The Success Equation
The tech behind the jazz. Despite huge advances in the field, computer technology in music is no match for human skill. But with new instrument libraries and the memory and storage capacity of the latest generation machines, computers are becoming reliable partners and creating new possibilities for musicians. When the realism of instruments was combined with the virtuoso talents of an experienced pianist and composer, the All Right adventure could finally begin.
Enchanted by the digital revolutions over the past few years and spurred on by his fascination with computer-generated music, Philippe Renan set himself a huge challenge: to compose an album of Smooth Jazz, all by himself. Drum patterns create atmosphere and feed his inspiration, while his piano compositions lead seamlessly from one to the next. The groove sets in while the brass, wind instruments and guitars, produced by his keyboards, balance the flow of jazz. All Right was born. Let’s take a closer look at the technological secrets behind this composition.
Drums set the tone. The plugin Ez Drummer (Toontrack), with its ergonomic interface and intelligent functions, creates drum sounds that are larger than life, instantly immersing the listener in unrivalled realism. It establishes a completely virtual drum studio, setting the essence of the groove and laying out the structure for the song naturally. The composer then rests his hands on the keys…Genuine piano! This instrument is certainly not virtual, and all the piano parts on the album are played live by Philippe Renan on the famous RD 700 (Roland), an 88-key digital stage piano with exceptional sounds and mechanics, which conveys absolute musical expressiveness.
Brass realism. Using the Session Horns Pro model (Native Instruments), dazzling brass sounds, imbued with breathtaking realism, energise the compositions and contribute impressive authenticity. Although playing brass instruments on a keyboard is not an easy task, combining this incredible sound library with the talents of a discerning musician can make miracles happen. Bass madness, with the Trilian solution by Spectrasonics. A balanced combination of various bass sounds in a library renowned worldwide for its technical prowess. Astonishing realism, once again, brings more and more body to the album.
Infinite colours! Still under the watchful eye of Spectrasonics, sound banks envelop and bring harmony to each composition. Starting with the Keyscape library, whose high-frequency sampling creates sounds from the greatest keyboards in the world, like the Rhodes, Philippe Renan’s next source of fascination, after his RD 700! A second amazing sound bank, Omnisphere, is another essential source of inspiration. This extraordinarily powerful and versatile instrument is a joy to explore… and utterly captivating. Last but not least comes the ultra-powerful and hyper-intuitive drum machine based on loops: Stylus RMX. Colourful, warm sounds create the most unlikely rhythms.
A sound card that makes all the difference. Well known in the world of high-end recording, the Apollo X8 (UAD) interface was used to ensure that the album was recorded in the best conditions, before it was transferred to the capable hands of Paulo Germano. An open, natural sound for universal mixing.