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

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Old 09-10-2015, 01:24 PM   #21
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Re: Off The Grid

^ Nah dude. The kick goes on the beat only and the snare on every other beat. Talk about amateur hour!

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Old 09-10-2015, 01:26 PM   #22
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Re: Off The Grid

I read that interview even though I can't find it just now when I search for it but yes he said something along the lines of using sampled drum loops which obviously follow a certain predefined measure/tempo but he does not use a grid to place them precisely.
Instead he uses his ears. So although they might not be on the 1,2,3,4 beats they are still on grid in relation to the rest of the song.

And yes he does claim he made his stuff (or at least a few albums) entirely in Soundforge:


Wire: I saw you mention it in another interview, that when you’re used to making tunes and looking at a screen, you can just see that grid when you hear the tunes.

Burial: I’ve seen people using sequencers and I’ve tried hard to use them but it’s blocks in different colours and I'm only used to just seeing the waves. I don’t need to listen much to the drums because I know they look nice, like a fishbone, rigged up to be kind of skitty, sharp. My tunes are a bit rubbish and messy but it's all I know. One day I want to make a tune people can have a dance to, I've tried.

Wire: What did you think when people were saying that you hadn’t produced it all in Sound Forge, it’s a scam.

Burial: Who?

Wire: People on the internet, saying he can’t possibly have done that whole album in Sound Forge.

Burial: Really? Yeah well I did. I'll leave those people to their internet or whatever. Yeah I wish sometimes that I’d gone to college to learn music production, but other times I’m like ‘no, fuck, I’m happy I didn’t’.
I don’t really go on the internet, it’s like a ouija board, it’s like letting someone into your head, behind your eyes. It lets randoms in.


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Last edited by professurreal; 09-10-2015 at 01:45 PM.. Reason: typo, formatting

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Old 12-10-2015, 05:18 AM   #23
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by MothSound View Post
Burial, one of my favorite artists doesn't use the standard 4 beats grid to make his tunes. He makes them in an open abyss with no guidelines, perhaps this is why his sound is so unique.

When you start listening for it, you can hear the grid in most electronic music. You can hear the guided structure the grid brings with it.

Has anyone ever tried this method of making music without any guidelines? What effect did it have on what you produced?

For anyone in a creative rut, this might be something you may want to try.

For a long time all the music I made was not to a grid. I was using all analog instruments though, drums included. If you are using virtual instruments and gear synced with a clock though, it seems odd to try and fight the grid. There are plenty of ways to "humanize" midi/synced tracks. I personally am a fan of the grid; maybe cause I went so long without using it. Modern DAW setups are a godsend IMO. Mega kudos to burial for creating those jams in Soundforge without using quantize or the grid.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:44 AM   #24
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by vashima View Post
Mega kudos to burial for creating those jams in Soundforge without using quantize or the grid.
Again, that's not really true. He does use a grid. The hits just don't always line up right on the lines

In other words he places the drum loops he uses by ear resulting in some of them being a bit late or early. He does still follow the overall tempo and time signature... I mean look at sampled drum breaks... Often not all hits are spot on on the grid. this is done on purpose to give it a certain feel.

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Old 12-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #25
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Re: Off The Grid

i think we should redo this thread but with a ban on the word 'grid' because it means different things to people with different levels of understanding

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Old 14-10-2015, 12:21 AM   #26
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Re: Off The Grid

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i think we should redo this thread but with a ban on the word 'grid' because it means different things to people with different levels of understanding
I feel you on that. It could be a little open ended. The way I was referring to it would be like Burial using grid mode in pro tools as opposed to slip mode. The way he built it in sound forge was like slip mode. Regardless of using a similar meter through etc, he used his ears for lining things up. Not the grid.
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Old 14-10-2015, 03:46 PM   #27
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by vashima View Post
I feel you on that. It could be a little open ended. The way I was referring to it would be like Burial using grid mode in pro tools as opposed to slip mode. The way he built it in sound forge was like slip mode. Regardless of using a similar meter through etc, he used his ears for lining things up. Not the grid.
im not familiar with the different modes you mentioned in pro tools (although i should be as they tried to make me use it at uni) but i think using your ears to line stuff up can only mean there is no grid at all. i guess maybe thats what sound forge is like. the thing is on DAWs like ableton for example you have a line telling you where the beat is and that gives you a choice to place a sound directly on it or slightly to either side. if you zoom in to place it either side more grid lines appear to guide you. this means that the grid still directs and informs every decision you make.

so today im going to attempt to make a track with no grid whatsoever. on ableton even when you turn the grid off there are lines to guide you so if anybody uses ableton and wants to try this this is how im going to do it:

- right click on empty arrangement view track and click fixed grid: off
- click adaptive grid: widest
- change tempo to 20 bpm (lowest)

create a handful of audio tracks and start laying out kicks, snares etc for your drum beat and then use the looper thing to find where to copy and paste from i guess

the beauty of this is that you dont have to try and get a wonky beat by working out how far to deviate from the grid. if anything you try and make a straight beat and it will naturally be nuanced and off because of the process. thats how i see it anyway. im excited!

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Old 14-10-2015, 09:36 PM   #28
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Re: Off The Grid

That makes sense. I haven't really used ableton. I got a free version of live lite with my novation controller. I should check it out some more. I've heard really good things about it. I want to play around with some gridless riffs too; especially some noisy/ambient stuff.
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Old 14-10-2015, 10:24 PM   #29
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by vashima View Post
That makes sense. I haven't really used ableton. I got a free version of live lite with my novation controller. I should check it out some more. I've heard really good things about it. I want to play around with some gridless riffs too; especially some noisy/ambient stuff.
is there a track limit on live lite? maybe you could use lite as your soundforge and do a little EP of gridless beats i might do the same! i did make quite a layered and detailed drum loop earlier and it was trickier than i expected. takes quite a long time too. havent worked out how im gonna do the melodic stuff yet.

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Old 14-10-2015, 10:39 PM   #30
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by FunkMasterBrown View Post
is there a track limit on live lite? maybe you could use lite as your soundforge and do a little EP of gridless beats i might do the same! i did make quite a layered and detailed drum loop earlier and it was trickier than i expected. takes quite a long time too. havent worked out how im gonna do the melodic stuff yet.
That would be sweet. This is some info I got off their site:

Key Features
8 Audio and MIDI tracks
8 Scenes
2 Send and Return Tracks
4 Mono audio input channels
4 Mono audio output channels

I guess it does have limited tracks. Still though, I could work with that.
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Old 14-10-2015, 10:48 PM   #31
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by vashima View Post
That would be sweet. This is some info I got off their site:

Key Features
8 Audio and MIDI tracks
8 Scenes
2 Send and Return Tracks
4 Mono audio input channels
4 Mono audio output channels

I guess it does have limited tracks. Still though, I could work with that.
yeah as long as you can resample it will work fine! resampling tracks together will be useful anyway cause once you have a loop its easier to copy and paste it end to end when its a solid block. more limitations the better in this situation! im definitely gonna do a little project with this

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Old 15-10-2015, 08:27 AM   #32
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Re: Off The Grid

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yeah as long as you can resample it will work fine! resampling tracks together will be useful anyway cause once you have a loop its easier to copy and paste it end to end when its a solid block. more limitations the better in this situation! im definitely gonna do a little project with this
Hell yea! I'm gonna give her a shot. I used an 8 track forever and had to bounce multiple tracks down to a single channel if I wanted to clear up some space. Should be a little easier within ableton. I'll try a project out this weekend and post it in here.
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Old 15-10-2015, 01:02 PM   #33
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Re: Off The Grid

ohhhh man this is fucking amazing! im loving this so much! definitely gonna do a project like this. sort of like a dance music beat tape. i dunno if i got lucky and managed to make something work (i can imagine spending a lot of time with this and getting nowhere) but i havent enjoyed making music this much for a really long time. im gonna be away working all weekend so ill post what i managed to get today before i do

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Old 15-10-2015, 07:39 PM   #34
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Re: Off The Grid

heres what i managed to get done: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


such a crazy way of working!

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Old 15-10-2015, 10:06 PM   #35
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Re: Off The Grid

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Originally Posted by FunkMasterBrown View Post
heres what i managed to get done: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


such a crazy way of working!
Nice man! That is slick. Reminds me of some sweet, laid-back 80's tune. I'm excited to start working on mine. I need to watch some ableton tuts. never really broke her in yet.
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Old 24-11-2015, 04:46 PM   #36
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Re: Off The Grid

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Nice man! That is slick. Reminds me of some sweet, laid-back 80's tune. I'm excited to start working on mine. I need to watch some ableton tuts. never really broke her in yet.
thanks man

i didnt see this but i literally came back to say thank you! in making this thread you gave me a whole new direction where before there was none. suddenly i have nearly an EPs worth of material where the whole style and sound came directly from this thread. im planning on keeping pushing forward with it and hopefully get somewhere near 20 mins of material that is all cohesive but with not too many ideas recycled. (dunno if im gonna manage it yet - so far i have 7 - 8 minutes ha)

i havent used the grid for months now and when i open up a new track just to throw in a sample to check something or i open an older file it feels really wrong moving shit about with the grid. way less fluid. this thread has changed how i make music forever man.

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Old 30-11-2015, 08:59 AM   #37
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Re: Off The Grid

That is awesome man. I'm excited to check out some of the other songs you've made in this style.
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Old 30-11-2015, 08:30 PM   #38
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Re: Off The Grid

I selectively turn off the quantise to grid function when programming drums, fl has a the ability to shift the timing of individual hits in the step sequencer which is possibly the best thing ever as you can quickly create interesting drum loops.

I do occasionally enjoy playing stuff in by hand to a metronome and quantise off.
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Old 30-11-2015, 09:30 PM   #39
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Re: Off The Grid

Some hardware sequencers have very nice, tactile timing controls over every step of a bar, no matter what time sig you're in. That is really the only thing I have not resold my rm1x for. It's great for creating intricately swung drum grooves... sometimes just a few nudges here and there makes a boring beat suddenly come to life.
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Old 30-11-2015, 09:56 PM   #40
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Re: Off The Grid

One thing I'm doodling with now is iZotope's Breaktweaker. It's a six track drum sequencer that allows for variable pattern lengths and speeds on each track. That way you get evolving beat patterns that change position as you loop the sequence.
With micro edits you can also modify the timing, which is akin to swing, albeit very specifically for an individual hit.
It's very easy to make a cacophony, so making something interesting will take me some time.

I wonder if anyone else has played around with it.

Andy

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