My "Official Above & Beyond Production & Tips Topic". Just Share.

Mungkin temen2 disini penasaran dengan segala sesuatu yang berhubungan sama Above and Beyond, jadi gw mutusin buat topic untuk ngasih info tentang bagaimana mereka memproduksi Musiknya, bagaimana mereka bikin Bassline,Reverb, Eqing, remixing, dan sebagainya. semoga bermanfaat, kita ambil Ilmunya bareng2 ya. ;D

tapi mungkin belum ada terjemahannya karena langsung dari officialnya, sori ya guys...  :-\

it's divided into 3 - As in Paavo, Tony and Jono.

starting from:

Jono Grant

Jono On "reFX Nexus" NEW

Nexus sounds and plays like it was made for musicians by musicians.

You are going to install this synth and get using these sounds in your tracks straight away, and very little additional processing is necessary. Its also great to find have built in reverb that is so smooth and rivals good quality hardware reverbs. In a digital sample-based synth, the raw currency is good quality samples. Rather than see how many gigs they could fill with average samples, it feels like a proper RD team has put the kind of energy into the plugin that a big hardware synth manufacturer would have in the past. Something I feel thats been missing from the virtual synth world. Very refreshing, and the whole team should be very proud of this achievement!

Jono On "How Do You Select Your Vocalist" NEW

It's really just a case of meeting people and then when you write a song thinking about who would be most suitable to sing it. When we started working on beautiful together all that time ago, we knew it should be an OceanLab single and that Justine would be the girl to sing it. She then came in and finished it with us.

Jono On "Soundcards"

2x MOTU 2408 MkII and 3xRME ADI-8 A/D D/A converters providing 24 channels of conversion (a total of 40 24bit i/o). We don't use the MOTU converters, the RMEs are hooked up using ADAT light pipe.

The Hammerfall would be a great choice, but at the time the mac support was poor. We bought the system gradually, so when me & paavo were at uni we only had 1 MOTU. Before that we were using a PC with the delightful emagic audiowerk 8 (for all the releases until Free State "Release" which was the first track we did with the new setup - mac etc). The MOTU converters aren't that bad, but the RMEs are better, supposedly near apogee standard. We used to have everything connected to the convertors (and less important outputs to the MOTUs) but now we have a mixing desk.

Though we could still work digitally (and still do for edits etc) we went back to using a mixing desk largely for the vibe - it's great to not have to fiddle around with mouse moves, loading eq plugins and stuff when you just want to make music and get your ideas down. It's so spontaneous to work with a desk and tweak live. We had the logic control but it's useless because you can't operate the mouse and logic control at the same time. Also, with 3 of us it's easier to work.

Jono On "Reason"

Personally I find tracks produced on reason can often sound slightly closed or held-back compared to the more open sound of other systems, but maybe that's down to the people making them and not a feature of the software?

Jono On "Turtorials"

We aren't planning any tutorials I'm afraid. The best way to learn is the hard way, I think! That way you develop your own style. Interesting that you guys think our basslines are especially good - they're normally quite simple. We did have a bunch of students from mine & paavo's old Uni in the other day to show them a few tricks, though!

Jono On "EQ And Recording"

All of the OceanLab tracks to date (including satellite) were recorded using a rode NT1, but we've now got a Neuman U87.
To be perfectly honest, it doesn't really matter what type of eq/comp we use nearly as much as the singer!
We don't process Justine's voice too much - just compress it and a little EQ. If we're having to EQ lots, then there's something wrong in the recording. Normally we try and capture the most natural recording, and sometimes that can even mean recording her in the control room (satellite).

Jono On "Behringer Mx8000"

The interesting thing about the mackie d8b is that it costs about 3 times the price of the analogue mackie 32:8, but if it was purely on sound, I know what I'd choose.

Jono On "Tuning Cymbals"

Well summed up (that's true recording language, 'summing', isn't it!?) Etherium. Also someone mentioned using a filter to add resonance, obviously it depends on your filter/sample/effect wanted, but personally I'd always steer clear of adding filter resonance on cymbals - you get a horrible unatural lispy top end that way.

It's getting a bit technical to use pitch correction software to tune your cymbals! People have managed for years with just akais...... just use the coarse & fine tune settings. I don't understand what all this tuning cymbals thing is all about? Or are you wanting to EQ them? One place where it can be important is if you have a 909 hi hat in a loop and play another single shot sample over the top - you normally want to avoid phase problems so you might tune them.

Jono On "Reverb"

Until about 2002 we were using a Digitech Studio 400 which isn't the best sounding box but did the job, so careful setting up of reverb can help.

In my opinion the best reverbs are still available in hardware, such as those from TC and Lexicon but this has to change at some point. For example, even our old Roland SRV3030D sounds a bit better than the Waves renaissance and truverb plugins IMO, but it's obviously convienient to use plugin reverbs... Strange considering the power in today's computers you'd think, but I'm sure it's because manufacturers are also worried about piracy.

It's also worth looking at convolving reverbs such as Altiverb (a plugin that's able to use reverb impulses from 'real' spaces), which are very good for real sounding reverbs, though I would say that often a 'real' sounding reverb isn't quite what I'd want as a main reverb in dance music. Never say never, though!

More info on what convolution reverb is here:

With a convolving reverb you can use impulses from high-end hardware reverb units from lexicon etc but unless you record these yourself then you're at the mercy of the quality of impulse response recording. Logic itself comes with the convolving reverb plugin called Spacedesigner, but most of the tails of the bundled reverb impulses have been faded out very abruptly! If you can get good impulses then you should have good reverbs.

TC Electronic have ported some reverb algorithms from their system 6000 across to their powercore card:

This might something worth researching further.

I'm looking at adding a powercore to our studio in the near future. Also look out for the highly awaited Sony Oxford Reverb this year which should be good!

Jono On "Producing As Above & Beyond"

There's really no rigid/set structure to the way we work - the benefit of there being 3 of us is that we have 3 times the ideas, and 3 times the quality control.

Also, when someone has writer's block, there's normally another person who doesn't. That's useful I think!

We all share a passion to try and make the best records we can - sometimes the initial idea will come from one of us and then it will be modified and improved by someone else (even other people around us have input - e.g. James pop's in the studio and says "oh... I like that" and it gives us the energy to pursue the idea!) - sometimes just having other people in the studio will bring the best out in a team - we all believe that input isn't just about twiddling the knobs or playing the keys. A great idea is certainly a good starting point, though.

I'd really recommend any of you guys teaming up with other producers by the way - another good reason to work with other people is because shared experiences are nearly always more enjoyable that working on your own, and believe it or not, working on your own can get quite lonley!

Jono On "Access Virus B"

Hi Pawel, if the Virus B is available cheaply then I think it's definitely worth picking up. Each piece of hardware has its own sound, and it can be quite different from software. The presets on the virus have been overused though and are very recognisable, so make sure you invest some time programming your own sounds or at least tweak the presets!

You can use the Virus as a controller for other synths. We've done this before by setting up transformers in the environment window of Logic. It's perhaps a little daunting at first, but worth the time and effort if you miss the hands on controls of other synths. I think the cutoff frequency knob on the virus outputs controller number 40 (or somewhere in the 40s, anyway), so if your softsynth or midi hardware that you wanted to control's cutoff controller was 74 (as it is on most synths) then you set up a transformer to convert controller 40 to 74 for that particular instrument. You can then do this for attack, decay, release etc. Make sure you save this in your default song so that you don't have to keep doing it manually each time!

The virus is one of the better synths to do this with, as it has a lot of the parameters you'd typically want to edit (cutoff, resonance, attack, decay, release) on a synth on the front panel.

Jono On "Delay On Basslines"

The simple answer is almost all of the time. It adds energy and density to the track...


Tony McGuinness

Tony On "Who Does What"

We all do a bit of everything...

Tony On "Drums & Percussion"

We normally use the EXS24 sampler that comes with Logic and samples from sample CDs, vinyl tracks and other special ones (such as kicks) that we make up from other samples. (And then people sample them off our tracks and so it goes, round and round!). Sometimes we use another software sampler such as Battery, or drum samples from a synth (such as the SY85) and sometimes analogue drum sounds from synths like the Nord Lead. There are a couple of drum/percussion sounds we use a lot, but generally we change the drums for every track.

Tony On "Tuning Cymbals"

Always EQ, sometimes tune is the way. You don't need the cymbals (or drums) to be in perfect pitch but you don't want them to be badly out of tune.

Tony On "Cubase Or Logic"

I'm not sure which is the last PC version of Logic and how that compares with the latest PC version of Cubase, but Logic is certainly the most intuitive and powerful piece of software I have ever used. It does everything you'd want to do and a lot of things you won't have thought of and the virtual instruments EMagic have developed are amazing. The ES1 is arguably the best - it doesn't have the range of sounds that the ES2 has (which is a monster) but its so easy to get a great sound out of it. And for sheer believability, their Rhodes piano deserves an award. As a Mac loonie, I'd say getting Logic would be the best excuse for getting a Mac you could have!


Paavo Siljam�ki

Paavo On "Remember (Summer Sun) Pads"

The whole track (apart from a pad sound) was done on my laptop and there's all sorts of virtual synths there...

The only external synth i used was th jp-8080 for the pad in the chorus. I just wanted to add a pad and didn't have enough power to run my sample of it off an exs-24.

Paavo On "Access Virus"

Virus is a brilliant virtual analogue synth made by access that plenty of music producers use to make music... Love it!

Paavo On "Writing A Melody"

Well i think theory is a good basis and helps when writing / playing music. I think you can't really write melodies based too much on theory, though -- if i were you i'd listen to a lot of classical music, chopin, debussy etc. for the way these guys use this theory as a basis for their chordal/melody harmonies. Simple, effective and pretty and your new understanding of chords is going to let you hear this music in a new way.

What i mean is that knowing the theory helps you play and get instant results. Be aware though that if you rely very much on theory alone it becomes more difficult to come up with something new.

Paavo On "What Do You Start With?"

At least for me, there isn't a single way that we always use to start a track. Sometimes we come up with a chord progression that inspires the creation of the rest, or sometimes a groove and everything happens from there. Especially with remixes, we almost always work on the chords and vocal first as getting really good chords that work with the original vocal are so important for a good remix.

Paavo On "Mastering"

We use Walter Coelho @ Masterpiece mastering - he's our favourite guy for mastering. He's brilliant at making stuff sound great on vinyl!

Wally's mastering skills make the stuff sound "stronger" - how much he does obviously depends on the tracks and we're getting to know what he'd correct and getting better at making the tracks sound better even before he gives it that final touch...

Paavo On "Producing A Remix"

What we get given really varies between just the dry main vocal to every single bit to recreate the original mix - most typically just the main vocal and the backing vocals.

We often start by figuring out good chords to go with the melody and then start building the groove around that.

If you have a computer, that's enough to make a track....

Paavo On "Cubase Or Logic"

Both are great but i'd say go for Logic: you'll need some help from someone who has used it before to get started, but after you get through the initial step you'll fall in love with it.

I started with some tracker programs and DR T's sequencer on an Amiga, then went on to use Cakewalk on a PC for years. I then met Nicklas from Slusnik Luna and we started working together with Logic, which he said is the dogs bollocks... he was right!

The beauty of Logic is that it's easy yet so vast that i've never met a pearson who doesn't learn more every day they use it!

I think if you're new to logic, try and find someone who's already using it to show you around setting up the environment and screensets. What's great about logic can also make it a bit confusing at start: it adapts to your working style but you need a bit of info to get started i reckon.

Paavo On "Above & Beyond Basslines"

Well some of my favs are the ES-1 and ES-2 in logic. I'd say the nord lead or virus are probably your best bets if you go digital, or roland sh-101 or juno-106 if you're thinking of something analogue.

Paavo On "Recording Software"

You'll need a soundcard with a microphone pre-amp if you want to record vocals (or a separate preamp). I'd recommend the Rode mics as they're good sounding and quite cheap.

Logic's obviously the don when it comes to any music production on a mac but you could also use Ableton live or one of the popular audio editors for OSX (TC's Spark XL, DSP Quattro or Bias Peak)

Paavo On "Processing Your Percussion Samples"

I'd try getting some live perc loops, chopping them with in logic and messing around with plugins that do odd things to the sound.


Studio List

Keyboards, Samplers & Sound Modules:

Access Virus Synth - One of the most popular hardware synths in trance
Akai S3000Xl - Crisp sounding sampler that used to be used for drums, but not so much these days
Korg Trinity - Workstation/Synth.... mainly used as a master keyboard
Midiman Keystation Pro 88 - the master keyboard for the new studio with nice weighted keys
Moog Prodigy - Paavo's favourite analogue synth
Nord Lead 2 Rack - Tony bought this for some plucky sounds on the Adamski remix
Roland Juno-106 - A simple but great poly synth
Roland JP-8080 - Replaced Tony's old JP8000 and bought second hand from a bloke in Nottingham
Roland JV-2080 - A real workhorse synth that's still used today, but the noisefloor is pretty bad by today's standards!
Roland MKS-80 with PG800 programmer - one of the last great roland synths - FOR SALE!!
Roland SH101 - Great for bass & acid
Roland TR909 - The original & best, made even better by Paavo's hi-hat tuner mod
Sequencial Circuits Pro One - Jono's favourite analogue, used for the cool distorted noises in the madonna mix
Waldorf Pulse - why didn't they put a power switch on this?
Yamaha A3000 - Jono's first sampler
Yamaha AN1x - underrated synth used in OceanLab tracks a lot
Yamaha SY85 - Jono's first proper synth and still great for grainy sounding pads
Fender Jazzmaster - Arguably the most beautiful single coil pickup guitar ever made, used on all the SL&G albums

Recording & Outboard:

Neumann U87 Microphone - Industry standard classic mic
Rode NT1 Microphone - our first microphone
Aurora Audio GTQ2 Stereo Preamp/EQ - a new addition - a Neve-1073 style preamp with a more open top end and 3 band EQ
Focusrite Voicemaster Platinum Voice Channel - for sale!
Drawmer 1968 Mercenary Edition Vacuum Tube Compressor - the dogs danglers
Behringer Ultrafex Pro - Used to be used across the 2 bus of the old mixes, now it's for sale
Digitech Studio 400 Effects - Used on all the old A&B mixes
Lexicon MPX 100 - Cheap but excellent FX unit
Roland SRV-3030D - Roland's foray into 3D reverb. Not sure about the 3D-ness, but good verbs
Behringer Composer Pro compressor - For Sale
3x RME ADI-8 AD/DA Converters - The best in their class at the time
Mackie HR824 Monitor Speakers with HRS120 subwoofer - very flat sounding monitors that make you work hard to get the mix sounding great
Soundcraft Ghost 32 Channel Mixing Console - replaced our flooded mackie 32:8
Behringer Combinator Multi Band Compressor - not used anymore, but it makes your music sound like it's on the radio if abused!
2x Neutrik Patchbays - allows the patching of anything to anything in the studio
Behringer Ultrapatch
Behringer Headphone Amp - one of the few great things that behringer make
AKG 270S Headphones - A really cool feature of these headphones is that they turn off when you take them off!

Computers & Other stuff:

Apple Powerbook G4s - Good for using on planes
Apple Mac G5 dual 2.5Ghz
23" Cinema Display - you need a big screen with three heads looking at it!
Lacie 250Gb Backup drive
Doepfer MCV24 MIDI to CV Converter - Allows midi to talk with the analogue synths
Kenton Pro-Solo MIDI to CV Converter - Talks the Moog's language.
2x Emagic AMT8 Midi Interfaces - Provide 32 Midi ports for our synths etc
Emagic Logic Pro 7 - Our favourite sequencer, now part of Apple, of course.
Waves Platinum Plugin Bundle - Solid staple Audiounit plugins (EQs, Compression, Delay etc) that we use on every track
Universal Audio UAD-1 powered plugins card - Great emulations of classics including Pultec EQs and 1176 Compressors
RME Hammerfall DSP ADAT Lightpipe Soundcard - Connects to our AD/DA Converters
Vestax Record Deck - used for sampling and listening to records. It seemed like a good idea to have a change in the studio, but we prefer our technics at our home setups as the isolation of the turntable is much better.
Pioneer CDJ-800 - this is where we play all those demos you send us."

Semoga bermanfaat apabila ada yg kurang, mohon maaf.

12/06/10, 10:11 by DJ Rangga_Electros , Viewed 1612 times.


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  • wiwied  on 12/06/10, 13:46
    woooow thank you browwww info nya...
    memang mac+logic+live+acces virus+jp8080 = perfect trance  *tepuktangan* *tepuktangan* *tepuktangan*
  • muldi  on 13/01/11, 16:23
    om rangga penggemar above and beyond juga yah?
  • DJ Rangga_Electros  on 18/01/11, 13:42
    om rangga penggemar above and beyond juga yah?

    saya fans, hanya fans nya A&B. mempelajari ilmunya producingnya ...
  • alsolendski  on 05/02/11, 00:46
    haduh pemula banget nih.. pusing bacanya bang.. hehehe