Breaking metal block using old songs as templates...

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montrealbreaks
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Breaking metal block using old songs as templates...

Post by montrealbreaks » Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:27 pm

I used to do this a while back with jazz n' funk, just to get a sense of timing and key progression. I don't really do it anymore, but now that I think of it, I might start again.

Anyways, here goes;

Take a song you really dig, I use non-sequenced music but I guess you don't have to. Warp and loop a couple of good sections, so that you're getting the "guts" of the song.

Then, start layering things on with your own composition. For instance, if you are looping the killer clavicord from Steevie Wonder's Very Superstitious, then find things that compliment it - maybe a pad, maybe a different Bass. Feel free to EQ the original track to start eliminating elements. for instance, once you get to the point where you want to add a bassline to Very Superstitious, then roll off the bottom end of the track to make room for your bass. Now, lacking a kick, program in your own drums.

Now comes the fun part.

Delete Mr. Wonder's looping song, and continue composing. You're already half way there!

I generally choose songs with a good groove and a nice funky riff. Even though those will disappear by the time I am finished, the groove and funk come through in the new product if you have been meticulous in keeping in key and keeping in time.
Last edited by montrealbreaks on Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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M. Bréqs

Rahlo
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Re: Breaking metal block using old songs as templates...

Post by Rahlo » Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:49 pm

montrealbreaks wrote:I used to do this a while back with jazz n' funk, just to get a sense of timing and key progression. I don't really do it anymore, but now that I think of it, I might start again.

Anyways, here goes;

Take a song you really dig, I non-sequenced music but I guess you don't have to. Warp and loop a couple of good sections, so that you're getting the "guts" of the song.

Then, start layering things on with your own composition. For instance, if you are looping the killer clavicord from Steevie Wonder's Very Superstitious, then find things that compliment it - maybe a pad, maybe a different Bass. Feel free to EQ the original track to start eliminating elements. for instance, once you get to the point where you want to add a bassline to Very Superstitious, then roll off the bottom end of the track to make room for your bass. Now, lacking a kick, program in your own drums.

Now comes the fun part.

Delete Mr. Wonder's looping song, and continue composing. You're already half way there!

I generally choose songs with a good groove and a nice funky riff. Even though those will disappear by the time I am finished, the groove and funk come through in the new product if you have been meticulous in keeping in key and keeping in time.
like i said, geek deluxe!!!! :D

nice one bro!
peace,

rahlo
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Pitch Black
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Post by Pitch Black » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:31 pm

Shhhhh...Don't tell everyone!!!!

They'll ALL be doing it!!!

::whiff of brimstone::

Pitch Black
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Post by Pitch Black » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:59 pm

Actually, I've used this with a couple of live bands I do production for. We sit down at the start of the process and listen to records with the question "what kind of feels do we want to do?" Then we loop up a few bars of the drum feels/tempos we like and use these as the basis of making click tracks for the drummer.

Often a real drummer doesn't want to hear the exact same feel he's going to play in his cans. If he's hearing both the recorded drums AND his playing doubling up at the same time it all sounds flammy and offputting. So what happens is I end up programming percussion sounds around the feel, interpolating inside the beats. Tamborines on the offs, a big sub on the one, that sort of thing. Then pull out the sampled loop and away he goes.

supster
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Post by supster » Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:40 am

yeah, nice trick. nothing wrong with it whatsoever imo, great grooves and structures never die .
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beamsville
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Post by beamsville » Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:25 pm

ya mon, been having fun wit dat.

Also, I've been learning guitar licks by looping the section of interest (easy with the blues, for example), and slowing the tempo down to my skill level (really really slow). BB sounds freaky at 70bpm. Then I sneak back towards the original tempo, a little every day (like lifting a calf once a day).
Last edited by beamsville on Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

dannyk
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Post by dannyk » Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:27 pm

s'exactly what i do too. I find it very similar to the kids story about Stone Soup. A hungry tramp persuades the king that he can make the best tasting soup in the world just from a stone he carries round with him. The king agrees to help him make this amazing soup. So the tramp says to the king "what i need to make this stone soup truly fantastic is some potatoes". The king says fine, whatever you want if this soup is so good. Then the tramp keeps on asking for more and more fine ingredients then at the end pulls the stone out and serves the soup. The king loves it, the tramp gets to eat for nothing and we've all just created killer tunes!

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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:21 pm

I kind of do this, but with my own old songs that I have rendered out of other apps.

I have many a folder called 'mix reminder' or 'unfinished ideas' that are basically 32 bars or so of an interesting tune or sound or something I have played and never been able to finish.

It is a great feeling to be ableto take 2 or more of these old elements and bring them back from the grave.

Its good, one time in about 2000ad I got really into Lalo Schifrins early 70s soundtrack work (think Dirty Harry movies, etc) so I did tons of heavy melodic bass stuff with intensively written funk drums. Took me so long to write 32 bars of that stuff I could never complete it!
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Pitch Black
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Post by Pitch Black » Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:04 am

Thats the beauty of Live. Once Me and my band changed our gigging setup over tp live we went thru the process of looping every sound in every song from our back catalog. It took about a song a day, but now we have this resource......
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Chris Cowie
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Post by Chris Cowie » Mon May 09, 2005 4:46 pm

THAT is a great tip. We all get stuck in a rut from time to time....and after my 150+ releases I would imagine its quite normal. usually I will annoy people on forums like this when Im not in the creative mood. hehe

Ive used other peoples songs for reference, but have never tried anything like this.


Great tip

:wink:

3phase
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Re: Breaking metal block using old songs as templates...

Post by 3phase » Mon May 09, 2005 9:29 pm

montrealbreaks wrote:I used to do this a while back with jazz n' funk, just to get a sense of timing and key progression. I don't really do it anymore, but now that I think of it, I might start again.
.
Wow, sampling without sampling... Arrangement cloning ;-)

ejectorset
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Post by ejectorset » Mon May 09, 2005 9:57 pm

maybe it is just me and it could have a lot to do with the genre you are working in, but man this really sounds like a surefire way to make formulaec music.

it seems like a crutch and a bad idea.

i mean pretty soon all of your songs are going to be in the same key, or if you just use it for groove everything at similar tempos with similar feels and the same song structure.

if it gets you writing more songs than it might seem good, but personally i would rather write two really really great strong songs that hold their own and that pushed me and i achieved something in writing, that i progressed and it show, than write 45 songs in a year that sound like the same 4 or 5 songs re-hashed over and over.
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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Mon May 09, 2005 11:38 pm

Nah, it's really amusing.

It's so cool when youare stuck with a track , thinking..
"hmm this lounge electric piano peice is real nice with this smoky vocals and all .. but I just cant make it be finished. It just seems too trite."

Then you drop in the gabba drum and bass crossover track that never got finished in 1998 and it makes it either really shit or really good. :) It is a bit like part of Eno's oblique strategies.

It actually breaks me out of genres.!

beamsville
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Post by beamsville » Tue May 10, 2005 12:28 am

For me this idea is definately a formulaec crutch. That's because I'm an idiot. I still think this process has huge potential.

I've been using the arrangement clone idea (since Live 3) to learn about arrangement. It's a great compliment to the standard listen and count bars approach.

I imagine that competent musicians and djs (holy crap, Chris C entered the thread!!!!!) could do much deeper things with arrangement cloning. Nobody said that the original arrangement (or key) needs to survive the process intact.

I think the idea is great for inspiration, and for us beginning students, a great learning tool. Don't forget that the whole electronica genre has been about cloning and adding. And good djs make both the 'from' and 'to' songs much much bigger with their skills and taste even though you might conclude superficially that they are just playing (cloning) records.

Don't worry ejector, I'll learn lots from the formulaec side, and might even one day innovate. Your point is taken, but this is tooooooo much fun.

defunkt
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Post by defunkt » Tue May 10, 2005 8:01 am

ejectorset wrote:
if it gets you writing more songs than it might seem good, but personally i would rather write two really really great strong songs that hold their own and that pushed me and i achieved something in writing, that i progressed and it show, than write 45 songs in a year that sound like the same 4 or 5 songs re-hashed over and over.
they would only sound the same if you used the same song for referance over and over.great tip for mental blocks .we all must get them at sometime.

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