I posted my project to soundcloud Monday, but I still wanted to post on this discussion thread even though it’s a little late. This is my first post on lines.
For my track, I included many layers of different metronomes, typewriters, church bells, mechanical camera sounds, steam whistles, etc. at a train station. I also recorded several bass and guitar parts.
I imagined that the beloved “Society for the Advancement of Metronomic Activities” arrive by train, and once disembarked, commence a groovy party.
I recorded bass, guitar, and some metronomes myself, but the rest of the samples were found various places online. All the pieces were assembled and edited inside Ableton Live using native plugins and some Waves plugins.
While working on this project, I was reminded of the usefulness of gates. At one point in the track, there are 8 layers of different metronome samples playing at different BPMs. By gating each track separately and adjusting the release times, I was able to cut out a lot of the extra unwanted noise in between the metronome clicks, which resulted in a much cleaner sound.
For the beat at the end, I decided that a typewriter can sound pretty metronomic, so I cut out over 50 individual keystrokes from a typewriter sample and lined them up as 16th notes. I split the 1st and 3rd 16th notes onto one track and the 2nd and 4th 16ths onto another track so the downbeats and upbeats could be processed separately. First, I put a slight hi-pass filter on the upbeats to differentiate them from the downbeats. Secondly, I shortened the length of the samples on the upbeats. The keystroke from a typewriter has a slide into the transient and another slide after. Imagine the arm of each letter lifting up to slam into the paper and then returning to rest. For the upbeats, I cut the keystroke short while the downbeats have the full motion.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fully develop the beat at the end. If I had more time, I would build that section up more and then drop it back down to the metronome clicks from the beginning of the song.