Category Archives: Studio

Mind the Mix: Sway Penala, I’m A Wreck

I completed a song mix-down a few weeks ago, and it was slightly out of the norm. For one thing, R&B Pop is not my typical genre, though the instrumentation and general formula are very similar to the Electronic Dance I’m usually generating. The real challenge here was the very quick deadline. Who can resist a good challenge? In hindsight, it was an interesting episode of setting priorities and calling on experience. Here’s how I succeeded and where I may have failed.

“I’m A Wreck” was produced by JP “The Beat Digga” Nebres (Pinay, DnH) and performer Sway Peñala (American Idol top 24, season 5) for Sway’s debut album, My Story (Amazon, iTunes), released on 18 May 2010. The instrumentation, the recording, and the musical arrangements were done. My job was to take all of those pieces and make them sound like a song.

Continue reading Mind the Mix: Sway Penala, I’m A Wreck

Depeche Mode Remix Notes

I recently completed a retro electro-dance remix of Peace, Depeche Mode’s next single. They were running an official remix contest with Beatport.

Their new album has a very light, though nicely electronic sound to it. Apparently, Martin Gore has discovered eBay and is buying up vintage gear, which they then use for inspiration (very cool). I wanted to bring back some of the chunkier sound from the 80’s for this mix.

Some people have asked about the sound sources. It was a pretty simple mix once all parts were replayed.

Continue reading Depeche Mode Remix Notes

Uncle Fred’s Orient Express

So it’s no mystery now that we are putting the original catalog from Jocelyn Enriquez up on iTunes. While going through the songs, I ran across the old “Uncle Fred’s Orient Express” remix of Big Love, and remembered how much I really liked the mix. And hated it, too.

Uncle Fred was, of course, dance music industry pioneer Fred Held. Around Classified, we called him Uncle Fred because he was one of many mentors to us. One day, Fred told me that he had an idea for a remix involving trains and train sounds, then asked if I could do that. Who was I to say otherwise? Around the same time, I had also planned to do an Erasure styled remix. To those who know Erasure well, that put me in a “black box” of no samples, all synth generated sounds, and no chords. Any harmony had to be temporal, melodic, not static. This seemed like a good fit, besides the sampled train sounds, and the concept was born.

Continue reading Uncle Fred’s Orient Express

Review: Mackie Onyx 400F

Miracle of miracles, the Mackie Onyx 400F audio interface is finally in stock, as of December 6!

I’ve been using a MOTU Traveler since trying to buy the Mackie for my new studio rig in May of this year. It has been solid with the G5 and Logic 7.1. But I’m still going to try the Mackie because the Traveler has more options than I need, and the Mackie has the potential to sound even better with its Onyx pre-amps and AKM converters.

I’ll update this as I go…

Continue reading Review: Mackie Onyx 400F