Our start­ing point

We’ve cre­ated this en­tire project us­ing only C notes. Go get the MIDI files, plugins and projects from FileSilo to fol­low along, and we’ll build the track up us­ing the­ory…

Computer Music - - Make Music Now / Music Theory Made Easy -

GET THE FILES TU­TO­RIAL FILES Down­load the files for this track from FileSilo ( filesilo.co.uk/com­put­ermu­sic) – they’re in the Tu­to­rial Files folder. You’ll find the ini­tial MIDI files for each track, plus the amended MIDI files for any changes we make in any given walk­through – just re­place the orig­i­nals in your project when re­quired. GET THE PLUGINS

You might al­ready have the req­ui­site Plugins in­stalled on your sys­tem. If not, head to FileSilo or grab the in­stall­ers from this month’s cov­er­mount DVD, then in­stall them on your PC or Mac.

01 AR­RANGE­MENT

This track’s a fairly ba­sic dance ar­range­ment of nearly seven min­utes. It’s noth­ing spe­cial, but it’s what you do with the notes that counts, isn’t it? Since we’re work­ing in MIDI, the tempo doesn’t par­tic­u­larly mat­ter, but keep it around 114–125bpm to get re­sults like ours. Through­out our videos, we’re run­ning at 120bpm.

02 NOTH­ING BUTC

Ev­ery sin­gle note in this project starts out as a C note – there are no other notes in the en­tire project (other than drums, of course). It might sound weird as you play through it for the first time, but this ac­tu­ally gives us a per­fect blank can­vas to show you how to use the­ory to build some­thing from noth­ing – and some­thing mu­si­cal at that!

03 DRUM EL­E­MENTS: AU­DIO FILES

We’ve used our own drums for this track, and we’ve in­cluded them in the Tu­to­rial Files for you to get a rhythm go­ing straight away. How­ever, if you want to get your own beats in there in­stead, we’ve also in­cluded a MIDI file of our drum pat­tern for that pur­pose. We rec­om­mend us­ing XILS-lab StiX CM – the ex­cel­lent drum ma­chine from Plugins – to get some­thing started.

04 KEYS AND CHORDS: PHONECCM

With its drift­ing, retro, VHS-styled sound, Phonec CM has us cov­ered for these sul­try chords. Just grab the

Or­gan­ics pre­set from the menu in the lower right. We’ll get go­ing straight away on the next page, and start learn­ing about how chords work with this lush patch.

05 LOW AND HIGH LEAD SYNTHS: THORN CM AND CURVE CM

There are two lead synths in our project that play sim­i­lar parts. The ‘Low Synth’ is a patch from Thorn CM ( Lead >>

Pluck >> Warmer), while the higher synth is a pre­set from Cableguys’ Curve 2 CM: Bloopy (CG Edit) LE, found on page 2 of the synth’s pre­set li­brary.

06 PAD SYNTH: EN­ZYME CM

Us­ing the pre­set PAD Eerie, En­zyme adds an at­mo­spheric synth layer that gives some tex­ture at the start of the track, and comes back in to­wards the end to fill out the mix when some ex­tra com­plex­ity is needed.

07 RIS­ING SYNTH PART: PHONEC CM

This slow sound (Phonec CM’s Mak­ing Con­tact patch) rises up in pitch to the C note we’ve pro­grammed. When timed right, it acts as both a riser ef­fect and also a melodic note as other in­stru­ments come in to do their thing. Phonec CM’s not just used in the first drop and the fol­low­ing build – it’s also used to make some more in­ter­est­ing ef­fects dur­ing the long se­cond verse, too.

08 SYN­THE­SISED BASSLINE: BAZILLE CM

With the HS Max Bass­room patch loaded, Bazille CM pro­vides low-end weight, plus at­tack and ‘def­i­ni­tion’ when played with quick note com­bi­na­tions like the ones we’ve pro­grammed here. When this bass part first comes in, it’s play­ing longer, sus­tained notes, but this quickly gives way to a rhyth­mic pat­tern that fol­lows the main song when­ever it does play.

09 NEW MIDI FILES FOR EV­ERY WALK­THROUGH

Any­where that we amend an in­stru­ment part in one of our tu­to­ri­als, we’ll in­clude the new ver­sion in the Tu­to­rial

Files folder. With this, you can ei­ther re­place the orig­i­nal out­right, or add it as an ex­tra track then com­pare it against the ini­tial ver­sion.

10 HIGH- PASSED MAS­TER

We’ve in­cluded sev­eral project files for a few lead­ing DAWs. We’ve au­to­mated a cou­ple of high-pass sweeps on the mas­ter chan­nel. If you’re build­ing the track in a dif­fer­ent DAW us­ing our MIDI files, you’ll have to pro­gram these sweeps your­self: the first creeps up slowly from the track’s start un­til bar 41, and the se­cond goes from half­way through bar 175 and drops back in just be­fore bar 179.

11 SIDECHAINED EL­E­MENTS

We haven’t given ev­ery el­e­ment the full mix­down treat­ment, but we’ve added sidechain pump­ing (with the key in­put from a silent kick drum track) to help parts rhyth­mi­cally fit to­gether a bit bet­ter, and to help you make your chord choices with some con­text. If you want to recre­ate this your­self, route a (silent) kick chan­nel play­ing on ev­ery beat to a com­pres­sor on the Chords (Phonec CM) chan­nel and the Pad (En­zyme CM) chan­nel.

12 THE REST IS UP TO YOU

Fancy restyling the drums, adding el­e­ments or swap­ping them around? Please do! Want to pol­ish up the track and give it a proper mix­down? Go ahead! We’re fo­cus­ing purely on mu­sic the­ory knowl­edge through­out this fea­ture, but feel free to give the tune your own stamp.

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