Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

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Daniel_S
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Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Daniel_S » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:56 pm

I need to work more on my arrangement skills and have recently read somewhere that you can import a full tune into an audio channel and then place markers at the start of each change that happens within that tune. By following this on your own arrangement, you will start to get a better understanding of a good arrangement.

I know that this isn't the definitive way of arranging your own tracks but I am curious as to how many people actually follow this method, or at least used to follow it in their earlier days and now arrange without the need of a template.

I've yet to try it myself but will be on my next track as I believe it will help me to get past the arrangement blocks that I do seem to hit from time to time.

Thoughts?

Angstrom
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Angstrom » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:21 pm

I can't really understand how that would work, except for the simplest of music . Think of arranging being to your song as composition is for painting. While there are compositional things to allways keep in mind ( does this lead well into that / is there good contrast) I don't think it is possible to simply use one arrangement on another song.

The skill and purpose of arrangement is to bring out and emphasise what is there, in that particular song. Does this song have a complex melody that people cant imediately grasp? Then perhaps it needs a subtle version of it in the intro. However, that doesnt mean that all songs need that.

However, by all means analyse and try to copy arrangements, I just think your outcomes will be more like paint-by-numbers lessons in what peoplemdid, than what you can do.

Timbeaux
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Timbeaux » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:49 pm

I think he means arrangement like this:

4 bars intro; 2 bars break; 8 bars verse; 2 bars break; 4 bars outro.


for techno/electro it should work. espacially for the dancefloorversion where mostly a more predictable structure is better then only unpredictable breaks and dynamic changes.

but for other kinds of music it shouldnt be that easy, cause mostly u tell a story with ur song, and storys never going straight (only the boring ones).

Daniel_S
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Daniel_S » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:07 pm

Timbeaux wrote:I think he means arrangement like this:

4 bars intro; 2 bars break; 8 bars verse; 2 bars break; 4 bars outro.


for techno/electro it should work. espacially for the dancefloorversion where mostly a more predictable structure is better then only unpredictable breaks and dynamic changes.

but for other kinds of music it shouldnt be that easy, cause mostly u tell a story with ur song, and storys never going straight (only the boring ones).
Yep, this is what I mean.

Whenever I start a new track (house or techno), I think I want to make something for the dancefloor. However I just produce whatever comes to mind and what I think feels good and have always ended up with a electronica piece of techno which works for listening to, but not dancing to (if that makes sense?).

I blame this on my arrangement and feel that if I follow a tune that has the kind of flow of what I'd like to produce for the dancefloor, then it would help guide me with a better structure.

I certainly wouldn't expect to follow every single sound or style as I can appreciate that certain elements only work on certain styles.

tintala
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement templatp

Post by tintala » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:09 pm

Thephat conductor Aka ill gates on this forum,has talked about this frequently and demonstrates the advantages of doing this, the actual "set" button at the right hand top of arrangement t view allows us to do this with 4 bar, 8 bar , etc markers to set the arrangement , furthermore you can import a song and place the markers according to the wav . This allows us to see the full arrangement of the producer you are trying to emulate. It works for any kind of genre. Do this to 10 tracks you love and you'll start seeing an arrangement pattern and are thus able to anticipate your own arrangements. Another way to get a "pacing" or feel initially from the beginning is to place your transitions first.. Like sweeps ,toggles and one shots, this takes care of the urge to feel a sense of movement and allows us to build the track from there without being stagnant ..

Make sense?

Daniel_S
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement templatp

Post by Daniel_S » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:12 pm

tintala wrote:Thephat conductor Aka ill gates on this forum,has talked about this frequently and demonstrates the advantages of doing this, the actual "set" button at the right hand top of arrangement t view allows us to do this with 4 bar, 8 bar , etc markers to set the arrangement , furthermore you can import a song and place the markers according to the wav . This allows us to see the full arrangement of the producer you are trying to emulate. It works for any kind of genre. Do this to 10 tracks you love and you'll start seeing an arrangement pattern and are thus able to anticipate your own arrangements. Another way to get a "pacing" or feel initially from the beginning is to place your transitions first.. Like sweeps ,toggles and one shots, this takes care of the urge to feel a sense of movement and allows us to build the track from there without being stagnant ..

Make sense?
Yeah that makes sense apart from the "place your transitions first" bit. Not sure how you would go about that tbh?

estibi
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by estibi » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:58 pm

You can use a template for a techno/house track to start faster but in practice you will always need to rearrange everything.



Timbeaux
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Timbeaux » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:11 pm

@"did u tried dance to it"

may i should have wrote:

x bars intro - x bars break and so on.

may u should try tarekith substractive arrangement method.

Daniel_S
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Daniel_S » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:15 pm

Timbeaux wrote:@"did u tried dance to it"

may i should have wrote:

x bars intro - x bars break and so on.

may u should try tarekith substractive arrangement method.
I've just watched the subtractive arrangement method within Live, and it's a very interesting way of doing it.

Get a few loops from the track peak moments and THEN strip back and arrange.

I'll defo try this along with setting markers on an existing tune that I like with a similar feel. :)

doghouse
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by doghouse » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:52 pm

I suppose you could do it that way, but it's just as easy to listen to songs and figure out the arrangements with pencil and paper.

That's how we used to do it in the last century :wink:

jestermgee
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by jestermgee » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:09 pm

I'm always adjusting how I approach completing a track and lately I haven't even touched Ableton but what I do after compiling ideas in session mode is to then "play" the parts and record a rough draft into arrangement. The changes are basic and no transitions, sweeps, automation or drops at this stage.

What I then do is listen back to the arrangement while hovering over a button on my mackie that inserts a marker at player position. Every time I imagine a drop or bridge or change, crash, beat transition etc I place a marker (unnamed).

After the track is full of markers I will take a short break and come back after 10min / hour or something then playback the track. When it gets to each marker I label the marker with what I want to do and see if I can recall what I was thinking (to see if it makes sense). If I cannot think of what I was thinking I delete the marker. Once all are labelled I save as a new copy and then if in the mood I try and address each marker and remove it from the chain until I get to the end. If new ideas come up I add in new markers.

That's currently what I try and do when I have tracks that need to be finished. Like making notes.

Daniel_S
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Re: Using existing tunes as an arrangement template?

Post by Daniel_S » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:31 am

jestermgee wrote:I'm always adjusting how I approach completing a track and lately I haven't even touched Ableton but what I do after compiling ideas in session mode is to then "play" the parts and record a rough draft into arrangement. The changes are basic and no transitions, sweeps, automation or drops at this stage.

What I then do is listen back to the arrangement while hovering over a button on my mackie that inserts a marker at player position. Every time I imagine a drop or bridge or change, crash, beat transition etc I place a marker (unnamed).

After the track is full of markers I will take a short break and come back after 10min / hour or something then playback the track. When it gets to each marker I label the marker with what I want to do and see if I can recall what I was thinking (to see if it makes sense). If I cannot think of what I was thinking I delete the marker. Once all are labelled I save as a new copy and then if in the mood I try and address each marker and remove it from the chain until I get to the end. If new ideas come up I add in new markers.

That's currently what I try and do when I have tracks that need to be finished. Like making notes.
Interesting approach and I also sounds like fun actually "playing" the track from Session.

I've recently purchased the Push controller so that should take care of the jamming from Session quite well.

Can I ask how do you drop in Markers when in Arrangement?
Thanks


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