Thursday, 13 October 2011

Flight: Long Delay Mix

X-Amount - Flight (Long Delay Mix) by X-Amt

Another remix from "Degraded". This one took a couple of days before I was happy with it. Often I will get the whole thing done in a day, I like to work fast on a remix, as it is easy to lose sight of what you are doing when you become over-familiar with something. I have spent hours on these tracks. It's the same as when an artist creates a painting. You get so involved in all the tiny details and technicalities that you can easily lose sight of what the thing looks like to your audience, or you can forget what it was that you set out to do in the first place.

I had intended to produce an extended version of "Flight" (or "Short Flight" as it is known on the album version), firstly because it is one of my personal favourites and secondly, because I wanted a version that I could DJ with.

As I began re-arranging the track and stripping away the sounds, I had ideas for additional parts, so I created a short reference mix and imported it into Logic. Then I dusted off my guitar and recorded the rhythm guitar part. It did not sound quite as tight as I wanted (partly because I had lost my box of plectrums and had played it in using a home-made one cut out from a business card), but it seemed to work ok.

The synth part I had in mind I thought would suit the Pulse, so I set about programming. This can be a very difficult process. It feels like walking along a tightrope to me. The Pulse sounds so lush, and each time you try something like adjusting the filters, you get inspired to go with what occurs, so its easy to get distracted and seduced by its versatility. You can lose what was in your head in the first place.

All the same, I managed to stay focussed and created a new loop. Once I heard it against the track though, it was not quite working, so I dumped it and, after some experimentation, created it using Logic's ES1 synth.

After that, it was back to Ableton and into the remix. I got the arrangement in place and added some dub effects, which reminded me of days when I did a lot of live dub with bands like Back To The Planet. I added the dubs live just like I would have done in analogue days by throwing echos and reverb smashes at the drums mostly. Doing it live keeps an organic nature to the track.

Eventually, after re-organising some parts and balancing levels until I felt they were correct I decided that it was finished.

Being "finished" is another area of mixing and production which is the same as painting (or writing, or other arts) which is crucial and tricky to get exactly right. You can easily over-work something, or miss something vital, or lose sight of the big picture.

I reckon its ok. I often get a bit of a buzz when I am working that tells me "this could be a good one" and I got one this time round.

So.. there are now 4 remixed tracks from the "Degraded" sessions. That might be it. Andi and I will begin work on new material soon. Also, sadly I think, there has been a rather apathetic reaction to my requests for others to remix us (and to the album to be honest - a few loved it, mind), so we may move on.

We still want to put the live show together, but it could well take time as the practical aspects of the project are proving difficult to sort out.

You can hear all 4 remixes here:

X-Amount: "Degraded" Remixes by X-Amt

Please let us know what you think..

Simon x

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