[d] re-mix: buromaschinen’s “hyperstarship” (part 2)

This post is a continuation of the first part, here:

As much as I wanted to keep everything the same, as I dug into “Hyperstarship”, I felt it needed some “breathing room.”  That is, there’s a lot going on and it just needed a little variety as the song progressed.

Instead of everything coming in after the intro [1], I silenced the hi-hat and allowed the pad to come in before letting the song get into its stride.  I also removed the 808-ish snare that appears in the :30 – 1:00 range [2]

Hyperstarship Arrangement

Click to see the arrangement and annotations.

because I didn’t think it added much and I really wanted the listener to concentrate on that floaty 202 pad.  Speaking of which, to add a little [d]-ness to the track, I duplicated the track with the 202 and shifted one of them, so it sounded like a delay; one segment was also reversed, which is something I love to do [3].

Going back to the track with the 808 snare for a moment (labeled, “HSS_Percussions”, Live track 5), the pattern included a tom in it as well, which was a bit too busy; also, it interfered with the bassdrum, so I had to cut some of it out and create a new pattern [2a].  The new sequence sounds more “retro” to me.

I continued to comb through the arrangement and pick out parts that either didn’t add much to the song or got in the way of the enjoyment of the other elements.  At around :33 of the original mix, a thick, phasing, panning, buzzy sweep appears [4], which is a great lead-in to the next part of the song, but it is present throughout the entire song.  The problem isn’t with the sound itself (it’s a really cool Monomachine sound), but with the fullness and “liveliness” of it; in other words, it’s a really rich sound that might get in the way of the bassline or pad or whatever.

The light pad that plays throughout the track was left unaltered, except for an auto-panner instance, which was used more as a slow tremlolo effect, for variation [5].

At around 3:00, the bassline drops out and the kick and snare are allowed to do their thing, as a sort of final breakdown [6].

After making these changes to the arrangement, I was very happy with it.  The mixing was good too.  Of course, it took about five iterations to get it “perfect”, but after listening to it in my car (the acid test), it was done.  Oh, except for the mastering.

Because I spent so much time on the mix, “Hyperstarship” didn’t need all that much polishing off.  (I say this with all humility, as I understand that there are real “pro” mix engineers that would a lot of things differently than I did.)  The thing I didn’t want to do was smash the track into oblivion (it was already pretty compressed, anyway) and make the waveform hug the 0dB line the entire song.  (You can really screw everything up at this point.)

Maxximus plugin

IL's Maxximus plugin.

Using my favorite plugin of all time, Image-Line’s Maxximus, I started with the “clear master” preset, which essentially flattens most of the settings.  Even that setting was too much, so I turned down the LMH mix (basically, the depth of the Maxximus effect).  At that point, the loudness was good, but it didn’t sound much different than the un-mastered version.  Expanding the stereo image in the high and mid bands was the key.

A few more minor tweaks to preserve the dynamics and hyperstarship was done.

So, there you go.  Two blog posts that took way longer than the actual remix project itself.  I love doing both.  Thank you for the opportunity, Buromaschinen!

If you like what I have done with his mix, my services are available to the public.  Contact me here or @ twitter.

category: (d), elektron, machinedrum, misc, monomachine, remix, tracks