In the middle of working on week 5's piece, I got a challenge from Minmei Decelis to do a track using nothing but cowbell samples. This is it. Starting with a bunch of samples, my thought was to make a lot of different, potentially compatible rhythmic patterns, and see how they combined. There's a lot of 4/4 here, but some 3/4 and 6/8, as well as a few measures of 5 and 7 just for the sheer hell of it. My goal was to make it as musical as possible, and maybe even find some hooks in it.
I ended up with three differently configured Drum Rack instruments, stocking them differently with a variety of cowbell samples--many of them were the same sample at different pitches (with re-pitch as the resampling setting on the clip, generally just doing different octaves). I spread the three instruments across six different tracks for some counterpoint. While I had a bunch of classic 808, 909, 707, and other drum machine cowbell samples (many of which sound fantastic when re-pitched), I decided to go with samples of actual cowbells for this one. I also used four tracks of Simpler with different cowbell samples.
Each track got some M4L Humanizer with a slightly different range, as well as two Auto-Pans (one for L-R and one faster but less intense one for volume). One Drum Rack channel got some Saturator to make it a bit trashier and Auto-Filter to make it less harsh. Send/return channels: one filter delay, one convolution reverb (with the Real Places: Wood Room Large impulse), and one channel of Beat Repeat (starting with the Fill in the Blanks preset). I damped the highs a bit on the convolution reverb, and automated the sends in each channel for the reverb and Beat Repeat, just for some variety. Everything also went through a Full Chain Master audio effects rack.
(Cowbell image in the .mp3 file CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63997)
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