Key Steps To Making A Tune

muzzadj

POW!
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#1
Ez,

just wandering if anyone can let me know the key steps to making a tune as ive just started producing and i'm sure i will miss it out!
 
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#2
I create a beat from samples and add EQ and effects to my liking, make a bass patch on Massive, write out a pattern, then gather samples like sound effects and things. Usually I get inspiration from the rest from those sound effects.

Probably not a helpful guide for you, but that's how I go about it.
 

Dj Methodist

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#3
start with your drums!
i personally like writing the intro first (establishing the key here) and do the drop/bassline after.

after the main body is "done" i tart it up with effects maybe some more pads or another lead somewhere

lastly add in sweeps,pitch bends, the majoirty of automation on lfos/filter cutoffs/plug in bypass etc near the end.
hope that helps mate!
 

richie_stix

gomby plz
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#7
i must work backwards... i always make a bass/synth sound then build drums around it to 'hold' it... once i have the bare bones, i then find some vocal sample and some musical samples and make the intro to give it context, then fx and finish mixdown... but to be fair i've never properly finished a tune!
 

MARKLAR

International Tracksuit Salesman
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#8
i recon a tunes never really properly finished ull always think oh i cud of done that there or this here etc.
even the big guys wen they release a tune i can imagine theyll think that.
cos u more than likely always gonna be getting a little beter so u can go back an fix the bits that u couldnt before an it go's on like that!lol
 

Jali

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#9
My biggest problem is bad sounds/presets. If you've seen an effort making a sound and it sounds like crap its difficult to discard it and you just go on trying to make it fit the song. Sometimes it works, eventually, but usually its just best to remove the bad sound even if its the sound you have build the rest of the song on.
 

MARKLAR

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#10
My biggest problem is bad sounds/presets. If you've seen an effort making a sound and it sounds like crap its difficult to discard it and you just go on trying to make it fit the song. Sometimes it works, eventually, but usually its just best to remove the bad sound even if its the sound you have build the rest of the song on.
just dont use presets man.
ill only usually use presets for pads an shit but tweak em to shit
 

msmith222

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#11
yeah, i guess i'm backwards too. i usually find a break close to the type of track i want and drop it in a channel to use as a metronome. then i skip all the drums and write the main hook/synths/bass. once the synths are close, then i go back to the drums. from there, it is a see-saw between the synths and the drums until everything sounds good, then the mixdown.

for the synths, it all boils down to two things: your ears and your skills. first, you can learn a lot by pressing buttons and turning knobs. but ultimately, the better you can learn your synthesizers, the more professional your sound. so take some time to figure out your gear, and don't go and buy/download 500 vst plugins if you can't work the first few.

drums are a bit tricky (well, sh*t, it's all tricky), but they are the easier of the two. while synths take creativity and artistic form, the drums can be programmed with a simple understanding of how DNB drums are built. this is not to say you can throw a few samples into their prescribed positions and call it a day. your drums will not sound like they fit your song unless you fit them to your song (duh) but if you follow some basic patterns, you will end up with drums that sound like dnb.

typically, i start with the previously-mentioned breakbeat. once i work out some synth noise, i will go back to that break and high-pass it. then i add one or two kick drums and 2 or three snares. i start with good samples and load them one at a time in my audio editor. i compress them, and then normalize them before putting them into my daw. this gives a nice thick sound from the start, and you don't waste processor power compressing the channels. next up is the high hats and high percussion. some single hits, some loops (homemade or commercial), whatever it takes to get things rolling. i usually end up with about 12-18 drum channels to get a nice full kit. again, use your ears.

then you need to fill your track out, this can happen two ways. adding sounds, like effects and builds, and repurposing sound, such as a kick roll. you need to have a lot of variety in the track to keep interest, so this is an important stage to f*ck with a lot of different sounds. i like to map a lot of different sounds across my midi keyboard and just let the song roll, try to hammer on the keys and find sounds that work. another good method of adding variety is to bounce down your synths/basses and cut them up and effect them. back to the ears!

then, you have to mixdown, get everything sitting right in the mix. i am no expert on this stage (or any of this, really - follow my advice at your own risk). i typically turn all of my faders to zero and bring the sounds in one at a time. get them to gel before bringing up the next fader. i'm sure you can search and find a few threads on using eq and compression and so on, so to avoid misinforming you i will leave it at that.

hope this helps...
 

Jali

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#12
just dont use presets man.
ill only usually use presets for pads an shit but tweak em to shit
By preset i mean any saved setting in a synth made by yourself or someone else..not just a factory setting..

edit:
lost my point..
My main point was about letting go of bad sounds even if its hard by times.
 
Last edited:

subprime

Dysjoint
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#14
From my experience so far I'd say the most important things (that I struggle with) are: having an idea of what you are trying to make before you sit down (patch, bassline, break etc),
and avoid Loopy loop syndrome, getting bogged down listening to the same loop over and over and over, constantly making adjustments until you've completely fucked it and you're so bored with it you can't work out if it's any good anymore. (or is that just me?)
 

Junglist_007

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#15
Good question this is what i wanted to know. I just got Logic 9. Wicked advice nice on guys. I was just wondering is it easyer to use midi keyboard instead of the mouse?
 

subprime

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#16
Good question this is what i wanted to know. I just got Logic 9. Wicked advice nice on guys. I was just wondering is it easyer to use midi keyboard instead of the mouse?
It's faster to try things on a keyboard (up/down an octave, chords, different notes etc)
If you play things in with a keyboard you may still have to go back and touch up with the mouse (quantise, velocity etc)
Whatever you find works for you.
 

Indi

Tha Original ThreadKilla!
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#18
Making tunes is like masturbating. People can tell you all different ways and techniques to do it, but in the end its about how much you practise and finding out about what works for you.
 

Mr Fletch

aka KRONIX
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#19
I usually start off by creating the kicks and snares. Then throw in a loop that I slice up and run a high pass through to give me the hats. I then create any extra percussions like woodsticks, bongo's etc. Then move onto a bassline and any synth sounds. Once I have that down I usually try to build an intro into that.

Then finally I try and build a second drop, which is usually where I lose direction and screw it all up!

But like others have said. I think it depends on what you are comfortable with. I think as long as a tune has good percussion, thumping kicks and a dirty bassline it doesnt matter how you get there, just as long as you get there!
 

CH3SH

CH3SH - Naphalm Audio
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#20
Split it into sections =]
Depending on which way your goin with it,
Focus on your drums, intro or melody
I tend to go nuts for a few days on an intro
Thatll consist of one day atmospherics and percs
Vocals the next and pullin it together the next,
Then ill knuckle down for a week on a few breaks
Then a few days on bass, stabs and quirks
Then ill finish up and pull it all together!
After that ill sit and add my effects, patterns, bouncing in and out
Thatll usually take ages, after that ill master it off and sit back and listen....
Then make a nice cuppa tea =D
 
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