“It was the quickest way to get there”: How Disclosure used Serato Sample to create a track within a week

In a recent podcast, Disclosure’s Guy Lawrence explains how he re-sampled an early demo created by his brother Howard to create the track, Simply Won’t Do.

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Howard Lawrence and Guy Lawrence of Disclosure on stage during the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards 2019 at Grosvenor House on July 05, 2019 in London, England.

Credit: Getty / Dave J Hogan

British dance duo Disclosure have revealed the rapid re-sampling process that took their recent track Simply Won’t Do from its demo stage through to completion in the space of a week.

As explained in the latest Tape Notes podcast, Serato Sample, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence reveal, was instrumental in the creation of the track.

In this case, Guy took an early demo made by Howard, containing vocals, drums, percussion and bass, and bounced down variations with certain parts muted, later chopping them up in the plugin.

“I’d bounced out a load of versions with various parts muted and not muted,” he explains, “threw them all into Serato Sample, and just started chopping it up right in front of Howard.

Simply Won’t Do was the last song we made for the whole record,” says Guy, “and I’m talking like the week before mastering. It was a proper last-minute one. When you’ve got a week before mastering and are just trying to see if there’s one more song to grab, like from the air, I figured [Serato Sample] was the quickest way to get there.”

Serato Sample is a plugin dedicated to chopping up and manipulating imported audio, offering high-quality time stretching, pitch detection and correction, and automatic sample recognition. It features a familiar cue-point workflow like in Serato DJ, allowing you to adjust parameters such as volume, pitch, attack, release, or filter settings easily.

Guy loaded the entire track into Serato Sample and then experimented with its parameters, hitting a Random feature that triggered notes at different points in the song. After about half an hour of exploration, he stumbled upon a unique and hypnotic vocal loop, which he then fine-tuned by applying effects and filters to give it movement.

To create variation, Guy replaced it with a different file while retaining the same trigger points but with varying instruments or vocals.

Also in the podcast, the brothers discuss how they automated the formants in Soundtoys’ Little AlterBoy plugin on their track Looking For Love to amplify the emotions in Howard’s vocals. They also discuss mixdowns, saying “bad is not a thing in mixing”.

Interested in having a go at this re-sampling technique used by Disclosure? Download Serato Sample for $162 via Thomann.


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