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Got the song...now what to add?
Old 20th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Got the song...now what to add?

Perhaps the single most important part of a song is not a $10000 compressor but perfect arrangement of instruments strategically placed in a mix creating interest and hooks! I record mostly pop/rock and but now Im starting a project with a pop/country artist, and I dont know where to really start. Electronic drum intro? Tele riff doubled with a mandolin? I do well sometimes, but it never seems to just come quickly, and sometimes I just dont know what to do. What is your process of creating the "right" parts for a song?
Old 20th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
I normally start with what I do know. Chorus guides, versus... Anything that I know is going to have a place. From there I expand out. Hope that helps
Old 20th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
keep building on what you do have. Hooks, riffs, get a guide vocal down and keep working around that into your verses and choruses.

Old 20th January 2013
Lives for gear
donnylang's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Sometimes, I know exactly what to do before I even start recording. Other times, the song is an odyssey with strange twists and turns, and I'm wondering where to take it, or where it will send me.

I've had a few songs where the track was completely done and I hadn't even written a melody or words, or the ones that were there were completely wiped and changed to something else.

I think a good technique is to pick a song you like, or something that you think it similar, and sort of start ripping it off (from a production standpoint), then go from there (in my case, the result almost never sounds anything like the one I was trying to rip off!).

Also, Brian Eno's 'Oblique Strategies' card deck is a good way to get rolling.
Old 20th January 2013
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Hope that it comes, takes time and sometimes collaboration.

Sent from my ZTE N9120
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
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Unclenny's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by donnylang ➑️
.......the song is an odyssey with strange twists and turns, and I'm wondering where to take it, or where it will send me.
It always is that way for me. That is why I keep doing this.

I always start with the first bit of inspiration. Maybe that's an acoustic guitar track or maybe it's a vocal hook. I track that right away and listen to it until it guides me in the next direction. The added parts seem to always come form somewhwre withing that original inspiration.

Sometimes the puzzle pieces come to me out of order. I still track them as they come. There's always time for rearranging as more pieces come and they all start to fall into place.
Old 20th January 2013
Gear Maniac
🎧 5 years
Never forget the power of just "jamming it out" for a while, even if you're just jamming over your own tracks, your own playing, etc. Sometimes, out of the blue, the music will come out the way it wants to, without your brain interfering. You have to put yourself in that "zone", though, so jamming it out will "entrance you", if that makes sense.

I sometimes make 6-7 minute long tracks, just to goof around without interruption, and there's no rules. Its just a scratch-pad. Then I can cherry-pick what moves me the most, and because of something I played on a drum fill, for instance, suddenly I'm reacting to *that* on the next guitar take, and I'll have found my perfect lick. Etc.

If nothing else, playing it over and over will make the actual final performances better, I always feel. Good luck!
Old 21st January 2013
Lives for gear
gear is cool's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I listen to the song and it tells me what it wants.

Also asking the artist about their vision helps with ideas for what to do or not to.

Good luck!
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