Day 3 – making things more organix – part 1 #album

STEPHAN HINZ·TUESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2017

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I started talking about this in yesterdays post…making things a bit more organic.

We all grew up with the music of our parents…in my case there was a lot of classical music, but also blues, rock’n roll, etc. – handmade music by real musicians, recorded through a mixing desk to a multitrack tape recorder, then back to the mixing desk and from there down-mixed to a two track recorder.

That means there are a lot of stages involved that bring in imperfection. The recording room, the musicians, the mixing desk, the mtr, the mixing desk again, the two track…and at home the stereo and the turntable.

Anyways, what I want to say is: We’re used to those imperfections, most of us love them and we really miss them if they’re not there.

We really do! And when it comes to that, computers aren’t really of help…especially in electronic music where almost every single sound is created in the box coming from a none natural source. Everything is way to sterile and we have to find ways to make everything less sterile again.

One way to address this is bringing in some elements to the process that add some sort of random events and micro changes to the production. Yesterday I actually implemented a multitrack tape recorder in my signal chain. That adds a lot of random events in terms of hiss, noise, wow & flutter that a real tape recorder would produce. Besides glueing things together, this is a big step to make everything more organic.

You want more? Add some vinyl noise…there are recordings of lead in/outs of vinyls. Or use a plugin like Iztope Vinyl (it’s free). Record the noise of your most beloved synth or other piece of gear…just plugged in, doing nothing then the noise it does if there’s no signal going through it. Or record the noise your dad’s old tape recorder is doing when there’s no music. Add this subtle to your track and even it’s almost nothing, it changes a lot.

UPDATE: Like Sinéad Ni Annluain suggested in her comment, I totally forgot to mention field recordings (of nature, day to day kind of things like people in the tube, you name it) as another way to bring in some life to your recordings.

An orchestral mockup (you use that heavily in movie scoring where you want to demo the cue with orchestra samples to the director before you go to the scoring stage) for example gains a lot of credibility when you add a recording of a full orchestra just sitting in a room. Even if everybody tries to be as silent as possible, 90 people just sitting there make a lot of noise…they’re moving around on their seats, there’s coughing…things people do when they try to sit still and just life 😉
Ask questions, discuss, share it, give it a try…have fun