Splice releases project file for Henry Fong & J-Trick’s ‘Scream;’ Musical Freedom weighs in
As technology continues to shape the landscape of music production, Splice has offered the latest breakthrough in the creative process. The cloud-based music collaboration platform has teamed up with Henry Fong and J-Trick to open-source their Ableton Live project file for “Scream,” their recent chart-topping collaboration on Musical Freedom. This isn’t the first time Splice has done this, but it is the first time they’ve opened up a project file from a Beatport top 10 track.
It’s pretty insane how thoroughly you can analyze the track upon opening the project file. For instance, you can see everything from where Fong and J-Trick have placed their EQ notches on their kick drums, to their effects chains, to how they’ve layered their lead synths. Such an arrangement lends itself to a lot of potential scrutiny, yet Fong seems unfazed, confident in their approach: “Neither of us are technically crazy production engineers, so we just kind of did what sounded good in the track. It’s more about getting the right groove and melodies in this one, rather than complex sound design.”
In the past, artists have traditionally given out the stems for open remixes, but providing the full project file is kind of like the evolution of that: “Feel free to remix it, make a mashup,” Fong says, “steal the kick, look at the master chain, show your grandma how I compress, whatever!”
To further understand the implications of open-sourcing a project file, I spoke to Andrew Goldstone, General Manager of Musical Freedom. Goldstone is in charge of overseeing releases on Tiësto’s world-famous imprint, so as you can imagine, he’s quite well-versed in the marketing department.
I asked Goldstone what he believes the value is in giving away the project file on a platform like Splice: “It’s a tool for learning… the more people can understand how great songs are made, my hope is that it lifts people’s skill up.”
Goldstone touched on a larger phenomenon with aspiring producers. For the most part, people are sending in demos that sound exactly the same: “Satellite tracks are not the way forward. The more individual and unique your tracks are, the more likely they are to get attention. It’s about learning production essentials and taking those and developing a unique sound that lets you stand apart. No one needs the tenth copy of Martin Garrix.”
By partnering with Splice, Goldstone believes that they can help change this culture of imitation: “Right now there are so many songs out there that sound alike. Part of that is a function of people not having great production skills. Splice provides new producers and established producers a new way of doing things.”
Part of the value of Splice is that it elucidates the mystery surrounding these heavily touted professional tracks: “For producers to be able to ask those kind of questions to guys who have records signed, who are out producing records for big labels… to have the ability to have questions like that answered… it’s kind of unprecedented.”
This open-source approach thus has the ability to change the way producers study their craft by offering a collaborative platform between new and established artists. At the end of our interview, Goldstone reiterated his support: “I think this is the way forward… it’s being done by guys who are established. Who have a track record of success. It will hopefully elevate the level of production across the aboard.”
Splice will be holding a live stream Q&A with Henry Fong and J-Trick on Tuesday, 10/14, at 2pm PST to answer all production questions about their track “Scream.” Fong will also be doing a step-by-step walkthrough of the Ableton Live Session.