Less is more and the difficulty to repeat instant inspiration

A few months ago, I got a sequencer from Arturia as bday present. This motivated me to pick up some music production again.

This time, I also decided to get to know something new: Ableton. Therefore, I did a remake project within Ableton to replicate what I had in 2013. Back then, I think I didn’t really know much using EQ to kill the competing part of the lead sound, I didn’t knwo to cut the “muddy” bass part and I didn’t know much about controlling the dynamics using sidechain. To “less is more”, which is about to reduce insignificant parts, which in the end affects the overall balance of the song, is essential to get a clean song in the end.

But it was still difficult to reproduce what I had: the main lead sound from nexus is something I was not able to replace. The arp effect for the build-up till drop is also something I could not find anymore. It is amazing how the clueless me was able to pick something fitting just by chance and by “having a good feeling” about it.

Below is the project screen from Ableton. MIDI are imported from FL, added a lot of EQ to reduce the unnecessary/not-audible -30Hz part, reduced competing frequencies of instruments and added a lot loudness at the end (5.5db for maximizer in ozone xD).

Original from 2012: really, the instruments were somehow just picked to fit with each other. I am not able to find the old presets anymore (also because of the missing nexus synth). Yes the mixing is not top notch, but the main saw lead just felt right… with enough mid to be the perfect fat saw sound.

Remake from 2020: The mix is for sure better, but somehow it is still not a better version of the 2012 version …

In the end I do believe that less is sometimes more. Focus on the essential things and leave the distractions aside.

And here is also the original soundtrack btw.