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October 1, 2006

Filed under: music»recording»mp3

Strange Chemistry

Last seen in Sketchpad #7, I've completed a sufficiently final version of Strange Chemistry, now available over at It replaces My Foundation until I get that recorded again--the previous version was tracked before I had a half-decent preamp and using Audacity, so the quality was pretty low.

As a test for the virtual recording rig, I'm really happy with Strange Chemistry. I hardly had to touch the levels on the different loops at all, so I could devote more time to making the vocals satisfactory. I recorded the song in a couple of passes in Ableton, tracking the distorted parts on the second pass so that a mistake in the solo wouldn't ruin the whole song. Then I pulled it into Cubase for mastering and fades. My "mastering" process basically just consists of using the MDA Stereo Sim on the final mix--since everything I do is basically mono, I need a little extra separation and MDA Stereo somehow creates the illusion of a big soundfield.

Before I recorded this, I put new strings on the bass, and you can really hear the difference. I love the way the chords ring out--they're very rich and percussive, more like bells than guitar. Whereas the sketchpad version was almost all distortion, I use very little of that channel here. Despite that, I think it's actually more sinister-sounding, especially toward the end when the bass chords begin to slide around each other.

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