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This article was written by Olly P and is just an example and guidline for tune structure which may help some people just starting out to put some structure to there tunes.
It is one of the first articles i ever read when i first started out and it helped me alot and with Olly's kind permission it is re-printed here. Be sure to check out Olly P's site.
The first thing which needs to be done in any sort of track is the rhythm, known as the drum loops. A simple kick drum (bass drum) "loop" (repeated rhythm) can be made using Fruityloops. On the grid which first comes up, you can program a simple kick drum rhythm by doing the following:
Every dance music tune comes in "bars" of 4 beats, meaning you can count "1,2,3,4" and then, the next bar will start with another 4 beats, etc. With a kick drum, you want to place a drum on each beat of the bar. This can also be extended by placing a Hi-Hat sample (also found in fruityloops) on the 2ND and 4TH beat of each bar. This will give you a simple rhythm, with which to start a track.
Oh, there is an easier alternative Using Soundforge, you can load up an existing song, and "steal" the drum loops from the start, by editing the song right down, until you are left with a loop.
Each dance song also contains "phrases" of 16 beats, or 4 bars. These can be counted, simply by counting the beats, as "1,2,3,4" etc. On every 16th note, usually you will find a cymbal clash, to indicate the start of a new phrase. Sounds confusing? Well it can be made easier - After exporting a cymbal noise using Fruityloops, load it up into Acid, and set the zoom to Normal mode. At the top of the vertical lines, you should see numbers. These will read : 1.1, 9.1, 17.1, 25.1, 33.1 etc - These are indicating the starts of new phrases. All you have to do, is place a cymbal clash on each of the lines, where there are numbers. As an addition, you can add new percussion lines or synth lines after each of these cymbals, to help "build up" your track, and also make it DJ friendly, which is important here.
Making a riff in fruityloops is very simple. A "riff" is the main hook of a tune, which makes it instantly recognizable. For instance, the big singalong bit in Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400 is known as a "riff". These can be made in fruityloops, by simpling loading up one of the many preset synth samples (Found usually under the "Instruments" sections) and clicking the little keyboard image above the main grid. This will bring up a virtual keyboard known as a piano roll. You can also use VSTI's aswell as samples for this.
You can now compose a simple riff, by playing about with the keys on this "keyboard", and putting them together to form a main riff
Basslines can be the hardest part of a tune to make, because its hard finding a bassline which fits with the rhythm lines. I suggest that for hard house/trance, use a sample from Fruityloops under the "Bass" in "Instruments", and place it on every OFFbeat. The term offbeat, means not on the beat (duh!), so in a simple rhythm of 1-2-3-4, you want to place a bass sample BETWEEN each beat, i.e. at 0.5,1.5, 2.5, 3.5.
This can then be further pitched down in Acid. When the sample is placed onto the main grid in acid, use the "-" key on the keyboard, to pitch the bassline down -perhaps to about -1 or -2 (Anything further will distort the sample)
Now that you have each of the composite parts of a dance music track - The rhythm, understanding and marking of bar structure, the bassline, the main riff, and any odd synths, you can start to put it together. Here is a simple notation for a BASIC hard house tune, of where each bit should go. This is only a rough guide, and doesn't need to be followed exactly!!
First 4 Phrases (Phrase = 16 Beats) = Rhythm section - Don't forget to place a cymbal at the start of each phrase.....
Next 8 Phrases = Build Up. Here, place the bassline, and any FX which you might want to use, and also, slowly build up the main riff, by using the volume controls (The V Key) in Acid. Again, Don't forget those cymbals!
Next 8 Phrases = Breakdown. Here, you cut all the drums/rhythm out, and concentrate on the main riff line. Again, think of Zombie Nation - All the percussion cuts out, and the big riff comes booming in - This is what you want to do here. At the start of the 8th phrase, concentrate on placing a lot of cymbals at the start of each bar, in order to give a "building up" sensation
Next 8 Phrases = Main body of the tune. This is where you combine EVERYTHING together - the riff, FX, bassline, drums, everything. This is the main bit of your tune where the crowds will go mad
Next 8 Phrases = Build Down. This is basically a repeat of the 2nd section - take out the riff, but leave everything else in, and gradually stop each FX/Synth/added percussion line
Final 4 Phrases = End Repeat of the first section - Leave the kick drum on its own, for 4 phrases of 16 beats. This will allow any DJ playing the tune, to successfully mix out.
And there you have it. A stripped down view of how to produce your very first tune
Please post in the correct forum. They are clearly labelled.
~Moved to Tutorials
... and a dull, generic, sounds-like-million-other-tracks tune.
The intro/outro bit goes without saying if you ever intend for a track to get mixed by DJs but the 'bit' in the middle well, thats where you should let your creativity loose. That 'bit' can be the difference between generic or fantastic!!
"Moderator" without moderator privileges apparently... So I'm now just an snitch then?!
very true, u should always try out new things and be different
I'm sorry but my love of dance music has sprouted from the 'generic' thing!! I need the re-assurance of 4 bar expressions etc etc
cAn yOu fEEl tHe fIrE bUrN aS iT tAkEs cOnTrOl oF yOu, tHeRe iS nOwHeRe yOu cAn tUrN tHeRe iS nOtHiNg yOu cAn dO.
OH YEAAAAH! YOUR HEART WILL NEVER BE FREE AS IT TAKES YOU HIGH ABOVE, SO BABY WON'T YOU COME WITH ME AND WE CAN FLY ON THE POWER OF LOVOOOOVE
I'd like to note that the title of this tutorial says that it is written as a guideline. For a more advanced artist, viewing the conventions of a genre as rigid laws that one must follow would be stifling to creativity, which is what I think you mean by "a dull, generic, sounds-like-million-other-tracks tune."
For a beginner though, or someone less familiar with the genre, these guidelines would give them an idea or a "feel" of what the common conventions of Hard Dance are, so that they can start to explore the genre. I've found that every time I experiment with a new genre, it's helpful to create a generic-sounding track or two to feel out where the genre starts, and where it begins to bleed into others, for example, where Hard Dance begins to sound like Hard Trance-- what does Benny Benassi do differently than Sander van Doorn that they're categorized as different genres of music?
After an artist is comfortable with the genre, then it should be their mandate to creatively deviate from the guidelines and conventions of it, because that's what innovation is. If they STAY within the confines laid out by other contributors to the genre, then I agree-- they will end up with a mundane, unoriginal sound...
But I guess to sum up this already too long post... You gotta start somewhere!
A good follow-up tutorial to this one might be "Guidelines of Hard Dance: When and How To Throw Them Out The Window."[/i]
word ive made 4 tracks since i read this. and are being played out in clubs/raves too. progressive. drum and bass, and breaks. Im a family guy now so i cant play out no more. I make it and give it to my buddies. Just not real fast at it yet, but i'll get there. This site rocks
Thanks, very good basics everybody making traks should know them,
And i think it'l make the difference between someone enjoying making traks or throwing it in cause it's too hard.
its always good to hear peoples veiws on structuring tunes i struggled with this at the start in my atari st days but the more inspired i got the more i understood it eventually it will stick and u can muck about with it as u please
[quote="Skitch"]it was a good read and im sure it will be good for anyone that is just starting out in producing[/quote]
Exactly, its a guideline for noobies to give them the basic idea of how a tune is structured, not a written rule. And learning the foundations of a track is fundamental.
Lay ur foundations down then let ur creativity run wild :)
thanks! this was so much help for me
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