Danny Freakazoid - Long Legs Runnin' (Rufus White's Where's My Washboard Remix)

In all the commotion getting Every Little Star and This Old Man signed, I nearly forgot about this remix that I did. Danny Freakazoid has just released this track on his One Million EP, and since I don't think my mix will ever see an official release, I thought l'd make it available for download! Hope you like it, and let me know if you end up playing it out!

This Old Man

Well, a lot has certainly happened in the last few weeks. Since my last post, I've signed Every Little Star to SoulShift Music, and it's currently on track for a proper release on 1/1/2010, which I'm fully excited about! Since then, it's been given the remix treatment by Sebastian Ese and Andreas Petrou, and I'm really happy that both these amazing mixes will be available on the release :)

It's not all been about Every Little Star though, I've also managed to get another track out the door: another remix of a Northern Soul track, this time Lou Lawton's Nick Nack Patty Wack. This track's got such an infectious groove going on, it was just begging to be remixed, and whilst I don't think I could come close to doing the original justice, hopefully I've made something that's a little more DJ friendly. I'm currently in the process of signing this one to SoulShift too, and hopefully I'll be able to share the remixes with you very soon!

In the meantime, give it a listen, and let me know what you think!

Going Loopy

One thing that's taken me a long time to learn is to never underestimate the 2 beat loop. You can chop a vocal or an instrumental sample into a 2 beat loop at just about any point, and straight away you've got a really nice rising and falling effect that you can put in the background and it'll add a crazy amount of energy to the track. Or you could make it a main feature of the track - you can keep automating the effects applied to the loop to make them keep constantly changing, that way they don't get too boring. My favorite is to put a slow (2 or 4 bar) LFO filter over it to keep it 'pulsating', but pretty much any effect works :)

Kick in the nads.

Can't get that kick quite meaty enough? Compressed the hell out of it, and it's still not shaking the subs the way you want it to? If you've tried everything and still can't get it right, do what the big boys do, and steal one! Find a track with a kick that's really rockin', isolate just the kick in a seperate clip (it's best to get it from the intro or the outro, before any other instrumentation comes in, make sure you don't get any of the following hat in with it), and drag the clip into a drum rack.

I've spent literally days trying to get a kick that pounds the way I want it to until a producer friend of mine told me that he and pretty much every other producer he knows (which includes some of the big players in the House scene) all steal their kicks from somewhere else! Is it moral? Probably not. Will anyone know? No. Will anyone care? No.

Driving the Drums

Something I found out just the other day: If you're making a real chugger, and you want to give the drums an extra sense of urgency, zoom right in, and move the snare hits a tiny fraction before the kicks. Even if you're looking for it, you should barely be able to tell they're not hitting at exactly the right time.

On the other hand, if you want your track to have a more laid back feel, move the snare hits a fraction after the kick. It's another of those tricks that you don't notice, but overall makes a big difference to the 'feel' of the track.

Every Little Star

Here's another track that I've been working on for a while now that's approaching the finishing line - this track came about as a result of my deep love for Northern Soul music, most of which is around the speed of house, but it's very rare you get any House/Northern Soul remixes - shame! Anyweay, give it a listen, and let me know what you think!

On The Busses

When you've made your own drum loops, they can often sound a bit dry, with the elements disjointed from each other and the rest of the track. Usually the easiest way to fix this is to put a reverb effect on a return track (The tracks to the right in the session view), then use the send knobs at the bottom of each channel to send a little bit from each to the reverb you've just created. The reverb can be barely discernible, but it just gels all the elements of your mix together a little bit more by putting them all in the same "space".

Anal Beads

Well, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have an ulterior motive for making this site, so here it is: I need feedback on my own productions! So here's the first one I've finished since setting this site up, it's called Anal Beads, and is the result of a bad joke between me and another DJ friend of mine that went a bit far (If you must know, it was regarding a friend of ours who left her handbag at my house one night with her anal beads poking out. Maybe she did it on purpose, who can tell?). Anyway, there needed to be a track made about it. Perhaps testament that you can draw inspiration from anywhere, even... err... there.

I want to clean up the vocal sample just before the drop around 4:30 and maybe get the timing a little better, but I'm interested to hear what anyone else thinks about it - go on, say it, I won't be offended!

(PS: saying it sounds like I just pulled it out of my ass is too easy!)

The race for bass

I always wondered why the presets you get with most synths sound like crap, and nothing like what you'd find on any self-respecting track. Any self respecting house track, anyway. Most of them don't sound like bass patches at all, more like someone masturbating with sandpaper.

But the thing is, most of those patches sound completely different once you stick a low-pass filter on them, and cut out most of those sandpaper frequencies. Do it, and have a re-listen to your presets, you might find some you can actually use now.

What's it all about, Alble?

Right from the moment I started DJing, I started learning stuff. At the time there weren't really any internet forums or websites dedicated to learning the required stuff, so I learned by trial and error.

Since I took up producing tracks as well as just playing them to people, internet forums and websites dedicated to learning this stuff have been invented, and things have got a lot easier. But even now, when I think back, there's been so much stuff that it seems you need to know to make music but nobody ever tells you.

This blog is all that stuff.

Whilst my forays into music have been pretty ill-advised on the whole, I feel like my productions are slowly getting better. One day, I might actually release something, who knows? Along the way though, every time I seem to open Ableton up and start messing around, I learn something new. I've been messing around for 2 years now, and I'm still learning stuff. But I've decided I should write it all down so maybe you don't have to spend 2 years getting to the same point I'm at now.

If anyone's got any comments on whether there's a better way of doing something, leave a comment! I don't want this place to just be me, me, me! I'm going to be writing about using Ableton in relation to making House music in the main, just because that's what I use and make, but I'm sure most of the tips here can be used in just about any major DAW, and applied to most styles of electronic music.

Hope you find something useful here, let me know if you do!
Rufus White