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m y m u s i c :

december 30th, 2020

this started off as a sequence i programmed into my arturia microfreak as a way to test the current patch while messing with the parameters but since the keyboard only has two octaves and notes must be inputed at once for it to recognize them as one step in its sequencer, i would find myself playing the bassline along with the programmed lead part and slowly increasing the cutoff rather than actually messing with the patch lol. thus i realized i had to sit down and get the whole idea programmed into my daw and turned into a proper song before i could let the idea go! every synth sound was programmed by me and the drums are from some huge pack of vintage drum machine samples i downloaded ages ago. the bass, repeating lead, and the high parts that come in about half way through were all played on the same patch and recorded at once in one go while i manually adjusted the cutoff frequency. the pad sound (that i'm not super happy with) was modified from a patch i made for a recreation of the weeknds blinding lights that i might post sometime. the only other synth i used was serum for the lead that comes in near the end because my microfreak wasn't hooked up at the time and i knew i could more easily get the portamento sound i wanted from it. arturia's jun-6 chorus is on just about everything and twice on some elements. i used omniverb for the gated reverb on the drums and TAL reverb on pretty much everything else.

it's far from my best composition but i'm loving the sounds i'm getting out of this pretty small and inexpensive synth! i definitely tend towards the virtual analog and superwave oscillator types, but someday i'll crack the weirder ones!

december 28th, 2020

after a few hours of messing with my microfreak i decided to try my hand at recreating blinding lights by the weeknd since i knew the synth sounds were at least somewhat simple and it gave me some solid end points for me to try to achieve! i started with the bass which was basically just a detuned supersaw with the amp envalope linked to the filter cutoff and a thorough amount of jun-6 chorus. since i'm not a particularly great musician, i decided to hook it up to my daw and control it with midi and send the audio through my audio interface. this became an issue when the midi out plugin in my daw decided to send weird pan data, which i specifically turned off, and the microfreak decided to interpret it as knob data, specifically the "wave" knob which was annoying because it meant the difference between a saw and a triangle wave, so i had to set the cycling envalope to modulate the wave knob in such a way that it was on the correct wave for most of the time. that sucked. i figured it out eventually though. anyways, much like the other track i have posted, i set up the midi and just let it run through the bulk of the track. i used the accapella as my main reference so the arrangement differs from the original but its close enough for me. the bass switches to some kind of 808 in the verses but i was too lazy to program a new bass sound so i just automated a lowpass filter so it was lowest in the verses, highest in the choruses, and somewhere inbetween in the prechorus. i think it worked pretty well! similar effects on the drums as the other track but these drums are just some linn clone that came with my daw since i didn't care for accuracy in the drums. next came the plucks in the prechorus which i could never get to sound quite as interesting as in the original track so i just went nuts with the chorus to give them as dynamic of a feel as possible. next was the brass pad that i truly underestemated the power of. superwave oscillator once again, i seem to have a knack for underwhelming pad sounds but nonetheless it added a ton of power to the choruses over the verses. i left the lead for last since i knew it would be fun to play! superwave a g a i n this one, as simple as it may be, was what i was most proud of since it sounds so close imo. just about everything is covered in some amount of jun-6 chorus lol, i really think it adds a vintage analog feel to this great little digital synth! claps, crashes, fx, are all from the kshmr pack released a while back. great stuff. ah! almost forgot! arps! this is one element i just could not get on previous pre-microfreak attempts but i think i really nailed them here! much like the pads, i really underestemated how much they add to the whole production! i didn't save the preset since i think it was just a modification of the pad or arp presets i made. i went through a few iterations of patterns for this part. i started with arpegios of the chords but that didn't feel right, then i tried a simplified version of that and it still felt wrong, by then it was pretty late so i headed off to bed and as i was drifting off the pattern came to me and the next morning i quickly punched it in and it was perfect! of course i could have used spectral analysis to find the actual notes but wheres the fun in that? in all honesty i hate the bridge arps but i can't be bothered to fix them because they're just ok enough.

wew that was long! it was a fun little project to test my abilities on a phenominal song and i'm pretty pleased with the results! hope you enjoy! :3

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