[MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

MusE is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities, aiming to be a complete multitrack virtual studio for Linux. https://muse-sequencer.org/

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oscillator
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[MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

Hi people,

stuck in a kind of (music) writers block, I decided to make some simple electronic songs using MusE 3.1. Each took approx 4h from nothing to rendered WAV.

The goal was to have fun, and paying hommage to some great (and simple, in a good way) songs from the 80s.

I used drumkv1 for drums (using a sample set of the TR707 drum machine), and the Surge soft synth, only. Vocals recorded through an old external sound card (ESI U46XL) and a SP B1 mike.

Very little time spent on mixing, no time on mastering, just composing, having fun! Voice by my girlfriend! :)

MusE behaved well. I experienced some crashes and odd behaviour, that I will try to report when I have investigated further.

The four songs recorded this weekend can be found in this YT playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... Ei5cprYC9v

A big thank you to all you developers of this amazing piece of software!

spamatica
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by spamatica »

Yay, great!

I believe the genre is often called synthwave these days, really cool. I especially liked the second and third, not the least since the more intricate rhythms.
I need to try Surge more, seems to generate some really cool sounds.

I sort of regret that you released them without "producing" them more though, these would go from great to awesome with some more effects and a bit of mastering... but I can definitely appreciate the work flow aesthetics so I'm torn. Been doing something similar this weekend, not the genre (quite different), but with limiting myself and just getting stuff recorded. Will see if I can post something.

And, yes, the elusive odd crashes.. they are often very hard to track down. Something we could/should improve upon is collecting backtraces when crashes do occur.

Thanks for posting!

garvalf
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by garvalf »

Nice music! It's well composed and great to listen to it, I only regret the mastering is a bit rough, it would sound much better with more effects like reverb!

I'm getting more and more interested in Muse for creating a similar kind of music :)

8)

oscillator
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

Thank you both for your comments!

Yeah, mastering... How do you do it? By inserting fx into the Out1-channel? I tried this before. Or using an external tool such as Jamin (http://jamin.sourceforge.net/en/about.html)?

Any tips on FX plugins for mastering?

Thanks again! :)

spamatica
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by spamatica »

I mostly use Calf multiband compressor and Calf multiband limiter, one after the other on the output track.
Enable all the compression bands in the compressor and crank up the input until the compressor starts doing it's thing and adjust levels to get it as hot as you like.
I guess the sky is the limit in all the bells and whistles you can tweak in this process, but just doing the basics goes a long way to get it more homogeneous.

Edit: There are A LOT(tm) of multiband compressors of different brands and designs out there, and I know some sneeze at the calf version, but I find it very easy to work with and mostly end up happily using it.

oscillator
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

Thanks for the tip, I will try it on my next song!

No stereo enhancer, or exciter?

spamatica
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by spamatica »

oscillator wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:34 pm
Thanks for the tip, I will try it on my next song!

No stereo enhancer, or exciter?
I've done recordings for a long time but I'm still just a naive amateur.. Probably they can be used but I don't know how to use them ;)

Basslint
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by Basslint »

I liked it a lot, really! With a little mixing and mastering it could be release-ready!
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oscillator
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

Thanks a lot! Maybe some day I'll do it!

Although i prefer to write new songs! :D Maybe I'll find someone who would like to finish them?

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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by lilith »

Compositions are quite good and very 80ish.

The vocals are distorting in that track very obviously:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbl0v0_EkoE

I agree that the mixing could be improved.
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oscillator
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

Thank you! Yes i think it was my sloppy handling of the insert fx that lead to the distortion...

garvalf
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by garvalf »

On your other projects on your youtube channel, I found the mix less rough. I'm not an expert either. I think by editing the EQ of all the tracks (for avoiding frequencies overlap, even though in your case you're doing it pretty well), addings some effects (the calf multi chorus is great to enhance the overall sound, generally speaking most of the calf effects are great), using some limiters and compression (but not too much, it's 80's tracks, not 2010 music!), you should get something more polished. Also the hard panning is a bit too hard :) It's a bit like the bass in the middle, one instrument on the far left, an other in the far right. Some stereo separator could help here.

oscillator
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

garvalf wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:55 pm
On your other projects on your youtube channel, I found the mix less rough. I'm not an expert either. I think by editing the EQ of all the tracks (for avoiding frequencies overlap, even though in your case you're doing it pretty well), addings some effects (the calf multi chorus is great to enhance the overall sound, generally speaking most of the calf effects are great), using some limiters and compression (but not too much, it's 80's tracks, not 2010 music!), you should get something more polished.
These are all good advice, thanks! My previous songs are nearly all done with Reason, and I have used it for many years, so I have a good workflow.

MusE, and especially the plugins ecosystem, is still a new area for me. As not to get to "handcuffed" by the many new things, for these songs I decided to forget about the fine-tuning, and just write songs. It was fun!

In future projects I will strive for a more produced sound.
garvalf wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:55 pm
Also the hard panning is a bit too hard :) It's a bit like the bass in the middle, one instrument on the far left, an other in the far right.
Like George Martin did on the Beatles albums! :)

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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by bluebell »

oscillator wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:34 pm
Thanks for the tip, I will try it on my next song!

No stereo enhancer, or exciter?
http://marzen.de/Holger/stereo_width/
Linux – MOTU UltraLite AVB – Qtractor – https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht

oscillator
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Re: [MUSEIC] 80s lofi synthpop

Post by oscillator »

bluebell wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:06 pm
http://marzen.de/Holger/stereo_width/
Exactly what i needed! Thanks! 👍

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