Arkaik Tutorial Q&A session.

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    • #56905
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      Pete’s kindly said he’ll take any specific questions about the tutorial or production in general on the forum, so if there is anything you’re wondering, drop him a line here.

      Also he mentions in the video he did a funky custom skin for camelcrusher, and you can dl that and get a fresh look HERE!

    • #56914
      ,iangcarter1995
      Participant

      Hiya mate,

      In your tutorial videos you didn’t show how you made the lead/synth things that come in every now and then after the tune drops, these are the kind of sounds im trying to go for but fail miserably. I know producers like Icicle use sounds like that a lot and im just wondering how its done.

      • #56964
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi iangcarter1995,

        Im not too sure what you mean, but I think your referring to the sort of mid bass growls.
        These were made out of the sub sample. I equed the sub out of them with a low cut ( so only around 100Htz+ left in) then sent that to 2 busses , one with distortion (wolfram),ensamble, eq, filter, space designer and sausage fattener , the other bus with just an eq cutting the low end and both of these buses went to my main mid bus. By changing the first eq on the track this changes how much sub is going to the distortion so can wildly vary how this sound comes out. changing the distortion plugin will vary this sound drastically. To develop this sound further i will send this to more busses, all with a similar channel chain just with different filters and different EQs so this thickens up the sound. Adding a sample delay to some channels also helps to make the sound wider.

      • #56970
        ,iangcarter1995
        Participant

        Yea I was on about the growls I just didn’t know what to call em cause I associate growls with dubstep so I just threw a couple random words out there lmao. Cheers for the feedback man much appreciated.

    • #56926
      ,Balron
      Participant

      Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this.

      I haven’t finished the full tutorial yet but I already noticed the difference of sounds you start with. When I listen to your released tracks there are usually these deep heavy hitting drums together with basses. When I finished watching the first part the drums were nowhere near to the sound I expected. They are quite weak, to be honest (absolutely no offense intended here, I am just curious).

      Now, I understand that you make it more powerful later on during mixdown (as in the last video) and maybe even mastering but if that is the case… how do you know how are drums going to sound later (sometimes even weeks later)? I got used to “mixdown on the go” style, where I am trying to achieve the “sound” from the very beginning so it’s hard to imagine I would spend weeks listening to weak drums and then just make them awesome 🙂

      I am curious about this because I often get stuck on mixdown while I am working on an arrangement. This idea of just placing some (almost) temporary drum sounds to start with and fix them at the end has a certain appeal.

      Thank you for the videos as well and keep up the great work!

      https://soundcloud.com/balron

      • #56963
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Balron,

        I think with regards to drums its about getting the levels right and layering the sounds to make them sound full. Trying to accomplish amazing thick drums at the beginning of a project can be a tough task and I often find that doing it this way distracts you from making the track. You end up focusing on a snare for hours which can then prevent your creativity. you might change some elements in the drums later on and also you want your drums to work with your bass so you might eq them differently once the other sounds are in there.

        using other sounds in your track like drum hits also helps your drums sound more phat as they are more joined with the rest of your track and feel more conected in the mix.

        Id like to say that I only focus on the mixdown at the end of a project but i think its a constant process of tweaking the sounds as you go and finding what eq works for what sounds and how adjusting the levels changes the mix. At the end of the day you want the track to sound sick so its inevitable that along the way you are trying to accomplish this. my advice would be to get to a point where you are happpy with the drum sounds then move on to your bass or the rest of your elements, then go back in on your drums, then the other elements, and again , until you feel that they all sound good and the track feels as one

    • #57001
      ,Zero Four
      Participant

      Hey,

      Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions,

      I always find the hardest part of production is getting sub/mids to fit into a groove of your drums, what sort of process do you go through to get a groove when designing the bass part of your tracks?

      And also I struggle to try different drum patterns, when you first started out how did you experiment on different drum patterns e.g. the obligatory Kick, Snare, Kick Snare. Whats the best way to start learning more varied drum patterns (hope that makes sense)

      Cheers,
      Matt

      • #57529
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Matt,

        I think when trying to work out the bass /mids to fit into the groove of your drums, its best to have a clear idea of the sort of track you want to make and work out which the strongest idea (bass pattern or drum pattern) then fit the other elements around that, by using sidechain compression and other techniques to make sure they fit together well. i often make some drums then work on bass, and end up changing the drum pattern to fit with the groove of the bass better.

        With working out a groove for the drums, i often start with the most standard kick snare setup then change the position of the kicks adding in extra kicks, then add hats n shakers, rides and change there position, then probably take some of the kicks out before finally getting to something that has a slight groove. i find adding in percussion on the off beats helps me to work out where to put the kicks and the sort of groove i will stick with. I hope this helps

    • #57101
      ,MoritzMofes
      Participant

      Got no questions, but want to thank you for taking the time and going into the details. Big respect for sharing QUALITY knowledge.

    • #57213
      ,Szacun
      Participant

      Hey,

      which sample pack you use to make drums?

      Sumo…?

      Best,
      S

      • #57530
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        cheers mate, glad this helps

    • #57348
      ,Leo
      Participant

      Hey man!

      Firstly lovely tutorial mate I like the way you do things. The way you change the drums around to make cool little turnaround sounds is great and I have wondered about these things for a while so will have to get experimenting with that one.

      Currently my issue with my more minimal tracks is getting the midrange on the sub sounding nice. I know you used a sample pack for that sub but I am wondering if you know how to achieve a similar sound to that from scratch? I just love the nice forcefield effect and think it sounds great with minimal but cant seem to get it right, or just any midrangey sub at the moment so yeah basically just wondering if you have any tips on this?

      Thanks in advance mate,
      Leo

      • #57349
        ,Leo
        Participant

        Also you make lots of stuff quite stereo, does this not effect the mix in mono so much? Is it just a matter of double checking in mono or do you have some guidelines for this?

        Cheers!
        Leo

      • #57531
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Leo,

        To get mid range frequencies out of a sub what i like to do is distort it, using an overdrive with a guitar app to make it louder, then use an EQ to cut out the low end and a filter with an LFO to give it some movement. When I make a sub from scratch I will do this in the same way, focusing on the low end using a sine & saw wave , then filter it down to the raw sub, then use distortion to bring out the mid, then maybe bounce this and resample and do the same again to exaggerate the effect.

        With regards to making it mega stereo, it does effect the mono mix and i will go back in after puting the sterio width down in places which are not cutting through on the mono mix. Sometimes il double these tracks up with a mono channel just so i know it works well in both situations.

      • #57558
        ,Leo
        Participant

        Nice man, I like the idea of adding a mono layer thats a cool little trick (Should have thought of that lol) Thanks for the response, I think maybe I need to get into the habit of resampling more than I currently am. Would you say that resampling is essential for making basslines ?

        Thanks again,
        Leo

    • #57361
      ,Mind Zero
      Participant

      Hi Pete, I would like to ask you about how you glue your kicks and basses together in tracks like Steve or Special Place, as for example in this last one the bass seems to have strong attack and the kick is big with a powerful low end, but they fit together perfectly. Any tricks/tips on this?

      Thank you!

    • #57423
      ,Sunken Forest
      Participant

      Yes Pete, wicked tutorial.

      Any plans to release the track you made for the videos?

      Do you have any interesting field recording manipulation techniques you feel like sharing?

      Big up!

      • #57532
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Mind Zero,

        I glad you asked this, its hard to get these right without it distorting or one sounding weaker, but working on the kick first then working on the sub, then soloing them together and putting sidechain compression on the sub, sidechaining the kick, and just making it so it doesnt take out too much sub, but enough for it not to distort when the kick comes in. then eq the kick making sure it doesnt take over too much sub, but at the same time doesnt seem like its cutting out too much low end. when working on the sub mids, have these with a slightly greater sidechain so the mids pop out a little later, this will give the impression the kick is more subby and the bass is coming out of the kick, the sub mid range almost taking over the space in the mix where the kick was if that makes sense

      • #57609
        ,Mind Zero
        Participant

        Thanks for answering Pete!! Now that you talk about sidechain, I would like to ask about your settings and which compressor do you use. Long time I don’t sidechain the sub anymore because I feel like I’m creating a lot of distortion when I have the settings I need in terms of attack and thresold.

      • #57533
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Sunken Forest,

        No plans to release the track in the video, however I may carry on working on it and give it away free in the forum to you guys, I make alot of music that never gets release and generally only pick the best bits to send out/test in the clubs

        With regards to field recordings I have a little zoom H4N recorder that I take about and find its great little bit of kit, i also have a little zoom lightning connection version that connects to my iphone so it can record stereo which is also handy and mega small for taking about. When manipulating field recordings it depends on the room and the sound recorded for how i would manipulate it, but normally a cut the low end out and process the sound by itsef before adding it into a project. what sort of field recordings do you need to process?

    • #57469
      ,Paul
      Participant

      Hey, massive shout for the turtorial.

      One thing I wanted to ask…

      I see regularly people working with a limiter on the master, what do you do when it comes to sending a pre master to a mastering engineer?

      In my experience, if I send a track, that has a limiter on the master, to a mastering engineer, it gets rejected and the engineer asks for a mix with no limiter.

      Can you elaborate in this subject because it confuses me..

      It’s confusing because, I see all the time people working with a limiter on the master, yet get told by engineers to not do it.

      In my experience it works best for me to work with one on, but are you not getting a different idea of how the mix sounds, if you are limiting, to only then take it off for master…. ?

      Any info on this would be great 🙂

      Nice one !

      -Paul

      • #57534
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Paul,

        This is a great question and still confuses me as im not a mastering genius and still and a bit complexed by the whole situation, there has been many times where i have sent stuff to get mastered and they know a limiter is on it and also the other way round were the engineer hasnt brought it up.

        I use a limiter so that I can have a version of the track that is ready to use in a club and also so that i have a ruff understanding of what it might sound like when the pros master it. I find working in this way affective so that i can find out how much i can push a certain frequency and also how loud i can get the mix without it distorting / ducking.

        When sending this as a -3db version to get mastered i will generally turn off the limiter (and the sterio width & dynamics on the output) and turn the output down -12db, this will give them enough space to play with the levels and I then know that when they limit it and do their wizardry it will sound better than my limited version. I will also send my limiter version to them to give them an understanding of my loudness expectations and how far they can push the levels, hope this helps

    • #57475
      ,JOPPA
      Participant

      from my experience you should add that for the final mix before sending out engineers need head room to edit master tunes

      • #57535
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Juan,

        Mastering and getting tunes ready for an engineer is a whole tutorial in itself (if not even a few tutorials), this part can take some time getting it right #-3dbmixdownV23 .I should have mentioned that at the end that there is still alot more to work on before that track is finished and therefore not ready to be sent to anyone let alone to get mastered. After the track is finish i will sit on it for a while, play it out and see if people like it, tweak it if something isn’t right then send to labels once im happy with it, then start on the premaster if any labels are interested

    • #57511
      ,Harry
      Participant

      Alright, got to go through the videos over the past week, got my notes up, and I have questions for Arkaik:

      – You stated your affinity for techno sample packs for your drums, and I know of other producers who also prefer to use other genres’ drum kits. What’s the reason behind your use? Is it along the lines of having more sonics to shape in to the drum sounds you want?

      – I was curious if you are using Logic’s Phat FX now that Camel Audio’s programming has now been integrated in to Logic, or if you prefer Camel Crusher for any particular reason? Sounds better, uses less CPU, just easier to use with only four modules in the plug-in?

      – Noticed how much you use Logic’s native plug-ins, and how few third party plug-ins you have. Is this a deliberate decision?

      – Being an ex-pat, how has this affected your music creation, where your music is released, and how you collaborate with other producers? How do you collaborate, trade stems back & forth, or do you get to get in the studio with other producers?

      – Does your design work influence much of your music work? Who are some of your favorite designers and artists? Could we see some of your design work?

      Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A!

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #57538
      ,Arkaik
      Participant

      Hi Harry,

      Right lets see how i can help.

      – I find techno samples are get for kicks (as the tracks are always built around a huge kick) i also like the sounds of this specific kit really nice. Sometimes il use hiphop crusty drum hits to layer on top of clean hits il just hunt till I find stuff I really like. I have just found that techno samples for drums works for me. With minimal sounding dnb i find these techno hits work well.

      – I used to use Camel Phat all the time & do use the Phat FX (even though the new layout confuses me), however I use Camel crusher as a limiter/saturater. If i wanted to add an LFO or some sort of filter fx to the channel then I would use Phat FX, or use a filter with wolfram & a phaser. To me I use them for different purposes.

      – With regards to external plugins I use to have alot which was hard to decide what to use and to go through a massive list of plugins, so I decided to strip out the ones i didnt use alot and then to slowly reinstall the plugins when i needed them. Also my mac HD broke about 2 weeks before i recorded this so i will need to add some back in. I used to write on Logic 9 and only changed to logic X this year so sometimes il go on my old machine if i want to create certain sounds using old 32 bit plugins.

      – Being an Expat has definitely changed the way i write, i kinda am isolated from the scene being in China and that has helped me really focus on what i want to write rather than looking at whats popular or following musical trends within UK. Sending stems is always done over internet and collaborating with people is generally done this way, however when im back in Europe i do make an effort to see some friends and try and get in some studio time with them. I have met some kool people over here and have colaborations with people that i might not have if i was in the uk , but tbh most the people i collaborate with i have met over the internet or friends i have met through raves over the years.

      – Design work only influences my music work as in i dont get enough time to make music lol. I think about music in the same way as graphic design as im trained in design so try and think of it in this way to help me understand processes. I would love to show you guys some of my design work however i work for a customer research agency so most of the work is unsharable, mostly b2b stuff for big brands (big animation company that has theme parks, a company that rhymes with joke and makes black drinks, some one that rhymes with boogle) mostly boring stuff but occasionally big design events. some design stuff i have done was for my Timelapse EP, and also the Arkaik merch available on the flexout website is all designed by me

      • #57597
        ,Harry
        Participant

        Thanks Pete!

        I get you on Phat FX’s layout being odd, I haven’t used it much as I’ve been working in Bitwig more than Logic lately. I did spend some time with it though, trying to figure out what was added since Camel Phat, and I put my notes here: https://idkandyoucantoo.tumblr.com/post/174024887416/notes-on-logic-xs-phat-fx-vs-camel-audios

        And I understand about the design stuff, got a few friends that are in that field at that level, and their non-work creative sparks have tended to go elsewhere over the years.

        "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #61044
      ,AKKA
      Participant

      hello pete, the tutorial is greeeat !!!

      just a fast question regardings the hats, did you used multiple velocities on the tutorial or all have the same velocity?

    • #63379
      ,JOPPA
      Participant

      does anyone have a copy of wolfram i just want to experiment with it?

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