Method for putting together a new song...

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snaarman
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: Newbury. UK

Method for putting together a new song...

Post by snaarman » Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:29 pm

I've just finished putting together a new song: Its a one man band thing where I play all the tracks myself. OK - now I have got to the end I figured I would write down the process and see how it compares to other MTS users' methods... So here goes:

1 Sort out the time signature and put down a midi click track.

2 Put down (guitar) rhythm, lead and bass using the click. Repeat step 2 until you are fairly happy with the basics :)

3 Now program a drum track. This is where I discover that I play guitar just ahead of the beat, so I tweak the drums to match the groove using the MTS midi editor.. Now mute the click track 'cos you won't need it again.

4 Put down some synth tracks - these might also get their timing tweaked using the midi editor so they match the drum track.

5 Add the vocals (if any).
(now do 2-5 above again and again until its perfect...)

Mix down to 16 bit wav, burn a CD. Send to your friends and wait for stardom...

Is it finished??
No..

6 Make copies of the synth and drum tracks and quantise them, then spend a load of time with the MTS note editor removing most of the groove so the dots look nice :)

7 Play a new synth track to represent the melody or vocals, and quantise and tidy that as well.

8 When you have pretty dots for all the parts of the song - combine them into a single multi stream midi file, save it then import it into a music notation package :?

9 Spend a load more time in the notation package placing the words under the dots, adding the guitar chords, explaining where the verse and chorus is, and listening the the result to see if there is any sign of the original groove left :)

PS - Of course - if you don't know any dot-reading musicians, than you can dispense with 6-9 above :D

Just wondering how other MTS users do this thing, compared with my self invented method..

Pete

Saz
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:44 am
Location: WV, USA

Post by Saz » Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:05 am

Sounds like a good method snaarman.

I usually start with getting a good "groove" with the bass and drums and then add other parts as needed. Sometimes I'll go back and replace the bass and/or drums, but not often. Although it helps to have the whole song "scored" out before tracking, sometimes some cool and unexpected things happen while tracking and I'll adjust or re-track accordingly.

You use midi more than I do - I mainly use it for synth padding(not really a keyboardist) or special percussive effects(not a drummer either) - most of my work is done with audio tracks. Sometimes I'll take those outside of MTS for some "surgical" type editing and bring them back in.

I play guitar and since I became more involved with online collaboration about a year ago, I've hooked up with some great drummers and keyboard players - we trade audio tracks and midi is rarely used.

But that's a cool thing about MTS - it has plenty of capabilities for both. :)

snaarman
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: Newbury. UK

Post by snaarman » Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:20 am

Saz, Its intersting that you get the groove right first... then build on it.

This is the curse and the benefit of the click track. I need the background midi timing under the song to keep the tempo right, so I can cut and paste stuff and still have it line up reasonably well. But - playing to a click can really flatten the song and ruin the groove. I guess I try to get rid of the click as soon as possible when I'm bulding the song so it keeps its feel.

The trouble is, I also need to turn the end result into music notation for the dot-readers I know. This is where I end up making two versions of the song at the same time. One keeps the groove and is aimed at Wav and CD, the other is exclusively midi, has most of the groove removed, and is aimed at dots on the page.

As for me, I'm a guitar and bass player, I don't read dots and I am very slow at playing keyboards. Its a good thing the MTS note editor lets me clean up my midi mess afterwards :)

Like you say, MTS lets you do it your own way, and generally get good results!

PH

BTW - Overheard in the studio from time to time (courtesy of my step son):
Drummer: "The click track is slowing down"
Guitarist: "These clicks are speeding up"
Everyone: "Can I have more of me on foldback"

Saz
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:44 am
Location: WV, USA

Post by Saz » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:46 pm

snaarman wrote:BTW - Overheard in the studio from time to time (courtesy of my step son):
Drummer: "The click track is slowing down"
Guitarist: "These clicks are speeding up"
Everyone: "Can I have more of me on foldback"
:lol: Yeah - I've heard those before. :lol:

Something I've learned about midi and click tracks that may be helpful though - it's a good idea to render the click to audio as soon as you can, especially if you share files with others on a project. Seems no 2 PC's will play the same midi track at exactly the same tempo, which can prompt a lot of head-scratching and comments like those above. :wink:

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