So tonight is Halloween, which means it’s finally time to unveil my side project I’ve been working on with Oisin – Mephisto.
Since Oisin is all the way over in Ireland, I had him send me pictures of his mic setup. He’s got a pop-filtered Rode NT1-A connected to an external phantom power supply, which is running through a Line 6 UX1 interface into FL Studio 11.
Mephisto was a beat I started working on in late May, which I eventually hoped to have one of my contacts feature as a guest rapper on it, because it’s been one of my favourite demos that I’ve made recently and I’ve been waiting a while to just put something out under the Intensity persona for a while. I decided to release it as a ‘Halloween special’ and sort of a teaser for the album which I currently have in the works. It contains about 15 songs that I’ve been working on for the past 2 years so far, and Mephisto will be one of the tracks on the album.
Having worked with Oisin before in Nuburo, another project I’ve been involved with for years, I know his workflow can be a little unpredictable sometimes. This time he surprised me by giving me distorted vocals. I asked him to send me the clean files as I would rather work with them, which he responded “The vocals were distorting as I was rapping them, but I kinda like how it sounds now.”
I mean I was probably going to put distortion on the vocals anyway (I’m going for a bit of a ‘dark’ atmosphere with this track) but this is the main communication issue with people that aren’t in the same room as you. In the past I haven’t been able to say “okay, one more take, let’s go”, it’s been more like I’ll give the guy a beat and just hope he nails it on his own. Any mistakes that he’s made in the past I’ve had to fix through some clever editing (and we all know FL Studio is not the best DAW for editing vocals!).
The raps that he recorded for me were freestyle raps, so the song doesn’t really have a theme, and I guess that’s okay because I really just wanted it to become whatever direction felt the best way to go. I didn’t have a production plan for this, as it’s never been part of my usual workflow, and I wasn’t originally going to blog about this until I asked a lecturer if it was okay for me to talk about something external to SAE, but I guess that’s what they’re trying to encourage, which is great because I’m usually open to collaborate with anyone and everyone.
I hope there will be more projects that turn out like this one.
I’ll finish up this post explaining the distribution methods and why I chose them. I’ve uploaded Mephisto to three places – YouTube, SoundCloud & theartistunion.com.
YouTube is a great place for me to share my content, because I’m already fairly active there – I create and post a lot of remixes and mashups, and my followers that are into that will see that I’ve dropped some of my own stuff and will hopefully check it out and download it.
The last two are kind of intertwine as recently I received another copyright strike on SoundCloud so my normal method of providing downloads has been compromised. Though there is a work-around – I can still use the ‘buy’ link in the upload settings to link to an external website where my work can be purchased or downloaded (Bandcamp would also work here).
So this is exactly what theartistunion.com does – it provides a service that not only hosts downloads, but also helps expose you and get your name out there. You can log in with your SoundCloud account, and set preferences on your content such as people needing to follow you and/or comment on the track and/or repost the track to their own SoundCloud profiles to be able to download the track. This will help me gain followers and hopefully constructive feedback as well… or people just commenting saying “nice bro” so they can get the download. Either way I’m happy they’re downloading it.
This is Mephisto in all it’s glory. Check it out, and make sure to download it (remember, the little shopping cart icon – don’t worry, you won’t pay a cent) + leave a comment if you enjoyed it. It’s probably not for everyone (it contains explicit language and themes) but if one person reads this article and ends up downloading the song, then I’ve done my job.