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How I Did It

Cuckoo (passive-aggressive mix)
by cinematrik
Recommends (34)
Wed, Jun 15, 2005 @ 3:50 PM

Tools I Used

I did everything in Logic Pro. I also have the NI Komplete suite, and other free audio unit plugins from around the web. The main things I used plugin-wise were Reaktor 5 (I used the Steampipe synth for the harp during the chorus and another synth to make the superfast high frequency rhythms in certain parts), Absynth 3 (mainly to mangle samples - I stretched out the string sample from La Serrenissima in this and also took a cut of Lisa's voice and streched it out), the bass I think was done in the Logic synth Sculpture, some of the drum loops were done in Intakt (with a sample from the Brad sucks song as the stick/snare sound), the strings in the last chorus were written with Kontakt 2, and the wurlitzer was the EVP88 in Logic.

Samples I Used

The list is pretty big from the Magnatune catalog - I would use a loop here or there - mostly short snippets from stuff. Everything else was from the softsynths.

Original Samples

Everything that's not the Magnatune samples I did myself in Logic. Oh and the guitar at the end I recorded and used the Logic guitar amp simulator (which imo sounds good in a mix like that, not so great by it's lonesome)


Uh, that's the trick I guess! at the outset I knew that I really wanted Lisa's voice to have "space" around it, so everything could be going crazy and dense and then she would start singing and everything would fall off. I started with just lisa's vox and that harp patch. Then I started building up the drums and bass. I kind of knew from the beginning that I wanted to do a trip-hop/massive attack type track, so then it came to trying to pull it off.

The toughest part was re-timing the vocals, because even though the tempo was similar to the source track, the feel wasn't. So in Logic there's a tool called "strip silence" that cuts the track up according to the volume - it helps separate the phrases out automatically. So then I had to go in and manually tweak the timing on stuff - a word here a whole phrase there, sometimes even part of a word. I didn't want it to sound robotic or anything, but just to sound like she was singing to the remix track instead of the original version. Another thing that just worked out well was the delay on the last verse (that was already in the source track) - it timed out pretty well.

Oh and yeah I use EQ and compression judiciously on everything, it just helps to keep everything from stepping all over each other in the mix.

Other Notes

Hmmm, i guess the thing that was tough about the source track as a whole was the bridge, where she goes up to the major key. I wanted the track to remain more dark, so I had to re-order the parts so I could leave the bridge out and hopefully have it still make sense. That meant that I had to repeat the first chorus (like in a more pop type song) and then go for the change on the last chorus and kind of leave you with the "up and took flight" lyric. It's real subtle but I took the part where Lisa says "Lies" and put that at the end - to kind of add to the rage at the end.

Anyway in general it sounds more complicated than it is I'm sure. I just like to throw more and more tracks at stuff until it sounds full! I'm suprised the kitchen sink isn't in there :-)

But I really was pretty happy with how it turned out - which is kind of a rare thing for me especially :-) I'm glad everyone seems to like it!