Description : Ttabbla (ft. mhyst and FutureAnalysis)
I found a superb app called iTablaPro which marvellously recreates tabla drum sounds along with Tampura (drone) accompaniment. Annoyingly though it doesn't have a record facility or any means of exporting a performance into another app. But I wanted to use tablas in my next tune so I started looking around on the web and discovered the excellent Looperman site where I not only found tablas but also some superb accapella downloads which are also featured in this track.
Having located tabla loops and vocals as described above I began by laying down the tabla loops in Multitrack DAW and then loosely positioning the vocal extracts where they seemed to fit best. This left gaps of unequal length and requiring different stresses to complement the vocal and so I built the drums in the trusty ally I have in MusicStudio, currently my favourite app for composition. I actually built two tracks and then duplicated them and used different kits on the same midi notes, equivalent to re-amping a guitar track which is a technique I discovered in Amplitube. Had lots of fun melding these four drum tracks into the tabla and vocal bed, so much in fact, that I didn't leave breathing room for anything else much except rather restrained 12 string guitar picking in a drop D tuning (two tracks, one dry one with phasing and chorus fx) and two modest contributions of bass which I DI'd into MTDAW. To give an underlying pulse to the track I took one note from the lowest drum I could find and lowered the pitch still further and also lengthened it in TwistedWave. I looped the result through the entire length of the track but had terrible trouble later trying to make it sound good in mp3 versions used for uploading to SoundCloud and so on. An important lesson learned here in finding that my track will sound wonderful in the native app prior to mixdown to the .wav file. then the .wav file sounds almost as good - but the mp3 sounds disappointingly sparse and distorted, especially in average earbuds. I have a new regime now to try and get an overall better mix. I first do the mix using headphones, then check it on my car stereo, then on my iPhone earbuds and finally compare all three instances against a commercially recorded track as a reference. I make notes of my impressions and then return to the mix and tweak it until the result is a pleasing compromise. I'm not an audiophile by any means and years of abuse to my ears has probably blunted their sensitivity (although thankfully I don't yet suffer from tinitus) but I still strive for my kind of perfection.
So this track stumbled towards the light, not through the result of any white-hot creative frenzy but rather through a desire to somehow use the tabla sound I had temporarily fallen in love with - and the vocals were an unexpected bonus!