Planas’ new album ‘The Long Game’ on Exceptional Blue Records is a great, atmospheric, vocal bass work-out. 'Rain On Me' is one of the stand out tracks. Here’s how he got that killer sound…
“The body of my album track 'Rain On Me' was recorded in a warehouse that my other band, Gentleman's Dub Club, were renting in Bow, East London. After a rehearsal, Eddie (Ed Thomas) and myself stuck around to come up with some ideas for collaborative material.
We used a really nice handmade 4K soundsystem to rehearse, and although the room wasn't the prettiest, it had good acoustics, and all of our instruments were to hand, so it was a good setting to sketch ideas.
I pulled up an ES1 soft synth in Logic, put the cutoff down and tweaked a few bits and pieces to get it sounding nice and warm. I then set the tempo to 140, put the Logic tremolo plug-in on the channel, set it to 1/8th notes and made sure it was in mono rather than stereo tremolo.
At this point, using the soundsystem came into its own. The way the room vibrated gave me inspiration to get a really throbbing, subby bassline — this wouldn’t have worked as well in a studio, as you can’t replicate that feeling of air moving in a small room using standard monitors.
“For the keys Ed used a Nord Electro, which has a fantastic Rhodes sound. We started jamming on the bassline idea I had, and when something stuck, I hit record, captured the chord sequence and looped it. Once we had the loop going, Ed plugged in a Sennheiser stereo broadcast microphone and came up with a great vocal idea, literally in about five minutes. It’s actually the vocal I used in the final edit.
As with the bassline, this was probably something to do with the atmosphere in the room at the time, and the way Ed’s silky tone sat over the low-end sub. It was a really good demonstration that if you have the right tools to hand, you don’t have to rely on plug-ins and effects to make your track sound how you want it to sound.”
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