You are here

David Guetta: 'Who's That Chick?'

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

David Guetta: 'Who's That Chick?'

Postby Mike Senior » Fri May 20, 2011 8:22 am

The thing that really struck me about this track is the satisfying way the various vocal melodies and bass/synth riffs bounce off each other rhythmically, and how they both interact with the regular kick-drum pattern. Looking into this more closely, the one thing that I noticed particularly was how David Guetta has used repeated 3/16-note and 3/8-note groupings. It’s a common dance-music trick to use these time values for stereo delay special effects, as the repeats remain more audible by virtue of avoiding the masking effects of the main drum beats, even though they still lock in with the overall groove. However, these time values can also be used to construct simple repetitive (and therefore easily memorable) melodies/riffs which nonetheless create interesting syncopations against the main beat.

You can hear the 3/16-note pattern as soon as the vocal comes in, starting in sync with the kick drum, and then free-wheeling until a surreptitious 2/16-note duration brings it back into sync with the downbeat two bars later. A miniature version of the same idea forms the first two beats of every bar of the main bass/synth riff from 0:19, at which point the vocal line simultaneously takes up another two-bar 3/8-note-based pattern. You can also hear the ghost of this 3/8-note idea in the vocal link to the chorus at 1:36, and in the kick-drum pattern of the middle section at 1:53 (where the vocal line briefly assumes the four-square rhythmic role normally taken by the kick).

While this use of rhythmic patterns is interesting in its own right, what I like about what David Guetta has done here is that he’s carefully chosen the moments for syncopation so that it supports the music. For example, I love the way that all the rhythmic complexity in the backing suddenly vanishes during the last two beats of every two-bar cycle in the pre-choruses (0:19 and 1:23), which gives a real lift into each section boundary, and also the way the main ‘who’s that chick’ hook-line suddenly returns to a simple eighth-note pattern, which always somehow manages to take me a bit by surprise every time.
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: David Guetta: 'Who's That Chick?'

Postby Mike Senior » Fri May 20, 2011 10:50 am

This is another track that I was only able to get hold of an AAC-format version for. No credits with the download (beyond a writing credit for David Guetta, Giorgio Tuinfort & Frédéric Riesterer), but Wikipedia gives the following, apparently from the original release notes:

Production – David Guetta, Giorgio Tuinfort, Frédéric Riesterer
Mixing – Véronica Ferraro
Mastering – Bruno Gruel

I thought I'd also take the opportunity to post a few screengrabs to illustrate the rhythmic things I mentioned a bit more clearly:


Screen 1: "You can hear the 3/16-note pattern as soon as the vocal comes in, starting in sync with the kick-drum and then free-wheeling until a surreptious 2/16-note duration brings it back into sync with the downbeat two bars later."
Image


Screen 2: "A miniature version of the same idea forms the first two beats of every bar of the main bass/synth riff from 0:19, at which point the vocal line simultaneously takes up another two-bar 3/8-note-based pattern."
Image


Screen 3: "You can also hear the ghost of this 3/8-note idea... in the kick-drum pattern of the middle section at 1:53 (where the vocal line briefly assumes the four-square rhythmic role normally taken by the kick)."
Image


Screen 4: "I love the way... the main 'who's that chick' hook-line suddenly returns to a simple eighth-note pattern."
Image


Hope that all makes sense!

For more critiques of commercial productions, browse The Mix Review Index
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ben Asaro and 2 guests