Here comes the next sacrilege, which I have created completely with the Electron Digitakt. I have chosen the beautiful YES-song „Long distance runaround“, which appeared on the album „Fragile“ in 1971. The song was completely rearranged in Sibelius and I also dared to restructure it a bit. From the delicate intro I only kept one phrase and moved to the middle of the song. And I derived a chorus from the initial motif, when the vocals start. Always when I heard that song I felt, that there is something missing after the Beatles-like part „Did we really tell lies …“. Furthermore I changed the feel towards a slight Reggae and added a Swing to the rhythm-part. At last I had to transpose it to match the range of Chris.
The sense of this cover-serial is, that I can experiment with different production-methods. For the guitars I have sampled my new Fender Eric Johnson Thinline Strat and fed the Digitakt with the samples. All guitars you hear on this track are not played live, just little chord-snippets lined up on the sequencer. The only exception is the figure in the middle part, where I recorded the whole phrase. Unlike the last time I have synced now the Digitakt with the Makenoise 0-coast Modular-Synth via Midi and all the bass on this track comes from the 0-coast. The backing track was recorded in one session straight into my Boss BR-600 and I could only record everything together in stereo, because there is still no way to go out of the Digitakt with separate stems. So I had connected the Digitakt and the 0-coast to my Roland M-160 Rackmixer. While the recording I turned knobs on the 0-coast to create some subtle Filter-movements and to catch the unique character of the Synth. The downside of this method is, that I had to deal with a stereo-track later, when I wanted to mix it with the vocals. The final mix was not easy and I ended the great Voxengo MSED to tame the guitars and achieve a balanced mix.
Though I like the precision I can achieve with the sampled guitars I think they sound a bit sterile in this way and I will try on the next cover to treat them different. Maybe I will go back to recorded guitars or try a mixture of recorded parts and samples. However the actual sampling-method and its robotic character is also charming.
Instruments and Recording equipment used: Fender Eric Johnson Strat, Bassculture Picco bass, Makenoise 0-coast, Gretsch Snare, Teenage Engineering PO-12 Kick, Some unknown Hihat samples, Electron Digitakt, Makenoise 0-coast, Roland Rackmixer M-160, Boss BR-600
released January 13, 2019
Music and lyrics by Jon Anderson of YES
Chris (courtesy of studio pros.com): Main and Background vocals
Dirk: Arrangement and Production