One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

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Daniel_S
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One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Daniel_S » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:37 am

Do you guys prefer to concentrate on these once your arrangement is complete or do you work on these as you are developing your track and arrangement?

Sometimes I find myself getting bogged down with getting a one-shot fx sounding good within a drum loop here and there, even though I haven't even finished the main track arrangement.

Is there a preferred method you use when it comes to these details?

UltimateOutsider
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by UltimateOutsider » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:28 pm

Daniel_S wrote:Do you guys prefer to concentrate on these once your arrangement is complete or do you work on these as you are developing your track and arrangement?

...

Is there a preferred method you use when it comes to these details?
Before I even begin tracking anything, I plot out the structure of the song in a Google Docs file, where I outline section lengths and instrumentation notes. Any hits or other planned effects, I mention there, like "hit on 3rd beat of 4th bar". Next, the first thing I do in a new song project is outline the sections on the Arrangement piano roll with markers. Each marker is associated with a section from my song outline.

When tracking, I use entirely placeholder general MIDI sounds. I know the GM sound set well, so this means no wasting time browsing presets or designing patches or auditioning samples. Any FX, risers, etc I do not add until the song is completely tracked out. I do all the patch design and selection during the mixing stage.

timothyallan
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by timothyallan » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:19 pm

They're the last thing I put in.

My thought is that If the track doesn't work without risers and FX, you're going to end up using them to cover up a bad arrangement. We've all done it however ;)

infernal.machine
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by infernal.machine » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:30 pm

It really depends on the type of music you're making and what you want to focus on. Some people are fine just using some white noise or a filter sweep for transitions: if something else (like lyrics, melody, chord structure) is at the forefront of the track, this can be totally fine. If you're making something like glitch hop, which is essentially just buildup drop, buildup drop, buildup drop most of the time, you're going to want to spend more effort making each transition smooth and creative.

Personally, I make a lot of electronic stuff. I'll quickly map out an outline, and then go through the whole thing with a fine-toothed comb with transitions, effects, one shots, and everything included. If you leave it for last, chances are it won't integrate with the progression and movement of the tune.

timothyallan
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by timothyallan » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:44 pm

Yeah, I should have defined what I think of as FX!

Filter sweep on a synth leading up to a transition: not FX.
Dubstep wokka wokka fills in a complextro track: not FX.

superfluous white noise riser or pitched riser to accent your existing arrangement: FX.

:)

Richie Witch
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Richie Witch » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:34 pm

UltimateOutsider wrote: Before I even begin tracking anything, I plot out the structure of the song in a Google Docs file, where I outline section lengths and instrumentation notes. Any hits or other planned effects, I mention there, like "hit on 3rd beat of 4th bar". Next, the first thing I do in a new song project is outline the sections on the Arrangement piano roll with markers. Each marker is associated with a section from my song outline.

When tracking, I use entirely placeholder general MIDI sounds. I know the GM sound set well, so this means no wasting time browsing presets or designing patches or auditioning samples. Any FX, risers, etc I do not add until the song is completely tracked out. I do all the patch design and selection during the mixing stage.
I really like this approach. I think I tried something similar once and it helped create a very clear vision of the finished song for me. Not sure why I stopped... prolly got distracted by a new sample pack or free vst download. LOL
"Watching the Sky" ~ A 4-track EP of piano, strings, and Native American flute

Warmonger
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Warmonger » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:58 pm

I start with key ideas of the track - what I imagined and what I want to do. Then make the rest to get proper trance structure with all the necessary instruments, layers and flow.

I add FX and risers at the very end just where they are missing, to keep interest and fill the track with movement.

Of course, sometimes FX or riser may be essential part of composition. But these are only a few and the track always needs some more. You just feel it's not full or smooth enough.
Last edited by Warmonger on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Machinesworking
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Machinesworking » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:53 pm

I don't often insert risers until after the song is complete, and often I don't use them. It's become as ubiquitous of a technique as the 'drop out break' where the drums go away with epic pad sound, then rising drums coming back full force. I know people like that stuff, but it makes me a sad panda when it happens in an otherwise fairly unique enough sounding song.

infernal.machine
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by infernal.machine » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:02 pm

Machinesworking wrote:I don't often insert risers until after the song is complete, and often I don't use them. It's become as ubiquitous of a technique as the 'drop out break' where the drums go away with epic pad sound, then rising drums coming back full force. I know people like that stuff, but it makes me a sad panda when it happens in an otherwise fairly unique enough sounding song.
How exactly does creating a riser make a track less unique?

Machinesworking
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Machinesworking » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:27 pm

infernal.machine wrote:How exactly does creating a riser make a track less unique?
This is all subjective of course.

Overuse. if every break is predicted by a riser it becomes a sterile technique. The first time you hear something it sounds really fresh, but if every time you hear an EDM type track there's a dropout then a massively pumping synth pad and kick combo it just becomes a standard like the ending of every bar band blues song. It becomes a way for the composer and the end listener to identify the song as part of a genre. This isn't a 'bad' thing, but I think personally I will eventually lose interest.

jestermgee
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by jestermgee » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:43 pm

I'm always looking for new ways to approach stuff and enjoy seeing how others structure their arrangements. There is no right way which also means you can change the game play at any time.

I have approached it all different ways mainly creating or sourcing the fillers as I'm going. I'm a little OCD when it comes to reusing things and even fillers I find it hard to reuse the same filter swoosh or snare roll in another arrangement.

At the very moment I'm changing up this plan a bit and have been spending time just creating different fillers using different synths etc and saving these as clips in a fillers folder.

What I'm starting to do when I create a track is often I haven't a clue whet I want to do initially and I'll start with just a heap of clip ideas often a tune I have come up with and some additional instrumentation with a very basic no frills beat using ezdrummer or Komplete drums. Then rather than write out what I want to do I simply rough play the clips in a blocky arrangement with no filler, no transitions, just a basic layout for the length I believe the song will suit. This often has the same loop going for a full 4-6 minutes with little change...

What I started doing a while ago was listen through a composition and use markers to mark where I imagine something is needed but I will drop the markers as the track plays and I can hear what's missing but I won't label the markers. I'll then often leave the track at that point and come back to it later and again, play it through and as it reaches each marker I'll try and recall what I wanted and either label the marker or action it. If I cannot remember then I delete the marker or do something else.

When all markers (except the general placement markers) are gone, song is done.

I guess it's like the reverse of what some others are doing with first writing down on paper but it's a new approach I have and seems to be giving me the discipline I need.

Evengy
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Evengy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:25 am

UltimateOutsider wrote: When tracking, I use entirely placeholder general MIDI sounds. I know the GM sound set well, so this means no wasting time browsing presets or designing patches or auditioning samples. Any FX, risers, etc I do not add until the song is completely tracked out. I do all the patch design and selection during the mixing stage.
Is there a GM drum kit inside ableton live? Do you use a default sound for melodic compositions like a piano or a raw oscillator? :D

Daniel_S
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Re: One shot fx, risers, transitions etc

Post by Daniel_S » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:08 pm

[quote="jestermgee"

What I started doing a while ago was listen through a composition and use markers to mark where I imagine something is needed but I will drop the markers as the track plays and I can hear what's missing but I won't label the markers. I'll then often leave the track at that point and come back to it later and again, play it through and as it reaches each marker I'll try and recall what I wanted and either label the marker or action it. If I cannot remember then I delete the marker or do something else.

When all markers (except the general placement markers) are gone, song is done.
[/quote]

I like this idea...

Thanks - will definitely try out this method on my current track as it sounds like the kind of methodology that suits me best :)

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