The Steps You Take In Creating A Song From Scratch

Posts 1 - 25 of 49
  1. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Hello Looperman family!

    I was curious to know how you personally go about creating a song from start to finish. Just curious to see the steps/thought-processes you take in such a journey. Doesn't have to be super detailed unless you feel so moved to do so! Haha.

  2. 588276
    StaticNomad : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    All I ever do is take popular chart songs, reverse them, resample them, do a phase cancellation on the vocal, recompress them, chop them up into tiny little granules of audio, reverse them again and then use an arpeggiator to make new sequences out of them.

    They sound amazing but are quite different from the original tracks.

    Works well for me.

  3. 666289
    FreeRadical : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Well i like to start in the middle because that way if it's good and i get to the end i know there's more left.

  4. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    I feel ya on that one. I just hate the times when you hit a creative wall. Happens on occasion lol and can be very frustrating lol

  5. 666289
    FreeRadical : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Yeah, i'm having that exact problem now right towards the end of a track as well. Bloody annoying it is!

  6. 186161
    Spivkurl : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    For me, every song is different. I try not to rehash the past very often. I've stopped saving presets for the same reason...

  7. 951439
    Evisma : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Starts with inspiration. If I just sit down and decide to write something, it won't happen. I have to have something wanting to come out. Prairie Dogging is the term I like to use.

    I usually get a rhythm or melody in my head at work. I pull out my flip-phone and use it's message recorder to save the general idea. At night, after the wife crashes, I pull out the phone and start working on the riff with my acoustic guitar. From there I add parts and get an actual idea and concept. Then I turn on the recording software and do a rough record of the refined riff and then stop with the guitars.

    Once general guitar parts are written, I start on the drums. After rough drums are in, I rerecord the guitars and basses. Once those are how I want them, I go back and give better drums and add extras.

    Seems to be how it goes every time with different resulting songs.

  8. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    What are some good sources of inspiration for you guys? I find that really, anything can be the starting point for a good song. The things that inspire me most to write something are when I see people suffering. It makes me want to write something that'll move them to maybe see the light at the end of the tunnel, I suppose. Give hope.

  9. 1247377
    XyIlent : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    i always start with a piano melody, just sit and try to make a good melody. Once you have a really solid melody theres rarely much standing in the way of making a cool song :)

  10. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    I agree. There are always those catchy little instrument melodies we can derive that can inspire an entire song haha. I know many a time that has happened for me.

  11. 951439
    Evisma : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Trying to convey a mental image, a feeling. Stephen King wrote the story "Everythings Eventual" after being struck out of the blue by a mental image of a kid dumping change down the storm sewer drain out in front of his house. A great story came of it.

    My last track was meant to convey the lonely, hurt and isolated feelings an "historic" figure must have felt at the end of his life.

    So really, anything can be inspiration. Read a novel. Mastodon's "Leviathan" was inspired by Moby Dick. To get mainstream, Breaking Benjamin's song "So Cold", that was big a few years back, was written after watching the zombie movie "28 Days Later". I'm not a fan,... I'm just giving an example.

  12. 588276
    StaticNomad : Wed 14th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    After my first joke response, I'll be honest and say that I use pretty much nothing for inspiration.

    I don't use any daily moods or feelings or opinions or world events or anything like that to create any of my stuff. It's all supposed to be (and mostly is) somewhat out of this world. Thus is has no meaning, no message. I'm kind of out there floating through space, exploring never discovered planets when I'm working on my far out stuff.

    I also don't really get any melody ideas in my head and then work them out on an instrument. Partly because I'm pretty crap at that as I have poor musical pitch.

    I just listen very closely to the variety of sounds I work with. They are essentially all the inspiration I need.

    A good groove inspires more cool grooves around it and once I've got some sort of far out, psychedelic element in there and added some delay, I'm off in another world and then the melodies essentially write themselves through trying out regular sort of notes and then some weirder ones.

    Sorry if this is of zero help but I'm just being honest and trying to say that I find great sounds tend to inspire great, or at least good, instrument playing and/or programming.

    Of course I have an endless amount of music/instrument inspiration.

    For instance, Evisma has inspired me to do more bass guitar layering, which I've done a lot of in a track I'm currently working on. Sounds nothing like any of his bass guitar layering but that's how I prefer it.

  13. 1205128
    LivingInSilence : Thu 15th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    like woring on drums for some reason. I usually start with a drum loop I make from unorthodox sounds (my most current song uses static noises from plugging/unplugging things into the audio jack while it's recording). I then filter and add effects till they somewhat resemble drum noises. I then make some actual drum sounds with my MS-20 and Massive, and overlay them. THEN if I feel the song needs it, i'll add some acoustic drumming.

    Onto the bass, I use to use FM8 but switched to using my MS-20 for a more anologue sound. I'll make a simple bass line witch, along with the drums, creates the foundations of my track.

    I then head out to my little garage workshop and record whatever makes a cool noise. Whether it be gears grinding, levers winding, banging metal against metal. I then sample it and run it through as many or as little effects as i feel necessary. That's the soundscapes and whatever done.

    than I ATEMPT to find some good vocals. If I do find some, I add them, if not, i'll try again after the next step...

    ...which is the melody. Again, the MS-20 comes in (being the extremely diverse synth that it is) and I try to come up with a simple but interesting melody. This takes AGES but once that's out of the way I can chop/mix it up to prevent the track from being reppetitive.

    AND NOW that I have all the pieces for my song, I assemble it! Do all the mixing/mastering, bounce it, convert it to MP3, upload it to Looperman and/or other sites, and then sit in the corner and cry as it gets completely ignored.

    THE END. :)

  14. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Thu 15th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    LOL LivingInSilence. That was actually pretty funny last paragraph. You just made my evening hahahaha.

  15. 308224
    theHumps : Thu 15th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    I may come up with a strumming pattern or guitar phrase I like. Then I get drum patterns, mostly using EZ Drummer or a loops in Ableton. These 2 steps set the tone, pace, rhythm, title, genre, added instruments and direction the song will go.

    I record the guitar idea for as long as I keep making up cool sounding changes as I play. I will mute that track and often repeat the process. Now I have one or two acoustic guitar rhythm tracks with a variety of changes but within the same musical context. I can then edit what I've recorded into a solid track or keep one of the tracks. The editing is the most fun though and this forms the basic structure of the song. This process is repeated with other instruments, electric guitars, bass, harmonica... all made up with no rehearsal or planned attack. Then there is usually a bunch of subtractive editing where I remove all the unnecessary and conflicting parts and then add some final touches.

    I played in the same band for almost 20 years and when we wrote our originals there was a certain freshness and spontaneity to the tracks when we first put the song together that I liked. As we refined the track over practices the song became better constructed but seemed to lose that freshness. I felt we tried to make it sound "more acceptable" to the crowd rather than sticking to that feeling of the first rough attempts we did. So I just try to capture that feel of those early attempts in my songs rather than over produce or over think it's construction.

  16. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Thu 15th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    I notice that nowadays, its becoming more and more "important" to sound mainstream than it is to have your own sound. Like it has been said by a famous producer "I'd rather sound different than just sound good."

  17. 1205128
    LivingInSilence : Thu 15th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    "I'd rather sound different than just sound good."

    I like that quote, mainly because I agree with it 100%.

    Lately I've been hanging around a lot of people who would say that quote the other way round, and it does my head in.

  18. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Fri 16th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    That quote was actually said by Ben Pensado (host of Pensado's Place on YouTube! You got to check out some of his videos online. He shows you some of the things he does for mixing and stuff, if you'd like some ideas). He's done mixing for countless major mainstream artists and he's worth checking out. And I find that some people seem to lean towards "good" rather than "different", though I don't know why. Different - when done right - is what catches peoples' attention, in my opinion at least. Someone that comes to mind is Owl City, when he first started out. I've since lost interest when he fell into the limelight and started making tracks that sounded like all the others, though. Good is just like...well, just good I suppose. Nothing eye-catching (unless you have an extremely talented band) or flashy. Just....good. But that's my two cents at least haha.

  19. 851137
    crucethus : Sat 17th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    It starts with either a sound, or a drum beat, sometimes it's a bass groove I came up with. Sometimes there is no structure just a building wall of drums then bass than pads and synths and guitars , maybe vocals. sometimes it's a pop song with a verse chorus verse and strong melodic structure and chord progressions that I am after. Other times it's total experimentation. Sometimes it's an "Oblique strategy" that creates a set of rules that you are contained by, but then can be so creative within those bounds. There is no magic formula to write a song.

  20. 498019
    Tumbleweed : Sat 17th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    My early years involved playing rhythm guitar & I live off chord progressions....sit on the deck (warm day with a cool brew & acoustic guitar)...or on the couch on a Winter day.... watch football on the moronoscope.......find some nice chord progs...(they always get played with a beat in your head)...hum a melody line....wonder if you will remember that melody that came to you.......Think.."who cares there another one on the way".......have another brew & enjoy the sunshine....Now...can someone suggest how to keep the music out of your head when you are trying to get some sleep........Cheers

  21. 1293607
    Venuslove : Sat 17th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Usually the drums first, then kick after starts the melody and finally sampling. But due to other artists timing sometimes there's no time at all its a do what you feel at the moment thing. Even the best songs were written and recorded in an hour!

  22. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Sun 18th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    I agree! I occasionally have those inspirational moments where I can record an entire song in a day, all because of a little melody that I heard in my head. Pretty amazing what our minds can create such a short time.

  23. 631823
    Mahloo13 : Sun 18th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    I mostly work with other people so for me it's pretty easy...I usually sit down with the artist and get a guitar track, or piano track or vocal track down that we can use as a sketch track. From there I usually bring in different musicians and instrument players to add to the track different elements, effects, overdubs etc. I do talk with the artists however and try to get a mental idea over how the final product will sound. After we have a rough arrangement going we just piece everything together and record any tracks that need to be fixed as well as record the original track in high quality.

    Pretty simple huh?

  24. 944056
    Darkreine : Mon 19th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    If I'm making a track with loops, I usually find that the beat will inspire the rest of the track. I like to experiment with three or sometimes four different drum tracks and build it from there.

  25. 1281572
    promenade2239 : Mon 19th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    hey EpicRecord, I just checked out your tracks in here and that's pretty fine work. Can you explain more closely your 'process', or? Anyway I do not believe in any 'inspiration' and stuff like that. Maybe you meant simply a kind of a 'positive energy' or 'space', I do not know... It is very important for sure.
    I believe in 'doing things in a proper way', for instance: I started to practice some 251 jazz piano lines that develop a conscious flexibility in a real time playing. It will take some time but truly there's no other way to acquire a new musical language.
    I know it doesn't answer your question at all but anyway I enjoyed the music you uploaded here. Keep at it.

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