Production Diary: Mr. Jackson’s Boys-From Firefly to simply Fly!

The Production Diary is back after a bit, and I am pleased to report that the Firefly remake that almost didn’t make it before mutating into something completely different, is now complete.

Ladies and gentleman, Superstar DJs, I present to you, Mr. Jackson’s Boys, a 7+ minute intense Electro workout (think Put Your Hands Up For Detroit, only better ;)) featuring the magnificent vocals of a young up and coming R&B singer from Gary, Indiana: Mr. M. Jackson.

The all important high hat is now present and correct, the arrangement (which is always tricky when dealing with a sampled vocal) is simply Shamon, and I am especially pleased with how the middle section leads into the breakdown and the outro. Ow!

There were some changes: the ‘digital’ bassline was ditched in favor of a warmer ‘analog’ one (Poly Ana), while the strings (Solina style-also Poly Ana) were pitched down to make them less obtrusive (thank you Robert Post’s child).

I used a warm toasty compressor on the drums and master, boosted some of the lows, cut some of the mids (smiley face EQ), and there you have it. Took me way to long to finish this, but I’m glad I did!

I am thinking of a Beatport/Trackitdown release date around mid April, immediately after the FTTP re-release on Noobish and the Aaren San remixes on Plasmapool. Busy month ahead.

Mike would be proud!


Synth Odyssey Part 5-A Little Poly-Ana: Software gets hard…

Released in 2007, Admiral Quality’s monstrous Poly-Ana was widely acclaimed as one of the most anally modeled analog modeled soft synths to date. L’il Poly-Ana is the ‘preset player’ version with the same sound engine as her big sister. One might think she’s a bit limited as a result, but a little can sometimes go a long way, especially when the factory presets are practically a history lesson in “Sounds Made Famous By Analog Synthesizers.”

Additionally, and more crucially, you have access to dual filter cutoff/resonance, unison, polyphony, detune, portamento, and even analog drift (has to be heard to be believed), making this a fairly tweakable instrument (that’s what she said).

This really is a performer’s synthesizer; the modulation wheel features prominently in the presets, often in interesting ways, and multiple trigger options are included for funky fingered keyboardists. There are also five selectable sample rates that offer a good compromise between quality and CPU consumption.

While she can take up a bit of juice, particularly if you use a lot of voices, it’s absolutely worth it! The sounds that come out of L’il Poly are so rich and positively chubby (remind you of anyone?) that it’s easy to forget you’re playing a combination of zeros and ones.

She’s capable of emulating a wide range of your uncle’s analogs, from Moog to Prophet 5, and does a superb string synth impression! This really is an achievement in software synth engineering. Of course, while the porcine Poly-Ana can do so much more (and I might have a go at big momma in the near future), her little sister will do just fine for now! 😉

And now, let’s hear her sing:

100% Poly Ana with no fx. The track at the end (Release Me) uses a little delay and limiting.


This concludes Chapter One of the Synth Odyssey!

Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

What is the point of this ‘Synth Odyssey’?

ReFX PlastiCZ

Novation BassStation

Fabfilter One

Muon Tau

Next up in the series: Korg’s software Wavestation makes a po’ boy’s dreams come true at last!

Thanks for reading!

(c) Programmed and Performed by P Brown.

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