Techno arrangement tricks...

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AK
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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by AK » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:15 am

I like the idea of doing things live but I've decided I don't have enough hands. If I was an octopus, I'd be fuckin awesome but I'm not and without editing stuff, I think the music lacks all those 'cool bits' that editing brings.

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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by steevio » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:59 am

AK wrote:I like the idea of doing things live but I've decided I don't have enough hands. If I was an octopus, I'd be fuckin awesome but I'm not and without editing stuff, I think the music lacks all those 'cool bits' that editing brings.
two hands is all you need if each control can do many things at the same time, typically one knob in my set-up will bring about maybe 4 or 5 changes all at once. if you can tweak 3 or 4 knobs in the space of a bar, and ten fingers can press a lot of buttons at the same time, thats a fuk load of potential cool bits.
foot pedals for sustain, switching etc....

its just practice, like learning to play an instrument

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optX
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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by optX » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:54 pm

mehta wrote:
kivetros wrote: but it feels kinda generic to me.
@optX: nice post, I do that as well for developing live sets - 3 minute track sketches. and yes Xenakis is the master; we should all appreciate his deep work in microtonality/harmony as timbre and also his pure vision of chance-based music (30% composition/70% chance or so I remember)
good tipps too mate!

yeah, guys like Xennakis or John Cage were doing a lot of researches in algorithmic and aleatoric composition. What I´ve learned when I had to do exams containing that stuff : thinking out of the box is important and this inherents (for me) that knowing composition techniques isn`t important for creating sounds and musics that fit your desire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBJprGfw ... re=related

:D :D :lol:

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But something were I struggle sometimes : I think most of the labels are looking for dj-friendly tracks, which means the songs should be build up in a conventional structure so that two different tracks (djing) can be mixed together. How are you music-releasing guys are doing this? Are all of your techno tracks produced to fit that dj-system?

cheers!

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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by steevio » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:25 pm

optX wrote:
But something were I struggle sometimes : I think most of the labels are looking for dj-friendly tracks, which means the songs should be build up in a conventional structure so that two different tracks (djing) can be mixed together. How are you music-releasing guys are doing this? Are all of your techno tracks produced to fit that dj-system?

cheers!
no, not for me. but it will affect how often your track gets played and sales to some extent.

that doesnt bother me, i'm not releasing music to make money or for fame, i feel totally comfortable under the radar.

but i wouldnt deliberately make a tune difficult to mix. i always test my tracks out on myself as a DJ, if i cant mix it, then i wouldnt release it, but thats doesnt mean it has to be conventional and predictable. data jockeys have no excuse for not mixing more interesting material, only the vinyl guys need a helping hand, but again good DJs can usually pull it off if they like the tune enough.

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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by kivetros » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:41 pm

Holy sh!t, you guys are overwhelming. There is so much good info in this thread that I don't even know where to begin, as far as replying to some of your suggestions.

I have experimented with jamming live before - actually, two years ago, I did an entire track that way. Back when I still used FL, I sequenced out most of my patterns, bounced them to WAV, them pulled them into Live as clips. Then, I got an old USB (typing) keyboard, pulled all the keys off, painted them white, and labeled them in banks (A - F, 1 - 8, that kinda thing). I assigned all the clips to different banks on the keyboard, and wired up a bunch of FX to my Korg nanoKONTROL. I ended up practicing it a bunch, then I recorded it live in one take (and got video, too!).



It's a little long, and it's definitely not minimal techno, but it's definitely my opus. (Also, excuse the messy background; my woman's family was in the process of moving, and I recorded this in her basement. Lol.)

I've tried to set up the workflow for that again, but I haven't really had a space of my own to fully dedicate to music until the last month or so... so I think I'll give it a shot once more and see how it works.

I really like the idea of using 5 / 7/ 17 / etc beat bars for ambient / background stuff... I'll have to give that a try.
steevio wrote:the thing you say about muting sections in the usual places depends alot on how long your most definable loop is.

a lot of minimal techno tradionally was based on half-bar loops, and these do not push you into a strict regime of 8/16/32 on long sections, because your brain is less able to keep count on such short loops, this is why that type of techno is so hypnotic.
4 beat loops less so, but it is still no problem to throw in a 15 or 30 bar section and bring in the element of supprise for the change. however as soon as you start making clearly defined 2 and 4 bar loops, it usually sounds wrong if you change on an odd number of bars.
right now i'm making a tune that has a clearly defined 4 bar repetition, and its much harder for me to add the element of supprise.
the thing is if you start with say a 1 bar loop, and build from there adding ornaments in the obvious places like 2 / 4 / 8 then you are creating a cage for yourself. you have the choice at that stage to do something different, and if you do, your tune can take a totally different direction. if you dont there is only one outcome, predictability. in some case that might not be a bad thing, but for every tune ??
Hypnotic. That one word explains so much... now that I think about it in that light, I've always had trouble analyzing the structure of (good) techno because the "structure" is not very rigidly-defined - the whole track is usually this big, subtle collection of related movements in timbre, pitch, and time. I'll have to experiment with some stuff like this... I have this really bad habit of obsessively counting to four when I listen to music, so this might help me break out of that.

Thank you all again for your input... I'm probably going to read this thread a few more times to let everyone's fantastic advice sink in.

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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by NoAffiliation » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:10 am

arrangement is my favorite part of making music. something i've found useful is to designate certain parts you create for various parts of a track. it's too tempting to have everything at once but it's about having the confidence to build into certain parts where the music changes. making 3-4 synth lines and introducing them at various stages can give alot of progression. also automation on as much as you can stand throughout blocks of a track. some clever modulation at the breaks can give a smooth feel to musical changes that would otherwise sound awkward

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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by bkm1978 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:22 am

Everyone has made great suggestions. But, if you are making tunes for Djs to play, dont ignore the conventional 16,32,64 bar sections. You may not have to adhere to them strictly, but dont ignore them, or the DJs will ignore you.

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Re: Techno arrangement tricks...

Post by blizt » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:22 pm

bkm1978 wrote:Everyone has made great suggestions. But, if you are making tunes for Djs to play, dont ignore the conventional 16,32,64 bar sections. You may not have to adhere to them strictly, but dont ignore them, or the DJs will ignore you.
Yes and no. I mean a DJ that know what he's doing should be able to pull out mixes with very complicated song structures. But yeah as the art of mixing seema to be forgotten every day more and more you shouldnt confuse too much the DJ nor the dancers and stay predictable so they can get it. So for who are you making the music? To satisfy your inner expression or to rock the beatport charts. It's difficult I know. My advice try to combine both. Oh and I definetly enjoy using really odd time signatures for the less obvious sounds in the tracks, background stuff, etc. And like someone said, if the groove is killer then you need little arrangement really.

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