It’s Christmas-time again, and with Christmas comes wonderful music. We all have our favorites, but let’s be honest: who hasn’t sworn off Christmas altogether after hearing a terrible rendition of a once-cherished classic? This year, I’m trying to sway the music gene pool towards the good and away from the ugly. Truth be told, I mainly wanted to give something away, a gift of my time. Download it from Soundcloud.
So… I offer a new take on “O Little Town”. It’s an all electronic track (except for the vocals, of course) that starts with ambient pads and piano, ends in a smooth electronic vibe, and has a few twists and turns along the way. Production details follow…

My creative work always starts in Ableton; this was no different. I started with Alchemy, laying down a dark, pulsing pad with a slow attack. This pad is the underpinning. The main melody is my upright, the bass is SE-1. The rhodes is, well, a rhodes. For the time stretching options, I still prefer Impulse over DrumRacks, so the drum sounds all live in Impulse racks (when will Ableton release a single-cell Impulse device for use in DrumRacks?). For the break, I needed a piano that was a bit more in tune so I used a sample. Also used: Ableton’s operator, NI’s Pro-53, an MG-1, a PureMagnetik kit and a slew of recorded hits, rhythms, and noises.
Essential to a track of this nature is processing; everything from subtle eq to multiple compressions to distortion to frequency shifting was used on most of the tracks in Ableton. From here, the tracks were rendered and loaded into a ProTools session for further processing and smoothing. I dusted the virtual dust off the Moogerfooger RingMod, combined it with a few delays and eq’s, bussed the groups through Metric Halo’s Channel Strip and called it a day… I hope you enjoy.

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