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Celebrated radio DJ and music supervisor Jason Bentley takes his audience to Critical Mass Studios in Santa Monica for an inside look at the process of remixing a piece of music. Follow along as producer Jason Bentley and composer Tobias Enhus transform Carter Burwell's romantically lyrical arrangement of "Bella's Lullaby," from the score for the movie Twilight, into a beat-driven electronica piece. In this installment of Start to Finish, viewers will get an up-close look at the creative challenges involved in remixing this track, and tour the tools and techniques used at a high-end audio facility. Be sure to watch the final movie to hear the beautiful and haunting end result.
Tobias Enhus: One of things that I wanted to do with this particular piece, because again that it's an orchestral piece and it's piano based and it's little sort of a bluesy theme, and nothing really ever repeats itself. One of the things that we needed to do was basically to create something that actually can repeat itself to get a couple of phrases that are cool and get sort of more contemporary structure to it and what I did here on this thing is I basically did a filter sequencing with beats underneath it that controls the sound.
So basically I take a little short clip, and it plays in the same tempo and everything. But Kyma is now basically filtering the sample in time to the music and therefore I am getting a lot of interesting sort of little morphing bits that are coming out, little musical phrases that comes out of this and that can stringed together into a longer passage. But you are still retaining like perhaps one tonal center, a few chosen chords as opposed to jumping all over the place and with key changes and things like that, just again to create a nice interesting bed.
What I did here in Kyma was basically I built an essence, a small little software app just for this particular song so that we could do this sort of rhythmic sequencing with filters just to create a cool vibe. And let me play a little bit of the actual remix here. (Music playing.) So what we are hearing right now...
So what we are hearing right now is basically a very short excerpt of the queue, actual queue, and mainly what we are hearing is now this process bed coming from the Kyma. But we are still retaining a lot of the essence of what makes up the queue. And on top of that I am throwing some well-chosen bits that Jason and I selected to basically build up the track. Jason Bentley: Now you notice there is some dialog and we felt that that was potentially important to bring a whole lyric or narrative to the remix. Originally, we are dealing with a very short film queue; it's maybe two-and-a-half minutes in its original form. So in order to draw that out to a remix as you would know it, we definitely needed some other ideas in play. But it also helped us to find sections of the remix in a traditional song form and tone as well.
You hear initially opening with more of a relaxed kind of a tone, establishing tone. And then we helped to build through the dialog bits and creating almost this lyric field. We build into more intensity. We build into the feel of an arrangement, not strictly speaking verse, chorus, verse, chorus but just the sense of being taken somewhere, storytelling. Then with Tobias obviously there's so much potential in the program and in some ways, my role and in trying to fit it as a remix is dumbing down that process. And making at byte size portions, because I think Tobias' world, there's no limit in writing.
He wouldn't necessarily write in repetitive phrases. It's just not part of your DNA necessarily. Tobias Enhus: I would say scores. The mantra in film scoring is try to constantly develop and never repeat something. So that's very ingrained. Jason Bentley: And in the remix world, that's the name of the game. So those two points, the lyric through dialogue snippets and through just trying to create more of a repetitive, sequenced kind of arrangement are some of the decisions that are being made while he's creating and processing. And then with beats which everyone thinks of, oh you are remixing it, you are going to throw beats in there. So indeed it's a process of writing the beats and getting the feel right.
I mean there are so many subtleties in that part of it. Tobias Enhus: That really came at the end though. Jason Bentley: Yeah, it does come at the end, that's true. And in most of the musical composition -- Tobias Enhus: Sometimes, I mean I would imagine -- I don't start with a beat and we certainly didn't start with a beat on this one. Which was cool. Jason Bentley: And also it was about the feel and the subtlety of the beat, the mix, very subtle aspects, volumes of things in making it feel right. Just the way that something swings. You don't really think that that much attention is put to such minute detail but it really is in order for it to really feel right. And I would love to play sort of the transitional section of this remix and then how things get really much more intense.
(Music playing.) Jason Bentley: So you know the second half of it really has a whole different character from the opening and establishing tone, which is great. It allows us to musically and in effect lyrically tell a story and take people somewhere. And when you are trying to get that out of a very brief two-and-a-half minute queue, I mean that's the challenge with the remix.
Tobias Enhus: And the structure of the song of being sort of divided into two segments, a little bit, more cooler laid-back version with more emphasis on the dialog and the atmosphere and then the little bit more aggressive backend. It's also obviously the whole vampire duality that's played into. Jason Bentley: Sure, yes. Tobias Enhus: That was just sort of a vehicle to get into.
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