Analysis of S6E12: QZB – Minimalism II

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    • #83597
      ,Harry
      Participant

      The final video for Season 6!


      Part 1: Drums & Shuffles (17:30)

      – “Tech Priest” track breakdown, unreleased as of June 2019, was finished in the spring of 2019. In the track you can hear filtering arps, a pulsing & rising white noise, and the tune drops after 32 bars.

      02:00 – track is based on the sound of the arp

      02:40 – analysis starting with the drums
      – Drums are from an F9 Audio drum sample pack

      03:28 – the kick is two layers, QZB say this one “felt right”
      – They often change out drums near the end of working on a track
      – These needed a little transient shaping

      05:28 – looking at the snare group
      – Built from five layers
      – Mix & match of F9 samples
      – Saturator to add crunch ➡ compressor to take down high frequencies a little ➡ EQ to roll off some low end ➡ multi-band compressor ➡ transient shaper

      07:37 – looking at the hat group
      – One very high frequency hi-hat playing
      – Different speed hats (8ths vs. 16ths)

      10:50 – sidechaining of percussion and hat groups

      11:30 – “small, but effective groove”

      12:00 – explaining decisions regarding the kick programming

      12:45 – extra drums group

      13:00 – drum programming switches at bar 49
      – More rolling style drums
      – Pattern goes from 1 kick per bar to a 2-step

      15:30 – switches in sidechain, dependent on how the kick is playing

      16:05 – looking at the shuffles group

      16:45 – point out an edit at the start of bar 41, all drums cut out for the first 1/4th of the bar


      Part 2: Subs & Mids (13:24)

      – “sub intense tune”

      01:00 – one MIDI track triggering the bass line’s sub & mid layers

      02:50 – auto-filter using MS20 mode

      03:25 – looking at the mids
      – These tend to be fills at the end of 4-bar clips

      04:00 – punchy horn as a bass stab on the 1’s of bars
      – Stab on start of bar 1, mid fills at end of bar 4

      05:50 – going over little bits from long resampling files

      08:10 – talking about more mids

      09:35 – the need for space & cuts for long bass sounds

      09:58 – “frequency save”

      10:35 – a drone / rhythm layer created from a vocal sample

      12:30 – sometimes you have to let go of an idea that you’ve worked on for a long time and use the second drop you created as the first drop in the finished tune. Basically, you spent a lot of time making a first drop. You then create a second drop quicker, step back and realize it works better as the first drop.


      Part 3: Arps & Aesthetic (19:20)

      – Arp sound made in Serum, MIDI is the actual note pattern, a bit of automation

      01:20 – arp pattern made with Xfer Cthulu outputting MIDI to another track, and then built up, different parts used throughout the track

      02:50 – vocal bits from Kontakt Exhale instrument
      – Sub was in E, arp in E Minor

      04:00 – thoughts on intro FX, how the arp drops out, minimal cinematic effects hit, then the drop

      05:00 – thoughts on reverbs & spatial awareness & placement
      – Using dedicated reverbs

      06:30 – “spare/trash” group
      – This seems to be a sketchpad area, leftover sounds, and elements that did not get used in the final track
      – Moved to the end of the arrangement. I’ve seen Break using this technique in one of his videos too.

      07:50 – looking at the arrangement & mixdown
      – QZB tend to mix as they write

      09:50 – an auto-filter on the master, just used on the intro section
      – Explains how to make use of energy, when there is a finite amount

      12:00 – “anti-drop” bar, with just a stab, but all elements come back on the x.2.1.1

      15:15 – thoughts on tunes being “tooly / sound design flex”, and tunes that are more emotion driven, catching a vibe

      18:00 – thoughts on quick masters for demos, versus a mix that is sent to a mastering engineer


      Part 4: Sampling (11:59)

      – This part covers sound design tricks that QZB wanted to share

      01:30 – Ableton Live template for sound design, set at their preferred tempo (174 BPM), and 8 sends to various reverbs and delays
      – As an example of how they work, they try one snare going through each snare.
      – They use a delay & reverb calculator found here (warning: donation pop-up comes up frequently): https://nickfever.com/Music/delay-calculator
      – They use the calculator to determine the decay time to set for delays & reverbs

      – Breakdown of the bus structure:
      – Short ➡ a 1 bar decay
      – Mid ➡ a 2 bar decay
      – Large ➡ a 4 bar decay
      – XL ➡ a really long decay

      05:55 – other sends are for delays

      06:25 – next trick is about sampling music off of Spotify, can apply to any streaming site really
      – Demonstrating with finding a Musique Concrete playlist, record anything that sounds interesting or inspiring
      – Alter & use the samples found for future sound design

      09:00 – you can see QZB’s file organization for sound design folders
      – Each year, than month, and in some months its further broken down by samples, resamples, etc.


      Part 5: Synth & Resample (22:36)

      – Same Ableton Live template, now with a Serum instrument track

      00:45 – starting with a sine in OSC A, with one LFO mapped to multiple parameters

      01:55 – second OSC (B) added, to frequency modulate (FM) OSC A
      – Also adds the Sub OSC, Noise OSC, and runs OSC A through the Filter module

      03:45 – moving on the Effects Rack tab, to shape the sound. They state they really like Serum’s FX module.

      06:05 – changing LFO shape to start getting variations; this is after they get the general sound that they want

      08:30 – bouncing down the Serum patch, and comping parameter changes that were made while recording

      10:15 – putting the bounce in to Ableton’s Granulator II
      – They also record scrolling through the device

      15:20 – how QZB use vocoders
      – Make new samples & variations of existing samples

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #97729
      ,uporny
      Participant

      Eagerly waiting for this one to appear in the vault

    • #97797
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      Eagerly waiting for this one to appear in the vault

      This one’s going in there next week 😀

      Ps. thanks Harry!

    • #97909
      ,shrike
      Participant

      Yup, this class series is SG at its finest, IMO.

      If you missed first time around, you should really consider picking it up.

      Really great stuff!

      _-| get to work |-_

    • #98887
      ,uporny
      Participant

      They:

      This one’s going in there next week

      Also they:

      No offence, just joking =P

    • #98896
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      They:

      No offence, just joking =P

      Will be out in few days :p

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