arranging process is stressing me, please help

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bob123
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:10 pm

arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by bob123 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:12 pm

hi
in ableton, im working on a track.
its got about 40 tracks, and several diff sections / harmonic sections.

im trying to arrange it. and then tweak the mix after that.
we Arrange before we Mix dont we?

grouping tracks was a nice touch, im doing that.
(and freezing tracks).

i dont know how to do the rest, in the easiest/most efficient way.
theres not a huge amount of clips, just 1 to 3 clips at most per track.

what would you do?
make scenes?
i dont know the best way to do the scene thing.
copy and paste say the drums to each scene that i want them on?
i can see that getting even more complex, visually.

this track was originally a one bar drum beat with a little synth note thing.
thats it. i liked it, so thought id develop it, and its now this huge thing.
its taking way too long, months. i have hundreds of other ideas, and i dont really
want each one to take months.

spent a while today just looking at it and firing of diff clips, but not actually
arranging it into scences or the timeline/arrange page, just launching clips and thinking, stopping.

any tips or techniques / advice would help

thanks.

nuxnamon
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by nuxnamon » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:19 pm

tarekith has a nice thing he wrote on arranging.. i'm sure he'll chime in any minute..

http://tarekith.com/assets/arranging.html

3dot...
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by 3dot... » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:21 am

hit 'arrangement record' button and play your stuff..
the rest will follow..
Image

Tamar UK
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by Tamar UK » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:30 am

I tend to arrange by making scenes in sequential order in Session view and then tweaking once the basic structure is recorded to arrangement.
Or sometimes just like 3dot says, hit record and play. I am going to have a go at Tarekith's subtractive arrangement view though, see how that works for me.

Grappadura
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by Grappadura » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:08 pm

if you´re making electronic dance music, stay within one scale (as a rule of thumb). Start with the beginning and see how it evolves. Set markers at the points where you think a change is needed, usually all 8 or 16 bars, and big changes could be on 32, 64, 96 etc. in the bar before the change, make some drum variation, so people know something is coming. A change doesnt need to be a change of notes, it can be simply adding/changing an instrument, and maybe one or two percussive hits.

If you´re working with grooves, meaning you have some notes not at exactly one eighth or sixteenth, then keep it, don´t move it around. If you´re adding another instrument, make sure it will fall into the altered pattern, unless its a bassline playing on every second eighth. Ok the last part is rather specific and is also just a rule of thumb. funken has got some good advice there too, and 3dots method (the ableton live method) is also nice to work with. If you lay it down recording the session view, make sure you´ve got that tidied up, and work with "capture and insert scene", whenever you think certain elements go well together.

You might have to just delete half of the project, it seems like its gone out of hand. Don´t worry about that, there are always a ton of ideas in one set, but they don´t always go well together, so you have to sort it out and stick to one main idea. You will know which one it is once you´ve layed down the beginning of the track. Make sure that the beginning is solid, and every next bit connects well to it. Because if you have a weak link between one good part and another good part, its gonna be very hard to fix that, its much easier securing each step from the beginning.

crumhorn
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by crumhorn » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:38 pm

This is my general approach.

Get all your basic materials arranged into scenes.
If there are tracks that you want to keep playing the same thing when you change scenes you can use the (confusingly named) "remove stop buttons" option on the relevant clip slots.

Jam around for a long time with the arrangement record button enabled. Don't worry about making mistakes, just try out all the different combinations, and transitions that you have in mind.

Then go through what you have just recorded in the arrangement. Identify the sections that you like most, and delete all the dross.

Then lay your sections out into a rough arrangement along well established patterns like ABCBA or ABABCABB... or whatever. I personally like roughly symmetrical or palindromic layouts.

Work on the intro and the outro and the transistion sections.

Listen and improve
Listen and improve
Listen and improve
....etc

You will soon start to get an idea of what is working and what isn't. You will probably end up with something quite different to what you started with.
"The banjo is the perfect instrument for the antisocial."

(Allow me to plug my guitar scale visualiser thingy - www.fretlearner.com)

Tarekith
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by Tarekith » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:30 pm

nuxnamon wrote:tarekith has a nice thing he wrote on arranging.. i'm sure he'll chime in any minute..

http://tarekith.com/assets/arranging.html
Doh, bet me to it :)

bob123
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by bob123 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:36 pm

thankyou thankyou thankyou all!
lots of good tips and things to try.
i managed to do an arrangement today. maybe not the best, but its not the worst either.
i made a list on paper of the best changes/developments, there was about 4 or 5. so i just
made sure they were there, and i just left the other bits and bobs and stuff, they were
below par compared to the main stuff i felt. i can always do another version later.

i didnt really make scenes, just first transferred the drum parts into arrange (click and hold clip and then press tab to place it on arrange page),
then added stuff in sections along timeline. just winged it, until it sounded somewhat
satisfying. no big epic track, i dont like that kind of stuff, the shorter the better is
what i like, keeps me interested first and foremost. I dont think im making music for public
consumption, i tried that for years and im not proud of the stuff i did in that mindset.
now im being a bit more selfish and pleasing myself, i usually dont even have a genre or reference
track in mind.

tarekith article was really good, i remember chad hugo from neptunes saying thats what they did, eg put all parts up on screen and delete/mute stuff when arranging.

funken: its ,i dont know, errm, its hip hop tempo 90ish, but it feels dancy, i think its more of a dance tune, but not a normal one. its probably electronica. 808 kicks and bass heavy in general.
"standard layout"? man, i wish i had that sort of organisation, ive been making music for 5ish years and i have no templates or anything, every idea/track is a new beginning for me!
"submix for effects on most or all tracks", i dont understand this.
why do you use white noise so much?

thinking in terms of making changes at bar 8, 16 etc. Ive never thought like this, i make the change when i feel like i want to hear something. or just randomly put something somewhere and listen back, if its ok to my ears, i leave it. Im going to try these suggestions, ive alot more music to finish/develop so im well up for trying new approaches.

""capture and insert scene", whenever you think certain elements go well together."
ahh, that sounds useful.

the length is 3 and half minutes. im happy with that.
just testing on car stereo and hi fi, something is wrong (sigh).
bit bass heavy all over the place (blame my bass shy tannoy reveal monitors).
will try cutting some low end on bounced master file.
or might try ducking/sidechaining (ive never done this in mixing)
im thinking duck all the bass parts when kick hits: can someone tell me the best way to do this? im gonna have to read some ableton literature in regards to this.

thanks again to all here. very helpful stuff.

PS. say if im working on a mix, a diff version, when i save it under a diff name, its just listed amongst the other sets. im reading help file, and it says all related sets are saved within a Project folder, i dont get this. so how do i use this project feature? when i go to "current project" in my browser, it looks exactly the same as "library".
it looks like all my sets are NOT part of any project. my library has a sets folder and the sets are just there, no project folder. but when i right click in brower the "create project" option is greyed out.
Last edited by bob123 on Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Grappadura
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by Grappadura » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:57 pm

bob123 wrote:
thinking in terms of making changes at bar 8, 16 etc. Ive never thought like this, i make the change when i feel like i want to hear something. or just randomly put something somewhere and listen back, if its ok to my ears, i leave it. Im going to try these suggestions, ive alot more music to finish/develop so im well up for trying new approaches.
In 4/4 music, which is 99% of the dancefloor-stuff, we are used to the patterns that I mentioned. Even if you are not counting the bars, you may find yourself doing the variations exactly on the mentioned spots. If you want to break those patterns, be aware of the expectations of the listener and play with it. A masterful break of patterns is one that is aware, playing with expectations. If you just break it for the sake of breaking it, it usually won´t go very well.

d-track
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by d-track » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:16 pm

do coke
*-*

3dot...
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by 3dot... » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:30 pm

d-track wrote:do coke
what for ?
because it's the drug of choice for all posers/tossers and whores?
Image

d-track
Posts: 640
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Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by d-track » Sun May 01, 2011 12:19 am

3dot... wrote:
d-track wrote:do coke
what for ?
because it's the drug of choice for all posers/tossers and whores?
yes
*-*

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: arranging process is stressing me, please help

Post by 3dot... » Sun May 01, 2011 12:17 pm

d-track wrote:
3dot... wrote:
d-track wrote:do coke
what for ?
because it's the drug of choice for all posers/tossers and whores?
yes
oh... :oops:
Image

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