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Making Music

SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So after attending some pretty awesome panels and chiptunes concerts at PAX East, I decided that I want to try my hand at composing some chiptunes of my own.

Now, I know the software I want to use (LSDj), but thats not the problem. The problem is that I have never really done anything of this sort and basic music composition is not one of my skills. So I'm looking at any resources (books, websites, anything) that would be a good introduction in basic music composition (hopefully leaning towards techno). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Some say that the Blood Angels are tainted: that they harbour a dark secret. I know this to be true. I have seen the infamous Death Company: wild-eyed and foam-mouthed berserkers who tear their enemies limb from limb, crush skulls with a single blow, snap spines and rip out inner organs. I have seen the Sanguinary Priests: the passing of blood filled chalices from lip to lip, heard their wracking lamentations of Sanguinus's death. I have watched their rituals: mighty warriors daubing their armour in the blood of their foes, heard them crying for vengeance against the enemies of the Emperor.

Posts

  • VortigernVortigern Registered User regular
    My introductory touchstones (and by no means do I compose regularly or so well that I'm living on my huge proceeeds!) were 3 compete idiots guides. The ones on theory, composition, and arrangement. They're by no means comprehensive, but that cover a lot of ground, and offer some good starting points without being too dry or technical. Plus advice on which further reading might suit you.

    Theory:
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Theory-Edition/dp/1592574378/ref=lp_B000AP9
    Y66_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334152300&sr=1-1

    Composition:
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Music-Composition/dp/1592574033/ref=lp_B000AP9Y66_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1334152300&sr=1-3

    Arrangement:
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Arranging-Orchestration/dp/1592576265/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334152527&sr=1-1

    YMMV?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    http://khavallmusic.blogspot.com/

    It's not going anymore, but it has the basics down.

    The biggest help, hands down, bar none, forever, is listening to lots of music. And listen critically to music. Don't just sit there with headphones on, take notes. Take notes on what you hear, what you like, what you don't like, general structure, harmonic structure, etc.

    The second biggest help is to do it. Constantly. Write, write, write, write. And set specific goals and finish them. As a quick one-month crash start to get you going, try this:

    1st week: Compose 20 melodies. No harmonic structure, no instrumentation, no full song form, just the melodies.
    2nd week: Compose 15 melodies with simple chords behind them. Again no form, no instrumentation, just the melodies and chords.
    3rd week: Compose 5 simple melody/chord AABA songs with bridge. Still only the melody and chords, don't think in terms of chiptunes or style yet.
    4th week: Compose 1 song with voiced out chords. Still avoid thinking in instrumentation, but specifically think of and write out the voicings.

    If you're listening to and composing music constantly, that's the most important thing. Yeah, learning theory and history and all that is like, unbelievably important, but it's not what allows you to compose.

    Think of music theory and instructional books and sites like learning hotkeys to music. Copying and pasting still works if you have to open the stupid menus and waste a bunch of time, and the end result might even be the same, but if you know what a Cm11 chord sounds like and is off the top of your head, and you know how to voice it to get what you want, and you know where it fits, all without having to think, then that's that much more thought you can give to the actual composition.

    So basically, you want to start composing? Start doing it. While you're doing that, yeah, start looking up theory and other such stuff.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    Khavall wrote: »
    The second biggest help is to do it. Constantly. Write, write, write, write.

    This, so much. I learned practically all of my theory by opening up Cakewalk as a kid and just messing around with it until I found sounds I liked. I never studied pentatonics, modes or anything, I just did it and worked it out for myself. That won't work for everybody, honestly, but whether you are figuring things out on your own or getting help from someone with more experience (via tutoring/books/whatever), the best thing you can do is to vomit out songs constantly. And some of those songs will not be good, and you won't be happy with them. Doesn't matter. Save them anyway, and come back to them later. You can learn what you do wrong and what you do right this way.

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    You can read guides and manuals and stuff, but the best thing to do is just sit down and figure it out. Try making noises you've never made. Use a melody you haven't before. Take an ugly sound and try and make it sound pretty.

    A hands-on approach is always better.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    stupid

    Vanguard on
  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    boards

    Vanguard on
  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    All good information! I'm going to pick up one of the books mentioned for now and just start experimenting to see what works. Thanks guys!

    Some say that the Blood Angels are tainted: that they harbour a dark secret. I know this to be true. I have seen the infamous Death Company: wild-eyed and foam-mouthed berserkers who tear their enemies limb from limb, crush skulls with a single blow, snap spines and rip out inner organs. I have seen the Sanguinary Priests: the passing of blood filled chalices from lip to lip, heard their wracking lamentations of Sanguinus's death. I have watched their rituals: mighty warriors daubing their armour in the blood of their foes, heard them crying for vengeance against the enemies of the Emperor.
  • DaemonionDaemonion Registered User regular
    Look for a book called Music Theory for Computer Musicians.

    Strain 121 wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    LURK mod for SoC|Backloggery|XBL|XFire|Steam|Zune
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