thread: Arrangement
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Old 19th April 2007
Originally Posted by Rassy View Post
Hi Russell,
thank you very much for this whole experience!! :-) I really enjoyed reading each single one of your posts and I am a big fan of your work since my hands first touched a D'Angelo Brown Sugar many years ago.
I always wondered how D'Angelo approaches his songs. How does he build up his arrangements and how big is your influence on fading in/muting instruments? Do you use protools to work out the mutes/breakes or are they done real-time by the session musicians? Does the decisionmaking happen prior tracking?
Thank you very much for sharing your world with us!
Sunny greatings from Liverpool .Rassy
hello rassy,

thanks for the comps heh !
D wll usually have a demo version of a song done in his ASR10 and he'll play this for the musicians and they re-play it live with D. and some songs comes from them jamming out in the studio. there's a bunch of unfinished songs from voodoo that came from jams. D does the main song arrangement and his vocal arrangements on his own (obviously) and the band improvises here and there. i guess half of the mutes/breaks are the musicians and the other times it's me. and i do all the muting at the console in the mix. but a loose answer to your question is it's a mix of both planned and spontaneous between us all. eg: all the fade ins and things happenning in "playa" was me. the breaks on "chicken grease" and "devils pie" was me and D together. "the root" come from a jam and the whole arrangement for "africa" was all done before hand with the musicians, like the intro and outro (but all the reverse guitars was all me )

for other artists i do almost all the breaks and mutes as i hear them. sometimes i'll just hear a good break in my head as i'm mixing and know it will sound right in a particular section. so i just go ahead and do it and usually people will like it. but it has to be just right, because it's easy to fill up the whole song with breaks. the ones that are the best are ones where you don't expect it.

check out "voodoo mixologies..." for more