Thursday, March 13, 2008

02/04 - Rahman and Technology | Recording and Mixing

Courtesy : Official ar rahman community in Orkut
    The topic was deleted from the forum! .It was one of the best topic in Orkut Forum.Thank god,i have the entire post in my lap.So i am posting here.i have edited for ease-of-reading ! will update when i got for info.but you have to help me! i know there will be many errors ,so you have to figure it out!I cant remember the people who contributed in this nice discussion .Hope you people wont mind!
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rahman`s recording and mixing
Guys not just rahman ,about all music composers use loops or samples which they buy from distributers like sony or apple etc... Its like this instead of calling a performer like a guitarist to perform for his/her song a composer buys his recorded piece and uses it. These pieces are royalty free its like the guitarist sells it to sony on an agreement and sony distributes it through out the world. That is why you find same sound effects in two different songs of rahman some times.(sometimes in other music director's songs) Loops are not necessary to be only a single note. It can be chords or even a piece or a scratch...
I dunno how many of u have noticed this in ARR songs (especially those who are musicians). All his songs irrespective of the mood has a constant 'pads' or 'strings' backing. the chords played with the pads and strings is also not conventional.. they are the 7ths, 11ths or diminished chords. They give the song a 'feeling', a 'soul' (hmmm...quite techincal!)
A classic example is the song "Thirupachi Arivalaa" from Taj Mahal. Check out the pads in the songs. Another is "Aye Udi Udi" from Saathiya. Remove the pads these songs become soul-less and very plain.
The only other person who uses this same method is Harris Jayaraj. I'm sure he learnt it from ARR.Wonder if more music directors should do the same.
i read somewhere that rahman sir started learning indian classical and carnatic classical in 1992....since almost all his songs are raga based...i wanted to clarify that he learnt classical before or after 1992
How does he compose a new tune...does he play it in his piano??? or does he write the swaram or how does he go about conceiving a song out of nowhere and create a master piece...
lemme tell you that no softwares in the world can create a tune ! i will laugh my stomachs out if someone tells me that tere bina or any song is a product of a software !!!!!! now what can a software do ? what does rahman do in his studio with all those spftwares ..why does he always updates his software is very simple ..i will tell you in breif ...
  1. he records a songs over a period of 10-15 days . a singer sings one song perhaps innumberable time till rahman gives a handsup ! once dat signal has been got the singer realizes that his job is done . now rahman sits over his singing and edits the bad parts and couples all the best parts and after another day of hardwork the singers work is ready..the singer never sang that song contiguously but his best parts are selected and sampled .
  2. he then records music or wat ur call as bgm ..after that he mixes it with the vocal part .. then sudenly he may realize that both of them donot gel well in frequency ..and then frequncy division modulation takes place { a huge process frndsz...} which very well packs the music and vocal part
  3. he needs shreya ghosal to sing in track 15 { d highest } but shreay can sing only till 11 ! { assume gvng an example } . so wat can rahman do ? let her sing in track 8 -9 in which she is comfortable and then simply phase modulates the vocal to appear as if she sang in track 15 ! this is a very costly process and risky too so if i am not wrong rahman has done it only 5-6 times ...
So A.R.Rahman is a genius , not a technician . he uses softwares but doesnot use to "produce" tunes ..instead use dem so effectively to "edit" tunes . and dat is why perhaps he is d best .technology he uses yes but his originality is maitained in each song .
a software has no brains . it will do what you tell it to do . so if i program my software to sing sa re ga ma pa then yes u r rite s/w can produce tunes. and am pretty sure rahman uses custom made softwares .the bottomline is SOFTWARES DONOT PRODUCE TUNES like aye hayirathe and tere bina .i told u the exact places where rahman uses softwares
What do u mean by track?
many people have different definitions of tracks . "track" is not a musical keyword but it pretty software related . we divide a tune into several sound parts . every channel has a baudrate frequency . for example if you hum a voice in a low scale u may call it as a track-1 . the song jaage hain goes very high high enuf to be called as track 15 . empirically track is a pitch depth value vrs volume . the intersection of the graph is the resonant value. this value is what the purest and d virgin tune we call. it is difficult to acheive this resonany value due to several reasons but rahmans studio is feature adapted to it . almost 99% of his songs are resonant valued .
after rahman { in hindi music } it is shankar ehsaan loy who has acheived so perfection and himesh ..hmmm lets not speak of him here ..but he has acheived 89% resonant value in aashiq banaya apne title song and china town title .
i heard a lot of spectrasonics stuff in rang de basanti...esp the amazing pads from spectrasonics atmosphere...he's also been using swarplug, an indian instrument plugin, which can be heard in water and the background score of RDB.the santoor you hear in chanchan from water is actually swarplug doing the job!
But let me tell you, its easy to USE software but it ain't easy to CREATE stuff with software. SAMPLES are an easy way out and most music directors are going the samples way cuz its easier and quicker.
This includes people like Salim Sulaiman (sadly, they lack tunes), Himesh (He lacks creativity.. and singers.. lol), Shankar Ehsaan Loy (now these 3 guys are actually pretty good), Sandeep Chowta (he's not even a music director according to me, more a DJ kinda fella)
Someone like Rahman,I notice, takes the pain of CREATING his own samples as well (apart from using purchased ones). Now thats a huge difference. This combined with the responsibilty of making path breaking tunes is a big big task... make no mistake about it.
What I'm saying can be summed up thus: give the same equipments, computers, keyboards, the musicians, the software, the samples etc. to any other music director in the country... they still cannot match A R Rahman... it takes a genius to CREATE something extraordinary like he does.
Being the user of these sound editing softwares I can give my suggestions.The usage of sound editing softwares such as Neundo, Cubase ,Sonar and Logic is very helpful and reduces our work in the technician point of view. I personally dont like his usage of the atmosphere pads like Area 51, Air 201, Equinox etc in his songs ( he uses them for backing chords ) . Though these sounds are pleasant and filling they spoil the naturality of the song.. But his comprehension on the editing softwares and plugins and using them in his songs and BGM is fantabulous . But that in itself is his drawback!!also sum1 told me that rahman has one of the largest collections of samples in asia!!!

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