again to a spacious piano for the finale.

The pulsing sequence is a combination of my Roland SH09 (for bass), System 100 (for sequenced layers which come in progressively) and Juno 6 (percussive filter FX) all fed through individual Arts Acoustic Big Rock phasers and bussed to a Variety of Sound NastyDLA MKII.
The sequencing is a combination of multiple instances of BlueARP V2 triggering my Frostwave Quad MIDI - CV converter (basically four MIDI - CV converters with gate, pitch and velocity CV over four MIDI channels in one 1RU 19“ box) and then into my Roland System 700 sequencer and the various hardware synths. The System 700 sequencer controls the VCF cutoff of the Juno 6 and the SH09. BlueARP takes care of note assignment, gate and velocity (via the Frostwave converter).

At the 4:15 mark, a drum loop courtesy of Superwave Tiny Pops (very nice Korg Minipops emulation) begins which is fed through another Big Rock phaser (I love this thing!!). There is no traditional panning on the loop. The pan effect is created by 180 degree stereo phase shifting from the Big Rock.
Also beginning at this point is some squelchy System 100 filter and oscillator HF FX (2xVCO and 2xVCF used in series configuration here) which pan left to right via a stock REAPER delay (the ReaPlugs are great). Again, no traditional panning is used. I was aiming for something along the lines of the EMS FX Jean Michel Jarre used on Oxygene 2. All tweaking is done live with my fingers on the knobs. There’s no other control of the System 100 going on here.

At 4:35, Diva makes her entrance with a very authentic sounding Moog lead emulation. Even though Diva can do many things, my primary reason for the purchase was for Moog and Korg sounds and the many hybrid possibilities. I have the Roland bases covered pretty well with hardware (System 100, SH09, JX-3P/PG200 with Inque MIDI mod, Juno 6, Juno 106 and System 700 sequencer). I played Diva via my SY77 and used the first mod wheel for traditional modulation control and the second mod wheel for filter cutoff.

At 6:43, my Roland JX-3P joins Diva on lead duties. Once again, I played the JX from my SY77. I did this because the Inque MIDI mod which I fitted recently gives the JX velocity sensitivity and the ability to use the PG200 and MIDI at the same time. The JX-3P is placed very wide in the stereo field (using the stock Roland chorus with iZotope Ozone 5 imager to spread it even wider) and sits well with Diva which is panned in the middle with a ping pong delay from NastyDLA MKII which I absolutely love.
Once again, I have made use of the two mod wheels on my SY77 to control the JX. Mod 1 controls oscillator sync (listen for the distinctive metal cross modulation on this track as I change it via the mod wheel) and mod 2 controls filter cutoff. I also tweaked the PG200 in real time as I played.
The JX-3P is actually a hugely underrated synth, especially with the PG200 and Inque mod. It is basically a polyphonic, velocity sensitive, analog, 2 DCO synth with the same filtering as the JP8. The stock filters are not set for self oscillating capability from the factory but a quick tweak of some trimpots inside the synth soon changes that!

Listen for the big Moog style lead drop from Diva at 9:30. THAT is why I purchased Diva! One word....FAT!!
Also at this point, I really open up space in the midrange spectrum of the sequence parts in preparation for what is to come.....

At 9:53, I added a lead guitar solo. The guitar is my trusty Fender Strat copy which I’ve had for nearly thirty years. It was one of the better copies made in the mid 80s. The lead sound is this guitar plugged into a VOX lead Amplug and into the RME Fireface. Delay for the lead guitar is once again the stock REAPER delay. Reverb is Valhalla Shimmer.
Diva and my JX keep going through the guitar solo but with a couple of ReaComps sidechained from the guitar to keep them sitting nicely in the mix.

At 12:05, the guitar begins to move to the distance via some automation of direct/reverb levels to make way for the piano which re-enters for the outro.

At 12:33, Diva leaves the stage and the sequencers begin their shift away from the intensity of the track climax to the open and contemplative space of the piano. I really like the NI New York grand, especially with the string resonance and pedal sounds tweaked for more authenticity. I have played real $100,000 Steinways before and this library actually comes very close to the feeling of playing one in person. NI have done a great job with this one.
I added some Valhalla Room to the piano for a more spacious feel. If you haven’t already got a copy, go and lay down $50 bucks with Sean. He’s done a top job with these ‘verbs and I use them on almost everything these days.

By 13:45, things have wound down to a spacious ambience and I switch the JX-3P over to pad duties which fade up by 13:50.
At this point, you can really hear the texture of the System 100 on the HF FX too. I had a lot of fun tweaking the knobs for those sounds!!

If you have a system capable of reproducing frequencies down to 5Hz (yes, FIVE Hz), I have deliberately NOT bandwidth limited this track and there are subsonics that low (stick a Voxengo SPAN across this track in high res mode and have a look for yourselves). The top end goes right up to about 22KHz too and the RME converters really shine here. There’s no need for recording at 96KHz in my opinion when 44.1KHz can sound really nice. I’d rather have the extra CPU resources for a more creative mix. Most of the plugins I use that benefit from the usage of 96KHz have adjustable oversampling anyway so those benefits can be had at 44.1KHz without the CPU overhead of running the whole mix at that rate.
Also, if you have a good surround sound system, try running this track through either Dolby Pro Logic II or DTS Neo:6. I have included plenty of surround phase information in this track for such decoding. I ran the mix through both of these decoders and through two channels and aimed for a mix that sounds exciting on any of these setups.
I might even get inspired and do a discreet DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix of this album once it is complete too. I love surround mixes!!

Here’s the track. Let me know what you all reckon...
O Jerusalem! http://ausdisciples.com.au/media/audio/ ... usalem.mp3



Update - Here's a new photo of my keyboard rig as it is currently (June 2014).
Image
Last edited by AusDisciple on Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:15 am, edited 6 times in total.
Doc Brown
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221 posts since 13 May, 2012, from Minnesota

Postby Doc Brown; Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:31 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Very cool Dave!

Very tasteful and the blending between the different moods of the song was seamless. Great guitar playing and fantastic mix if you ask me. I really only use the New York grand that came with Komplete 8. It sounds pretty good to me.

Really good Diva programming also. Cool pads at the end also.

Almost forgot the great sequencer lines!
Nice going. :clap:
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murnau
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2695 posts since 13 Jan, 2005, from Deutschland

Postby murnau; Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:55 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

pleasure to listen and read.. ..thank you! :tu:
“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more” ― Nikola Tesla
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AusDisciple
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210 posts since 6 Oct, 2013, from South Australia

Postby AusDisciple; Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:05 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Thanks heaps for taking the time to have a listen and comment guys. :tu:

Doc Brown,
The piano in this track is the New York grand from Komplete 8. I haven't upgraded to Komplete 9 at this stage because, to be honest, Komplete 8 has such a vast array of options that it'll keep me happy for a long time!

I edited my original post here and added a current photo (taken a few minutes ago) of my kepboard rig in order to give the description and the sounds a 'face' so to speak.
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Frantz
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2669 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:01 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Very nice piece. Beautiful sounds.

For my tastes, there is too much panning - especially the drums.
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seismic1
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6708 posts since 13 Mar, 2009, from UK

Postby seismic1; Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:30 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Cool piece of music there. It's got lots of little cues from the Encore era through to Tangram. Great job with the synth sounds and the guitar sounded great. I really enjoyed the whole piece.

Good work :)
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AusDisciple
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210 posts since 6 Oct, 2013, from South Australia

Postby AusDisciple; Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:23 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Frantz wrote:Very nice piece. Beautiful sounds.

For my tastes, there is too much panning - especially the drums.

Thanks for the compliments and the honest criticism Frantz. I always appreciate all feedback.
I normally wouldn't pan a drum part the way I have in this track but this time, I was going for an ambient feel for the drums rather than making them a feature. To be honest, the approach I made here was somewhat inspired by Jean Michel Jarre and his surround mix for Aero. I love the way he throws elements around the room so boldly!!

seismic1 wrote:Cool piece of music there. It's got lots of little cues from the Encore era through to Tangram. Great job with the synth sounds and the guitar sounded great. I really enjoyed the whole piece.

Good work :)

Thanks heaps Seismic1. Glad you enjoyed it. Providing an earthquake doesn't hit and crush all my gear, I am planning to release new tracks for this album fairly quickly. Stick around. ;)
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annode
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4905 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:47 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

I`ll have more to say on this production later i`m sure...but for now i`ll remark on how well the 'space' you`ve created sounds in this room with these Bose 601 series II speakers!
Image
Of course I have them separated, (not like in this pix, :lol: )
Your sound staging and panning, (although maybe a bit too busy) with these direct/reflecting speakers makes for a real sonic treat.

I`ll need some more listens in order to get a real handle on this project of yours. :party:
"It`s difficult to work in a group when you`re omnipotent." Q
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AusDisciple
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210 posts since 6 Oct, 2013, from South Australia

Postby AusDisciple; Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:42 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

VERY cool Annode 8)
I can't remember whether it was one of my electronics magazines or a sound engineering one but I remember reading a review of those Bose speakers and REALLY wanted a pair. I never got around to purchasing a pair but I was inspired to try a multitude of experiments of my own with various direct and reflecting arrays at the time.

I would expect this mix to actually work particularly well with those speakers. As mentioned in my original post, almost all of the panning in this tune has been achieved with delays and phase shifting which is much more akin to how human ears perceive direction. I have been a fan of this technique now for many years and incorporate it into almost all of my mixes.
Please do let me know how the spacial cues work on your 601s. I am very keen to hear your thoughts. :tu:
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annode
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4905 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:27 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

AusDisciple wrote:VERY cool Annode 8)
... I remember reading a review of those Bose speakers and REALLY wanted a pair.

Yeah, they are very musical sounding and the next best thing to a custom surround system,(better yet, a discreet multi-ch system.) Anyway, when looking for a pix to post here, I read a few reviews as well and was pleased to read how much owners like them and how highly regarded they are compared to many other systems. :) But really want to talk about what you`ve done that sounds so good in combination with these Bose. :)

I would expect this mix to actually work particularly well with those speakers.

The sound clarity,presence,hall ambiance and imaging on your track sound superb! ...and these speakers translate all that particularly well.( for the purposes of music listening/enjoyment...not studio work, to be clear.)

As mentioned in my original post, almost all of the panning in this tune has been achieved with delays and phase shifting which is much more akin to how human ears perceive direction.

I`m not clear on how your panning with a delay plug, (unless maybe your mixing the dry with an out of phase wet and an lfo or hand on the angle degree?) can you expand on that pls? Today is my 1st audition at day-time volumes. So i`m still comparing what you`ve written against what i`m hearing...so i`ll need more time to come back and talk about details.

Please do let me know how the spacial cues work on your 601s. I am very keen to hear your thoughts. :tu:

Will do. :)
"It`s difficult to work in a group when you`re omnipotent." Q
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annode
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4905 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:55 pm Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

While i`m still assessing this production, I wanted to ask you about the RME Fireface UFX.
'Did you use any of it`s DSP in this project?'
'Are you summing outside 'the box' or in?' (to analog mixer?)
'Do you plan to expand it to S/Mux 2x8 ADAT?' WOW!
That Fireface UFX sounds outstanding here...as you must know." :)

BTW, listened to it through Dolby Prologic II today. Unfortunately I lost my sub driver a while back due to age, so the experience was not good. Understanding also that there is no rear info 'yet'. The old school stereo is wow enough for me. :)

Also, me, being a native of Philadelphia, you might be interested in our weekly electronic ambient radio show out of the University of Pennsylvania called "Starsend". You may already know about it. If not, you can hear the 5hr weekly broadcast at about 2:30pm Sun your time. They play a good deal of Berlin seq`g along with other stuff. Load this url into Win. media player or whatever;
http://wxpnhi.streamguys.com:80/xpnhi

Later.
"It`s difficult to work in a group when you`re omnipotent." Q
My SoundCloud
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AusDisciple
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210 posts since 6 Oct, 2013, from South Australia

Postby AusDisciple; Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:41 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

annode wrote:Yeah, they are very musical sounding and the next best thing to a custom surround system,(better yet, a discreet multi-ch system.)

Here's a photo of the front two of my main monitors. I have another two set up at the back for discreet surround mixing (I have a Tannoy speaker not shown here that I sometimes use as a center channel for 5.1 mixing but usually mix with a phantom center).
The bass drivers are 2x10" Crown, the mids are Auratone 5c Cubes (great for midrange) and the tweeters are ribbon drivers. The boxes sitting next to the Auratones are my own custom crossovers I designed and built for this system.
Image

Here's a photo of some of the components I used for the crossovers and the semi-completed PCBs.
Image
annode wrote:I`m not clear on how your panning with a delay plug, (unless maybe your mixing the dry with an out of phase wet and an lfo or hand on the angle degree?) can you expand on that pls? Today is my 1st audition at day-time volumes. So i`m still comparing what you`ve written against what i`m hearing...so i`ll need more time to come back and talk about details.

Basically, anything that is moving in this track is moving due to varying phase shifting between left and right channels. That phase shifting was generated via Arts Acoustic Big Rock phasers set to 180 degree stereo mode. If you listen carefully to the drums, you'll hear the midrange and bass in both channels whatever the apparent stereo position. There is a level shift in the top end but that is due to phase cancellation rather than traditional panning. As the level shifts on the top end, so too does the delay difference between channels.
Static panning (which I haven't used much in this track) is usually taken care of with a basic stereo delay plugin (usually ReaDelay).
Very wide panning from left to right is done with a direct signal in the left channel and a delayed signal with feedback in the right channel (an old JMJ trick).
I sometimes use a modulated delay for motion panning and for that, I usually use ReaDelay with parameter modulation.
If mono compatibility is important, delays in combination with level control work well. I typically don't worry about mono compatibility though. Most critical listening will be done either in stereo (most often) or surround via phase decoding (Dolby ProLogic and DTS Neo) and the delay tricks work nicely with phase decoding.
Last edited by AusDisciple on Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AusDisciple
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210 posts since 6 Oct, 2013, from South Australia

Postby AusDisciple; Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:15 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

annode wrote:While i`m still assessing this production, I wanted to ask you about the RME Fireface UFX.
'Did you use any of it`s DSP in this project?'
'Are you summing outside 'the box' or in?' (to analog mixer?)
'Do you plan to expand it to S/Mux 2x8 ADAT?' WOW!
That Fireface UFX sounds outstanding here...as you must know." :)

Are you listening through an RME yourself or more referring to the sound you are hearing as a result of the A/D used for this mix? I'm curious to know either way because if you are not listening via an RME and you're hearing the smoothness in A/D, then that is another plus for the RME.
I didn't use any of the TotalMix DSP for the mix. All DSP was done in REAPER.
I grew up in a world of analog mixing desks and multitrack tape (before DAWs existed) so I am quite familiar with analog summing.
These days, I mix ITB. To be perfectly honest, unless you have access to a Neve or SSL, I don't think there's any advantage to analog summing. All the hype about saturation and crosstalk in analog consoles amuses me. In the days of analog mixing, we were always trying to get rid of those things!!
To be fair, saturation can sound desirable and I DO use it whether at the source during recording or via a plugin during mixing (my favourite saturation plugin is Ozone 5 Exciter) but I do NOT like it as part of the mix buss, nor do I like crosstalk. I like w-i-d-e stereo fields and crosstalk is the enemy of that.
As for expanding my RME, I do indeed have plans to do that but I probably won't be using S/Mux because I very rarely record and mix above 44.1KHz. To be honest, when the converters are good quality and the critical plugins used in a mix have oversampling, I don't see the point in recording above 44.1KHz. The extra CPU available at 44.1KHz allows for much more creative freedom in the mix and any perceived (whether real or imagined) benefits of higher sample rate are offest massively by the extra CPU resources and creative limits this presents to the mix process.
As far as interfaces for expanding my RME, at this stage, an Octamic XTC seems the most likely. That will give me 20 channels of analog input and 12 RME mic pre's (I actually really like the RME preamps).
annode wrote:BTW, listened to it through Dolby Prologic II today. Unfortunately I lost my sub driver a while back due to age, so the experience was not good. Understanding also that there is no rear info 'yet'. The old school stereo is wow enough for me. :)

I can imagine this sounding less than ideal with a lack of bass reproduction. There's a lot happening in the low end on this mix.
As for surround information, I actually have encoded it into the mix via 90 degree shifts on certain things so you should hear the surrounds 'doing their thing.' I do here. Keep in mind though that the surrounds in this mix are all about ambience. For 'throwing things around the room' in a music mix, discreet is the only way to go. Dolby ProLogic II and DTS Neo:6 are not really ideal for attempting discreet surround panning in music mixes where there's a lot going on in all channels simultaneously. They work OK for helicopters panning overhead in movies but there is generally much less simultaneous information in all channels in movie soundtracks.
annode wrote:Also, me, being a native of Philadelphia, you might be interested in our weekly electronic ambient radio show out of the University of Pennsylvania called "Starsend". You may already know about it. If not, you can hear the 5hr weekly broadcast at about 2:30pm Sun your time. They play a good deal of Berlin seq`g along with other stuff. Load this url into Win. media player or whatever;
http://wxpnhi.streamguys.com:80/xpnhi

Later.

Thanks heaps for the link. I'm pretty bandwidth challenged with my internet at the moment though (I only have my iPhone account for internet at present) so I have to be judicious with my usage. If I have enough left at the end of the month, I shall check this out though. :tu:
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annode
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4905 posts since 28 Mar, 2003, from Location: Location

Postby annode; Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:49 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Are you listening through an RME yourself or more referring to the sound you are hearing as a result of the A/D used for this mix? I'm curious to know either way because if you are not listening via an RME and you're hearing the smoothness in A/D, then that is another plus for the RME.

I`m listening on my bedroom entertainment/internet system with the embedded motherboard driver out to an standard home receiver to the Bose speakers. So yes, it`s the conversion at your end indeed. :) Your particular artistry in the production is maybe a larger part of the good sound...but can`t say for sure which is responsible for what.

No matter on the surround situation, i`m only really set up for the gimmick effect of it.
I do have an RME digi 24/96 w/ADAT to Mackie HR824 mons in my home studio but not listened on that system yet.

Yeah, i`ll have to demo the Arts Acoustic Big Rock to understand you. I used to own a 'Small Stone", so I understand somewhat your phase effect, but the Big Rock is a parameter expansion on the Small Stone...as you know...so best demo it.

Interesting setup you`ve got going on there. :) I was looking for you pet wallaby in that pix. :lol: :dog: Don`t mind me. :)
Ah, assembling your own crossovers. It`s become 'Show and Tell time in the Cafe. :) :lol: (i`m an old tech, so it`s like..."Doesn`t everyone build their own crossovers?" haha)

Low bandwidth, no worries.
For others...i`ve just noticed I can 'click' on that link then Firefox pulls up a player and it streams! :)
http://wxpnhi.streamguys.com:80/xpnhi

Bye.
"It`s difficult to work in a group when you`re omnipotent." Q
My SoundCloud
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SCprogfan
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93 posts since 9 Feb, 2013

Postby SCprogfan; Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:16 am Re: More 70s Berlin - Diva, BlueARP, NI, Vintage Hardware, Guitar, TinyPops, Valhalla, VoS - O Jerusalem

Great instrumental track with a nice intro and progression. Excellent work!
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