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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 18-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
sicksteve
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a little advice

im stuck on writing midi parts, it just doesnt sound good, or sound near to what i want , especially @ basslines and leadlines, some advice please on how to properly write the notes for your songs?

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Old 18-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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Re: a little advice

learn to play the keys and get a midi controller. ive tried mapping midi out by hand and its a pain in the ass and really holds back the writing process.

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Old 18-09-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: a little advice

Learn music theory, read a book about it, it will greatly help you to come up with proper melodies if you know what works in which ways.

This one is a great book to help you get started:

Music Theory for Computer Musicians [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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Re: a little advice

Practice.

Study music theory.

Buy an instrument. Learn to play it. Come up with parts that way.

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Old 18-09-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: a little advice

i will, right now i am writing notes with the mouse because the keyboard (and i mean computers keyboard) has an annoying delay. im gonna buy the cheapest midi controller, i hope it will work
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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Re: a little advice

Buy dedicated audio interface. Buy midi controller. Make (play, improvise, bang out) great basslines and leads in realtime.

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Old 18-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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Re: a little advice

fuck around with the keys get to know - learn a scale or two - learn with the keys sound like.

music theory is a bonus even if you forget most of it you will still benefit from it

stay patient as well - if you get frustrated it will never happen and except that on some days you might not be able to to put together that epic line. On those days focus on sound design or beefing up your drums etc



Good Luck

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Old 19-09-2012, 12:12 PM   #8
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Re: a little advice

You can write music on paper, or with mouse in a computer program. But then you really need to understand music theory and have an idea for what something will sound like that you "write" down.

But you dont actually need to know music theory to make something sound the way you want it to. You don't need to learn to read music to understand what an artist did in order to then write it down yourself to get that sound.

You can make music simply by ear and for me thats way superior. When I make music with mouse I can never make it the way I want it to.

You really do need a midi controller though if you aren't going the beethoven writing on paper route.

If you know what music sounds like then you just push down buttons on the midi keyboard until it sounds like you want it to. If it doesn't sound like you want it you are pushing down the wrong buttons, in the wrong order at the wrong time or you aren't using the proper instrument. Practicing your ear is much more important then learning music theory if you do it this way. I guess nothing says the two cant go hand in hand though.

Practice makes perfect. Pratice your ear. Learn how the different keys sound and combinations of key sounds. Imitate other songs and sounds and you learn how it works.

I started singing in my songs and I have no idea what notes I sing. But it turns out good anyway. I can even record harmonies with my voice. I have no idea what notes I sing. I have no idea what chords they are. But I like my harmonies. They sound just the way I want them to.

Last edited by Crude_beats; 19-09-2012 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 20-09-2012, 10:20 AM   #9
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Re: a little advice

Understanding theory doesn't mean you stop using your ears. With theory, you can plan your actions ahead a bit, analyse other's work and learn from it, get the stuff from your head into the real world faster etc. It gives you a structure to make your thinking more efficient.

Of course, every structure has limits, but if you have a creative mind, you'll start rebelling against every "rule" you learn as soon as you learn it.

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Old 22-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Re: a little advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimicry View Post
Understanding theory doesn't mean you stop using your ears. With theory, you can plan your actions ahead a bit, analyse other's work and learn from it, get the stuff from your head into the real world faster etc. It gives you a structure to make your thinking more efficient.

Of course, every structure has limits, but if you have a creative mind, you'll start rebelling against every "rule" you learn as soon as you learn it.
Ye I agree. but you also dont need a single idea of the concept of theory to make music.

ears can do all the work. As if good music evolved through the application of theory and not of just going with what sounds good? Theory says what sounds good but it came from someone just using their ears. Theory wasn't first. Trying the keys out in different combinations on a piano isnt that hard. If you know what sound you want in what order then how you need theory? why not just use ears 100%. You can ofc make awesome music totally deaf if you know your theory and how it all sounds. But you can also make awesome music with no concept of theory and just using your ears.


I started to totally not care about chords and scales now cause I feels it limits me. I started not trying to make crazy sounds. Just layer melodies and harmonies together with bass and guitar as they are so expressive tuning wise. When I start a session for example I tune my guitar without a tuner helper. I pick one note I like. Then I tune the guitar around this note. And I test the notes in pairs then try and make it sit well together all of them. I end up with a nice tuning in the end not far off the normal tuning. When I'm done I start recording. Absolutely no concept of what scale Im in. If its detuned 20cent it doesn't matter. I barely know what the notes are on the frets, I have a very basic concept been playing guitar for maybe 2-4 weeks in total effective time.

But I pick what I think sounds good.

Then I add other parts. And tune them in until it feels right. I improvise with "chords". 2 or 3 white notes at the time. Since i detuned to fit guitar scale it I can play the root note on C or A and play only white keys and know Im in key with guitar more or less. I dont know what the real notes I play are. Maybe the fact that Im playing a Amin chord on my keyboard right now really means I do play a Cmin. It doesnt matter what sounds good sounds good

I never quantize anymore. Ruins the swing I record.

Made this just this afternoon this way. No tune helper, no concept of what notes I play, no quantize. A few tweaks to the audio ofc here and there where needed. Now its far from finished and I allowed myself to not play this so tight. But it doesnt matter that much in reggae I think.


Last edited by Crude_beats; 22-09-2012 at 05:07 PM..
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Old 22-09-2012, 11:53 PM   #11
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Re: a little advice

I think you kind of missed my point (:

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Old 23-09-2012, 05:15 PM   #12
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Re: a little advice

I guess I did ?

I think you mean that if you hear someone elses work. You think ah thats probably a cmin7 and you use that to get the same sound. But what says you can't just sit down and play random notes until you find what you are looking for? You dont need to know its called a cmin7.

I realize theory can help you but at the same time I'm not sure its needed. I made some really viby songs before I knew theory. Granted some stuff was out of tune but still they were ok.


Also the above that was a quick draft and the reason it sound a bit meh is that tuning isn't perfect. But I could have put down way more work into it

Updated version. I know Im in G# now though.

it doesnt need to be perfect out of the box, you can always revisit and overdub again and again.


Last edited by Crude_beats; 23-09-2012 at 05:29 PM..

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