The monitor I need to take a look at as we speak is Erykah Badu’s 2007 single Honey. It’s produced by ninth Marvel, who has worked with Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Drake, Destiny’s Youngster, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and blog-favourite Jill Scott, to call however a couple of. Honey is taken from Badu’s fourth alum New Amerykah Half One (4th World Struggle), which noticed release in early 2008.
The video sees Badu recreate numerous album sleeve paintings including classics from Eric B. & Rakim, Chaka Khan, Grace Jones, Nas, Funkadelic, Minnie Riperton, Earth, Wind & Hearth, The Ohio Gamers and De La Soul.
Badu had this to say on the monitor:
We selected ‘Honey’ as the only because of its attraction as far as it feels good. It’s a ninth Marvel monitor and ninth Marvel is a wizard relating to the drums and the bass. It’s a few lover whom I’m chasing by the identify of Slim who I feel is nice, so candy sugar acquired an extended strategy to catch him.
Let’s attempt and get close to it utilizing Logic X and some primary plug-ins.
I’m in Love…
The backbone of the monitor is a two bar pattern of I’m in Love, written and carried out by Clarence McDonald (of Pretty Day notoriety) with assistance from Fritz Baskett and David Shields and performed by Nancy Wilson from her album Music On My Thoughts launched Capitol Data in 1978.
Clarence was variety enough to answer my e-mail asking for pointers concerning the composition and recording. Remember to take a look at what he’s up to on his web site.
I’ve received the sample at roughly 81.9982 bpm however I feel we’ll work at a nice spherical 82 bpm if that’s alright with everyone else?
The backing monitor includes of drums, bass, a number of guitars and piano. Let’s start off with Logic’s Drummer. I’ve loaded the R&B drummer “Rose” and used the “New Soul” preset.
You’ll be able to convert this to a MIDI monitor by ctrl + clicking (or right click) the newly created area and following Convert > Convert to MIDI area.
I made some small modifications to the kick drum pattern, added in a crash cymbal and slightly tweaked the high-hat sample to 16ths as an alternative of eighth notes. I’ve also tuned the kick and hi-hats up a couple of cents and tuned the snare down.
Logic’s Drum Package designer has a dead-posh multi-output setting, allowing us to mix every individual factor of the package separately. Nevertheless judging by the age of this document I’m going to hazard a guess it was made with fewer microphones and will simply work processing the stereo output.
For each monitor in this I’m going so as to add some Waves Kramer HLS Channel strip to simulate the type of desk which may have been used to trace this.
I’ve added some Vulf Compressor by Goodhertz, using the 2-Bus Glue (Parallel) preset including in some Analog Lo-Fi noise and decreasing the amount of compression. Then I’ve added some primary Logic EQ to tame the subs and larger frequencies, which wouldn’t be as current in an older soul report. It’s ok for us to maneuver ahead with.
The piano outlines the primary harmony. The chords are Eb-7, Eb/F, Db/Gb, Gb/Ab with an Ab/Bb as a passing chord. These are generally known as slash chords and are massively widespread in soul, funk, R&B and offshoot genres.
After initially battling the chords myself, Clarence helped me out massively with not just one or two of the voicings but the left hand half particularly. I’ve used the sub-tenor clef so we don’t should cope with too many ledger strains.
I opted for an additional Native Instruments Kontakt sound, this time the New York grand. The sound is sort of dry and thin so I’ve introduced the interior reverb down and used some Logic EQ to remove some low-mids and increase around 7.5 kHz.
This was still a bit too hi-fi so I added some iZotope Vinyl, which can be utilized somewhat like an EQ. Identical to Brexit, set the yr to 1970 and improve the enter achieve somewhat.
Let’s flip our attention to the bass part. I was blessed with the prospect to have a gifted bass player and good pal of mine David O’Neill to trace the bass for this tutorial. We recorded his Warwick Corvette right into a Dbx 580 preamp and FMR Audio RNC500 ‘Really Nice Compressor’.
Nevertheless in case you don’t have a prime bassist at your disposal there’s a plethora of excellent bass guitar plug-ins out there. I’m going to make use of the Scarbee MM-Bass that comes as commonplace with Native Instruments Komplete (we will A/B the actual and MIDI bass so that you can examine yourself).
N.B When you don’t have complete there’s a implausible free version of Kontakt referred to as Kontakt Participant that has a really competent bass guitar patch in it. Failing that the Logic EXS-24 sounds aren’t even that dangerous!
In Scarbee I’ve modified the participant profile to Soul & Funk and FX preset to Previous Faculty. I’ve used some of Logic’s Bass amp (tweaking the 70’s Strong preset), Waves JJP Bass and LA-style achieve reduction using Logic’s stock compressor.
The key to this sound is getting the notice lengths right (one thing I am a being proponent of is tweaking notice lengths to get funkier bass strains) and the slides right – if you will get both of these it’ll sound there or there abouts. Right here’s the MIDI bass:
…And right here’s the actual one for comparison. I’ll use the actual for the resampling on this demo, but as you possibly can hear Kontakt does a very good job.
Right here’s the notation and tab. The rests and slides are essential to getting those grooving correctly.
Right here’s the piano roll, which is simpler for us to see the place the slides are.
Subsequent, the guitars. I was fortunate enough to have the superb Martin Case monitor the guitars for this tutorial. He used a Fender Telecaster with an MXR Dyna Comp by way of the identical dbx pre-amp as the bass.
I counted about three guitar elements which doesn’t totally stack up as I’m positive there was just two guitarists but I’ll comply with my ear.
The primary is an easy single picked line that repeats throughout the verses. It’s essential to take a seat simply behind the beat to get the feel proper.
To get it to take a seat there’s as little increase around 1 kHz and a dip around 120 Hz with some optical compression from Logic’s primary compressor. It’s quite pokey so I used to be stunned at how low within the mix I wanted it to get it sitting proper.
The second guitar follows the chords, albeit barely simplified. Under I’ve listed the Db/Gb as a Gb∆7 as harmonically it performs the identical perform and is barely easier to read. By this logic the Eb/F might be regarded as an F-9/11 or comparable.
I’ve tweaked Logic’s amp sim a fair bit to get an identical sound, opting for the Boutique amp and EQ with a 2×12 cab and dynamic microphone on it. The achieve’s low with the treble cranked a bit to offer it some chew.
Similarly to the picked guitar I found I might maintain this actually low within the combine to offer the chords sufficient attack without overpowering the rhythm part.
Lastly there’s a guitar with muted string and a wah pedal rocking back and forth. Quite than utilizing a real wah pedal I resorted to Logic’s pedalboard and recorded the rocking myself.
Hit cmd + l to arm the MIDI study perform and choosing the pedal’s primary action, transfer a MIDI knob/slider. I set the monitor’s automation mode to “learn” and recorded in the sweeping effect. It’s not good but close enough.
I also used some graphic EQ and compression in the same pedalboard plug-in and completed it off with some more amp sim, this time the Brownface amp with a 4×12 cab and using some EQ to attenuate around 2 kHz.
Under is a video from the recording session of I’m Gonna Let Ya, from the same album. It provides us a number of clues about how we strategy the combination.
From the video we will see that there was loads of acoustic baffles nevertheless it’s still tracked in an enormous room, so our reverb should mirror this accordingly. I’ve routed all the instrument to a return monitor using Logic’s wonderful convolution reverb Area Designer, utilizing the 1.6 Diffusion Corridor preset.
Next I routed all of the tracks (together with the reverb) to a bus so they can be processed together. I’ve added somewhat Fielding DSP Reviver for some tasty third order harmonics, Logic EQ, Fairchild-style compression, tape saturation and delicate limiting. Right here it is:
Honey, Honey, Honey, Honey… Honey!
As said within the introduction, the monitor was produced by ninth Marvel, though possible in collaboration with Erykah herself. Giant elements of the album have been reportedly produced by Badu herself in Garage Band and then recorded elsewhere, so it’s truthful to assume that elements of this monitor might have been stock Logic sounds.
The sample might have been chopped up inside an MPC or comparable drum sampling gadget or imported straight into DAW-of-choice and flex-timed. Both method… [However it has been pointed out to me that 9th Wonder was a huge fan of FL Studio].
Honey is at 88 bpm. Eager eared listeners of the monitor may notice that not only is it barely quicker however a semitone greater than the pattern’s unique recording. Ignoring potential routes like interpolation, what I seem more than likely is that they time stretched the sample utilizing a re-pitching algorithm, which means because the pattern gets quicker, it additionally pitches up (and as it slows down, it might pitch down).
I’ve bounced I’m in Love down as a wav file set the flex-time algorithm to Velocity, this makes it behave like an analog format where by rushing it up would additionally improve the pitch. I’ve changed Logic’s bpm to that of Honey and now the sample is the right pitch as well as tempo.
Properly, kind of… The outcome is actually barely sharp, as one semitone up from 82 bpm is 86.876 bpm (I’m not Rain Man, I used this musical calculator to figure that out). Personally I don’t mind this slightly rub of consonance, so let’s transfer on. I’ve added a high-pass filter and some compression and bit crushing to assist it sit.
We’ll start by simulating the drums. There’s a very good probability they have been from an MPC of some type, but I’m opting for Logic’s Ultrabeat, tweaking the Boutique SP12 preset. I’ve tuned the kick around E (43.7 Hz) and added a bit of distortion to it. Tune the snare and clap down a couple of semitones and convey the quantity of the closed hi-hat right down.
Pay attention to the velocities of the kick and deliver the clap simply ahead of the beat ever so barely. With a healthy dose of compression, EQ boosting around 150 Hz, and some Bit Crusher to simulate the MPC-sampling artefacts, we will get shut sufficient:
The bass is a simplified version of the unique, now in E minor as an alternative of Eb minor. My guess is that it’s some kind of analog subtractive or software emulation of 1. I’ll use Logic’s ES2 (which I’ll be utilizing all through this for continuity).
I’ve used a sine wave with just a little frequency modulation from oscillator one to add in some harmonics. There’s a touch of distortion and low-pass filtering too. Make sure the patch is about to either mono or legato (exhausting to hear with out more separation) and that’s about it!
There are two lead strains, let’s start with the screechier of the two. This can be a easy sawtooth with some mild resonant low-pass filtering. Use a prolonged decay stage on an envelope to shut the filter. I’ve added in a number of the Analog control to add some shimmer and tuned the synth up 30 cents – this truly made it closer to the original making me assume my unique assumption concerning the pattern being out of tune was right!
The sample is fairly easy, it does fig. 1 3 times then fig. 2:
The second is a squelchy envelope filtered motif. It sounds 30 cents sharp again, in order that’s the very first thing to do. I’ve used a sawtooth as the dominant tone and a quieter, pulse wave tuned an octave decrease. Run these into a low-pass filter with a medium amount of resonance and somewhat filter FM to offer it some chew. That is being modulated by an envelope with about 25 ms attack and 200 ms decay.
To complete off I’ve added a excessive F#four and F#5 on a synth string. Logic’s EXS24 Clean Strings sounded nearly right to me. This helps fill out the gaps and add some sheen to the combination. That’s it actually. Run every thing into a bus and compress/EQ to style. I’ve boosted round 6 kHz and dipped at 200 and 800 Hz.
That’s it. I hope this has shone some mild on this incredible monitor. It pales in comparison to the unique(s) nevertheless it’s been an fascinating replay for me. Please depart any feedback within the comments part.
In the event you’ve enjoyed this take a look at some extra I’ve executed: