The Steps You Take In Creating A Song From Scratch

Posts 26 - 49 of 49
  1. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Tue 20th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Honestly, promenade, my process is really sporadic...I can't read sheet music to save my life and I honestly have no clue what 251 jazz piano lines are :). I have to think hard on this one lol. 'Positive energy', i don't know if that would exactly fit the thing that helps me to write, because sometimes I'll be driven to write a song when I'm feeling down or lonely (as we all get sometimes), or if I see someone else in the same condition or having a rough day with whatever issues they may face. But, I'll just give an example for the process I took to make my orchestral song "Emmanuel" - which I've never really thought about or put down into text until now. :P A really good friend of mine had given me his old external hard drive that had tons of some of his old recordings on it and told me to sift through it and see what I could find. I happened to discover on the first few searches one very short one-take recording of his daughter singing the song. She wasn't really trying at all - in fact she sounded kind of embarrassed - but, the way her voice came through (she had singing in her blood from her father, who had taken 1st in state when he was in high school for singing) had a sense of intimacy that I immediately knew I could coax out with some polishing. So I imported that one file onto my old rig and immediately - just by adding reverb - her voice came alive. I instantly thought of some of the soundtrack from Lord of The Rings and decided I would take that route for this song. I started to add layers of different instruments behind her voice, all the while making sure that her voice kept the main-stage since she was the one carrying the whole song. In my original version, the song ended when she finished singing, but decided a day or two later to add an extra part to help give the listener a more "savorable" experience than just "Start-finish." Thus came the piano and male choir (this was my first time ever trying to sound like the way choirs do; it was kinda awkward for me at first since I was recording in a little room with the dining room just outside; I don't have sound-proofing haha).

  2. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Tue 20th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Once I was satisfied that the choir sounded to my liking via EQing, panning and mixing, I saved the file and put it away for the rest of the day and then came back to it the next morning. I remixed everything; tweaked some volume and EQing knobs; added a deep bass drum texture for extra epicness; retweaked some reverbs for the choir; listened to the whole thing again several times, keeping a sharp ear for anything unpleasant and then put it away for the rest of the day. I then came back to it the next morning and double-checked to make sure everything was to my liking; added a very distant background vocal behind her voice at the beginning, mixed it into the rest of the song and then called it finished. Overall, it took me about 4 days from start to finish, and was very fun to record and produce. Everything just seemed to come together on it. But yeah, that's just one example; and none of my other music has taken these same steps to the finish line haha. Every single song and the stimulant that derives it is always different.

  3. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Tue 20th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Oops, did my math wrong, overall it took me about a week to finish, but hour-wise, about 4 days. My apologies :P

  4. 1225682
    iammodus : Tue 20th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    My process: I imagine my melody, then I find or synthesize a proper sound matching the melody I imagined before, then I start to add more sounds according to the main sound, then, if I want, Delay and Reverb, and a bit of Mastering, adjusting Mix Levels, and you're good to go.

  5. 1303941
    gravitas : Thu 22nd Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    To be honest, I don't have a set "process." I've been in Band for 4 years, and know most of the good stuff well like chords and things. But in all honesty, I more or less either take some random sample I found, or one of my fav plugins, and kinda sorta "accidentally on purpose" mess around until I find a good base sound, and build off of that.

    In a sense, I base my procedure on additive synthesis kinda sorta, except alot more all over the place. I don't know what will happen on any day, but it always works out in the end.

  6. 498019
    Tumbleweed : Thu 22nd Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Kind of refreshing to see that some musicians still sit down with their instrument of choice and compose from the musical mind & heart...Guess I shouldn`t be surprised to see that more than a few describe how they make sounds on their computers.....

  7. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Thu 22nd Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    It's a sing of the age, Tumbleweed :) But I don't have many synths to toy with; so I stick with my good ol' acoustic guitar and/or my piano :P

  8. 1303941
    gravitas : Fri 23rd Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Actually, now that I think about it, everything I do is experimental nowadays. From my music to my steps, nothing's really planned, in my case. It's kinda like getting a Moog System 55, or some type of modular synthesizer, and just saying "I'm going to fuck with this for about 5 hours until I find something." Lol

  9. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Fri 23rd Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Hey, sometimes that's what you gotta do! Whatever works, eh? :P

  10. 1022022
    OrdinaryDude : Sat 24th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Hello everyone! Since this is a hobby of mine I can't really dedicate lots of time to my music creations. But for me, I usually hear a song on the radio or t.v. that gives me an idea of something I want to create. I'll search here for loops that "grab" me or have a certain sound.
    I usually start with the loops and build drums and pads etc from there, But I only build the song in segments. The build or start of a song, the middle, and the end. It might take me anywhere from a day to two months for each sections. It depends on my free time and when the moment to sit and create hits me. Either way, it is a relaxing process.

  11. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Sat 24th Jan 2015 : 7 years ago

    Sounds like my situation as well! It's my hobby, my passion, and my job haha.

  12. 1378797
    GregVincey : Fri 27th Feb 2015 : 7 years ago

    For me, I always start with chord progression on the piano. I take pieces from the same chords, and layer them differently. I usually stay in the same scale or space them out by an octave, and it makes it easier to find that base grove and the drumloop going.

  13. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Fri 27th Feb 2015 : 7 years ago

    That is a good thing to do. Getting a basic chord progression down can really spark creativity if all the factors are right :P

  14. 1248311
    Livingsoulsdie : Sat 28th Feb 2015 : 7 years ago

    The first thing I do I figure out what key I want to play in lol it is usually Bmaj because I just love that key. I start playing chord progressions and usually one will stick and will mostly be my main lead after that I try to establish a melody from the main lead after that its all up in the air .Now I pretty much have a base for the whole song so I usually just set my daw to keep looping as I listen and when I think I can put something in that will sound good I will stop the daw and add material and then just continue that process over and over again until the track is done.

  15. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    You know, thats actually something that I do sometimes, particularly when writing lyrics. Pretty effective to loop a certain part of the song as it allows you to think up things without having to keep starting over haha.

  16. 957600
    blunierty : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    What i do is always start making a song from what mood I am in, then more emotion from that mood comes through from start to finish... I either start with a beat if its hiphop or piano if its electronic... those are my two genres that I like to mix and mingle then comes the other experimental vibe off of those to create my sound... while mixing rap with anything and everything... so I start from the start and work my way to the finish in a process from intro to outro...

  17. 957600
    blunierty : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    I also always observe life outside to see what sounds would sound good in my computer...

  18. 1430167
    wordybum : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    i normally start with a vocal rhythm or a drum sequence in my head. this usually happens when i'm walking my dog or on the train. i repeat it in my head all day until it's almost like breathing. after that it's a matter of building the beat (finding the right snares, kicks, cymbals, etc...) and toying with different sounds and melodies over the beat, looping 4 - 8 bars of it so i can hear what the words sound like over the tune, add, replace, clean up and sit on it for a couple of days before i finish the product.

  19. 1414881
    BradoSanz : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    I agree with you, blunierty! I find that my best songs come when I'm feeling very strongly about something.

    And wordybum, that is also an excellent way to go about starting up songs. Just goes to show that music can start from anywhere, with anything. Quite amazing, in my opinion!

  20. 589130
    Unknown User : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    Very good thread and many interesting points. For me, it all starts with what state of mind I'm in. I have a vast arsenal of chords and scales I've learned over the period of 30 years, and although I don't use much of them, I sometimes pick the chords and scales that I feel are best tailored to interpret my feelings. Sometimes I might hear something on a radio or television that helps set an idea on my mind. I don't plagiarize notes and chords progression from other artists, instead, I change the chords around because they associate well with each other. For instance, think of using a popular chord progression like G major, A major, and D major, although it's been used many times over and over, I might use the progression of G 7, A minor, D minor and I might throw in C major. Ok, I didn't mean to get carried away with music theory, but you get the idea.

    Many artists, musicians, and producers help motivate me to delve deep inside my heart and mind. Aspiration in creating music knows no bound and so I spend a great amount of time thinking of ideas for my next music creation, whether it be a song or an instrumentral. In the end, I feel proud of my achievement which in turn enables me to start all over. At times, I need to take a small break so I can start thinking of fresh ideas. Just my two cents.

  21. 1443739
    SHWAK : Fri 27th Mar 2015 : 7 years ago

    for SHWAK if an idea makes me laugh then it's worth making

  22. 1495196
    shaydoc : Wed 1st Apr 2015 : 7 years ago

    I have wrote a few songs and I don't know how I ended up making them, just felt inspired and didn't really think too much about it...

    If I am not feeling it, I can't do it, you know what I mean.

    An example is this, one night I was at the recording studio with my old band Jackson Cage, I got home around midnight, sat on the sofa pick up my guitar and wrote what I consider my best song in about 10 minutes, words, chord progession the lot.. The words came in my head and I tried to strum and write them down as I went, 4 verses of Dylan-esque madness!

    I then jammed it with my bandmates here :
    https://soundcloud.com/shaydoherty/love-has-no-feelings-rough-live-demo

    and the backing singer from my band Edele (who has a lovely voice) did a solo version here :
    https://soundcloud.com/shaydoherty/lovehasnofeelings

  23. 1237805
    centralsdev : Sat 11th Apr 2015 : 7 years ago

    the best i can do is turn on some of those buttons, but i find my self cut alot from drums, but i dont know how to make loops so i only use looperman loops and sample, but it hard to say how to make a song from Scratch, but it normaly goes like this, you start out by find a beat that have a nice intro not to longer if it isn't a dirty one. then you have a chorus then after your song after that you got another chorus. but remember the chorus is the most important part if you want to make a hit, and ofcoase people like something that got a point.

    joe.

  24. 631933
    MWRatridge : Sat 11th Apr 2015 : 7 years ago

    Honestly, I have written many songs over my 37 years as a guitarist/vocalist. There is no steady way that I write music but the way I started years ago was to sit down with my guitar a pen and paper.
    Song writing is an expression of inner feelings that cannot be put into just words. I can now tell when a song is "coming on" and I go to my studio, sit down and whatever instrument I feel accurately portrays my emotion is the one I begin with.
    No cut and dry answernot something you can put into a box and say "that's how it is done".
    Mark.

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