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WeeklyBeats.com / Music / laguna's music / Diamond sound

Diamond sound

By laguna on January 14, 2018 10:54 pm

This one was cooked in the weekend after a week "without direction". I mean, I wouldn't know which path to follow so this ended up being build with a strange arrangement of layers:

One from my previous Linux Qtractor sequencing experiments, twisting some TR606 samples inside an Akai s3000xl sampler. The others came from long forgotten unfinished Ableton projects circa 2011 and 2012.

Bass is simple yet effective Steinberg's VB1 virtual bass plugin.

Pads are a youtube Yamaha TG33 demo video sampled into the Akai and then mangled with Calf Linux plugins.

The "funky" acidic squeak and the chippy lead are instances of Ableton's Analog.

Subtle pitchshifted strings curtesy of the Waldorf Streichfett pad synth.

"More Cowbell" samples are of course courtesy of Christopher Walken in the now modern classic skit from Saturday Night Live. No copyright infrightment intended, you know. I think they sound fit because I REALLY was struggling with the mix levels in this one. What do you think?

Finally, the slightly spooky vocals in the background... they're basically several "instances of me" fooling around with Ableton's looper and a microphone. I don't like my voice, but I think they don't completely suck drenched in effects. I almost suffocate doing the "lalala" part... singing is hard, y'all !

My inspiration for this one was the funky playful sound of Ipaghost: he makes distictive parts and clever melodic changes, sample mangling .. and yet I still don't know how to change from one scale to the next, stay in the same tune the whole song and rely too much on "drum trickery". Anyway, for this week, I did my best to be a little bit funkier.

It was hard for me to mix this one, and so many layers made it a little bit muddy, so I avoided any compression and just used some limiting. If you find any useful suggestions, please let me know. I'd love to improve.

Thanks everybody. Your work is always an inspiration to do better next time (so many amazing songs...)



This submission is licensed by author under CC Attribution Share Alike (BY-SA)

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January 15, 2018 2:02 am

Excellent funk, and the vocals work really nicely. No mud.

January 15, 2018 3:29 am

funky, fresh, fun!  wink

really creative sound sculpting and sample sourcing. the excellent arrangement (movement, breaks, builds) ties it all together

January 15, 2018 3:33 am

Feeling this old school vibe, diggin. Bringing old material back for wb is always a great idea.

January 15, 2018 5:17 am

I think you must have left a bag of wet socks in a hot car for a week, because you found something truly funky here.

It's hard for me to recommend any changes here, since I haven't made anything like this before, but I think the chiptune trills are a little too forward for the rest of the sounds? I dunno!

January 15, 2018 8:16 am
Jim Wood wrote:

Excellent funk, and the vocals work really nicely. No mud.

Glad to hear the mix is understandable. Thank you Jim, as always smile

Lyons wrote:

Feeling this old school vibe, diggin. Bringing old material back for wb is always a great idea.

Thanks for the "old school" compliment smile

I always keep a quite ordered archive of ideas in various stages of development. Once I started doing that, I realized I could finish or reuse elements of those unfinished songs and that saved me a lot of work!

In fact, this week's WB is based on an unfinished project dated 2010 or something. I'm always amazed when some WBeaters can build everything from scratch every week!

cailen wrote:

funky, fresh, fun!  wink

really creative sound sculpting and sample sourcing. the excellent arrangement (movement, breaks, builds) ties it all together

Well, thanks man! It was nice to see you dig my "quasi" collage. I build those breaks myself, but it was hard to glue them together

Please have a (sound design?) GIF

scottux wrote:

I think you must have left a bag of wet socks in a hot car for a week, because you found something truly funky here.

It's hard for me to recommend any changes here, since I haven't made anything like this before, but I think the chiptune trills are a little too forward for the rest of the sounds? I dunno!

Oh, yeah. I kinda agree. I think tht chiptune noises started being lead, and gradually they became complementary to the other elements. Trouble is the "echoey" effects sends, which is shared among elements, that give them that much "wideness".

Thanks for your nice words and listening, Scotuxx

January 15, 2018 10:59 am

love the vocal layers, really gives the track a cool atmosphere

January 15, 2018 11:17 am
grillo wrote:

love the vocal layers, really gives the track a cool atmosphere

Thanks mate. I'm a little bit shy when it comes to vocal performance, so It's much appreciated.


January 15, 2018 6:10 pm

that beat is great, especially the cowbell wink love the atmosphere

January 15, 2018 8:37 pm

Sweet. I’m glad you included vocals.

January 15, 2018 8:40 pm

I heard an occasional cat meow in the mix before I realized that was my cat and not your music.

January 16, 2018 1:04 am
E-dub wrote:

Sweet. I’m glad you included vocals.

I heard an occasional cat meow in the mix before I realized that was my cat and not your music.

Thanks Edmund! My cats also tend to interrupt if they please, no matter if I'm mixing or recording wink

Vocals are scary. I know you're very used to recording them, but kudos to you anyway

Abludo wrote:

that beat is great, especially the cowbell wink love the atmosphere

Hahaha Yes I hope the dialogue doesn't spoil the whole song feeling. I had some different dialogues in my head at first, but they didn't fit the structure of the song (some rambling about "the perfect take on the perfect beat") and I kept them for a later project.

Thanks for listening, mate, as always smile


January 16, 2018 3:42 am

hahaha I can't believe you sampled that XD great call.
Really like the grove! And your voice is FINE come on! No one likes their own voice wink that's why we drown it in reverb big_smile

January 16, 2018 4:38 am

Oh yeah. I really dig this. Super groovy and chilled out. I really like where the arp-y little chords sit with everything else.

January 16, 2018 4:53 am

(( A C I D S O U N D ))

The vocals totally worked! I dig the funky bassline too. Everything just melds together in the second half of the song. Gonna install that VB1 bass plugin now smile

January 16, 2018 5:13 am

Definitely a funky track, can’t go wrong with sampling Christopher Walken, his voice is so distinct, also great job with using your own vocals, sounds great and adds so much to the track

January 16, 2018 9:45 am

It became a dance track. Supergroovy and a timeless diamond. Love it.

January 17, 2018 1:51 am
XC3N wrote:

hahaha I can't believe you sampled that XD great call.
Really like the grove! And your voice is FINE come on! No one likes their own voice wink that's why we drown it in reverb big_smile

Thank you, man! I guess I should get used to hear me. Glad I'm not the only one ...

hypnogram wrote:

Oh yeah. I really dig this. Super groovy and chilled out. I really like where the arp-y little chords sit with everything else.

Thank you, Hypnogram! I'm happy you like this one. I started trying to make it more funky and then it tended to be more relaxed

gify wrote:

(( A C I D S O U N D ))

The vocals totally worked! I dig the funky bassline too. Everything just melds together in the second half of the song. Gonna install that VB1 bass plugin now smile

Cool Lettering Effect!!! And yeah, try it. It was a free Steinberg plugin, maybe included in some promo/free with a soundcard version of Cubase SX or something. Not glamurous or CPU intensive, but it does what it supposed to do and it does it well. I could even retouched the automation so I could make more inflections to the overall tone.

Thanks also for the compliments, man!

Jason Nijjer wrote:

Definitely a funky track, can’t go wrong with sampling Christopher Walken, his voice is so distinct, also great job with using your own vocals, sounds great and adds so much to the track

Thank you, Jason, very much! I'm not that proud of my voice but I think the harmonies ended kinda neat. It took me like twenty tries and several layers on the looper, but anyway...

And also I'm happy you liked the dialogue snippets. I wanted to be catchy but not exactly comedy.

Q-Rosh wrote:

It became a dance track. Supergroovy and a timeless diamond. Love it.

Whoah, vielen Danke, mein Freund!!! The name came because when typing a temporary name from the project I was thinking about the "I think you guys have a dinamite sound" but got distracted by the phone... Long story short, I ended typing Diamond and after realising my mistake, I thought "What the hell... it sounds good!"

Really glad you enjoyed it smile

January 18, 2018 7:38 pm

Gotta love dat cowbell! The vocals are cool with those arpy squelch lines towards the middle smile  Nice old school track!

January 18, 2018 11:48 pm
Tone Matrix wrote:

Gotta love dat cowbell! The vocals are cool with those arpy squelch lines towards the middle smile  Nice old school track!

Thanks very much, man! I discovered that cowbell riddim gathering dust in one sucky unfinished project of mine. I'm not sure where it came from (maybe I sliced it from a sample/loops cd?).

Wasn't expecting to turn that old school... guess it came out just like dat wink

January 19, 2018 3:21 pm

For such a disparate source of sounds, this gels *really* nicely. Loose 'n groovy.

January 19, 2018 6:40 pm
roboctopus wrote:

For such a disparate source of sounds, this gels *really* nicely. Loose 'n groovy.

That's curious, I nver thought the sounds were too much apart one from another, thought I always try to mix chippy synths with "oldschool" drum brakes. Anyway, really glad you found the result interesting and dancy

As always, thanks for listening and your kind words smile


January 19, 2018 9:14 pm


Sounds like you got me figured out! lol
As far as changing chords, it's not that hard, I just follow basic jazz harmonic theory. Primarily I use 7ths all day every day!

January 19, 2018 9:15 pm

Then the circle of fifths helps me figure out where I can progress my chords. When I have this down, I then rearrange the chords so they are voiced well... you can easily transpose notes around so that they are in different locations on the chord, which gives it a different effect. For example, making all the chords in a progression fall in the smallest range of notes makes the progression sound very sophisticated and effortless, while keeping the original voicing of the chords can give you more dramatic movement.
A good way to learn about chords quickly is to use one of many chord vst pluggins out there! A couple of my favorite free ones are ToneSpace and ChordSpace, but there are a few other great ones out there as well! I really recommend reading/youtubing up on it as well, you will find that a lot of songs actually use the same progressions, and while I always trust my ear over just theory, it does make it easier for me to find new places to go!

January 20, 2018 12:32 am
Ipaghost wrote:

Then the circle of fifths helps me figure out where I can progress my chords. When I have this down, I then rearrange the chords so they are voiced well... you can easily transpose notes around so that they are in different locations on the chord, which gives it a different effect. For example, making all the chords in a progression fall in the smallest range of notes makes the progression sound very sophisticated and effortless, while keeping the original voicing of the chords can give you more dramatic movement.
A good way to learn about chords quickly is to use one of many chord vst pluggins out there! A couple of my favorite free ones are ToneSpace and ChordSpace, but there are a few other great ones out there as well! I really recommend reading/youtubing up on it as well, you will find that a lot of songs actually use the same progressions, and while I always trust my ear over just theory, it does make it easier for me to find new places to go!

Glad I really think I haven't got you figured at all smile You know much much harmony theory than me. I've done my circle of fifths familiarization, but I can't yet "use it" as part of my composition. I need to be reading my chord tables and descriptions every time and count semitones above the keys like a really early beginner. Anyway, I've had ToneSpace for ages in my hard drive without really knowing how to use it, so I'll take your advice.

It is true that there's a whole universe of tools to help us in our tasks and I kinda must know how to use them. I'm still yet pretty oldschool in my programming and don't use any syntax help in my coding or even colour highlighting until very very recently (months). I spend almost ten years not allowing me to save ANY preset or template at all, so every beat and sound should be programmed just from scratch. And I still make all my encodig and sample conversions on the UNIX command line ...

I'm really thankful for your advice. It's quite difficult for me to follow music theory explanations because I've got to search my notes every time a complex chord is mentioned, but undoubtly it is worth the effort.

Thanks man! It opens a lot of frontiers to make fake "unreleased Ipaghost B-Sides" ... but seriously, thanks again and much respect. Your work is a true inspiration

January 20, 2018 12:33 am
Ipaghost wrote:


Sounds like you got me figured out! lol

... And of course your music keeps me dancing !!!

January 20, 2018 9:17 pm

and yet I still don't know how to change from one scale to the next

You just do, there's not really anything in between. One moment you're in C, the next you're in D.

, stay in the same tune the whole song and rely too much on "drum trickery".

Layers or flairs, I suppose. A little glissando to sprinkle a bit of magic.

January 21, 2018 12:40 am
Devieus wrote:

and yet I still don't know how to change from one scale to the next

You just do, there's not really anything in between. One moment you're in C, the next you're in D.

, stay in the same tune the whole song and rely too much on "drum trickery".

Layers or flairs, I suppose. A little glissando to sprinkle a bit of magic.

Glad for the tips, Devious, and thanks for listening and giving feedback. Now I think I should improve my music theory knowledge smile

January 22, 2018 8:44 pm

ah yeah!

January 22, 2018 9:52 pm
miraclemiles wrote:

ah yeah!

Thanks man!


January 23, 2018 6:09 pm

Yes that´s Grooy, i love it´s 70s character with modern elements.

By the way, the TG33 is a great vectorsynth, I love it and will never sell it again!

January 24, 2018 5:58 pm

nice flow

January 25, 2018 8:39 pm
kaedo sevaada wrote:

nice flow

THanks! Trying to keep up with the funk smile

April 2, 2018 1:22 am

Tasty bass, so squelchy. I like that chiptune sound over the old school sounding bass and percussion. Well done!

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