FINISH HIM
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:28 PM   #1
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FINISH HIM

I really struggle to finish songs. I find that I can come up with melodies and beats that I like, and think have promise, but I really struggle to create a full song structure from that, and finding a way to bring the song to an end.

I'm quite new to making electronic music, so I was thinking it might be useful to use more generic song structures/bar counts for a while until I get my head around it. Was wondering what processes and tools you use to help with this in your setup?

Cheers for reading and all comments appreciated.

Nick

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Alert (03-11-2015)
Old 03-11-2015, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: FINISH HIM

you can take the main riff loop and copy/paste it so that it's song length,
then subtract elements of the song in the beginning and the end to make the intro/outro


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Old 03-12-2015, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: FINISH HIM

Thanks for that. I think I worry about that being too easy, and that it won't hold people's attention (mine included). I do think it's a good place to start and that I should just get stuff finished and out there to get feedback and get comfortable with finishing songs.

Cheers
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:46 AM   #4
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Re: FINISH HIM

Make some more posts around here - (worthwhile, genuine contributions) - and then you can post some of your tracks to get some ideas and feedback for.

Give some feedback on other people's music based on what you think you might like to hear in a song.

And actually, what Alert said is a good approach. It is a subtractive approach. I have seen this tip recommended by a number of "top"/"commercial"/"professional" producers. Start with the most complex/busy/epic part of the track, and work backwards. If only because, in fact, it helps you not to ADD more stuff. Because people will also tell you LESS IS MORE. So SUBTRACTING stuff is often a better approach.

I still have to try starting with the biggest part and working backgrounds.

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Old 03-13-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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Re: FINISH HIM

take one element on song. Solo it. Delete all patterns for it. Make something totally new, melody wise that sounds good and you think fits with vibe. Then try put it into a nice melodic context with rest of song and then put everything else on top in a fashion that you think fits in this new section.
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: FINISH HIM

Thank you both, the suggestions are much appreciated and I'll try and put them into practice and see what I come up with. I definitely need to try and keep things simple initially I think, and to remember that the music is the most important element, and the production tools and techniques are there to help polish that.
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: FINISH HIM

Go back and listen to some of your unfinished parts and identify where it was in the composition/s that you started to feel stuck. See if there is a common trend because if there is then it may help identify what is getting you into this rut.

Also, you could try using false endings, like with a bar or so of relative silence (hopefully filled with a little reverb from the last bar) and use that as a way to burst into a new interesting section. I use this from time to time and it may help.

Hope I'm not giving you bad advice here.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: FINISH HIM

Quote:
Originally Posted by NChil10 View Post
Thanks for that. I think I worry about that being too easy, and that it won't hold people's attention (mine included). I do think it's a good place to start and that I should just get stuff finished and out there to get feedback and get comfortable with finishing songs.

Cheers
Yea bro defo follow Alert's advice. It's a no brainer for someone in your position, I've been there.

Too easy? You'll still have to create transitions, do loads of automation etc.

It'll get you out of your loop which is the most imporatant thing.

Also it will open up loads of possibilities and inspiration. E.g you will get bored with your hat pattern so start putting little variations throughout the track. Do this for all your other tracks, just tiny variations, and it will all add up to make it interesting.

It'll also help you learn a lot, and maybe in the future you will have a clearer vision and be able to write a tune starting from the intro and working your way through.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: FINISH HIM

I've always found letting myself get carried away on tangents when arranging can often help develop ideas.

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Old 06-26-2015, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: FINISH HIM

I know that struggle, I have tons of unfinished tracks because I always tend to think that I have to come up with the smartests transitions and new different parts for my song. Invariably, I get stuck most of the time, so the last track I did was based on a jam I did with my equipment, I started a beat and built something around it, when I finished recording I had a full song!! So, yeah, I think that's the best approach for us begginers, just get your song finished, don't try to be too fancy and move on, eventually the song structures will get more complex naturally.


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Old 07-05-2015, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re: FINISH HIM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoReaction View Post
So, yeah, I think that's the best approach for us begginers, just get your song finished, don't try to be too fancy and move on, eventually the song structures will get more complex naturally.
Absolutely my experience. Just finish up, don't hesitate to publish "less than perfect" tracks.
Also, when i start out arranging with my 8bar loops, i tend to copy/paste/repeat a lot and that lacks some variation that i have to add in later on. Lately i was switching to lay down a quick sketch of the song and then start to arrange the details from start to end, sometimes i cut out sections like breakdowns, buildups and finish them in a separate project, not to lose focus and "jump around" on the timeline too much.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:43 PM   #12
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Re: FINISH HIM

Don't use this to steal anything or rip anyone off, but I'd recommend putting a song you like, similar to your own stuff, into your software, and if your software can do this then mark out where different sections start and stop. Try working out how much new stuff is added at certain points and what that does to a song dynamically. It really depends on the type of music, but I think a lot of stuff seems to be about contrasting highs and lows with an ongoing pulse, eventually leading to the most energetic of the highs. /ramble
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:39 PM   #13
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Re: FINISH HIM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alert View Post
you can take the main riff loop and copy/paste it so that it's song length,

+1
and if you want to keep things interesting make sure that something changes everytime, a subtle change of cutoff on the bass on one repetition, the lead changing a note or skipping one the other repetition, then extra drum hits and so forth

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Old 07-22-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
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Re: FINISH HIM

For a while I was dealing with the same problem.
For me it works to first build the qlimax, setup the entire timeline, build breaks, build intro/outro.
As mentioned before, the ohter elments can ben a kind of "substractions" from the qlimax or some elements of it.
Hope you get your problem countered,
Good Luck!
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:07 PM   #15
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Re: FINISH HIM

You can also take the melody tracks and if they are MIDI you can reverse and/or (if you have Finale or Sebelius) invert them. Usually they will sound horrible, but you can then move/delete notes until they sound good again. You can also shift your main riff up and down keys to make some more interest. Or change its tonality from minor to major or vice versa.

I think everyone tends to accumulate lots of 8 bar ideas... one thing I do is transpose and/or speedup/slowdown these ideas so they fit together.
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:06 AM   #16
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Re: FINISH HIM

I am glad I read this thread! So many great ideas for an issue I have as well. Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:00 AM   #17
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Re: FINISH HIM

I just like ending my songs with a beat and a bassline from earlier in the song. I don't think anything too fancy needs to happen at the end.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:50 PM   #18
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Re: FINISH HIM

I have found that sometimes you have to forcibly break away from a track, often against your natural instinct to edit, tweek ad nauseum. It's like sending a child out for his/her first day of school. You hope they get lunch and don't kick to many other kids' asses.
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:09 PM   #19
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Re: FINISH HIM

Quote:
Originally Posted by NChil10 View Post
I'm quite new to making electronic music, so I was thinking it might be useful to use more generic song structures/bar counts for a while until I get my head around it. Was wondering what processes and tools you use to help with this in your setup?


Deleting shit is just as crucial to the creative process as recording shit, at least for me. Sometimes you have to create and sculpt your perfect void in order to escape a creative rut.

The more you learn the ins and outs (literally and figuratively), the more you'll get into the habit of using whatever means necessary to make your track sound the way you want it to. I would say rather than following what you perceive to be a generic rule, you might have more luck experimenting with the sound you want to create first, and then comparing your stuff to who you want to sound like later. Using bare loops and scratch tracks the whole time might hinder your progress, even though it's very tempting in the beginning.
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:45 PM   #20
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Re: FINISH HIM

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's system is very good. I'd go further and say rip off song structures completely - especially if you're working in a samey genre. It's pretty obvious that almost everyone does it, consciously or not.

For example: intro, chorus, short verse, chorus, long verse, chorus, bridge, middle 8 (optional), chorus, short verse, outro (same as the intro). Millions of songs do something if not exactly like this then pretty fucking similar. I've had good results faking creativity in this way. Just come up with 5 distinct long(ish) patterns yourself and build your song according to a preordained structure. It liberates you to concentrate on all the fiddly bits, and you can always swap the order around later if the song feels like it needs it.

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