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Thread: Electronic Music making, what's your approach?

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    Electronic Music making, what's your approach?

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    Hello everyone, I'm new to the Forum, and I just thought I'd make my first thread about my search for a good workflow technique.

    First, a bit about the type of music I like to work on. I'm and FL Studio user and mainly focus on melodic tracks, such as uplifting euphoric trance, 132 to 138 bpm, for that sort of Daniel Kandi style, you know? I have also been playing around with making synthwave/retrowave tracks, that style amazes me as I love 80's music such as Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and the like.


    My issue is, for example, I'll get a really nice rolling bassline, EQ it really well, make it sound great with the drums....but then I don't know where to go from there, I can't figure out how to make a melody to go with it. I also encounter the same problem when I start with melodies, I get the progression just fine, it sounds great, but then I don't know how the hell to make a bassline that will suit it and sound good with it.

    So my question to you fellow producers is, do you start with the bassline and then create a melody for it? Do you start with the melody and then create the bassline for it? Do you start with drums from the very beginning and just "Make it up as you go"?

    I've tried all, and I can't find yet the technique that works best for me. I guess in a way i'm asking you: "How does YOUR brain work?" hahaha.

    Any advice?

    Thanks a lot!

    -A

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    I think knowing what bass line to use with the melody is knowing the scale or key the track is in. Someone with more music theory knowledge than me might be able to shed some light on that. All's I know is, the bass line note will be the root note of that chord which should change when the chord changes (but not necessarily but often is the case). So if the chord is an Am (A minor) the root note bas note will be a lower octave A.

    As for what to start with, don't think there are any set rules to begin with. Best is to just get all the elements of a track in a 8 bar loop and then structure it after.

    I had a good link but I couldn't post it on here as I'm a new member.

    Search this on You Tube:-

    Introduction to trance structure - Hans Zimmer vs Alex Hough 'Inception Time'

    Describes the structure of trance.
    Last edited by SimplerCity; 06-01-2020 at 01:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimplerCity View Post
    I think knowing what bass line to use with the melody is knowing the scale or key the track is in. Someone with more music theory knowledge than me might be able to shed some light on that. All's I know is, the bass line note will be the root note of that chord which should change when the chord changes (but not necessarily but often is the case). So if the chord is an Am (A minor) the root note bas note will be a lower octave A.

    That's a good starting point anyway.
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I figure the Music Theory Aspect of things, I'll get a full breakdown of a track and I'm like "ok, this is it, everything sounding in harmony" but then I think "but how do i arrange this into a full on track?" and once I start arranging it, I always get discouraged and give up, it sucks.

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    I'm the same. I get good 8 or 16 bar loops going. Understanding the genre obviously helps and I'm wondering if being a DJ really helps. Knowing when the drop happens (if your particular genre has one) or when the hands in the air moments happen. Maybe you just know after years of DJ'ing it perhaps?

    That You Tube link will really help.

    I do old skool house and have the same problem. I've took to analysing the structure of a few of my favourite tracks.

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    My workflow is:
    Drums- something basic along the cadence and style I want for my track

    Everything below is loaded into FL Keys instruments, I am of the opinion that if it sounds good in keys I'm good to expand to better sounding instruments.

    Chord progressions that work with drums
    From the chords I pretty much know what the bottom(Bass) notes will be so I paint them into another Keys instrument
    then I try to find an ARP pattern that will play throughout the track behind everything else.
    I again use the chords to know where I am going to start at with melody.
    I tweak the patterns from there until I am pretty satisfied that the track is where I want it.
    Once I am satisfied with all of that then I find my drum sounds that match the mood of the track.
    Then find the bass sound, arp sound, chords sound, melody sound in that order.

    Then I work on arranging and tweaking so that it is in the order that I want.
    Once I am set with all of this.
    I do a basic mixing session to get volumes, pans, eq's, compressions and other effects in place.
    Then I will spend about 4 to 5 days just listening to it over and over keeping a log of what I want to add, change, or delete and make those changes.

    Only then will I get super serious about mixing for final sound.
    Another 4-6 days of listening but this time to the mix down MP3 on as many devices as possible to see how it sounds across a spectrum of devices and if any further adjustments need to be made, Fix anything at that point. Finalize and final mix down.

    Is a lengthy process for me but keeps me attached to the track and eager to proceed.

    That is my process A to Z

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Noseworthy View Post
    My workflow is:
    Drums- something basic along the cadence and style I want for my track

    Everything below is loaded into FL Keys instruments, I am of the opinion that if it sounds good in keys I'm good to expand to better sounding instruments.

    Chord progressions that work with drums
    From the chords I pretty much know what the bottom(Bass) notes will be so I paint them into another Keys instrument
    then I try to find an ARP pattern that will play throughout the track behind everything else.
    I again use the chords to know where I am going to start at with melody.
    I tweak the patterns from there until I am pretty satisfied that the track is where I want it.
    Once I am satisfied with all of that then I find my drum sounds that match the mood of the track.
    Then find the bass sound, arp sound, chords sound, melody sound in that order.

    Then I work on arranging and tweaking so that it is in the order that I want.
    Once I am set with all of this.
    I do a basic mixing session to get volumes, pans, eq's, compressions and other effects in place.
    Then I will spend about 4 to 5 days just listening to it over and over keeping a log of what I want to add, change, or delete and make those changes.

    Only then will I get super serious about mixing for final sound.
    Another 4-6 days of listening but this time to the mix down MP3 on as many devices as possible to see how it sounds across a spectrum of devices and if any further adjustments need to be made, Fix anything at that point. Finalize and final mix down.

    Is a lengthy process for me but keeps me attached to the track and eager to proceed.

    That is my process A to Z
    Thatís awesome, do you have a link to some of your tracks?

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    I have some up on my soundcloud page. my user name is elektriklounge. Sorry I cannot post links yet

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