bassline, melody, chords in key issues?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:56 am

cool, glad I could help, odd topic. Next time you're in church crack open the hymnal and see how consistent the notes in the songs are, browse a bit. It'll also look good to the old lady, how often can you maintain player status in church? Then google for key signatures and you can see what those # and flats on the very left of the staff mean.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:59 am

djadonis206 wrote:Ok it's making more sense now - thanks TD

I was playing with some random notes and what not and I kind of hot the idea

don't clown when you hear all my synths sounding all perfect in scale (key) or whatever it's called these days ;)


thanks - I actually learnt soemthing new -

in your case

i know you make a lot of techno and one of the things about techno production is the clever use of out of key/scale elements... so dont become too sterile either bro!

djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:03 am

Actually I was just noticing how "radio station pop" perfect things were sounding...


but the plug will help
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sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:09 am

djadonis206 wrote:Actually I was just noticing how "radio station pop" perfect things were sounding...


but the plug will help
a friend of mine showed me this...

to get that "Mason Exceeder" sound, use the Forth preset with the chord plugin and place it after the scale plugin.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:11 am

sweetjesus wrote:i know you make a lot of techno and one of the things about techno production is the clever use of out of key/scale elements... so dont become too sterile either bro!
nice post SJ, I'd hate to think I'd be responsible for leading Adonis off his mojo.

Mason Exceeder?
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

rbmonosylabik
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Post by rbmonosylabik » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:22 am

Tone Deft wrote:rb - emphasis on the ;) in my post.
uh, oh, ..okay


*radical uninformed statement*

*personal attack*
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Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:25 am

I have nothing but respect for you, trust that. I dig the music you've posted too, sorry for the bad writing.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

rbmonosylabik
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Post by rbmonosylabik » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:42 am

<3s :wink:









[/gay]
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sebovzeoueb
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Post by sebovzeoueb » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:44 am

Tone Deft wrote:
Look at sheet music, like the hymnal in church, there are the # and flats on the staff on the very left edge, those tell the organ player what key the piece is in, which notes are sharp and flat. 99% of the notes in the music do not have # or flats added next to them, they don't deviate from there. Every so often the sheet music has # and flats in the music, those are passing notes, are totally 'legal' and legit. The point is that almost all the notes in a song are chosen from the same 7 notes.
A lot of music does contain key changes though... Some of these will actually be shown with a change of key signature on the sheet music, but if it is only a short key change you will suddenly get loads of accidentals (sharps or flats) appearing... I've studied music theory for ages, so I have a tendency to write things in key, but once you've mastered this, never underestimate the idea of using really weird chords, and making a melody that fits over these. Something I use quite a bit is a series of minor chords going up or down a third, like this for example:
Am Cm Ebm F#m and of course if you follow the pattern the next chord you will end up with is Am again. The trick is to then find some weird melody that fits over the top, in which you change scale completely every chord change...

Well that went off on a bit of a tangent, but what I really mean to say is that I would consider knowledge of harmony pretty essential for making any kind of music, but if done "right" then it is possible to come up with some whacky harmonies that will sound really cool.
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piZMo
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Post by piZMo » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:14 pm

Tone Deft wrote:The study of how every note in a key relates to the others is pretty deep.

When an orchestra plays a piece of music, 99% of the notes they're ALL playing fall within the key of the song, everyone is playing the same 7 notes, different octaves, but the same notes.

hth, it's an odd topic and I'm a self taught n00b.
i studied music theory for years 8 years and played 1st violin in numerous orchestras for ten... so as we don't confuse things here...an orchestra doesn't play the SAME notes in different octaves at all, sometimes you will get reinforced
octaves but there will also be other degrees of the scale in there too which make up the chord.

...there are lots of rules in music theory and each genre usually has its own specific rules... which are also then often broken...

...for example Bach chorals have very strict rules about which chords should follow each other, doubling notes and parallel movement...

...modern jazz harmony...well that could take forever here but basics allow five notes in a chord none of which can be doubled, and there can be many alterations to the degrees of a chord i.e flat or sharp 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, 10ths, 13ths...

...i am actually too lazy to rewrite all the theory in know... so below have posted some links to wikipedia pages which will give you what you need for basics, i have read though them and think that they are good starting points for anybody to begin to understand music theory from scratch as they are relatively clear in there writting...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_(music)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale_(music)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_mode

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_%28music%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadence_%28music%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_harmony

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnaround_%28music%29


...the covert ops also have a chords and scales extension package available for download at the site which you can get at the bottom of the page here...

http://www.thecovertoperators.org/archi ... downloads/


...hope some of this helps...

...if you are trying to write for a particular genre, do a little research and analysis...

...learn the rules... then learn how to break them...


:D

Mesmer
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Post by Mesmer » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:24 pm

To the original poster:

Seriously, if this is a serious issue for you:
Go for serious music classes.

Using Plugs and such is nice and all, but that's like covering the sky with your open hand. I go for quick-fixes patches too, all the time, for my underdevelopments: I think it's natural for dorks. But I have to be with monosylabik here: this is a fundamental matter for many people.

I think about it this way: If I am ever going to be in the Producer's seat, I better have a solid grasp on the foundations of music. Certainly I should be better than the band I'm recording .... does that make sense to you?

best wishes.
-h
http://www.mesmero.net
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Hidden Driveways wrote:This doesn't answer your question at all, but I said it anyway simply for the joy of making a post.

sebovzeoueb
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Post by sebovzeoueb » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:25 pm

piZMo wrote: ...learn the rules... then learn how to break them...
I would definitely agree with this.
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Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:43 pm

Pizmo you completely misunderstand me.

I know all that stuff, honestly. Do you think I hear an orchestra and hear them all playing the same notes? They play from the same score, that score is in a key, that key represents the same set of notes. Think about it, you'll get where I'm coming from.

I'm honestly familiar with ALL the wiki articles you posted, at least from a blues/rock perspective, I didn't study this stuff in school but I've spent my time haunting theory boards (www.wholenote.com and others). I know you mean well and all those links are bread and butter theory, a good place to start and a thoughtfully selected group of links. Your post is also polite and straightforward.

I just wanted to present the idea of how the scale plug-in can be used to 'lock out' some notes on your keyboard, drop in the C major harmonic minor setting and you can't play any notes outside the scale of C harmonic minor. Take a step back and check where I'm coming from.

The pitfall I'm trying to avoid in my awkward writing in the previous post is going too deep down the theory rabbit hole, explain in simple straightforward, PRACTICAL terms what using the scale plug in means.

Two things happen in theory threads:
1 - Someone rants that theory is stupid and they don't need it. Valid.
2 - People start posting their resumes and talk of sub-dominant inverted modal chord inversions with augmented substitutions (I know that makes no sense) for no reason but to show what they know, or just to geek out on the topic because they love it.

Know where I'm coming from? Practical, straightforward advice that can be applied to Live that people new to theory can approach and get into.

Maybe I can ask what kind of advice would you give to ABLETON users (not classical composers) about passing tones, turnarounds and adding detail to your music and how to apply them to programming music in LIVE.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

piZMo
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Post by piZMo » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:28 pm

Tone i'm not hustlin you man... i think i the idea of using the scale plug is quite ingenious and i understand that you are trying to give a direction which needs no prior knowledge of musical theory.

Many great artists never knew/know any music theory and go purely on what they hear and have learnt from copying other music and playing/practicing there instrument.

The really detailed stuff is certainly irelevent really for modern dance music (and much popular band music, though musicianship to a level is usually prerequisite here) as it is usually based around simple hook/chord stuctures/meldoy with doubled up bass lines and special FX/noises/extended techniques, and ending with production skills.

LESS IS MORE... and the common conscious likes the familiar.

I just wanted to post some simple grounding material for tablist56, he can chose whether or not to check it all out but maybe he didn't know where to start?


My advice... hmmm... well there are many options and there are starting points and traditional formulas help here depending on what style your going for...what is the main focus in the style you are trying to create what stucture is usually used?


"is there a specific formula which is followed to get your bassline in sync with your melody, chords etc?

i write my intro, drop in the bassline, then try and write a melody but never sure if its in the right key."

... for syncing your basslines to your melodies you could for a start at least double up on you meldoy in a lower register then remove the passing notes so as only the strong/key notes remain in the bass end this will reinforce your melody.

...theme and variation... take you original idea and make variations...

...call and response... (similar to theme and variation in a way) always a good device... take your original idea and make something that 'replies' like a question and answer.

...if you don't understand the concept of a key then go with your ears...

...another thing take a look at the movement generally things will tend to sound better if they are moving in counterpoint...er thats is different rhythm and contour, too many parallel movements don't sound so good i.e. the as the melody moves up in pitch the bassline moves down in pitch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint


"i usually have my back beat/off beat on a C3....if this is the case which note should my melody be based on? "

...this...i'm not sure what you are trying to say tablist56...what genre of music are you trying to make?

"is there a quick formula people use without having to learn hours of music theory?"

er...yes & no...try listening to the records you are trying to recreate and copy these, find out where the genre stems from so you get an idea of what and where to collect samples/sounds...rip off some grooves- i'd didn't say that..

there are some ideas anyway...

thats all folks...see ya have fun be good.

@ sebovzeoueb -big up totnes, i went to DCA years back, wicked little town.

tablist56
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Post by tablist56 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:27 am

ok ok ok folks....post starter here...



thanks for all your info so far, all valid although i get a feeling its starting to turn into a who knows more about what session...


my next question is...


if my offbeat or bass starts on a c3, then i drop in a midi file melody (cheating, but just using this as an example), when i look at this midi file all the notes seem to be everywhere and there is not one group of dominant notes. therefore its hard to say that a particular riff belongs in such and such key.


having said that my bass is on c3, in these instances should my melody always start on a c aswell? ie c3, c4, c5 etc?

i seem to have this issue when trying to layer a chorded pad type sequence.
bassline sounds good, then when the pad starts it all falls apart.

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