[Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)
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Old 27-01-2018, 04:05 AM   #1
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[Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Hi!

This is my first track here!
I would love to hear some feedback from you.


Last edited by PPNDP; 27-01-2018 at 04:20 PM..

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Old 27-01-2018, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Yes it's deep, but there's no soul there. Soulful house doesn't use regular chords like most genres. R&B and Neo Soul chords always work best. The chords you find in chord charts and music theory school won't work.

I just gave you a secret right there.

Your song is good for someone who started in October. Work more on your arrangement and it will be better.

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Old 27-01-2018, 02:02 PM   #3
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Thanks! okay definitely it is not soulful I didn't know how to define this genre. It is just house with jazz samples. Any tips how to improve it if it just house without soul? What is wrong with arrangement?
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Old 27-01-2018, 07:58 PM   #4
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Genre isn't really important as long as you're feeling the music.

One thing that sticks out to me is that the kick-drum sounds seem a bit sharp and "clicky" in the mix.

Also you're being a bit brutal on the compressors, probably in an effort to make everything louder, - but getting details and small variations in the kick-drum and bass patterns can be hard if you're pushing your compressors.

If you listen to a classic jazz record, try to notice how the drummers differentiate between hard and sometimes very soft use of the kick drum.

To be able to hear that kind of playing on a record, you have to maintain a bigger dynamic in the mix. If everything else is going full throttle all the time, a soft kick-drum hit simply can't be heard.

In my opinion, a major part of the old-school deep house sound is maintaining some of those dynamics and variations from jazz and soul music, - while still pressing it a bit to make people want to dance to it.

Getting the balance just right is the hard part - of course.

Theo Parrish has done some things that really shows off a lot of skill with this. But I think it's probably even more important to really listen closely to the kind soul and jazz records that inspired him (he sometimes plays that kind of records in his DJ sets).

For a first try I think it's pretty good btw. Keep on trucking!

Last edited by Iyashi Sound; 27-01-2018 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 27-01-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
Genre isn't really important as long as you're feeling the music.

One thing that sticks out to me is that the kick-drum sounds seem a bit sharp and "clicky" in the mix.

Also you're being a bit brutal on the compressors, probably in an effort to make everything louder, - but getting details and small variations in the kick-drum and bass patterns can be hard if you're pushing your compressors.

If you listen to a classic jazz record, try to notice how the drummers differentiate between hard and sometimes very soft use of the kick drum.

To be able to hear that kind of playing on a record, you have to maintain a bigger dynamic in the mix. If everything else is going full throttle all the time, a soft kick-drum hit simply can't be heard.

In my opinion, a major part of the old-school deep house sound is maintaining some of those dynamics and variations from jazz and soul music, - while still pressing it a bit to make people want to dance to it.

Getting the balance just right is the hard part - of course.

Theo Parrish has done some things that really shows off a lot of skill with this. But I think it's probably even more important to really listen closely to the kind soul and jazz records that inspired him (he sometimes plays that kind of records in his DJ sets).

For a first try I think it's pretty good btw. Keep on trucking!
Thanks! I really appreciate your tips!

I also think that something is wrong with my kick - but as my knowledge is limited - I need to learn more to get the proper sound. I used the 909 drum kit for my drums - and I didn't change anything - maybe that is the reason.

I added glue compressors - but I don't really know if it is good. As I have only read that it makes the sound more tight and cohesive. I have no idea when actually it is truly needed.

I've kept kick on the same level of volume - I've thought that it is normal in the house music that 4-to-the floor is the same for the whole time? Should I add more kicks then and turn down the volume there? Like sub kicks?

I will definitely check out Theo Parrish (and his inspirations) and get focused on the dynamics and get rid of compressors.
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Old 28-01-2018, 12:43 AM   #6
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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I've kept kick on the same level of volume - I've thought that it is normal in the house music that 4-to-the floor is the same for the whole time? Should I add more kicks then and turn down the volume there? Like sub kicks?
.
There are no rules, really.

hmm..

A real acoustic drum varies slightly in tone depending on how hard you hit it, - which can be simulated with small pitch variations.

When using samples I often automate the pitch-bend function on the sampler to achive this. Note that you don't have to pitch the entire sample, but can let the start of the sample pass and then bend only the tail (for example).

Timing wise, i tend to leave hard strikes on accented beats straight (directly on the beats), while softer strikes can be surprisingly late or early, and still work.

Instead of using a separate kick sound for sub bass, sometimes it works better to use an exact copy of the main kick track, and then EQ the two tracks differently - and adjust the volumes.

The possibilities are literally endless, which is probably also part of the reason some people call it "deep house".

PS: It can be perfectly all right to have an identical kick on every hit. In fact, some producers use that all the time. If it works it works!
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Old 28-01-2018, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
There are no rules, really.

hmm..

A real acoustic drum varies slightly in tone depending on how hard you hit it, - which can be simulated with small pitch variations.

When using samples I often automate the pitch-bend function on the sampler to achive this. Note that you don't have to pitch the entire sample, but can let the start of the sample pass and then bend only the tail (for example).

Timing wise, i tend to leave hard strikes on accented beats straight (directly on the beats), while softer strikes can be surprisingly late or early, and still work.

Instead of using a separate kick sound for sub bass, sometimes it works better to use an exact copy of the main kick track, and then EQ the two tracks differently - and adjust the volumes.

The possibilities are literally endless, which is probably also part of the reason some people call it "deep house".

PS: It can be perfectly all right to have an identical kick on every hit. In fact, some producers use that all the time. If it works it works!
Hey, I think I know what you mean. I have listened to some Theo Parrish tracks and there is a lot of space in the drum section. I overloaded mine definitely. Also, his kicks are softer, as in general in the soulful house - not so aggressive. I will try to change the beat - this is the hardest part in my opinion: keeping the groove.

That's really interesting with the pitch variations. I will try to use this one in Ableton.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 28-01-2018, 01:51 PM   #8
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Look PPNDP, you don't need the mixing tips till you get the music right. Forget about compressors and equalizers or any mixing tools.

You need to spend time making the song better before doing that.

Your song is unnecessarily long, that's what I mean by improving the arrangement. The song is playing the same 3 chords from start to finish and it just makes the whole song sound like a loop. The chords are also too low (Octave-wise).

I understand you're going for a soulful feel but like I said, soulful house chords are different. You don't just take any chord and bring it to a lower octave. It's much more complex than that. You can spend more time learning that instead of mixing.

There's also nothing that makes me remember the song or whistle a particular memorable part. It's missing something catchy. Adding a hook or something catchy prevents the song sounding like a 6 min. loop.

You started October, trust me you don't know which are the right frequencies to cut or what a hard or soft knee is on a compressor. So forget that till you get the music right. For a beginner your songs will sound better dry without any processing than with processing.

Or you can start mixing that song and get feedback like: "It's a good song" or "I like it". But what you need is, DOPE. Don't compromise.

That's just my 2 cents

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Old 28-01-2018, 03:32 PM   #9
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Look PPNDP, you don't need the mixing tips till you get the music right. Forget about compressors and equalizers or any mixing tools.

You need to spend time making the song better before doing that.

Your song is unnecessarily long, that's what I mean by improving the arrangement. The song is playing the same 3 chords from start to finish and it just makes the whole song sound like a loop. The chords are also too low (Octave-wise).

I understand you're going for a soulful feel but like I said, soulful house chords are different. You don't just take any chord and bring it to a lower octave. It's much more complex than that. You can spend more time learning that instead of mixing.

There's also nothing that makes me remember the song or whistle a particular memorable part. It's missing something catchy. Adding a hook or something catchy prevents the song sounding like a 6 min. loop.

You started October, trust me you don't know which are the right frequencies to cut or what a hard or soft knee is on a compressor. So forget that till you get the music right. For a beginner your songs will sound better dry without any processing than with processing.

Or you can start mixing that song and get feedback like: "It's a good song" or "I like it". But what you need is, DOPE. Don't compromise.

That's just my 2 cents
Thanks! I really appreciate.

I also think it is too long - I have also the first version which is only 4 minutes long. But I've got the feedback that it should be longer...
What is quite troubling, because I really like the house that reminds a loop (like Theo Parrish tracks for example). So it is not something wrong...

Here is my shorter first version:


And of course, I know that to do good jazzy house - I need a lot of knowledge about jazz. On my stage, I am just looking for good sounding samples and use them if they fit (judging only by my ears). I can't really hear which chords sound bad...
So, If I want to develop - I need to learn some jazz theory? (I am only Jazz listener and I am a piano beginner). Learn about arrangements? Can I learn it just by listening?

I will work on the hook definitely and develop chords. Maybe I will just record them by myself if I learn better piano.
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Old 28-01-2018, 03:48 PM   #10
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Look PPNDP, you don't need the mixing tips till you get the music right.

That's just my 2 cents
I have also a question, as I have listened to your tracks - they are great, super professional. Do you record live with musicians? How long do you make music? Did you start with House or Jazz?
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Old 28-01-2018, 04:26 PM   #11
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Knowledge about scales, chords and chord-changes can be very useful, but you can definitely learn a lot just from listening and imitating. A drummer's theoretical perspective can be very different from a pianist's btw, and so studying jazz drumming (or drumming in general) can lead you into places few pianists even know about - and vice versa.

I'd generally recommend digging into theory as you need it, and to allow yourself to go after what you think is most interesting to you right now.
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Old 28-01-2018, 09:18 PM   #12
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Thanks! I really appreciate.

I also think it is too long - I have also the first version which is only 4 minutes long. But I've got the feedback that it should be longer...
What is quite troubling, because I really like the house that reminds a loop (like Theo Parrish tracks for example). So it is not something wrong...
haha.. yep that sucks, I tell you it's too long and someone says it's too short

Arrangement tricks can help you avoid that problem. Your music can be a loop but it has to be an interesting loop not a sleepy one.

The simplest way to learn arrangement is to take a few of your favorite tracks. Place 1 song in a new project (whichever DAW you use). In the arrangement window simply play the song, if the song starts with a drum pattern then pause it. Figure out what drum sounds are in the intro.

Let's say the intro has kick. clap, shaker and a tom. In your DAW, create 4 channels and name the first one kick, 2nd one clap, 3rd one shaker etc.

Play the entire song and do the same thing for all sounds. Each time a new sound is introduced in your reference song you draw or add that sound in the arrangement window on your DAW. When a sound is removed you also remove it in the arrangement.

You do that with 5 different songs and you have 5 different arrangement patterns for all your projects. No need to add the sounds, you'll do that later once you've laid down the entire arrangement.

Hope that makes sense, I don't know how to put this in words properly but let me know if anything doesn't make sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPNDP View Post
And of course, I know that to do good jazzy house - I need a lot of knowledge about jazz. On my stage, I am just looking for good sounding samples and use them if they fit (judging only by my ears). I can't really hear which chords sound bad...
So, If I want to develop - I need to learn some jazz theory? (I am only Jazz listener and I am a piano beginner). Learn about arrangements? Can I learn it just by listening?

I will work on the hook definitely and develop chords. Maybe I will just record them by myself if I learn better piano.
When it comes to jazz, simple music theory will help. But soulful house is a different ball game. Soulful house is more like swagger and showing off, that's why it doesn't sell.

Anyway, for jazz then you can use 7th & 9th chords and you'll be fine. Basic music theory will work for jazzy house. You can take it to the next level by using chord inversions just to add some swagger and put some respect on your name

There are a lot of tutorials online related to jazz as compared to soulful house anyway so you just have to spend some time learning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPNDP View Post
I have also a question, as I have listened to your tracks - they are great, super professional. Do you record live with musicians?
Thanks mate I really appreciate the positive feedback.

Not all my music has live instruments but if I have a budget for a couple of musicians then I use them. Especially guitarists and brass instrument players since I can't play those instruments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPNDP View Post
How long do you make music?
It really depends on the song and how complex I want it to be. Some songs might take a few hours while other songs can take weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPNDP View Post
Did you start with House or Jazz?
I've always been a house head since forever. I started as a house music dj then it became boring and I wanted to grow/expand and production seemed to be a good way to go to the next level.

Here in South Africa house music is mainstream, all you hear is house. On tv, radio, car passing by etc. just like hip-hop is mainstream in the United States.

Hope that helps mate, good luck.

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Old 29-01-2018, 01:14 AM   #13
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

I listened to the track in the first post, some parts have a hip hop beat which kinda detracts from it, maybe just silence the kick for some parts and let the hats and the other percussion carry the beat, everything else the mixing sounds alright, has that old tape feel to it which makes it good listening.

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Old 29-01-2018, 03:14 AM   #14
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Originally Posted by AudioJunky View Post
haha.. yep that sucks, I tell you it's too long and someone says it's too short

Arrangement tricks can help you avoid that problem. Your music can be a loop but it has to be an interesting loop not a sleepy one.

The simplest way to learn arrangement is to take a few of your favorite tracks. Place 1 song in a new project (whichever DAW you use). In the arrangement window simply play the song, if the song starts with a drum pattern then pause it. Figure out what drum sounds are in the intro.

Let's say the intro has kick. clap, shaker and a tom. In your DAW, create 4 channels and name the first one kick, 2nd one clap, 3rd one shaker etc.

Play the entire song and do the same thing for all sounds. Each time a new sound is introduced in your reference song you draw or add that sound in the arrangement window on your DAW. When a sound is removed you also remove it in the arrangement.

You do that with 5 different songs and you have 5 different arrangement patterns for all your projects. No need to add the sounds, you'll do that later once you've laid down the entire arrangement.

Hope that makes sense, I don't know how to put this in words properly but let me know if anything doesn't make sense.

.
Great tips! Actually, in my second track, I am trying to organise everything better. I added markers in the arrangement view for into, break, etc. and have put every drum instrument in different clip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioJunky View Post

When it comes to jazz, simple music theory will help. But soulful house is a different ball game. Soulful house is more like swagger and showing off, that's why it doesn't sell.

Anyway, for jazz then you can use 7th & 9th chords and you'll be fine. Basic music theory will work for jazzy house. You can take it to the next level by using chord inversions just to add some swagger and put some respect on your name

There are a lot of tutorials online related to jazz as compared to soulful house anyway so you just have to spend some time learning.
thanks! I will dig on the web for that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioJunky View Post

Thanks mate I really appreciate the positive feedback.

Not all my music has live instruments but if I have a budget for a couple of musicians then I use them. Especially guitarists and brass instrument players since I can't play those instruments.



It really depends on the song and how complex I want it to be. Some songs might take a few hours while other songs can take weeks.



I've always been a house head since forever. I started as a house music dj then it became boring and I wanted to grow/expand and production seemed to be a good way to go to the next level.

Here in South Africa house music is mainstream, all you hear is house. On tv, radio, car passing by etc. just like hip-hop is mainstream in the United States.

Hope that helps mate, good luck.
Your mixes are awesome too! I love this rich sound of the soulful house, also - Masters at Work or Dego & The 2000 Black Family. I admire how you can merge all those jazz instruments and vocals to get such a rich mix of sounds. This kind of music always makes me feel positive.

And the house is popular in UK too. But when it is mainstream, there are also more people making a good house, which is unfortunately in the underground.
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Old 29-01-2018, 03:20 AM   #15
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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I listened to the track in the first post, some parts have a hip hop beat which kinda detracts from it, maybe just silence the kick for some parts and let the hats and the other percussion carry the beat, everything else the mixing sounds alright, has that old tape feel to it which makes it good listening.
As I hear it again - I need to remake beat completely - I find it a bit annoying - but thanks, for your comment. Lucky me, as Ableton is a good daw for beginners. Everything sounds not-so-bad even without mixing.
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Old 29-01-2018, 03:27 AM   #16
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

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Knowledge about scales, chords and chord-changes can be very useful, but you can definitely learn a lot just from listening and imitating. A drummer's theoretical perspective can be very different from a pianist's btw, and so studying jazz drumming (or drumming in general) can lead you into places few pianists even know about - and vice versa.

I'd generally recommend digging into theory as you need it, and to allow yourself to go after what you think is most interesting to you right now.
Thanks!
I am listening for now. Some jazz records, Herbie Hancock recently. There is a lot of interesting percussions which can be inspirational. And also learn some chords (Neo-soul scale - fit well in the deep house).
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Old 29-01-2018, 05:58 AM   #17
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Hey man, just keep at it and you'll find yourself getting better. My music did not sound this good after five months (hell, I'd only made 3 songs after five months). You've got a pretty laid back track here, maybe not soulful house, but definitely a solid laid back dance track in terms of arrangement. I actually tried to type out all my suggestions for the song, but there's just so many it would quickly become a book on how to make a house jam. Don't worry, you didn't do a bad job, there's just so much to learn. It took me about two years to make my first good song!

Like I said, keep it up, and just keep focusing on one (maybe two) things at a time that you want to improve.

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Old 29-01-2018, 05:05 PM   #18
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
Hey man, just keep at it and you'll find yourself getting better. My music did not sound this good after five months (hell, I'd only made 3 songs after five months). You've got a pretty laid back track here, maybe not soulful house, but definitely a solid laid back dance track in terms of arrangement. I actually tried to type out all my suggestions for the song, but there's just so many it would quickly become a book on how to make a house jam. Don't worry, you didn't do a bad job, there's just so much to learn. It took me about two years to make my first good song!

Like I said, keep it up, and just keep focusing on one (maybe two) things at a time that you want to improve.
Hey, thanks for the comment, good to hear how people learn and how much time have spent to do music right.
You can write a book in the free time on making House (I think there is not any devoted to this genre. Only the Attack's one - "Secrets of dance music production")
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Old 29-01-2018, 11:50 PM   #19
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

its very pleasant to listen to. keep it up!
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Old 30-01-2018, 11:33 AM   #20
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Re: [Deep Soulful House] PPNDP - That's it (WIP)

Personally, I think you’re getting a hard time over what is a decent work in progress. Nothing against 3 chords repeating, there’s thousands of tracks out there that do the same. Plus you have more than enough going on elsewhere to keep interest eg vocal snippets, jazz piano licks, trumpet and variations in the drumbeat. In fact, I say it was too busy in places as someone has mentioned the erratic changes in drums don’t work.


If you haven’t already, read up and listen to some lo-fi house, a bit of a micro-genre that’s popped up a few years ago but where this sits nicely with.
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