Production: Mixer Jaëxx
Album: Bradenton Ambient
Mastering: Mixer Jaëxx
Copyright: Mixer Jaëxx, U.S. Copyright Office, 2017
Causeway is named after a place in Bradenton, Florida. It’s a strip of road (Manatee Avenue) that leads from Bradenton to Anna Maria Island. On both sides of the road is a bay with beach-like areas for cars to park. The area is sometimes referred to as the “Redneck Riviera” due to the fact that, unlike the island, vehicles and boats are allowed to be launched directly from the beach areas and dogs are also allowed.
The song is based on this area. Driving through, at night, with the darkness of the road and water on both sides. It has kinda’ a lonely, yet welcoming calm. You know you just left the dim lights of the island and will soon be entering the brighter lights of Bradenton. The causeway gives you a nice, peaceful transition between both areas.
The scratching, static sound is a field recording of the water coming to shore on the causeway at night.
The audio of people talking is a field recording I did in the day of people at the beach. I’m using a new virtual music studio hardware device called the Proton Particle Accelerator by Selig Audio. The device takes audio and turns them into interesting, unexpected melodic performances that are played like an instrument. I setup the Proton Particle Accelerator to react differently based on louder audio. I loaded in the field recording I did during the day at the Causeway of people talking and going about their business. One kid happened to be calling out for his brother, “Austin!” Because it was so loud, the Proton Particle Accelerator picks up on it and makes it a melodic focal point.
It’s pretty funny this person, yelling out for his brother on a particular random point in time is now forever part of this song and he’ll never even know it.
Another part of the song that is pretty prominent is the slight rhythm that exists in the background. That rhythm is using a Redrum virtual drum machine and has two sounds (drums) loaded up. I created each sound by loading up a synth, generated some crazy sound effect and sampled that sound directly into the Redrum. Rather than use an entire synth device to generate the sounds over and over, sampling the sound and loading them into a drum machine made a lot more sense.
I decided to go for an acoustic bass guitar for the bass, a departure from a lot of the other songs on Bradenton Ambient. I did this to give each song on the album a little bit of breathing room in terms of sounding different. The funny thing to note about the sound itself is that it’s not being generated from a sampler instrument, which are typically used for acoustic instruments, such as the NN-19 or NN-XT digital samplers. No, the acoustic bass that sounded best for the song is by a synthesizer known as the Subtractor.
This is funny because the Subtractor is a very old virtual hardware synth. The Subtractor synth (named because it uses subtractive synthesis to generate sound) is over 17 years old; the same Subtractor that was introduced in 2000 is the same one still being used. So one of the oldest devices is the one that produced the best sound for this situation.