dimanche 18 juillet 2021

Kitchen Notes : Eclipsed on Holyiens

Je suis très excité aujourd'hui de poster ces Kitchen Notes particulières car elles viennent d'Eclipsed, projet dont le dernier album Holyiens m'a retourné le cerveau et qui ne quitte toujours pas mon player.
Aussi je remercie chaleureusement Keyhead, également derrière KIFOTH pour avoir pris le temps de répondre aux habituelles questions, et compiler les informations auprès des autres membres du groupe. Au final, on se retrouve avec un festin d'informations qui lèvent un peu le voile sur la façon dont la magie a pu opérer.

Today, I'm very excited to publish these special Kitchen Notes because they come from Eclipsed, project from which the last album Holyiens twisted by brain and is still spinning in my player.
Also I'd like to warmly thank Keyhead, also behind KIFOTH, for the time he took to answer the usual questions and compile additional information from his other bandmates.
At they end, here is a feast of informations that lift the veil on how the magic happened.


How did you manage to get such a precise and clean mix despite the huge amount of different sounds playing at the same time ?

Bob : We always tend to push a lot of sounds into each song.
Many musicians think that if something is wrong with the overall sound, it needs to be added something to the mix – like boost more eq or any fx`s plugin. But this is a big mistake.
It needs to be remove all unnecessary things. Today's technology allows a lot, but there is still a limit to which we must fit - a headroom.Therefore, it is better to remove and remove mainly frequencies that are not heard or fill the space unnecessarily.So I perceive this as the basis and assumption of a good mix. Then it's just a game with dynamics and space, but it's just a final tweak.
Another important point is to maintain gain staging throughout the mix and signal chain.
Anyway the important thing is that the song sounds as good as possible when composing and then arranging. I mean that each sound / preset should be maximally tuned / produced, correctly set ADRS and filters already from the source and also well recorded to the DAW. 

About the mastering, it sounds to me that it sometimes hits hard in the limiter but at the same time you managed to keep a very good overall and various dynamic all other the album...this is still a mystery to me. Any trick on that ?

Bob : Mastering was done to us externally and I don't know that guy. For me, it's average quality mastering, I wasn't very happy because he tend to add too much bass. But I think the trick is in what material is ready for mastering - final mix. What is very important is what I described in the first half of the first question. Maintain a maximum -6dB headroom. But that doesn't just mean a 6 dB reduction on the master fader. This means that the master fader is at 0 dB but the signal from the mix has a maximum value of -6 dB in the peaks. Then the work on mastering is comfortable and the mastering engineer has more space for dynamics and today so popular loudness wars 


Gears and software

What gears/software did you use for this album ?

Keyhead : See our studio setup below. We are producing and recording in 3 different studios. The gears marked with asterisk were used for Holyiens album.

Your favorite gear(s)/software(s) ?

Keyhead : Favorite is always the latest toy we got, but many of gears we have on stock has their own style and uniqueness . Once you producing a track and you have some image in mind how should sounds, that you may be sure that you get from our stock that piece of gear what sound you expect.
I’m personally not looking for exact instrument, but thinking more about character of sound. Than when I look for bass it’s Moog or DSI, once I look for string it’s Roland and Yamaha. Korg and Waldorf are textures for me. All crazy punchy staff and glitches are modulars and Electrons. Nord lead and Access virus are very universal and great for layering of real analogues.
For VST the Heavyocity staffs are my favorite for beats and noises.


Any evolution in your setup ?

Difficult to say from point of gears. Let’s say more fundamentally as way of working.
As Eclipsed project is quite new, but we are doing lot of other projects.
Bop,Solo,Blazena has projects Samhain, Last influence of brain as main projects.
My basic is Kifoth, and we are cooperate on Mindscape, Eclipsed and then supporting others for example last album of Vanessa.
As way of working we started on Commodore Amiga NoiseTrackker and later go through Octamed on Amiga , and move to Fast-tracker and again Octamed on PC.
With Octamed we used hardware of course starting.
Later on we move to Reason where we made first Eclipsed release and last 2 albums we made in Cubase with lot of hardware staff and heap of VSTs.


Sound Design

Do you use/tweak presets  ? 

Keyhead: I never doing sound design from scratch for instruments as bass , arps& pads . All the time tweaking presets. This mean that I like the synths with lot of knobs as Waldorf Q or Sub37.  I hate diving in digital menu and trying this and that. Many times I tweaking real randomly, turn this, turn that without any workflow and logic just hear what happen.

Do you design you own sound  ? On which synth/plugin in particular ?

In real analogues instruments no choice just start from scratch of course. That is majority of glitches, blips and effects you hear on Eclipsed sound.
I personally like a turning knobs on MS20.


Writing/composing method

What would be your main writing/composing method ? Do you start classical rythm/bassline then arrange around it ? Do you already have structure in mind ? Do you improvise, record sessions then select ?

Keyhead: Workflow of Eclipsed project is very specific on this. We are inspired by sound mainly. Solo turns and records lot of interesting modular sounds/noises and makes some basic rhythm lines and glitches, then pass them to me. I try to make some basic melodies and complex drum loops, plus some arps from my kitchen and speech samples. Than pass to Bob who is adding lot of structures and effects. He’s making production and mix for Eclipsed, so I like his tension in graduation of tracks. Bops adding lot drum fills and breaks. Make lot of layering to create dynamics. But in the basic everybody make improvisation on track/project he received.


Producing/mixing method

Do you produce/mix in the box or do you use mainly external gears (effect/comp/eq...) ?

Bop uses both. External effects and gearsand VST as well.

What is your most painful / enjoyable step in track production ? Sound design, arrangement, mixing, mastering ?

Most painful is mastering, no doubt .Not as a job ,but to create sound character which fit and like all people in our group 😊


Eclipsed's tips

To create interesting tune you should try everything with everything. Apply effects on single melody. Turn the knobs all the time during and recording. You can cut the recorded sequence to short samples and arrange new sequence from that particles. If is not good enough, then layer with other sounds.

Gear List

  • Access Virus B *
  • Access Virus TI *
  • Access Virus TI snow
  • Alesis SR-16
  • Arturia DrumBrute
  • ASM Hydrasynth *
  • Behringer Deepmind 12 *
  • Berhinger Neutron
  • Behringer TB-3 *
  • DSI Evolver *
  • DSI P12 *
  • DSI Prophet Rev2 *
  • DSI Prophet 600
  • DSI Tempest
  • DSI Tetra *
  • DSI Mopho
  • DSI Toraiz
  • Doepfer Dark energy
  • EMU Audity 2000
  • EMU ESI 4000
  • EMU Proteus 2000
  • Ensoniq SQR
  • EleKtron Digitone
  • Elektron analog four MKII *
  • Elektron analog rytm MKII
  • Elektron Machine drum UW *
  • Elektron model cycles *
  • GEM S2 Turbo
  • Jomox XBASE 999
  • Kawai K4
  • Korg ArpOdyssey
  • Korg Electribe ESX-1
  • Korg MS20 mini *
  • Korg MS2000BR
  • Korg Prophecy
  • Korg Radias  
  • Korg Wavestation EX *
  • Korg Z1
  • Moog Little Patthy
  • Moog Sub37 *
  • Moog Voyager RME *
  • Moog Moogerfooger CP-251 control processor
  • Moog VX-351
  • Moog VX-352
  • Moog Mother 32 *
  • Moog DFAM *
  • Modular rack 3 case *
  • Micromonsta 2
  • Nord Drum
  • Nord Lead 2R
  • Nord Micromodular
  • Nord Modular 2
  • Nord Lead 4R *
  • Nord Drum 3P *
  • Novation Mininova *
  • Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV-1 *
  • Quasimidi Sirius
  • Quasimidi Technox
  • Roland FA08 *
  • Roland JP08
  • Roland JP8000 *
  • Roland JV1010
  • Roland JX305
  • Roland MC303
  • Roland MC307
  • Roland R5
  • Roland SE02 *
  • Roland U-220
  • Roland V-synth *
  • Studio Electronics SE-1 *
  • Teenage Engineering OP-1 *
  • Various modular synths *
  • Waldorf Blofeld
  • Waldorf Q
  • Waldorf rocket
  • Waldorf 2 pole
  • Yamaha A3000
  • Yamaha CS10
  • Yamaha CS1X
  • Yamaha CS6X (PLG-AN,PLG-DX)
  • Yamaha RM1X
  • Yamaha RS7000
  • Yamaha SY22
  • Yamaha SY77
  • Yamaha TX81Z
  • Xenophone Hypersinth *


  • RME Fireface UCX (2 pcs audio AD/DA) *
  • Allen & Heath GS 3000 (24 channel mix desk) *
  • TC Electronic Fireworks (fx processor) *
  • TC Electronic M-ONE XL
  • Sherman Filterbank *
  • Eventide 4000 Ultra Harmonizer *
  • Yamaha FX900


Contact info

Bandcamp: https://electrofrequent.bandcamp.com/album/holyiens

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/solobobblazenakhead



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