Moby is opening sources of his album “Innocents”

perfect_life_ableton
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I have read various posts on the net ( ici ou , here or there ) about the opening of audio track “sources” of the latest Moby’s album “Innocents”. Wonderful ! Could we all become the latest well-known DJ by understanding Moby’s recipes and updating them like we want ? I decided to have a close look to those sources. What is it then ? What is “open source” music ?

Audio Projects retrieving

Audio projects shared by Moby are available on Blend.io website. This is a dedicated platform for audio projects sharing and collaborative work. You have to be invited to access to this website, but it is possible to request an account (temporarily?) to administrator. There are two projects submitted by Moby. Only the song “Perfect Life” is available in two formats : Ableton Live and Pro Tools. Blend.io use Dropbox as an interface for transferring files. So you must have a Dropbox account and sufficient storage area to do the transfer. These projects do not exceed 1.2 GB, so than can be contained in a free dropbox account whose size is limited to 2.5 GB. But if you plan to work on these files and transfer them back to blend.io, take care not to exceed the maximum size, or purchase a Dropbox Pro account.

Audio Projects

“Perfect Life” project for Ableton Live

perfect_life_ableton

Ableton Live is a semi-professional virtual recording studio. It contains all the tools to record and mix audio tracks. It also contains music creation tools (synthesizers, samplers, effects, …).
When opening the project “Perfect Life”, one can discover the elements that have been provided by Moby : a set of audio tracks containing different instruments in the composition of the song.

Perfect_live_ableton_total

“Perfect Life” project for Ableton

Perfect_live_ableton_moby_wayne

Moby & Wayne

Here are the different tracks with sound samples for each :

Nom de la piste Ableton Extrait sonore Commentaire
ADlibs
Choir
Backing vocals
Moby Lead Vocals with effects ( Delay / Reverb )
Wayne Vocals with effects ( Delay / Reverb )
Strings
Synths Ambient Synths
Piano & Organ Piano with moby’s touch
Guitars Acoustic + electric
Bass Electronic Bass
Percussion
Drums
Snare
Kick
Military Snares
Live Kit Live record of a Battery set
Mix :

Regarding the split of the various instruments, the situation is:

  •      + + All voices and choir are splitted
  •      + Kick, bass, snare are splitted, but we would have dreamt about sequencer track plus audio samples
  •      + String separated and synths, but we would have dreamt about sequencer track plus audio samples
  •      + Live recording of battery kit and percussion
  •      Piano and organ on same track
  •      – Other elements of the electronic drum mixed together
  •      – Acoustic and electric guitar on the same track
The major problem is that these tracks are thoroughly mixed with audio effects (delay, reverb, chorus, …). No way to remix them all and add effects when needed. The Moby’s sound touch won’t be removed from the tracks easily.
Moreover it seems that the tracks were not as cleaned and reworked as they should have been for the studio mix (Wayne voice for example).

“Perfect Life” project for Protools 9

perfect_life_protools

Pro Tools is a professional virtual recording studio. It contains all the tools to record and mix audio tracks, but also music creation tools (synthesizers, samplers, effects, …).

After a 1h 1/4 installation of the trial version, rebooting 2 times computer, and look for a Ilok key, here is what we can see :

capture_protools

“Perfect Life” project for Pro Tools

The same audio tracks described above are also present in Pro Tools. Comments are then the same.

More than that, some details give clues that Pro Tools was the tool used in Moby’s studio. For example, the project has not been fully cleaned, some plugins are still called when opening it (Battery 3 and analog factory plugins). Unfortunately no MIDI tracks of these virtual instruments are present, or other items apart from audio tracks.

Conclusion

We discovered into those projects a consistent set of tracks for ” Perfect Life” title, that actually  allow to remix it in a fairly comfortable way . This will be very welcomed undoubtedly for those wishing to make their own clubbing remix.

However, it is far from opening all information about that title In the software world, when you are opening your source code it implies that it is possible to understand in full details how the software is working. In this case these details are not present : raw audio tracks are not available, limiting also reuse possibilities. It is more something like a pre-mix, an audio preview that is provided on 16 separate tracks, all including also a large part of audio effects. So we are not going to know all the secrets of this title : instruments, effects, settings, etc. …

From a marketing perspective , the opening of these “sources” have had a large effect through internet. You can even read some french posts speaking of “open source” music. The open source software gurus , are going to blow up !

Anyway we have to thanks Moby about his effort to have those information a little more accessible . For decades dedicated companies around the world are responsible for storing and protecting the audio and video master recordings. Their premises are more protected than a bank. Opening such kind of project is like one of the armored doors of a bunker have been kept slightly opened and we were able to see a small part of what’s inside …

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Vincent Recipon

Propriétaire de ce blog. Owner of this blog.

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1 Response

  1. Monday February 17th, 2014

    […] L’article de clubic – Moby : après la musique gratuite, la musique open source. L’article de vincent Recipon […]

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