I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?
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Old 14-02-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

I've been producing for about 6 years. I usually have a pretty good concept in my head of the vibe or style I'd like a track to have. Yet, too often when I'd like to make a "dancey" track, or one that's more driving and dark, I still end up gravitating toward a baseline with too many notes to be dancey, and a melody that's too...emo I guess. It still sounds good, so I sometimes keep it, but it's not the direction I intended.

It seems like a constant resistance to melody, and since most tracks that work on a dancefloor have very basic 2 or 3 note melodies and baselines, I end up with tracks that are better for listening than for dancing to.

Just curious if anyone else has this problem and how you might deal with it.

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Old 14-02-2017, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

i know what your saying bro - try using bass patches that have lots of movement in them already..... think like the classic reese bass from DnB, its dead phasey and detune-y

same with the more modern bass styles, Bassline, Funky, dubstep all use huge bass patches...

what im trying to say is use a bass patch that cover A LOT of frequencies, lots of mid... then there is no room for melodies and stuff which is why you get those dubbed out one note hits in tunes like that, or stabs or pads, you know stuff that blends into the background...

you got to base your track entirely around the bass line... the bass patch should have so much modulation going on on it that you literally dont even need to use more than two notes... my 2 pense homie

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Old 14-02-2017, 09:28 PM   #3
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

why fight against yourself? you are naturally gravitating towards something and it should be embraced. there's a glut of well produced mediocre music that "works on the dance floor" because it sounds like all the other music that also "works on the dance floor". the only way to stand out is to make authentic music, that's full of (your own) character, with conviction.

otherwise,

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Old 14-02-2017, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

i would first ask,do you have any musical knowledge?ya know the basics scales chords etc.
second do you have any creativity,or do you just want to copy?
simple things really,if you want to make melodies you have to know more than just one music form,and you have to have at least a basic knowledge of music.simple.

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Old 14-02-2017, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

I just have the bass follow the root of the chords most of the time. Or if I'm not using chords, follow the melody. If I'm getting fancy I might make a "two note chord" out of the bass and melody....like just have the bass notes play a fifth down from the melody or something if it sounds right. Dance music tends to be deceptively simple--simple in that its not often a melodic or harmonic masterpiece, its more about rhythm and evolving texture for me.

In dance music the bassline is more about the groove and the interaction with the drums. If those two things are good, I don't care if it plays the root note of the key for the whole song. If I can't dance to the bass I don't care if its the most melodically complicated bassline in the world, it ain't worth a shit.
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Old 15-02-2017, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
I've been producing for about 6 years. I usually have a pretty good concept in my head of the vibe or style I'd like a track to have. Yet, too often when I'd like to make a "dancey" track, or one that's more driving and dark, I still end up gravitating toward a baseline with too many notes to be dancey, and a melody that's too...emo I guess. It still sounds good, so I sometimes keep it, but it's not the direction I intended.

It seems like a constant resistance to melody, and since most tracks that work on a dancefloor have very basic 2 or 3 note melodies and baselines, I end up with tracks that are better for listening than for dancing to.

Just curious if anyone else has this problem and how you might deal with it.
I have this exact problem. I deal with it by practicing basslines in new sessions. A lot of it comes down to good synth design on the bass, ala FairyLand's post, and good drum samples. Use the complicated parts of your bass for fills and variations, otherwise work on keeping it the simplest version of itself.

Listen to the basses of songs.
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Old 15-02-2017, 12:30 PM   #7
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
I've been producing for about 6 years. I usually have a pretty good concept in my head of the vibe or style I'd like a track to have. Yet, too often when I'd like to make a "dancey" track, or one that's more driving and dark, I still end up gravitating toward a baseline with too many notes to be dancey, and a melody that's too...emo I guess. It still sounds good, so I sometimes keep it, but it's not the direction I intended.

It seems like a constant resistance to melody, and since most tracks that work on a dancefloor have very basic 2 or 3 note melodies and baselines, I end up with tracks that are better for listening than for dancing to.

Just curious if anyone else has this problem and how you might deal with it.
I often have the problem that tracks don't exactly end up where I wanted them, the best way for me to deal with it is constantly compare your track to a few tracks that sound similar to what you want. Ask yourself when conparing them:

1) How are the different synths/drums etc. structured and how do they sound?
2) How do they incporporate a (subtle) melody or make the track interesting without a strong melody?
3) How is the melody incporporated in the mix? (is your melody maybe too prominent?)
4) How do they make the track catchy/danceable and have a certain drive without a melody?

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Old 15-02-2017, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Well the bass line is easy. Just choose a root note and syncopate.

I think it also helps if you have a control or some other tactile method of interacting with your synths too. I generally have no problem sitting and fucking with the cutoff and some delay feedbacks... That's usually going to keep my little brain amused for an hour or four.

And then of course making sub bass loops out of kick drums. That's another fun one.

I think ultimately, you have to have some really tight percussive elements to tie everything else to. You have to make parameter changes. And you have to fuck around with a lot of effects.

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Old 22-02-2017, 01:18 AM   #9
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

I pretty much agree with Jaded on this.
Danceability pretty much rests upon the percussion and syncopation.
If you can do that AND have a great melody and maybe even great harmony, you'll probably end up famous.
It's difficult for most people to pull off danciness and strong melody/harmony. But it can be done.

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Old 22-02-2017, 08:02 AM   #10
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Danceibility also rests on the sounds.
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Old 22-02-2017, 08:08 AM   #11
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Do you like dance music? Think about it. Do you find yourself listening to it? I have a side project and absolutely all of our songs have ended up as dance music even though we did not intend that. It just happened.

I'd consider if you do like dance music putting yourself in the mindset to make it. Maybe that is house or garage. Perhaps you have to go be inspired by something else.

If you find yourself not liking dance music than save time and effort by not making it.

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Old 22-02-2017, 10:26 PM   #12
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

so whats wrong w/melodic music?
missing the point i guess,but i do struggle with getting the right...dunno house sound i guess.
always ends up being a damn soundtrack or game type thing.

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Old 22-02-2017, 11:30 PM   #13
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rixtr View Post
missing the point i guess,but i do struggle with getting the right...dunno house sound i guess.
always ends up being a damn soundtrack or game type thing.
dude same. I have to practice very deliberately to escape the confines of sounding soundtracky.
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Old 23-02-2017, 07:30 AM   #14
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

signed.
sucker for melody in likely a detrimental way.
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Old 23-02-2017, 12:29 PM   #15
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

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Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
Just curious if anyone else has this problem and how you might deal with it.
I have exactly the opposite situation - the stuff that comes out is mainly techno-based, and I can't seem to design melodies at all.

So, no, it's probably not that uncommon. Try listening to a load of dark techno, then try to imitate the style, in a few experimental tracks, then you will probably get the hang of it.

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Old 03-03-2017, 09:25 AM   #16
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

  1. dont add a melody
  2. use more drums
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Old 25-04-2017, 02:46 PM   #17
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
Just curious if anyone else has this problem and how you might deal with it.
I totally relate! My troublesome instincts always gravitate toward melancholy melodies, even when its the last thing I need.

Sometimes I just spend a few hours transposing melodies or basslines from other artist's that fit the "vibe" I'm hearing in my head. Its good practice and gets me more into a headspace that might not come naturally to me.
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Old 25-04-2017, 09:56 PM   #18
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
I've been producing for about 6 years. I usually have a pretty good concept in my head of the vibe or style I'd like a track to have. Yet, too often when I'd like to make a "dancey" track, or one that's more driving and dark, I still end up gravitating toward a baseline with too many notes to be dancey, and a melody that's too...emo I guess. It still sounds good, so I sometimes keep it, but it's not the direction I intended.

It seems like a constant resistance to melody, and since most tracks that work on a dancefloor have very basic 2 or 3 note melodies and baselines, I end up with tracks that are better for listening than for dancing to.

Just curious if anyone else has this problem and how you might deal with it.
Maybe you're not writing right for yourself and you just don't like to admit it. I mean, I love grindcore, breakcore, death metal etc. ...but when I go to pick up my bass (helps me write, vs keyboard) I play melodic lines and all this shit that. ....is lead bass melodic bullshit. But that's me. I play Bari sax as well and nothing about bass/low end growing up to me was about the typical label of standing off to the side, out of the way. So what I'm trying to say is, be yourself. You may get shit for it, from yourself or others, but if you weren't yourself, would you care about the material you're trying to produce? Instead of getting "less melodic" get more solidified, hard hitting elements.
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Old 25-04-2017, 09:59 PM   #19
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rixtr View Post
so whats wrong w/melodic music?
missing the point i guess,but i do struggle with getting the right...dunno house sound i guess.
always ends up being a damn soundtrack or game type thing.
Haha I used to get called a video game writer too. ....but it was cuz my mixing/choices in sound were explosive vs properly processed.
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Old 26-04-2017, 04:12 AM   #20
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Re: I struggle to make *less* melodic music. Anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by totes antenna View Post
  1. dont add a melody, Strike one bassline and bitcrush/distort the fuck out of it.
  2. use more drums with delay distortion and bitcrush.
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