Project and Portfolio IV
In this month's course, we chose a multitrack session to download, mix and rework into several alternate versions. While the assignment only called for 30 - 60 second snippets, I took it upon myself to approach as is a label had expressed interest in this artist - and now wanted me to produce not only the song but several alternate versions for a potential single. First, let's begin with the reference mix provided with the raw tracks:
Bravestar - Downtempo (reference mix)
The first task was to 'recreate' the original mix - and, of course, being who I am, I couldn't help myself but attempt to build upon what was there, with a slightly thicker sound and possibly a bit more overdrive on the bass than is present in the original - but these departures actually were a benefit in the mixes after. There were also a few bars of music that were cut off from the beginning of the reference mix that I preferred left in for a slightly longer intro.
Bravestar - Downtempo (Jason Stealth mix)
With the initial mix completed and a comprehensive set of stems printed, it was time to move on to the alternates. The first assigned task was to "re-groove' the track with a different feel or beat, and for this I took the drums out of the original and replaced them with a more acoustic sounding kit, playing double-time of the original tempo.
Bravestar - Downtempo (Re-Groove mix)
For the next assignment, we were to use ReWire to connect two DAWs. With this version I used Ableton Live's session mode looping abilities to create a house-music inspired remix of the track that filters down and routes into an extreme reverb provided by Valhalla SuperMassive during the ending section. The synth, bass and field recording layers were loaded as separate stems in order to use sidechain compression to create the pumping effect on the bass and field recording while leaving the synth elements pure.
Bravestar - Downtempo (Ambient House mix)
The following stage requested use of 'sound design', and I felt this particular track presented a unique opportunity. Mixed into the song are a series of what could be best described as 'field recordings' - all natural sounds such as a purring cat, high winds and ocean waves, especially in the outro. For this version I replaced all of those with cityscape and urban elements - traffic, subways, crowds talking, etc - then added some extra meat to the percussion to fit the newer, more bustling atmosphere while still maintaining the ambient nature of the original work. This version is a few seconds longer as I allowed the new firld recordings to act as a solid intro and outro by themselves using simple fades.
Bravestar - Downtempo (Cityscapes mix)
The final requested version specified use of live musicians - fortunately I am live musicians, so I loaded my Re-Grooved mix and, from there, reworked the piece into a post-rock, 'shoegaze' type version, using EQ, reverb and level automation to make the original synths work for the new guitars and bass and not the other way around, bringing the track furthest into new territory out of any of the versions created for this project.
Bravestar - Downtempo (Rock mix)