ARRANGE TRACKS LIKE A PRO!
Essential tips and tactics for structuring your tunes,
It’s often been said that the best way to get something done is simply to begin. However, while that may be true for many things, when making songs on a computer, getting started is all too often the easiest part – it’s being able to properly finish a track, taking it past the ‘loop of doom’ stage, that’s the most difficult part of the process. For example, how many times have you started a project and made it as far as creating a spectacular four or eight-bar region, only to get stuck at the point where you have to start thinking about actually moulding it into a finished song? If you’re anything like us, you’ll most likely have a hard drive (or seven!) packed with unfinished ideas that started from flashes of inspiration but never got beyond that initial ‘cycle mode’ stage.
A lot of the time this comes down not to an overall lack of ideas, but to difficulty with the arrangement process – the sequence in which the different sections of your song are laid out. When it comes to engaging with your audience and provoking that essential ‘reach for the repeat’ response in your listeners, coming up with an effective arrangement is undoubtedly as important as the construction of the individual sections themselves.
Although today’s DAWs put endless instruments, effects and track counts at our fingertips, it’s all too easy to fall into a solely loop-based workflow that can actually stifle, rather than inspire, the ability to extend single regions out into a fully-arranged song. And that’s where we come in! Within this mammoth, 15-page ‘arrangement workout’ feature, you’ll find plenty of ideas for developing half-formed sketches into fully-fledged tracks. We’ll give you loads of inspiring suggestions for getting out of that rut and finishing your songs, revealing a boatload of supplementary tips and techniques along the way. So fire up your DAW, and let’s see if we can’t come to a suitable arrangement, shall we?