"The first song on OMNI [Dangerbird], ‘My Time,’ was based around a Suzuki Omnichord idea,” says keyboardist/engineer Alex Rose. “We often like to find new toys for each new writing cycle to keep things fresh. It was one of the last songs we finished before going into pre-production with producer Joe Chiccarelli, and it was just so fun-sounding that we knew it was going to make the record.
"When we hit Avast! Recording in Seattle, we were intent on OMNI being an album with more of a live feel, so we all played together. After each take, Joe would make sonic and musical suggestions and dive into everyone’s sounds—going so far as to have us kick in pedals at certain times as we were tracking the basics.
"The Omnichord was plugged into [guitarist] Dave Knudson’s two-amp setup, which alternated between a Mesa/Boogie Lone Star/Verellen and a Fender Showman/Fender Twin Reverb. All the drum loops came from the Omnichord’s built-in loops, and were also run through the amps.
“The song’s intro was acheived by running the Omnichord beats into a Dunlop Cry Baby and a Line 6 DL4 set to a stereo ping-pong patch. As the wah pedal was pushed down, the delay time was increased until it got to the chaotic point where the band enters.” Alex Rose
TECH TIP OF THE MONTH
Using Live 8’s Grooves to Spice Up Stale MIDI Loops
A cool feature of Ableton Live 8 is that you can take a groove from any audio or MIDI file and apply it to other audio files or MIDI clips. This is great for tightly syncing audio files or just adding a little feel to a boring audio or MIDI loop.
· Take a fairly boring MIDI loop with a 16th note hi-hat and simple kicksnare pattern on a MIDI track, and drag an audio file with a little more “feel” in it onto an audio track to apply to your MIDI loop.
· Drag your audio file into the Groove Pool. Live will analyze the transients in the audio file to find its “groove.”
· Click on the MIDI clip you’d like to apply the new groove to, and select the groove you’ve just analyzed in the Clip view (you can also just drag the groove file directly onto the MIDI clip).
· Press play. If you don’t hear any changes in the newly “grooved” MIDI file, try switching the groove’s “base” (i.e., timing resolution) between 8th or 16th notes.
· Experiment with the Amount setting for more drastic changes.
· Press the Commit button to see the results of your groove on the MIDI clip.
Thanks to Ableton’s Jesse Terry for this month’s tip.