Production: Mixer Jaëxx
Album: Sound-sized Treats
Mastering: Mixer Jaëxx
Copyright: Mixer Jaëxx, U.S. Copyright Office, 2018
Distant Haze is the song that sparked the idea of doing Sound-sized Treats. I had just gotten my Behringer X-Touch mixer with motorized, moving faders. I decided that for Distant Haze I would use the mixer as an instrument. After creating the main piano-like melody, I created three different “parallel” channels. Each parallel channel has complicated effects to alter the sound of the original channel. I then used the mixer to record myself bringing channels in and out, essentially using it like I would any other musical instrument.
For Sound-sized Treats, I wanted to pay homage to my first album, MIDI Controlled Addiction. So I went into the studio files of MIDI Controlled Addiction looking for inspiration. I found the original vocal recordings for 5 AM Awake. I used some of the vocals that were not only never used in 5 AM Awake (“alt takes”, for example) but I also took audio that wasn’t even a “take”. At the start of the song, I used audio of myself sniffing and clearing my throat. When I would record multiple takes, I would say “again” as a way for me to know later where one take ended and another began. I felt this was really important for the song because it was absolutely genuine.
Distant Haze also pays homage to the MIDI Controlled Addiction song Pathway to Sarasota. I took some of the saxophone parts and modified them to be the “SpcHorn” (space horns) of Distant Haze.
And finally, for the beat, I looked to the MIDI Controlled Addiction song Nice and Soft and Smooth. In that song, I created two separate drums for the song. I took that idea and used the same method for the drums of Distant Haze by creating two “beats” running in one Kong virtual drum machine. The lower 8 pads were dedicated to one beat (“Beat 1”) and the top 8 pads were dedicated to the other beat (“Beat 2”).
The two beats sound and function as one, but by splitting them up like this, I was able to modify and create “alt” patterns of just one part of the beat. This allows the drums to have a live, swinging feel to them while staying always recognizable.