Courtney Barnett is back with a brand new album.
Along with the release of three tracks off her forthcoming third record, Things Take Time, Take Time, the Australian singer-songwriter also shared an interactive stem mixer on her website.
This online stem mixer will allow fans to listen to, and toggle with her latest tracks, 'Rae Street,' 'Before You Gotta Go,' and 'Write a List Of Things To Look Forward To.'
They can do this simply by using the various sliders to adjust the volume of everything from the drums, percussion, bass, and acoustic/electric guitar, to the synths, vocals, and backing vocals.
If they so choose, they can also opt to isolate or mute certain instruments entirely for a more stripped-down (or even acapella) rendition of the tunes.
Built and designed by Singaporean musicians Raphael Ong (Sobs) and Sean Lim (BGourd), users will be able to tweak the mix of the songs based on their personal listening preferences. Bandwagon had a quick chat with the pair about how this stem mixer came to be.
How did you guys come up with this idea of stem mixing?
Raphael: While working with Courtney’s team on her live archive site earlier this year/last year along with my friends from Undertide, I bounced around the idea of crafting an interactive, novel experience around the music beyond what fans can already access on social media.
I’ve always wanted to have a peek into the creative processes behind the artists I love, and it could come in the form of letting fans explore each song in their own way. As the album campaign for her new album “Things Take Time, Take Time” rolled around, her team was keen to make this come to life.
Would you share a little bit about what goes on behind the stem mixing process?
Raphael: There really isn’t much that differs from how a traditional analogue mixer works—it’s a series of individual stems/instruments being played at the same time—except that now everything has to be done on your browser.
Sean: We utilise web technologies like Web Audio API that provides us with the means to keep time synchronized, controlling and analysing each discrete audio signal right on your phone or computer in an efficient way.
Raphael: From a design standpoint, it was about abstracting the tactile experience of using an analogue mixer for people that wouldn’t necessarily know how to use one, and on their phones or computers. I believe that with the horsepower our devices have today, coupled with the ubiquity and accessibility of the web, more doors are opened to richer, intimate musical experiences to be enjoyed with a much lower barrier for entry.
What was it like collaborating with Courtney Barnett?
Sean: Great! Would love to meet her one day.
Raphael: Ultimately we’re just huge fans of hers – I couldn’t have asked for better songs to have to listen to hundreds/thousands of times through the development of this.
As more tracks from the album are slated to be released soon, fans will soon be able to play with even more songs on the online stem mixer! Try it out for yourselves at Courtney Barnett’s website.
Barnett’s new album will be released on 12th November, and is available for pre-order here now.
Check out her latest video, 'Before You Gotta Go,' directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore here:
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