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Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE
Old 31st October 2012 | Show parent
  #31
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atma's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i'm interested in what synths were used, what hardware, software, how it was mixed, etc. amazingly well produced record—one of the best i've heard in years.
Old 31st October 2012
  #32
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Hey guys... My writing process with most artists (including frank) is very artist specific i.e. I don't make tracks on my own time. Id rather go into the studio with the artist and/or writers and create from scratch. I used to do the track thing when I was younger, but it never really worked out for me. I find creating ideas from scratch with the artist is much more rewarding and allows for the song and the sound to be catered to the specific project. A typical session for me starts with me laying down some musical ideas (guitars, keys, drums) and we'll start laying down some lyric/melody concepts... Keep growing it into vibe.. A concept.. Hopefully a song. If it veers off path, I'd rather ditch it and try again another time. Through the years, I've realized music should never be forced.

I love gear, shitty stuff, vintage stuff, new stuff.. Anything to create on. I've made music on bootleg versions of cubase (big boi) and on the other end re-tracked vox thru a studer A827-- back thru a Fairchild 670 (comp) 1073 (eq) back into tools (part of the post process on channel orange). Im kinda rambling like a f*k!n idiot right now, so I'll just list some gear I remember using on the records...

vocals: U47 and 251 (vintage), M149, sm58 (yup)-
elec guitars: re20 and m160 (fender Princeton, ac-30)
acoustic guitars: royer 122 (tube), u47, Km84.
Bass: DI chain is trace elliot GP12 into avalon 737 (just for eq), then squashed thru 1176. Amp is always B-15 (fliptop) with re20.
Strings: ribbons! i.e. Coles 4038 stereo room, RCA 44 for close on violins, u67 for cellos
Vox chain: 1073/cl1b or 1073/Fairchild 670, also used standalone Avalon 737 (part of a mobile rig we created)...

I play old strats, les Paul, 335 (electrics).. P Bass, epiphone eb-2, Yamaha piece of shit ive had since high school (basses).. Juno 106, Wurlitzer, b-3 organ, Rhodes (keys). Computer stuff is arturia (best shit ever), battery (can still load all my old mpc sounds!), mtron (baddass).... I play the virtual stuff out of my laptop rig (tools/duet2) into my HD rig. Always send the duet through stereo pair of 1073 (any software based stuff has to leave the computer and hit some kind of circuit board).

I guess I could get more detailed on specific setups if y'all have questions about certain tones/songs or whatever. Thanks for listening and appreciate the love.
Old 31st October 2012
  #33
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Hey, Malay. Glad you post around here. Absolutely love the album! Particular favourites
are Pilot Jones, Lost and Pink Matter. When you where writing and producing the songs
did you guys do the bulk of it in one long session or where the songs broken down in
sessions occuring in different days?
Old 31st October 2012
  #34
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofmalay ➡️
Hey guys... My writing process with most artists (including frank) is very artist specific i.e. I don't make tracks on my own time. Id rather go into the studio with the artist and/or writers and create from scratch. I used to do the track thing when I was younger, but it never really worked out for me. I find creating ideas from scratch with the artist is much more rewarding and allows for the song and the sound to be catered to the specific project. A typical session for me starts with me laying down some musical ideas (guitars, keys, drums) and we'll start laying down some lyric/melody concepts... Keep growing it into vibe.. A concept.. Hopefully a song. If it veers off path, I'd rather ditch it and try again another time. Through the years, I've realized music should never be forced.

I love gear, shitty stuff, vintage stuff, new stuff.. Anything to create on. I've made music on bootleg versions of cubase (big boi) and on the other end re-tracked vox thru a studer A827-- back thru a Fairchild 670 (comp) 1073 (eq) back into tools (part of the post process on channel orange). Im kinda rambling like a f*k!n idiot right now, so I'll just list some gear I remember using on the records...

vocals: U47 and 251 (vintage), M149, sm58 (yup)-
elec guitars: re20 and m160 (fender Princeton, ac-30)
acoustic guitars: royer 122 (tube), u47, Km84.
Bass: DI chain is trace elliot GP12 into avalon 737 (just for eq), then squashed thru 1176. Amp is always B-15 (fliptop) with re20.
Strings: ribbons! i.e. Coles 4038 stereo room, RCA 44 for close on violins, u67 for cellos
Vox chain: 1073/cl1b or 1073/Fairchild 670, also used standalone Avalon 737 (part of a mobile rig we created)...

I play old strats, les Paul, 335 (electrics).. P Bass, epiphone eb-2, Yamaha piece of shit ive had since high school (basses).. Juno 106, Wurlitzer, b-3 organ, Rhodes (keys). Computer stuff is arturia (best shit ever), battery (can still load all my old mpc sounds!), mtron (baddass).... I play the virtual stuff out of my laptop rig (tools/duet2) into my HD rig. Always send the duet through stereo pair of 1073 (any software based stuff has to leave the computer and hit some kind of circuit board).

I guess I could get more detailed on specific setups if y'all have questions about certain tones/songs or whatever. Thanks for listening and appreciate the love.
Malay! Awesome work dude!

First off, how long have you been musically playing? Seems like your musicality is definitely a strong suit for you! Great talent man!

You say your synths were arturia, care to say which ones? It seems odd that your synths on the album were in the box when they truly sound analogue. When listening to a song like Pyramids, the synths throughout the whole song get you. Any specifics on the plug-ins and synth like stuff for the geeks? Lol

Thanks Malay! Truly cannot wait to hear your future material!
Old 31st October 2012
  #35
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Am i reading it correct when it says he plays all of his Virtual Instruments on the laptop with a controller, out a Apogee Duet, into an outboard and into the HD rig?
Old 1st November 2012
  #36
Gear Addict
 
mrfortune's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great work , thanks for taking time to speak on your process and such. This type of thing inspires, respect
Old 1st November 2012 | Show parent
  #37
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezionjd ➡️
Am i reading it correct when it says he plays all of his Virtual Instruments on the laptop with a controller, out a Apogee Duet, into an outboard and into the HD rig?
Yeah man that's what I do with the virtual stuff. A lot of these plugins sound great if you treat them properly (take them out of the box). And also makes me feel better, as I approach the plugins more like a sound module.. Allows me to think about the most important things which is the parts and the sounds/sonics. It's the same exact approach when i use the analog stuff.
Old 1st November 2012 | Show parent
  #38
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambience ➡️
Malay! Awesome work dude!

First off, how long have you been musically playing? Seems like your musicality is definitely a strong suit for you! Great talent man!

You say your synths were arturia, care to say which ones? It seems odd that your synths on the album were in the box when they truly sound analogue. When listening to a song like Pyramids, the synths throughout the whole song get you. Any specifics on the plug-ins and synth like stuff for the geeks? Lol

Thanks Malay! Truly cannot wait to hear your future material!
I use all of the arturia analog remakes... On that particular song the lead synth was actually from omnisphere (played live thru the chain I described previously), I created the main chop with some analog bell type sound off an original juno 106 and some choir sounds from the mtron. Bass was live, high pad sounding thing during the transition from side 1 to side 2 was and ebow on my Strat. The pad on side 2 is an oberheim ob-8... Hmm, oh yeah, the arpegiator thing is done on the arturia CS-80
Old 1st November 2012 | Show parent
  #39
Lives for gear
 
yosemitesam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofmalay ➡️
re-tracked vox thru a studer A827-- back thru a Fairchild 670 (comp) 1073 (eq) back into tools (part of the post process on channel orange).
That's a good idea. Do you re-track after comping/editing/tuning/vocaligning, but before any EQ/compression/other processing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofmalay ➡️
Im kinda rambling like a f*k!n idiot right now,
Don't even joke about that dude, the knowledge you're sharing is very appreciated. I'd love to hear anything you have to say about making the record.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, out of curiosity how did you link up with Frank? Unless the credits are wrong, it seems you didn't work on Nostalgia, Ultra.
Old 1st November 2012
  #40
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofmalay ➡️
Yeah man that's what I do with the virtual stuff. A lot of these plugins sound great if you treat them properly (take them out of the box). And also makes me feel better, as I approach the plugins more like a sound module.. Allows me to think about the most important things which is the parts and the sounds/sonics. It's the same exact approach when i use the analog stuff.
And also you commit to the way you played it, which makes you nail a good take.
Being able to to go back and edit/quantize the midi when using Virtual Instruments,
has messed up a lot of good performances me thinks..

Thank you very much for sharing, and taking time to visit a forum that have been praising your work.
Are you on discogs? Or is there any way to see what else you produced?
Old 1st November 2012
  #41
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Oh and btw how do you know which preset you used on which channel?
Do you name the channels in the HD rig after the preset or sumfn?
Old 1st November 2012 | Show parent
  #42
Lives for gear
 
yosemitesam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezionjd ➡️
And also you commit to the way you played it, which makes you nail a good take.
Being able to to go back and edit/quantize the midi when using Virtual Instruments,
has messed up a lot of good performances me thinks..
Well, you could always do both by recording a MIDI performance on the computer, editing it as you want to, then playing back the MIDI performance and recording that audio.
Old 1st November 2012
  #43
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemitesam ➡️
Well, you could always do both by recording a MIDI performance on the computer, editing it as you want to, then playing back the MIDI performance and recording that audio.
Sure, but more than often we producers let our creative control buttons behead our performances.
I always wondered why my tracks where i play live keys, kind of felt better than the ones done itb on a DAW.
It makes sense, really.
If you don't have the option to click "quantize" or move midi notes, then you automatically make a better effort to get a good take.
Well, i do.
Old 1st November 2012
  #44
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofmalay ➡️
I use all of the arturia analog remakes... On that particular song the lead synth was actually from omnisphere (played live thru the chain I described previously), I created the main chop with some analog bell type sound off an original juno 106 and some choir sounds from the mtron. Bass was live, high pad sounding thing during the transition from side 1 to side 2 was and ebow on my Strat. The pad on side 2 is an oberheim ob-8... Hmm, oh yeah, the arpegiator thing is done on the arturia CS-80
Looks like I will become an Arturia user soon lol
Thanks for the advice man I truly appreciate it!

And just to mention, as soon as I bought and listened to Channel Orange i began dusting up on my piano skills. Just a testament of your awesome musicality!
Old 1st November 2012
  #45
Izy
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for sharing! great stuff and very inspiring. Dope record.
Old 6th November 2012 | Show parent
  #46
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Bass

Malay,

Big thanks for delving into your methods and insight. This is what moves the artform forward IMO: when people involved with influential works dish out their knowledge.

I have a question about the tracking and mixing of bass guitar for Channel Orange. You mentioned you have a DI chain of: Trace Elliot GP12 --> avalon 737 for EQ --> squashed thru 1176 while always playing through a B-15 with re20 mic. Can you go into a little more detail on what you're doing with each piece of gear, and perhaps what if anything you did in the box. The bass throughout the album is so fat and punchy, especially on Pink Matter and Monks. Awesome job on the whole thing!
Old 6th November 2012
  #47
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
The beats of this album... Pure inspiring ! Other style but good style.
Old 7th November 2012
  #48
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jotadbeats ➡️
The beats of this album... Pure inspiring ! Other style but good style.
Not beats but compositions!
You are right this album is inspiring.

Thank you Malay for taking time to reply. I truly respected you and your humbleness makes me respect you even more!
Old 8th November 2012 | Show parent
  #49
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Best R&B Album since Voodoo.
Old 8th November 2012 | Show parent
  #50
Lives for gear
 
atma's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrokeys ➡️
Best R&B Album since Voodoo.
i actually agree with that.
Old 12th November 2012 | Show parent
  #51
Here for the gear
 
musicsus4's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
just wanted to echo some above comments and say thanks for posting! the album has been very inspiring and i was curious as to how you guys achieved some of the sounds...great to know a bit about your work flow... keep it up man! and yeah best r&b record i've heard in years.....
Old 13th November 2012 | Show parent
  #52
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Well bass tone really begins with the instrument... on pink matter i used prob the worst possible bass ever.. its my old yamaha (dont know the model) from high school (paid prob $100 back then... that's equal to about $2k nowadays with inflation haha i'm getting old) I put flatwounds on it, but it worked because I was looking for a super trashy/sloppy sound. Ran it through the above mentioned chain (just DI, no amp/mic) and it was really about EQ going in. On my Trace Elliot, it has a graphic EQ section so i'm boosting everything below 400k, cutting 400-1000--boosting again at around 1.5k, and keeping it pretty level on the high end. I use the same approach with the EQ's on the avalon. In pro tools, i try not to use minimal plugins, so I think i just used one SSL EQ and boosted around 1.5k again, just to bring out more of the pop on the slaps...

On pretty much all of the records, it was the same approach. To get a different tone I'd use a different bass. Some of the sinewave bass tones i played off the arturia minimoog plugin... at times I'll use RBass in pro tools and set the low frequency to the key of the song (match the key with the frequency under 100k) Note names of musical notes keyboard piano frequencies = octave piano keys tone tones 88 notes naming standard concert pitch tuning German English system MIDI 88 - sengpielaudio

hope this helps!
Old 28th November 2012
  #53
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
This helped tremendously. I've been messing around with EQ using what you've posted and have gotten great results toward a certain sound. I've also been listening to the album with new ears after reading through this thread. Amazing.

Congrats also on One Thing off of the new Alicia Keys album.
Old 28th November 2012
  #54
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Some great tunes on the album but i felt nostalgia was far superior. I like franks composing but i felt some of the songs were a little lacklustre to say the least. His sample based stuff is better. I got a feeling the next one will be better.


BJ The Chicago Kid's 'Pineapple Now Later' >>>>> Frank Ocean 'Channel Orange'
Old 16th December 2012
  #55
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Malay, btw, did you produce 'Voodoo' (the song at the end of the album that was released on his blog not too long ago)? That song is amazing. Wish it was longer.
Old 17th December 2012 | Show parent
  #56
Lives for gear
 
Realziment's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofmalay ➡️
Well bass tone really begins with the instrument... on pink matter i used prob the worst possible bass ever.. its my old yamaha (dont know the model) from high school (paid prob $100 back then... that's equal to about $2k nowadays with inflation haha i'm getting old) I put flatwounds on it, but it worked because I was looking for a super trashy/sloppy sound. Ran it through the above mentioned chain (just DI, no amp/mic) and it was really about EQ going in. On my Trace Elliot, it has a graphic EQ section so i'm boosting everything below 400k, cutting 400-1000--boosting again at around 1.5k, and keeping it pretty level on the high end. I use the same approach with the EQ's on the avalon. In pro tools, i try not to use minimal plugins, so I think i just used one SSL EQ and boosted around 1.5k again, just to bring out more of the pop on the slaps...

On pretty much all of the records, it was the same approach. To get a different tone I'd use a different bass. Some of the sinewave bass tones i played off the arturia minimoog plugin... at times I'll use RBass in pro tools and set the low frequency to the key of the song (match the key with the frequency under 100k) Note names of musical notes keyboard piano frequencies = octave piano keys tone tones 88 notes naming standard concert pitch tuning German English system MIDI 88 - sengpielaudio

hope this helps!

Great thread. Thanks for the insight into your sessions. Very interesting!
Old 18th December 2012 | Show parent
  #57
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rewd Adams ➡️
Some great tunes on the album but i felt nostalgia was far superior. I like franks composing but i felt some of the songs were a little lacklustre to say the least. His sample based stuff is better. I got a feeling the next one will be better.


BJ The Chicago Kid's 'Pineapple Now Later' >>>>> Frank Ocean 'Channel Orange'

There's always gotta be one...

And you probably make the worst music out of anyone posting in this forum right now, because that's usually how it goes.

If you aren't feeling the album, that's cool. But why do you feel the need to come to the one thread where the creator of the record is generously offering tons of insight into the process of creating the album, just to say that you don't think it's that great...

People like you are the reason why this place gets such a bad rap around the industry.
Old 19th December 2012
  #58
Gear Maniac
 
eldorado_p's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tizzizzailslf04 ➡️
There's always gotta be one...

And you probably make the worst music out of anyone posting in this forum right now, because that's usually how it goes.

If you aren't feeling the album, that's cool. But why do you feel the need to come to the one thread where the creator of the record is generously offering tons of insight into the process of creating the album, just to say that you don't think it's that great...

People like you are the reason why this place gets such a bad rap around the industry.
+1 can't agree more. If you don't like it cool. But this is a successful producer giving insight on a successful album he produced.

Btw Malay the album is dope...and John Legend's Green Light was my shit too! Thanks for the insight.
Old 20th December 2012
  #59
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rewd Adams ➡️
Some great tunes on the album but i felt nostalgia was far superior. I like franks composing but i felt some of the songs were a little lacklustre to say the least. His sample based stuff is better. I got a feeling the next one will be better.


BJ The Chicago Kid's 'Pineapple Now Later' >>>>> Frank Ocean 'Channel Orange'
Go. Away.
Old 9th February 2013
  #60
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Resurrecting this thread after listening to this album a bunch...

Malay, how did you do the vocoded bg vocals on "pyramids"? They are so smooth, and sometimes a little behind the beat. What technique/gear achieved that?

Awesome production, and thanks for contributing here as well.
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