Planet Of The Slaves [working title]

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything truly heavy, or fast for that matter so this little work in progress is a culmination of the past couple of weeks playing around with ideas.
Composition-wise it’s very basic, and quite stripped down, with my main focus being aimed towards a heavy rhythmic groove.
I’m fairly happy with the arrangement, but I just wonder if it feels a little too bare-bones in the mix with the complete absence of a bass guitar, with only a synth driving the bottom end.
I’ve employed the services of a dude who sung on a previous number (Dark Matter) currently writing lyrics and vocals so that should definitely help fill a bit more space and add melody, but I’d be interested to get any thoughts, opinions or criticisms as to where I may possibly be able to make improvements, e.g does it really need a bass guitar?


Very cool! I really liked the digeridoo/yodeling in the intro. It seems like it does need the bass to me, though it’s pretty listenable the way it is. Nice guitar riffing and drums! It does seem like the snare is very prominent, the tone/pitch of it is fairly high too, and it sounds heavily compressed (very ‘thwacky’). I’m guessing that when you put vocals in there, the snare level may have to come down, and maybe tone adjustments too, depending the the vocal tone of your singer.

Can’t wait to see/hear the lyrics! :wink:

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Whoah… yes, definitely very heavy with those jackhammer rhythms…
Some very interesting rhythmic variations and polyrhythmic type things happening!

The synth bass brings an unusual, different texture to the track that I think works quite well. I think I’d like to hear more of it. It’s pretty understated at present, but I wonder if you used some more distorted and saturated sounds, if it would ratchet up the intensity even more?.. maybe even some dubstep-style synths?

Some higher, “ear-candy” style synth textures might be cool too - with glitchy delays etc… even some cleaner guitar textures that verge on synth sounds. It’s really wide-open - you can go to town with this. Obviously, that might have to be something you add after the vocals, so as not to get in the way.

Great start!


Yeah man, I’m inclined to agree and I did play around with a few ideas on the bass, but couldn’t really come up with anything worth keeping. I think I’ll probably run with @ColdRoomStudio suggestion and go full-in down the synth route and give it more of an electro flavor.

Yep agreed, will definitely look into that once the vocals are in place for sure.

Yeah me too, cheers for the feedback mate.

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Yeah man, this is definitely sounding appealing to me, as I mentioned above I did have a crack at some bass guitar parts but wasn’t really feeling it.

Shit yes, I’m pretty amped to try and implement a few of these ideas, and as you say, a lot will be dependent on constructing elements around the vocals so I may just hold off until they’re completed, and save myself a bit of heartache.
Cheers man, much appreciated.

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Hi First off, me commenting after Stan and Andy would be like me doing a video challenge after miley Cyrus cannon ball ride.
It is so rad compared to the stuff I do. That being said, I enjoyed the ride. (not the drum component).
Not sure what a synth is, but i could hear plenty of bottom without a bass guitar. I bailed maybe to early to hear a vocal? I like the guitar at 1:28 ish. that pounding rhythm.
Ok, so I can’t help here. Glad to hear you diggin if bud. the best to you from an old fart

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Haha love your 2 cents, thanks for chiming in.
Instead of laying down bass guitars parts I just used a virtual additive synthesizer (synth), in this case Image-Line’s ‘Harmor’.
Here’s a little snippet of the track with the guitars muted, and you can get a better idea of what the synths are doing underneath.

Yep, you didn’t bail too early, there’s no vocals down at this point. They’re just being written as we speak.
Thanks again Paul for the comments mate.

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Thanks for that @terryhesticles it helps to understand the nice blend you have created here. I’m not a fan of ‘heavy’ music generally but I’m interested in what you are doing here.

The snare is effective rhythmically but as Stan has mentioned it doesn’t seem to blend very well here so again I’ll be interested to hear where you go with that too.

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hi again dude…You are not gonna like this, but I like this second one way mo betta. It is so clean and there is so much ear candy. That being said, a younger person will be able to separate the fine parts of the first. I think a vocal with this one would be awesome and roomy. peace and patience with me

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Yeah no probs, I always find it interesting to peak under the hood of a composition no matter what the style or genre. And yes, it’s most definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. I will be looking into the snare tone and balance once the vocals come in, for sure.
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

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Hey thanks again Paul, look man I don’t put my music up here so people can tell me I’m great and it sounds awesome. I need and value criticism so I can grow as a producer and musician, as well as do my best in the service of the song.
You know what, I actually think verse-1 without any guitars whatsoever might be a really great idea to help add contrast and build suspense.
Once I get the vocals back from Brad I’m going to have a play around in the mix and see what happens.
Thanks again buddy, always value your input.

Terry, I love the track and the snare! Believe it or not, the synths are what I’m not feeling. The melodic synth is fine…but the lower stuff, please don’t get mad…just sorta sounds farty to me with the distortion. I’m not one that likes any type of distorted bass guitar or dirty synths that may attempt to replace a bass.

I think this track is loaded with energy, and crying for a nice 5 string with a little bit of saturation on it. The snare may be a little loud at the moment but once everything is in and where it needs to be, listen to material of this genre…you hear the crack of that snare without having to focus on it.

The above said, I dig the guitar tone, but maybe curbing some of the highs and adding a little more girth to the low end in the guitars could help as well. They seem a little razor sharp to me. Now, this could be because they are standing out without a true low-end bass partner. The bass will change the game for the better, in my opinion, but whatever way you decide to go, make sure you establish a good low-end character that doesn’t walk on your kick drum.

Your kick isn’t loaded with low-end boom, so you can allow a bass to take up the 60-80hz range a little more. If you do go with synths WITH a bass, I’d keep them out of that frequency range as you don’t want any masking. Great tune. Best of luck with it!!

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Hey cheers Danny, way to throw a cat among the pigeons haha. I love it.
If I’m going to be brutally honest with you (but mostly with myself), the synth bass was really just an easy way of me avoiding working out and playing actual bass parts i.e being lazy, and I agree 100% there really is no substitution for an actual bass guitar played by a human being.

Absolutely hearing you on the snare, I really like the tone hence having chosen it in the first place for this particular number, but without everything else in place it’s a bit hard to come to a final decision as others have rightly pointed out.
I really wish I owned a 5 string bass and had the ability to play it to hear the real potential of what the instrument could bring to the table.
I may very well have to do some outsourcing now that you’ve solidified the idea in my head. There’s no reason at all why the synths AND a well played bass guitar can’t exist together to add depth and grunt to the track.

Roger that, as you rightly state, many elements will be solely dependent on the final choice that I make of the driver of the bottom end, and then build up around that character.
Looks like I’ve got some tricky decisions to make.
Thanks a million for throwing your 2 cents in the ring, it’s been a nice bit of food for thought, and much appreciated.

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I started grooving to the bass. It was hard to follow, the key/chord changes threw me off, and I think I blew it in the middle, but here’s my (attempted) bass collaboration.

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The song is very Metallica/Motorhead-ish. I’m pretty rusty on bass, but was really grooving to the song. Just need more time to catch up.

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Good attempt there Stan. Might have to tighten things up quite considerably if you want in on this one, but I most definitely appreciate you having a crack man. Very cool.

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Yeah, as I said, pretty rusty, not up to specs on this stuff right now. But it was fun. Maybe it gives you some ideas on real players going for this. If I keep playing more, well, maybe better.

Thanks! It was worth a try. I enjoy playing bass about as much as guitar, but things have been less frequent lately with all the non-sense in the world. I should probably forget all that and make music to have fun and f*ck all the Clown World nonsense BS. That’s a goal, anyway.

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Absolutely mate. And I could say the exact same thing too, although clownworld has definitely given me a specific point of focus when it comes to topics and the intent of the message.
I think you can still have fun writing music and get your point across at the same time.

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Loving it. I like the high snare tuning. And I love a loud snare in this genre. Which drum program are you using?

I would love to hear a Korn-type bass tone in a verse or two with the guitars cut (or very low in the mix).

Looking forward to hearing everything with vocals added!

Hey cheers man, yeah using Ik Multimedia ModoDrum on this number. It’s got it’s quirks e.g there’s no option to mix your cymbals into the overheads, but there’s like 13 different kits in the full version and you can mix and match any of those separate elements to customize your own kit, so plenty of sounds to choose from.

After a bit of persuasion on here I actually decided to run with an actual bass guitar on this one, but since i don’t own a 5-string I went hunting on Fiverr and found a bass player to jump on board and lay something down for me. Not sure how close to Korn tone we’ll get, but it will be cool to get another player on board and see where he goes with it.
And I do like the idea of chopping the guitars out of the verses, or at least taking them right down as you say. Will have to see where the vocals take us and go from there.

Me too to be honest. It’s going to be very interesting to see where it all ends up, because at this stage it’s kinda completely out of my hands, which isn’t a bad thing.

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