Live from Output Studio
Output Live Sessions illuminate cutting-edge artists at the intersection of music & technology taking their productions from the studio to the stage.
Welcome LA-based artist Dresage, as the first in our series of musical performances recorded live & direct from Output Studio.
Dive into how Dresage brings her song ‘Center’ to life by triggering chopped up vocal stems into a dynamic performance alongside electroacoustic harp, bass, and drums.
Notes from the artist
The song “Center” fell out of me one evening, as I found myself stumbling into a crossroads of no longer being the center of somebody else’s world. It’s a lovely crisis of realizing you are but an insignificant spec within a massive, unforgiving, and beautiful universe. It was almost freeing.
The initial idea came about when Greg created a weird bendy synth from my sampled vocals, laying down 8 bars of a bass and drum groove to go underneath. I thought it was such a vibe!
He continued to work on the instrumentation, as I kept hearing this melody cooing “The center of the center,” so I just ran with it for the lyrics. From there, I took the production stems into Pro Tools session to further shape the song. I ended up making chops of the original vocal synth, which now are the focus of this piece.
Transitioning to Live
Bringing this song to life, I knew I had to think a little out of the box. Since there’s so many production elements with atmospheric weight in the record, it was key to hold true to the elements that felt signature to the song.
In each chorus, Greg and I built this amorphous moving cloud of vocal layers and guitars. So, when harpist Lara Somogyi (aka my secret weapon) and I got together, we reconstructed this feeling to trigger at each chorus through her Boss RC-50 loop pedal.
An audience responds so much more to seeing things being hit and played in real time, instead of wondering where a vocal or synth is magically coming from. To me, the SPD-SX is a perfect live tool to bring that aspect to life and add texture, harmonic and melodic elements with a live band. I’m not a drummer, but as a producer, something I love is chopping audio in my songs like hip hop producers (J Dilla I <3 u) would on MPC’s in the 90’s.
Bassist Ricky Bakken and I have also been playing music together for years in a band, Hotel Cinema. Additionally, I adore how Tamir plays the drum kit pushing boundaries in ways I hope my music could. I am lucky to know and make music with all of them!