Does Length Really Matter

Posts 1 - 25 of 56
  1. 308224
    theHumps : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    The other day I was listening to Zero2Zero's collab with Dj ShemZee, Passion Z, and it was over 10 minutes long. Man, what a great song, it really brought you in and made you experience the song. I made a comment in my review that you could fit 6 of my songs in the same time frame, we both laughed the comment off but it got me thinking.

    Do my short 1-2 minute tracks/interludes convey the same emotional response? Can people be emotionally impacted by your musical idea in such a short time frame? I have several songs that are right at 1 min long, so it got me wondering. I get many comments saying that they wished the track was longer. But what do they mean? Should I extend the song, am I not conveying my message in my musical diddies? I'm hoping that it means that they are pushing the play button again to hear it.

    So, does length really matter? Not about my music personally but in general.

  2. 339043
    StephenPotter : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I think it does, so to answer the question in one word, yes.

    The reason why is because of things like long introductions to build up to the main song, or you can have a massive long end to give a different sense, one builds you up and the other is a breakdown, I geuss. Also, the longer it is, the more changes can take place, which would probably make it easier to compose new segments of the track, and instead of making the track ABA, you could go through a lot more letters, each letter representing a section of the track.

    Also, sometimes 3 minutes isn't enough. If you listen to strobe by Deadmau5, the introduction is 4 minutes long, then the track switches for another two minutes, leaving just 4 minutes for the actual song, and let me tell you, the wait for that main melody is what makes me keep coming back to it.

    It could just be used to satisfy the audience. Big orchestral compositions rarely last for two minutes, and the same can be applied to cinematic tracks too.

    But short tracks can convey emotion, but it depends on what sort of emotion it is. If its waiting for something to happen, then it can't be done with a short track as well as it could with a long one.

    But that bieng said, I haven't managed to make a song over 5 minutes in length yet.. I gotta sort that out.

    Ste :)

  3. 230419
    blackryan : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I think both have their merits. I can remember short songs that I loved that were sooo short I just had to play them over and over again. They just really left you wanting more.

    Two that really spring to mind are;

    1)The Cure - Catch
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRHoc3IHa1I

    2)U2 - 40
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=u2+40&aq=f

    However long tracks can really take you on a journey and a lot of ambient style tracks and progressive house and techno will go for this option.However quality beats quantity every time for me. I'd prefer to not see artists making really long tracks just cause it's in fashion.

  4. 438673
    DJSchmeeJ : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    Yes and no. I think that just copying your loop and doubling up is a cop out! Each section should build and offer something new to the listener. I also think that 12 bars of the same thing at the beginning as an intro is just "padding"! I like to try to lay down the foundaton/rhythym section and the Pad as a whole in about 32 bars or more. Some of mine sound a little straight laced through out but those are the songs I felt would benifit from vocals, and you should never distract from the vocal line in my opinion unless its a build up or turn around or bridge type thing! I personally think 10 minutes is too long unless you have a captive audience, or its a mix of songs or melodies... or even like a rock opera...but still you are dealing with an instant society with ADHD and short attention spans...so I try not to bore them too much!

  5. 438673
    DJSchmeeJ : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    BUT that being said, I compose my music to be sold as production music to a library, and many times they just want your hook. They will disect it and remix it to fit their needs, so you gotta get in quick, change it up, and offer each piece as the same with something new there to give them many directions to go according to what they are using it for! It has to be from 2 to 4 minutes for proper production use... but if it peaks their intrest, they may only need :29 or :59 seconds of it to use for a commercial, so if it's that catchy, I'll actually offer a :29 and :59 version as well.

  6. 308224
    theHumps : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I come from the song writing school of "get to the hook asap" and "get you're point across in 2.5 minutes or you'll lose the listener". So sometimes I hear a 3 min intro of the same 2 chords bouncing back and forth and I wonder where the producer is going with this and why. I don't understand a lot of the ins and outs of many genres here so I'm thinking my ignorance may come into play. Like understanding why a 3 min intro is effective when my guitars would have been already packed for a min, haha.

  7. 33356
    MStokes : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    hey, Wayne - you have one risqu post - see, i tried to leave it alone. well, as the girls all say it is the breadth that matters.
    I'm going to get chopped off here if i don't cut it out but you started it.
    music is a mysterious and phenomenological event - attempts to quantize it are as futile and reductive as an anal retentive linguist saying 'ish' isn't a word.

  8. 159051
    Unknown User : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    Commercial tracks cant have a lenght of 7 or more minutes.
    (i dont mean commercial LIVE-tracks, i mean radioversions)
    This would be not intelligent cause you cant play such a long song in the radios. The reasons are clear.

    If you make non commercial tracks, sure, you can make a 20minutes song. But its not easy to give everytime a new feeling in such a long track. The MOST! long tracks get boring.

  9. 630386
    JoeFunktastic : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    It all depends what you are trying to measure and what you are trying to satisfy. Well let go with music. Many of songs I do follows song structure that was established decades ago. You have an intro, break, verse1, Bridge, verse2, ending/break and then outro/ending.

    I've been able to this in just over 3 minutes. But I feel the Genre you do might dictate the length such as how long does it take to get to the climax of the song. That might determine how long you want to push it. So length may not matter in that case.

  10. 340647
    Phyruis : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I'm sure there's a joke in the title of the thread!!...

    for me it depends on the genre... rock...dnb...indie.. are fantastic at length...noisia and technical itch spring to mind as does "machine gun" jimi hendrix's live version .. I once saw the cure perform a twenty minute version of "the forest".. it was awesome but I was off my nut!!

    with pop music and the surrounding genres (mostly commercial) I think 3:00 is about the limit for me

    just my opinion

  11. 366784
    yeshintae : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    just depends on what you want the listener to feel while
    listenin' to your track

    doesn't matter whether it's long or short as long
    as it sounds GOOD

    :p

    Peace from LA

  12. 265632
    WeazelBeats : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I'm the Electro guy around here so let's talk about that :P

    Original Mixes of Electro songs are almost NEVER under 5 minutes long or something....

    And when an electro song is a hit and will be played on mainstream radio stations, the ALWAYS make a radio edit of it which makes it about 3 minutes long...

    But this actually only happens when the track has lyrics...

    THAT'S WHAT I HATE ABOUT THIS 'SYSTEM'

    I had Swedish House Maffia's "One" on my I-pod for a pretty long time and I loved it! (this was without lyrics almost nobody knew of it..)
    But then this Pharrel Williams did some (actually 3 lines..-.-)
    of lyrics on it and it was a hit!!
    I HATE that.!

    that's it .. me spoke....

  13. 373341
    SpellJammer : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I think if you have a killa hook, relevant lyrics, strong vocals and a catchy bassline to carry a song its totally irrelevant. I agree that this method is limited to certain genres, rock and old school soul and R&b and blues IMHO. In modern music like pop and R&B I think many people have been dumbed down to the technical aspects of what a truly technical musical production entails. Don't get me wrong, I love artists like Fourplay, Herbie Hancock, Jeff Buckley, Babyface, Michael Mcdonald, Toto and the like for what they are/were able to achieve with their music in terms of complexity but for the average theoretical musical layman, I just think it flies way over their heads and I adopt a simplistic approach to this for commercial reasons.

    Every musical genre has a more technical sub genre in my opinion. Compare A Seal pop ballad to a Robbie Williams or Westlife one for instance. They are poles apart musically and technically yet each have a cult following. So in my opinion, the duration of a song or intro is trivial based on the target demographic you are aiming for.

    If memory serves me correct, the original version of this hit was approximately 12 minutes in length. Suffice to say I dont think that any gents were letting go of their lasses on the dance floor for that duration when this record got spun.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT_9OUvmb5I

  14. 372886
    Bilbozo : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    Hehe I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the title. So I pop in and oooohh they are talking about SONG length. Here I thought...well hey for any dude I think it matters as it does for the ladies. Better to have a sword than a butterknife !

  15. 157207
    StarTropix : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    length DOESN'T matter, one of my favourite songs is only 0:33, and another is 12:40 (hell I have mixes that last for an hour and a half)

  16. 372488
    CrashTheSystem : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I think that it doesnt really matter. I have a 1:15 song i made that to me is still epic. But it all depends. Rush's 2112 is a bit too much for me, being about 20 minutes long. But Triviums Shogun is 11 mins and i love all of it. I suppose it just depends on the content within the song.

  17. 230419
    blackryan : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    In June 1992, The Orb released the Blue Room. Gallup, who compiled the music chart decided that anything over 40 minutes long ahould be classed as an album. The Orb decided to make their release 39 minutes and 57 seconds in length. It reached number 8 in the singles chart and it's awesome!

  18. 158799
    alividlife : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    It's the motion in the... oh...
    ehh.....

    ahem.. I gotta go.

  19. 367101
    tarzanPG : Tue 26th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    to me it dont,but as i had a replie saying that some people dont give credit or steal claiming cred (that is if u have the download mp3 option on), at least if u save it u have the original having control on how long, short, the drum, clap/snare pattern on the track is

  20. 342174
    DJFredrick : Wed 27th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    It totally matters. When I see a track thats 1:00-2:00 I think
    1 Its a intro/outro
    2 The guy didn't know where to go with the song and didn't take the time to make it a full song. (just at first glance).
    Obviously it depends on how the track sounds but I don't really get the point of little tracks like that.
    Just when your getting used to the sound and enjoying it BAM its done.
    I haven't heard your stuff so I don't know but thats my opinion on short tracks.
    Same can sorta be said for LONG tracks.
    The guy was too lazy (obviously depending on the sound) to cut out the unnecessary parts and make a good concise song so he just left it as is. Or its just really worth it.
    It comes down the the song.
    I'll tell you this much;
    If a track is a 1:30 I'll be more willing to check it out than a 10:00 song.

    Aelfo

  21. 157207
    StarTropix : Wed 27th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    tracks that are too long are not concise but tracks that are too short don't elaborate or show any effort?
    I think you are way off Aelfo, but I respect you as an artist.
    I believe it is all just art and is finished when the creator says it is finished.

  22. 69965
    ChaseManhattan : Wed 27th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    does length really matter

    that is truly what she did say

  23. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Wed 27th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    I guess it's what your conditioned to making..back when Pink Floyd where at their peak I'd say a long track like 10 mins was cool and par for the course..today I still like long tracks especially Jazz ones..but to tell you the truth my time on Looperman has conditioned me in my own material's length..I usually do about 4.30 min tracks at 120 bpm as I find this gets my tracks in at about 6/6.5 MB's at a 193 or so bit rate......1-2 min tracks are too short in my opinion but it all boils down to what's going down,I don't like formulas,if it works it works...in alive situation though things are always longer..I like to jam out!

  24. 464567
    Unknown User : Wed 27th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    Hmm..
    I would have to say that length depends on genre. Generally speaking, I don't mind if tracks are short (like yours). But genre determines that length, in my opinion.

    A ten minute trance track doesn't seem long.
    But a ten minute hip hop track does.

    A four minute hip hop track seems right,
    but then, a four minute psytrance track seems really short.

    They're all so different in style, construction, and audience..

  25. 435244
    Thethanx : Wed 27th Oct 2010 : 11 years ago

    Hmmm I think it matters but I agree that longer ISN'T always better...
    Actually, many of my favorite songs were less than three minutes.

    I also think that thing blackryan was talking about, about the song ending and you replaying it cuz it's so good, is a GOOD thing. If you write a song that makes people come back and relisten time and time again then who cares if it's short?

    JohnBoultier (did I spell your name right?) has one of my favorite looperman tracks and it's less than 2 minutes
    https://www.looperman.com/tracks/detail/6582

    Link to his track, hope he doesn't mind.

    Also for anyone that listens to any metal/grindcore (personally I only dabble)

    Agoraphobic Nosebleed released an album where the LONGEST song was :56 seconds (over 100 tracks on the album!). Now I won't claim it's their best album ever, but it just goes to show, some people write songs that are shorter than some loops on this site

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altered_States_of_America

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