Sandunes - Switching Rails (Remix Pack)

Sandunes - Switching Rails (Remix Pack) screenshot

The sample pack you’ve created features lots of really interesting percussive hits gathered at wood and metal mills, flower and vegetable markets and elsewhere in Bombay. Which of the sounds did you end up using in the track you made and what was that process like?

When I was collecting all the hits and metallic sounds, I was looking at them as 'one-shots' even before I took them into the studio. The first round of my process of sifting entailed going through each piece of audio and highlighting the hits that sounded good to me, and also had enough head room. (The recorder I used, the Zoom H6 is amazing because it can record a backup file where the gain is set to -12db relative to the level, so even if something seems like it's clipped, you've got a backup which isn't)

I then grouped sounds from different spaces and with different timbral qualities and compiled them into several Drum Racks. My method was to build about 10 different Drum Racks, and then to play out grooves on a Roland SPD-SX percussion pad. I collaborated with Aarifah Rebello, a drummer who has a really melodic approach, and she played out a bunch of different grooves on all of the kits and then I sort of picked/chopped and chose what worked for the music.

I tried to go easy on the processing of each sound so as not to take away from the atmosphere or the quality that came with each sound. I wound up using EQ Eight on most of the samples to roll off the low end, and I gated a few. I usually automate the frequency cutoff on Live's Auto Filter to bring elements in and out, and for recurring hits, I often used the Max for Live LFO to modulate the gain so that the rhythms breathed a bit.

My most favourite finds were the hits from the potato chopping at the Byculla veggie market, the crates being unloaded from trucks and tossed on the ground from the Dadar flower market, a lot of the bell/clings from the metal mill too, and most of the 'groove' is from the hammering and breaking up of all the (stolen?) car parts at Chor Bazaar.