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Help with writing music.

Music Theory
DanielM  
22 May 2011 08:51 | Quote
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Hi everyone, recently I've gotten into Aqua and I'm really wanting to write some 80s dance/synth pop music like men without hats, aqua etc.

What I want to know is the sort of instruments used and their roles how to go about synthesising them and arranging etc.

Some of it seems to have just a simple four to the floor beat but as far as getting the right synths and arrangement etc I'm lost.

Any help or resources welcome, and I'll leave you with these two songs that are the sort of feel I'm going for (I know men without hats uses a breath synth and a fairly simple drum beat in moonbeam but still I need pointing in the right direction):



tinyskateboard  
22 May 2011 10:20 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
I don't know anything about synths or drum machines, but it looks like you need to make sure your hair has lots of volume. :)
gshredder2112  
22 May 2011 10:27 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
Licks: 3
Karma: 22
Try to make it as machine like and repetitive as possible,use ostinato grooves.But id ask Alexb just sayin....
DanielM  
22 May 2011 10:27 | Quote
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Well my hair is long and thick so it shouldn't be hard.

I'll look into it more ;D
DanielM  
22 May 2011 13:29 | Quote
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Ok I've had a shot, by listening to music and attempting to dissect it to a point, here it is: (it's just a chorus)

Test run by Daniel Mckenna93

Of course I would like peoples opinions on whether I'm on the right track and on the production and instrumentation.
Empirism  
22 May 2011 13:59 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
its quite cool, I didnt like the lead sound at all lol. For me it sounded little how I say... messy. I mean that lead and basslines like lived their own life which for me was little hard to follow if you know what I mean. right channel rythm synth is good, I like it. maybe let it sound little longer per hit time to time, but its good. Keep it up. Cheers!

Emp
AlexB  
22 May 2011 15:48 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
Licks: 2
Karma: 23
Well yeah,your demo sucked,and thats GOOD,firs of all you need to understand the basics

Bass Drum/Bass pattern

In both songs,the Kick and the bass goes like this

Kbbb - Kbbb - Kbbb - Kbbb

Get it? in 16nth notes,the kick comes in,and then 3 notes from the bass,wich creates a hight uplifting sound (this kind of bass in the driving force of Psytrance) contrary to the standar K.B. - K.B. - K.B. - K.B. of slower songs/house,proggy/old school stuff

There is an OPEN hi hat,and also CLOSED one like this,again 16nth notes

ccOc - ccOc - ccOc - ccOc

this normally gives you that speed up groove on your tracks

Snare is always in the 2 and 4 hit,Snare rolls are often before a break/change in the song,going from 4 hits per measure to 32 hits with pitch change right before the breake (even 64 for glitchy sounds found in psy)

The sound you are after is a vintage sound,unless you are a richboy,and can actually afford vintage synths for your productions,i reccomend you to study more synthesis,learn from the Korg M1,the Yamaha DX7,the Moogs,the Clavia Stuff,etc etc,for learning i suggest you to get VSTi replicas of some of those synths,most of the fabric patches like "synth bass" "Square lead" "Saw Stab" already sound as cheesy as you want,but again,learn synthesis,why yes and why nots

Cheesy average simple chord progressions are what you are looking for
Empirism  
22 May 2011 15:55 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Oh man yamaha dx7 rocks, also roland juno series and one of my all time favorite oberheim 8 is also recommended :)

btw all that are little interested in synths, I found this around year ago, check it out... he's a living legend and those things are atleast as legendary.



DanielM  
23 May 2011 10:19 | Quote
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
@AlexB thanks a lot for the help. I'm gonna keep posting new demos to this thread for feedback if that's ok?

@emp I've watched that video before JMJ is amazing. In fact my dad has equinox on record and I have enjoyed putting it on and listening from start to finish. Great stuff!

EDIT: New demo,

Emp, I played around with making the chords longer but I didn't like it

for Alex/everyone else I replaced my synth with a DX10 vsti and tweaked some of the defaults, for the lead I actually layered 2 DX10s, Also the bass is a bass vsti and a bass synth layered.

It goes verse chorus so far.

Test run by Daniel Mckenna93


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