My project was to re-mix the song Reflection by Oxeye. My job was to change the groove and add some new elements to the mix to recreate the song in a new light.
Reflection - Oxeye (Original Mix)
When I landed on reflection in the Cambridge multitrack library I immediately wanted to add my touch to it. A well versed powerful song with heavy synths and pianos. I felt right in my element.
Reflection - Oxeye
(Recreating the original mix)
I first wanted to recreate the orginal mix so that I could stay true to the original song before starting my remix
The Hotter Records Mix
It was not enough for me to recreate the same mix I felt like I cheated myself out of being the best I could be so I decided to mix the song again this time, I wanted to change certain elements from in the original mix while staying true to it as well.
The first thing I noticed was the song didn't have a bridge. I love making bridges in songs utilizing production techniques such as parallel keys, descending bass lines, and cool delay effects generated from elements in the original mix but first, we need a solid foundation to start on right?
I knew I would be going futuristic/trippy with the bridge so my main goal was to go with the synth stems and a slight hint of piano for flavor. Then I turned up the reverb to create the general space that this bridge would be in. I wanted it to feel outer worldly like you're about to jump in to a 1981 DeLorean. After that, I realized I wasn't getting that "magical" vibe that I wanted from it so I chose to add in the toms again to give it that magical feeling, similar to watching fireworks explode in slow motion.
Sound Designing the Bridge
I love creating cool sound effects with time based effects. I use anything from loops and household items, to committing a kick or hi hat from my vast collection of virtual instruments and pitching them up or down a few octaves and just getting creative.
This is also where I left the key of C#Minor and cruised to it's parallel key of E Minor. All samples and loops were in the key of E Minor as well. For this bridge I decided to pull a guitar loop from my sample library courtesy of Slate Digital. Then dropped the melody I wanted in to a Midi track and turned it in to a plucky synth. I then added a heavy feedback delay at 1/16th dotted.
I felt it was necessary to add some live instruments and I was thinking percussion instruments such as shakers, congas, and bongos. I'm a huge fan of these instruments and put them on 90% of my compositions. However, I don't own any of these but a shaker. So I decided to grab some pots and pans from the kitchen. Needless to say my family would be less than pleased for the next 20 minutes. I was unable to recreate the percussion instruments but the sound I did get from hitting the pots in different ways produced a nice sound to me that was different and still got my fix for percussion in. You'll hear high pitch clank throughout the bridge.
After adding the pots and pans I had lost my toms and that magical feeling again some I needed to bring something else in. I still wanted the bridge to feel larger than life. For this I took a big fitness ball and recorded me hitting it with a cardboard tube. This cardboard tube took a lot of the low end rumble off and focused on my mid and high frequencies. I still got plenty of low end from it but my goal was to have some higher range frequencies as well for later EQing to get that sound I wanted.