In Time

In Time is a song that I wrote almost by accident. Sometimes you can play a chord, a sound or a melody and song just sort of tumbles out. In the case of In Time, I was playing around with a a favourite instruments plugin of mine called Omnisphere by Spectrasonics.

Omnisphere

Recently Spectrasonics have released a special add on library for Omnisphere of 700 sounds that have been made in honour of the late, great synth pioneer Bob Moog. The proceeds from the Bob Moog Tribute Library go towards the Bob Moog Foundation which among other things children about electronic music using vibrations, sound waves and electricity as a generator for sound, circuitry and more.

Bob Moog Tribute Library

It’s a great cause, but to be honest it doesn’t really take much to convince me to get hold of some new sounds.

So I was going through the sounds and I came across one called ‘Soil Creatures’ that was created by Ignacio Longo. I played a few random notes on the keyboard and suddenly I was off. there was something about the sound that was very inspiring. As such it is the first sound you can hear at the beginning of the song.

I quickly recorded a few bars of the sound into Logic and then recorded some improvised vocal melodies over the top. Within about 5 mins I had the verse to the song written. I was very pleased with myself.

I then started to add in some more things to fill out the sound a little more. The first thing I thought I would add would be some piano.

I have previous written about how much I liked the piano sample libraries from Imperfect Samples. I used their Braunschweig Upright piano very successfully on my song I’ve Found You. So I thought that I would check out some more of their libraries. I downloaded the Fazioli Ebony Concert Grand piano.

Fazioli Concert Grand

I have to say that Imperfect Samples have produced an amazing piano library. The piano sounds really amazing and once again, it is the imperfections of the samples such as the creaking of wood and clicking of keys, that gives the piano so much character.

I found a sounds I liked that had the mics up really close to the soundboard of the piano. I then fed this though a huge amount of large room reverb. I was try to make the piano sound intimate, yet massive at the same time.

I added some piano chords to the verse and then started to play around with some other chords. Then just as quickly as the verse had come, I improvised a melody over the new chords and this became the chorus.

While I was on a role I thought I would get the lyrics done too. This is always the part of writing a song that takes me the most amount of time. I was obviously feeling inspired that day because the lyrics came very easily as well.

So in the space of a few hours hours I had written a whole song. This is very unusual for me as I’m normally messing around with bits and pieces for ages.

I added some guitar parts using NI’s Guitar Rig 4. I found a preset to start off with that I really liked called Slow Motion Movie.

Guitar Rig 4 – Slow Motion Movie

The effect has lots and lots of delays, so that the sound you play goes on for ages. So long in fact that I had to tweak the patch and then do a lot of work with automation when mixing the song to make the notes fade out at the right moments.

I fed the resulting guitar sound through some more guitar effects that added random detuning and pitch shifting effects.

I added a repeated bell sound which I faded in and out of the distance. I thought that this added nicely to the atmosphere of the song.

FInally I then filled out the song a bit more with some Glockenspiel and a Music Box. These added some nice twinkly bits to the high end.

Glockenspiel

And that was that, everything was recorded very quickly. Things got a little bit more complicated when it came to the mixing stage. This was because I wanted to move the sounds around the stereo image a lot, particularly the guitar parts.

However it was worth the effort because I think it sounds great and I’m very happy with how this song has turned out. I sent it off for mastering at Abbey Road and they worked their usual magic to make the song sound as good as possible.

You can have a listen to the song here:

An unexpected turn of events events was the reception that the song got when people listened to it. People really seemed to love it and I had a number of requests asking if people could buy it.

I had only ever intended this song to be an album track. However inspire by all the enthusiasm I was getting, I quickly created some cover art based around a photo I had taken of the river Thames in Reading.

I then sent the song off for release on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and eMusic where it is now available for your purchasing pleasure.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Stephen.

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