Chase Aux - Production Notes
Posted Aug 29, 16:44 with tags , , , , , , , ,


Production notes and making of "Chase Aux", second track from upcoming Planet U Episode 5. 

 Performed this track live at the cinema in May, in a slightly different edit. It worked very well in the set, and was great fun to play. It sort of builds upon itself, there is little musical development, only energy. Maybe this is a track that works better live than recorded, but I'm curious to know so I'm trying it to observe.
It's an Amiga Protracker slash Teenage Engineering OP-1 slash live guitar track. The title (and idea) comes from an Amiga game I always wanted to play but never could get my hands on, Chase HQ. I changed title to Chase Aux for release. 
The core of the track was written on New Years Eve last year, during exploration of my then brand new Teenage Engineering OP-1.
I love that noisy little devil very much. I got it for myself for Christmas present last Christmas, didn't give it away, the next day, and then spent the holidays exploring the unit. The busy pattern that starts of the track is from the string synthesis with the step sequencer, I somewhat liked the simplicity of both and I also liked that I also did not like it. 
Above, sound example, the first sketch.
It is interesting to observe that most of the track was written during one evening, and it's all there really. Later is just production, mixing, layering. I have not changed much since the first version in musical terms. Screenshot of first project:
The hectic core sequence was kind of spur-of-moment thing but also I think it's a typical sound and pattern of the unit. The song uses multiple layers of this, dropping in and out, it's all OP-1 re-recorded or re-sampled or manipulated, and eventually dubbed by Thomas. 
Live guitar, by Thomas, is mostly duplicating, replicating and expanding the programmed synth lines. We tried a few wild ideas during guitar sessions but I landed on making guitar a supplement rather than featured element. This also worked live, because the track becomes a "transactional" element between other tracks where Thomas has a larger improvisational role.
The track also uses a lot of classical Amiga ProTracker samples loaded onto the OP-1 and played with the unit's sampler, then recorded and further played, both for melodic and rhythmical sounds. Mostly I liked the sound of OP-1 more than the user interface, so it's kind of: Some ancient synth or sound some time sampled to Amiga ProTracker ST disk then transferred and played by OP-1 then probably sampled by Wave Editor or Logic into Kontakt 5 then played again and programmed as Midi in Logic. 
I'm quite sure this process is less than beneficial to certain aspects of crystal clear sound quality but I like the complexity of it, the sounds have been through a complex story to get there, each technology from different eras distort the sound slightly. The story or process of a track can be interesting, maybe only in technical terms interesting to the creator, but actually I am the creator of this and soon world domination dictator, so there.
The two first tracks of this EP so far has a lot of energy. The next one, next week, is a laboratory ballad.