RECORDING music in Digital Performer (DP)
“Eva” (133 BPM) is the first track in my 2012 CD “Black Widow”, you can stream it stream here:
- Emu 76 key E-Synth as controller and synth
- Roland MC-307
- Reason (RSN)
Native Instruments Komplete: Electric Piano (NI-EP), Reaktor (RKT), Battery (BATT), Pro-53
- Tassman (TAS)
- SynthMaster (SM)
- Strum Electric Guitar
- DSL synth (Apple)
- Apple SFX
- Voice to create female speech
- MOTU DP ProVerb
Altogether there were over 20 MIDI tracks playing a soft synth most of the time, all of which were rendered as audio tracks. In the more or less color coded DP track window, the orange is drums/percussion, yellow the reverb channels, and red, the master fader. The master fader has a four band parametric EQ and a limiter in order to prevent excessively low frequencies from being reproduced and giving “air” (boosting the high end above 5K/10K a bit), and the limiter to control peaks and enhance loudness.
So, initially I develop the percussion tracks (orange) to create the structure to which are added bass (played on the E-Synth) and an electric piano (from NI Komplete). There is a crowd effect in the intro which are loops and a “girl” speaking in spanish saying “we are going to dance” (track 0+), which is a male saying the text with a feminine affectation, cutting everything under 100 Hz, then using DP’s pitch shift and formant shift, both at 2 semitones higher, and out pops a “girl”.
Various arpeggios came from the Tassman, Reaktor, and SynthMaster. Guitar loops/sounds came from Reason, Emu and Strum. The Pro-53 played a lead. I used two reverbs, one devoted to drums/percussion and the other for the rest of the tracks that needed it, MOTU’s ProVerb is included in DP, it sounds great and I like it a lot.
I start mixing the day I start recording, ever watching the levels of the master stereo bus and what the limiter is doing (not more than 6dB gain reduction), adjusting levels and fx as more tracks are added. I use a pair of Mackie 626 monitors and SONY MDR-7506 headphones which are surprisingly good and trustable to tell you what the mix is doing, and, also ever mindful not to monitor above 90dB SPL, most of the time at lower levels. Once I’m happy with the mix in the Mackies and headphones I know I’m done.