Clairo "Pretty Girl" Breakdown
Did you know that this was the song that started all for Clairo, she never intended to sound Lofi or something like Dreampop, she was just using the resources she had at the time, in this case a cheap keyboard and a microphone, she then decided to make a video dancing and lip-syncing the song in her room and the rest is history, She went viral, made a few albums and became the face of Dreampop and Bedroom Pop, and once you read this tutorial you will notice how few elements and how simple this song is and nonetheless it's a great song, that goes to prove that you don't need fancy equipment or gear to make it, so lets learn all the sound design behind this amazing song.
This article was possible because all of the presets from this breakdown came from our Bedroom Pop Serum pack and it has have 20% off with the code: BP01
As we said before the instrumentation is quite simple, so let's start first with the bass, we need a PMW Maths 2 in oscillator "A" and a sine wavetable in oscillator "B" give them 6 voices to each one so we have a nice wide sound, and get some FM modulation in oscillator "B" to add some extra harmonics, our filter is being modulated by our envelope 2, add a little distortion and compression in the FX tab, then use envelope 3 and route it to the mastertune with around 10 ms this will give the characteristic sound of a organic bass instead of being one made by a synth.
All the following instruments are just keys with some different setups, the first one that pops into the song is in the first verse and if you ask me it has a killer melody, we use a sinewave in oscillator "A" and an FFT_Add_2nds in the 50 wavetable position in oscillator "B" with some FM modulation coming from oscillator "A", the sub-oscillator has another sinewave with one octave up this is what going to give us a toy box kinda sound, now with the filter cut everything above 3Khz and use a little tape stop saturation.
These keys are the only element in the bridge and they are quite simple to make, first you need a Analog_BD_Sin in oscillator "A" with five voices slightly detune and with a little bend and to give a little movement use an LFO and modulate the panning and the level, now oscillator "B" has an Anti-Stasis with four voices and some FM modulation at around 40% this will give a more bright sound to the patch, the filter is cutting everything above 2.5Khz and envelope 1 has a natural decay of 3.5 s
For the final part of the breakdown, we have the chords that play in the second verse or bridge whatever you want to call it, so we need to start with another Sinewave in oscillator "A" also being slightly bent, now you are wondering why all these patches seem so similar and thats because the changes are very slightly in this case this preset is more bright than the others and this comes with oscillator "B" and the FM_ Freak wavetable it uses, it has up to 50% of FM modulation and the filter its cutting everything above 5Khz letting pass more high end that the other sounds, and thats it.