This is my response to the Being a Music Producer assignment, worth 4.5 stars. The assignment was to record myself playing a musical instrument, and then record a second musical instrument over the top of it. I picked bass and melodica. I decided to push this significantly farther than the assignment actually called for since music is a pretty major hobby of mine. The assignment never said I couldn’t add a couple of midi instruments to the track and do some production work on the bass and melodica, so I went ahead and did that. I will say, the rhythm isn’t as accurate as I would like, but if I gave this the time it really deserves, I wouldn’t be able to finish the rest of my assignments in one week’s time! It would also probably be at least twice as long and have many more MIDI instruments. You can never have too many MIDI instruments!
I did everything in Reaper, my digital audio workstation of choice for almost everything. The drums were created with a handy little plugin called drumatic. It is great for really electronic sounding drums.
I added noise reduction, equalization, a bass booster and a compressor to the bass in that order. From left to right, the plugins I used are also shown in that order. For anyone who doesn’t know, compression in music production is a process that alters the volume of a track. The loud bits are “squashed” down and the quite bits are amplified to give the track a more consistent volume. The section where the bass isn’t slapped uses the same plugins, except without the bass booster.
I also did some production work with the melodica, albeit not as much. I added noise reduction, reverb, and a compressor. The plugins are displayed in that order in the picture below. The compressor I used on the bass is actually a modified version of the compressor I used on the melodica that is specially designed for guitars.
The last track is a pad that plays chords. It was created with a plugin called Hive. I swear, this plugin isn’t actually as complicated and confusing as it looks! I started with a built in preset and tweaked it to better mix with the other instruments. These software instruments I mixed with my own playing are proof that the singularity is already well in progress.