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 Post subject: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:51 am 
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I've always been shit at arranging, but over the past couple years I've managed to figure out how to arrange synthwave--which is very different from techno, as it has more of a song than track structure. But now that I'm working on some percussive techno again, I'm curious how you guys approach arranging. Like:

*When do you start arranging your tracks, before or after mixing--or side-by-side?
*What's your primary goal in arrangement?
*Do you have any techniques for arrangement that help you conceptualize where a track should go?
*Are there cliches or tropes you try to avoid?
*Other interesting info, from your experience?


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:58 am 
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by arrangement, do you mean it the classical way as in "placing of instruments" or the structure = progression over time?

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:14 am 
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I struggle.

I often fail to get past the 8 or 16 bar loop stage. Whenever i flesh out a full track it ends up sounding boring and empty, and the transitions tend to sound obvious and contrived to me.

I do think this is partly down to me being ultra critical of my own efforts, however i do also have a lot to learn about making enough subtle changes to keep things interesting without resorting to the clichés which you referred to.

One thing that i think helped is getting a hardware sequencer. My Cirklon finally arrived a couple of weeks ago. I spent a few nights learning the basics and creating some loops, then i just recorded a six minute jam of me bringing tracks in and out and tweaking as i went. I did some small edits to the recorded audio in Cubase, but didn't feel like i was fighting with it. For me, this is a game-changer - I'm really excited about the idea of creating full tracks now rather than the idea of arrangement being intimidating.

In terms of tricks or techniques, one thing that's often recommended if you've got your 8 bar loops created is to copy and paste all your loops over six minutes, then remove parts to make a track. This is easier than starting with a blank arrangement window and build up your loops into a track. It's psychological more than anything, but it helps i think.


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:55 am 
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FUCK ARRANGEMENT. IT IS THE DEVIL. The idealized notion of perfected techno is the closed to being actualized when it's just an endless one bar loop, going forever and ever without changing anything. It reminds me of the medieval notion that god is outside of time, there's no past, present and future, only a single moment. When you start adding linearity to time you shit all over your divine techno and make it stinky, human and corrupt. All my best tracks never get out of the loop stage because when you have a "perfect" loop, you can only make it worse by doing arrangement.

However, of course, just like Adam and Eva eventually get kicked out of the paradise, we are inevitably foced to bastardize our pure loops into these disgusting 5, 6 or twelve minutes chunks of audio. Since at that point, you are already partaking in heretic activity, I recommend not thinking about it too much - just jam it, just like a torturer is jamming a torch up some poor guys ass. The worst thing you can do is pushing around blocks in Ableton, at that point you are enganging in entirely rationalized, high tech destruction of innocent loops - Yes, drawing blocks in Ableton is the Auschwitz of techno production.


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:32 am 
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Chizmata wrote:
by arrangement, do you mean it the classical way as in "placing of instruments" or the structure = progression over time?


Placing different tonal and percussive elements in sequence over approximately 5-8 minutes. Basically, getting out of loopville.


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:28 am 
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dubdub wrote:
FUCK ARRANGEMENT. IT IS THE DEVIL. The idealized notion of perfected techno is the closed to being actualized when it's just an endless one bar loop, going forever and ever without changing anything. It reminds me of the medieval notion that god is outside of time, there's no past, present and future, only a single moment. When you start adding linearity to time you shit all over your divine techno and make it stinky, human and corrupt. All my best tracks never get out of the loop stage because when you have a "perfect" loop, you can only make it worse by doing arrangement.

However, of course, just like Adam and Eva eventually get kicked out of the paradise, we are inevitably foced to bastardize our pure loops into these disgusting 5, 6 or twelve minutes chunks of audio. Since at that point, you are already partaking in heretic activity, I recommend not thinking about it too much - just jam it, just like a torturer is jamming a torch up some poor guys ass. The worst thing you can do is pushing around blocks in Ableton, at that point you are enganging in entirely rationalized, high tech destruction of innocent loops - Yes, drawing blocks in Ableton is the Auschwitz of techno production.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks!

:twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:34 am 
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I'm at the exact same stage.. as i was playing in band and stuff i'm a bit used to arrange "songs". when it comes to arrange "tracks" i feel like i don't understand anything. When using ableton live it's quiet handy to develop a lot of elements working with your basic loop, but then in the arrangement view they all suddenly make no more sense to me. Frustrating sometimes. I found out that it has a lot to do with a bit of letting go and self-confidence. When i'm thinking too much about theory and my demons, it's not getting good. When i'm blown away for one or two ours thinking of nothing with only sound in my head, it tends to be way better.

Agree @dubdub that Techno is good when loop focused. But to me the real masterpieces use this as a basement and then develop in a 'natural' way, where one can hardly tell what's delevoping in the arrangement at all, but feels it.

I love this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pCd4b1KGys

..loop, loop, loop, ... and then, whats this?, .. loop... , bip, bip, ..somehow he manages to have a climax, just using subtle changings.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:55 am 
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The_G wrote:
Chizmata wrote:
by arrangement, do you mean it the classical way as in "placing of instruments" or the structure = progression over time?


Placing different tonal and percussive elements in sequence over approximately 5-8 minutes. Basically, getting out of loopville.


well if you dont like it, just fucking let it be :D. nobody here seems to like it so a circle of listeners should exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:34 pm 
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collide wrote:
dubdub wrote:
FUCK ARRANGEMENT. IT IS THE DEVIL. The idealized notion of perfected techno is the closed to being actualized when it's just an endless one bar loop, going forever and ever without changing anything. It reminds me of the medieval notion that god is outside of time, there's no past, present and future, only a single moment. When you start adding linearity to time you shit all over your divine techno and make it stinky, human and corrupt. All my best tracks never get out of the loop stage because when you have a "perfect" loop, you can only make it worse by doing arrangement.

However, of course, just like Adam and Eva eventually get kicked out of the paradise, we are inevitably foced to bastardize our pure loops into these disgusting 5, 6 or twelve minutes chunks of audio. Since at that point, you are already partaking in heretic activity, I recommend not thinking about it too much - just jam it, just like a torturer is jamming a torch up some poor guys ass. The worst thing you can do is pushing around blocks in Ableton, at that point you are enganging in entirely rationalized, high tech destruction of innocent loops - Yes, drawing blocks in Ableton is the Auschwitz of techno production.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks!

:twisted:


Funny shit. All hail the flawless loop! Is that Eva Mendes?! ..


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:49 pm 
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The_G wrote:
I've always been shit at arranging, but over the past couple years I've managed to figure out how to arrange synthwave--which is very different from techno, as it has more of a song than track structure. But now that I'm working on some percussive techno again, I'm curious how you guys approach arranging. Like:

*When do you start arranging your tracks, before or after mixing--or side-by-side?
*What's your primary goal in arrangement?
*Do you have any techniques for arrangement that help you conceptualize where a track should go?
*Are there cliches or tropes you try to avoid?
*Other interesting info, from your experience?


So as you would expect the best way to get out of loopville is to create the best sounding loop that you can with all the percussive elements that work together and then spread it out across 128 bars to begin with and make some sort of logical progression, bringing elements in and out. Then you flesh it out a little bit by adding small changes to the percussion elements... Create a trill every 16 bars on a hat or drop out kicks and focus on a specific percussive element then bring the kick back to make it groove.

As the other guys have said its all about making music that sounds like it is progressing with minor changes. Percussive Techno is great for that because you can use simple layering and rhythms to create the illusion of a complex sound with even having to try too hard.

Keep listening to the way that artists use specific percussive elements and you will realise they are just simple rhythms that work well with other simple rhythms to create complex songs.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 pm 
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I never arrange anything.
I just jam it out live in session view and tweak stuff after.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:00 pm 
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I have been working a lot lately on trying to get a work flow together (hence why I hardly ever post in here).

Here are a few things I have learnt to help push through.

Once you have a decent loop together that you think has potential to be a decent track:

Don't keep listening to your (ready to go) loop and congratulating yourself on a job well done - move quickly to the arrangement stage. Remember you don't want fatigue to kick in.

What can you automate in your loop? the synth parts: do your parts sound OK when you open close filters - make a note.

same with the drums, can you mess with note length, velocity and so on - does it still sound good when you do this? make note.

Jam out an few variations on your loop, tweaking filters, velocity, LFO here and there - record everything. Find out what sounds good and what doesn't.

Or/AND

Copy 5 - 6 min of the loop, add and subtract stuff, automate here and there to give the element movement.

Arrange, edit your results. Slap an intro, outro and break in the middle if that's your thang.

Rough mix of the track a few days later with fresh ears. Mix to your ability.

Bounce to audio, upload to sound cloud or similar ask your chums in the subsekt community for their opinion (remember to listen to other members tracks and give feedback).

Don't spend too much time dicking around with compressors and the like when your still at the loop stage, you will probably change stuff up later during the arrangement. If you get stuck move on, make the track the best of your current ability - don't compare your tracks to the ones fave producer just yet.

Repeat process. Try and make a better track than the last one :0

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:16 pm 
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SigEnt wrote:

Try and make a better track than the last one :0


Nailed it!

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:00 pm 
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I find the quicker i get into sequencing the track the more realistic i am. I find out if the loop works before spending hours gettimg anal about things.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:04 pm 
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Biggest pitfall for me is spending to much time on other things then the arrangement while arranging (aka fuckarounditis).
But I'm learning from my mistakes and noticed that the best tracks come from quick (one day) sessions.
I often lose the vibe when the arrangement skeleton isn't laid out in one session.
I first build a complete sounding loop with fully filled soundspectrum and then jam it out to a 'complete' track.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Same as that. Get that loop sounding full then decisions, decisions...


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:30 am 
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*When do you start arranging your tracks, before or after mixing--or side-by-side?

Mix and arrange as I go

*What's your primary goal in arrangement?

make it flow and sound effortless

*Do you have any techniques for arrangement that help you conceptualize where a track should go?

Speed, getting a basic arrangement (85%) down while your still in the vibe. If you stay too long in the loop mode you'll lose the feeling later.

*Are there cliches or tropes you try to avoid?

White noise risers

*Other interesting info, from your experience?

The good tracks just write and mix themselves, literally, I can find myself banging out the arrangement in 10-15mins... and not even changing it much after!

First takes and mixes are sometimes the best.

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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:30 am 
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The thing I struggle with is transitions. Hate to rely on risers and that kind of shit.

But the current track is actually turning out pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:19 pm 
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Which tracks, in your opinion, have a good/interesting/optimal arrangement?


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 Post subject: Re: Arranging percussive techno
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:37 pm 
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â–‡ â–‡ â–‡ wrote:
Which tracks, in your opinion, have a good/interesting/optimal arrangement?


I don't believe this is the only way to do it, but here's one I like:



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