Electronic Music Production II: Track Arrangement | Donny Yi George | Skillshare

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Electronic Music Production II: Track Arrangement

teacher avatar Donny Yi George, artist, musician, designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (1h 14m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Recap

    • 3. Structural Overview

    • 4. Building Out

    • 5. Variation

    • 6. Synthesizer

    • 7. The Intro

    • 8. The Interlude

    • 9. The Outro

    • 10. The Mix

    • 11. Exporting

    • 12. Exporting to mp3

    • 13. Full Process unedited

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About This Class

This class is the next step in learning electronic music production, focusing on track arrangement and structure. We will continue using free, open source software and learn principles that can apply to almost any application.

This class is intended for beginners with a basic understanding of DAWs and music production (Though more advanced producers may find it interesting too). You may want to check out my first class (Electronic Music Production for Beginners) to get caught up.

What we'll cover:

  1. Track structure 
  2. Taking your loop and expanding it
  3. Mixing
  4. Exporting

By the end of this class you'll be able to make a full length electronic music track!


After you complete this class, you can continue on to the next class in this series
Electronic Music Audio Mixing for Beginners part 1: (channels, frequency and equalization)
where we fine tune the audio mix for your track!

Learn the entire process of creating your own tracks with the Electronic Music Production for Beginners series of classes:

  1. Electronic Music Production for Beginners
  2. Electronic Music Production II: Track Arrangement
  3. Electronic Music Audio Mixing for Beginners part 1: (channels, frequency and equalization)
  4. Audio Mixing for Electronic Music part 2: Mastering


Hi, my name is Donny. I love making music and have independently released over 100 tracks. In addition to being classically trained, I've taken music production classes as well as learned a lot on my own. I'm excited to share some of that knowledge and inspire people's musical creativity. 

I produce as "Depth Death" and "Donny Yi George" (check me out on Spotify, Apple Music, etc). I've also been teaching people how to make their own music and that is the basis for this class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Donny Yi George

artist, musician, designer


Hi, I'm Donny.

Hope everyone is doing good.

I like to make art, comics, design and music. I have a masters degree in Illustration and studied mixing / mastering at Dubspot electronic music school. I've been making comics, zines and been involved in the underground music scene for almost 20 years now too.

I also worked professionally for many years as a graphic designer / artist mostly at newspapers, including the Wall St. Journal. 

I love being creative and making stuff. I love people. I love learning.


my art




my music




graphic design

http... See full profile

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1. Welcome: Hello and welcome to electronica music production Part two, and this class will be focusing on the structural arrangement of the track. We'll expand on the track we made in electronic music production for beginners, adding different parts like transitions and throws it out. Charles Things classes intended for beginners, but you may want to see the first class for some basics. We will be using a totally free, open source dog for digital audio workstation that is available for Windows, Mac and ribbons. But the lessons in the class can apply to any app or software you want to use. All you need for this class is a computer, so let's make some music. 2. Recap: first, let's recap from electronic music production for beginners. In that class we were using L M M M, which is a free, open surged awe for digital audio workstation. You can download it from L M M s dot io or use your preferred doll because the concept are generally applicable. In the first class, we made a four bar loops consisting of a beat baseline and the lead way, then made that four bar loops to 16 bars. We also learned how to use the song editor, the Baseline Editor, piano Roll and FX Mixer. Thes air features common to most dogs. This class will pick up where we last left off with our 16 bar track. If you're just starting with this class, you can use any 16 Barbie made or definitely check out the first class electronic music production for dinners. 3. Structural Overview: So this is the entire finish track. You notice we have it in sections of eight and 16 bars. This intro. Here's eight bars. We have a first part that 16 bars second, part 16 Interlude. It's eight. We repeat the first and second part, and then we have and Altro, which is a little bit more than eight bars now. The reason we break everything down into eight and 16 is because that makes it easier for deejays. So in this spreadsheet we have each cell representing four bars and you'll see each section and how long they are. And this is sort of a graph of the structure of the entire track intro, first part, second part interlude, repetition of the first part second part, and then the altro Now is a D Day. What you'll have is a second track, and if this second track has a similar modular structure, makes it easier to make smoothly between the first track and the second. Because as it easy, what you're doing is you're transitioning out of one track into another track. So in this example, you can smoothly transition from the second part into the intro of the second track, and this is sort of a general practice and the electronica music scene, especially for music for deejays. And this way everything sort of works together in a similar way on all tracks are generally based around this for eight and 16 bar structure generally probably the 16 32 and 64 bars. One way you can think about this. It's kind of like if tracks are like Lego blocks, Lego blocks need to be built. Modular early survey can fit into one another, and you can build bigger structures that way. Trash were kind of similar. In that way. Each track can fit in a way into the next track because of this modular structure. Now this is only one way that I've developed to your structure. Tracks is pretty simple and pretty elegant, and it leads room for creativity. Now they're definitely many different ways to arrange instruction. Your track feel free to structure and arrange the track. However you want. Just keep in mind to keep things modular on 8 16 32 and 64 bar sections. This is the only real rule as far as this goes. But if you want to have a first part that goes 32 bars and you want to have an insurer that 64 bars. It's completely up to you. They're just trying to stick to this modular format. 4. Building Out: So with this song structure in mind, we'll build out from the core. So here we have our 16 bar track. First thing we want to do is rename East Track in the song editor, rename them Be Baseline One and one B Next will make clone of the Beat Baseline tracks. It's helpful to stop the player, because when you duplicate them, it'll make it really loud because you're basically doubling the sounds. So select the new clones and move them to start at Bar 17 and also cloned The Ghost Boy since track and move that also. So now everything is nice and organized. We have our original 16 bars, and then we have ah, clone or the regional 16 bars. Then we named the tracks. So we have the baseline 11 B that will have to and to be as well as Ghost boy and go sport , too. And that we have or 32 bars built out from our original 16 bars, Lastly saved the fall with a new name to distinguish it from original 16 bar loop track 5. Variation: and this lesson will be creating variations on the new 16 bars we just copied. So click on the first beat baseline to block of your new section and press play and the beat Baseline Editor. Now is your chance to be creative play. Try a different beat patterns. So what you're doing is creating a variation on the first section of your track. Make what sounds good and sounds interesting. One approach is to draw inspiration, problem about their music and from genre conventions. That thing to do is just try different things. Place beats in different places and see how they sound. I have to finish the baseline to You Can Work on to Be Thing is a transition bar, the fourth bar of a four bar section. So make it a variation on the 1st 3 After you finish to be, you should listen to the entire four bar loops and the song editor to see how to close in two key ways. After you're happy with the beats. Now, go into the deep Baseline editor for Beat Baseline to and work on the baseline again. Create what you think sounds good to you. This'll is your chance to express yourself musically. Generally, you wanted to be a progression from the first part, so change the new part. But keep some elements of the first part. This is probably the longest part of the process, so I'll skip a lot of it. However, at the end of the class, there will be a video like complete, unedited process. If you'd like to see the entire process of me trying out different things, play around, have fun. And if you know music there, you can apply it. But if you don't know music, it doesn't really matter. This make it sound good to you. So after that, you want to work on the baseline for beat. Baseline to be. I like to experiment with different notes and patterns. I'll add and subtract notes to get something I think sounds interesting. Try different lengths and rhythms. Also, notes interact in unique ways, depending on the basis Refused thing . You want to listen to the whole 48 bar section and the song editor to see how they all sound together. That is, beat baseline to to to be Now that transitions back to beat baseline to right, click on the time bar to just a loop section and make sure looping is enabled. In the song editor, you can press shift and right click to clear and start a new look section. Fine tune. It's a more like here. I'm adjusting the base time in particular, I'm taking the baseline off. The first and second downbeat give you a little more bounce. Now I'm going to change the scent. Ghost boy, too. I want to loop just a block of this, implying once I'm happy with that. I'll delete the rest of the old since blocks using little mouse button on a copy lion New Block. To do that, control and click and drag a block to the desired location. Next, I want to see how the transitions between Part one and Part two sounds sounds a little too abrupt for me. So I take out the last beat baseline one B block on the first part. So there's a small section with no beat, and just descent gives a little bit of breathing space before we get back into it. Lastly, save a new version. It's also a good idea to save new versions during this process 6. Synthesizer: and this lesson, we will be working with the synthesizer on the second part of the track. Click on the icon for a Ghost Boy to which brings up the settings for trouble. Oscillator, Synthesizer goes Boy is a name of a preset four triple oscillator. Here you can modify the synthesizer settings. Trouble oscillator, as the name suggest. Uses three Oscillators, which generate its sound. Contains the type of way form breach oscillator, which in turn changes this out. You can also adjust how about oscillators? Mix or modulate each other. You can add and modify effects on the synthesizer. For now, we'll leave them alone. You can adjust the tuning of each oscillator. Listen to how the new settings on the second part sound compared to the settings. For the first part, feel free to modify and experiment with settings to get a sound you like. One suggestion is to use a tone that doesn't clash with the baseliner beats something that sounds distinct. Lastly, save a new version 7. The Intro: and this lesson, we will be working on the intra to our track. First select all the blocks and then move them a bars to the right so they start on Bar nine. The 1st 8 bars will be our intro, then clone Beat Baseline one. Rename it in True. Select that section and move it to the beginning of the track. Delete the blocks from Bar nine through 16. Fill in blocks for an eight. Now clone the intro. The intro will have two parts on Part two to the bars one through four and on Part one. Delete Bars 53 We named the second part intro to now Open the first Bar of In True Beat Baseline in the Beat Baseline Editor. So what you're trying to do with the intro is ease into the main sections of the track. For the first part of the intro, I prefer to eliminate all the drums. Beats in the intro can sometimes cause late Cincy issues, so it's best to avoid using them at the start of a track. So here I'm feeling with the baseline, I end up, decided to just get rid of everything and delete the 1st 4 bars of the intro Beat Baseline . So instead I go to my presets in the sidebar and opened The Zin adds up FX folder and look in the past. Folder pads are softer sounds that worked well for intruders and create an atmosphere I find a preset alike and drag it to the song editor in this case, residents pad to. Then I copied the first ghost boy track and paste it into the residence pad to block. What this does is copied notes, but not the synthesizer settings. So now it will play the same notes, but with the residents pad to preset. Since I'm not using the intro beat based on track, I can just delete it and rename intro to to intro. Now I want to go into the piano, roll for their residents, pad to block and play the notes. Until I have something that sounds good, You're If I click on the icon for residents, pad to it brings up the settings for the zin adds of FX synthesizer. Here you can adjust the settings. No, no, Carol. Click on show gooey for more settings. No, out Carol. Yeah, no, You know, click on the FX tab. There are any effects on the preset, so I click Add effect. I'm looking for a rebreather effect, so I type it in the search bar and choose reverb SC effect. What reverb does it simulate? Putting her sound in space like a room and gives us out echo, atmosphere and depth? You can adjust the reverb settings. Then I duplicate that residents pad to block across the eight bar Intrasection and the intruder beat based on track, delete most of the beat, so it becomes just a minimal high hat. It's helpful for deejays to have a high hat or some kind of drum on the first time. Beat somewhere in the intro, I also turned off the baseline. - Next , I want to hear how the intro transitions into the first part of the track. I decided to take out the last bar of residents pad to to give it a little breather before transitions into the main beat. Now something doesn't sound quite right, though. Do you know what it is? Well, the baseline has been turned off for the entire track, so I need to go back into the beat Baseline editor and turn it back on. I still don't want the baseline for the intra. So I go in and delete the bass notes there. - So now we have richer. Not bad. Lastly, save a new version. 8. The Interlude: in this lesson, we will be working on the interlude, which might also be called a breakdown. So first select all the blocks and copied empty start at Bar 41. We're basically using the intro as the interlude for the second half of the track, and the second half of the track is basically a copy of the first half. Tracks may not be played in their entirety by Deasy. The feel free to spice up the second half if you want. First, I want to hear how the track transitions from the first half into the interview. It sounds too abrupt to me, so I delete the beat baseline to be block and bar 40 right before the interlude starts. Small changes like that signal to the listener that a bigger changes coming, so those bigger changes are so drawing Next, I delete the intro Beat Baseline in the Interlude. Now I want to play with the notes of the interlude a bit, Yeah, more more. The intro and the interlude serve a similar function, which is to transition into the main part of the track. This might be a place where the deejay starts mixing in a new track and also serves as a way to give the listener of break between louder parts of the track. I like that final note, so I use it for the last two bars of the interlude. However, I think it sounds better if it's one long note. It goes slightly more than one bar. This also leaves a little bit of space before the beat starts again in the second half of the track. All right, that sounds good and save a new version. 9. The Outro: in this lesson, we will be working on the altro. The altro is basically the end of the track where it fades out. So it's kind of the inverse of the in true start by copying the intro blocks and pacing them to the end of the track, then move the four bars of the intro Beat Baseline to the beginning of the Altro. For the transition into the altro, I delete the beat baseline to be block at Bar 80 right before the outro starts. Lastly, I extend the last note of the outro to give it a nice, longer fade out. 10. The Mix: and this lesson will find, too, in the mix. First, we check to see that each instrument is being sent to a channel in the FX Mixer. Ghost Boy to is going to FX Channel three, Zin adds. Sub FX is going to zero, so we need to change that press the plus in the FX mixer. Then we can set the ethics mixture Channel +24 in these in ad sub effects settings. Now we want to listen to the entire track and see how it sounds. You should also renamed or FX mixer. Channel 42 pads Mix refers to how the sounds are balanced in the track. What we're listening for is to see if each element of our track exiles loud or quiet enough in relation to each other and the mixed overall, you can raise or lower the level of these channel in the FX mixer. Also check to see if the meters on East Channel go into the red. Going into the red may cause distortions, so this should be avoided. It seems like the mix is okay, and now our track is complete 11. Exporting: Now that our truck is complete, we're going to export it. One tricky part is making sure the end of your track doesn't get cut off since it fades out . To do that, listen to the end of your track and make sure that loop selection includes the entire fade out, plus a little bit of extra time on the end. - Then , in the main menu bar goes to file export, we're going to export as a way for now. Check export between looped markers. Depth this at 2 24 bit, since I will be processing it further. Generally, you can export 16 bit for regular listening press. Start when you're ready, and now we have a way version of our track. 12. Exporting to mp3: in this lesson, we will be converting our wave into an MP three using the free open source program. Audacity. You can also export directly to MP three through LMS. But I like the added functionality in audacity. First, open the way file in audacity. This is nice because we can see the way form of the entire track. Now, listening to the end of the track, I can trim some of the extra silence by selecting and deleting the section I want to remove . Then, in the menu bar, I go to file export export as MP three quality is set to 320 kilobytes per second. Click save. And now I can edit that metadata tags. Enter the title artist and additional information you like to include. I'd also like to save a 16 bit version of the wave. I'll need to rename it something different from the 24 bit version. This will also have the metadata tags. Now you can play your tracks in your favorite media player here I'm using B L C, which is another free open source program. Well, I hope you enjoyed the class and learn something about electronic music production. Keep in mind my method is just a starting point. It's your music to make what feels and sounds good to you. You may want to try using different samples in instruments, adding different variations and parts, or making it longer have fun and experiment. I look forward to hearing your music. Please upload your tracks to Soundcloud and add them as a project in the class Project Gallery and future classes will get deeper into production. So please follow me on skills here to keep in the loop. Take care for now. 13. Full Process unedited: Oh, - no , no, no, - no ! You okay? - Mobile Mobile More, more, more.