Just a habit – Chorus Production

Hello again,

after my production talk on this track I wanted to revisit it and improve it, particularly the chorus.

So in this post I’m gonna outline the process and techniques that I used in order to add more drive to the chorus part of the song.

Here is the original of the chorus.

In my opinion the kick drum could have a lot more life and it; as the accent of the guitars is on the down beat of each beat in the bar the kick should be the driving force behind it.

Here is what the mixer window looks like at the moment;
Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 08.13.51

as you can see the kick has been been compressed and limited, also it has a low cut which I feel needs to be removed or at least added to. However without these plugins at the time the Kick would have been very lifeless.

Adding Life to the Kick

Here is the original kick sound for the track;

Now the compressed limited kick with that low cut;

However now with the use of parallel compression (click for tutorial page) I have managed to make the kick sound so much more powerful and with so much more punch to it. I have done this by using a pre fader send into a ’empty’ aux track with no plugins or EQs. Using the pre fader knob I can now mix in how much I’d like to mix in of the effected and uneffected kick adding more air and life into the compressed track.

The resulting effect was pretty powerful. As you can hear here;

However, I felt that this is the punch that the song needed.

Here is the new kick in with the original chorus;

Ducking The Synth (Side-Chaining) 

For this I recorded in (using my apple keyboard) a simple synth part using the EXS24 sampler which comes with logic. Mini A short preset Bass synth was selected. The only settings I changed in this were to make seamless transitions between notes sliding from each other instead of hearing the loud attack this synth has.

To smoothen out this dynamic I selected legato for the slide and set the glide just before the middle so that the notes would move musically from one to another.

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 08.41.54

Here is what the synth sounds like;

For the sound that I wanted here I wanted it to be powerful like the build up in Muses’ song ‘Take a Bow’ where at about 1:20 into the track the kick is ducking the synth to create a pumping sound similar to the effect of side chain compression that we had learnt in class.

So in order to create the pumping synth sound I wanted I side chained the synth to my original kick track (shown below) so that my kick drum triggered the compresso with a fast attack attenuating the synth and the release time has been set short so that the synth bounces back in on the off beat adding more depth to the track and energy.

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 09.10.24

Here is what the final synth turned out side chained to the kick;

This is how the track finally sounded once both these techniques had been added together to the chorus;

Quite happy with the outcome of the chorus though there are still a few issues with the vocals that I do wish to fix.

Thanks for reading.

J Park