Gods, Prophets, or Slaves

Dropping another new track: “Gods, Prophets, or Slaves”.

Click here for lyrics.

N. Toone - Gods, Prophets, or Slaves

Song Notes

The bones of this song have been around for at least five years; I’ve been messing around with the main bass groove 1 since early 2017. It’s been through a few variations over the years and last fall I decided that this was the first one I was going to record entirely in Linux.

I scrapped the original takes I’d done in Windows and re-recorded everything in Fedora on Reaper and Mixbus 32c using native plugins. 2

As of the beginning of December last year, all it needed were lyrics and vocal tracks, which were all completed in the past few weeks.

Main plugins used:

      • ToneLib GFX. My god I love this plugin. “Gods, Prophets, or Slaves” was the final test; once I had the guitar tracks laid down, I bought GFX without a second thought.
      • Flying Delay by SuperflyDSP. While it sometimes forgets its settings after you close out a project, this is a great delay, especially for vocal effects.
      • EQ10Q LV2 Plugins. I use the EQ10QM Equalizer on most channels as a compliment to the Mixbus channel strips. I also use it, along with the CS10Q Compressor on my “NYC Compression” bus.

All in all, Linux is pretty solid for recording something from start to finish. While there is not as many options for native plugins as there is for Windows or Mac, it’s a reminder that it’s always better to use what you have rather than spending your time looking for “the perfect plugins”. Remember: it’s not the plugins alone that make the song, or the sound.

So here it is in all its nerdy glory: “Gods, Prophets, or Slaves”.

1: Fun note: The working title of this song was “Spy Hunter” because my main bass groove reminded me of the 8 bit music version of the Peter Gunn Theme from the 1983 arcade game.

Side note: An early version of this tune can be heard in one of the LBL YouTube videos (starting at around 03:35).

2: Tracks were recorded into Reaper, stems exported to Mixbus 32c for the final mix. I record in Reaper as it’s lightweight and easy with the latency. Linux in Reaper is not overly great for mixing simply becauseĀ  it just does not like LV2 plugins or having ToneLib on more than one track.

For mixing, you just can’t beat Mixbus 32c. Not only is the inline EQ and compression on each channel strip so damn good you could get away with not using plugins, Mixbus just sounds better. While I don’t have “golden ears”, I do hear a pretty big difference between the output of Reaper and Mixbus.