Welcome back to our fan-favorite series How It Was Made, where your favorite artists break down their tracks piece by piece, highlighting the gear and tools used in the process. This time, we meet ghetto house icon Parris Mitchell and his engineer Markus Schatz to discuss his latest work 'Feel My Butterfly' featuring vocals from none other than Nina Kraviz.
Words by Parris Mitchell and Markus Schatz
The signal path for Nina’s vocals were recorded using a Sony C800 G-series microphone, running first through a Brent Averill - Neve 1272 mic pre-amp, and an SSL XLogic 8 EQ rack with the Avalon VT-737sp compressor.
The DAW was Pro-Tools.
The original drum machine used for a reference track was the MPC 3000LE. The session was intended to be completely spontaneous, without having any preconceived or structured form of creating. So we created a quick reference track, using the MPC 3000LE.
The final tracks were constructed of recordings of earlier sessions that I never used before, put together.
The original vintage Roland TR808, & TB303, are from prior recordings, in 2010. Of course, those units were not MIDI…. I imported individual WAV files of those from the TR808, and TB303 into my Logic X session with the Casio RZ-1. The original feel of the reference track was recreated using the Casio RZ1.
A few of Nina’s vocals were sampled into the Casio RZ-1, 12-bit sampling drum machine for the raw gritty Lofi sound, and taking advantage of the algorithms in the Casio RZ1 drum
Additional kicks and sounds were generated using the Akai MPC -X.
All of the additional music audio was recorded using Pro-Tools LE and Logic X.
"Parris sent over his tracks and from the minute I got them I knew exactly what to do. the original mix sounded very rough and was already pretty cool. At first, I created a logic project and sorted all the tracks in a logical order for me. Then the routing needed to get done, cleaning all frequencies. I had to have an eye on that as you could easily lose that roughness by overdoing. I summed up the Stems with the Tegeler Audio Manufaktur (TAM) Tube Summing Amp and compressed them with the JDK Audio R22 Dual channel compressor. Some stems needed to get more of that compression, others only less. The transients of the drums received a little more saturation with the help of the “Magnetismus 2”, another device coming straight out of that Tegeler Audio Manufaktur. The sound of the drums shaped itself more into something similar to a tape recording. My work with the Magnetismus 2 was followed by the EQP1 tube equalizer, another TAM device, I had just put it into the right position in the mix. I can still feel that sore neck when remembering me bouncing to that beat in the studio. Now it was about getting it done without changing the mix too much. I had a lot of contact with Parris via email before the two of us were happy with what we have created - this track is the perfect example of how first-class music can arise when the artists and their engineer build the perfect match."
'Feel My Butterfly' is out now via Riva Starr's Snatch! RAW imprint in collaboration with Dance Mania, buy HERE.