Production Analysis of Two Musical Compositions
This paper will give a production analysis of two chosen compositions, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and Alt-J’s Tessellate. The areas to which attention will be paid, will be instrumentation and spectrum analysis, this will determine the spectral character of the sound and the overall impression that it has on the mix. This will also demonstrate an understanding of the space of specific elements suggested by the recording techniques and how they sit within the mix. Reference will also be given to cultural background, identifying influences and concepts, with particular examples of pieces, which may have had an impact aesthetically. A brief comparison of the two compositions will also be given.
Daft Punk Get Lucky
During the introduction, Nile Rogers’ ‘clean’ sounding guitar riff, is in the forefront of the mix, with its energy based in the mid frequency spectrum 300-800 Hz with some higher overtones which end at around 5k Hz. It appears to be comprised of two layers, which is a typical feature of the band Chic; Rogers (2013) provides an insight to Daft punk’s goal for Get Lucky:
They [Daft Punk] asked me specifically, how did you make Chic records in the old days? And I said, well in those days, everything was a workaround because we were limited by technology, so I said, I do this part first [rhythmic]… then I play the other part [melodic] on top of it and combine it and put it up the middle… and there you have a Chic track.
It was apparent with this piece, having a single note rhythm section, further back in the space and less dominant, also a melodic section, which is comprised of four chords; this demonstrates the influence late 70’s disco had upon this piece and on Daft Punk’s concept. There is no harmonic change in either of these two fragments during the verse or chorus, despite the slight improvisation , which suggests that it was live, not looped and copied; this furthermore adds to the 70’s disco impression that is portrayed by this piece. The rhythmic phrase can be heard separately at the beginning until 0’16, where the melodic fragment is introduced and the two are combined for the rest of the piece. The spatial positioning of the guitar is central, which creates an effective divergence with the wider features such as the piano, layered vocals, Wurlitzer and claps. Rogers’ guitar section appears to have little or no audible effects, just simply some equalization for mixing purposes, to allow room for the ‘bite’ of the bass tone at around 300hz but furthermore, a small amount of compression. The ‘clean’ sound of the guitar may also be explained by the use of a DI box straight into the desk.
The Wurlitzer electric piano, which is introduced at 0’16, occurs on the offbeat; it creates the driving force for this section and when reintroduced briefly at 1’31 and 3’18. It furthermore complements the subtle rhythmic guitar, due to its upbeat nature and creates momentum. The...