Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Dear Friend" - Mix in progress

A month or so ago I posted a blog about mixing "Dear Friend."  Here is an updated video of the mix in progress describing some of the details of the changes to the opening of the track.  This song was started around 2003, and the first version appearing in the video was what I completed at that time.  Originally, it was created entirely on an ENSONIQ MR-61 synth, and a video demo of that keyboard including the opening to this song is in the video annotations.  However, the "finished" mix was polished up using SAWPro.  When I began to get songs ready for a new CD I wanted to include this one, but I also wanted to update the piano sound to a newer KORG sample that I was using for most compositions since then, as well as tweak the mix a bit with my current DAW of choice, Reaper. I found that while I still had all of the MR-61 MIDI files, I no longer had the SAWPro edit lists or associated WAV files, so the ending of the song that I had initially created was no longer available for importing into Reaper.

My first goal was to simply recreate the original ending in Reaper, but I was unable to do that to my satisfaction and ended up making an entirely new ending based on the opening of another mix of the song I had created in the years between.  After making a new ending (which I liked better than the original anyway), I found that I needed to adjust the opening of the song as well to make it more at home.  This video shows some of the changes I made.


Jeff Forbes said...

Steve, I recently discovered your music, and am just blown away by it. I am a bluegrass fiddle player myself, and not too familiar with the Electro/Lounge/Nu-Jazz genre (I think that's what your MySpace page calls it). But I just find your music totally captivating and often bittersweet, which I really like. New Beginning and Kobi's Heart are two of your tunes that I can't stop listening to.

I love the simplicity of your melodies, and how you build tension and then resolve it. It was also fascinating to see how you revised the mix of "Dear Friend" over a period of years. Can't wait to purchase the final version. Now that I've found your music, I wonder what other musicians you might recommend that may be somewhat similar to your own style? Keep doing what you are doing, as you are really onto some great stuff! -Jeff

Steve Sisson said...

Hi Jeff, thank you for the kind words! I am glad you have found some enjoyment in listening to those songs. Hopefully I will have more for you later this year.

As for other artists, you might want to give Port Blue a listen. Adam Young is the composer and I really enjoy the chord progressions he comes up with, and the piano break in the middle of "Seagulls" is gorgeous. He has also made about four songs (all named after fruit for some reason) under the name Insect Airport, which lean a little more to the electronic or "chill" genres, but you may still like them... "Strawberry" in particular finds a nice electric piano groove about a minute in.

If you like compositions that add layers as they progress, then perhaps some of Patrick O'Hearn's late 80's work may be to your liking. "Forever the Optimist" is a good example of this.