That Sound is a series where we explore and share forward-thinking musical ideas from some of Australia’s most compelling electronic artists, producers and musicians. For the fourth feature of the series, enigmatic singer & producer BRUX shares a tip on vocal processing and a downloadable sample of her vocal loop for you to use as the outcome.
Equally intimidating as alluring, BRUX uses her music to confront notions of fate, materialism and the pursuit of pleasure. Ever since the electro inspired debut single ‘I’m Back’ in 2018, this Australian musician has kept dance music fans curious with a growing discography of songs that give some classic high energy sounds a contemporary edge and a lively narrative.
Having recently put out a turbulent force of brooding rhythms in the recent three-track EP dubbed ‘Fruit’, we chanced upon a word with this bold, boundary-pushing artist.
*Requires a digital audio workstation (DAW) to complete the step-by-step guide
When did you start making this EP, Fruit, and what’s the idea behind the body of work?
I didn’t consciously set out to write an EP, the songs just came together as 3 separate jams and they made sense to bundle them together for a release at the 11th hour! These three tracks – Bitches Want Pictures, Hoarse & Fruit all tie in together as they explore the pursuit of pleasure and validation…something that we all seek as primal beings.
How would you define your sound?
Raw, bold and dark.
What is the story behind your song, Fruit?
Fruit is simply about pleasure. I’d been studying the psychology of eroticism & monogamy, following the author, therapist & speaker Esther Perel and I wanted to create a narrative around this. So, this is how Fruit came to be – it’s about the primal urge to connect sexually with another being without necessarily seeking love – “you don’t have to love me”.
What was the thought process behind call & response vocal hook in the song?
I wanted there to be two voices or two people rather seducing each other, so I came up with this call & response hook that just seemed to work. The lyric to share your body “like a piece of fruit” talks about sex in quite a transactional manner, with no emotion or strings attached. I pitched down the “response” vocal just slightly so it differed in tone to the other vocal to sound like another person. “I’m lonely so are you, share my body like a piece of fruit” “You’re lonely what’s your cue? Take your body like you want me to”.
1. Record a vocal hook on a new audio track in your DAW.
Tip – if you don’t have a microphone, record on your phone and import to your computer.
2. Transpose the “call” phrase by +2 semitones in the clip edit window & the “response” phrase to -2 semitones in the clip edit window (if you are using Ableton)
3. Add significant compression & limiter
5. Crystalliser set to “Ethno Grindwon”
6. Convolution Reverb Pro set to type “real places” and IR “Arundel Nave”
7. Automate 1/4 note echo with long feedback onto the end of vocal phrases “piece of fruit” & “want me to”
Other ‘That Sound’ Resources
– Let Ninajirachi take you through setting up a drum rack and creating a dynamic drum loop.
– Learn about resampling and processing sounds for percussion with Pat Carroll.
– Take a tutorial on vocal processing with LÂLKA.
– See how Motez and Qrion made the arpeggiator in their single, ‘Slow Down’.