You’re on mute

We’ve all been there: chatting away for ages on a zoom call before realising that nobody can hear you. This song is for everyone that’s done that.

The inspiration for this track came from Groove Armada’s fabulous instrumental, “Edge Hill”. I like the grungy bass that slowly builds into an orchestral backing, but I also wanted to keep some parts very sparse, reflecting the title.

The drum patterns came first, using Logic’s Beat Machine drummer and a lot of tweaking for variation. Next up was the bass, which I wanted to be really laid-back with lots of slides, and I’m pretty happy with how I played it. One of Logic’s amp models added some grit, and a phaser made it super creamy.

I recorded the acoustic guitar in two parts, two tracks each, one using the under-bridge piezo pickup and the other with a mic near the sound hole, each pair panned hard left and right, letting the double tracking make a nice stereo image with lots of movement.

The orchestral backing uses instruments (mainly viola and violin) from Spitfire Audio’s BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover plugin, which sounds lovely, and is astonishingly good considering it’s free! There is an additional sparkly pad layer from Logic’s Alchemy synth, some orchestral percussion also from Alchemy, and a reverse cymbal sample for a bit of drama.

I originally intended it to be instrumental only, and I had considered a guitar solo to add a little something, but I thought that a small vocal part would fit better in the track (despite the title!), and break up the more instrumented parts. For this I reached for Synthesizer V‘s Solaria voice, with “Airy” and “Light” modes dialled way up, a touch of added breathiness, and slacking off the tension. Yes, these are real controls! I’m getting better at using SV, but it’s not the easiest of things to work with; the integration with Logic is very basic.

Ooooh baby,
I can’t hear you.
Your lips are movin’, you’re looking cute.
There’s just one problem:
You’re on mute.

Ooooh baby,
You’re on mute.

If you found this entertaining, please check out my other musical efforts, and spread the joy on social media (I’m and @SynchroM). More usefully, if you can sing (or play something) and would like to be involved in musical projects like this, please get in touch, as I could really use your help!

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