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- Using Logic Pro as a remixing environment
- Setting up a session
- Lining up vocals over a kick drum
- Analyzing chord changes and harmonic structure
- Programming synth parts
- Arranging a track
- Demonstrating advanced vocal editing techniques
- Mixing the drums, bass, synths, and vocals
- Mastering the final mix
Skill Level Intermediate
One of my signature production traits is Lead-line Synth Hooks. Many songs are made up by instrumental hooks that are in the intros, choruses, and outros. You can even look at old Motown songs and some of the guitar or piano hooks are as important as the chorus looks themselves. So I apply the same philosophy to remixing. Generally I will come up with a synth hook that is either woven into the choruses or comes in an 8 bar section that follows the chorus, what I like to refer to as a post-chorus. So, I will open up the EXS24, close the MIDI parameters window here, choose the EXS24>Stereo, and I'm actually going to take a string sound, a Solina string.
The Solina is an old vintage keyboard and I think I'm going to use that, even though it's considered a Synth Lead Line or a Lead-line Hook, I'm going to play with a string sound, and-- (Music playing) --that's what the Solina sounds like, a very classic old vintage synth sound. And I will actually go ahead and move the attack of the sound down a little bit, which means that the sound will come out sounding a little bit punchier, more appropriate for a synth-lead sound.
(Music playing) Let's loop the chorus, I'm going to experiment with some lead-line hooks underneath the lead-vocal in the chorus and let's see how it sounds. (Music playing) Okay, so that gives me an idea where I want to head with the part, so I'm going to go ahead and record it in. Again, I'm looking for a synth-line hook that's memorable.
Something that you might even sing after you've heard it one or two times, so I'm going to record this part in. (Music playing) And I'll quantize it, 16A Swing, and I'll trim back the extra MIDI region that I don't need and let's take a listen to it.
(Music playing) I really like the part, I'm not 100% sure that it works well in that section of the song. I will actually move the vocals over a little bit creating that post-chorus section that I mentioned in the early part of the movie, and what I mean by moving the vocals over 8 bars, is that I'm moving verse 2 over, I'm not actually moving the chorus section over.
I click and hold where it's 66, 8 bars over will put this at 74, and Logic is prompting me with a question of do I want to move the automation data? I'm going to select Don't Move, there was some previous automation data on the track that I was playing around with and I actually don't need it to move. Let's shrink the tracks down in the Arrange window and I'm going to move this over 8 bars and then lasso everything else and copy it. Option+Drag, Option+Drag.
So let's listen to the chorus section and the post-chorus section. (Music playing) That feels a bit more natural to me to have the Lead-Line Hook come after the vocal ends.
It's introducing a new section of the song and I'm opening up myself with the ability to build the track up even more after the chorus section, which is really what we'd like to cal the Hype. Here's a new 8 bar section, a very exciting 8 bar section that's been introduced as a result of the fact that the Lead- Line Hook didn't quite work underneath the lead-vocal for the choruses. While lead-line hooks might not make sense in every remix that you work on, they can certainly bring energy to a track. You may find yourself working on a remix of the song that doesn't have a strong chorus, and you may need to come up with a section of the song like we did here, called the Post-Chorus.
This also sets us up nicely for what I like to call Synth Candy which is coming up in the next movie. Where we fill in the holes with production Ear Candy and the track really starts to take on a finished sound at that point.
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