EMP Project – Remix

For my remix project I was given stems by classmate Malinda Levakis-Lucas, it was a cover of Andy Grammer’s ‘Keep Your Head Up’ which she had produced.
The original track was a soft and subtle rendition with very minimal percussion and pop-styled piano. I wanted to subvert that style and make something more melancholy and somewhat heavier.
I was initially going for a sort of trip-hop vibe, much like this Morcheeba track (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxn-fz9mjo4), but I had difficulty achieving the swing/downbeat feel and making it work with the vocals, so it ended up sounding very dance-like.

For the underlying drive of the track, I used an arpeggiated bass at a rate of 1/16 and a repetitive but solid drum-loop with a four on the floor beat. The only other percussion in the track is a sample from the original stems, a short loop of the percussion with a granular delay applied. The bass follows a pattern similar to the original but inverted into a minor key, this helped me to achieve the more melancholy sound. The vocals did prove a little difficult to warp, but I was able to repeat some parts to avoid inconsistencies, I also used some pitch correction on the vocals (by means of melodyne) to improve how it worked with my new tonality. The small solo in the middle of the remix was played on an organ-like synth which I created in Operator, it consists of two lower sine waves, a higher triangle wave, and an even higher sawtooth wave. There is a subtle LFO applying vibrato, and a pitch spread between the oscillators. The whole synth runs through a simple delay plugin. The drum rack is made up of various samples from my collection, and the SFX throughout the song also mostly come from commercial samples I own. One sound effect that I created is a recorded clap with a reverb applied, I used the sampler to layer this up an octave to make it sound larger. The bells are sampled using the plugin Kontakt, and are arpeggiated at a rate of 1/16. All the string parts are also sampled using Kontakt, I felt they were necessary to complete the feeling of the track.

Malinda and I kept good contact, we used email frequently to address access to content and concerns.
Here is some of the feedback I received from my client

And here is the remix itself