Remixing Midimode’s Saturn

Midimode’s ‘Spaceability’ will be available on December 3, 2013. Hitting every note one desires from an IDM oriented album, ‘Spaceability’ balances nostalgia & futurism perfectly.
At times teetering more on the edge of acidic breakbeat, fans of Plaid or Orbital should pleasantly be pleased. Also to note, this is the digital version of ‘Spaceability’ with the original being a small limited vinyl version on Moscow based Sealt label. Digital version includes 3 exclusive songs (2 new originals + one brand new remix of “saturn” by bad loop.)

– Enpeg.

Sergey Baranov of Midimode approached me in the beginning of 2013 about doing a remix for their album. I took a listen to the songs on the album, and at random I chose “Saturn” for the project.

Then I forgot all about it.

Later in September Sergey was like “dude I really need that remix”. At this time I was only “slightly” homeless and living at a friend’s house, so the only musical gear I had with me, was Native Instruments MASCHINE, Arturia Minibrute and a pair of headphones.

I have always liked the idea of a remix to be something quite opposite to the original work, while keeping some elements to make the song recognizable. The original version of Saturn is fast, energetic and very progressive, so with this in mind, I took only two samples from the original song; the trance’ish-sounding chord hits and gated vocal “aaah” melody.

With these two sounds imported into Ableton Live, I started sequencing a slow and lazy beat with MASCHINE, and within a day I had a working idea of what the remix should sound like. The part that I really struggled with, was basically anything before, and after the main part of the song.

I had written the main part using the original samples, and while it sounded okay, I just could’t get anything to work with the chord progressions of the original song. Writing any movement or flow for the song that would sound natural, proved to be quite challenging. I decided to try out a bass sound that would be the backbone of the entire track, and then try to work with that to move the song forward.

It took me couple of days to record several versions of the bass section with Minibrute, since it has no patch memory and you can’t store sounds with it, apart from taking a picture of the synth’s knobs. Surprisingly this approach to sequencing and recording got me quite excited, and soon I had several layers of Minibrute recorded into the remix, including the main lead sound and the acid part at the end of the song.

Experimenting with Ableton’s Amp -plugin on the Minibrute really brought the sound to life with additional dirt, and in the end there was distortion added to practically every channel on the song.

I am quite happy how the remix turned out, even though I had some difficulties with the process. Also this is the first time I have ever done a song using only headphones and not hearing it through studio monitors during production at all.
The mastered version is a bit too bright for my taste, but still it sounds great!

Anyway here’s a picture of a box with a cat in it.