Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

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mylkoa
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Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by mylkoa » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:58 pm

https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/minus/
Just thought it interesting that in the ALS by those two artists, the top track is blank and labelled "timeline". I wonder how that helps them make tracks? An entire blank track just to organize sections - that's a lot of emphasis on organization.

Oh, and I found very little in the forum archives about this wonderful set of Live Packs from the minus artists. Looks like nobody talked about them?!

2pauluzz2
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:02 pm

He explains it in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkF5VxCsuUE Smart tip, that timeline.

I felt they were discussed quite a lot when they came out (in 2011 or something like that?) but perhaps not on here.
"Paul" is fine too.

mylkoa
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by mylkoa » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:21 pm

Perfect. Thanks, Paul. I will be checking out the other Point Blank vids as well!

I love the bit about him using his vocalist/partner's voice as he yells at his dog - LOLz. Happy accidents indeed.

You say this was discussed more when it came out - if you know where this was discussed in depth, please point me to it.

I searched "Troy Pierce" on the forum, and received 17 hits, and there were only 25 comments in the youtube video section - which I consider a low amount of discussion considering the valuable insight from this pro-artist. Funny, the video invites people to ask questions, but I think only one or two people asked anything closely relevant?! There were a lot of tertiary comments, gotta love the internets :)

Do you know anything about the tracks up top labeled "Kick Mains" and Kick Off-beats"?

Cheers,
Andy (mylkoa)

2pauluzz2
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:00 pm

You say this was discussed more when it came out - if you know where this was discussed in depth, please point me to it.

Hm, maybe it was just me and my circle of friends who were into the Minus packs back then (just read they were released in 2010 even), and I might have read more about it on a forum that no longer exists. There are some thoughts on it here but that probably doesn't give you any more answers:

http://www.wiretotheear.com/2010/06/22/ ... rom-minus/

Do you know anything about the tracks up top labeled "Kick Mains" and Kick Off-beats"?


Without having the video in front of me, I assume those are just his main kicks and some off-beat kicks (some rhythmic variation).

Anything in particular that you are wondering about?
"Paul" is fine too.

mylkoa
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by mylkoa » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:19 pm

Yeah… I go through videos and books (like Troy Pierce’s explanation) looking for insight into puzzles that I am personally trying to solve, and then scouting for general tricks, tips, and strategies that I might not have known.

At the moment, my focus has been on several specific areas that I think can also be expanded into broader issues. Here are a few of the things I’m working on:

-A fast and fun workflow for composing 303 basslines and ways to add modulation or effects to create expressiveness. I’m trying to find a more tactile way to do this, because I’m using a VST emulation (ABL2). I’m hopeful I can find a way to use Push to program it.

-Workflows for drum sequencing, and examining the dynamics of the variations of drum patterns over a track to “create a story” or the “tension and release” interplay. Questions about velocity sensitivity, playing in drums with tap pads, versus sequencing drums with more limited dynamics apply here.

-Knowing the types of synth sounds that I want in the song, and designing them if necessary. And how to apply modulation/envelopes to create inspiring phrases. Currently, I’m focusing on some Massive presets that are “tempo-synced” (i.e. that create complex sequences with a single key stroke) and reverse-engineering them, so I can customize those presets or use the principles in their design to create my own patches that will fit better with the song I’m working on.

-Workflow approaches for recording (when do I tap musical phrases in with my keyboard, or use Push’s step sequencer, or click and draw with the mouse?). Do I start in session and then move into Arranger? Troy Pierce talked a little bit about this in his video. He also talked a lot about recording audio of himself just jamming out with an instrument, and then taking that long audio recording and editing it in Arranger to make the best parts fit in the song. This would be different from, say, working in Session and creating a bunch of clips and then recording a progression of clip sequences in Arranger.

…or even simple things like…

-When is it best to use audio samples as one-shots over the “classic” playback method (simpler mode), how does it affect the ennui of the song, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of warping tonal audio samples versus using their original timing (the Cyclic Waves Pack from Ron Macleod has opened this box up to me a great deal).

I think most questions have spheres in two general areas: technical/workflow and aesthetic. For example, with the one-shot sample question, the issue of warping is definitely aesthetic… unwarped tonal sounds have a distinctly different feel when compared to sounds where I use warp markers to line-up dynamic envelopes (like volume and filter swells) with pinpoint accuracy in relation to the beat. But… at the same time, this question has a technical/workflow aspect, in that, if I use the samples as one shots, then I can sequence them easily with Push’s step sequencer, because note duration doesn’t matter, however, if I use classic playback mode, then using the step-sequencer is a pain, so it’s best to play them in so I can control note length easier.

And on and on it goes… :)

That’s probably more than you wanted to hear, but that’s what I think about.

It always boggles my mind when I meet other producers and they say so little, because I feel like there is so much to talk about - more than a single lifetime can cover.

Ars longa, vita brevis.

So…. back to Troy Pierce… yeah, it’s a decent vid :)

Secondary kicks, (like the off-beat kick track I mentioned) is also an area of interest. I have played with them, and want to master the concept one day. There’s a lot to be explored in that realm, for example, using delay on a kick produces one kind of affect, using the same kick with a slight variation produces another affect (can be done several way, using velocity sensitivity or separate samples, or others!), using sub-bass produces another result, and using toms that are muffled and sound a lot like kick drum is another. Lots of possibilities!

Cheers.

2pauluzz2
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:23 pm

"Yeah… I go through videos and books (like Troy Pierce’s explanation) looking for insight into puzzles that I am personally trying to solve, and then scouting for general tricks, tips, and strategies that I might not have known."
> I've done this a lot. I gradually started doing it less when I became more confident with my workflow. I also track down creative strategies, store quotes on art making and quotes/videos that remind me to keep going when things get tough etc. etc.
"-A fast and fun workflow for composing 303 basslines and ways to add modulation or effects to create expressiveness. I’m trying to find a more tactile way to do this, because I’m using a VST emulation (ABL2). I’m hopeful I can find a way to use Push to program it."
I think this is down to taste. Find what gets you the results you're after. There is no best way, only the way that gets you the best result and is most fun.
"-Workflows for drum sequencing, and examining the dynamics of the variations of drum patterns over a track to “create a story” or the “tension and release” interplay. Questions about velocity sensitivity, playing in drums with tap pads, versus sequencing drums with more limited dynamics apply here."
Only replying to the "playing in drums with tap pads vs sequencing drums" here, but this applies to everything:

Some tap, some sequence. Some record their own samples, some use existing samples, some combine the two. Some have cool tracks without much groove, some have cool groove. Some shift bits of audio in the arrangement by ear to get their signature groove, others apply grooves from the groove pool or extract them from other songs.

Jon Margulies wrote about this:

Use the friggin mouse: http://www.heatercore.net/2010/01/use-t ... mouse.html

It basically comes down to: do what works for you.

(If you haven't already, be sure to read all his tips and incorporate what works for you. What I like about his list is that he talks about the creative part of producing; the mental aspects of it.. that's something you will not find easily on online forums.. more often than not it's about the gear, the software etc.).
"-Knowing the types of synth sounds that I want in the song, and designing them if necessary."
If you're not fluent in designing synth sounds yet, how about you make something, use it, then decide if you like it or not? You'll be surprised how basic sounds can be very cool with the right fx and within the context of a track with lots of interactions going on.

That turns the process around; instead of designing exactly what you have in your head, you go with what you currently have, and learn how to design more later on. It also prevents you from going on an endless learning binge (I've done that, and it has its benefits but also lots of downsides, mainly not learning to be productive and finishing tracks -- and could ultimately lead to demotivation).
"-Workflow approaches for recording (when do I tap musical phrases in with my keyboard, or use Push’s step sequencer, or click and draw with the mouse?)"
See Jon Margulies link above :) Doesn't matter. If you can't get Push to work, click it in. If you find clicking it in cumbersome, use Push. If you found a way to rig your oven to send 303-ish midi data whenever your buns are ready, do that. And make a video of that––good marketing.
"Do I start in session and then move into Arranger?"
Do what works best for you, but in general I think most people tend to like session for the experimenting and "freedom of it" (you can play without having to commit to anything) and move to arrangement when they feel there's enough ingredients there to start building a story.
"Troy Pierce talked a little bit about this in his video. He also talked a lot about recording audio of himself just jamming out with an instrument, and then taking that long audio recording and editing it in Arranger to make the best parts fit in the song."
I've noticed more people doing that and I also do it religiously. I do it because I don't want to have to start thinking of "genius creative ideas" from scratch. That's scary as hell––waaay too daunting! Instead, jamming out and routing synths through FX and drummachines to more FX and connecting things to things and automating things and RECORDING ALL OF THAT (as Troy said) is just plain fun and there's no pressure (which can result in a more daring approach). That approach gives me a huge soundbank of audio that is 1). unique to me and 2). auto-inspiring rather than having to dig from the deepest depths of my creative soul to think of something cool. Sometimes I just program a simple melody for a Sampler device, then skip through a recording until it sounds cool. That makes it look like I thought of this crazy cool piece, but in fact it's me responding to the material rather than me 'programming' it from scratch.

Legowelt does it too. Check this cool video out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGCxBVu1-sE

Around 3:50 he says:
"What I like to do is play some melodies, and I really don’t care if the time is right and stuff. I sample these little melodies. And then I make a melody again (with that) in the computer. That’s kind off like sampling from a record but instead of a using record you make it yourself."
Awesomesause.
"This would be different from, say, working in Session and creating a bunch of clips and then recording a progression of clip sequences in Arranger."
It can result in a more interesting/less predictable/less boring result.
Then again, Barem's pack is all about recording his track from session into arrange to keep the live feel. So it boils down to taste again.

"-When is it best to use audio samples as one-shots over the “classic” playback method (simpler mode), how does it affect the ennui of the song,


This, really does not matter at all as far as the result goes. It’s a matter of preference. If you want to be able to quickly change the sample, go for simpler (eg you realize halfway through the song that your hat could be cooler, then you can just drag/drop once instead of having to replace all the audio clips in arrange). If you want to automate some parameters, go for simpler. If you want to be able to tweak ASDR in detail, go for sampler. If seeing the audio clips in arrangement makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (I actually like this approach more than working mostly with midi clips because I like to see the wave forms. That's more of an emotional argument than a logical one but still a good argument because it works for me), then go for one shots on the canvas. (Ableton did a video with Robot Koch, he also subscribes to that method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A71i4DF5CY).
"What are the advantages and disadvantages of warping tonal audio samples versus using their original timing".
I’ll warp tracks that need to be in sync if tempo may vary (eg DJ sets, or when I'm not sure yet about the BPM of the song I'm working on). I’ll warp audio samples for creative effect (just another way of messing around with audio). I won’t warp samples if I want the most accurate representation of that sample (so, when I “just want the best sound", there is no reason to warp as it can potentially introduce artifacts = these little glitchy sounds). There is no magical formula. Do what you feel sounds best and is useful for that situation.
"I think most questions have spheres in two general areas: technical/workflow and aesthetic. For example, with the one-shot sample question, the issue of warping is definitely aesthetic… unwarped tonal sounds have a distinctly different feel when compared to sounds where I use warp markers to line-up dynamic envelopes (like volume and filter swells) with pinpoint accuracy in relation to the beat. But… at the same time, this question has a technical/workflow aspect, in that, if I use the samples as one shots, then I can sequence them easily with Push’s step sequencer, because note duration doesn’t matter, however, if I use classic playback mode, then using the step-sequencer is a pain, so it’s best to play them in so I can control note length easier."
You sir, nailed it. I agree that it comes down to something like this:

1. Result ("aesthetic"): does it sound cool? Because that's all that matters to the listener and myself in the end.
2. Process ("technical/workflow"): what works best for me? How can I work fastest/best/most inspired/most creative to get that cool result from above? This in turn will to more goodness of the first bullet.
"It always boggles my mind when I meet other producers and they say so little, because I feel like there is so much to talk about - more than a single lifetime can cover."
That might be because certain things having become so natural to them that they don’t feel the need to talk about it, or don’t realise the desire of the other party to talk about it. I landed a job in a software development team while I knew almost nothing about software development. These guys are real craftsmen, and they sometimes (often) fail to understand the knowledge gap simply because certain concepts are as obvious to them as brushing teeth. I really had to push them back a lot of times to explain some things as they would explain them to a kid.

It’s called “unconscious competence” and it happens with musicians, artists and all sorts of professionals/experts in their field. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence .. I do things instinctively with audio these days but I had to learn them by either doing it and/or by studying them (eg the more technical topics like compression).
Lots of possibilities!
YES!! Daunting at times, but also a lot of fun. Making music is about creating your voice, in my view, and part of that is finding/designing your process.
"Paul" is fine too.

2pauluzz2
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:29 pm

In that vid, Legowelt also clicks in a 303 bassline by the way, so no shame in that ;)
"Paul" is fine too.

db120
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by db120 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:10 pm

TLDR on what you mean by timeline?

mylkoa
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Re: Troy Pierce + Heartthrob's "Timeline"

Post by mylkoa » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:45 am

Thanks, Paul. This thread is getting and long, and it's just us talking, so I will respond privately. Cheers!

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