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aggenver
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EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:07 pm

Hi forum,

Here are a couple of tracks from my new EP "Convocation". In this album I am trying to create ambient valleys surrounding peaks of intense emotion:
https://youtu.be/NO4Nb5ErCpQ
https://youtu.be/Pp1sa2MMsac

Those two tracks were composed exclusively by the use of Logic Pro native instruments (Retro Synth, EXS24, Ultrabear, Drummer) and a guitar. The mixing and mastering was done by using Logic Pro's native plugins only (Reverb Designer, ChromaVerb, standard EQ, Compressor, Limiter).

I would be happy to receive any feedback about the production quality of this work. Good or bad!

Here are links to the full album in case you are interested:
https://grimanise.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/album/7mq7WTWf ... epp4XPkUdw

take care and thanks for listening!
Logic Pro 10.4.1, Mac OS X High Sierra 10.13.4
Macbook Pro 15'' (mid 2011) i7 quad core @2.0 Ghz, 8GB Ram
Apogee Ensemble Firewire
Access Virus TI2 Polar OS 5.1.7.00
 
MikeRobinson
Posts: 1167
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Location: Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.

Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:11 am

In the first track, e.g. around 2:00, there is a particular "snare-drum hit" sound that just doesn't sound right to me. It's quite prominent, and to my ears, well, for lack of a better word "it sounds like a splat."

When your ears unwittingly begin to focus on it, you also begin to notice that every cycle of this hit is exactly the same. I think that I would replace this sound, with not just one but several ones: the drummer is playing a steady beat, but the hits are not identical. I would also rework that drum track so that the drummer "changes it up" every now and again like a real drummer would actually do.
Mike Robinson
"I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.
Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
 
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aggenver
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Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:31 pm

Hi Mike,

And to think that that used to be set about 3 dB higher in the first mixes... :D. But the kick and bass were also louder back then and the mix was also more compressed so the whole thing sounded quite different.

The particular snare sound (stock Ultrabeat snare setting doused in reverb) was supposed to suddenly disturb the first ambient part of the track. Throw off the listener from that first state. I was indeed aiming for some repetitive drum play (distorted and loopy) in order not to take away from the melodies. I was aiming for something more meditative/contemplating.

I understand where you come from though. Actually, I have received similar criticism from others as well regarding that snare drum. It was the reason I changed the levels in the first place. I should have maybe shaped the sound differently or ditched the sound completely for a less "prominent" one.
It would also be interesting to experiment with the snare hit levels and see if it is possible to vary them just enough in order to make them more interesting without breaking the loopy feeling.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to listen and even more for the feedback!
Logic Pro 10.4.1, Mac OS X High Sierra 10.13.4
Macbook Pro 15'' (mid 2011) i7 quad core @2.0 Ghz, 8GB Ram
Apogee Ensemble Firewire
Access Virus TI2 Polar OS 5.1.7.00
 
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melodea
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Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:02 am

I like the style a lot! good work mate! For my taste, the bass foundation is a bit weak. Would like to hear some killer lows in it.
Logic 10.6.1 OS 10.15.7 Mac Book Pro 15inch, 2,6GHz intel core i7, 16GB RAM
 
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aggenver
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Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Wed Dec 08, 2021 6:07 pm

melodea wrote:
I like the style a lot! good work mate! For my taste, the bass foundation is a bit weak. Would like to hear some killer lows in it.


Thanks for the comment and feedback! I like deep bass too. The first mix attempts had more of the low-end. I ended up reducing that for a more subtle effect and to fit better the rest of the EP.
Logic Pro 10.4.1, Mac OS X High Sierra 10.13.4
Macbook Pro 15'' (mid 2011) i7 quad core @2.0 Ghz, 8GB Ram
Apogee Ensemble Firewire
Access Virus TI2 Polar OS 5.1.7.00
 
MikeRobinson
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Location: Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.

Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:46 am

It might be that the "treatment" of the snare sound is what made it "stand out" to me. (This might have been the "splat.") This and the subsequent exact repetition. Unless you are purposely trying for a drum-machine sound, drummers never play the same thing twice. Like I suggested, "change it up."

There are even "humanize" features in Logic which can inject millisecond-sized variations – particularly in percussion parts – which can make a noticeable difference very cheaply. (I think that your ear focuses most-quickly on "absolutely identical," but that it doesn't take a lot of variation to cure that.) Drummers also improvise a selection of "riffs," even if they then more-or-less randomly repeat them. Drummers get bored too.

To be clear: I generally like the track and what you are doing with it.
Mike Robinson
"I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.
Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
 
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aggenver
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 6:57 am

Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:02 pm

MikeRobinson wrote:
It might be that the "treatment" of the snare sound is what made it "stand out" to me. (This might have been the "splat.") This and the subsequent exact repetition. Unless you are purposely trying for a drum-machine sound, drummers never play the same thing twice. Like I suggested, "change it up."

There are even "humanize" features in Logic which can inject millisecond-sized variations – particularly in percussion parts – which can make a noticeable difference very cheaply. (I think that your ear focuses most-quickly on "absolutely identical," but that it doesn't take a lot of variation to cure that.) Drummers also improvise a selection of "riffs," even if they then more-or-less randomly repeat them. Drummers get bored too.

To be clear: I generally like the track and what you are doing with it.


Hi Mike, no worries! I have received both a lot of good and bad comments in the past. And your constructive criticism is most welcome! Even though for this track the repetition is intentional, I did not know about the "humanize" feature in Logic and it is something I could definitely use on other tracks. I guess this is a "Drummer" feature and not an "Ultrabeat" one, right?

By the way, may I know what your background in music is? Are you mainly into percussive instruments?
Logic Pro 10.4.1, Mac OS X High Sierra 10.13.4
Macbook Pro 15'' (mid 2011) i7 quad core @2.0 Ghz, 8GB Ram
Apogee Ensemble Firewire
Access Virus TI2 Polar OS 5.1.7.00
 
MikeRobinson
Posts: 1167
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:42 pm
Location: Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.

Re: EP composed and produced by exclusive use of Logic's intruments & plugins

Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:26 am

I'm mainly a keyboardist, although I use Logic and synths in an effort to emulate a lot of instrument styles including percussion. (Made from scratch.)

Maybe since I grew up in the 80's when all of this magical technology was just inventing itself, I became a little bit hyper-sensitive to the "drum machine" sound – which I continue to hear on the satellite radio every day. This technology allows us to create percussive parts in which the rhythm does not vary at all, and neither do the sounds. Occasionally we want this and some artists have used it to tremendous effect, but even in melodic parts I still appreciate it when there is variation. You can tell when a part has been "quantized out of existence" and when it has been left alone. You can tell when a vocalist's second chorus is a copy-and-paste of her first. Record five takes, keep the best three, and use all three in different places.

"Humanize" is a general feature: along with "swing," it's a non-destructive effect that's sort of the opposite of quantize. At least, that's my very limited understanding.
Mike Robinson
"I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.
Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA