- The tune struck me amidst a busy schedule, so I didn't have time to sit and fuel the spark. Due to the circumstances though, I managed to compose more than 75% of the song in my head! (Mostly in the shower). After opening my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), it was simply a matter of getting my thoughts onto the screen.
- As a composer, there are so many different ideas that occur to me, but I rarely get a chance to use any of them. Sometimes I try to squeeze one into a song, but it never quite fits in a perfectly fluid manner, so I end up removing it. However, I was able to implement many such ideas on this song; ones that I've had for over half a year now!
- Finally, I had a clear idea of the effect I wanted to use in this song, and I knew it would require a level of sound engineering that I hadn't touched yet. Nevertheless, I did manage to achieve it, on a level that surpassed my expectations!
That is what I'm about to discuss in this blog-how I engineered the effect I wanted for the song.
The Process of Sound Engineering
Stage 1 - Basic Analog Effect
Anyways, I lowered the output volume on my laptop so low, that even with the Record Level set to 10, the volume meters on the tape deck did not show any deflection. This way, I would have to increase the volume during playback, which would result in a more prominent tape hiss.
Stage 2 - Repetition
Note: While recording the 2nd output track from my tape deck, I set the input channel to mono (instead of the default stereo). That's something I forgot to do with the 1st stage recording.
Stage 3 - Channel EQ
Stage 4 - Tape Delay
I took a look through the available plugins and found a "Tape Delay", only, I don't want a delay. I need it to play along with my digital arrangement. So first thing I do is set the delay to 0, and start playing around with the other properties. The results were astounding!
Stage 5 - Layering Tape Hiss
So I downloaded a track of plain tape hiss, lower the volume and layer it in.
Stage 6 - Finishing Touches
This process worked for the most part, but for the phrase in the middle (where the song transforms from digital to analog again), I wanted only the recorder and clarinet to be analog, while the bass, cello and harp remained digital. So I had to rerecord those parts separately, repeating the process for each one. Unfortunately, the clarinet wasn't quite fluttering enough. I had to amplify the effect further for that track. I just played around with the tape delay settings and added another Channel Equalizer till I got what I wanted.
That's All Folks
This took a couple of days to achieve, but I'm VERY proud of the output. It has been a pleasure working on this song. I really enjoyed the whole process.