Robot Koch: Beats in the Details

Uploaded by AbletonInc on 26.01.2012

People always say there's this deep, dubby feel to my music,
which I guess is true, because I like deep music in general.
I'm always looking for something
which is not just bassy,
but also deep in an emotional sense.
Music is always autobiographical.
You connect the sound to places you've been to,
or to people you work with.
I think that's a nice thing that adds an element to your music,
which can be heard and felt.
That's why I like to go to places to collect sound,
and visit friends in their studios.
I just record whatever they have around.
I take that back home, manipulate it,
slice it up, cut it up, pitch it, whatever.
This song is an example of how I work. It has lots of micro-editing going on.
There's a lot of audio snippets, and it features
some of the recording we did in the studio the other day.
Alright, so I zoomed in a bit
to show you this recording, which I did on the Jupiter.
This is how it sounded originally. I'll just play back what I did.
I just played chords.
Then I pitched them up a notch.
Then I went into reversing it,
and started cutting it up.
This first segment right here
are these three notes transposed by three semitones.
Then the following chords are pitched down minus four.
This particular one here, just as one edit,
is transposed 8 semitones.
Here is a segment,
where I cut things rhythmically different just because...
There was an odd groove to it, which I liked.
Then I proceeded putting the kick drums on top.
Oftentimes the groove of a beat I make is not just the drums,
it's also the relationship
between the synth line, the bassline and the drums.
If you listen to the bass drum on its own,
it's not so amazing.
If you add the synth, it starts swinging a little bit.
Then you start adding all these other elements.
You'll find it has a certain groove to it all of a sudden,
which obviously it doesn't have if you just listen to the kick drum channel.
This part is like a breakdown part in the arrangement.
I used the ripped paper I recorded in the studio the other day
as a percussive element.
I can show you the individual sounds.
I like, for example, how it falls onto the bar here.
It sounds like a reversed sound.
It's actually just me tearing the paper and it's pitched down a bit.
So it's this thing falling onto the one here,
and you get this kind of sound to it.
which I like, because it adds to the groove obviously.
I'm not dogmatic about only using found sounds,
or self-created sounds.
But I do layer them up. Here's...
Here's a snare like a snappy clap,
and some... live snare drum.
As you can see, the live snare
comes a bit later than the snappy clap.
so it gives this flam-effect, which you use
to make this kind of groove interesting.
My taste in music tends to be towards things which are textural.
Like breathing.
Sometimes I sidechain a bit of analogue noise between the drums.
It's like there's a pulse.
It's like something is breathing between the sounds.
I just like that.
Because it's a cut-and-paste process, and in general it's loop-based music.
Electronic music, in a way, is always pattern-based.
You need to give a certain diversity to it by changing small details.
This can be done, not just by changing the chord, but sound-wise
if you have a pattern that's eight bars long.
You repeat it four times.
You want to make sure that on the fourth time of the repetition
something else is happening.
It's more like being playful with music.
It's like an extension of my childhood.
When I was playing with my Star Wars starships,
being lost in this world,
creating stories of what's going to happen.
This is kind of what I'm doing in the music also.
I'm just creating worlds for me to get lost in, in a way.
That's some proper nerd stuff here!