[This just in from good friend and four-star general in the war against the machines, Brian Botkiller! He shares his latest track, “Morphogenic Residents,” and details some of the methods to its particular brand of oddball. When not repairing his Buddy Holly glasses with gaff tape or tracking down elusive rhymes for “morphogenic residents” and “triskelian,” Brian Botkiller is one of the main guys at OBEDIA, who have been slingin’ their brand of world-class recording technology training to the masses for nigh on ten years now. Strongly recommended.]
I usually record and mix/master in Studio One, but I don’t do a lot of virtual instrument work, so I wanted to do a track entirely in Studio One and explore it a bit more. MC Tahina is an old friend and part of one of my favorite bands of all time, The Gluey Brothers. He wanted to do a track together, so I had him come over to Botkiller studios. He showed up, and while walking him in I said, “I’ve got the drums set up, and you can plug your guitar into Studio One if you want.” He said, “I’ve only got lyrics,” which I thought was awesome. So, we needed a beat. I opened up NI Battery and Impact, and laid down a quick beat, then did some overdubbing with my DDRUM Dominion kit. I wanted to fool with the timing on the audio and MIDI, so I quantized it in some crazy ways and got a cool groove out of it without having to do more work, because Studio One does everything in the blink of an eye.
Next, Tahina did his vocals. I plugged straight into my PreSonus FireBox, my favorite audio interface of all time, and gave him a click and headphone mix, and he just went for it. We had vocals in minutes. I then opened up some previously saved channel strip presets (another favorite S1 feature,) and had a vocal mix in no time. We then laid down the bass, using Native Instruments Kontakt. Tahina did those, on the fly, on a MIDI keyboard straight into Studio One. I did some edits here and there, quantized fast, and boom, bass done. Here’s some video:
I wanted something else in the track, so I took out my turntable, dropped a plate on it, ran it into my FireBox’s SPDIF input, and did some scratches. I’m no Mix Master Mike, but I really liked how they added to the track. We then sat down and just mixed organically, with me laying down some light backing vocals and other little bits. He was really impressed with how fast Studio One allowed me to work. I got everything done fast, and then jumped into mastering in the Project pane, and my song was done.
This was great because the weeklybeats project (http://www.weeklybeats.com) requires me to write, produce, and record a song per week. It has to be turned in by Sunday at 6pm MST, and I really like the project. It’s not a competition or anything, but just a personal challenge—by the end of the year, I should have written 52 new songs! I wanted to do it to get myself into the practice of writing faster, and releasing fast, instead of agonizing over a track forever. It’s really opened my mind and made me work fast and be creative. This is why Studio One is always in my workflow; I can’t do fast production like this in any other DAW, hands down. It’s the fastest daw in the west, east, or anywhere else.
As always, thanks for what you do and for being awesome.
Hear the track below.
On April 30, 2015, we formally christened our new headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with one heck of shindig.
This video, screened at said shindig, contains a selection of interviews with some of the luminaries who had a hand in the creation of our new home, including Mayor Kip Holden, architect Scott Ritter, and more—along with some of the regular cast of PreSonus characters. There were a few architectural challenges inherent in peppering a few office spaces around a world-class recording studio core, but the team really pulled it off.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible. This is a great home.
This Saturday, WUMB’s “Local Folk” program For the Sake of the Song will celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday by airing excerpts from last month’s Tribute to Bob Dylan concert. The show will also feature interviews with the performers and more behind the scenes material. The show will be streamed live at www.wumb.org at 1:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, 5/24/14.
Way back in the year 2000, we had a string of ads centered around the mantra of “Feel The Vibe.” Originally titled “Feel The Vibe, Man, Because it’s Totally Gnarly,” we had to make some cuts so that it would fit on the back of our badges. Such decisions were much more difficult for us in the pre-Twitter era.
Like Apple’s 1984 Mac ad or Budweiser’s Spuds McKenzie, advertising has remained forever changed in a post-Feel the Vibe world. FtV explored the nexus of split-complimentary color theory and Chris Columbus’ 1990 masterwork Home Alone through the lens of surrealist laminate. More importantly—it asked us to examine these qualities within ourselves. 14 years later, it still does.