Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nerd stuff - the making of "Chillax"

I like reading how other people write music so I'm showing here how how put this song together...


I damaged the tendons in my knee

so I sat on the couch reading Peter Garrett's biography with a bag of frozen peas on my knee

and I found that listening to SBS Chill radio station didn't distract me from reading

I'm not a big fan of chill music but it worked for me while reading and sitting on the couch and so I started to get ideas in my head about trying something 'chill' like. So I found a few drum loops on Looperman at 130bpm and put them on one of my computers I use to make music

Around the same time, I'd picked up Prodigy's "Fat of the Land" and it reminded me of the big beat sound I used to like.

So, I thought I'd try and make a chill tune with a bigger sound - so a compromise. I'm not getting paid or commissioned -so why not?!

Making the tune

I put the drum beats through LMMS sequencer and worked on a piano roll pattern that I thought fitted in with the beat. I did each of these notes one by one (with a bit of cut and paste) - so I'm making this picture larger because I put a lot of work into it! It is in A minor 7 ....I think.....

 Once I got beat and the pattern going I left it for a day or two.
 When I came back I tried different chords on my midi controller keyboard until I found a pattern I liked.


 I started to build the background of the song up using drum loops and synth sounds on LMMS

I saved everything as WAV files and transferred to another computer I use into SONAR LE a Digital Audio Workstation and worked on refining it for a whole day

Something wasn't sounding right the whole time until I realized it needed more 'human' instrumentation - and so I wiped a lot of the electronic bass sounds and brought in my own four stringed Suzuki Bass and just played it over driven...it made a difference straight away.

Eventually I double tracked the lead guitar and refined and added an effect or two along the way to bring out the different bits.

Watch the video here - most of the clips were public domain or creative commons - I didn't want it to be too serious. Music is a gift. Enjoy.