How do you handle transitions?
You are Unregistered, please register to gain Full access.    
Advertisements


Music Theory & Composition Questions & comments about composition, arrangement, and music theory. Music rules and how to follow or break them.

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 14-06-2015, 10:21 AM   #1
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
How do you handle transitions?

When it comes to composing music on a DAW, how do you manage transitions between different sections? I can manage abrupt changes quite well with false endings but I feel like when it comes to weaving one section into another that I can't do this with the intricacy or subtlety that a group like Shpongle could.

I'd love to hear how you handle this.

-William

Advertisements

Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15-06-2015, 11:40 PM   #2
T-CHANG
Microknight
T-CHANG will become famous soon enough
Posts: 109
MC Status: 60
Thanks: 11
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: How do you handle transitions?

You're going to have to be a little bit more specific on what exactly you mean, but when I'm composing EDM, I find that the key to transitions is figuring out if you're building up tension (e.g. transitioning to a buildup) or releasing it (e.g. the drop), and then place your elements accordingly. Sweeps and impacts are good for leading into and clearly establishing new sections, respectively. Adding and taking away elements of a track while maintaining similar motifs also works generally well. If you have more specific questions I'll be happy to see what I can do.

------------------
T-CHANG is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 12:12 AM   #3
Andantonius
Sample Destroyer
Andantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond reputeAndantonius has a reputation beyond repute
Andantonius's Avatar
Posts: 286
MC Status: 7610
Thanks: 100
Thanked 152 Times in 109 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

That can be a pretty loaded question; but the rule of thumb is that you have to create tension and resolution. This can be done either sonically or musically.

Sonically, it's usually things like risers and fallers, drum fills, a repeating element that speeds up to tell the listener something is about to happen, or a gradual change in texture like slowly opening the filter on a synth. Basically any change in texture can be used as a bridge to another section; you could filter, distort, narrow, widen, reverb, etc. and then change its properties in some way to either expand or contract the fullness of the song.

Musically, you'll have to apply some theory. For instance if you play the ever-common 1, 5, 6, 4 progression in C, so C, G, Am, F, our ears are tuned to expect you return to C at the end of it. So if you play that progression and maybe hold the F for an extra bar, our ears get anxious for that tension to be resolved, and you can use the transition back to C as a bridge to the next section. There's lots of ways to do this, like a V7 chord will always want to resolve back to the root, so if you play a G7 everyone will be uncomfortable until you, "finish" it with a C.

You can also do this using pitch, which is heard all the time in EDM. If you take a vocal or synth and slowly increase its pitch, it creates tension in our ears that wants to be resolved by landing on the octave above.

You can also smooth out transitions simply by leading in to them. A lot of songs will have the lyrics or notes of a chorus begin during the bar preceding the chorus, and then those notes lead in to and resolve on a pivotal word or note on the down beat of the first bar of the chorus.

Allowing your arrangements to flow together can help a lot too. Say you have a big lead synth during the intro, but then the verse starts and it takes up too much space and crowds the vocal. Instead of removing it completely, just filter it so it's a lot smaller, maybe pan it to the side, and now you have a musical element that's tying the intro and the verse together, making them feel different but still part of the same song.

There's a lot of ways to achieve transitions, they're definitely tricky but are important. And when in doubt just listen to some of your favorite tracks and analyze what they did.
Andantonius is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Andantonius
stray medicine (04-05-2016)
Old 16-06-2015, 12:57 AM   #4
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-CHANG View Post
You're going to have to be a little bit more specific on what exactly you mean, but when I'm composing EDM, I find that the key to transitions is figuring out if you're building up tension (e.g. transitioning to a buildup) or releasing it (e.g. the drop), and then place your elements accordingly. Sweeps and impacts are good for leading into and clearly establishing new sections, respectively. Adding and taking away elements of a track while maintaining similar motifs also works generally well. If you have more specific questions I'll be happy to see what I can do.
I make experimental music, I guess it's mostly sort of a blend of dark ambient and industrial. I'd link you some examples from my soundcloud but I don't think I have enough posts yet to actually be allowed to do this although I did link a track in my intro thread. Maybe a mod can clarify the rules around this if they see this thread.

A lot of my songs started with pads being used to create a build up before moving into a more rhythmic and aggressive section with industrial sounding percussion sometimes with a Delta Modulator being used on the melody or on the drums themselves. It isn't always the buildup that is the problem, sometimes its the climax itself that is but I'd love to weave different sections together in a more intricate way.

Your advice is helpful though.
Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 01:09 AM   #5
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andantonius View Post
Allowing your arrangements to flow together can help a lot too. Say you have a big lead synth during the intro, but then the verse starts and it takes up too much space and crowds the vocal. Instead of removing it completely, just filter it so it's a lot smaller, maybe pan it to the side, and now you have a musical element that's tying the intro and the verse together, making them feel different but still part of the same song.
This is definitely helpful advice, I'll try putting it into practice with the piece I've just started on.

I've also played guitar around a decade so I know a bit about theory (though my knowledge isn't what it should be. A lot of the time I can just resolve things to the right note by ear (although with my music a bit of harmonic dissonance can be a good thing).
Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 01:33 AM   #6
Nystagmus
Savage Mad Cunt
Nystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MCNystagmus is a savage MC
Nystagmus's Avatar
Planet Earth; 2017 AD.
Posts: 3,801
MC Status: 65460
Thanks: 3,367
Thanked 1,309 Times in 987 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

I find it useful to stagger the startings and endings of different parts. For example, don't start and stop everything at the same measure. Have some stuff go earlier and some stuff go later. Usually this will be percussion stuff if everything else is locked into pitches and chords.

------------------
Mutually-Assured Survival is preferred.

Be a false negative of yourself !
Nystagmus is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 02:29 AM   #7
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nystagmus View Post
I find it useful to stagger the startings and endings of different parts. For example, don't start and stop everything at the same measure. Have some stuff go earlier and some stuff go later. Usually this will be percussion stuff if everything else is locked into pitches and chords.
Do you use softer dynamics when you start to ease something out, say percussion?
Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 03:17 AM   #8
Muse-ic
Wanderer
Muse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MC
Muse-ic's Avatar
Posts: 5,713
MC Status: 6963583
Thanks: 6,191
Thanked 4,083 Times in 2,708 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

-Key change.
-drop out the percussion and go ambiant.
-percussion change up
-layer chords
Muse-ic is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 04:02 AM   #9
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muse-ic View Post
-Key change.
-drop out the percussion and go ambiant.
-percussion change up
-layer chords
When you drop your percussion out do you generally drop it straight away or ease it out?
Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 05:25 AM   #10
DjRapitops
IDMf Supporter
DjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond reputeDjRapitops has a reputation beyond repute
DjRapitops's Avatar
Helsinki
Age: 21
Posts: 154
MC Status: 2010
Thanks: 33
Thanked 40 Times in 30 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonelands View Post
When you drop your percussion out do you generally drop it straight away or ease it out?
Usually when I do this i drop kick 4 beats earlier than the rest (including the sidechain), I think this is good for when you exit a drop
sent from my phone

------------------
DjRapitops is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 05:35 AM   #11
Kvlt O)))
Is a retard
Kvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MC
Posts: 6,756
MC Status: 153560
Thanks: 3,344
Thanked 3,071 Times in 2,153 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Maybe a drum fill, guitar noodling or just a simple rest. Never underestimate the power of the rest.
Kvlt O))) is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Kvlt O)))
relic (16-06-2015)
Old 16-06-2015, 06:14 AM   #12
oly
IDMf Artist
oly is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MC
oly's Avatar
socialism twitter
Age: 26
Posts: 12,096
MC Status: 471670051
Thanks: 2,870
Thanked 2,414 Times in 1,662 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

There's a million songs to write, and thus a million transitions possible.

It's all in context of what you're writing.
oly is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to oly
Numerical (17-06-2015)
Old 16-06-2015, 07:14 AM   #13
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oly View Post
There's a million songs to write, and thus a million transitions possible.

It's all in context of what you're writing.
But how do you handle transitions in the context of what you do?
Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 07:29 AM   #14
oly
IDMf Artist
oly is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MColy is a savage MC
oly's Avatar
socialism twitter
Age: 26
Posts: 12,096
MC Status: 471670051
Thanks: 2,870
Thanked 2,414 Times in 1,662 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Depends what I'm writing.
oly is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 02:29 PM   #15
Muse-ic
Wanderer
Muse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MC
Muse-ic's Avatar
Posts: 5,713
MC Status: 6963583
Thanks: 6,191
Thanked 4,083 Times in 2,708 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonelands View Post
When you drop your percussion out do you generally drop it straight away or ease it out?
It depends on what I am going for. There is no specific technique. Maybe you could put up a track in the listening booth and we could you give you specific ideas?
Muse-ic is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Muse-ic
vashima (25-08-2016)
Old 16-06-2015, 02:37 PM   #16
RFJ
IDMf Artist
RFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MCRFJ is a savage MC
RFJ's Avatar
I live in California.
Age: 38
Posts: 12,989
MC Status: 199644118
Thanks: 4,628
Thanked 4,897 Times in 3,160 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

+1 for the lead in, thats usually my go to method. Well that or a fill. But to offer something new...

Silence works great as well. As in give a tap tap on your snare then cut everything for 2 to 4 counts and bring the new section in full force right away after. Having an element decay, delay, or reverb tail over the silence is usually what I do but simetimes you don't need it.

------------------
RFJ is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2015, 12:46 AM   #17
Numerical
IDMf Artist
Numerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MCNumerical is a savage MC
Numerical's Avatar
Austin
Age: 40
Posts: 10,787
MC Status: 45943731
Thanks: 6,688
Thanked 5,711 Times in 3,598 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Try stuff. That's really the best way.

------------------
brumski
Numerical is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Numerical
relic (17-06-2015)
Old 17-06-2015, 12:49 AM   #18
Muse-ic
Wanderer
Muse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MCMuse-ic is a savage MC
Muse-ic's Avatar
Posts: 5,713
MC Status: 6963583
Thanks: 6,191
Thanked 4,083 Times in 2,708 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Another great way to transition is to let another instrument take over the melody. For example if you have a piano playing a melody have that transition to background strings and then you can combine that with the new element you are moving to.
Muse-ic is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2015, 01:07 AM   #19
Kvlt O)))
Is a retard
Kvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MC
Posts: 6,756
MC Status: 153560
Thanks: 3,344
Thanked 3,071 Times in 2,153 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

Bite your lip, grab ahold of something and just enjoy the ride. Brah.
Kvlt O))) is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2015, 01:33 AM   #20
Stonelands
Granular Poster
Stonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really niceStonelands is just really nice
Posts: 71
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 1
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: How do you handle transitions?

I have a track in the listening booth if that helps [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

Advertisements

Stonelands is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How does your DAW handle tempo automation? Nyul Workstation Center 15 07-01-2014 03:24 PM
[Downtempo] Qatarsis - U Cant Handle Tha Truth Phili Listening Booth 0 10-02-2013 07:10 PM
(Electro) Knob Handle bbb Listening Booth 6 02-03-2012 07:10 PM
How to handle getting hired for remixes ???? Obelizk Music Scene Chat 3 19-09-2011 03:52 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:09 PM.


Electronic Music Forums

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.