Performance & Production

Analysis of an Electronic Performer:
Enter Shikari

They make metal/electronic music.

They have been known to use lots of Korg gear, such as KingKong’s spiritual successor the Radias along with the Electribe MX and SX production stations, MicroKorg and Kaoss Pad.

EMX is used for all of their dance sequences, good example is in their song ‘Anything Can Happen’ and they use arpeggiated synths for the intro to Enter Shikari live. They use Radias for the string sections, a good example is in their song ‘Return To Energiser’

They have very fun intricate melodies played on both clean and heavy electric instruments, this is what I’m hoping to replicate in my own performance. Using the contrast of clean and dirty as inspiration.

Week 1
I noted down some ideas, and looked for inspiration in other people’s work.
I already know that this project will be a challenge, but am looking forward to familiarising myself with a new software (Ableton Live).
This project will benefit me because I have become too comfortable using ‘Logic Pro X’ for everything, and I know Ableton offers a lot more, both in recording and performing.

I asked around to see if anyone wanted to collaborate for this project, but they all had their own songs ready to perform, I think my brain went into a kind of panic mode, because I had to produce my own song, then perform it.

‘Open the Door’ by Murder City –

I wanted to make something simple, so i could concentrate more on the performance and get everything else out of the way, I imitated the chord sequence from ‘Open the Door’ in Ableton Live. After some computer mishaps at the beginning (output not working), I had successfully outlined the main features from the song.

Next lesson I will try to make some satisfying and quirky sounds, to fit with the chords to make a simple (yet effective) composition. Maybe an 8-bit feel.

Week 2
Last week I was too optimistic, my sound design skills aren’t quite good enough for me to make anything I’m proud of. However I did learn quite a bit about making 8-bit.

Its still early days, so I had an idea re-think, I also realised that what I was doing before in no way relates to the style of Enter Shikari.

Over the half term I am going to get the Ableton 30 day free trial, and come up with a solution to incorporate my knowledge of Enter Shikari and 8-bit

I scouted for some inspiration:

I could only find 8-bit renditions of metal songs, not a combination of the both.
At last, I found what I wanted to do.

Week 3
Over half term I got really into the game ‘Undertale’ and for myself tried remaking it with heavier instruments.
It went surprisingly well, so I decided to do it for my final performance. Promising myself not to change my mind anymore and however bad it may end up, im going to stick with it till the end.
I only had Logic Pro X at home, so worked on the main melody. I translated the idea into something I was more capable and comfortable doing, by finding the sheet music and playing it into Logic. With the aim to then design some nice synths to fit the role.
When I got back to college I bounced out the melody as a midi file and inserted onto Ableton, ready to start messing around with it.
I found some nice pre made guitars that I distorted some more myself, and a small amount of delay on the chorus.

Week 4
I was informed about the Ableton 30 day free trial, which i got on my personal computer so I could work on my project from home.
I went back to the 8-bit sound research I did in Week 2, and tried to create my own with some help from fellow students.
I used Massive (native instruments) to design my 8-bit sounds.
I made a chord, bass, sweep and a few other bits for the melody. My project was coming together, it may not of been to my taste or satisfaction but at least it was coming together which is more than what I could say for my previous ideas.

Week 5
I thought about asking a performer if they could play the lead on guitar so I could record it and incorporate it into my piece, but he was very unreliable so it didn’t happen.

I tweaked my song and mastered it adding drums and some more sweeps.

Then I watched a simple tutorial on how to set up a launch pad for next lesson, it didn’t go to plan… I ended up downloading a software i didn’t need and setting up for a different kind of launchpad than I had.

Week 6
I spent most of the lesson trying to figure out how I could trigger an instrument on the launchpad so i could potentially play the lead melody, embrace the performance side to things.
I decided to upload my track onto youtube and share it with people.
I learnt the melody on the launchpad, surprisingly simple due to it being in a simple scale.
I set up a simple hand recorder, slotted it into a mic stand and put it facing the table, set up my two launchpads, triggering the lines of track and some individual sweeps with my left hand, and playing the main melody with my right hand.
It took a total of 16 takes, due to some fault. The recorder falling off the mic stand, or the mic stand wobbling.
Another major fault with my project was not taking all of my screenshots before my 30 day free trial finished.

I edited my video using Adobe Premier Pro, as it was going to be presented on Youtube, it needs to be good quality and intriguing to the eye.


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