Deep Roots Remix Event

How I Did It

Breathing in
by jaspertine
Recommends (6)
Tue, Sep 25, 2007 @ 11:39 AM

Tools I Used

Ableton Live 5, Garageband, handheld microcassette recorder, Radio Shack microphone, Boss DD3 delay pedal

Samples I Used

All either from this site or self generated


There's a lot of ground to cover, so instead of going over every detail, i'll just explain the general tones.

The track is a medley of three separate pieces, which were cross-faded together using speech loops as segues.

The baritone guitar is excertped from Cora Awakes, and is slowed down and compressed.

The speech sample was recorded on microcassette, then bounced to digital. It was inspired by the "psychic driving" process of Dr Ewen Cameron, whose work was funder by the CIA under the MKUltra program.

The second verse of LSN's "Six Feet Under" was looped and used as a refrain for the second part. A second loop was then created, using Live 5's "Beat Repeat" effect in order to create a series of stutters. Other atmospheric loops were created by slicing, reversing, and processing bits of vocals.

The drums had to be converted to mono in order for the panning to sound right.

The chords were created using a simple sinewave with ring modulation and tremolo. The tremolo was then turned off and they were re-recorded onto microcassette and bounced back into the track for added lofiness.

The third piece is the simplest, yet the one I am most proud of.

It starts off with the sound of me breathing into a cheap "radio shack" microphone, which is plugged directly into my DD3 delay pedal. As I recorded myself breathing, I turned the feedback on the pedal above 100%, causing the echoes to loop onto themselves. I then messed with the delay time to creatve pitch swells. 2 minutes were recorded. 30 seconds were used.

I wanted the next part to jump in abrumptly in mid loop, so I programmed the fastest crossfade that Live 5 could handle.

This takes us into the songs slow, ambient ending, which is sampled from New Age Piano Movement 2, reversed, dropped an octave, filtered, and completely soaked in reverb. This sound plays out, then slowly fades.

Also note:
Cora Awakes is actually the loudest part of the whole track.

The first segue involves looping the phrase:
"You are a respected and productive worker"
The second:
"But I don't want that."

Part 3 starts in full blown mono, before jumping into stereo.

Other Notes

I was in the midst of a tailspinning crisis of confidence when I decided to embark on this knotty, severely introspective monster. Many other pieces were conseptualized, only to be scrapped.

I really felt that if I followed the conventional path, it would be, at best, a mediocre imitation. This added to the urgency of forging my own path.

Much of what you hear was either downsampled, processed, filterd, or bounced onto tape. I was very interrested with the idea of doing things the "wrong" way, just to see what would happen.

My next piece will sound a bit cleaner.

The chapters are meant to divide the three separate recordings, but the actuall course of the narrative is open to interpretation. The music itself doesn't really follow every nuance of the story.