Some more advanced music theory...

boobjunkie

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#1
Did a little post about this in the FL studios thread but thought i'd share a few more bits an pieces if anyones interested, but i'll start by copy an pasting the bit from the FL studios thread cos its fairly relevant an pretty handy so if you've read it already an wanna see more skip ahead!

Aswell as your basic major and minor 8 note scales there are 100s of other from all over the world which give interesting sounds and qualities. Two fairly common but very interesting other scales are the diminished and augmented scales.

The diminished scale follows the same pattern throughout which is - semi-tone interval, tone interval, semi-tone interval, tone interval etc etc so basically a C diminished scale is as follows: C, C#, D#, E, F#, G, A, Bb, C

Its got like a creepy, crunchy feel to it so it would work well for dark liquid or heavy jump up tracks.

The pattern for a diminished arpeggio is as follows - Minor third interval (3 semi-tones), Minor third interval, Minor third interval etc so a C diminished arpeggio is as follows:
C, Eb, F#, A, C so basically its just a stripped down version of the scale using only the most essential notes

The augmented scale is kinda cool cos it never seems to resolve itself, its a scale which seems to pose a question to the listener (if that makes sense lol)

The pattern for an augmented scale is reallll simple, its just : tone interval, tone interval, tone interval, tone interval etc etc

so a C augmented scale is as follows: C, D, E, F#, G#, A#, C

An augmented arpeggio is as follows: Major third interval (2 tones, 4 semi-tones), Major third interval, Major third interval etc etc

So a C augmented arpeggio is as follows: C, E, G#, C

Okay now for the new stuff!

One thing a lot of people don't know is that there are a lot of different ways (7 to be precise) of playing your bog standard natural minor scale which give emphasis to different notes an subsequently create different moods and effects - these are called the church modes (shitty name i know but bare with me)

So basically, if we take our basic A natural minor scale the notes used are: A, B, C, D, E, F, G

but we can play it in 7 different ways, simply by starting on a different note for each way (e.g B, C, D, E, F, G, A...... or F, G, A, B, C, D, E)

By changing the root note (the first note) the scale takes on drastically different qualities when played.

The most obvious example being if you start on A you've got your standard natural minor scale which sounds a little unhappy, an if you start on C you've got the good old C major scale which sounds happy an bubbily!

Now when you make some of the other notes the root note you get more interesting effects, for example if we play this scale starting with the note F we have an F lydian scale which gives a bright kinda dreamy quality, an if we start on the note B we've got a B locrian scale which sounds heavy an nasty cos of all those flats!

So yeah if you stick to the same group of notes but play around with putting emphasis on different notes you can create totally different sounds an create different more interesting moods in your music.

Okay this has been a seriously long winded post an anyone whos read to the end is clearly bored as fuck so i'll stop now, when i think of some more helpful stuff i'll post it up in this thread some other time
 

Innovine

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#3
One thing which I think is quite useful to know in drum and bass is that if you write something in the key of F, F# or G, the sub bass will be at 40-60hz which is suitable for sound systems with nice subwoofers. Other keys will put the sub bass either above this, where it's not as deep, or below, where it risks disappearing altogether. That's why I think it's a pretty good idea to use the key of G in theory examples, rather than C which is much more common.
 

Sammy_Dodger

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#4
One thing which I think is quite useful to know in drum and bass is that if you write something in the key of F, F# or G, the sub bass will be at 40-60hz which is suitable for sound systems with nice subwoofers. Other keys will put the sub bass either above this, where it's not as deep, or below, where it risks disappearing altogether. That's why I think it's a pretty good idea to use the key of G in theory examples, rather than C which is much more common.
this is true...but you can change the output frequency of any bass note...
 

Innovine

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#5
this is true...but you can change the output frequency of any bass note...
That would change the note, and does not give you any indication on how it relates harmonically to the rest of your notes. Changing your sub bass from 49hz to 45hz might make it lower, but it doesn't tell you that it'll be out of tune. If you went further to 43.6hz it'd be an F, which you can use in your mid bass or lead instrument and it'll sound lovely.

Much easier to keep things in tune if you think of things as notes with names, rather than frequencies.
 

Dan M

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#6
Everyone in this thread is in real danger of being acquainted with the RSA knife machine and need to think about just that before continuing posting.
 

Eridu

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#9
One thing which I think is quite useful to know in drum and bass is that if you write something in the key of F, F# or G, the sub bass will be at 40-60hz which is suitable for sound systems with nice subwoofers. Other keys will put the sub bass either above this, where it's not as deep, or below, where it risks disappearing altogether. That's why I think it's a pretty good idea to use the key of G in theory examples, rather than C which is much more common.
I dont quite get it... Are you saying that if I play an F, there would be a sub bass as a harmonic below the F ?
 

Innovine

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#10
Naa, not by itself. But for instance, 43.6hz is an F, as is 87.2hz (one octave up), and also 174.4hz is an F, as is 348hz and 697hz, you just double the frequency each time to go up one more octave.

So, if you know your soundsystem can produce really nice sub bass as low as 40hz, but not lower, then it makes a LOT of sense to have your tune written in the key of F (using F scales for the mid bass notes or pad sounds, etc), cos when you want to you can bring on that sub bass at the lowest root note possible, and it's in perfect tune.

You could of course just throw in a 40hz sub bass, but it'll not sound as sweet (especially if you have some audible overtones at 80hz or 160hz)

F# or G will maximize the bass possibilities on sound systems that don't go quite as low as 40hz. I don't know how low common club systems usually go and whats a safe estimate.. anyone?
 
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