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How do they do that.
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 5:04 pm    Post subject: How do they do that. Reply with quote

RiotNrrd
I'm a little behind on some work, so I only got a chance to knock up a Trance Demo. I'll make a Hip Hop one in the morning.

The Story with this demo is I want to show how basic Trance is and how a little smart use of the Triton's effects can give some major results.

In this demo, I reversed a single note for the Bass Track, nothing else. Call me lazy if you like, but wait any you hear the effect it has. The Drum Track is extremely basic, but I added the reverse reverb effect on to the bass drum, that's all.

Childs Play.

To make things a little easier to hear, I also played each part separately so you can have a close listen.

http://www.irishacts.com/support/tutorials/reverse.mp3
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Nice demo Sharp.  You're right, having the percussion, bass and other parts separated is a cool idea for instructional demo purposes.  It makes it easier to hear and understand the layering involved.
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RiotNrrd
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

OK, this is good.

Ya, the bass part by itself is nothing.  In fact, I probably wouldn't have even considered using that if I'd done it myself.

The drum part is good, but nothing special by itself.

But it really DOES sound good when you put them together.  Hmmm... I have to go experiment now.

Thanks for doing this.  I do hope that you will put together a few more small bits like this, because even simple things like this are very educational.

Reminds me of when I was trying to learn to improvise the blues (piano only).  I got the blues scale down, but it just didn't sound quite right.  Then, after screwing around with the scale for a long time and getting frustrated with it, I found a website (the URL is long forgotten, unfortunately) that gave just a couple of little, easy to implement, tips on filling out improvisational blues pieces.  Just those couple of tips made ALL the difference.

Sometimes all it takes is just a tiny push past ones own self-imposed limitations.

Thanks!
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 9:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Yeah.

I think that one really hits the spot for commercial Trance. There's not a lot that can be said about the demo. I honestly think the demo really speaks a million words as it is. What I was trying to get across is that with most music, if the really basic programming is not kicking and mixed right. Then it will make no difference what you add to the track.

Did anyone notice anything about the EQ ?.  

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Daz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 9:29 am    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Quote:

Did anyone notice anything about the EQ ?.  


One thing that I noticed about this was the clean separation between the bass and the kick. Did you low cut the bass and high cut the kick ?

Daz.
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cnegrad
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Ok , here's a really nieve question:

What makes this mp3 "trance"? Sounds like it could be on any Britney/n'sync/backstreet pop tune I've heard.

No insult intended; I'm really asking this out of complete ignorance. With the plethora of hi tech mixes out there,  I'm really having trouble making a distinction between genres. I hear a pretty "disco-ish" drum pattern with a bass note being played on the up-beats. How is trance different from generic Dance or Pop?

I got the impression from reading TritonCentral that trance music involved a lot of pre-recorded loops, but perhaps this is just a generalization. (or was that the "Bass & Drum" genre that I'm thinking of...)

Please elucidate...

Thanks,
-cnegrad
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Daz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

What makes this the basis for a trance track is a couple of things :

1) The tempo, which is about 135-140 bpm.
2) The "4 to the floor" drum beat. That a kick drum on every beat of the bar. (There are some other kicks in there too to add flavour)
3) The drum sounds used, they are not acoustic kit sounds, but more like TR808/TR909 type electronic sounds.
4) The bass is on the offbeat, as is the open hat.
5) The bass sound used is somewhere between trance and techno.

The pop acts you mention may have picked these things up from trance/dance, as they are fairly general dance music techniques.

This mp3 in itself does not make this a trance track on its own. This is the basis over which you would build a trance track who structure which would be very different from a pop song, i.e. no verse/chorus.

You need to listen to some trance music such as Paul Van Dyk or something similar, and you will hear the difference immediately. I think your comment, though perfectly fair, does suggest a little that you've not had an opportunity to listen some of this music. Hearing is believing Smile

Daz.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Yep, try the 2 Pauls:  Paul Van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold.  These guys know trance better than any of us.  
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cnegrad
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

[quote author=Daz link=board=korgsupport;num=1015625078;start=0#6 date=03/09/02 at 11:28:39]I think your comment, though perfectly fair, does suggest a little that you've not had an opportunity to listen some of this music.
[/quote]

Absolutely guilty, no question. My clients are starting to lean toward the Britney/n'sync style production which, as you suggest, seems to be borrowing from the trance genre. IMHO, the numbered items that you mention could also be attributed to any electronic Pop tune that's out these days.

What I guess it comes down to is that the numbered items in combination with the unconventional song form and production add up to "trance". To be perfectly honest, the mp3 demos of trance that I've heard at TritonCentral don't really peak my interest. But I do like how Pop music borrows it's unique sounds from trance. I'll have to check out the artists you mentioned.

Thanks for cluing me in!

-cnegrad
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Daz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Hi cnegrad,

If you listen to this mp3 I've added a little bit to Sharp's mp3 to give it a little more trancey context. Using a raft of Sharp type of advice such as getting plenty of controller, panning and gating in there.

http://www.irishacts.com/support/tutorials/reverse-daz.mp3

Although, I did it before reading your comment, so I am not sure how exciting you'll find it Smile

Daz.
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Daz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Quote:

Absolutely guilty, no question. My clients are starting to lean toward the Britney/n'sync style production which, as you suggest, seems to be borrowing from the trance genre. IMHO, the numbered items that you mention could also be attributed to any electronic Pop tune that's out these days.


LOL, well, yes. Probably right back to Donna Summer's "I feel love", you could say the same thing, right ?

Quote:

What I guess it comes down to is that the numbered items in combination with the unconventional song form and production add up to "trance".


Those numbered things are just characteristics of that snippet; there is a shed load of stuff relating to dance music, just like any other genre. Just keep reading those Sharp tips Smile

Daz.
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RiotNrrd
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 1:10 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Well, I also may be misusing the word "trance" - or at least using it fairly loosely.  What I'm interested in are those genre's of music which are both dance oriented and completely synthesized.  Trance, techno, whatever.

Not Disco, though.   Never shall my music be compared favorably to The Bee-Gee's or Donna Summer!  :Smile

The reasons I'm interested is simply because those are types of music I've never written before and I'm trying to expand my little music universe.  In the past I've usually stuck with writing downtempo new-agey improvisational jazz-like pieces (heavily influenced by experimentalists like Brian Eno and minimalists such as Steve Reich).  Trance, techno, jungle, etc., are very different from that (at least on the Eno side), and so I'm trying to get a handle on how to put them together.

I've listened to a fair amount of music at www.live365.com, in the trance and techno areas (although I find I prefer the trance stations - whether or not the music I'm hearing is truly "trance" and not some eclectic mix rather than a pure form is debatable).

I'm finding it difficult to break away from ingrained habits developed over the years, so even small examples of how to put together what is to me a somewhat alien form is very helpful.
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Daz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

LOL, how can you dis Donna Summer. It ain't my cup of tea, but something like IFL is where the whole thing started; however propesterous that may seem Smile

Anyway, I only mentioned that to make a more general point, I am definitely not proposing that we go all retro here Smile

Back to business. RiotNrrd, what gear are you using, and how do you sequence stuff ? Just so I could try offering any tips more in context.

Did you get the gist of what Sharp mp3 was all about, and you're wondering where to go from there ? I guess I am saying where are you at, and do you have any specific questions we could answer. I was where you were not so long back, and I know how difficult it is to kind of pin down what you feel you don't know about this.

I think the key thing is turn everything upside down from a rock/pop perspective. I come from a guitar background and writing songs started my playing chords and coming up with vocal and lead lines over that. The bass and drums were just slapped on the side by the band. Now I (as I have learnt from others) do  everything the other way round. Creating drum/bass patterns and grooves first,  and then laying the synth lines over that. If you listen to the micro snippet I did above, which might not be examplary (!) but for 5 minutes work it is of interest possibly. I took Sharps drum and bass patterns and recycled them into Reason. I then put down the very simple 1 note synth line and played it through two synths in Reason. Both those synths have a good dollop of reverb, and two tempo synched delays with different delay times, and each panned hard left or right. I also recorded some controller data for panning and the mod wheel, by hand.

Then I pulled up a pad sound on a sampler and programmed in the A minor triad played a couple of times across the keyboard for the complete 4 bars. I then using something called the Matrix in Reason to open and close the 'gate' on that sound, which just pads out the background. I then recorded some controller data to modify the cutoff frequency of that sound, and set the samplers LFO to modulate panning. LOL, if you look back at a previous post I am following, as best I can, Sharps previous advice, to the absolute letter. So in the end I spent a lot more time messing with controller data and effects to make something really very simple not sound entirely uninteresting.

Daz.



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RiotNrrd
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

hehehe.  I've got nothing personal against Donna - don't get me wrong.   Very Happy

My gear is actually pretty simple.  Karma and Triton (and over in the corner an old SY-77 that doesn't get a lot of business these days).  These three are piped through a small Eurorack mixing board.

That's pretty much it.  Sequencers used are the onboard Karma/Triton ones.  The only time the computer enters into it is when I record to mp3's (and it even adds a slight electrical hum to all my pieces as an added bonus!).

I don't really have any specific questions - more just a general level of not being quite able to produce the sounds I hear in my head.

I know what you mean about turning stuff upside-down though.  I've always thought of the drum tracks as something less important that just gets slapped underneath to keep the beat going.  Just that attitude I know is holding me back a little.

I never even thought of using two delays with different delay amounts.  See?  Even little stuff like that is really helpful.  I'm gonna go try that out.   Smile
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Daz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they do that. Reply with quote

Quote:

That's pretty much it.  Sequencers used are the onboard Karma/Triton ones.  The only time the computer enters into it is when I record to mp3's (and it even adds a slight electrical hum to all my pieces as an added bonus!).


LOL, well I am the exact opposite, I only rarely use the Triton sequencer and use my PC very heavily for sequencing/recording. I find the Triton sequencer far too difficult to use, compared to Logic or Cubase Smile But they all do the same thing one way or another, I guess. I found it very useful downloading the demo version of Reason or Rebirth from www.propellerheads.se and using them to load up all various songs people have published and then dissecting them. That is immensely useful because you get to see how entire tracks are put together in terms of arrangement, mixing, effects, drum programming and everything else. The same could be said of FruityLoops (www.fruityloops.com) or Orion (www.sonicsyndicate.com) too.

Quote:
I don't really have any specific questions - more just a general level of not being quite able to produce the sounds I hear in my head.


I know what you are saying, and I think that is where dissecting other songs can really help.

Quote:
I know what you mean about turning stuff upside-down though.  I've always thought of the drum tracks as something less important that just gets slapped underneath to keep the beat going.  Just that attitude I know is holding me back a little.


Oh yeah, someone told me this a while back, when I asked about arranging and writing this kind of music. I was told that first you had to come up with the groove and that you just arranged stuff however you like, without any particular rules. LOL, well at first I ignored this because it seemed very flippant, and I believed that there must be some more hard and fast rules. But now I've come to understand a little more about what was really meant.

How are you finding the drum programming ? I found that tough but now I am okay with it, but that is the thing to get right first. Once you can write drums patterns that can progress along and actually sound interesting and danceable on their own, you definitely started on the right track. Its also much easier to concentrate on just this one angle first.

Daz.
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