Tell us about your track ‘Dil hi dil mein’, what does the title mean?
In Indian pop music, love songs are very popular. ‘Dil hi dil mein’ is a love song, you know, a guy secretly having feelings about the girl and finally singing his heart out…. One day when I fired up my FL Studio (It’s my addiction), made a nice beat out of it and started playing my guitar and this melody came up! I played it for my producer Ashish Manchanda, who happens to be a top-notch industry producer & recording engineer. I played it to him on my laptop and gave him out the FL Files. He liked the song, and we were ready to produce it. I wanted to make it a peppy, fresh & colorful song and we jotted down the production plan accordingly.
I started with the drum track in FL. Since the Genre was pop and I needed a rock-solid live drum sound, I started with FPC. I first layered some drum sounds from the FPC kits I downloaded, tweaked & EQed them and when I was happy with the sound, bounced them to form a new kit. In Pop-Rock drums, creating fillers is a challenging job and FL’s Piano roll is a very unique tool to create impressive fillers in no time. FL Slicer is some really insane tool, if you believe me, so I beefed up the track using slicer. For additional spicing-up, I tweaked step sequencer & Fruity sampler settings. For the drums, I also used FL Multiband compressor to make the sound punchier. I recorded the guitar rhythm over the drums and wrote the song. Then we went to the studio and recorded live guitars & other instruments with our friends Sanjay Joseph & Abhijeet Nalani. To give the track a real live feel, we went to the studio with legendary industry producer & musician Ranjit Barot and recorded his live takes.
Vocal was the most important part and I recorded lead & backing vocals inside FL Mixer. In FL playlist, it’s very easy to look at your arrangement & live recorded parts simultaneously. FL’s mixer is very powerful for live recording & routing. You can easily create a complex mixer setup and save different mixer states as presets. I’ve extensively used FL multiband compressor, FL delay bank & FL Stereo delay on this track and all the tracks on the record. The compressor & Delay give my voice a unique personality which I didn’t find in any other program. The stereo delay sounds great on guitars. For additional backing vocals, we finally roped in some talented female singers Rinita, Supriya, Smriti & Bhavya and wrapped up the production, making the track ready for video production. God has been kind. Ashish Manchanda’s vision, experience, hard work & the entire team’s fabulous work on the song has made it truly special. The record is on a major label now and the song is creating great buzz. I really believe it’s gonna be the year’s biggest pop hit!
What were your first impressions of FL Studio and how did you come to use it?
My brother Anupam told me about this software and it’s very interesting how I first saw it and started using it. I was working on a project in this studio, I came out for lunch and my friend called me up from the studio, saying that you must come and see this guitarist in the studio. I immediately went to the studio and saw this guy who was laying down tracks really fast and had some fancy toys & stuff. I was really impressed by the sounds he was using and I asked him how did u do this? ‘Fruityloops!’ he said and looked at me like it was the most obvious thing to do! That time, I was struggling with some workstations like Kurzweil, a Roland synth, and an AKAI sampler. I wasn’t satisfied with the workflow and results. So I just downloaded a copy of FL Demo and since then I’ve never used anything else. I’m very enthusiastic when it comes to using new technology, and believe me, I’ve used every damn thing that can make music, but nothing comes close to FL.
First, Unlike other DAWs, the interface of FL inspires you to make music, it loads very fast, so that you can laydown your ideas quickly, the step sequencer & piano roll are built very intelligently and the playlist beats other sequencers pretty easy . It has a killer arsenal of VSTis of its own, while its open architecture lets you use third party softwares too. One more thing that I feel is that FL is very versatile when it comes to making music in different Genres. It offers great stuff for everyone. If you’re a musician and you have a wish, FL is your Genie in a PC! As for me, if music is my religion, FL Studio is my Bible!
I confess that for a year, I used a cracked FL 3, but I was only waiting for some cash to come in and when I bought version 4, I was amazed to see the sound quality & reliability the original software offers you. I’m very impressed by Image-line’s honest approach and that they are not money-minded people. First, It’s very reasonably priced and life-time free upgrades make it the best option to go for! I paid once for version 4 and I’m using 9 without paying a single extra penny, I mean that’s amazing! Look at other DAWs, their price and the expensive updates they have to offer. The image-line staff & fellow users have been very supportive and I specially thank Gol, JMC, Scott & rest of the team for being a great team of professionals!
Tell us about your production environment & toys?
I’ve got a home studio. I run everything off of a Quadcore PC. I have Windows 7 installed. I didn’t switch to Mac because FL doesn’t run on it. I use a pair of Yamaha NS 10 M Studio monitors for monitoring audio. I currently use FL Studio 9.0 as my main host and sequencer and waiting for the arrival of FL Studio 10! As for VSTs, I own Sytrus by Image Line, All IK Multimedia plugs & Blue VSTi from Rob Papen. I have a bunch of Image-line sample CDs including Generic samples, Killer tweaks, Dreampads & Real drumkit which are very good quality.
I’ve been using M-audio interfaces & Preamps and a Yamaha mixer to record live stuff. Along with FL, this setup gives you pretty good results. I bought a Focusrite preamp & MOTU 2408 mk III last year to create a more complex recording setup. I use Axiom Pro 49 as my main controller. A Yamaha MIDI guitar which is very interesting, if you use guitar samples. A bunch of acoustic & electric guitars and a drumkit are the live instruments I keep in the studio. I use AKG, Rhode, Behringer- condenser & dynamic mics and a Shure SM 58 mic for live recordings.
Do you have any links you would like to share?
My producer Ashish Manchanda’s production house: www.flyingcarpetproductions.com
My love & best wishes for the entire Image-line team.
You guys are awesome & you make the best music program on earth!
Keep up the great work!