Mood, energy, and flow choices:
For this song we were tasked with making an Ableton song in the key of A or Am (get it? Because Baljeet loves A's, haha). We were given folder of loops to use to create our songs. I decided to make my song in Am. This gives the song its somewhat dark and mysterious mood. The repeated up and down succession of notes also contributes to this mood. I set the tempo of the song to 100 giving it a not-too-fast-or-slow flow. The combination of this mood and flow give the song a somewhat low energy.
I didn't choose to do too much mixing for this song. I did pan all my tracks to the left or right to help separate things though. I moved all the percussion (hi-hat, drums, and claps) to the left. I kept the claps a little closer to the middle than the others. I moved all the synths to the right, keeping the main track of synths a little closer to the center than the others. This separation helped make it so all the tracks could be heard at the same time. Towards the end of the song I set a volume automation to fade a synth out. I chose not to add any other automations because I liked the sudden transitions that were already in place. I added a limiter to the master track to prevent clipping. I also added an effect called "Midnight" to the main synth track, which gave a cool muffled feel to the loops.
What I learned/Enjoyed?
This project taught me how to transpose loops in order to fit them to the key you are in. I also learned what certain effects do and how to use them. I enjoyed experimenting with loops and figuring out which ones matched up well. I also enjoyed messing with the sound effects and figuring out which ones work best with the loops in my song.
First Ableton Project
What I Did...
For this project we were introduced to Ableton Live. We were given a few sample sets to choose from, and were assigned to make a song with the new software. I found that Ableton was a lot more complex with so many new features to try. This did make it challenging at first to get used to compared to the very simple and standard Soundtrap. However after messing with Ableton for a few days I got used to its basic functions and really liked it. It allows for so many more possibilities and the push makes it easier and more fun to create music. For my remix I used the 3rd sample project. I decided to make a song with a somewhat slow flow, a somber mood, and a quiet energy. To do this I set the tempo to 110, which isn't too slow, but also isn't fast, which gave the song the flow I was looking for. I picked out 6 loops that I liked that all had a similar mood and energy and changed there colors so that I could find them easily. I then took the loops and slowly added them and then removed them one by one. I went back and added some panning and volume animations afterwards. Mr. McCready helped me with some final panning adjustments.
What I learned...
I learned a lot about panning and volume automation from this project. It was tricky to get it to be way that I wanted it, but the cool feeling it gives is worth the trouble. I also learned how to use Ableton Live and figured out a lot of the features it offers.
Rushing Back Soundtrap Remix
What I did...
This was our first remix project. We were given the vocal track from the song "Rushing Back" by Flume. We were challenged to add beats and loops to create a cool remix of the song. For the verse beat, I wanted something not too complex, but steady so it could support the melody without overpowering it. To do this I used a steady closed hihat with some kicks and a few snares. Every once in a while I dropped the verse beat out to spice it up a bit. For the chorus beat I wanted something more complex. To do this I used a steady hihat that dropped out for a few beats, more frequent kicks, and a snare. Finally, for the bridge beat, I wanted a fancy rhythm to support the solo vocals. To do this I used a steady hihat and a mixture of kicks and snares together. These drum beats help keep a steady flow during each part of the song and help set the energy. As for adding loops and effects, I decided to take the melody of the real song (but changed slightly) and put it on different instruments. For the first and third verse I put the melody on a cool synth. For the second verse I used a tenor saxophone. For the chorus I put the melody on a different synth a lowered it a lot. This gives the song a darker mood and changes the energy. During the bridge I accompanied the vocals with a synth. During the choruses I used a synth drop effect. As for loop effects I had Archer help me tweak some things to make the synths sound cooler and fit better with the song.
What I learned
This project was pretty difficult for me at first. I was having trouble figuring out how to line things up and finding good loops and effects that supported the vocals. Archer helped me take the background chords from the original song and put them into the remix, which really helped keep things together. I learned that when remixing, it is a good idea to add some of the key phrases and ideas from the original, but in a new and creative way.
First Soundtrap Project
What I did...
For this project we were assigned to create a song using Soundtrap. For my song, I chose a sort of ominous and mysterious mood by playing it in the key of Am. I also gave my song a slow energy by setting the bpm at 90. Together, these components give the song a sort of western feeling. The echoing and muffled effects also give the song an out-of-this-world kind of feeling, as if it were sci-fi or futuristic.
What I learned...
In this project I learned how to use Soundtrap. I learned how to search for specific loops based on the category/genre your song falls into. I also learned how to set automations for panning and volume.
Click here to listen to my song!
What I Did...
For this project we were introduced to Incredibox, an easy and fun music making website. I used the Little Miss theme to create a nice song that slowly builds up and slowly cuts out.
What I learned...
I learned that it slowly adding and then taking away parts is a good way to easily create song. I also learned to not use too many parts at the same in order to avoid overwhelming the listener.