Including pieces by Farfisa, UAD, Rhodes and more!
Meanjin/Brisbane producer Sampology has got got it going on. His past two EPs Natural Selections and Mt Glorious showed his flare, musicality and breadth of knowledge about the past which has led to a new record, Regrowth. This new effort from Sampology ditches the sample part of his alias, opting to use sounds he’s recorded himself of friends and collaborators to create a gorgeous pastiche of sounds. On this change in approach, Sampology says:
“This album represents where I’ve been in the last few years in my desire to build a specific environment. The feeling of Regrowth is what I gravitated towards when I first started getting into music, which was sample based albums that allow you to discover something new with every listen, either insular in your headphones, or grooves coming through a sound system. The difference with Regrowth is that most of the samples are made up from instrumentation I’ve either played myself or enlisted people around me to play. I couldn’t have made this album without my collaborators and peers”
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And regrow he has, creating a dense and beautiful album full of intriguing and soulful tracks. Features on this record include Allysha Joy, Jace XL, Seven Davis Jnr, Silentjay and Laneous, with the latter featuring on the track we’re focusing on today, ‘Saturn Returns’. This track has been altered and changed since the original idea was recorded over five years ago, as Sampology explains:
“On my Regrowth album there’s a track I made 6 months before I completed the mixing, and on the other end of the spectrum there’s this track ‘Saturn Returns’ which was started about 5 years ago. There’s quite a few different versions of the use of my horn melody. The outro of the song was lifted from an uptempo version I wanted to try with percussion and flute playing the melody.”
Without further ado, Sampology has broken down what gear he used on this track, where you can hear them and why he likes these specific pieces.
Farfisa Super Bravo
Many of the instruments used on Regrowth were temporarily left in my home studio. For example, in the other album tracks there’s a vibraphone which Laneous left in my space for 6 months. Rohan Seekers aka producer/keyboardist Rohan the Intern had left his Farfisa Super Bravo at my place overnight and I was playing around with the drum machine section of the organ. It ended up having the perfect pattern to combine with the acoustic drums and percussion in the song. It required a little gating and filter movement to fit into the track as well as a fair amount of spring reverb.
sE Electronics sE2200 Microphone
‘Saturn Returns’ is the oldest song recorded on the album and came before I had a chance to pick up the microphones I’m using now. At the time my main microphone was a sE Electronics sE2200 condenser microphone. All of the vocals on this track as well as my 2016 Natural Selections EP were recorded with this mic. For a $400 mic it did a fantastic job for me at the time to capture Laneous stacks of vocals. It’s incredible watching Laneous record vocal stacks, there are so many layers of vocals in the song but they all move together gloriously.
I would have used these on the percussion, strings and horns in this song. Probably my favourite microphone to record the elements underneath a vocal. I love sounds that don’t fatigue the ear to build up layers underneath the main point of focus. Ribbon microphones, which this one is, are fantastic for that role.
I love utilising different mic preamps to use on different instruments to colour the sound slightly so the end result is rich and sonically interesting. This mic preamp is probably my go to and the most used on the album. It’s a copy of the Neve 1073 and I did my research and heard enough good things about this unit. I feel like earlier in my recording experience I was more interested in effects units which drastically changed the sound, but I’ve realised how important a good preamp is to capturing an acoustic sound. The vocals were tracked through a Universal Audio Tube amp, which was my main and only preamp for quite a while back in the day.
500 series Tank Driver
For mixing I work primarily in Logic and use a spring reverb plugin on a send while making the track, then at the end in mixing I mute that plugin and route the send through a spring reverb using the Tank Driver unit. I run it twice to get a stereo print of the reverb signal. While those reverb prints are going down occasionally you get bored and stomp on the ground to add some thunder explosions through the springs.
UAD Moog Multimode Filter
Bass guitar was played by Chris Pearson many years ago in the original version of the track. He was the first one to put me onto Universal Audio plugins. He was showing me his bass running through the UAD Moog Multimode filter plugin with the envelope opening up.
Rhodes + H3000 (VST)
I don’t have an Eventide H3000 hardware unit, but I use a H3000 plugin on most of my mixdowns to add stereo sizzle. It’s usually a good pairing with Rhodes and for this track I pushed the mix on the Rhodes with it.
Sampology’s new record Regrowth is out now via Middle Name Records.