99% shameless self promotion, 1% gaming/Destiny related (Off-Topic)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Sunday, February 07, 2021, 23:37 (228 days ago) @ marmot 1333

North Star is amazing. I'm excited to hear your new album and I'm glad you posted about it.

Thanks so much! I’m glad you like it.

I'm really curious about your methodology. Do you use hardware synths? What DAW do you use? What hardware/soft synths do you like to use? Which one was on North Star? (trade secrets I know)

For my DAW, I use Sonar. I’ve used a few others in the past, but I ended up with a copy of Sonar years ago through my old job, and have kept running with it ever since, out of familiarity more than anything else. If I were starting from scratch today, I’d probably go with Ableton Live, but most of the features that make AL unique (the looping and performance stuff) are features I don’t really have much use for, so Sonar has been totally fine for me.

As for my synths, I’m using all hardware synths these days.
My most-used synth is the Synthstrom Deluge:

This little box is like the backbone of my whole recording process. It’s a synthesizer, drum machine, sampler, with its own multi-track sequencer built in. It’s almost like having a second DAW. The sequencer is really flexible, but also quick and easy to use. Once you’ve created a sequence, you can then use it to play the built-in synth engine, or you can send it out via MIDI to control other synths.

So I’ll typically use the Deluge to create my drum parts, along with the bulk of my other instrumentation. Once I have the arrangement in the sequencer, I’ll experiment with different sounds from the deluge and from other hardware synths.

For example, in this video, almost everything you hear is coming straight out of the deluge, except for 1 melody which is coming from the Korg Minilogue XD (my other favourite synth at the moment). In Korg is receiving MIDI from the Deluge, while the Deluge itself is creating all the other sounds and playing them all in real time.

I have a bunch of other little hardware synths that I’ll use from time to time as well. Several of the Korg Volcas, and a few of the Roland Boutique series (the JU-06 is a favourite of mine). I also have the OP-1 from Teenage Engineering. Didn't end up using it on this new album, but it’s all over my previous one.

My actual process when I’m creating a new song varies. Sometimes I’ll sit in front of my Deluge and create an entire song from scratch, track by track, and then record all the parts into my computer and shuffle them all around as I work out the arrangement. North Star is actually a piece I wrote on guitar last year, but ended up turning into a synth piece for the album (most of the synth sounds in North Star are coming from the Korg Minilogue). Another track on the album, Follow the River, began with me fumbling around in the piano, then became this and eventually this. Then there are songs like “Traffic” from my previous album, which began as a mellow, moody synth melody, and then grew over the course of 3 years into the biggest, most intricately layered song I’ve ever recorded, lol.

Also, I've been meaning to show this to you for a long time, but it was way too hard to figure out how to get the image off my phone and shown on this forum. I think on one other screen it was both your photo and your name, but I didn't screen-grab that one. That image was from Dec 24th FYI.

That’s really cool! It’s easy to feel like a grain of sand on the beach when you’re putting your own stuff out there with no marketing behind you, so it’s nice to see platforms like Spotify are actually helping people find my music :)


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