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Dear users, I have decided to phase out the posting on the forums on this website and move any discussions over to this private facebook group. While the forums were great 10 years ago, they are now difficult to maintain due to constant spam. I spend most of my time just cleaning them up, rather than interacting. This, combined with finding it difficult to directly communicate with other users through several different social media platforms, I have decided to consolodate it all to one group where people can chat with me, ask questions and jibber jabber with other users on a regular basis. I will not make the forums offline as there is a wealth of content, but posting has now been disabled. Thanks to all those who have contributed over the years, and I'll see you over on the Facebook group! -Tom

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TOPIC: Song Structure

Song Structure 2 years 3 weeks ago #24294

Love your tutorials Tom! You come up with great stuff and it gets me thinking in a different way. Plus you're funny as shit to listen too.

One request on a video tutorial tho. Song Structure... I can create sounds/melodies/chord progressions/etc.etc. but for some reason when its all said and done I have trouble placing all the elements together and having it sound like a fluid song.

I almost have trouble taking things away because I've become so attached to a certain sound or rift. haha

anyway... CHEERS!
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Song Structure 2 years 2 weeks ago #24326

  • Scheimann
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Hey... I'd also like to see a tutorial and tips on this.

One suggestion that I read recently was, try and produce a solid 1 minute arrangement. Once you've got that skill down, move to 2 minutes arrangements. Once you've awesome at that, progress onto 3 minutes tracks, and so on...

R/Scheimann
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Song Structure 2 years 2 weeks ago #24328

  • Karl37
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I used to have this problem a lot when i first started producing, especially when i was producing trance music.
What i used to do was listen to a lot of my fav trance tracks, even from years gone by and randomly pick one, drag the file (MP3) into and audio clip on ableton and keep this track at the top of my project.
Then i would listen to it in ableton over and over and by using the 'Add Marker' function on the time line i would add in the changes in the track, so i would have my first marker called 'Intro' then the second would be 'Build' then 'Mini Break' into 'chorus' then 'main break' etc you get what i mean so you would end up with a track full of location markers telling me what arrangement events were happening in the track....then i would use empty midi clips using colors and naming the clips to further help give a visual guide to how the track was arranged, i would then delete the audio track and then start building my own track based on the arrangement i had just listened too and mapped out. I know it sounds simple (well i hope so anyways) but it really did help me when i first started. It helped having that visual guide.

Of course i don't do it now as i feel you should be able to feel where the track should flow next based on the energy or mood your creating, but that will come with time and experience producing full length tracks.

People work differently i guess and this helped me out, i hope it helps you guys out a bit. ;)
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Song Structure 2 years 2 weeks ago #24332

  • Mr Fork
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I agree with Karl. This has been one of my biggest issues in writing electronic music but especially with trance. No idea why. When I write downtempo and ambient I don't have the same issue. Another thing you can do to go along with what Karl is saying that also helps if you're looking for visual ques is to use an energy map. Basically insert a blank midi track and then create a blank midi clip that runs the entire length of the track. Open up an automation lane using the "+" symbol on any parameter. Use the automation line to draw in how you want the energy in the track to flow with the highest energy being the highest value allowed in your automation. Zero energy would be the lowest (so basically no sound happening or maybe just a tail of something trailing off). Pick a pro track and map out the energy flow from beginning to end. I have found that this has helped me a few times. Has even helped more in some cases than identifying the individual pieces. Both things though are very helpful. If you want to you can even split up the midi track in your energy flow to break up the different sections. To kinda show what goes where similar to the track markers Karl was recommending. I like doing it the way he mentioned because then you can quick skip between pieces of the track.

Long story short....this is still something that gets me......when it comes to making ideas and creating effects and making synth patches and mixing and mastering.....no problem. I may not get them perfect but I can typically get close to what I want. But I seriously dread the arrangement part of it and I'm trying to get past that I just don't know how yet. I haven't even felt like writing anything recently as the result. I'll let you know if I come up with anything. Best of luck though and I hope this helps.
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Song Structure 2 years 2 weeks ago #24338

  • Scheimann
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Karl37 wrote:
What i used to do was listen to a lot of my fav trance tracks, even from years gone by and randomly pick one, drag the file (MP3) into and audio clip on ableton and keep this track at the top of my project. Then i would listen to it in ableton over and over and by using the 'Add Marker' function on the time line i would add in the changes in the track, so i would have my first marker called 'Intro' then the second would be 'Build' then 'Mini Break' into 'chorus' then 'main break' etc you get what i mean so you would end up with a track full of location markers telling me what arrangement events were happening in the track....then i would use empty midi clips using colors and naming the clips to further help give a visual guide to how the track was arranged, i would then delete the audio track and then start building my own track based on the arrangement i had just listened too and mapped out. I know it sounds simple (well i hope so anyways) but it really did help me when i first started. It helped having that visual guide.

That's really great advice - I don't know why this never entered my mind.
I'm going to try that with my next track; thank you...

R/Scheimann
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