In this epic post I’m going to share some behind the scenes notes on what it took to compose the song “They Walk Among Us”. If you have any friends who think that all us electronic musicians do is just drop canned loops and hit buttons, have them read this – of course they’ll have no idea what I’m talking about ;^).
About The Song
Here is a fun blurb I put together when I first posted the song that will give a feel for what I was going for:
This song has an interesting story. You see - I traveled back in time with my music production laptop and a pile of virtual synthesizers to score a 50's Sci-Fi B-Movie. “They Walk Among Us” is the result, Will any humans survive? You’ll have to listen to find out. Extra points if you can tell me the Morse code message in the end of the song. So If you like theremins, 50’s SCI-FI B-Movies, flying saucer sounds, big beats and ear candy I think you’ll really dig this track.
DAW, Synths, Tools, and CPU Usage
The song was composed, produced, mixed, and mastered entirely with Ableton Live 8 on an HP DV6500T Laptop using Windows Vista 32-bit Premium.
I composed all elements of the song in Session view using a Novation Remote SL controller,Korg NANOKeys, TriggerFinger, and the Qwerty keyboard to play notes. I also used a Wacom Tablet and my Laptop touchpad to enter and edit notes. I experimented with arrangements and created scenes in session view. I then practiced with these scenes to the point where I could perform the song structure live. I did a real-time recording of my work in session view to create the Arrangement view of the song. Then I stayed in Arrangement view and added a few more parts, mixed, and automating.
The song is all digital and no external hardware was used. There are 31 tracks. Most are “MIDI” and most are third party VSTs. As you can see below, I’ve used A LOT of Sylenth1 for this song. While I did use some factory presets, there are many heavily tweaked or effected presets. I also did some custom preset programming from scratch which I’ll describe in more detail below.