The Blades.Technology Blog

Posts about Music, Technology, web and otherwise, and anything else that might come up.


This is another cover song by Believable Picnic.  When I did the last song of theirs (Flowers from their second album called "Welcome to the Future"), I did it in Sonar.  This was prior to Gibson dumping the product.  So I thought it would be appropriate to do another song by the same band as I returned to the Cakewalk product after using Presonus Studio One for the last 2 years or so.

So what do I think?  Well, enough that I'm going to write a post of its own for that, but in General, I am afraid that I have determined that I prefer Studio One!  I thought that after all of the many updates that Cakewalk made after resurrecting the product as Cakewalk by Bandlab that I'd go back to it, find it more comfortable and remember what I loved about the product before, but that isn't how it ended up.  I think the end-result is similar in either case, but Studio One hits me with FAR fewer obstacles to getting the song down and being more fun, which is why I'm here.

That said, on to the "what makes up this song".

I used both of my electric guitars for this, since it is a more raw and gritty song than I usually would do.  The Les Paul is on the left speaker and the Telecaster on the right.  I used the Presonus Ampire sim for both guitars with the MCM 800 amp model and the 4x12 M65 for the cab.

For the drums, it is of course the Pearl Mimic Pro, using a variation on the kit that started out as a preset "Overdrive" but I have replaced the toms on it using the Pearl Reference Toms in place of the maple ones that were in that preset to begin with.  As usual, this was sent to tracks in the DAW as kick, snare, stereo toms, stereo overheads, and stereo room plus a single channel for each of the ride and hi-hat.

Something different on this one is that I used the Klanghelm SDRR Tube, a VST that I got as part of the Studio One bundle when I bought that.  I used it on the vocal tracks to make them a little "fuzzy" without going as far as distortion (except for the short spoken element, which definitely had some distortion using the same plugin, driven hard).

I also used the Softube Console 1 across most of the tracks with the SSL 4000e emulation on the vocals and some other places and the British Class A across all of the drums and the drum bus.  In the case of the (noisy) guitars, I used the British Class A for all of the modules except the gate, which I like better on the SSL, so those two tracks had a combo.

I used ONE synth in the whole song and that was for the effect sound that is at the end of the second run through the 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.  This was using the Analog Lab (another thing I got in the Studio One bundle and upgraded to the full set of presets).  This one uses the Prophet emulation in a preset called Fafx and a little automation of the Filter Cutoff parameter.

There were a few things in this tune that were really hard for me: 

1. Getting it to sound organic and a little loose around the edges, as the original recording of it was like that - but it's hard to get that vibe of loose and sloppy without just sounding bad.  Loose and sloppy in a good way...

2. The guitar solos.  I played them and I think they pass, but they are not as good as the originals.  The recording of this has some kind of backwards masking on the first section, but it doesn't seem like it's all backwards.  I didn't accomplish that.  The "wah" part after that is more complex in the real recording, but beyond my playing - and for me, it's easier to try to copy a more clinical guitar part than this.  The noisy looseness of this part of the song is something I've not learned to do on guitar and wish I could.  I don't really even know how to otherwise describe it, but definitely a challenge for me.

I hope you enjoy this song.  I give you "Spaceman" by Believable Picnic from their Self-Titled album.

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