Recently, we sat down and chatted with Sydney Blu and Shelley Johannson about their latest collaboration ‘Getting Closer’ EP, which released on Truesoul. This is what they both had to say about their writing process and creation of each track:
Thematically, what was your approach going in? Did you have a vision for the tracks and how they should sound?
We crossed paths at Electric Island, a festival held on July 1, 2022 in Toronto. While we hung out listening to a great set from Joris Voorn, we had a conversation about the possibility of collaborating in the studio. It was evident to both of us that Truesoul would be the ideal label for our joint project, as it perfectly complemented the fusion of our respective sounds. Subsequently, we explored avenues for our collaboration, envisioning an EP that would maintain a techno influences while incorporating captivating melodic elements. We firmly believed this fusion would create the ultimate combination for our musical endeavor.
What was the writing process like – share details on work flow, division of labour.
SHELLEY: When we embarked on the creation of this EP, my primary focus was on establishing a strong foundation for each track. I wanted to ensure that both songs had ample room to evolve and breathe. Given that I had limited percussive elements to work with, it was crucial for each sound to stand out. To achieve this, I employed a technique of layering multiple white noise hits, toms, and random clicks from my DFAM synthesizer. This approach allowed me to fill the frequency spectrum, resulting in a richer and more robust sonic experience.
SYDNEY: I am a melody writer, I love working with drums and building on them. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoy the process of track arrangement in Ableton Live. In our collaboration, Shelley provided me with her stems and foundational drum tracks, allowing me to delve into the arrangement process and ignite the creative spark for melodies. Moreover, I took the opportunity to write sub basslines and experiment with various vocal sounds and chops for both records.
For the track ‘Drive me Crazy,’ I had an interesting idea. I decided to take a vocal chop and layer the plugin ‘Tantra‘ over the entire vocal section. This approach intentionally obscured the vocal, making it difficult to comprehend for the majority of the record. However, during the final significant break, we removed the Tantra effect, resulting in a clearer and more prominent vocal presence. In a similar vein, I employed the same technique for ‘Getting Closer,’ where I sought out a selection of random opera vocal sounds. By applying the Tantra plugin to these vocals, I was able to transform them into entirely new and captivating elements within the composition.
Were you doing the collab remotely or in person? If in person, whose studio did you go to?
Throughout the entire writing process, we engaged in a collaborative back-and-forth approach, passing the project seamlessly between us. The majority of the work was done in Ableton Live, and later, we transferred the projects to Protools for the mixing phase.
It’s truly remarkable how today’s technology enables us to effortlessly exchange Ableton projects via platforms like Dropbox. Additionally, we utilized Zoom sessions to work together in real-time, despite not physically being in the same studio. This allowed us to maintain a cohesive creative flow and effectively collaborate from different locations.
Once we reached a point where both songs felt complete in our eyes, we sought the expertise of Daniel Dubb, an exceptional mastering engineer who owns a remarkable surround sound studio. Entrusting him with our projects, he skilfully enhanced the tracks with his impeccable mixing abilities. We rendered the tracks to stems and seamlessly integrated them into Protools for the final mixing and mastering process. Daniel’s expertise elevated the songs, making them sound truly incredible and polished.
What were the key bits of studio gear you used?
SHELLEY: Processing, which played a vital role in unifying these diverse sounds, especially since they originated from different sources such as analog gear, synths, and sample packs. To accomplish this, I routed everything to a bus and utilized several essential plugins. For enhancing the grittiness and boosting the dirt range (2k-6k), I employed Decimort from D16, which also proved valuable for automating gritty textures during breakdowns. Additionally, I applied a touch of light reverb (specifically Outer Space from Audiothing) to create a cohesive sonic space. Lastly, I integrated GClip, a user-friendly wave shaping clipper that aggressively cuts peaks, allowing for more headroom. And, of course, gentle EQing was applied as well.
SYDNEY: Throughout the production process, we incorporated a selection of my preferred plug-ins, each serving a specific purpose. Notably, I relied heavily on Kontakt by Native Instruments, as well as two vocal pad plug-ins, Pharlight and Straylight, which can be heard in both tracks. Additionally, Massive X, another Native Instruments plug-in, was utilized for creating impactful stabs. When it comes to lead synth, my go-to choices were U-he DIVA and U-he Repro-1, providing a versatile range for crafting captivating melodies and basslines respectively.
For sidechain compression, I consistently turn to Shaperbox by The Cableguys. This powerful tool not only facilitates sidechain processing but also enables sound remixing, offering a dynamic approach to sculpting sounds and achieving intricate rhythmic effects. In addition, the JUNO analogsynth played a crucial role in shaping the sub bass, while Spectrasonics Omnisphere contributed to the creation of various high-frequency elements. To add punch and character to the kick, I employed the 1176 compressor.
However, the standout plug-in that became a personal favorite is Tantra. This versatile tool allowed me to transform samples into entirely new and exciting sounds, adding a layer of creativity and enjoyment to the production process.
The Adam Beyer co-signed EP is available in all streaming platforms.
The post Tech Breakdown With Sydney Blu and Shelley Johannson appeared first on EDMTunes.
By: Jay Seabrook
Title: Tech Breakdown With Sydney Blu and Shelley Johannson
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2023/09/tech-breakdown-with-sydney-blu-and-shelley-johannson/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tech-breakdown-with-sydney-blu-and-shelley-johannson
Published Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2023 13:13:40 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Daft Punk Announce Release Of Iconic Random Access Memories ‘Drumless Version’
The 10-year anniversary of Random Access Memories, Daft Punk’s 4th studio album has become a full-fledged release party. To celebrate the release of one of its most iconic works, the French robots have gifted their fans with a series of special, never-heard-before, altered versions of the album. Now, they’ve announced a release that will further allow us to dive into the essence of RAM, while leaving behind a crucial part: the drums. That’s right. Daft Punk announced today that they’ll be releasing Random Access Memories ‘Drumless Version’ at the end of this year.
Random Access Memories, one of the most iconic albums in dance music history. Part of the beginning of a new era. One that redefined the concept of genre-crossing dance music. While we were all used to pop and hip hop becoming dance music’s habitual collaborators, Daft Punk decided to look back. Go to the root. The source. Dance music is known to be the offspring of disco. The groovy, energetic genre that took the 80s by storm and went on to define an entire generation of musicians and fans paved the way for dance music to become the cultural icon it is today.
When Daft Punk released RAM, the mainstream music industry experienced a wave of disco-inspired geniality that went on to inspire hundreds of artists across the globe. A decade later, the records that took the world by storm are back to amaze us one more time.
RAM Drumless Version
This brand new iteration of the GRAMMY-award-winning Album of the Year is unlike anything DP has given us before. It strips away all drum and percussive elements from the album. Doing so brings out a timeless quality to the album, giving listeners the ability to dive deeper into the layers of each track.
Random Access Memories (Drumless Version) will be released on November 17
The post Daft Punk Announce Release Of Iconic Random Access Memories ‘Drumless Version’ appeared first on EDMTunes.
By: Sebastian Flores Chong
Title: Daft Punk Announce Release Of Iconic Random Access Memories ‘Drumless Version’
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2023/09/daft-punk-announce-release-of-iconic-random-access-memories-drumless-version/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=daft-punk-announce-release-of-iconic-random-access-memories-drumless-version
Published Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 16:58:38 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Costa Rica BPM Festival Announces Star-Studded Lineup
Costa Rica’s finest electronic music festival has released its phase 1 lineup. The 3rd edition of BPM Festival in Tamarindo, Costa Rica will occur on January 24th-28th, 2024. Over 5 days, guests will be treated to an extraordinary and immersive experience. Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s most fun cities set near sandy beaches, tropical forests, and vibrant local culture. When you’re not dancing the night away, you can experience the awe-inspiring nature it has to offer.
Festival goers can explore three mesmerizing jungle stages, as well as a brand-new, never-before-used sunset beachside venue. Each stage will provide a unique atmosphere, amplifying the energy and vibes throughout the 5-day celebration. To further enhance their BPM experience, guests will also have access to a curated selection of daytime pop-up parties.
Phase one of the festival’s diverse lineup kicks off with over 60 names, including Bedouin, Carlo Lio, DJ Holographic, Eagles & Butterflies, Eli & Fur, Franky Rizardo, GORDO, Hernán Cattaneo, HUGEL, Øostil, Paco Osuna, Sainte Vie, and Sidney Charles amongst many other leading artists in house and techno.
Attendees can also look forward to enjoying sets from some of their favorite BPM staples, including the likes of AJ Christou, Bedouin, Carlo Lio, DJ Holographic, HUGEL, Jean Pierre, Jesse Calosso, Mason Collective, Nathan Barato, Neverdogs, Paco Osuna, Rafa Barrios, Stacey Pullen, and more.
You can purchase tickets here!
The post Costa Rica BPM Festival Announces Star-Studded Lineup appeared first on EDMTunes.
By: Drew Barkin
Title: Costa Rica BPM Festival Announces Star-Studded Lineup
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2023/09/costa-rica-bpm-festival-announces-star-studded-lineup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=costa-rica-bpm-festival-announces-star-studded-lineup
Published Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 16:54:27 +0000
Headhunterz Announces Details for His Final Show Before Touring Retirement
Last month, Headhunterz announced via an Instagram video that he decided to retire from touring. The news that the Dutch hardstyle star brought out sent shockwaves through the electronic dance music community. The main reasons for deciding to retire were looking back on his personal life, memorable career, and improving his physical and mental health. Earlier today, Headhunterz announced on his latest Instagram post that he will headline his final show in Tilburg on December 23rd, two days before Christmas Day.
*Featured Cover Image Courtesy: Headhunterz
Headhunterz’s final show is an intimate event to get “up close and personal”
The final show in the southern Dutch city of Tilburg will take place at the 013 Poppodium music venue and tickets will go on sale this Thursday at 12h00 local time (click on this link to purchase the tickets when they go on sale). The title of Headhunterz’s final show on December 23rd is “Up Close and Personal” and it gives fans the last chance to see an icon of hardstyle perform one last awesome set before he starts a new beautiful journey in his magnificent music career.
Shown below is the same post from his Instagram page but on X/Twitter where he states the main purpose of headlining the “Up Close and Personal” show before retiring from touring. For anyone who is attending Headhunterz’s final show, they will see plenty of tears coming down from their fellow fans’ faces when the hardstyle legend plays the final track of his set.
The post Headhunterz Announces Details for His Final Show Before Touring Retirement appeared first on EDMTunes.
By: Ken Ngo
Title: Headhunterz Announces Details for His Final Show Before Touring Retirement
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2023/09/headhunterz-final-show/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=headhunterz-final-show
Published Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 19:32:44 +0000
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