I started just by noodling around on the uke. When I had something I liked, I recorded a few takes of it, while listening to the tempo click separately in my phones. The riff has a part a and part b so I just found the best single-bar take of each part and dropped into the tape four times. I ended up with an nice and tight 8 bar uke loop. That part’s important and it’s worth taking the time to make sure it’s right, being the foundation of the song.
I always put my main riff (In this case the uke) on track 3. Next comes the drums, which I always put on track 1. I usually try to drop drums in by hand and avoid sequencers. I don’t like them to sound too perfect/quantized. If things are a little late, or a little early, I don’t sweat, as long as the vibe is right. Then I lay down my bass line, always on track 2 (the rhythm section needs to be near each other, right?), and that leaves track 4 for texturey, weird stuff like pads and complimentary leads. This way, once I have all my loops sounding’ lovely, and I wanna freak it to vinyl, I know exactly where everything is at all times, and can drop things in and out confidently, no matter what song I’m working on.
In this case, track 4 is my scratching sound. I think the main sound source was a piano or a synth, or something I found on op1.fun or something, but kind of organic sounding (not too video-gamey), manipulated with the CWO. If you set everything at 0, and then mess with the feedback (green encoder), it produces extremely cool lo-fi junky, tape warble effects and if you really crank on her, it sounds like a turntable. The tricky part is starting recording, then quickly switching to the sound’s effects screen so you can do what you need to do. Sometimes it sound stupid, or off-time, so you gotta do a lot of takes, and keep the best parts, but the end result is cool.
Once you’ve got a solid 8 bar loop, you can duplicate it, remove something prominent (like the scratching) and add something else more ambient/low key instead, which makes for a good verse part or something. I typically produce hip hop, so I try to imagine a rapper or singer coming in. I want to put it on a tee for them, and leave some frequencies free for a human voice. You can do this all day, duplicating, removing, re-adding, essentially frog-hopping your way down the tape. At the end of the day you should have at least a few solid loops to shuffle through. The fun part is committing it to vinyl, and figuring out a little routine to snake your way through the loops and have it all flow.
Sorry for the long-winded answer. It’s probably pretty basic, compared to some of you guys, but I’m always interested in reading about other people’s workflows too. I’ve got some good ideas more than once in doing so. I’d love to hear from others regarding this.