And about time as well! But yes, I’ve released the final version of As She Passes Through The Storm now and it’s free to download (with the option to donate, if you want)! The download will allow you to get it in lossless quality, which means 24-bit/48 kHz for this piece, but “normal” compressed formats are available as well (that’s the wonderful thing about Bandcamp; you’re given the choice of format you want, which includes lossless as well).
This piece is the first (and so far only) thing I have ever just played using my MIDI keyboard. It’s played in one go – just me going at it. This also means that it’s not the most complicated or structured piece, but even so I think it has a certain something to it, despite its simplicity. It also means that it has a few minor timing issues, but so be it. It IS after all the first time I’ve ever played the piano for real (remember that I have no idea what I’m doing – just trying to learn 😉 ), so of course it won’t be perfect.
I will go over the technical aspects of the track below, but before that you should give it a listen! 🙂
As She Passes Through The Storm (The Final Version)
The processing for the track isn’t too complicated.
The piano goes into a Binaural Pan (native Studio One plug-in) first, which just helps widen the sound slightly (it’s set to 110% where 100% is normal width). Then it enters a FabFilter Pro-Q 2 EQ which boosts the low-end slightly (at 146 Hz with about 1 dB, fairly wide Q) and low and high cuts to roll off the top and bottom of the spectrum.
The reverb is a send on the piano channel, going into a ValhallaVintageVerb using the Concert Hall reverb and 1980 setting. The reverb is long (almost 11 seconds) which helps give the piece that sort of haunting and soulful feeling, which I think fits it nicely. The reverb time is also increased in the low-end, so the low notes linger for longer than the higher ones. Damping and cutting both happen at around 8-9k Hz.
The reverb also goes into a FabFilter Pro-Q 2 EQ which is set to Mid/Side mode. There’s again a slight boost to the low-end, giving a mid boost of 0.64 dB at 136 Hz, again with a wide Q.
Then there’s a bunch of reductions (1.5-2.5 dB) around 1 kHz and 2 kHz to tame it a bit (both side and full reductions). The highs are also aggressively rolled off starting at around 5 kHz, which is basically to not make it too bright. There was a few sections where the reverb just became too much, because it was too bright.
The master bus consists of first a u-he Presswerk compressor, with very mild compression (1.40) and attack and release is at 30 ms and 140 ms respectively. Very slight saturation and warmth added as well (0.8 dB and 1.6 dB). Expand mode is enabled from 240 Hz and 6 dB is added. Helps make the sound a tad grander and wider I think.
Then it goes into an iZotope Ozone 6 with an Imager and Maximizer module. The Imager module further gives width by using 4 bands. Low band is reduced by 15% while band 3 and 4 increases it by 20% and 40% (the second band does nothing). The Maximizer is in IRC III mode, balanced, with a -1.6 dB threshold and ceiling at -0.05 dB. The character is set to 4.6.
Lastly it enters another FabFilter Pro-Q 2 EQ that has very steep roll-offs of the top and bottom. There are also 4 very surgical cuts (very narrow Q) of about 1.5 dB to 4 frequencies (700-1000ish) that the main notes hit, just to tame them ever so slightly.
And that’s basically it… As mentioned in the previous post I had some distortion from the Exciter module in Ozone 6, so I removed it and it works fine without it (and some saturation is added in Presswerk anyway).