RSVP for Jul 28 Livestream

How I Did It

When I Walk With You (ft. Zoe...
by Quarkstar
Recommends (16)
Tue, Mar 5, 2013 @ 2:52 AM

Uses samples from:


Tools I Used

Ableton Live

Bass: Curve2CM
Kick: Ableton Operator, settings from
Marimba lead: Ableton Marimba
Woodwind: Ableton ProjectSAM Orchestral Ensemble, Woodwind Sustain
Struck instrument: Ableton Operator by Quarkstar
Marimba chords: Two instruments, Marimba and Operator by Quarkstar
Snares: Ableton Simpler (See samples) by Quarkstar
Tambourines: Ableton Drum Rack (See samples) by Quarkstar
Riser: Ableton Analog, Vocoder and two x Corpus(Pipe)

Reverb: ReverberateCM
Harmonizer: Melda MHarmonizer
Mixer effect: StatsonCM

Samples I Used

Thomas Penton - Essential Drums and Percussion: Tambourines, Snare

KV Bala Indian Sessions: Dolak, Tabla, Urumi, Tablas.

KV Bala Indian Session: Finger Bells loop

Original Samples

Drums and Bass
Woodwind solo


The finished tune is in 8:4 time with the melody and harmony playing on the off-notes (beats 2,4,6).

The drums and percussion are on the 4:4 beats (1, 3, 5, 7), except for the tuned tablas which play along with ZoeBee.

The melody is in C while the Bass and tuned Kick wander around Am. This meant that a lot of triads (three note chords) don't work so I used Dyads (two note chords) together with a root in the bass or another instrument. This was a challenge to me, which is why it took a while to do.

I read that if the two chords are far enough apart, one in the bass and the other in the treble, you can mix complementary chords. The Bass has mid-range harmonics and brought the Am notes into conflict with the harmony. Instead of using higher frequency notes I used instruments whose harmonic content is high pitched (Woodwind, Marimba). The higher harmonics also left space for the vocals.

Other Notes

I admit, this started when I was attemting a mix of Admiral Bobs Gardening on The Moon and the bass line appeared that didn't fit. I soon found ZoeBees excellent vocals and thought the bass line would make a good chorus. Immediatley I wanted to create some music around the vocals. I loved the words and wanted to interpret them.

I had the Chorus down within an hour then spent a couple of weeks writing the rest. It took so long due to my inexperience and trying things that just weren't going to work.

Towards the end I knew something was missing and found it when I was playing with the Dune presets and found the Infected RH setting. An hour later and I had wrapped up the writing.

This is one of the tunes I am pleased with as I achieved what I wanted, a subtle warm tune to match the vocals and words.

The musical structure is challenging and was, for a while, beyond my ability, but in the end it sounded right to me.