I wanted to share with you a little insight into some of the processes behind my new record ‘Lavender Fields’. Although it’s a departure from what people following me may expect, it’s a personal record to me and I’m super excited about this release.
Pads and Leads:
I had a definite vision of what I wanted to create and that was a harmonically rich melody that would be the backbone of the track. The whole melody is pretty complex with various layers and synth parts. I ran the chords through some outboard pedals for added warmth and then all EQ’ing and processing got done afterwards with some reverb, sidechaining and compression. All the harshness got taken out and rolled off quite a bit of low end to make space for other elements.
Under the pad, there’s a layered ambient essence drone that almost acts as a melody on its own, this runs the whole length of the track, and gently glues everything while adding texture. You can hear it particularly at the start, it sits under the arp melody and shaker. The staccato styled top synth came from a Korg Mono/Poly. There are some subtle tape delay effects going on alongside EQ’ing. Not forgetting some added filtering. The cutoff changes throughout the track for variety.
Drums and Bass:
With the kick, its one I made specifically for the track, this would have been a process of different layers I consolidated into one kick sample and used Ableton’s own drum rack as you can see just below. Along with EQ’ing, I added some transient for bite, some subtle reverb, and compression.
The percussive drum breaks are made up of a few breaks loops from a few old records all chopped up. They contribute massively to the rhythm and give a more live and organic feeling. There’s some busy top line percussive elements, Different shakers and so on. These were pulled out of the Elektron analog RYTM drum machine.
The bass midi was put through this little beauty below, the MOOG Sub37
It’s perfect for doing a drone/hoover’esque basslines. There’s some very subtle modulation going on as the track progresses. Again, just some EQ’ing and sidechaining the channel.
There’s a kind of romanticised love story behind the record. I wanted to write something that reflected where my mind was at the time. I went through a weird phase of emotional turmoil, so to speak. The aim was to write a direct sounding record which could create descriptive moments. I wrote a dozen or so melodies for various records before I got to the melody of what ended up being Lavender. Once the main chord structure was down, everything else happened effortlessly.
It’s definitely a personal one for me as not only does it represent the above, it’s also seeing a release via my own label.
‘Lavender Fields’ is Out Now on Portable Minds.