What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:05 PM   #1
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What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Just curious as to what people think differentiates great IDM tracks from the regular mediocre/good. Not in any one sense (great doesn't necessarily mean autechre god-level technicality or what have you), just kinda in general. If possible, think about it in terms of production wise/structure wise/mood wise, etc.

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

I Great idm track must have a little standout beat and should structurewise evolve throughtout the hole song with lots of layers on top of eachother. Other things that is important for me is melody and atmosphere. Some tracks that is really great and original and not just mediocre idm.

Autechre - Cipater
Flashbulb - Warm Hands In Cold Fog
Sense - Mashetics
Bola - Horizophon
Gridlock - Atomontage
Kettel - Shinusoob
Proem - Wall Of Knives 2
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:49 PM   #3
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

musicality
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

I'd say a really different or new melody, not a basic chord progression. There should be a variety of percussive sounds that are unique. If a standard drum kit is used, the time signature, or rhythm should be interesting. The beat should kind of dance around the melody rather than go right with it. It's hard to explain, something like that. It doesn't always have to evolve too much imo. Listen to Bauri-Vinkelvolten I. It's pretty much the same thing for 8 minutes, but it never gets old.

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Old 07-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Can't remember if it was A Tribe Called Quest or the Beastie Boys who said it first but they thought a tune should have a sample or sound which shouldn't belong but sounds right at home in the mix.

That's the element of surprise and I like to hear surprises in music.

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Old 08-11-2011, 10:31 AM   #6
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

something unusual, something cerebral, something that ignores trends, something that is in some way emotionally contradictory

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Old 08-11-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Musicality, melody, dynamics, arrangement, variation, hook, theme, characteristics, enough harmony/disharmony, balance, enough silence between the notes, etc etc
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Something that evokes a feeling in me, an emotional response. Which is probably why I love Kettel so much, his stuff has the capacity to make me gloriously happy or wallow in pure melancholy.

Autechre's stuff, while technically brilliant, doesn't evoke any feelings in me whatsoever apart from the amazing VLetrmx21.

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Old 08-11-2011, 07:24 PM   #9
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Drugs....













lol jk. It just sort of happens. for me it's something that tells stories. The concept and emotion from point A resolves into something of more meaning by point B, while the listen is still able to hold on and pay complete attention while that happens. A lot of good music still doesn't grab your full attention even though it's great, but every now and there, there is that song that will absorb you complete attention, and you hear every sound, detail, and transition with no problem.


This is one that really has that effect on me.

Last edited by Will.E.P.; 08-11-2011 at 07:28 PM..

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Old 08-11-2011, 11:39 PM   #10
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

That there is one of my favourite tunes of all time Will.E.P.
The way it builds up intensity without you really realising it and then drops back down again at 2:05. Genius

To me great idm music needs to take you somewhere and allow you to visualise something in sync. You close your eyes and you see the music, you are in the music and the music creates an atmosphere around you, bringing on emotions.

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Old 19-12-2011, 01:04 AM   #11
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

When the glitches have nice texture/timbre.

Preferably melodic and by that I mean inventive and creative melodies that don't work with other music genres.
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Old 20-12-2011, 11:33 PM   #12
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

primo : a nice melody. probably a melancholic/nostalgic one. cold texture. more analogue than digital.
second : a rhythmic that rocks you body, without being tough.
third : the perfect communication between the melody and the rhythmic. always moving. always changing to bring you to a specific point
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Old 21-12-2011, 12:20 AM   #13
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

When you are willing to work on one track for months and months to get it to sound right rather than a few days or a week.
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Old 25-12-2011, 11:38 PM   #14
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

The way the god of inspiration come to your work is never through the superficial things, at least not in the music, but is always clear that all about your works means, on olimpo or in hades, the great place where your ears want to be. But for a moment when the music is just confused with mix sounds that come from nowhere, is absolutely uncommitted with the purpose of bringing something to remember as music. but in our case idm more than a genre or not, more than a style or not, grants enough party days in mind or hearing or in your dreams, when there are movements between the scale degrees, is very important to underntand the meaning on the music language for the music nations about, what tonality is, and what is a degree. But having that clear means more no observation of the details in the use of the language exploration and its meaning. to people who like to hear great songs are more meaning on it that just the steps and how about the db things. the state of no observation is a fog of probabilitys. The light will come to your decent song, yes you will understand your own language trough your writings, and your great idm song will shine about the tonality you choose, the scale degrees on it you choose to the name of your song, to your fantastic drum lines, to your friends hearing to your music, when all about horizontality is quite perfectly cute, perfectly beautiful, perfectly linked to the big meaning verticality a great song must have. The super killer skills or the ultra beautie inside the studio. and that si personal styles no? and then whatch how the fog decays trough the Waffles!!

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Old 26-12-2011, 06:23 AM   #15
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Not being so repetitive that it makes me want to claw my eyes out.

Electronic music in general seems to struggle with this.
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Old 25-04-2013, 01:46 AM   #16
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

the songs have to be emotionally engaging. same thing goes for all styles music, barring party stuff (hip hop/bass music). i don't listen for how technical things are or whether or not they have interesting percussion, i feel moved by melody, atmosphere, dynamics, tension, etc. that's where the art comes in.

Last edited by leod9; 29-04-2013 at 09:53 PM..
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Old 25-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #17
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

remove all glitch elements take away all the gimmicks.

listen.

what do you have left? is it worthwhile?

if not, start over/figure out what you need to do to make it worthwhile.

I think Richard Devine has taught us that sound design tricks and complex glitch doesn't necessarily make good songs. it makes.... sound design tricks and complex glitch.

as an exercise complex shit is great, but it isnt always a recipe for good music.

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Old 25-04-2013, 04:59 PM   #18
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Cohesion, vibe, and creative use of sounds in new and interesting ways.

I love me some sick found sound usage in my IDM

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Old 25-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #19
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasedestroy View Post
remove all glitch elements take away all the gimmicks.

listen.

what do you have left? is it worthwhile?

if not, start over/figure out what you need to do to make it worthwhile.

I think Richard Devine has taught us that sound design tricks and complex glitch doesn't necessarily make good songs. it makes.... sound design tricks and complex glitch.

as an exercise complex shit is great, but it isnt always a recipe for good music.
A wise producer once told me:

A great tune will always be a great tune, no matter what genre you dress it up as.
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Old 25-04-2013, 05:27 PM   #20
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Re: What takes a decent IDM song to the next level into being a great song

Great track guys Im truly impressed (MINDSWEEPER + STEREO SURGEON).

I believe whatever makes a song decent or "next level" is purely matter of opinion. We all get inspired differently in our creative process and capturing that MOMENT and relaying into a physical audio track is our main job. I know I would love for my tunes to be considered great but what takes any song to the next level is the artistry. You dont need major labels to tell you whats right and whats wrong because their can never be a right or wrong way towards self expression. As producers we should strive to perfect our craft so that when inspiration strikes, we can truly capture the moment. The audience will take care of itself.

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