Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

“Sister” by Tim Morrison


This song is called “Sister.” I wrote, performed and recorded it in my home studio (PowerBook G4 & Pro Tools 6.9.2) earlier this year.

Inspiration: I had been putting togther songs at a decent clip and my manager/friend/client told me to change it up and write a “piano song.” It was actually called “Piano Song” until “Sister” became a more obvious choice.

Creation and Recording: I'm very un-schooled in the capabilities of Reason working with/via Pro Tools. I just play and bus each track one at a time. Not the best if you want to change a sound, but keep the part, but it does keep me from second guessing everything and wasting time making pointless changes.

1. I found a decent concert grand piano patch in Reason using the Combinator, sketched out the verse, B part and chorus, and was on my way.

2. The verse piano parts are one track with the sustain pedal button on. Chorus and bridge are a track with sustain pedal button off.

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3. I built the drum pattern in Reason's ReDrum. I was going for that warm, deep snare sound (see, The Fray). The toms and crash were played on the fly via an M-Audio keyboard.

4. There is a Moog Bread Bass patch from Reason during the chorus (played via the keyboard).

5. The strings are a Reason Orkestra violin patch on one track, and an Orkestra Cello patch on another (played via the keyboard).

6. The bass is a picked Ricko, played through a Hartke head into a Mindprint DTC pre-amp.

7. The vocals (1 lead, 3 harmonies) are sung into an AKG 414, into the Mindprint.

8. Waves plug-ins are on each track (R-Comp, R-Verb, EQ, L1 Ultramaximizer).

9. When I wrote the lyrics, my point was to write a rhythmically interesting chorus and leave the verses filled with space. The bridge was loaded with sounds until I was finally smart enough to mute nearly everything and get this Hornsby-esque vibe. I started on a Friday and had the song ready by Monday.

It's one of the few songs I've written that I'm happy to grant a full play through when it comes up on my iPod.

Regards. Tim Morrison

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David Mellor