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VX1 Session: Getaway

This is a session walkthrough, from The Making of VX1

Full Walkthrough Video

The Process

This song first and foremost developed from the vocal lead. I came up with the ENTIRE vocal lead from the very beginning, before I even got all the chords right. It ended up being a very flexible melody that lasted over VERY different arranging behind it.

The vocal melody stayed through the entire process (v1.01)

From this version, that I thought "sounded like Coldplay"...

The song went through many versions (v1.08b)

... To a kinda closer-to-the-real-thing version that finally developed when I swiped the chord progression from another song I was writing.

The loop that started pushing the final vibe (v1.09)

Lyrics

The last thing I finished was Lead 2 (the rap-ish thing). I am not the strongest at lyrics, so when writing poetry like this, I usually start with the flow that I want, and then write lyrics to match. For example, this is what I originally put together for this song:

Wordless Rap

In the different versions of the song, you can hear this line evolve. I settled on something, but then during mixing it just kept bothering me, so I actually ended up sending Bill a patch to fix the phrase I didn't like:

Patch

The Session

Intro

The intro harmony was kind of interesting in that I didn't sing it in this key. I had switched the key of the song, and I pitch-shifted these harmonies just to see how that key sounded. But I ended up liking the texture and artifacting of the pitch-shift, so I didn't bother to re-record it. It's easy to hear the artifacting when listening to the vibrato of a single track. Alvin and the Chipmunks lite!

Pre/Post Pitchshift

Single Pitchshifted Track

Main Pad

After the intro, we bring in the main pad and the bass. Like Pay Attention, this song has a main pad that goes through the entire song. Also like Pay Attention, this main pad is heavily affected.

Description Audio
No FX
Only Autofilter
Only Pan
Everything

Bass

I wanted to sing this bassline through, in order to feel more natural, like playing a bass guitar. The timing of this was really hard to balance with the percussion, and I had to re-edit the whole thing a few times to get it properly in-time. It was actualy a pain-in-the-ass bassline.

This bassline was a pain to record

The other issue I had with this is that it was kind of out of my range. So I kinda abused pitch correction on the super low notes...

An example of punching-in a pitch-shifted low note

For the second verse, I added a stereo track of 8va bassline doubles, which helps fill it out even more.

Percussion

The percussion for this song is also very "live". I think this is the only song where I didn't use a drum machine at all. I just wanted it to feel a bit subdued, and the drum machine "perfection" was just too heavy.

The Percussion Spit Take with Bass

There was still heavy editing to fix timing issues between the percussion and the bass. Once everything was split-up and edited, it looked something more like this:

Splitting it up this way lets us better add effects

Vocal Lead

The lead is pretty basic in this song. For the first verse, the lead is actually just mono with mostly no doubles (just for very key phrases)

First Verse Lead

The 2nd vocal verse (3rd verse?), we add doubles (and more harmonies), in order to make it feel a bit more engulfing.

Second Verse Lead

Candy

Besides the "main pad", pretty much all the other pads and ear candy in this song is one-offs. So once you stop hearing them, they basically never come back.

Description Audio
Verse 1 pads
Quartals
Sine
The Bass/Marimba/Whistle Round

And that's the last song! It's been fun writing these song walkthroughs, but I'm glad I'm done, because it was a lot of work! I hope you learned something, and I hope you are looking forward to the next music I release!

Read the rest of the walkthroughs on the "The Making of VX1" blog post.