One Love Event Extended!

How I Did It

Terra Obscura
by Quarkstar
Recommends (21)
Sat, Nov 15, 2014 @ 11:52 PM

Tools I Used

Drums: NI, Polyplex and Drumlab
Bass: NI Scarbee, MM-Bass
Beeper: Xfer-REcords, Serum Synth
Vocals: Small amount of compression
Keys: Ableton Electric, Crunch Piano
Plucked background sound: U-he Zebra, HS Plucky fifth
Bells: Camel Alchemy, Kool ViBes
Wind Instrument: NI Kontour, Soloist Main
Vocal effect buss: Ableton, Resonator followed by delays.

Used throughout
Equalizer: Tokyo Dawn Labs, VOS Slick EQ
Reverb: Acon Digital, CM Verb
Mixing Desk: Airwindows, Console2
Character: Sonimus, Statson CM
Compressor: Vladislav Goncharov, Nova-67P


I listened to several pieces then worked out how I could reuse them. The main theme was the French Aire which I converted to MIDI and studied for the melody and pieces I could use.
I used parts of Anchor's French Aire sample for the Cello part.

The sections build in intensity then drop down and build back up again. The changes are quite subtle, the first thing that happens is that extra words are inserted in the gaps until they start overlapping, the piano starts playing new harmonies and additonal drum hits bring in a faster rhythm.

Other Notes

When I got Anchor Méjans name to remix I was excited as his music is completely outside anything I had remixed before and outside my genre. A mix of vocals and Cello, passionate playing, raw sounds, medieval yet sophisticated. I was looking forward to seeing if I could match his quality and to do something new.

Key of C major. I took my main theme from Ancient French Aire pulling out parts of the melody. In terms of genre and style I was inspired by Lemon Jelly’s 2005 album '64–’95.

At one time I wrote a long middle section going C, Bm, A and then a dramatic return back to C, but I didn’t use any of Anchor Méjans samples in that section which meant I was using less than 50% samples, so I removed it and wrote a short section based on the Cello melody. That was about 3 or 4 days work gone. To my ear the semitone drops sounded sophisticated and deep, so they may be appearing in another tune.

My biggest problem throughout was that although the Cello is in tune between notes, its not in concert pitch. This gave me a big headache as I could not use the whole solo. So I had to take parts and pitch them up and down as little as possible. I hated doing it as the method can leave artifacts and I can still hear that the Cello skips and has lost its richness.

I feel that I played safe on the tune and didn’t take the opportunity to explore as much as I could have.