Stuart Kilbride – Vagueness Squared – Reader Track

1 What is the title of your track? What is your artist/band/musical identify/name?

Track: Vagueness Squared
Artist: Red Sky Lullaby

2 What type of musical genre does this track fall in?

Electronica, Beats, Instrumental Hip Hop

3 Tell us a bit about you recording setup. Is it all iOS or do you combine iOS with other recording technology in some way?

iOS for instruments, samples, Fx and mixing
Mastering done on a Mac with T-Racks

4 What was the key equipment – software and hardware – that you used to create this particular track?

ipad 2, camera connection kit and usb mini keyboard (M-Audio Mini Keystation 32)

5 How did you start to build the track? What was the first element you created and how?

The first element was the instrumental loop that starts the track. It was actually a breakdown I liked from a track that I had done that I did not think worked overall. I’ve often found that second or third incarnation of a track can be better and totally different from the original idea.

6 How did you build from that point? What elements came next and how were they created?

The Samplr app.

The Samplr app.

The main part of the track was created using the various modes and FX within Samplr.

I imported the instrumental loop in to Samplr then imported an acoustic drum beat which I chopped up in the Slicer mode creating a new loop with some FX added. I imported a few more rhythmic elements including some vinyl scratching which I pitched up and a single snare hit from the original drum loop put through some delay and reverb.

I created 6 different loops within Samplr and then manipulated them live through Audiobus recording in to an Audio track on Beatmaker 2.

Next I played a bass line using usb keyboard in to a Midi track on Beatmaker. Then I sent the midi to an Animoog bass sound and recorded the audio back in to Beatmaker. The bass sounded a bit weak so I sent the same midi to a Magellan Bass sound recording some frequency and resonance sweeps to give the bass a little more thickness and funk.

7 Were there particular parts/instruments that you feel are critical to the finished piece? Was there a particular iOS app (or apps) that you used to achieve this?

Automation in BeatMaker.

Automation in BeatMaker.

The instrumental sound/loop that starts the track I felt was quite distinctive and trippy sounding. This was created by playing some keys from Animoog through the (underated in my opinion) Samvada app in the FX slot in Audiobus.

8 Having created the arrangement/individual tracks, how did you go about mixing and/or mastering the track to produce the finished audio file?

The mixing was partially done already by manipulating Samplr live in to Beatmaker. In Beatmaker 2 I used the automation of volume and Fx levels to fine tune the mix of the two bass sounds and other elements and also to create some extra space in the quiet parts by upping the reverb and other Fx levels.

Samplr used in Audiobus and feeding BeatMaker

Samplr used in Audiobus and feeding BeatMaker

Mastering was the only part not done on the iPad. I used T-Racks on Mac for this which is excellent . You can get decent results messing with the presets even if you do not have a huge clue what you are doing technically when it comes to Mastering.

I created the video on iPad also. I took the mastered track in to Vjay app along with two fractal videos. I mixed between the videos and played with strobing Fx within the app live during recording to react to the bassline.

9 In producing this particular track, what elements of your workflow do you think were particularly effective? Equally, are their limitations (particularly with any iOS element of the workflow) that you found you had to work around?

The Samvada app used within Audiobus.

The Samvada app used within Audiobus.

Samplr and the on the fly manipulation you can do with it was a huge part of the workflow to make the track.
iOS does allow you to midi sync apps but at the moment this process is nowhere near as simple as audio routing. As I did not sync Samplr to Beatmaker during recording I could not quantize the bassline within Beatmaker. This forced a live feel to the bassline. This could be a negative but often some of the limitations of iOS can become positive as they slightly narrow your options and can focus your workflow.

10 Tell us a little about yourself and your musical interests/background.

Stuart Kilbride Red Sky Lullaby Artist logoI have been making music under various names for many years, currently Red Sky Lullaby. Before getting an iPad I made music on hardware only (Keyboards, hardware sampler and 16 track recorder). I tend to get bored doing instrumentals all the time so have collaborated with various vocalists/MC’s also. I also enjoy doing some remixing and have some music that has been used on TV shows.

You can hear and download more music here:

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    1. I am liking this idea of sharing both the music plus the how-I-did-it write up. Love the track as well!

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