Music: Scanner Darkly - Simulated Universe (ChairmanK Remix)
Artists: Scanner Darkly, Chairman
Label: Deep Tech Recordings
Released: 16 July 2021
In part 2, I asked Chairman (Andrew Kopca), about his creative process behind his remix, which won first place in the Headroom Listening Sessions contest for the “Simulated Universe” remixes.
Previously, in part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the initial concept ideas and starting points for the “Simulated Universe” remixes with Deep Tech Recordings founder, Wayne Wright, and the original artist, Scanner Darkly.
Chairman (Andrew Kopca): “I've always liked doing remixes because I feel like it flexes different musical muscles than when I put together originals. I like being able to explore the ideas that other artists put together and create something that has my own unique touch, all while maintaining the integrity of the original work.”
Hit’em with the Arps & Vox
Chairman: “When I first heard 'Simulated Universe,' the ambient arp lead in the background really hooked me in and I knew I could build off that - it just fit so well with my progressive house sound. I also found that Scanner Darkly and I had a very similar vibe in terms of sound and so it felt like a natural fit to remix his work. In terms of inspiration, I really liked the ambient vocals he had throughout the track, and I think those sounds drove forward a soaring vibe, something I tried to emulate in my remix, particularly in the break and second drop.”
Kicking Off with Diva and a Reverse Bass
Chairman: “I started with the kick and the arp sound, initially at its original speed, all in Logic Pro. I then started building sounds around it, including the main plucky, bouncy lead, and the reverse bass. The lead, adapted from a preset in Diva, is something I'm proud of because something I've been focused on recently is larger plucky sounds that can really carry their own weight, and I feel like this remix was able to showcase that well. The reverse bass was also a new sound for me, reminiscent of the brilliant Ben Böhmer - filling out the low end. After that, other areas such as the percussion, ambient vocals, and driving chords - heard prominently in the second drop - all came together quite naturally.”
Double-down on Arp Speed
Chairman: “After putting down these sounds, I found that the arp from the original tune was not driving the energy that I needed for the remix, so I decided to experiment with it, first 1/2 timing it, but then ultimately doubling the speed of the arp. I bring this example up because I find that being malleable throughout the process has been something that I've really tried to focus on, making changes at every stage of the process if I think it needs it. Sometimes it sounds awkward and clunky, but sometimes it works out for the best - definitely the latter here in my opinion!”
Creative Collective Collabs
Chairman: “I’m also part of the Decibel Collective in Washington, DC! Huge shout out to them! We are a group of DJ/producers who throw parties around the district, with the specific focus of spreading the love for underground music, inclusivity, and the fostering of new talent. We just added a new member to our group, Matthew Cha (aka, Disqo Volante, Oldwell, Us Non Visuals), so we plan to have a few events welcoming him later this summer, 2021.
Huge shoutout to Headroom as well, for helping me grow as a musician and as a person! Miss all of you and can't wait to share our new productions soon!”
Editor’s note: I first introduced myself to Chairman at Headroom Listening Sessions when I noticed he was wearing a William & Mary Tribe shirt. I had to ask if he was also alumni, and of course he was, along with Tonal Theory next to him. They all left Williamsburg well after my time, though. ;) Great to see the progression in Chairman's production and mixing starting from his first Headroom session to his latest releases.
To: Mr. Deep Tech Wright
Chairman: “Thank you for all you do, Wayne, and the continued opportunity to grow as a producer! Thank you for providing a platform through Deep Tech Recordings to put out my sound, you've been a huge advocate for my work and I really am grateful for that. Would love to collab with you and the rest of Deep Tech when you're back in the DMV.”
More Chairman on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/chairmank