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Negative Energy
       
   

It's a classic human trait to try to go one better than those around you.

On the long train journeys between my home and University, I used to get a guilty pleasure out of sitting next to some kid reading Kerrang! magazine, with my copy of SoundOnSound. (For those who won't know, Kerrang! is a... well, it's part of the rock press. I think that's all that needs to be said. And SoundOnSound is a music industry magazine, mastering advice, reviews of mixing desks... you get the idea.)

That eventually wore off. Now I get a guilty pleasure out of sitting down next to some kid with an iPod, with my laptop, a portable 2-octave MIDI keyboard and a set of studio headphones, and start composing songs on the train.

Quite a bit of this song was done on various trips too and from places... and in many ways it's one of the biggest sequencing projects I've done. Certainly the orchestral instrument (And that is only one instrument) is the biggest single instrument I've put together in Reason. It uses 5 samplers and a synth, and the reverb is fed through a stereo imager, but not the dry sound. This helps it sound big and echoey, like it's playing ina concert hall.

Various drums, synths, beats, piano, basslines and strange sound effects later... I'm left with a fairly epic techno-classical piece! I'm pretty pleased with it, but it's certainly very different to anything else I've done so far. Mastering it was a pain, as the epic sound was tough to bring under control without drowning out parts of it. Getting the beat to stand out without the compressor choking everything else that went on is tricky...

In fact, it can be so tricky that a lot of people don't seem to bother. Next time you're in a club, listen out. If you're listening for it, you'll often hear all the other music aside from the beat rapidly quietening when the beat hits. It's not helped by over-zealous temporal masking when converting to mp3s and other lossy digital formats, but even with good quality media it can be very noticeable with some artists.

 
       
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