The Artistic Journey: Crafting an Album with Passion and Precision
I would like to express my gratitude once again for the support during the creation of this album. Many people have been reaching out to me, inquiring about the process behind it. Even during the listening party, questions were raised on the same topic. Hence, I have decided to provide a more elaborate and detailed response.
To begin with, I always take some time before embarking on an album project. This allows me to gather inspiration. I possess a unique ability to recall specific musical themes and melodies, almost like a photographic memory for music. I am well-versed in over 30 operas and ballets, which I regularly perform at Novi Sad SNP Opera. Once I feel the creative surge, I dive into composing music.
Over the years, I have learned to identify the sounds I need and where to find them. This significantly reduces the time required to create a track. Typically, I dedicate 8 to 10 hours a day to my work, taking short breaks as the music starts to blend with my surroundings, necessitating a coffee break. However, I do not work every day, as I require breaks from melodies, which can begin to merge with one another.
Before commencing the album, I conceptualize a storyline, not a detailed one, but rather an idea of what the album will entail. I hold a particular fondness for the “Lord of synth” world, although I had to take a break with “Portals and Dimensions” due to delving into some darker aspects with Red Gem. Once the concept takes shape, I proceed to create tracks, ensuring that each one embarks on a unique journey while maintaining the overall album style.
To achieve this, I adhere to a rule where I do not use the same key or tempo (bpm) more than once. The choice of speed depends on the album’s narrative. For faster albums, I ensure that at least 3 out of 10 tracks have a slower tempo. After recognizing this pattern, I pay extra attention to the arrangement, as it is crucial for the listenability of each track. I avoid lengthy intros and focus on effectively initiating and concluding the tracks.
Regarding the tools I utilize, my preferred digital audio workstation (DAW) has always been Cubase. I started experimenting with it at the age of 7, starting with Cubase 2.0, a black and white DAW running on Atari ST. It was owned by my uncle, Zoran Nikolic, who taught me the basics of production and continues to assist me when I encounter challenges with Cubase. I later used Cubase SX 3 and Reason, along with Sony ACID as a loop arranger. However, my real learning journey began with Cubase 5, where I created my first tracks before even discovering synthwave. You can find a compilation of my early tracks on Bandcamp: Pineapple and Totius – Terra Illuminata. I uploaded them to Bandcamp to ensure I wouldn’t lose the files.
As for hardware, I incorporate the Korg M1, Reface DX, and Roland JV 880 synthesizers. For other hardware needs, I rely on the legendary Alesis 3630 compressor and Focusrite compounder. When recording the trumpet for this album, I used the Shure SM7B microphone and Audient iD14 audio interface. To enhance the sound, I employed the CREAM virtual preamp since high-quality hardware preamps can be quite expensive, and it wouldn’t be justifiable for a 15-second trumpet solo per album. One preamp I particularly admire is the AMS Neve 1073SPX (https://www.ams-neve.com/outboard/1073spx/).
In conclusion, the process of creating a remarkable album is a lengthy and beautiful journey. It begins with an initial encounter with recording equipment and takes time to understand what works for you and learn the necessary skills.
Isidor – S T Y G I A N full album
Subscribe to our community
We promise no spam!