01/04 - AR Rahman and Technology | How rahman compose a song?

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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How rahman compose songs
i will tell how a song is recorded in his studio
  1. he gets an offer from the director , and ARR studies the script everything . if he likes it then he agrees else he doesn't
  2. then he sees the actor/actress and accordingly determines the singer
  3. he asks the director to give the exact situation of the song and why it is needed. if he is satisfied he proceeds else again disposes .
  4. then he sits and composes the song on his own and in his voice records every song
  5. calls the singers after 12 am in the night { mark it only after 12 am ! } and makes them hear the tunes.
  6. recording starts . he never modifies the song as per the singer but he modifies the singer as per the song .
  7. every sound in the studio is recorded even if a singer sneezes or coughs it is recorded and it is edited . (*if u remember in kadhal virus dere is a song by Mano { o kadhale} dere he coughs at one part . he had coughed it in the first day and then ARR never got any realistic cough after dat so he simply included the original cough ! )
  8. a song recording goes upto 3-4 days . sometimes male and female singers r recorded differently and then successfully mixed
  9. after the vocal is over music starts . he gives his idea to his musicians ! and then the musicians suggest the background tune . 90% times rahman doesnt like them and then he himself gives them notes and the musician have to play dem . few songs however had tunes inspired by his musicians(like his flutist naveen and drummer sivamani) . the musicians love ARR since he gives them freedom and helps them grow their talent .
  10. later the vocal is added to music or vice versa and then comes the technical part ! ah ! every interfaces start working , every part is edited , reedited and software r used and hmmm lets not get much into it ,but by the time a song is finalized it is one month and the best version is out ! some say he uses technology ,but come to his studio you will know he uses technology only to polish stuffs
Mixing songs
he does all programming on Logic and also mix in Logic then he makes some pre mixes, like all choruses in two tracks, drums in two tracks, bass in one track if stereo then in two tracks and then he bounces all the tracks to EUPHONIX to give some analog warmth. but he uses all Logic plugins fx.
everyone is using Logic from SalimSulaiman to ShankarEhsaanLoy, Logic is just like a Pen and Paper for a Poet, Rahman doesnt need any Logic even he can use any other software cause he has music in his mind.
What is Logic?
Logic is an audio recording and mixing software. most of indian composers use this software. for more details check www.apple.com/logic/ . You can buy and download it if you have a apple Mac computer.I dont know there is free trial version!
Rahman also uses or used Absynth, u can hear one preset from Absynth in Kannathil Muttamital title song, the flute kinda sound with a rough string sound behind it in the intro. Most of the songs, esp in the last few years feature many synth sounds, probably from absynth, or some other softsynth. The beeps, filtered sounds etc in many songs (Yeh Rishta, Meenaxi, couple from New, Kangalal Kaidu Sei etc.) can be done in Absynth (or for that matter in a analog synth). for more details checkout www.native-instruments.com/
Audio Samples
have u guys ever heard about audio samples? well rahman is the first person who used a lot of samples in his songs and the second person is ranjit barot. ranjit used to work with rahman .ranjit programmed drums in HUMMA HUMMA.
and now everybody is using samples in mumbai e.g(salim-sulaiman, sandeep sherodker, jacky, inderjeet sharma, ram sampat & sandeep chowta) if you guys think that how can sandeep chowta make sound like rahman? there are samples.
here are some examples
  1. SHABBA SHABBA with african voices? those are samples not real africans.
  2. spanish claps in JUMBALIKA? samples again.
  3. chinese vocals in LATKA? its a chinese sample from the cd (SPECTRASONICS HEART OF ASIA)
  4. Background beat in latka song from indian! Later anumalik and many other used the same loops in many of their songs(eg: mehbooba song from ajnabee)
  5. killer drum beats in rangeela songs? drum samples from the cd (BEST SERVICE XXL 1500)and its a long list.
  6. final beats of mukkala muqabla sounds like dr.alban africa.it too a sample. Itis not composed by dr.alban either!same beats used by sandeep chawtha in kambath ishq song!
  7. Main Background beats in Mangta hai kya from rangeela
  8. Early bands like Deep Forest and some Euro techno bands used this concept a lot.thats why title bird sound of thillana thillana from muthu sounds like Deep forest songs
there are many other samples rahman used in many of his songs.it is not copying just using a commercially available samples!
i remember when rahman was recording for "jaage hain" the S/W engineers told him that lets record the song in a low mod { track 5} and later FDM it to a higher track but rahman sing it singularly ! in track 15 ! it is his original however madras choral sound was probably modulated..not very sure in it
Composing BGM
he doesn't actually sees the entire movie , he makes the director explain the entire script 100% and in every details and then asks for a demo . however the first version of bgm he gives is modified and re modified numerous time after seeing the film . the bgm for guru was modified just a month before the public release...
rang de basanti bgm was actually purely on script. some parts of the movie was modified as per the bgm . remember the scene when the rebels walked into the radio station ? and the music dat comes behind it ? ... the scene was actiually pretty different but according to the music it was modified and the modifications came in their walking style , check the scene carefully you will find their feet falling on the ground as per the music tune.
Also i heard that Rahman composed the Music for a period of 2 years.I just heard it & i'm not sure about it.Can anybody confirm it.If he really had taken 3 yrs to compose the films music then see his dedication.Amazing man!!

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