Analysis of S6E08: Arkaik – Production Focus

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      Arkaik’s follow-up tutorial, another deep dive in to his current production techniques & tools, broken in to four videos, with a focus on bass, hi-hats, and track arrangement. He is doing another Q&A as well, found here:

      Hats (21:31)
      – Arkaik finds hats challenging to get right in a mix.

      01:30 – one drum bus, but with a kick bus, a snare bus, a percussion bus, and a hat bus all going in to the drum bus.

      02:15 – first hats sit on top of the snare
      – One hat just has an EQ.
      – Second hat has an enveloper, reverb, and some distortion.

      04:45 – going over effect chains, I wanted to note again how he uses Logic’s Ensemble plug-in to create variation.

      05:45 – explaining adjusting phase to make drums from different sample sources sound like they are related.

      08:00 – closed hat track that has a sidechain triggered by the hat bus, changes volume when fewer hats are playing.

      14:10 – hat bus inserts
      – Reverb so the hats sound like they are in the same room, tiny amount used.
      – EQ cutting out all sub frequencies.

      15:40 – hat bus going to drum bus.
      – Creative Filter plugin, a simple filter, akin to a recent DLR video for Future Music, where he uses Xfer’s DJM filter; filter just does HP/LP.
      – EQ with sub cut off.
      – Digital Grimebox plugin, automates for fills/edits.
      – Bitcrusher to make drums sound like they are from the same kit.
      – Reverb.
      – A tiny amount of distortion.

      17:40 – drum bus also goes to a send bus, a reverb send that he can control more, can compress as well.

      Bass – Pt. 1 (23:21)
      – Looking at the different ways Arkaik processes basses.
      – Long basses like reeces vs. short, stabby basses.
      – This particular project has a stabby bass.
      **NOTE: I may need to re-watch this section, I feel like I lost track a couple times.

      01:15 – three different basses.
      – First is an 808 style bass.

      02:30 – the sub layer.
      – Tweaked pitch and envelope in sampler (Logic’s EXS24), cutoff filter, then goes through an EQ insert, and a sidechain compressor.
      – Mid bus with low end EQ’d out, focus is on the midrange, has a tiny bit of reverb, then a stereo spreader.
      – Next bus is another midrange variation, has EQ, iZotope Trash2 doing a little tape saturation, then a reverb (short, not much wet mix), and a spreader.
      – Last bus is just Trash2 and EQ.
      – All layered together.

      10:00 – another mid layer with slight differences.

      15:00 – a bounce of all the mid layers together.

      16:05 – adds a tom hit that is processed heavily.
      – Wanted the bass to have a quick stab characteristic, like a tom drum hit.

      17:45 – next layer, a hi-frequency grit layer.
      – Same mid, but then a deep hi-cut applied, then sound is built up using auto-filter, Wolfram (multi-effect plugin), Creative Filter, an EQ with a low cut and a boost in highs, a compressor sidechained by the sub so the grit sound opens up after the sub hits, then CamelCrusher plugin to compress.

      21:15 – another grit layer that sidechains off of the kick.
      – Different chain of effects.

      Bass – Pt. 2 (19:17)
      – Using a part of a QZB bass from December’s Sample Genie pack.
      – This routes to existing bass busses (mids & subs).
      – This bass is used sparsely in the arrangement.

      04:10 – Virus synth stab.

      05:10 – another bass layer, same QZB bass but with a pitch bend.

      08:30 – mid bass bus with iZotope Ozone 7, some reverb as well.
      – Allows control over all mids, such as when he automates during transitions.

      10:00 – looking at his final mid bus.

      12:00 – other sounds to interact with the bass.

      14:45 – changes in the second section of the arrangement.
      – Using a different sidechain trigger on the grit layer, creates a new variation.
      – Compares it to using an LFO, but this is a different approach.

      Arrangement (21:14)
      – Looking at Arkaik’s track “Special Place”, released on Vandal in 2018.

      01:55 – structure/arrangement of the track is based on DJ’ing.
      – 32 bar intro, quick to mix.
      – Drop and 64 bars.
      – 32 bar breakdown.
      – Second drop and 64 bars to end.
      – Thinks about mixing and double drops.

      04:20 – wants drums and the bass to be the most prominent sounds in the song.

      05:00 – very stripped back drums, sparse hi-hats not really on 8ths or 16ths.

      06:00 – 8 bar sections with building character.

      07:00 – inspiration for the track has come from living in Shanghai, and playing shows there and in Japan.
      – Atmosphere made of foley and a hype-inducing riser, some chopped up vocals. Explains how crowds in Asia seem to react very well to this type of sound currently.

      09:30 – snare made of different hats and character.
      – Influence of Alix Perez’s ‘1984’ album, where snares in tracks it often sounded like there were 4+ different snares in a drum loop.

      11:00 – reused the hype riser sound, but in a triplet tremelo to create cohesion between sections.

      12:15 – wanted the kicks to sound boomy at times, layers used, some with toms.

      13:05 – FX to glue the whole mix together.

      16:00 – second drop similar to the first, just some edits and FX laid out in a little differently.
      – A lot of though as to sections and layering with other songs when DJ’ing.

      Again, be sure to get active with this month’s Q&A with Arkaik:

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

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