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Thread: How is trance music written?

  1. #11
    Syndrum is offline Registered User
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    So any ideas on how to acctualy write down electronic music?

  2. #12
    headhunter is offline Senior Member
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    I do like LT, play some riffs n lead lines till i find something i like then build on it with chords, bass and drums. Or, i just do the drums thing and jam over the top till i find something i like. An idea is to keep the recorder on all the time so you can listen to it again while ideas are coming into your head. Sometimes you find little gems that ignite your imagination that you missed while jamming. Good luck

  3. #13
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    Syndrum,

    When you say 'write' music, do you mean 'notate' music into sheet form in order that the sheet music can then be passed to anyone who can read music to play?

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    Syndrum is offline Registered User
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    When you say 'write' music, do you mean 'notate' music into sheet form in order that the sheet music can then be passed to anyone who can read music to play?
    Kind of! I know composing an electronic track is completly diffrent than composing an orcestra. So i dont expect the form of writing them down to be the same! But is their a method of writing electronic(trance, jungle, house...) music down, in any way, shap, or form ? Im open to any ideas! Thax!

  5. #15
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    Lord Thathidge is offline Spectral Disco Pimp
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    I'm still not sure exactly what it is you actually wish to achieve. What do you want your end result to be?

    A composition, or a composition in sheet music form, or both?

    I get the impression that you are not a stranger to composition. Have you composed other types of music i.e. orchestral?

    As before, I don't think that you will necessarily find a 'blueprint' for specific genres of music.

    Try listening to several pieces of music which fall under the category of 'trance' for example (if that's what you wish to produce) with a pen and some paper and break the songs down into:

    A) Tracks / instruments (i.e. Bass/kick drum/hi hats/snares/synth1/synth2 etc)
    B) How is the song structured (you could either split the song into sections line Intro/breakdown/Euphoric section etc etc or alternatively, just make a note of when each new instrument comes into the song.
    C) Try to get a feel for the mood of the song. I know that trance music is supposed to invoke feelings of euphoria whilst at the same time making you want to dance your *** off but try to pick apart why a certain song sounds euphoric, is it the chord progression of the synth string or pad, is the lead melody or some other factor? What is it about the song that makes you tap your feet? It could be something as simple as the kick drum sample used or alternatively the pumping bassline etc…

    Be mindful of the fact that you don't necessarily have to then make a carbon copy of the format of a particular song but it may help to simply copy the format of a particular song you like to being with. With most trance songs you will notice similarities in the way such songs are structured and will hopefully then be able to have a go yourself.

    I used to play keyboards in a guitar based indie style band but have always been into house music of any style and often thought that trance sounded really easy to produce.

    How wrong was I?

    For me, coming up with synth melodies has never been a major problem. However, constructing an entire song around a single synth riff and then making it sound good was something I found to be surprisingly difficult!

    If this is something you are seriously interested in doing, persevere.

    There will be times when you really don't want to go and sit staring at your computer making music and I think we all get that sometimes. If you feel like this, have a few days/weeks break from it and go back.

    Even professional musicians will no doubt experience the feeling of monotony as will the guys on this forum!

  6. #16
    Syndrum is offline Registered User
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    Thank you my friend! Im going to due just that! Im going to pick a track that provokes my feelings. Break it down. And analyze the liittle bastared!

  7. #17
    headhunter is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Lord Thathidge

    ......and often thought that trance sounded really easy to produce.

    How wrong was I?

    For me, coming up with synth melodies has never been a major problem. However, constructing an entire song around a single synth riff and then making it sound good was something I found to be surprisingly difficult!

    Lord T you literally took the words out of my mouth! I've always written melodic based songs and at the back of my mind always thought that trance was dead easy to do , just a 4/4 beat, offbeat bass, a synth riff here, a 303 opening there and you're done.

    now HOW WRONG WAS I ???

    Syndrum, It's easy to write a middle of the road , ho hum trance tune but it's hard to write a good one. The idea is totally different from a normal pop song say. One thing I noticed: there isn't a whole lot of chord changes like a pop song as it detracts from the impact or trance factor of the song. A major part of why a trance tune is effective lies in it's simplicity and repetitiveness but don't over do the repetitive bit. Find an interesting riff or a catchy hook then build it up from there (and dont 4get 2 break it down... ) Try to reproduce your fave trance track. That will go a long way to helping you make your OWN tracks.

  8. #18
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    Woohoo - its not just me!

    I am presently trying to steer clear of the offset bass line format as all my tunes were starting to sound lame!

    I am also at the stage now where I try to play around with the formula a little and am trying to pi$$ my DJ friend off by not giving him any lead in percussion to mix with.

    Instead, I try starting a track with the breakdown and building it up from there. I am working on a track at present which starts with a synth riff which is just on the edge of hearing and takes about a minute/minute and a half to filter up to its peak. No drums or percussion. I have challenged him to drop it into the middle of a set when it's completed but if know Jeff, he'll use it as his opening track just to pi$$ me off in return!

    Syndrum, if you are ultimately producing with the intention of having your stuff played by DJ's, bear in mind that your tracks will need a long(ish) lead in and lead out section in order that Mr DJ has something to use for mixing tracks in and out. Bear in mind that if you listen to a mix CD or DJ set you generally only actually get to hear between 3 and 4 minutes of an entire track but you can bet your a$$ that the original track is in fact between 6 and 8 minutes long allowing for the lead in and lead out sections.

    Other than that, roll up a fat one, stick on some music, close your eyes and 'understand' the music.

  9. #19
    Syndrum is offline Registered User
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    How do you go about makeing a good melodie? I have no problem with the precusion, but havent yet figured out the melodic part! And a big thanks to ever one whos put their tips down, ever thing seems to be fitting in a little bit easer!

  10. #20
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    Lord Thathidge is offline Spectral Disco Pimp
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    Not quite so easy to answer for me but I can tell you that despite having a head full of music, it took me a while to be able to interpret what was in my head into music form.

    If I'm not already working around a melody that has already popped into my head, what I tend to do is work out a chord progression using a synth string or other lush pad kind of sound and then put the entire progression on a continuous loop.

    Then I generally just sit at my synth or computer and play around with notes until I stumble across a melody that I like (usually by accident!).

    Stick your chord progression on loop and then work out which notes in an octave sound nice or fit over the various chords. Once you've done that, try to develop a melody using a combination of some or all of the notes.

    Alternatively, try emulating the lead riff from a particular song that uplifts you, then be a bit cheeky and simply alter one or two of the notes to make it slightly different. Also try, shifting some of the notes to different positions in the bar. Just keep playing around and again my friend, PERSEVERE. This may not come to you overnight.

    You will no doubt ultimately find in the future that you will develop your own procedures for generating synth riffs but it may assist to try it my way or if anyone else has any advice to give then try it their way.

    I am quite lucky in that I have quite a natural ear for music as opposed to having been taught but this can sometimes make it difficult for me to express in words what goes on in my head so I hope that what I've written here makes at least some sense…

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