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Where Can I Find Some Videos on Arrangement?

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:40 pm
by sykora
Most of my experience lies in composition. I've been composing for a long time, but am new to Production. I'd like to learn more about arrangement, especially Rock and Pop arrangements (Drums, Bass, Electric Guitars, etc), but can't really find any good resources. I've tried searching YouTube but I don't think I'm searching correctly.

Specifically, I want to know how to take a track I've created on my midi controller, and take the pieces (bass, harmony, melody), and give it to other instruments etc. Can someone point me in the right direction here? Specifically would be good if the guides were using Ableton, but not necessary.


Re: Where Can I Find Some Videos on Arrangement?

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:42 am
by Angstrom
I think you might be talking more about what used to be called "orchestration", or what I call "Instrumentation". That is taking an original single instrument piece and spliting it up onto different instruments. Arranging does cover that, but often refers more to the sections of a song. Intro, verse, chorus, middle 8 etc.

In the past this instrumentation process usually meant taking your guitar or piano part and dividing it up between a bunch of other instrumentalists who would add their own spin on it. You say to the bass player "uh, I think my left hand is playing C with G, then Bb with G ... and the bassist would run with that.
The right hand might get spread around a horn section, harmonised, etc. A melody given out.

These days with the instruments being so sonically varied it may be that a synth instrument has integral overtones suggesting a fifth and flat 7, which you might then modulate with an LFO to create complex harmonic evolving parts sonically weirder than any horn swell.
So it all becomes a lot more complex - with the possibilities now so broad.

In fact one of the dullest things you can do is a bread and butter distribution of parts to instruments representing "piano", "bass", etc. Mainly because it will sound flat and artificial without real players articulating them.

A lot of what you do is down to personal taste, but the trend is certainly to have the instrument generate the harmonics which a harmony once did. I mean - if you have a C minor triad on the piano, dont be tempted to split those notes up onto different instruments, that would tend to fracture the coherence of the harmony. Instead ... try making a synth sound which produces a Cmin and all the notes intermodulate. Now when the C goes to Bb ... Have a think how the sound design might do that rather than simply playing the notes.
It might sound onerous, but that tends to be how the instrumentation equivalent of a "horn section" might be produced these days.

Re: Where Can I Find Some Videos on Arrangement?

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:49 am
by sykora
Thanks for the reply. And yes, I do mean orchestration, but I figured that term was dated and mostly applied to classical music.

Can you elaborate on the whole LFO thing? That sounds like something I could use, but that completely went over my head.

Lastly, I think I understand what you're saying about the different parts and not simply splitting them into exclusive sections, but are you simply saying that some instruments can share parts, like multiple instruments sharing the harmony, and not being afraid to have the piano play out the chords in the right hand? If not, your example may have also been a bit too elaborate but I think I'm catching on slightly.