The Birds & The Bees - Make a me a Memory - Lofi Hip Hop Remix
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Before I started my remix I researched Lofi artists such as Nujabes and Plusma I wanted to embody some of their style in my own track. Throughout working on my project I often referenced beats and samples that these artists used.
My First Song
This is the first song I have created so at first, I struggled a lot even to build a solid drum beat and to build melodies. I hadn't used Ableton much either as I mainly have experience with Pro Tools. So I had to learn how to navigate Ableton and get used to the new workflow which I will admit was frustrating at times, but I have grown to like the Ableton workflow. The program is truly powerful. I got a lot of help from my teacher and my peers without them I wouldn't have gotten even close to finishing my project before the due date.
One of the lessons I learned was to learn the rules before braking them. I started off trying to make an offbeat rhythm and I found it very difficult. Later I focused more on a simple on-grid beat then once that was good started to experiment with groove templates to create slightly offbeat grooves.
Once I was finished with my main Groove I felt my track needed some sort of piano melody. I created an interesting piano sound using Operator. The chords I referenced from a YouTube video I watched on piano melodies and then I matched the key to G, which is key of the original song. After I was happy with that I used an Analogue patch I had made to create a complementary undertone to the piano chords. I feel this really helped with the overall impact of the chords.
The original song is a Jazz song. From the original, I sampled the Guitar, Saxophone, and Bass. For the Saxophone, I recorded it into my teacher's tape machine then back into Ableton with the help of some of my peers. This gave the Saxophone I very retro sound. My friend and classmate Nyle showed me how to convert an instrument to midi used warp markers on the chords. This allowed me to play the guitar with a midi keyboard along with the song. I also sampled a chord from the Guitar Solo and changed octave to match my song. For the bass, I made a loop of some of the chords then warped the transients to the grid.
For the ambiance of my track, I took a page out of Plusma's book and I used some rain ambiance that I recorded last year in winter. I also recorded the tram intercom voice with my phone's microphone. I feel both of these recordings really helped to bring across the chill vibe that I was aiming for.
For the Ending, I used an Arpeggiator with Operator for the rhythmic beeping sound and I moved the piano chords up one octave to add some variation and make the song overall more bright. I found the Arpeggiator to be a great tool and I really want to experiment with it some more.
FX & Feedback
For FX I used the base Ableton reverb. I mainly used it for the guitar samples piano chords and Intercom recordings. For the piano melody undertone, I used a little bit of delay.
After getting some feedback regarding the stereo width of my song from my Papa who is the artist who provided me the song.
I did some research on how to add more stereo width in Ableton. I settled on using the Haas effect by using a delay plugin to add delay to the left and right channels. This creates a very nice widening effect and doesn't change the tune of the sound too much. Which is something I experienced with other stereo widening techniques such as using Chorus or the spread dial on Operator. I sent the trackback and the artist was much happier with the final mix.
In conclusion, I feel I learned a lot from this project. At times I got really stuck and I hated my song. But after getting some help my teacher and my peers, I gained some confidence to continue improving the quality of my song. I started to really enjoy making melodies and beats. I now know the basics of creating a song and I am itching to start on another project and explore the world of music production even more.