The Outlaw Ocean Music Project | An Interview with NYC Producer ‘Bad Tuner’
NYC-Based producer Bad Tuner is someone who I’ve been following for a while now. His single ‘Adelaide’s Voyage‘ was the stand-out song from the entire project so far. The song features the distressed words of an Indonesian woman throughout and showcases his incredible musical talent. Since working on this project, he has signed up on Tokimonsta‘s label over in The States.
A musical guy with an impressive track-record and a rising reputation in the electronic game. I was delighted to get the opportunity to speak to him about his music. Here is what came of that.
His impressive single, Adelaide’s Voyage was listed as my top track from the entire collection. Catch the countdown HERE.
Make sure to listen to the track whilst reading the interview for the best experience.
How did you come in contact with the project? What made you want to get involved?
I was approached by Ian via e-mail and he told me that his project would be a great fit for my music. To be completely honest, I had no idea there were so many artists doing it – I thought it was a way smaller thing, though it looked like such a cool project. I asked him to send over the footage – my general music creation process makes use of chopped up vocals and distorting sounds. I’m accustomed to this kind of music-making, it was the perfect type of workflow for me.
He sent me over all the footage and it was all tied up in video format. I was sent over a Dropbox folder filled with archive footage gathered from his reporting. From there, I just went through and started finding my favourite audio moments – even if they were removed from the video itself. I had to convert all of the footage to audio and spent time cleaning it up so there wasn’t so much wind noise, static or distracting components in it.
What was the process of extracting the footage you needed?
The first run-through I did was very clinical, where I just scanned through and found sounds that I thought could be useful. I extracted the sounds I liked and created a folder of harvested sounds which were fit for use. Once I had that sorted, I began getting a lot more creative.
Adelaide’s Voyage is my favourite out of the seven songs too. I think it has an emotional ark as a song and takes the listener somewhere. I’m sure that Adelaide’s Voyage was the first one that I composed, it certainly was the freshest production.
How long did it take for you to compile the collection for the project?
All in all, a lot of time went into it. I think it came to about four months in total. Between getting the footage, going through everything, cleaning it all up and starting to write the music around it. It was certainly a long process. Something really cool I’d never really done before was testing my creations over Ian’s footage. In doing this, it enabled me to visualize how the music worked as a fitting soundtrack for the project. If it passed this test, I knew it was a good song, if it didn’t fit over the footage, it was scrapped.
It was a cool way to compose, knowing that it was to be a soundtrack piece for the book’s narrative and imagery.
Adelaide’s Voyage has been picked as my top song out of the project on the whole. Tell me about that song and the sounds you harvested to create it.
The song was based on an interview Ian conducted with an Indonesian woman. After I first posted the song, someone on Instagram messaged me out of the blue, they were looking for me to send over the interview footage. I never had a translation of it and they offered to translate it – such is life, I never managed to get a full transcription of the audio.
This interview was the main vocal line. Some other samples that Ian had passed to me included a ship commander giving orders to his crew. There are also a couple of sounds of ships passing by and people walking around ships included in my work. I embedded them in, this is what the general noise effect in the background is.
The arpeggiated line that continues throughout the whole thing was written on a Yamaha DX7 synth. Throughout the song, I would isolate the timing of it, it would go from 4/4 to 3/4 time signatures on the synth to give it movement. The way that it arpeggiated, the steps on it would change to give it a push and pull with the song and a release as the drums came back in. I also used a Mellotron to give the track a string sound during the breakdowns. The drums are a mix between live and programmed.
The ‘hey’ sound, which appears every once and a while, is a big vocal chop stemming from the ship commander. I pitched it up an octave.
Listen to the full EP here:
Check out The Outlaw Ocean Music Project official website : here
The Sound Sniffer is a one-man music blog which is still only a baby – Founded and run by Kevin Coakley in early 2019. He is a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists I find in my submissions inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE