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Celebrity Skin - Whats going on underneath? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 19th March 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 
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Celebrity Skin - Whats going on underneath?

Hi Michael,
Thank you so much for doing this Q&A!
Masterful job on the production of Celebrity Skin, its simply beautiful in places.
Besides all the stuff I hear on top of the tracks - drums, guitars, vox etc.
What is going on under some of the choruses, specifically Celebrity Skin and Petals?
Thanks again
-Joe
Old 19th March 2013
  #2
Michael Beinhorn
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 

My pleasure. Thanks for the comments regarding Celebrity Skin- a lot of work went into getting things to sit right. As far as underscoring- I think that was mainly different guitar textures and background vocals. I did a lot of guitar-synth processing on that record, which may be what you're hearing. I had just gotten a 3 panel Serge modular system for that same purpose.
Old 19th March 2013
  #3
Mho
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Can you explain a little bit your guitar through synth method? Thank you very much.
Old 19th March 2013
  #4
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Yes. I like to use the preamp in an ARP 2600 as a front end to the Serge because it seems to hit it nicely. I generally will use a different "pre-gain" section prior to the Serge. After that, I use different modules in the Serge for various distortion/textures. There are 3 Wave Multipliers and 3 Wave Rectifiers which can be used in a variety of ways with the Variable Filter and Resonant Equalizer modules. In some cases, I'll use the Frequency shifter to create nice Univibe effects.

These instruments are modular so there are many options as far as signal chains, interconnectivity and introducing other effects in the chain.
Old 20th March 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 

What is making that "sucking" sound at the end of "Celebrity Skin"?
Old 20th March 2013
  #6
Michael Beinhorn
 
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That is a Burns Baritone guitar through the synth rig I mentioned. The sucking sound is a manual filter sweep.
Old 20th March 2013
  #7
So the ARP is only guitar preamp to get it to line level?
Old 20th March 2013
  #8
Michael Beinhorn
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 

Oh no- the Serge has a preamp module with a line level input that I also use in the chain. I use the ARP as a primary gain stage as an aesthetic choice and I like the way it affects the Serge input.

My synth signal paths often have 2 or more gain stages because I like the coloration. These can be mixed and matched to taste.
Old 21st March 2013
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Hi Michael,
No questions really, just wanted to add to the chorus of Celebrity Skin fans. It was an important album to me in my mid-teens, thanks Also, I worked on a record with Joby Ford last year and he had nothing but good things to say about you.

Al
Old 21st March 2013
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
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I know that's a very genereal question but is there a secret behind "use once and destroy". I mean there's so much going on in the song, it's totally overloaded (in a very, very cool way) and yet you can sense out every single instrument.
I know that mixing plays a part of it but how did you approach that track as a producer.

Anyways, you did an excellent job I truly love everything about that song and always use it when I work on music with lots of tracks and instruments.
Old 22nd March 2013
  #11
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Al-

Thanks for the kind words regarding Celebrity Skin. Joby is a great guy- extremely talented.
Old 22nd March 2013
  #12
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Regarding "Use Once"- I'm glad you liked it. I can't recall exactly how I approached that specific track. Generally, I'll try everything that comes to mind until the song starts rejecting any more ideas. Once no can add anything else that works, it's usually complete.
Old 22nd March 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Does anyone have any videos or any 'how-to' website to show how to use those synths with a guitar?? I have never seen it done and I'm honestly so curious!
Old 22nd March 2013
  #14
Michael Beinhorn
 
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I haven't seen any videos in this. In my case, I just had a bunch of synthesizers and experimented with signal processing until things began to come out the other end which sounded good to me.
Old 22nd March 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Did you have an idea of what you wanted, or one of those "lemme see what happens!" kind of events?

I'd honestly love to see a video of someone tweaking around with a synth and a guitar part. I have no access to any of the synths you have used, so I'm just really intrigued!

PS, reading these is a good source of inspiration to get to work and do things that make me happy. Thx for the time sir
Old 24th March 2013
  #16
Michael Beinhorn
 
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I just got used to what these instruments sound like individually and separately- how they interact with various other instruments. When I'm creating a patch (or doing any kind of processing), there's no real thought process involved- things generally just fall into place. I get "directed" as far as what instruments to use and how. The two elements combined seem to bring good results.
Old 24th March 2013
  #17
Michael Beinhorn
 
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If I get a free moment- I'll try to make a video of this stuff.
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Old 25th March 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Thanks that would be really great!
I have seen a few videos on YouTube with the synth controlling a guitar part, but the style of music is nothing even close to this more 'rock' style that is being discussed here. The fact that it's rock with a guitar synth like this is pretty cool and different to me.
Old 26th March 2013
  #19
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Yes- synth controlled guitar processing is great, too- we did some of that on a few Korn tracks. Vocoder controlled guitar (or guitar controlled guitar, a la "Don't You Want Me"- Human League) is also interesting.
Old 26th March 2013
  #20
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Guitar controlling a vocoded synth.
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