Forums The Arts

Malevolant33's music attempts.

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Losing Sanity
2nd Degree Robbery
Silver Wolf
Jewel Blend

Here are a few of my latest creations. My point of this thread is , I have a problem with leaving things too bland. And or either thinking a song is done before it should be lol. I’m asking those who appreciate or know how to make music using computer software: what to do when simple problems like this come up. How do you decide what a good melody should sound like. How do you structure your music? i.e , do you do drums first, create a melody first then work around it?

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well.. I can say, as a complete noob at this stuff myself, whatever method works is the one to use.
I started out creating beats and jamming to them. The beats were always relevant to multiples of 4..(kick, clap, kick, double clap. repeat) so my first melodies were also based around 4.
Uploading things before they’re done is really hard to avoid. 90% of the time I upload a track after a single session… Only really having established a melody, beat, and bassline. It’s perfectly fine if you want to upload things that aren’t finished. I tend to do that all the time and never actually go back and change what I thought of later.
I have almost no theory knowledge.. (I can (slowly) read sheet music, and I understand the notes on a keyboard..) I could be terribly wrong in saying this, but creating a bassline or progression is generally the (proper) first step..
Its quite easy to build off a bassline and keep changing things up. If you’ve been jamming for a while and come up with an impressive riff, be sure to create it in an ideas project that you can stuff full of melodies that currently wont fit anywhere.
Assuming you have some synth knowledge and know the layout/workings of your program the order that you come up with things in doesn’t really matter..
(I didn’t have time to look this over, it might sound really jumbled..)

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I used to have the same problem. I’d work on a track for just a few days and then show it off to everyone I knew. Only recently have I really started valuing my production time.

Generally when constructing an electronic song I start with the drums, keeping them simple for the moment. After that I work on a rythm section and a bass section. They can be one in the same or separate entities depending on what you want to do with your song. After those are laid out I usually go back and touch up the drums to fill things out a bit and move on to the melodies. Once the melodies are complete its back to the bass/rythm lines to edit them a bit and then back to the drums to fix them up. After that I just keep going through that patter, editing from the top (melodies) to the bottom (drums) over and over again.

As for my actual creation process I have professional softwares but you can essentially do the same things for free with the right know how. I’m not sure what you’re working with but vstplanet (a google search will land you on the site) has a lot of free resources so long as the program you’re working with supports vst format. It also has a lot of music creation programs such as audacity that are free or almost free or kinda free and so on. When I used cubase nearly every virtual instrument and effect I used was from the site.

I highly suggest learning about synthesis and at least having a basic understanding of how it works. Being able to engineer your own sounds with a synthesizer (not just your keys but you can create your own drums and sound effects) will take your music to another level. At first your sounds will probably sound like farts and noise but eventually you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to literally think of a sound and then make it. Also when doing this you’ll be taking a lot more time to listen to what you have and inevitably put a lot more work into the progressions.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to be simple. Some of the best electronic tunes are. Plus if you can create a killer song with just 3 instruments you have some skill. Its really all about finding your own sound and becoming the best and making your sound. Unless you’re looking to make money in music you really shouldn’t worry about pleasing anyone but yourself.

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Originally posted by 997847:

Unless you’re looking to make money in music you really shouldn’t worry about pleasing anyone but yourself.

That’s probably the most relevant statement.. Where do you learn about synths though? I thought it was either use defaults or experiment for a few hours…

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You can learn a fair bit about them online. What I mean by that is basically learn about the parts of a synth and how to use them. Things like LFO’s, Oscillators, envelopes, sequencers and so on. One of the best tools for me was Native Instrument’s Massive. It has a simple interface and there isn’t a lot of bs that gets in your way. But like you said, experimentation is always a great way to learn about it and there will always be some involved. The defaults are a great way to learn about synths as well. You can see how sounds you like are made and imitate the process.

If anyone has questions about basic synthesis I can help you out if you shoot me a pm.