Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
“Metaphony” by Hamish Fox

“Metaphony” by Hamish Fox


This track started as a rhythmic experiment. The idea was to write a piece which had a triplet at the beginning and end of each bar. I opened up Sibelius 4 and quickly jotted down what you can hear as the first few bars of the piece. I'm of the opinion that repetition is a very useful tool to make a person listen closely to a small section of music, and is especially effective when that section is a little quirky, so I copy-pasted that over a couple of bars. I than exported a midi file which I imported into Reason 3.

There I began to design the first instrument. It is essentially a pair of sine waves playing a 5th and a some sampled strings, distorted, unisoned and EQed. The FM is set to pulse which creates that throbbing quality of the sound. At the end I use a bass drum to emphasize the contrasting rhythms.

The next instrument in order of appearance is a high pitched squealing sound. with a very slow amp attack and release, which gives it a somewhat ethereal sliding quality.

The drums have varying mixtures of phasers, flangers and distortion. The bass drum is compressed to stop it from breaking your speakers while still allowing it to be loud and attached to phaser where pretty much every setting is set to max.

Than there's “Acidbass” and “Wetbass”, again with distortion playing very low.

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The next instrument you hear is a steel guitar put through a phaser with a very fast rate of modulation which makes it go wa-wa-wa-wa-wa very fast.

Than finally there's a saw wave mixed with a square wave, split into two signals, one fed directly into a line mixer, and the other echoing than put through a phaser. This has a harsh metallic sound with sliding harmonic echoes. Very cool.

There's a lot of sequenced knob sliding in this track. More than once I abuse filters to make tracks slide in or out by filtering out all but the bass frequencies, than slowly adding the higher frequencies back in.

The overall effect is one of strangeness where rhythms is pushed to the background.

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