Chords & Harmony

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Hades
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Re: Chords & Harmony

Post by Hades » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:05 am

AK wrote: I also think I went through a time where I was trying to force myself to be more 'techno'. I can fall into a more housey sound a lot easier but I always think being techno seems 'cooler' than being house so I was trying to force the issue a bit.
I kind of have the same feeling.
"cooler" is not the word I'd choose to express my feelings, but it comes down to the same thing.
Techno will always have a way bigger place in my heart than house, even though I love good house as well.

I was listening to this house podcast on my way to work, and I couldn't help but thinking :
man, it's always some nice percussion, with some simple chords (in this case usually played on a rhodes or typically "house organ" preset), and some relaxing vocals on top.
And this was actually house I rather liked...

But with techno, the track can go everywhere. You can hear all kinds of sounds, the structure can vary constantly,...
Of course there are also cliché's popping up in techno, but good techno will always try to come up with new stuff, move forward.
With good techno, I'm constantly thinking "wow, how did they do that", with house it's usually "ah, again more of this or that". And I ain't saying it's a this or that I dislike, it's just that it almost never surprises me.

It's almost as if techno is about being nervous, being eager to move forward,
and house is about relaxing, like chilling in your sofa or something.

Ellen Alien used to sell these t-shirts "I am techno and you are not".
That kind of sums it up for me.
Just the fact that so many more people that aren't into electronical music in general will usually like a great house tune, but will not equally easily like a great techno tune is extra proof to me that techno is a lot more an acquired taste than house is, and usually needs a more active listener than house.

steevio
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Re: Chords & Harmony

Post by steevio » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:29 am

i've talked about this on here before, but its probably worth mentioning again in this particular thread.

there are so many potential 'chords' that are never heard because of our western keyboard oriented 12 tet system that lend themselves to techno and house for that matter.

how about this one ; C D#(-31 cents) F

the second note can't be played on a keyboard, but its a perfectly good chord.
the 'flat' D# is the 7th harmonic with F as the fundamental, and the C is the 6th harmonic.
further more the D#(-31 cents) lies exactly between the C and F because of its mathematical relationship.

for extensions you can add an A#(-31 cents) which is a perfect 5th of the D#(-31 cents) but also the 7th harmonic of C.

so you have a chord there with two 'unplayable' notes and it can be inverted in almost any combination, and thats just one example.
this is techno for me. tune your oscillators, bin the keyboard.

AK
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Re: Chords & Harmony

Post by AK » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:20 pm

steevio wrote:i've talked about this on here before, but its probably worth mentioning again in this particular thread.

there are so many potential 'chords' that are never heard because of our western keyboard oriented 12 tet system that lend themselves to techno and house for that matter.

how about this one ; C D#(-31 cents) F

the second note can't be played on a keyboard, but its a perfectly good chord.
the 'flat' D# is the 7th harmonic with F as the fundamental, and the C is the 6th harmonic.
further more the D#(-31 cents) lies exactly between the C and F because of its mathematical relationship.

for extensions you can add an A#(-31 cents) which is a perfect 5th of the D#(-31 cents) but also the 7th harmonic of C.

so you have a chord there with two 'unplayable' notes and it can be inverted in almost any combination, and thats just one example.
this is techno for me. tune your oscillators, bin the keyboard.
That's really interesting. It would be a headf-ck to try and do that with 'tuned' keyboard synths for sure. I could do stuff like that in software but I'd probably end up confused. In fact there are certain tuning systems available in some software synths which are inspiring to mess about with, if not for just simply getting away from 12 Tet and experimenting. Some of these tunings will create more consonant or dissonant intervals. I think it was the pythagorean tuning system that creates the 'wolf fifth' for example.

In terms of what I have at my disposal, if I wanted to try and write something in a different tuning system, I'd have to use software exlusively and then probably have to end up using the same plugin for all parts as I only have 1 which allows this feature. Fascinating stuff though but it's not easily accessible for the majority of people. That's kind of disappointing really when you think about it.

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Re: Chords & Harmony

Post by steevio » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:34 pm

AK wrote: Fascinating stuff though but it's not easily accessible for the majority of people. That's kind of disappointing really when you think about it.
i suppose its accessible to anyone with synths (soft or hard) that have detunable oscillators.

there's lots of ways to use it creatively, but i suppose you have to get away from the normal chord progression idea, its why i mentioned inversions, play the oscillators individually in some way. not always possible with synths, but there's loads of cheats, like de-latching and re-latching individual oscillators from the sequence, transposing the octaves of individual oscs, etc.
i think its just about using the technology in ways that are not immedeately obvious and based on conventional music arrangement.

AK
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Re: Chords & Harmony

Post by AK » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:50 pm

I never even considered experimenting with extreme amounts of detune on an oscillator before . I remember reading an article once on Radiohead style EP's, a standard skinny pulse wave, LP filter patch, all standard stuff but then it said to add a 2nd osc, a triangle wave, set to 33 semitones and +50 cents above the pulse. So 2 octaves and 9 semitones higher with that amount of sharp detune. I'd never even have thought of that before. ( It was to get that 'tine' like quality that a Rhodes does )

Ok, not exactly what were on about but heaps of stuff like that I just never even thought of previously. Makes me feel a bit retarded that I haven't explored stuff that I should have.

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