In this thread, let's share & critique tracks, help each other out, talk about the industry, and make some noise.I'm a beginner interested in digital audio production. Which application should I use?
Get your hands on one of the above DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations). You will no doubt encounter debate over which DAW is best for what specific purpose, but at the end of the day - they can all achieve the same result.Alright, I have a DAW installed & loaded up. What is all this? Where the hell do I start?
Tutorials, son! No matter what DAW, you'll find plenty of resources. Start by finding a general introduction to the user interface, then get specific and search for tutorials relevant to what you want to create.I made a song - now what?
Create a soundcloud
account. Upload & share!
In the same way that Photoshop comes installed with "stock" brushes & visual effects - a DAW comes loaded with simple virtual instruments & audio effects. You'll have a large amount of tools to play with, but eventually, you'll want to expand your horizons. Try experimenting with third party virtual instruments & plugins (many of which are free) or use an external microphone to record anything!Besides composing electronic music, you might decide you want to branch out into sound design or even recording & mixing a live band!
I felt a lot of the music I was making lacked interest, so I sat down & listened to some of my favourite tracks. I noticed a few of them had lead melodies that utilized multiple instruments, so I tried to imitate this in "Th4ank YoU". After finishing the track, I did something my teacher suggested doing and "walked away" from it for a few days before sitting down to mix/EQ. The end result sounds much sharper & professional compared to my earlier tracks.
"The Onion Lives On" stemmed from an idea - I wanted the start of the track to sound super simple & retro, with just a simple melody made of chiptune instruments, then it would build up and break into a higher fidelity track. This is something I ended up doing in "Th4ank YoU" also. I dedicated the song to "Parappa the Rapper", because while making it - I frequently found myself singing "KICK, PUNCH, IT'S ALL IN THE MIND" along to the groove.
"Bullet Hell" was my project submission for the creative component of my Bachelor of Audio Production (first year). It was intended to be a rock opera set inside a Japanese arcade SHMUP. I envisioned a David Bowie sounding singer, real guitarists, and a story-telling component. I was so keen on the project that I completed all the tracks you hear in the above mix in the first 2-3 weeks. Unfortunately, shit happened - I ran out of money and desperately needed work, so I stopped attending classes in order to job hunt. Work became priority (rent) and I didn't want the project distracting me, so I submitted it 11 weeks early. I got an A+ Q(o_oQ).
I think I lucked out in all honesty, the instructor had never been introduced to the "chiptune" genre. The way I worded how I "like to utilize the sounds of retro video game soundboards to induce nostalgia in the listener" probably made him think I was the only person doing this, so even in the album's half-baked state, he thought it was worthy of a high-distinction.
"TSW" is basically every song I have created over the past two-years stitched together into one mix. I wanted to clear the individual tracks off my soundcloud and move forward. Consider it a sketchpad full of old art that I just couldn't bring myself to throw away. If you're interested, you can also find it on bandcamp.
I've been disheartened from recording recently because, since upgrading to Windows 8, my soundcard (Audiophile 2496) hasn't been working properly, and it keeps introducing noise at random points. It's worse when recording too, since after ~3 minutes, it will just bring in a wall of noise to playback (but not the recording, oddly enough).
I'm not sure what's wrong exactly, but I have tried a few DAWs (Home Studio 2004 being my main one) but it's pretty much stopped me trying to record anything more than short fingerstyle acoustic tracks. Like this!
When I'm not doing that though, I like to pretend that I'm Kraftwerk.
But things are looking up! I got an iRig recently, so I'm gonna try recording with that soon so I can use the softsynths on there along with my other synths/guitars/related crap.
@Cherry Berry Gangsta — Are you still pursuing a degree in Audio Production, or has that been put on hold? While Chiptune as genre isn't really my thing, it definitely sounds like you have a good ear for production and composition, so hopefully you're able to make a career out of it if you aren't already.
I don't get to make live music much anymore, but I have been working on a... uh... "prog rap" project with a good friend for the past year or so. It's been a good way to stay creative while finishing my Masters and starting to teach.
A playlist of four WIPs can be found here:
I do all the composing and programming, while he's the emcee (that isn't present on any of the tracks). We're hoping to get some studio time this summer to record his verses; until then they're just not-quite-beats. Everything is done in Reason 7, using a hella old Oxygen 8 MIDI keyboard, a Balance interface, and a junky Schecter bass and my somewhat busted ESP Eclipse for any live instrumentation I might want.
Comments and criticism would be much appreciated.
Switch Friend Code: SW-1406-1275-7906
The Shure SM57 is basically the all-purpose best deal mic, usually between 70 and 100 (US). There may be something more approoriate depending on purpose.
Whole albums have been recorded with those--though you'll need to do a bit of EQ on some thing, probably. That or embrace the low-fi ness
Also I should have some time this week to actually record. We'll see how the weather holds out and how much I need the AC on though.
I suggest reworking those drums, both in terms of the patterns played and the amount and style of distortion applied.
Generally speaking, the distortion doesn't seem to be positively contributing to the vibe of track. More often than not it just causes the china stabs to stick out unduly and muddies your tom-fills, causing transitions to be distracting (rather than enabling sections to flow naturally).
As to the actual patterns, the backbeat is fine, with the snare possessing a great pop and spacious reverb. But you've buried a fair amount of syncopation on the hi-hats and triplets on the ride that I just don't think interact with the rest of the track. There's already a ton of high frequency sound coming from the synth arrangement, so if you want to have a more dynamic drum pattern that isn't just keeping a pulse, you have to be careful managing the different instrumental layers, otherwise things just get busy for the sake of being busy.
In short: you have a really strong melodic foundation, with a solid structure and a nice break complete with weird solo squiggles, so don't go fucking with the good by smothering it in distorted drums.
Before I make any further critique or suggestions, maybe you could talk a little about your aesthetic decisions or just give a little insight into what your intent is with the track.
And just to clarify my above post, I think you misunderstood a little bit and conflated two points:
1. The distortion made the "china stabs" stick out, by which I mean punctuating strikes upon the ride and/or crash cymbal, not hits on the hi-hat. Generally speaking, china hits can completely dominate the stereo field, so my instinct is to mix my china into the background of a mix — they're going to play a role no matter what I do, but it's rare that I want them to be the star.
2. As the track progresses, the beat gets a little busier with added syncopation on the hi-hat and ride; while this compositional dynamism is exciting, I found that because so much of the syncopation was expressed on the hi-frequency components of the drumset it was easy for the mix to get cluttered, as much of the synth instrumentation is also in the upper registers.
For the tiny* effort I put into it, what do you think?
*The theoretical groundwork and programming I did beforehand consumed months of time. And this groundwork will allow me to make many more pieces very, very quickly. And don't get me wrong, I determined the whole of the composition. The computer didn't make any choices.
Can you guys help me put this piece of music in a category? Is it a fugue? I have no formal composition education.
Hey, if you guys have an idea for an interesting property that you want heard in a piece of music, shoot! Although, the properties can only concern notes and their arrangement; instruments are beyond my ken. Unless someone volunteers a soundfont?
For example, if you want to know what a melody following a sinusoidal progression sounds like, well, that's what I just did. (Plus some variations to keep things interesting.)
Yeah, I know, the ending sucks. If somebody could teach me how to end my songs, I'd appreciate it.
I kinda, stupidly want to try my hand at making some stupid remixes, like old, shitty overclocked remixes of snes songs. whenever this thread pops up I think "yeah, I should do that" and then I have no idea where to start so I don't. I don't know the first thing about music though, really, so it would be a disaster.
I never post in this forum, but I made a record and I'm looking for places to dump it.
I recorded and mixed the entire thing myself on a basically non-existent budget (whatever can be afforded by a barista's wages) in various apartments.
If anyone wants to offer criticism, talk shop about recording/songwriting or get me instantly signed to your successful family member's record label, feel free to hit me up
Edit: @Snork having a listen. Nice work! Not my type of music, but as far as I can tell, it's well done! Congrats on wrapping up a big project man!!
I've been messing around with music making over the past couple months, and have basically no idea what I'm doing, but have made a few things I sort of liked! I'd love to hear criticism/suggestions!
So I recently DLed the demo of FL Studio because for some reason I wanted to see how far it had come in the fifteen or so years since I'd used it last. And it's so much fun! I gave away my guitar when I became an expat (travelling light and all) but I've recently really felt like making music again. It's been ages! Next time I move I think I'll look at getting a guitar again, hopefully a few more instruments and a mic so I can make cool tunes.
In the meantime I'm going to try to learn how to synth and sequence with FL Studio. Will probably take ages because I don't have that much time to dedicate to it but this kind of software has come a long way.
i've been messing around with orchestral VSTs. lemme know what you think
I really wish I knew more about music so I could give any of you guys more than a casual thumbs up or thumbs down, but the only think I listen to with any sort of regularity is like chillout electronica.
It's been a bit since I checked in on this thread, so I thought I'd share a couple odds and ends.
First, this is a version of one of the tracks I post long ago that we (my emcee friend and I) eventually recorded a scratch vocal to. Our lives have steadily prevented us from ever making strong progress on our work, but I was happy to actually record one of his raps. There's a lot that we hoped to eventually improve upon, as the structure of the track is often at odds with that of the verses, and he was still in a state of constant revision lyrically. But for now, this is what exists.
Secondly, I dug up an old... technical experiment (or sorts). I'm not trained in very many instruments, nor do I have necessarily have access to ideal VST/Sample databases, so I make a lot of short compositions designed to learn how to "play" certain instruments within the context of Reason. In this case, the goal was to work with alto saxophone and figure out how the craft a plug-in setup that made the sax library I had sound a bit more lifelike. As such, I wrote a funky little thing heavily inspired by Fela Kuti and contemporary afrobeat like Antibalas:
I'm glad :d I'd love to get into making video game BGMs - 'til then, I'm just having some fun with different soundscapes along the way. That previous piece was partially inspired by 'Theme of Love' by Nobuo Uematsu (FFIV) in the way the strings interacted. CC modulation is a bitch to learn lol.
Damn boy, i love the vibraphones(?) in that first track, the lines gave it a lot of forward motion. The drum beat was heavy and really set the mood. Your emcee friend had some good moments, but it felt like he lost a lot of energy by the end of the first section.
The breakdown going into double-time was doooope, especially with that tension building bass line. One thing about life-like saxes though: The players need time to breathe between lines; you had 40 seconds worth of continuous 16th notes.
Strong grooves throughout, i dig it!
And the sound you're hearing on Dialogic Architecture is a Kalimba, otherwise known as the "thumb piano", though played with tiny little mallets to achieve that quasi-vibes sound.
With regards to your goal of writing BGM, hopefully you'll keep posting material as you progress. I'd be curious to hear what you produce with a specific image or narrative context in mind.