Point Blank tutor and Grammy-award nominee Mike Koglin returns for the second part of his deconstruction of Motorcycle’s Trance classic As The Rush Comes. This time around, he’s looking at key club components – the drums and the bassline. Using Logic’s new Retro soft synth, Mike recreates the bassline by detuning the oscillators and uses sidechaining to ensure the bass and kick don’t clash. Next, he uses Logic’s Ultrabeat to polish off the drums. Check it all out below:
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Koglin: Hi. My name is Mike Koglin. I’m a producer, re-mixer, and DJ. And I release my work on labels like anjunabeats and Armada, as well as my own label, Noys Music. Over the years I’ve collaborated with many artists including Above and Beyond, Lange, and Alex Morph, to name but a few. I’m also a course developer and tutor here at Point Blank. And you’re watching ‘Production Analysis.’
So, we’re into part two of the production analysis of ‘Motorcycle’ As the Rush Comes. In part one, we’ve set up the main theme of the track, with the riff being sent to a bus, where it goes through a band pass filter before hitting the stereo delay, with compression and then going through the spaces and a reverb. So let’s take a closer look at the bass line next. I’m just going to skip back to the original track, where we’ve got the typical arrangement where after thirty-two bars of mixing, you get to hear the bass line come in.
So that bass line is following the chords of the riff. It’s a very nice wide and stereo, kind of soul wave sound. I think we can recreate this using the Logic ‘retro synth,’ new addition that comes with Logic 10. It’s actually a very nice emulation of seventies-eighties kind of synth with the analogue being a bit like a Moog. Same goes for the synch mode here. But then you also get the wave tables and they’re very much in the style of PPG. The FM synth is kind of like a DX-7. But let’s go with the analogue mode. I’m actually going to load up a preset as a starting point for our bass sound. Punchy Electro. It sounds like this.
Very nice, round, analogue sound, using just one of the oscillators, even. But I’m going to tweak it a bit more, and add a little twist to it later on. For now, let’s just play in the notes that we need. Let’s load up the virtual keyboard again as well. It’s that movement again here from the G to the B for the most part of the track.
So, that’s all we need for now. Let’s loop the region, and we can quantize it. Let’s check out in the piano row.
And that’s looking good to me. Let’s go back to the synth. In Logic 10 you can actually re-size synths or plug-ins. You can make it nice and big. Now down here, under settings, there are a few extra functions. I’m going to use voice de-tune and increase that a little bit. That actually increases the stereo width too. Like this. Obviously it de-tunes it as well, so don’t overdo it. But, let’s say a setting around forty or so makes it nice and stereo. But, I reckon, in the original track there’s actually a fifth going on in the bass too. So, let’s solo it for now. And rather than playing in the fifth, I’m going to use the second unused oscillator here and tune it plus seven semi-tones. And now, that note is actually hitting the same note as the fifth underneath the main note in the riff. All we have to do is adjust the balance between oscillators one and two. We hear the fifth come through more when the filter opens. Like this. But I want to add just a little bit of it to the main note.
Okay, so let’s play the track again. And here’s a quick mixing tip for you if you have a bass line like in this example where some of the bass notes share the same position as the kick drum. We hear it on every downbeat. What I do is load up a compressor on the bass channel. We use that compressor to duck the bass line against the kick drum. So here, in the sight chain window, we choose the kick as the sight train trigger. Fast attack, and fast release ratios like 4:1. Then with the threshold setting like this, we duck the bass line against the kick drum by 4 dB with every kick. It’s not an obvious sight chain of compression kind of effect that you would use on a pad or a riff, for example. It’s kind of almost inaudible, actually, but it just helps to get the balance right between the kick and the bass line, and makes room for the kick to come through in the mix. Now, in the track, actually, every so often the chord progression and the bass line drop down to the E, chord of E minor. So, I’ve programmed that in down here as well.
So let’s check out the drums next in As the Rush Comes. It’s actually very, very minimal in that department because, apart from the kick drum, there are only two more sounds going on drums-wise. This little clap-snare kind of thing here, and then later on in the track, we get to hear the hi-hat. And these hats here are actually very interesting, because they’re sort of proper old-school, analogue type hi-hats. Like a role in CR-78 or TR-606. And we can recreate those with the Logic Ultrabeat, which is not only a sample player, but it’s actually a proper analogue drum synthesizer, using white noise and sine waves, very much in the style of those old drum machines. Default factory setting sounds like this. But I’m going to load up another bank here, the PureAnalogue 01 which comes with a lot of really nice hi-hats. Let’s pick those two closed ones, too, because the hats in As the Rush Comes out really stereo. So, I’m going pan one of them right, and one of them left. And that gets you a really nice stereo reside. This one here, made with the white noise generator can be a lot open hi-hat. Let’s turn it up a bit and we can use the ADSR to adjust the length, and make it a bit longer. So, let’s record it in.
That’s the pattern. So, let’s take a look at what we’ve got in the piano row. It looks okay to me, let’s just quantize all the notes, and then it’s that four bar hi-hat pattern that we need.
We can loop that now. And then, the only other drum element we’re going to need is that clap-snare combination. I’ve placed on an audio track here. And then there’s the 909 crash cymbal. Another quick mixing tip for you, use a tape delay on the 909 crash cymbal because, as a sample, they’re always too short. Like this, like from the days when the sampling time was very limited. And with a tape delay, it’s going to blend into the track much better.
So, that’s it for part two. In part three we are going to analyse the counter-riff that’s in the track and those sweeping string paths.
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