Analysis of S5E04: Halogenix – "Blej" Walk Through Tutorial

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    • #31165

      Wanted to have this posted last week, but needed a bit of time to go through the video, process some of the info from it, and juggle the rest of life stuff. I should have a Season 1 analysis (S1E08: Xtrah – Synthetic Drums) posted later this week.

      DAW: Logic X – techniques covered can be done in any DAW, you will need to substitute plug-ins for the native Logic ones used
      Topics: arrangement, bass, bassline, drums, drum programming, master bus, sound design
      Halogenix’s first video for Sample Genie is a walk through of his track “Blej”, which came out earlier this year on his most recent Critical EP. For this video he looks at the different sections of the track, with most of the focus on the drums and then the bass.
      02:40 – explains “Blej” from his point of view
      • Four main sections of the track, starts with looking at the intro
      04:15 – often starts track sketches from playing with foley sounds
      • Subtle background textures
      • Aims to develop a sound pallet
      ◦ I think this idea came up recently in another video?
      04:40 – intro sound made in Reaktor and then bounced down
      • Main drum loop processed through a Blocks module
      • The drum loop element can be used by DJs for mixing
      06:20 – short synth riser that leads into an impact at start of next section
      08:40 – explains his sample library a little
      10:30 – EQ’d drum clip from intro
      • Looking at Glitchmachines’ Hysteresis, a glitch delay plug-in that is free
      • Says that a lot of Ivy Lab and Halogenix tunes with glitchy bits, those usually come from using Hysteresis or Fracture, another free Glitchmachines plug-in
      • Wispy little hits when going through the plug-in
      • “Way to get unique sounds.”
      12:45 – the second set of 16 bars of the intro
      • First instances of the bass
      • Another foley sound
      • Aims for layers that are in key with each other
      14:20 – the main bass
      • Sound processing through Reaktor
      • Kind of a time-stretched sound using a Reaktor ensemble called Auto-Time Stretcher v1.2
      • Serum is the synth used to create the bass, gets processed through different plug-ins and sent to a few busses for additional processing
      17:15 – explains how he normally does color coding of sections near the end of project work
      18:15 – pre build up section
      19:40 – explains the outer space aesthetic of his tracks
      20:00 – two bar switch leading to the drop section
      20:20 – looking at the drum bus
      • NI VC-160 (compressor) -> U-He Satin (tape saturation) -> FabFilter Pro-Q 2 (EQ) -> Trash2 (distortion) -> Cytomic The Glue (compressor)
      • Describes the VC-160 as good on minimal drums, but not so much with busy drums
      • With “Blej” he was aiming for a sound that was not too minimal and under produced sounding
      • Uses just a small amount of compression
      22:15 – EQ has some low end and high end rolled off, with a couple notches too, creates a slight audible change when A/B’d
      23:15 – goes through main drum sounds
      24:15 – touches on reusing kicks vs. making new ones
      24:30 – snare and snare transient layers
      • Uses Logic’s Legacy EXS24 patch that has a collection of transient hits.
      26:00 – Logic compressor on the Studio FET model
      • Studio FET is supposedly based off of the hardware 1176 Peak Limiter. Some history on that can be found here:
      • Additional info on Logic X’s Studio FET:
      “Studio FET: FETs (Field Effect Transistors) are an early transistor design, utilized in some very highly regarded dynamics boxes. This one is clearly intended to call up the character of the Urei 1176, the dean of FET compressors. The original is fast and aggressive, and can add some real edge when driven hard—it’s most famous as a drum compressor, for imparting that aggressive, in-your-face drum sound, but it’s great on a lot of other instruments and vocals as well. You can add a little of that subtle vintage distortion, in the Output section—Soft/Hard/Clip options let you choose the degree of edge (this is available for all the compressor models).” (Source:
      • Fast attack and release settings on this model, good for quick, inaudible ducking. Try some A/B’ing to check if you hear a difference.
      • In this section he has the shaker sidechained to the snare, to give some room for the snare, which he describes as delicate.
      • Also recommends FabFilter’s Pro-C compressor.
      • 26:45 he explains why he likes to sidechain shakers to the snare, as well as chopping out shaker hits that happen around the snare pattern.
      27:20 – rim hit with a ringshifter applied
      • Set OSC on the ringshifter to a fast setting, can get an old Mackie desk bleed effect
      • Describes this as similar to running a cymbal and bassline together, and distorting them to get top-end flutter
      • This section sounds distorted but with no artifacts
      28:10 – a simple break for some groove
      28:40 – talking about the bassline, “the most stand out part of the tune”
      32:20 – explains the Serum patch, attributes the modulation on the warp knob (set to Sync Window) as creating a lot of the character.
      • From the Serum manual: “Windowed Sync provides smooth fade across the waveform so as to soften discontinuities created by the self-sync modulation.”
      • Self-syn is another warp mode in Serum, is buzzy and harsher sounding
      34:15 – explains variations made to the bass, mostly different wavetable positions.
      36:20 – sidechain on bass
      36:45 – interesting EQ’ing, a big notch in the mid range
      37:30 – looking at the reverb bus that the main bass goes to
      • Wet reverb -> EQ to take out lows -> second EQ doing mid/side processing
      • Tends to do this on reverbs to avoid phase issues, likes to keep sides clean
      38:30 – looking at the bass bus
      • Passive EQ
      39:10 – the “knock” sound
      • A stab playing at the start, accents the down beat of the bass
      • Demonstrates A/B’ing with and without, to show how it adds to the bass
      41:00 – stab version of the main bass patch
      44:00 – explains how he is constantly recording computer audio in the background, in this case a recording of tweaking Serum
      • Uses Soundflower (Mac app) to do this.
      47:00 – new sections of the tune
      51:00 – looking at another variation of the bass patch
      53:00 – looking at the breakdown section that goes in to the third drop
      54:00 – very minimal section of the track
      55:00 – another bass variation, character coming from the distortion and noise modules
      59:00 – looking at the master bus
      • FF Pro-Q 2 to remove stereo info from the low end
      • Ozone to tweak EQ and de-mud audio
      • Cytomic The Glue doing a little compression
      • Logic native Multimeter to analyze output
      • SPAN to look at the mono and stereo signals and how they’re interacting

      • If you’re using Logic X and you did not migrate the Legacy collection patch with the drum transients when updating from 9 to 10, I am pretty sure you still need Logic 9 to get this patch, as it seems inaccessible if you only have Logic X. Weird, I know, but I did a lot of searching last week, can not seem to find it. I deleted Logic 9 from my system last year, my back-ups don’t got that far back, and I can’t find Logic 9 discs, actually think I got it through the app store originally but can’t remember. If you have this EXS patch and wouldn’t mind uploading with the samples, please do & let me know!
      • A few plug-ins of note, mentioned in this tutorial:
      Auto-Time Stretcher v1.2
      Native Instruments x Softube VC-160
      Glitchmachines Hysteresis – effect is on audio only, does not work on MIDI tracks. Realized this through some testing last week.
      • Halogenix included two Serum patches in this month’s sample pack, for reverse engineering. If you have Serum, load them up, check out the modulation Matrix to see how the three LFOs are patched, and try swapping in different wavetables to OSC 1 to see how they make the bass patch sound different. If you don’t have Serum, here is a screen shot from the OSC window and the modulation Matrix:

      If you don’t have Serum, either get the demo and dial in the settings from here, will get a close sound to the patch, only thing I think missing is LFO 3, which is a Ramp Up LFO, where as LFO 2 is a Ramp Down.
      Also recommended, try using the info here to make a patch in another synth to see what you might come up with.
      • Soundflower is for Mac OS, is free and found here:

      There are other options, but I haven’t looked too much in to this yet, intend to though. There is a new video with InsideInfo on YouTube (InsideInfo’s Creative Strategies & Workflow Secrets | 1 of 2) where he talks about his creative workflow, he’s PC based, and he mentions doing the exact same thing, although he has his computer’s audio output going in to SoundForge, which is recording while he’s working.

      Catalog of Sample Genie video analyses

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #31391

      I’m looking for Logic’s Legacy EXS24 patch with the transsient layers. Can anybody upload that?


    • #31476

      I’m looking for Logic’s Legacy EXS24 patch with the transsient layers. Can anybody upload that?


      Finally found them… turns out they are in the EXS Sample library, just not clear which patch they were linked to, but uploaded them for anyone that might want to check them out:

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #36140

      Will this one be in the video vault at some point? I’m new here so not sure how it works but I can only see two episodes in season 5, will this be updated?

      • #36165
        ,GENIE HQ

        Hey there, yes this video is going to be added to the vault this month: we’ll let you know when it’s there!

    • #175231
      ,Jack Clayton Clowes

      any chance you could reupload the transient library please?

    • #175268

      Here you go, up for one week:

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #177211

      hey ! downloaded it last week and found it really helpfull for snares, but it seems like i fucked it up since i cant find it anymore, neither in serum nor in trash

      could u upload it once more time ? thanks

    • #177228
      ,GENIE HQ

      hey ! downloaded it last week and found it really helpfull for snares, but it seems like i fucked it up since i cant find it anymore, neither in serum nor in trash

      could u upload it once more time ? thanks

      Harry, if you leave a temp link here, we will upload to a perm one and post here too. Thanks

    • #177266

      Harry, if you leave a temp link here, we will upload to a perm one and post here too. Thanks

      Up for 7 days from today:

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #177318

      Many many thanks !

    • #177439
      ,GENIE HQ


      Password: ransom

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