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Matt Freak Flag

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Matt Freak Flag last won the day on November 1 2022

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About Matt Freak Flag

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    Psychill, Psydub, Glitch, Drum n' Bass, Recording/Audio, Guitars, Beer, Spicy Food
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    Ottawa, Canada

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  1. Hey I for one am looking forward to hearing it I have an aversion to trap stylings for no real good reason. I went travelling 3 summers ago when it exploded in popularity, and was essentially camping and hiking for the first month or so, so missed most of the explosion. Came back to civilization, and it was... everywhere. And most of it was terrible... to me anyways. Went to a few festivals that did not originally have trap on the lineup that suddenly were half trap because every DJ was spinning it. My partner and I were just confused. It was a pretty weird experience. 808s went from a funny novelty to something that was on every non-psytrance festival dancefloor went to in the span of a month or two. Also the Daft Punk album came out that summer. So all we heard for like two months was Get Lucky alternating with "wtf are all these 808s?" But I've heard good trap, too. Chill groovy stuff. Good luck! Sucks about the monitoring situation, but so it goes. Try to check your mixes on speakers somewhere.
  2. Well, for the squelches, Psilocybian posted this to the Isratrance boards a while back and I think most people do something similar. Slow it way down for a gnarly grow, or, for extra squishiness, use some FM instead of simple oscillators. Generally, a saw-wave modulator precisely 2 octaves below a sine-wave carrier is a good starting point here. When the modulator is at sub-audio or nearly sub-audio frequencies, you get that ripping squelchy lead sound that makes up like... half of the leads in forest psy. "Trance-gated" or just gated stuff can be made all sorts of ways; you could just make a pad or vocal and chop it up manually, for maximum control. However, I prefer the side chain method: Set up your pad or vocal, plug a gate on the channel, and side-chain the gate (with a near-instant attack and release) to your second channel, which is just any old synth running a whatever kind of oscillator. Make a staccato note pattern on that second channel; don't worry about the notes, just the pattern, and remember to leave enough of space between notes. When you turn off the audio output of this second channel, your staccato pattern is now controlling the audio that gets through from the first channel. In Ableton, I think you can just "slice to midi" or something. And, of course, there are a zillion different plugins that do this, although you'll usually sacrifice some precise control over the pattern that you'd get with the more tedious manual methods. Xfer LFO Tool is probably the best bang for buck, and it's useful in a hundred other situations, too. The sample-and-hold sequence is very simple but IMO is the best and most versatile classic psy sound. Throw your favourite harmonically-rich oscillator (a saw will do) onto your favourite synth (that has a band pass filter). Set the band-pass filter somewhere in the middle-ish, with high resonance, but not quite so much that it self oscillates. Modulate the frequency of that band-pass filter with a sample-and-hold LFO (the random stairstep looking one that most synths have; might also be called "random step" or even just "random"). Chose 1/16note as the speed of the LFO. Throw a stereo delay and some reverb on that channel, and you have instant psychedelic goodness. That's just a starting point - you can use the S&H LFO to modulate literally anything and it will probably sound cool: oscillator type, distortion amount, resonance, FM amount, pitch, amount of reverb, all of the above, etc. Try with different filter types, try with parallel filters, try with no filter...
  3. That's how I do it usually. That way the compressor can sort of rebalance the drum sound to the room sound in an organic sort of way. Also: Big Drums on Space Designer is a fantastic IR. Tried it and instantly changed my Snare Verb bus on my master template to it.
  4. Sweet, will try that... right away. Space Designer's impulses are great but it's hard to find the perfect one sometimes. Surfing IRs is like surfing through presets you can't tweak.
  5. What kind of reverb do you guys like on your snares? I can never quite get the sound I want, so I usually end up just nabbing the "tail" of a snare from a live drum break that I like. But this has limitations... Like my reverb tail having a random hi-hit in it. Not to mention vinyl crackles. Pre-delay times? Diffusion? Hall/plate/room/etc? Please share what works for you! Thanks in advance...
  6. Welcome to the forum I'm actually pretty similar to you musically. While I don't care for trap, my live set right now ranges from downtempo breaks and psybient-infused trip-hop to midtempo glitchy funk. I also chose Logic for production, though I still have to hack my way through Ableton (slowly) for performing. I also use a guitar a lot, too: for my chill sets, mostly on soundscapes dripping with reverb; for, the dancier stuff, it's all about that clean 70s Strat spank. You've got awesome gear already - top notch albums have been made with far less, so don't let anyone tell you you need this or that flavor-of-the-week. What's your monitoring situation, though? Good monitors are invaluable. They don't have to be ridiculously good, but headphones or stereo speakers are NOT acceptable substitutes in my experience. KRK Rokit 5 (not 8), entry level JBLs, or used Adams or Dynaudios would be my suggestions on a budget. As for synths, the fact that you have Logic and therefor Alchemy means you already have what was until recently considered a top-tier third-party soft synth rivaling the likes of Omnisphere etc. If you learn Alchemy inside and out, that will serve you forever, and you will always find new ways to use it creatively. As for what to learn... I'm not sure what your current skill level is, so forgive me if something I say is either too simple or too complicated. I don't know much about trap percussion, but I think the same rules apply as with any other genre. Mainly, sample selection is king. More often than not, no amount of processing will substitute for a well-picked (or, well-made) sample. Can't polish a turd and all, and it's easy to suck the life out of your sounds if you try. If I could go back and do one thing differently from day 1, I would spend less time polishing turds and more time keeping a better organized, well-curated sample library. 20 kicks that you like and can actually use are worth far more than 3000 unsorted kicks with 100 you might use but never be able to find, endlessly digging through samples while your creativity finds a corner in which to hang itself. If you're making bass music, you'll want to know the basics of... well, bass. Yes, sidechain compression is a staple of the genre. The now ubiquitous "wobble" or "wub" is a staple, too, and I'm of the opinion that making a good wobble takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master. I'd learn what a Reese bass is, too, and at least a few methods of making one. Both wobbles and Reeses can be aggressive and heavy or mellow and smooth depending on your execution. For the psybient stuff... there's a few staple sounds in psytrance/psybient that are worth at least learning, but you don't need to use them everywhere (or at all). The psy-squelch or psy-fart, the trance gated pad or vocal, the sample-and-hold sequence, and more than I can think of are all still used all the time. Time-honored techniques like the dub delay are used in virtually every genre. If you work with vocals, consider learning a few advanced techniques. Pre-compression, an underused form of side-chain compression, is amazing on vocals (or anything else) and surprisingly easy to do; learning how and when to use pitch correction is also key. Logic has a very useable pitch-correction plugin, great for creative spacey auto-tuned effects. Logic's compressor is awesome for a built-in plugin. Learn the models - they are very different from one another. I think an oscilloscope is a ridiculously useful tool for learning how different plugins shape a sound, especially if you find that you like to learn visually. It's fantastic for watching how distortion changes a waveform, for example, and how this relates to your headroom. Learn everything there is to know about Flex Time in Logic. You'll find it's useful everywhere: from creative time stretching, to correcting performances after-the-fact, to chopping up drum loops... it's extremely well programmed, and the algorithms sound great. Make sure you learn about sends and bussing and using auxiliary channels for reverb and delay. To give you a starting point, I start with 4 different reverb aux channels and 4 differing delay aux channels on any given track, and just send whatever to them as needed. Don't be afraid to customize your hotkeys in logic. Alt+K opens up the keyboard command list. I have a ton of custom commands that I would never want to be without. Eh, that's all I can think of at the moment. Try things out and experiment at LEAST as much as you follow manuals and tutorials. Alchemy alone is so expansive that you could watch every tutorial on earth and there would still be creative ways left to discover. Twist knobs and have fun. See my signature.
  7. Well, I'm using a Kenton USB Solo to sync up with my modular. But even that's sometimes a nightmare. Getting it to natively send clock reset messages when I hit "play" in Logic has been impossible (at least, with my Eurorack sequencer-of-choice). My current workaround involved using one of the Kenton's aux outputs as a gate triggered by midi CC #2 or #3, and just drawing in a quick breath controller spike into a midi region (that outputs to the Kenton) right at the end of every say 4 bars. That way, even if it starts out of sync, the sequence will will be reset to the proper starting point 4 bars in, and stay in sync until I stop/start again. This is dizzying and annoying, and I've been (probably undeservedly) crusty about midi hardware for a while because of it. The midi interface you linked looks decent, if limitied. But if it does what you need it to, then how can you not, for the price? I just bought this audio interface for live performances; it's dirt cheap for a Thunderbolt interface, and... it does what it says on the box. At the price, I won't cry when someone inevitably spills beer on it, so what's not to love? I should imagine you'll feel similarly about that midi interface, but i have no familiarity with the company.
  8. I like doing this in modular. I almost never use my Metropolis for basic sequencing duties - it's almost always sequencing something that isn't pitch and gate. Patching gate to VCF resonance and pitch to distortion or FM amount or whatever can be great. Actually this reminded me of something else fun - almost the opposite of that, actually. If your soft-synth let's you "lock" certain parameters, you can use preset surfing as a sort of "selective" randomizer. So, one can make a simple (or not so simple, whatever) patch with the envelopes, polyphony, arpeggiator, and perhaps a few modulation sources locked, then flip through a few presets. The important part is that you designed the articulations (amplitude, envelopes, transients, etc) to fit your tune. I like doing this when I'm stuck on ideas but don't want to actually preset surf, or when I already have a part but want something "different" that I wouldn't necessarily think of, but that still fills the same role in my track.
  9. Well, I mean... The loudness war isn't a joke. A lot of electronica producers - especially those who also make more uptempo dancefloor music - want their tunes loud. Are you saying that you think a lot of psybient is mastered particularly loud? From my experience, it's all over the map. Some is quite quiet; others times, the songs are mastered so that the kicks and snares are clipping substantially on every downbeat (which is something I associate with massive dancefloor tunes, albeit ridiculously loud ones). I'm almost more surprised these days when people release tunes that aren't that loud. When I do a chill set, I work with a lot of loops from acid jazz and neo soul stuff... some new, some older. But, working in Ableton, I'm turning down some clips a whole lot just to get everything at a consistent volume. Usually not more than -6 db or so, but that's pretty substantial. Although, now that I think about it, some of the psybient tunes I have currently rigged up for downtempo sets are the clips that are turned down the most, so that might support what you're noticing...
  10. Not here... different workflow probably. I start with ridiculous amounts of headroom - setting my kick at -10 or less, never any more than that. For something to be clipping, it would have to massively overpower my kick, so it's unlikely that I wouldn't immediately turn it down. Totally agree with you though about the comp being a distraction. You're probably right - I think that's main reason most electronic music producers don't seem to do it. That's why I don't do it. I watched some Future Music video with some French deep house producers (forget the name, but, sounded good, with tons of juicy analog gear), and about halfway through the production process, he slapped an API 2500 on the mix buss. With four-to-the-flour music, it makes a little more sense. Trying to get the sound pumping and all. But if you're beats are broken up, you probably don't want that.
  11. If anyone's interested, I came across an SoS's article on mixing into a compressor. Once you get past some of the audio voodoo talk about compressor circuits and analog warmth in the beginning, there are some interesting points. For one, they mentioned why I don't like mixing into a compressor: it often feels like my channel faders are "fighting" with the comp. But also, the mastering engineer they talk to actually says he prefers it when mixing engineers have used compression beforehand, comparing it to multiple coats of paint on a car. Honestly, most people I see on the internet saying, "never put compression [or EQ] on the master," fall into two groups: producers and mixers who don't do mastering (plenty of whom are fantastic producers and mixers), and a few mastering engineers who are fed up with producers - especially electronic producers - making bad mixing decisions and trying to smooth them over by massively over-compressing the master. They just say, "screw it, don't put anything on the master." But I don't think I've ever been to a proper recording studio that didn't have a compressor permanently patched into the 2buss, and most of them also had a Sontec or a GML or MP or whatever, too. They aren't dedicating $10,000 worth of hardware there for the mixing engineers just to look at. A guy I know who just engineered a bluegrass band said he didn't use any channel compression save vocals, and just an EQ, comp, and reverb (!) on the 2buss. Okay, that's not at all how I mix, but whatever... it sounded good.
  12. How... just how do people use rotary mixers? I don't DJ, but I can't even imagine doing a live set without faders. How do you spin a rotary encoder fast enough to DJ with? That Condesa Lucia is maybe the sexiest mixer I've ever seen, but I'm amazed that people are making the encoder thing work in a live setting.
  13. Anybody have any favourite methods or secret weapons for generating "happy accidents?" It seems like a pretty big part of production for most people - starting out with a synth, or patch, or a bunch of samples, and not knowing exactly where you'll end up. I know not all happy accidents can be planned... but sometimes, you get can set up the right circumstances for it. I'll give an example, but I'm really curious to know how other people go about things. Lately, I've been liking bouncing a few different sung/spoken/gutteral/human parts to audio, and then chopping it up and moving it around a bunch of tracks, each with a pitch correction plugin set to a different note in my song key. Then I can move little chopped up samples around (both in time, and to the different pitch-corrected tracks) and hear how they help create a groove together, and everything will be nicely in the key of whatever scale I set the pitching plugs to. I can't really plan how this will sound in the end, but... it's often really cool. After getting a groove going, and a feel for how the samples react to the auto-tuning, I can tweak and fine-tune things to sound less random and more organized. I like the results I get so much I end up doing it in every song I make for myself these days. Working with modular-synth style hardware or plugins is also a pretty classic way to get happy accidents... just patching things randomly with lots of sample & hold keeping things random and evolving. Anyone else care to share your ways of getting bizarre and random sounds - and fitting them into your tracks?
  14. No worries! Breaks are for sharing.
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