I accomplished a lot this week, almost finishing two tracks.
This week I worked on combining old genres of electronic music that have since “gone out of style”. Some of these genres include:
- Drum & Bass (example), a genre with heavy driven drum patterns drawn from the amen brother’s famous Amen Break
- Trance (example), a genre mostly known as pre-2010 dance music, stemming from techno and older genres.
In a track I nearly finished this week, I started out with a heavy drum & bass kick snare pattern (here), which later evolved into this track, a track barely even recognizable from the original idea. The part of the track that I spent the most time on programming was the arpeggios. For those who don’t know what an arpeggio is, it’s the notes of a chord played in succession, in this case fairly quickly. I wanted to give the listener a sense of spaciousness with this track, so I decided a wide stereo-spread* arpeggio in combination with the thick percussive bassline would do the trick.
* stereo-spreading is a type of panning where instead of spreading a sound to just one ear or the other, you spread across both, making the sound seem more spacious, as it takes up more of the stereo spectrum rather than being mono.
The second nearly finished track, entitled “Piano Study“, was a combination of many ideas and experiments, the first being a talk box synth. A talk box is actually a physical synth where you sing into a microphone, which runs your voice through a wavetable (waveform) of your choice. This creates not only a cool effect, but also gives you the ability to change the pitch of your voice synthetically, a primitive vocoder/autotuner per se. This is what you hear in the intro with the sliding chords and vocal vowel sound. After that I tried writing some chords for a typical piano to lay over the percussion, just to see if an acoustic sound like so would mix nicely with a more electronic sound. Finally I pulled inspiration from trance by borrowing the type of bassline commonly found in trance, a 1/8 gated* squarewave.
* gating is when you run a sound through a gater, which basically allows you to sequence the volume levels, a real life version of a gater is when you talk through a fan, your voice sounds choppy.
listen to all my sounds from this week here