DOWNLOAD | Imperial and Kinetik – Pencils Not Pistols
Following the release of Imperial and Kinetik’s “Pencils Not Pistols” project, here are 25 facts and tips relating to the record you may not be aware of. The source of the information was from Imperial himself who tweeted this evening.
1. Imperial came across Kinetik through an interview he read with Praverb. He listened to The Kinesis Thesis Vol.3 and tweeted him. This was the start.
2. Five of the seven beats for Pencils Not Pistols were existing beats Imperial had made. When they spoke about the E.P this is when they came into use.
3. The vocals for Pencils Not Pistols were recorded at Imperial’s house.
4. The microphone used for Kinetik’s vocals was the Audio Technica AT20-20 priced at a very reasonable £80.00 (LINK)
5. The main food during the recording process was pavlova and kettle chips. Brain food!
6. The inspiration for the artwork was taken from Biz Markie’s “I Need a Haircut”.
7. “Zone Out” was the first leak from the project to gain how the audience reacted. It quickly became apparent that fans enjoyed the music and gave the foundation for the rest of the E.P.
8. The Zone Out sample was provided by Kinetik. It was originally a demo beat which Imperial added brass and strings to create the final version.
9. “Put Your Pencils in the Air” was the final song and was finished at the 11th hour.
10. “Relax” had a number of different variations to the song which appears on the E.P. Subtle changes were made until Imperial and Kinetik decided on the final version.
11. Credits go to Colin McDowell (@McDSP_Plugins) for the mixing. One of Imperial’s favourite for EQ’s and Compressors.
12. Pencils Not Pistols is completely produced, mixed and mastered by Imperial. Every single element of the project was kept in-house.
13. For DJ’s out there, Imperial’s preferred mixing technique throughout the projects is delay throws with the centre taken out.
14. Imperial provided Kinetik with a variation of mixes for each song. Both artists were kept fully up to date during the creation process.
15. Words of wisdom from Imperial. “Don’t underestimate the power of parallel compression. All the drums on Pencils Not Pistols got the treatment. Make sure your drums smack.”
16. Another tip from Imperial. “I always reference my mixes on a laptop/car stereo/iPod/hifi. Gives me a general flavour of most listeners”.
17. One of the memorable moments during the creation process was coming up with the concept for “The Pencil is Mightier Than the Pistol”.
18. From point number three, more specifically, vocals were recorded in Imperial’s baby son’s room. (It was confirmed he wasn’t there at the time!)
19. The plan from the start was to write songs and not verses over beats. There is a difference. The mixing and writing complements the musical journey.
20. The premises of pop songs was used for the structure of various tracks. Tension is created within the chrous.
21. Imperial mixing tip. “Listen to Count Your Blessings” and hear the backing vocal hook get more intense through the song”. An effect used deliberately. Also “Bring up the high vocal harmonies in level for the final chorus. It really lifts the hook”.
22. The narration on Pencils Not Pistols is Imperial’s wife. The idea was Kinetik’s to pay homage to ATCQ “Midnight Marauders – Keep Bouncing”.
23. A frequent drums programming technique is tom fills. Used commonly throughout Pencils Not Pistols.
24. More tips from Imperial. “Volume automation can be just as powerful, more natural and more controlled than using a de-esser”.
25. A vinyl crackle runs through the E.P from the needle drop in track one, to the end of track seven.