Length of music and tracks
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
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Length of music and tracks

I often hear people suggest that tracks are made longer, but for me, I tend to like tracks to hit as close to the 3-4 minute mark as possible. Unless the track has enough variation and journey to keep my interest.



What do you think about track length? How long are your tracks usually? How long should a track be?

However, I would listen to 10 minute tracks with this artist.
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:58 PM   #2
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Re: Length of music and tracks

If we are talking dance music tracks there are minutes of stripped back parts in the tracks that DJs use to blend tracks. If you are talking a pure vinyl mix with no sync it can take some time to ride the pitch and platter to get the two tracks blended properly. When making a dance track you have to think of it as a DJ tool instead of a pop song.

When talking no DJ tracks I like a 3-4 minute track generally speaking. But many of my favorite rock artists were well known for making long songs or having long versions that I like. I know that kind of became a thing the Doors always tried to do. Then look at some Pink Floyd albums where the album is 45 minutes to an hour long and there are only four or five tracks.

Personally I'm leaning towards making non-DJ these days, so am concentrating on that 3-4 minute sweet spot with lots of changes and way less loop-e-ness.

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Old 05-27-2016, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Some 8 minute songs are great! Some songs can sound really repetitive, even though they're about 3 minutes long. Imo, there's no point in stretching a song longer if you're just gonna waste the listener's time. Put what you need and give the listener a satisfying experience.

I was just thinking about this today while working on a track. I'm interested to see what others think about this

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Old 05-27-2016, 04:39 PM   #4
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Re: Length of music and tracks

It's really a question of a song versus a track or a lyric versus an instrumental. Songs and lyrics should be shorter. Tracks and instruments should be longer.

Then it's about your target audience and genre too. Like if you're writing some ambient track it's over in two minutes, then where's the ambience? If you're making crazy wubstep and it goes for ten minutes, kids heads would explode because they can't pay attention for more than three minutes.

I think good electronic music tends towards the longer side.

Like this:


It shouldn't be any shorter than ten minutes. Otherwise, it's a shit track that goes nowhere.
If you are going to play this, you need to play it from start to finish.
You're not supposed to listen to it. You're supposed to feel it.

Like how would you have time to feel this in three minutes?


It doesn't make sense in seven minutes or less. But if you listen to it from start to finish with the title in mind what The Field is saying about life and love and everything will make complete sense. It's all just a series of repetitive loops that happened to collide and make you what you are. How do you explain something that complex in under five minutes without using words?

Then there's everything in between and it's all kind of the same deal. I'm not saying every track should be ten minutes long. But every track should have enough time to let people's brains sync up to it so they can really appreciate the message.

I don't know. I think now everyone's got a remote control for everything in their pocket, so it's too easy to skip to the next track. I think when most of this music was on records or CDs and you and your friends were too fucking high to get up and change the track, so people had patience.

But this is all some philosophical shit that probably doesn't make any sense...

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Old 05-27-2016, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Oh, well maybe every good track should be ten minutes so that when you're driving and you've got it on shuffle and shit one comes on, you don't have to fuck about skipping tracks.

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Old 05-27-2016, 04:53 PM   #6
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Could and have talked about this subject for hours on end. And I think there are plenty more examples of tracks that wouldn't be tracks if they fit on a 7" 45

Although hipster scenes that revolve around 7" "techno" tracks are awesome because that's 5 less inches of their pollution... and even better because they're the big ones...

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Old 05-27-2016, 05:16 PM   #7
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Re: Length of music and tracks

I think for Techno and House tracks...or your general 4x4 tracks @[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
makes a good point about getting your brain in sync with the track and "feeling it". Though I think "feeling it" has much to do with venue, sound system and crowd.

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Old 05-27-2016, 05:41 PM   #8
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Re: Length of music and tracks

I like about 7-13 mins, I try to make about 5-7 mins, but it's pretty hard. It of course depends from the genre and the artist tho.

I feel 3 mins is way too short to enjoy something.

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Old 05-27-2016, 06:54 PM   #9
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Re: Length of music and tracks

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Old 05-29-2016, 04:21 PM   #10
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Mine usually end up around 5 minutes. But it's a fluid thing really, so long as it stay interesting you can have an hour long track. Realistically though, from around 3-10 minutes is usually good.

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Old 05-29-2016, 05:27 PM   #11
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
It's really a question of a song versus a track or a lyric versus an instrumental. Songs and lyrics should be shorter. Tracks and instruments should be longer.

Then it's about your target audience and genre too. Like if you're writing some ambient track it's over in two minutes, then where's the ambience? If you're making crazy wubstep and it goes for ten minutes, kids heads would explode because they can't pay attention for more than three minutes.

I think good electronic music tends towards the longer side.

Like this:


It shouldn't be any shorter than ten minutes. Otherwise, it's a shit track that goes nowhere.
If you are going to play this, you need to play it from start to finish.
You're not supposed to listen to it. You're supposed to feel it.

Like how would you have time to feel this in three minutes?


It doesn't make sense in seven minutes or less. But if you listen to it from start to finish with the title in mind what The Field is saying about life and love and everything will make complete sense. It's all just a series of repetitive loops that happened to collide and make you what you are. How do you explain something that complex in under five minutes without using words?

Then there's everything in between and it's all kind of the same deal. I'm not saying every track should be ten minutes long. But every track should have enough time to let people's brains sync up to it so they can really appreciate the message.

I don't know. I think now everyone's got a remote control for everything in their pocket, so it's too easy to skip to the next track. I think when most of this music was on records or CDs and you and your friends were too fucking high to get up and change the track, so people had patience.

But this is all some philosophical shit that probably doesn't make any sense...
I think concerning that first link you shared, the 1st minute was absolutely useless, except for mixing your vinyl in, but thats my opinion.
But the rest of your quote totally agree, with a better example:

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Old 05-29-2016, 06:18 PM   #12
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Re: Length of music and tracks

I think my opinion on the subject is that it's like the length of movies and TV shows. Movies that were around 2 hours long in the 90's were considered very long, but nowadays, movies seldom run below that mark. Episodes of a TV show easily run for 45 minutes now. I think the spreading of media through the internet has made it so, in some way. And I believe it's the same with music. People who make music sell it through internet platforms and people who listen to it are more diverse and it's possible to make a living on a niche fanbase. So, I feel that very-long as well as very-short tracks become less and less of a problem and more just an artistic choice.

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Old 05-29-2016, 11:19 PM   #13
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Re: Length of music and tracks

I'm lazy and quickly shift interest if I manage to pull out 2:30 I'm glad.

Although I think 3:45-5:00 is optimal for many reasons, depends much on genre though.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:28 AM   #14
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Re: Length of music and tracks

In the grand scheme, I think song lengths are meaningless in the context of an album; if I'm immersed what an artist is doing, the length of a track is merely part of an artistic expression as a whole.

Tracks being 3-4 minutes in length as a standard is probably wonderful in a DJ or playlist setting, but genres are a huge factor in those cases as well. A 20+ minute ambient track can make me oblivious to how much time has actually passed, and I consider that to be a good thing.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:26 AM   #15
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Re: Length of music and tracks

don't find music serious and deserving of my ears until its time length exceeds the philistine popular time constraints imposed by the Platonian establishment

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Old 05-30-2016, 10:26 AM   #16
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Re: Length of music and tracks

fuck Plato

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Old 06-10-2016, 08:36 PM   #17
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Only footbal( soccer for US) on tv an thrash/pulp, so I decided to launch this song with a beer, and unfortunately only cig's. And I thought of this thread. So how long for a song?
well, why not an hour \m/

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Old 06-10-2016, 11:25 PM   #18
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Your song must be exactly 226.9333 +/- 31.5014 seconds long to be desirable. (p = 0.05)

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Old 06-11-2016, 03:50 AM   #19
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Re: Length of music and tracks

I struggled with this for much of my creative life. I was in a band that put out a four song 65 minute album.

These days I feel like I have a better grasp on things. That being said, length doesn't really matter. It's all about girth. Anyone will attest to the truth in that!

lol.

If a song is truly served by a longer timeline that is totally ok. Thing is, a lot of the time it is just boring. Not boring when you are live mixing it, but boring in the end to the listener.

These days I try and be very conscious of that and only go long when I know there is enough movement in the piece to keep it interesting.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:43 AM   #20
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Re: Length of music and tracks

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666 View Post
In the grand scheme, I think song lengths are meaningless in the context of an album; if I'm immersed what an artist is doing, the length of a track is merely part of an artistic expression as a whole.

Tracks being 3-4 minutes in length as a standard is probably wonderful in a DJ or playlist setting, but genres are a huge factor in those cases as well. A 20+ minute ambient track can make me oblivious to how much time has actually passed, and I consider that to be a good thing.
I agree with much of this thought. Personally I try to keep my tracks on the shorter side, but that's more to be disciplined and try not to let a track get out of control without self-editing. But if a song has many great parts and layers/shifts, it might feel like 3 minutes when it's actually 8 minutes. That's the way Underworld songs are for me, they are all long but don't feel like it.

I can definitely appreciate super tight/short tracks, but there's no right answer I'd say. No need to cut the fat from a track if there's no fat there.

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