[Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:13 AM   #1
TheStumps
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[Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

So here it goes...

I've been refining my ideas for a very long time, and I think I've locked it in well enough to merit now classing what I'm doing as a new genre of a sort.
It's not revolutionary; it's just classification by content.

There's the genre of Synthwave/Outrun, and all subsequent variations that come from it.
This is a subgenre of that; or, probably would be considered as such.

The difference is in the aim.
In Synthwave, pretty much things still work in a relative format rather similar to EDM format of 8 bar paths running somewhere along the line of 6-ish minutes (though there's no real solid rule here), and, more importantly, the approach remains synth focused in the sense of treating it as an instrument, and the song is treated as as dance song. The writer is thinking in form like edm music while making it.
This will make more sense in a moment by juxtaposition.

With Alphawave/alpharun music you use all of the tools and stylings of EDM's gambit of sound design, but two things are critically different.
1. You work in a 32-bar-like fashion of arrangement.
It's not literally 32 bars, but 32-bar form is what popularized ABC block formatting (AABA, being the most basic).
Typically today we think of this in terms of "Verse/Chorus/Bridge".
This is where the name comes from "Alpha" referring to "Alphabet" (ABC).

2. The music is melody driven, and the melody is written as if it were being sung. So it's not just that it's melody driven, but that it's directly written within the standard pop stylings that normally would be sung by a person, but instead are being "sung" by a synthesizer.
Another name I almost called it was "Whistlewave" because the melodies are catchy things that you can whistle just like you can (most) regular pop music. This is an important shift in style, as the song is fully written and arranged exactly as one would do for a standard radio-cut vocalized pop or rock song.
Think of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll", and then replace her singing with another Synthesizer and you're pretty much on target.

I'll be posting more of this style coming up, but here's the most recent one that I put together.
The long form of the format is ACABCABCBC, or Verse, Bridge-lite, Verse, Chorus, Bridge-full, Verse, Chorus, Birdge-reprise, Chorus, Bridge-outro.
If you abbreviate the format and accept only the full bridge as C, and consider all others as fills, then it would be AABCABB.

Anyway, I'll be interested what folks think of this idea as I put out a few of these.


This song in particular comes out of a few things: My love of old western movie soundtracks, Muse, P Lion (the artist), the vibe you'd get from some classic 1980's TV show introductions, and of course, wrapped up in the bow that is old New Wave music.
It also does a rather interesting thing of making a minor key upbeat (Gb Minor).
My wife says the net effect to her is like if you were in a work-out gym in hell which motivated you to work out harder on the cardio bike by having demons chase after you.

Cheers!
TheStumps

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:54 AM   #2
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Re: [Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

definitely has a old school feel to it but it really reminds me of bloodhound gang - the bad touch
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:03 AM   #3
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Re: [Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

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definitely has a old school feel to it but it really reminds me of bloodhound gang - the bad touch
I'll take it!
That's probably the catchiest song I've ever heard them do. That song is still on rotate in my head periodically, lol!

Cheers,
Jayson

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:55 AM   #4
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Re: [Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

I think it's a good idea! For me, part of the charm of synthpop is the good melodic content that so much synthwave overlooks (to me) in favor of sound design. So something that tries to emphasize that is a good thing. That said, I see what you're going for , but your song here is repetitive for my tastes. Perhaps consider a radio edit of this.

Either way, I'll be subbed to see what's coming.

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Old 09-01-2018, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: [Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

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Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
I think it's a good idea! For me, part of the charm of synthpop is the good melodic content that so much synthwave overlooks (to me) in favor of sound design. So something that tries to emphasize that is a good thing. That said, I see what you're going for , but your song here is repetitive for my tastes. Perhaps consider a radio edit of this.

Either way, I'll be subbed to see what's coming.
Yes, that is a tricky part of alphawave, and I haven't fully mastered it quite yet.

The thing with 32-bar vocal music is that there are words and the human voice has nuances so even if you're listening to Tom Petty sing the same three notes for 3 minutes straight in only the slightest of variations of their order, it doesn't tend to strike our ears as repetitious.

As soon as you put that same vocal line of Petty's onto a keyboard, however, it just falls far more flat and you really have to lean on the sound design having motion built into it, and you also really have to work on making it catchy as friggen hell because there are no words.

Even when you do all of that, it's still a wild horse to hang on to because using vocal styling for synth lead arrangement is flirting with the uncanny valley - where it's mostly right, but something's slightly missing or off.

It's definitely a work in progress to just nail it down. This one was pushing the limit of the length at 4.5 minutes long.
At a studio, yeah, they would probably have this song chop one of the first verses and/or one of the repeated chorus rounds at the end, or at least cut half of one of the rounds off - probably the last round.

So that it would be something more like
ABCABCb

And it would probably shave around a minute off doing that.

I tend to favor the long cut because it gives a bit more time to enjoy the song if you're in the groove with it and having a good time, but I do have shorter more ABAB cut songs coming up to post soon (they're actually older than this one - I've been working my way through this for some time).

Some don't even have a dance beat because I was more working on translating the form of 32-bar form into a digital landscape and then working up to "dancey" later.

I'll probably share those as well as a sort of proto-alphawave exploratory.

I'll post another in a few days (?)...I'm actually not sure what the courtesy is around here for not spamming the forum with upload posts of songs.
I remember something about one a week I think.

Either way, I'll get them up coming soon.

Cheers!
Jayson

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:17 PM   #6
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Re: [Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

You could lump them into an "EP" of sorts and do it in the member releases subforum if you'd like. Of course, the point there isn't really feedback then... But yes, usually the aim is a week between songs around the LB.

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Old 09-01-2018, 09:58 PM   #7
TheStumps
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Re: [Alphawave/Alpharun] TheStumps - Westward

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
You could lump them into an "EP" of sorts and do it in the member releases subforum if you'd like. Of course, the point there isn't really feedback then... But yes, usually the aim is a week between songs around the LB.
I don't mind the week. It gives good time for the up-take.

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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