Songwriting in Ableton Live (or any Audio Application) | Jason Allen | Skillshare

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Songwriting in Ableton Live (or any Audio Application)

teacher avatar Jason Allen, PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer

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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

60 Lessons (3h 49m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What We are Covering Here

    • 3. Tools You Will Need for This Class

    • 4. My Approach in this Class

    • 5. How MIDI Works

    • 6. Why MIDI?

    • 7. MIDI Setup in Live

    • 8. MIDI Controllers

    • 9. Using the MIDI Grid

    • 10. Making it "Real"

    • 11. Overdubbing Real Instruments

    • 12. What is a songwriting Palette?

    • 13. Building a Library of Samples

    • 14. Building a Library of Drum Sounds and Loops

    • 15. Building a Library of Synths

    • 16. Setting "favorites"

    • 17. Building a Template Session

    • 18. What is a Sketch?

    • 19. Example Sketch

    • 20. Developing the Sketch

    • 21. Try this in Session View!

    • 22. Expanding the Sketch

    • 23. "Don't fall in love with your work!"

    • 24. Starting to Bring the Track into Focus

    • 25. Using Locators for Form

    • 26. Don't Get Married to the Form. Let it Take on a Mind of its Own.

    • 27. How is our Track Coming so Far?

    • 28. Preparing for the Second Stage

    • 29. Thinking About Sound Design

    • 30. Track Update

    • 31. Thinking About Lyrics

    • 32. What is the Message of the Music?

    • 33. What Clues are in the Music?

    • 34. Do you Need to Adjust the Key for the Singer?

    • 35. What Kind of Drum Sounds do we Want?

    • 36. Finding Drum Sounds

    • 37. FreeSound

    • 38. Programming Basics

    • 39. Swing and Feel

    • 40. Let's Really Focus in on Those Synths.

    • 41. Register and Frequency Things to Consider

    • 42. The Bass Sounds

    • 43. Fixing "Real" Sounds

    • 44. Making the Samples Sound Better

    • 45. Setting up to Record

    • 46. Recording Violin

    • 47. Editing For Pitch

    • 48. Mixing Principals

    • 49. Balancing By Ear

    • 50. Balancing By Noise

    • 51. Fine Tuning

    • 52. Creating Depth

    • 53. Creating Space with EQ

    • 54. Re-Balancing

    • 55. What Actually is Mastering?

    • 56. The Best and Easiest Way to Master a Track

    • 57. Using a Rack Preset

    • 58. "Printing" the Master

    • 59. What Comes Next?

    • 60. Bonus Lecture

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About This Class

Welcome to Songwriting in Ableton Live (Or Any Audio Application!)

In this class, we are going to write a song together. We will start with just messing around on the keyboard until we find an idea, then we will work on the song structure, form, sound design, and end with mixing it and a discussion about mastering the track. Beginning to end - step by step!

100% Answer Rate! Every single question posted to this class is answered within 24 hours by the instructor.

This class is for anyone who has an interest in songwriting. Especially:

  • Aspiring Songwriters: If you have never written a song before, but you want to learn how its done, this course is for you.

  • Songwriters: If you are a traditional songwriter, but want to expand your palette by using electronic elements, or just help recording your songs, this course is for you.

  • Musicians: If you have wanted to improve your compositions by understanding how the writing with audio software works, this course is for you.

  • Producers: Improve your tracks by gaining a deeper understanding of form, sketching, structure, and development.

In this class, we start with the very basics of songwriting and work all the way up to a finished song. I'll walk you through every step of the process and explain the logic behind every decision I make.

The goal of this class is for you to learn how to make original, compelling, and memorable-sounding music.

This course is NOT specific to any DAW program.

I'll be using Ableton Live Suite 10 in this course as my main DAW, but if you are using any other program you will be able to follow along just fine. That includes Logic, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Reaper, Reason, Cubase, or any of the others. My method in this class is to teach concepts, so whatever I do, you will be able to do it in your own software.

I'm best known for working with electronic music, but I've designed this course to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to genre. We will talk about songwriting techniques for all genres, sounds, and styles. All genres are welcome here!

Topics Covered: 

  • The Essential Tools of Songwriting

  • Working with MIDI

  • MIDI Controllers, Keyboards, and Guitars

  • Overdubbing real instruments

  • Defining a Sound "Palette"

  • Building a Library of Samples

  • Building a Library of Synths

  • Building a Library of Drum Sounds and Loops

  • Sketching

  • Developing a Sketch

  • Expanding a Sketch

  • Defining Form

  • Lyrics

  • Drum Programming

  • Sound Design Elements

  • Synthesizers

  • Recording "real" Instruments

  • Mixing

  • Balancing

  • Tuning Recordings

  • Mastering

  • And much, much more!

If you are ready to start making professional-sounding songs, this is the class that will start you on that journey. Get started today.

Dr. Allen is a university music professor and is a top-rated instructor - with nearly 100 courses and over 200,000 students.

In 2017 Star Tribune Business featured him as a "Mover and a Shaker," and he is recognized by the Grammy Foundation for his music education classes. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jason Allen

PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer


J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year.

... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey everybody, what's up? Welcome to songwriting in Ableton Live class. Now I call this songwriting and able to live, but it's really not about able to live necessarily. So if you're using a different program like logic FL Studio, anything like that, you will be just fine. And there'll be able to get everything out of this class that you want. In this class, I am going to make an entire track from beginning to end. In fact, it's the exact track you are hearing right now. And if you're thinking, Yeah, that's cool, but this track really isn't for me. Don't worry, because we're not focusing on any particular genre here. What I'm going to be talking about in this class is how to use relatively simple techniques to walk you through the songwriting process. We're going to start by thinking about sketching just the same way that a painter might sketch something before they really dive in with the paint. We are going to sketch our track before we really dive in with all our sounds and worry about sound design and structure and any of that stuff. So we're going to use a sketching process. Composers have been using this sketching idea for centuries. It's nothing new, but it can really help you figure out your ideas before you dive in. After that, we are going to dive into form and thinking about how are the pieces of our song fit together. And we're going to start filling in some of the gaps. Then we're going to talk a little bit about lyrics and writing music with lyrics. And then in the second half of the class, we'll dive in a little bit deeper on some of the more sound design concept, like programming drums and then dialing in all of our sense, and even recording sounds by yourself and then play a little violin in this class, we'll see how it goes. So I had a lot of fun making it. I think you'll have a lot of fun watching it if you've ever struggled to finish a song, this is the perfect class for you. If you've ever struggled to start attract. This is a perfect class for you. Any genre, any style, any software. Everything is welcome here and this will be useful to just about every. 2. What We are Covering Here: All right, so in this class what we're going to cover is how to use Ableton Live or really any production platform as a songwriting tool. Now, it can be a little tricky of a conversion, right? A lot of us learn to write songs. If you learn to write songs on a guitar and a microphone, or on a piano and a microphone. And that's totally okay. But the conversion to working just in an environment like this can be tricky. I know that when I switch to it, I struggled a bit to really wrap my head around. How am I creating a sound with these tools that really is true to the sound that I want to create with my music. So we're gonna be focusing on that in this class. We're going to talk about how to use the tools. I'm a bit, although we're not going to go into a crazy amount of detail on how, you know, every button in Ableton works. But we will talk a little bit about, I'm going to click here and do this and that kinda stuff. But we're also gonna talk a lot about techniques that I've found are effective for working in these kinds of platforms to write, music. Things like sketching, things like defining your palate. These are all things we're gonna talk about shortly. So that's the main idea of the class here is we're really talking about the art here and less about the software. Okay, so Need brush up on the software. Check out some of my other classes on how to use the software and a lot of detail. But in this class we're really going to focus on the idea of producing music in the DAW and the kind of creative workflow that goes into it. 3. Tools You Will Need for This Class: Okay, Let's talk about the tools that you're going to need for this class. Obviously some kind of production environment. I'm going to be using Ableton. Everything that I say is going to be able to in specific, but it should be pretty easy to translate into another die if that's what you're using. Other than that, I don't think I'm going to use any big plugins or anything like that. So you shouldn't need any other software. Probably at some point be recording something. So if you wanted to do that, you're going to need to be equipped to do recordings. So that would be some kind of audio interface, some kind of microphone. Whatever you decide you really want to do. You don't have to follow along with that, so you don't need those extra pieces. But we'll talk about a recording setup when we'd get there in the class. So don't go out and buy anything just yet. Otherwise, I always find, you know, a paper and a pencil a good idea just for scribbling out notes and doing some sketches. Even if it's just formal elements which we'll talk about soon. But those things are important. So I don't think it's really anything else. It's really just the DAW. And then we hit the ground running. 4. My Approach in this Class: Okay, So your first biggest lesson, the biggest thing I want you to take away from this first part, the way we're gonna do this, and the way I always do this when I'm working on a project is separate everything into two categories, okay? And this is how we're going to run this class. Category one is the composition, okay? This is all the notes and all the rhythms, right? Getting everything in the right place. Worrying about the actual creation of the Sun. Okay, that's in our first bucket. We're going to deal with that first. The second thing is all the sound design elements. This is all the nitpicky stuff of really crafting the way the song sounds. Okay, we're going to separate those. What a lot of people do is they dive in to work on a song and they're like Cool, I need to make the synth sound. And they spend weeks dialing in this since sound k. And then that's just going to screw up the whole creative process. Don't do that. What we're gonna do is separate them. We're not going to worry about since outdoors can throw a piano preset on there for now. We'll go back to it and fine tune that, Sam, get it exactly what we want. But you'll see in a lot of my tracks, you know, while I'm working on them, It's a lot of pianos, just because I like the sound of a piano and it's fine. It's gonna do all my notes and all my rhythms will switch it out for something more interesting sounding later. Okay, So we really want to separate those two things. Otherwise, you're just gonna get bogged down in the sound design elements. So first, we're going to focus on composition. Okay, Cool. 5. How MIDI Works: Okay, let's start with a little refresher on Midea, okay, because we're going to want to use a lot of middy while we're doing this. Remember that midi works by having a bank of sounds, almost like a library of sounds. And then we're going to trigger those sounds, right, as we tell it to you. So let me just do something here. Let's just go. Let's do a drum actually, that'll work well. Okay, I'm gonna load up a drum kit. Okay, so here's our mini grid. We'll go over this more in just a minute, so don't worry about it. So here's my snare. Okay, so when I do this, I'm telling the instrument to play the snare sound, okay? If I do this, I'm not telling it to stretch out the snare sound. This is going to sound the same as this. Okay? It's no different. If I stretch it out. If this was a synth that was holding a sound, it would it would sound different depending on when it is. Depending on how long it is, because this would say start making the sound, say stop making the sound. But the key here is that by using midi, we don't have to worry about stretching sounds and making them fit in time, doing any of that kind of stuff. They're just going to work. It's a lot easier. Now remember that in Midea, it requires really two things to be happening. One is it requires notes to be in the grid. So it requires no two, we can think of those as triggers. Those tell each sample to play. And then it also requires an instrument. And for us it's this kick that I put on here. The instrument holds all the sounds that the Midea grid is going to trigger, right? So, so if we don't have an instrument on a midi track, like if I go to this track, okay, I can make midi notes all day long. And, and if I play it, it's not going to do anything because there's no instrument on this track. Okay? We have to have an instrument on the track. This is like the biggest thing that people get stuck up on when they were working with midi, as they put notes on a track and they hit play. And then nothing happens because you have to put an instrument on that track. Otherwise, the track doesn't know what sounds to use, what samples it's supposed to trigger. So over here, I haven't instrument and it's drunk it. So if I play this, it's going to play all of those sounds I just put in there. Right? This one. Oops, let me stop this one. This one, if I hit Play, we don't hear anything. Right? Because there's no silence to trigger. But if I put, let's say, let's put a clever ANOVA on here. So I put an instrument on here. Now. It's got Plato sounds right? You have to have an instrument on the track. I can't tell you that enough times. Okay. Let's move on to the next thing. 6. Why MIDI?: Okay, so why do we want to start with Midea instead of something different? Let's do this. I'm going to load in a base on here. Okay. Let me get rid of these notes. Let's just say I'm making a baseline. And let's do some kind of groovy little thing like that. Okay. Let's do that and maybe it will go down a whole step and then back. Okay, this isn't going to sound like much without a rhythm, but let's just hear it that way. Okay, whatever. So what I could do is I could plug in a base and I could record myself playing this thing. But I've been the composition phase here, right? So I don't want to lock in anything, any idea. I want to be able to change it all the time. And if I plug in something and record this, and then I decided to change it, I've got to either rerecord it from scratch or I've gotta go in and do some painful editing to make it do what I now want it to do. That's a change of idea. If I have to do that, either of those two things, I'm basically limiting what I am limiting what my brain wants to do. Because I've made it hard to change it, right? We don't wanna make it hard to change it because then you're not going to do it, right? A good example of this as an early music notation programs. I like Finale and things like that. Where you actually wrote notation in the program. In early music notation programs, there was a glitch that made it really, really hard to put a triplet on the fourth beat, right? You could do it, but it was hard. You had to like make it a quintuplet and then make it a triplet within that quintuplet. And then delete the two extra notes, and then delete the quintuplet and then you'd have a triplet. It was bizarre. So it was this weird glitch in the system. So if you put a triplet, the fourth beat of the measure, or the last beat of the measure. You had to really want it there. As a result, there was probably five or six years where nobody wrote music with triplets on the last beat of the measure. Because it was just so unintuitive to do, you would creatively kind of talk yourself out of doing that. So we, we don't want the software to influence what we're actually writing, right? We want to tell the software what we want to write. So by using midi, What we're gonna do is we're going to make it so that it's just really, really easy to make any changes we want, right? I've got this baseline, let's say. Okay, that's cool. I don't like this last 16th note. We're just going to pop it out of there. Let's say I don't even like this note. It's going to pop that out of there. Just going to make us really straight up. Okay, cool. That's all it needs to be. Really, really easy to make changes. Now, are we stuck to this sound? No, We can also make changes to the sound really, really easily. Once we get to that stage, right, the sound design stage. But we're not going to even worry about that for now. And to go even a step further. What if I want to play this baseline? We still can, we still again, just plug in our base and play it, but we're not going to do it until later. That's in the sound design stage. We might delete this track and just play in the bass part. And if we do that, It's totally fine. But we're gonna make sure we have the right part first, right? And we're going to make it really easy to make all these changes while we're going. So we're going to use a lot of midi because it's really easy to change. We can do anything we want with it. It's very, very flexible. We're not going to record really anything. Until we're in that second stage. The sound design stage. Cool, cool. 7. MIDI Setup in Live: Okay, before we get any further and let's do a little bit of housekeeping on the Ableton stuff and talk about our midi setup, things that we want to have setup correctly. In order to do somebody stuff. You're going to find all your sounds over here. If you go to the sounds category, you should see everything that's available to you. But organized slightly better is if you go to instruments, you see the same stuff, but organized by the different kinds of instruments that you have. You may also find sounds here under plugins. These are going to be non Ableton stuff that you can use. Not all of these are instruments. A lot of these are effects. If I go here, for example, output is an instrument. Ceremony is a tuning things. So these are plugins. But output is a instrument. So there are plugins can be instruments or effects. You might also find some here and packs depending on what you, what you have installed on your computer. So I'm gonna go to sounds. I need to drag something on to a midi track. Now remember that in Ableton we have midi tracks and we have audio tracks. And you can work in session view or Arrangement View. Let's go over to Arrangement View. So these are midi tracks, these are audio tracks. If you want to make a new midi track, it's Command Shift T is going to make you a new midi track. If you want a new audio track, it's just Command T. So here's another midi track. I'm going to drop in an instrument on it. And then if I want to make a midi clip and just double-click somewhere and start drawing notes. One really important setup thing that I would suggest you turn on, especially for the songwriting production phase, is this little blue pill right here. Okay? It's a tiny, tiny pair of headphones. Turn that on so that it's blue. What that's gonna do is make it so that as your notes around and you click in notes, you're going to hear them. If that's off, You're not going to hear things as you move it around with your mouse. So make sure that's on. If you want a longer clip, you can't just drag it because loop is turned on or turned off loop. And now we drag it and we actually get a longer clip. Okay? You can zoom in right here. Get this at all, magnifying glass. Click and pull down to zoom in, push up to zoom out. Okay, so let's do g right there and that suspension and then hit Play to hear it. And it's so let's do this. And this. Drag me neat. Kind of a dark sound. Okay, so the next thing you might want is some kind of midi controller so that you can actually play notes into your computer. Let's talk about that in the next video. 8. MIDI Controllers: All right, You might want many controllers and that would be any kind of keyboard or other controllers. I mean, guitar controllers. You can get whatever you can imagine. But most of the time we're thinking about keyboards. If you have a keyboard that's like USB or something like that, plug it in. And then there's one very important thing you need to do. You need to go to preferences. So go to your preferences window. Go to the link midi tab. And then be sure it shows up here. And this bottom part. So I have a keyboard plugged in and call the seaboard rise 49. And I have turned it on here. So track means that it is able to put notes in sync, I think means that it can receive commands for, for clock sync and things like that. That's not anything that typically you need. And remote means that it can control, able to transport bar more or less. So if your keyboard has a play button on it, a pause button, and you want to use those features, be sure you turn remote on. Keyboard, doesn't doesn't. So I have them off. Even if it did, I probably wouldn't want to use it. So I'm just gonna leave that off, but make sure that input, that keyboard is odd. Okay, so now I can play notes on my keyboard. And it's there. It's cool if I scroll down I can see what I'm doing. Or was it the red notes are the notes I'm playing. Now I can hear them because this is on, although that doesn't have anything to do with it right now, but I'm going to leave that on. But were armed to record here. That means that I can It's going to play through, right? And also my monitor mode is set to auto for Midea. You can leave that on auto pretty much all the time. Okay. So if I want to record something, I could just hit record, but I'm going to do one thing before I do that. If I just hit record and start playing something, it's really going to be a mess. So let's do it and hit record. Let's kind of epic sounding. I press Spacebar to stop, can double-click to look at the notes I played. Now I can adjust these all I want. But by, when I said that these are going to be a mess, what I meant was I didn't have any tempo I was playing against. So I'm really going to have to go through and tighten these up. Like on the grid. You know, do all of this kinda stuff. So it'd be a lot easier if I would've turned my metronome on before I did that. But I'm going to fix this anyway because I kind of liked it. So I'm going to tighten this up. I don't know what that little guy is, so I'm just going to delete it. Be sure when you're dragging nodes around that you don't change what note it is. That's common problem. Okay? But now let's make a new one. And up here is our metronome. I'm going to turn the metronome on and then hit record. And now I hear a metronome. Okay? And as you may have heard this particular keyboard, I have has a pretty nasty latency to it. I hit the note and then I hear it Like, you know, about a 16th note, it looks like later. So I'm still going to have to adjust these, but at least there'll be consistent or less. And the color, you're wondering why these are different colors than these. That's velocity. So that means basically there are quieter. And you can see that down here too. This is the velocity, which is a fancy word for volume. I can adjust it by just clicking and dragging it up if I want those notes to be louder. Okay. Adjusting the velocities is something you're going to want to do. That's definitely an element of production, especially if you're working with like piano sound. But I would really kinda put that over into the sound design category. Let's worry about that later. Okay. So that's the basics of how to get controllers working. Don't forget about that preferences window. Very, very important. 9. Using the MIDI Grid: Okay, Let's talk about the mini grid because this is a really important element that we're going to be working with a lot. Okay? There's a few important things to see here. It's really easy to lose track of your rhythmic values on a middy grid. Okay? You know, you could be like cool, I'm going to make a note right here. And I want to short note, so I'm gonna do that. What you actually made here is a 16th note. And at this tempo, maybe that's okay, but sometimes you can go like weigh in and be like right here. There's a note. What I actually made, there is an inconceivably small note. I mean, that would have like 10 flags on it. So it's easy to lose track because we can zoom in and zoom out. So what you need to do is keep track of two things. The first is up here, okay? These numbers tell you kind of what you're looking at in the grid. So if it's a single number, that means you're on the downbeat of a bar, okay? One, we're in bar 1, 2, where in B2, 3, we're embarked three, okay? If it's a number dot another number, that means bar, and then the beat. Okay? So one dot two means bar one, Btu. One dot three is bar one beat 3, 14 is bar one. Before. You can kind of imagine that a number by itself is two dot three dot one, because that means bar, in this case B2, B1. Okay, we don't need to put the dot one there, but it's there. So this right here would be 1 dot 1. Okay? If you have a number, dot, number, dot number, like we don't have here, but if I zoom in a little bit, we will. What we have here is bar beat, 16th note. Okay? So bar 1 beat 2, third 16th note. And other words, halfway through the beat, right? Because here's beat 2, here's beat 3. So the third 16th note is going to be halfway. If I zoom in further, we can see all of our 16th notes if we want. So here's bar one, b2 bar one beat two seconds 16th note bar one, b2 third 16th note, bar one beat 2. Fourth 16th note. All right, So it always goes bar beat 16th note. If you don't have a number, like right here, you can assume dot one. Okay, so that's the first thing to keep track of is this number up here to tell us what we're looking at. If we zoom way, way, way in, we might see, well, we still only see the 4 16th note, but we have all these other texts that are unlabeled. The second thing to keep track of is this number down here. This tells you what the grid is doing. Okay? So this says each little box here is going to be a 32nd note. Okay? If I zoom out, each little box here, oops, I zoomed in. But each little box here now is a 128th though. Okay. This could answer my question from a minute ago if I zoom way in. Yeah, he's a little box now is a 4096th note, which is insane. So let's zoom out. Ok, now, it's little box is a 16th note, right? Because this is before and this would be one. So there's going to be four of these. 16th them. Okay? You might be able to zoom up further depending on how long your clip is and what your settings are. You can snap to certain things if you're not sure. You can right-click or control-click. And just go to here this fixed grids setting. And just say, put me at quarter notes. Okay, now every box is a quarter note. Or we could say, put me at 16th notes. Now every box in the 16th note. Or you can say turning that grid off. Now we can just do whatever we want. Go anywhere. I'm we're not on any grid. That's fine. You can also switch to a triplet grid. So now triplet grid is on. If I go to 16th note, now we're looking at 16th note triplets. Yes, there's going to be 67 bar. So don't forget to turn triplet grid off if you Okay, so that's kind of how we get around on the mini grid. Super important to know where you are and what you're looking at. Cool. Okay, couple more things and then we're gonna get into the palette stuff. 10. Making it "Real": One thing that a lot of people struggle with that I wanted to mention early on is making things sound real. And I want to mention that because even though it's not going to come up until later, because that's definitely something that goes into this sound design category in the second half. But it's worth kinda filing away and they're back of your head. There's this great quote from Bjork where she says, a synthesisers shall not pretend to be a piano. It shall be proud to be a synthesiser. So the reason I'm telling you that is because if you take a synth sound, any synth sound, and you try to make it sound like a real instrument. You try to convince the listener that it's real. By EQ, by reverb, by any, obey a really good sample library. You're probably going to fail. Like it's just not going to work. That kind of thing just doesn't work all that well. So the better way to do it is to not to make it sound like a synthesizer, right? If you listen to pop music now that's primarily what you hear as you hear synthesisers. Because and there's no point in making it trying, trying to make it sound real because it's just not going to. If you wanted some real, get a real player. No element of great samples are really going to make it sound real like you're not going to convince the listener that this is a real person. Maybe. But it's not very likely. So when we get to that sound design phase, we're going to look at doing things to our synthesizer to make them something unique and to make them sound good, That necessarily to make them sound like anything real, any real instrument. If we want a real instrument, we should hire a real player. And let's go to a new video and talk about the process for that. 11. Overdubbing Real Instruments: Okay, if you have some of your song that you're thinking you might want a real human player to overdub ion. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind during this first songwriting process. One big one. The big one is making sure the meaty stuff is really clean, especially if you're going to be working with a string player or a wind player, or a brass player, or anybody who reads traditional notation. So this is what I mean by really clean stuff like this. Where it's right on the downbeat, it ends exactly a quarter note away. Or a 16th note away. No quarter note away. It isn't like dangling over. It doesn't start like a hair before the bar. It's like right on it. Okay. As you put in midi notes, you're going to want to make sure these are like really snapped to the grid. If it's going to be later played by a person who needs to read the music. This is why. The reason is we're going to need to make sheet music for those people, probably. And in order to do that, we can take our midi clip and convert it to notation. Now, Ableton can't do that. We're going to need to go to a different program to do it. So we're going to export it for Ableton. Or any program can do this. We're going to need to export it and then we're going to open it in a notation program. So when we do that, if you've got things like that, that's going to that tiny little fraction, right there, is going to make a super bizarre and really difficult to read rhythm. And it's going to take you hours to clean up. But if you just do that, it's going to be a nice and simple rhythm. So if this is a part that you think, maybe we're going to want to convert this to sheet music and give to some real players. Be sure up all of this stuff and make it nice and tight, right exactly on the grid. Like see this one right here. That's going to be super bizarre because it's in a weird, weird spot. The notation for it is going to be in. So I I would nudge it over somewhere different. So be sure you're keeping track of that. But when we get there, when we get to these kind of sound design elements where we say, okay, this baseline is cool, but we're going to replace it with human. All we're gonna do is duplicate this track, delete the Midea. And then we'll probably actually convert it to an audio track instead of duplicating it. But we'll kind of group them together and then just have them play along with the part that's there. Or we can hide the part that's there and not let them hear it while they're playing if that's what you want. Sometimes that can be confusing, but it's actually pretty easy to do. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Okay, enough about me. Let's get into talking about the palette of our song. 12. What is a songwriting Palette?: Okay, next we're gonna talk about defining a pallet. So here's the problem. The problem is, what does electronic music sound like? Think about that for a second. We can use samples we can use, since we can remix and use other tracks. There's no answer here. Electronic music can be anything in the world. So to that end, when we're sitting down to write a piece of music, you think, okay, what sounds can I use? And the answer is, anything anywhere, right? Your palate is infinitely huge. Which is great. That's cool. That means that we can do whatever we want. That's awesome. However, that's also terrifying, right? That means we have every option in the world available to us, which tends to lead people to staring at an empty session for a long time because they just have too many choices. Too many choices can be crippling. So what we're gonna do is we're going to create a palette. Which means we're gonna kinda define the main tools that we're going to use for our project, okay? And I like to do this for a whole album. So I'll say, okay, for this album, I'm going to use these drum sounds. I'm going to use these synth sounds. I'm going to use these bass sounds. And I might use a couple other odds and ends. That's going to be my main palette and I'm going to add other stuff in as I need to. But my main palette is going to be focused on these things, okay? Now this doesn't really get us into the sound design element yet. It does a little bit, but not really. Because by defining our palate, it's really gonna kinda define our tools really that we're talking about. So we might change the way the palette looks later when we get into the sound design, but we got to start somewhere. Okay, so we're going to start by just kinda defining a set of tools that we're going to use. A set of sounds, a set of since set of instruments. And that's going to make it so that when we say, Okay, now I need a base here. You go to your base that we're using for this. We can change it later. But let's kind of narrow in on what we can use, what we have access to. Okay, so there are really three different things that we're talking about here. We're talking about samples since, and drum sounds. Okay, so let's start with samples and let's figure out how to define a library of samples. 13. Building a Library of Samples: Okay, so when it comes to samples that we're going to use on a project, what I'd like to do. And you can do this a 100 different ways, but this is just how I like to do it. But I like to do is think about the samples being the kind of glue that's going to hold the whole project together. It might be like some weird vocal samples. It might be just some weird ethereal samples. They might be harmonic, might be melodic. It could be really anything. But I want to pick a couple things that I'm going to go back to over and over and over and use them as kind of a, uh, go to sound whenever I want, like a weird sound. Not drums. We're going to treat drums separately. Okay? So for this project that I'm thinking of right now that haven't started yet. I really kinda wanna use these old records. So I found these old records. These were my grandmother's records. And last summer I spent a couple of weeks digitizing all of them. And then I switched hard drives and lost most of them. You can see they're alphabetical here. I have up through C, which is a bummer. I still have all the actual records. So I could go through and digitize them all again. But really it took for ever, and I don't want to do it again. But what I might do is there are these Beethoven string quartets that we're really kinda fun. So I didn't chop them up into movements. So these are going to be pretty long. But let's take matter now. Let's take the fourth and the fifth. And I'm going to make a new folder for this project. So again, this gets into like you can do. There's a 100 different ways, but I have a hard drive setup that's just kind of major projects. And I'm going to call this songwriting project. I'll give it a better name later. And when they go back to where I just was, and let's take string quartet 56. I'm going to copy it into there. Okay. I don't want to just move the files. I want to be sure I copy them because I want to leave the original artless. Okay. And I'm just going to make a folder called samples and put them in here. Okay, now I might chop these up. I might do a whole bunch of stuff. But now I know that when I need to go to something to make a weird sound, to start a sound. This is going to be my go-to spot. Again, I might add in more stuff. That's not from these and that's okay. Just because we've defined the palate, does it mean that we can't add in other things later? We're just kind of making it. We're simplifying our initial options. That's all we're doing. So I'm going to use to play around with, okay, cool. So those are gonna be kinda the main sample material that I'm going to pull off of. Next, let's talk about drum sounds. 14. Building a Library of Drum Sounds and Loops: Okay, so if I go to my sample library here, I have hundreds of thousands of drum samples, drum loops, drum one shots, and then most of these are drums. And there's a ridiculous amount of stuff in here. Even this drum one shots has an insane amount of stuff. So I can't possibly every time I want a snare hit, dig through all of this, right, to find the snare hit that I want. That's just insane. So I'm just going to pull a couple over into that folder. This folder. In fact, let's set up a new folder and now Trump's. Okay, So I'm going to dig through here now and find a couple of things that I might want to use that I'll kinda fit. Now I already know what I think might be cool because this I haven't used before and it's brand new to me. This is the Slam Academy Recording Arts class. They made as a way to kind of teach recording. They made their own pack of drum samples. So let's hear what we've got. Let's see snares. Snare on. Well, these are pretty quiet. Kicks. Those are pretty good. Okay, I'm going to try to use these. Okay, so I'm going to copy, again, copying, not moving, and copy this folder over into my drums. And now I've got an extra folder here, so I want to get rid of that. So let's just take everything out of that folder. Okay? Okay, so now I've got my palette of drum sounds. Normally this is probably more than I would normally pick, but I like that they're all kind of recorded at the same time, so I'm going to work together. Okay, that's cool. Now, again, I might pull in more sounds. I might get tired of these, but as a starting point, this is what I'm going to use. That's my palette of drum sounds. 15. Building a Library of Synths: Okay, next, I want to build a library of synth sounds. Now this is basically going to be everything else. This is going to be pads, leads, bases, strings, pianos, anything? Okay, now I'm gonna do this in a little bit different way. I'm not going to make a folder for these. I'm gonna do this all in live. And in fact, I'm gonna do it all in the browser here. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to tag all of these, everything that I want and I'll explain that in just a second. Okay, so first, I'm going to go to plugins and contact five because this is where am I really good piano samples are. Okay, so I'm going to right-click on that. I'm going to call this. I'm going to tag this as orange. Okay, so just hold on to that for a second. When call that orange. So I'm going to use that for all my piano stuff. But this is actually a big library and I might not want to load it on everything. So let me get something a little simpler. And you might say, are you really just going to use presets? Like yeah, I'm totally going to use presets. Because remember this is all temporary. I'm going to clean this up, design this to be something that I want later. Stuff. I'm actually really into accordion lately, so I'm going to add that, tagging it orange. Let me get a good base. The earliest bases are in the wavetable instrument. So let's get a cool. And that might work. Okay, Let's go with that one. Tag, that orange. So I've got a bass I get find some pads. Pad, that tag that is orange. Let's go to I need some string, this because I always use strings as pads. I know that my best strings are here in the contact library also. But I think I have some good strings here. Also. Open that up a little bit more. Oh, I haven't installed that are really good. I gave you those. Okay, So the strings I'm going to use are gonna be the same ones. They already tagged from contact. And it's kinda nice. Let's throw that in there. I'll Rhodes sound. I really especially looking for percussive things, things that have a good percussive snap to it. Because remember, what I'm trying to get at this point is notes and rhythms, right? And if it's a long sushi pad, that's, doesn't really give me a rhythm. I want one of those or two of those in there because that can be useful. But I like pianos in roads and organs and stuff like that because it has a distinctive attack. Okay, so let's look at what's in my orange category here. So I have a dot and a base. And then contact, which is going to be my strings and my pianos. Okay, that's pretty good. I might add more stuff there, um, but I think that's good for now. Okay. Now, I need to organize all of this in a way that can get to it really easily within live. This is super cool. So let's go to a new video and then we're going to organize all of this to be together. 16. Setting "favorites": Okay, so to get this all like quickly within reach, what I'm gonna do is first I'm going to go down here to places, go to Add Folder. And I'm going to add that song writing project folder here. Okay, so now it's going to be here. Now I'm going to go to drums. And I'm going to tag all of these yellow. I'll explain the tags just a second. Okay, Now I'm gonna go to samples. I'm going to tag these as green. Okay, cool. Now I'm going to go up here to collections. I'm going to hit Edit right now for collections. And playing that Beethoven. Let's turn that off. Okay, so what I'm gonna do here is orange stuff. I'm going to Control click, hit Rename. This is synths for this project. Yellow stuff. I'm going to rename Drums. Green stuff is Samples. Okay. I'm gonna say don't show favorites at the moment. And done there. Now, check that out. So now while I'm working, I no longer have the entire world of possible sounds that exist. Which is daunting Lee huge. Instead, I can say, well, I need a since m, let's use one of these six, right? Or I can say, Okay, I need the snare sound. Let's use one of these. Or I need to make a weird sound out of something. Let's do that and chop it up, right? So I've simplified the world of the entire world of possible sounds into these three categories and made them quickly assessable right here on my screen. Cool. Now, I can start thinking about get to work, getting to work. Almost. There's one more thing I wanted to do and that is set up a template session. Okay, so let's go to a new video. I'll walk you through how to do that. 17. Building a Template Session: Okay, let's get everything set up how I want. So I'm going to tighten that down. We've got our collections good. Let's look at our tracks here. Let's clean up all this stuff. So let's do this. Let's call this track drums. And then let's make a few more audio tracks. And I'm going to group those together. Command G. I'm going to call this group drums. Okay, there's all my drums. I can add more tracks to this and that's just fine. I can close it all up. I'm going to add a whole bunch of midi tracks. I'm going to group those together. I'm going to call these. Since k, I'm going to add another midi track. I'm going to call that base. I'm just going to leave that just as is. Let's create another audio track, maybe 34. We'll group that together command G. And we're going to call this samples and oddities. Okay? Now look at that, look how clean and nice that is. Okay. Now, I'm gonna do one more thing. This is something I really like to do in in live. There's a default here of having a reverb and a delay on a bus. Those are pretty good. I generally like those and use them sometimes. But I'm going to create another bus track and under two bass tracks. And I'm going to put some stuff on them. So I'm going to leave this reverb and delay. As is. Shoot. I really want this reverb and delay to be a and b. There we go. So I just need to do a below. Okay, Now here, so I'm going to leave a and B alone. These have a reverb effect on it. This has a delay effect on it. I didn't put some effects on this. And really what I'm going to put on it is things that make sounds that I like. I can tell you. I tend to like glitchy sounds. So I'm going to do something like an audio effects rack. This cut automatic, We'll try that. I don't think I've ever used that before. I'm gonna put that down there. And I might put a couple other things down there that are really kinda glitchy things. Beat repeat, which is almost certainly in that cut automatic. Let's put one of those on there too, just to make it really glitchy. Okay, so now this is going to be really glitchy. This means that C, bus C, which will be this one. If I turn this up, everything gets glitchy because I like that Gucci sound. If you don't like glitchy sound, don't do that. But put some effects on these last two that are things that you really like. Another thing I'm gonna do is a really simple EQ Eight. Or I'm just going to roll off the high end. Because this is something that I almost always do. The strings right around there. Hey, we'll hire there. Okay, So I almost always put this effect on string, so I'm just gonna put it on there and leave it for now. So that I can apply this to all my strings. If I decide to do that, which I probably will. Okay, one more thing I'm going to do and you go into since here. And I'm going to load contact onto this channel. So this is contact if you've never used it, it's basically a hub that has a bunch of sample libraries in it. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to find my favorite at the moment, string libraries, session strings. Think that's it. Sinister going solo. That's the one I like. Okay, so I should really do these as individuals, but timber ensemble, sustained. That'll work. Okay, I'm going to load that up. So now that has strings on it. So let's rename that strings. Trust me, this will all make sense in a second. And then I'm gonna go contact five again, next one. And we'll load in one of these piano samples that I got. This is a higher end piano sound. Close that and call that piano. Okay. I know I'm going to use this piano and these strings a lot. Here's this piano sound. Pretty good piano sound. Okay, So here's the trick. Next. I'm going to save this session as my template. Okay, that means every time I open live, this is what's going to load up. Those two instances of contact with piano and strings are going to load up. These EQs are going to load up. These bus returns are going to load up. These groups are going to load up. These collections are going to load up all that stuff. So what I need to do is first save this session. We're going to say Save Set. I'm going to go here. So I'm writing project and call it template. Okay, now I'm going to go into the live preferences. And I'm going to go to file folder and then save current set as default. Safe. Okay. Okay. By default set, yes. Okay. Now whenever I open live, It's going to be this. So that's cool. This is the setup I have for this project that I'm about to dive into. So I, it will save me some time to have this be my default setup. So every time I opened some started new track and whenever I say File New in live, this is what's going to come up. And I'm all set to go. I've got my collections. My a bunch of tracks for drums, some sense all queued up. A bass track dedicated, some samples, affects everything I want. Cool. Okay, now let's get to making some music. 18. What is a Sketch?: Okay, so now we're going to get down to some work. So the first thing I wanna do is think about sketching. So this is just like it sounds. If we were a painter, we might start by taking a pencil and a piece of paper and just drawing a little bit. You know, we might not dive straight into using our expensive paint on our expensive canvas, right? Because we might only have one shot at that. So before we do that, we're just going to write out some ideas and you can see where it goes, right? So the same thing happens when you're writing any kind of music. You can just sketch a little bit, you know, just free forms, let things happen. After we get done sketching. Then we're going to look back at what we've got and say, Okay, white here is worth developing, right? What do I have that I can play with? I can tease out and what's just junk. What was just goofing around. So when we're doing a sketch, it's really no rules free form makes him riffs, make some chords. Whatever comes to mind. What I like to do is just load up one of my Since, or maybe the strings or the piano or anything else. And just start playing around on a midi controller. And this is where I'd like to have a guitar controllers. They tend to come up with more interesting stuff because I'm a guitar player. But I think I'm going to use my keyboard controller here. I have my guitar controller, I mean, at the moment. And just noodle around and see what I can find. I'm going to find some stuff. I'm going to record everything and then just see if I can find something. You might also just start throwing in some drum samples and playing around with it and start building a groove that could be done to, you can start really anywhere you want. I kind of have an idea of what I wanna do with drums. So I'm not going to start there because I'm just going to fess up right now. I'm on this weird drum and bass kick, like I'm really feeling drum and bass lately. So I kinda want this to have a drum and bass groove, so I'll get to the drums later. For now. I want to figure out some of that extra musical stuff. So I think I'm gonna start with piano and to see if I can come up with something, right? So I want to doodle around for a minute and then see where it goes. Don't worry about creating anything brilliant. Our whole goal here is to get something down, get something on the screen, right? So i then it's gonna do it live. So you can see this, hopefully it's not an utter failure and it's somewhat interesting. Let's go to a new video and I'll just start playing, I guess. 19. Example Sketch: Okay, so I'm on my piano track. I'm going to hit Record and see what I come up with. Oops. Piano track is really quiet for me then. Okay, do I want the metronome on or not? I don't I'm not going to pay attention to the metronome, right? Oh, okay. Okay, Here we go. Couple of interesting things there, but none more interesting than those kinda big chords I found right in here. So let's go in and look at those. B is, yeah, I like that cat. Let's play with that a little bit more. 20. Developing the Sketch: Okay. Normally I would say this doesn't come as fast as it did here. I think I kinda got lucky within that scale I was playing with. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to separate this out. I'm really just kinda looking for something that I liked. And then I'm going to scale it down to just the basics of it. And we'll get rid of everything else. And I don't need all this other stuff. And it was fun, but it's not on looking for right now. Okay, so let's tidy up this midi clip a little bit. I'm gonna go here. I'm going to Control click and do set 11 here. Just to get rid of that stuff before it. I'm going to put this here. I'm already getting kinda of an idea about what to do with this clip. Let me sure that's right on one. I'm going to make this a quarter note long. And make sure the ends of these are perfectly lined up. And watch out for that beginning stuff too. You want to make sure that they start right together to do I still have my grid off though. Okay, now let's go to the end of this quarter. Note that I'm super super zoomed in an tighten that up. Okay? Okay, so there's my first chord. I already lost. It is my second chord. It's going to put it here for the moment. Tighten this up a little bit. How long is my first one? Exactly a beat. So we want this to be a beat. Okay, And then I'm gonna do kinda what I did before, which is repeat this one. Let's run this here, B3 or bar three, and then this one on Bar 4. Okay, It's making sure we're tight here. And all I'm really doing here is kind of organizing this thought. When it's kinda saying what here, what can I do with it? Okay? So I have these three chords. I'm going to go to my midi clip up here, delete all the rest of this, get rid of that. Okay? Maybe even tighten that down. Okay. So all of this, so I noodle around for a minute. I found these chords. They struck me as something worth playing with. So now what I'm doing is what I would call developing the sketch. I'm just kinda playing around with it and seeing what's there. So what if I duplicated these to be like a quarter note pulse? Okay. Let me hear what we've got there. Okay. Let's start that right on a downbeat. And let's loop. I'm going to turn out a loop here that is playing around with what's here. But what I'm really thinking is, but that's how engaged with I could beat behind it. So let's go to our drums. There's my drum and bass grew up as a little frantic for what I'm going after here, but let's, let's try it. Okay, if I want to obey my structure here, so I'm going to put that on a drum track. So why didn't I put that drum groove right over top of this? Because I want to hear that drum groove Enter. So I'm gonna do is I'm going to duplicate this again. That I hear this once, and then I hear that drum groove Enter. And then I'll decide if, if it really works. But first, I need to make sure that that drum groove is in time. It's going to turn off the metronome. I'm going to solo this, make sure that it lines up with the metronome. Nope, not even close. So that means I need to do a little bit of warping to it. Okay, so let's go the other way. Can I can't even hear where the downbeat is on that. Okay, So I won't go into all the details of warping stuff here, but so this is beat two. Okay? So 140, they said this is 95 BPM. I'm looking at it in double time obviously, but what's 95 times to 190. That's not right now. This is just to frantic for me to deal with right now. Let's do a simpler one. Okay? So hopefully if I get this downbeat, right? Okay, I'm just going to make a two bar loop out of this. Get rid about that. To it ended there and then duplicate it. Saves me from morphing the whole thing. Okay, So let's hear it. Let's hear what I've got here. So I'm going to turn off this loop. I'm going to turn off the solo. I'll see if this feels good when this enters. Oops, that's turned off that metronome. Okay. That loop is not right, but that's okay. Don't worry about that for now. I think it's cool. I think this quarter note thing is cool. But I have another idea. You know, what I really want to play with is I don't like the quarter note. And again, I'm just playing with ideas here. But what I wanna do is move this to like the second 16th note. And then I want it to resonate. So it's like that. So let's try that. And maybe I will just really quick tighten up this last thing here. I think that fixes it. So listen to this. This is going to be one of those weird little optical illusions where it's going to sound like it's on the quarter note till the drums come in. Okay. I travel loop is still I'll Genki and weird, but I don't care. That's the point. I'm not going to slave over this drum groove right now. That's not what I'm working on. Just gonna focus on this and what I've determined, even in spite of the weird Genki drum loop, I've determined that I think this is a good idea. I think this is going to be cool because it's gonna give us this. And then this is going to sustain. I can hear that in strings. I can hear that with a melody over it. I can hear synth playing with that. I can hear like a weird spooky baseline go and under it, I think this has got some potential to be something. So I'm going to stick with it for now. Let's go on and I want to look at another way you could do the same kind of thing, but in session view. 21. Try this in Session View!: Okay, you can actually really get some miles out of this in session view. If you take the little riff that you came up with or something like that. So I'm just going to copy it and go over to Session View. You'll see my session view is, looks a little gnarly because of all the groups I made, but it's really just the same as what it is. So I'm gonna go to my piano track here and put it in there. And same thing. But what I can do now is just let it loop forever. Oops, I have that drum still happening there. Let's take that out. So we have this, we're just going to let it loop. So I'm going to let this loop and go. But what I can do now is I'm going to throw a drum loop in here that's not from my kinda template, but it's going to be from just another drum and bass loop that I'm, that I kinda like. And I don't know, this is looping strange. So let's try that. I'm going to turn this down and we'll pop this in and we feel it right here. Okay, Not bad. Try a little of that glitch that's going in here. I like it. So the point is, if we switch over to Session View here, It's not for everyone and it's not for every case. But it can be a fun way to experiment with some different sounds. We might take some, you know, even one of these samples, right? Like let's dump in Beethoven's string quartet six. Okay, I'm just gonna throw that into a random clip. Oh, but it didn't like that. Oh, it's still think I now estimate a Miniclip here. But okay, I will just put it on our base for now. And then obviously I don't want to play a whole Beethoven thing under it, but let's maybe take a little chunk and make a little tiny loop. Like a really tiny loop. Compared to the length of this whole thing. See what's there. So now I gotta look at what I'm seeing here. 121 and 122. Okay, so here's a whole bar. That was kind of a random spot. I dropped it out, but I'm pretty like like that now that I could add a little delay to the river. Okay, so what we've learned here is Session view can be fun just to drop some things in. And we've also learned the principle of happy accidents. I really just drop that Beethoven clip in. Just to show how that works. I didn't expect that to be interesting, but I'm really into that. I really like that. So cool. This is not a typical results. This is kinda, kinda of a dog got lucky. And it's cool. You should let yourself get lucky. If you get lucky. Okay, let's see if we can play with this a little bit more. And let's go into expanding the sketch even more. 22. Expanding the Sketch: Okay, So I'm more comfortable and arrangement view, so I'm going to jump over to Arrangement View. So I'm gonna take this and plop it down here. Really doesn't want to go on that because it's a group. That's why it doesn't want to go there. Okay, so now I have this here. And I want to bring that drum groove over 2 because I like that. Okay, so I'm gonna put everything right there, duplicate that and then we're just going to loop these two bars right here. Have the same thing I hadn't thought. Okay, So at this point, we're going to think about what else is here, right? How else can I play with this a little bit more? So I typically would do is drag this drum loop over again. Move my loop race over and move this over again. And now we say, okay, we're here. What else can we do with this? Well, we really have a four bar chord progression here. So we should really leave that the way it is. And then do this again. This is what we really want, but what that tells me, there is something needed to be done here. Hold on. Let's go back to this four bars. So let's hear just this four bar. Okay, So what I want to happen here is something different. So what I'm going to try to do, get rid of this and see if I could just get lucky again. Maybe I'm just super full luck today. I'm just going to let this sample play a little bit longer. Okay? Hopefully there's something here that's interesting and works harmonically. It looped on me. Okay. Now it's going to continue. I don't love that note. There's that one note that I'm not really into. So I'm going to actually get rid of that. So let's leave that. So that didn't work, but that's okay. What else is here? Well, it's can we play with Let's duplicate all of this over to another four bars. And let's see. I don't really know what to do. So I'm gonna go into my collections here and say. Well, strings, we've done this piano staff, but what if I played with this in strings? And I probably don't want to just have strings play it like that. I might want to do something different with strings. So let's, let's see what it sounds like. If we just have it's exactly the same in strings. Okay? And then that bad but not terribly interesting. I can move it up an octave that would make it sound a little bit more interesting. But one thing that I think I want to do is I'm going to move it back over a 16th notes. And I'm just gonna see if this works. And I'm going to go and take this low note and make it a quarter note. No. I think an eighth note. These two notes and eighth note. Actually everything in eighth note. And I'm going to duplicate it. Oops. And then I'll move these two up, two octaves. Let me make this our coin and give it some kind of rhythm like that. I'm going to do that for all of these. Duplicate it. Those two nodes up to act as kind of an athlete push. Oops. And the reason I'm doing this is because I kind of think it'll sound good. But maybe not. But we're just playing right? This is still part of the sketch process. Okay. Let's try that. Nope. That didn't That's an interesting at all. Don't really know why I'm going to tighten these up. Yep. Then like that at all. Okay. So that didn't work. So basically the idea here is we're just going to experiment and start playing around with more sounds. With other ideas. It doesn't have to be more sounds. And you throw this roads on here. Take this down and say, That's interesting, It's not bad, it's not great. Let her know. I think I have a really good groove here. I don't want to screw it up by adding more stuff. So let's move on from here. What I would typically do is spend a lot more time in this section playing around with this idea. Where else can we do to generate more ideas? But let's move on. Oh, yeah, one more important thing about the sketching process. Let's go to a new video for that. 23. "Don't fall in love with your work!": Hey, there's this quote that writers use a lot and that is, don't fall in love with your work. And what that means to us is that you might work really hard on an idea and that doesn't make it good, right? No matter how hard you work on something that is not any kind of justification for keeping it. You might work really hard on something and then say, Well, I just spent like six hours making this elaborate thing. Work happened. But it sounds stupid. So you delete it. Don't fall in love with anything that you make. At least not yet. And so like even when I put it in the strings here, that was a little tedious to put together. But when I got done with it, I thought that was dumb. So you delete it. If it was interesting but not the right moment, I would have pushed it forward in the session so that I still had it, but it was really, I didn't find anything useful in it. So don't be afraid to just cut stuff that doesn't work. You can't just fall in love with something and say, Oh, but that's so good. If it doesn't make any sense and it doesn't work, get rid of it. So don't forget about that. Just let it happen. Okay? So I have to say about that. Next. Let's talk about defining the form, which is what I would do at this stage in the process. 24. Starting to Bring the Track into Focus: Okay, so now I've got a main groove. I can start to bring the track into focus a little bit. And the way we're going to bring something into focus is with form. Okay, so first what I'm gonna do is I'm going to kind of, um, kinda just in the middle of my session here. So It's gonna kinda select all and go back to the start. Okay? Now I'm at the beginning of the track. Now I can start thinking about what do I want to happen in this track, right? That's kinda the next big question. The first question, you know, when we were looking at building our palate, the big question we were trying to answer was, what do we want this to sound like? When we were looking at sketching, we were trying to answer the question, what is the main thing going to be in the track? And now, and we're looking at form, we're going to say kind of the answer or the question we're really asking here is, what is the track do? Or we could even say like what is the track about if we want to get a little more like metaphysical about it. So when I'm thinking about form, I'm really thinking about, you know, form really means if we're not on the same page, like the verse, chorus, verse, chorus bridge, vibe, right? So what we're gonna do in this step is we're going to try to define that even though we only have a little bit of music, we're going to put some parameters around our form just to give us a target, right? We might go off the rails on that and we're perfectly allowed to do that. And it's usually pretty cool when that happens. But this will actually just give us some more barriers to or not barriers, but some more constraints that'll help us focus the track in. Okay, so let's go to a new video and I'm going to show you how I, how I usually do this in a track. 25. Using Locators for Form: Okay, so we're gonna do things with markers. That's going to be our trick here. Now, any audio program has something like markers. Okay, in Ableton you get to him by clicking up here, we're going to right-click somewhere. I'm going to say add locator. That's the word I was looking for. Locator in some programs are called markers. Sometimes they're called locators, whatever you wanna call it. Okay? So I'm gonna assume this is all intro. Let's actually do this. Maybe. Let's just say, Okay, I'm going to hold off on the beat a little bit until here. Okay, so somehow in this intro I'm going to play with this chord progression a little more and do a little bit of sound design kinda stuff. And I'm going to pull that back to there too. So here, this one, I'm going to change the name of this. This is going to be main groove. Okay, there's my main groove. That's going to go for a while. Now. Now I'm going to put some amount of time here because I do want to put markers down in what I think will probably be the right spot. So we tend to think of things happening in four-bar groups, right? So here's four, here's four, here's four, here's four. So four groups of four is a good spot. Okay, So here let's say idea too. So I think here I'm just going to switch to a different kind of idea. Somebody I haven't come up with something that will happen right there. 1, 2, 3, 4. Oops, wrong spot. Add locator. Here. Let's do some kind of bridge. And it doesn't want me to go for a hay. And sometimes it can be helpful to still put the drums in. They'll actually extend your stuff out. So idea to still the same drum groove, probably. The bridge may be the same drum groove. 1234. Okay, then let's go back to idea one. Well, we call that mean groove before. I'm probably gonna take this out. And then bridge. I might not do the drums, so I'm going to take them out for now. The drums are just kind of a placeholder. Main groove. Here. I think I want to build on this main groove a little bit. So let's add locator and let's say mean groove plus something else. So we're going to build that main groove even more K. Now we can look at our time here. Oh wow, we're almost at five minutes. That's quite long. So let's say here outro, okay, and that's going to be our end. Okay, so now I've got some parameters that I've kinda defined. So I kind of know what I'm looking for, right? I know that the next section I need to come up with is I have this main groove. So now I need something for this idea too. And then I need something for bridge. But then I don't really need any new material anymore. I'm going to go back to the main groove. I'm going to go back to the main groove again. I'm going to add some other element. Probably I'm going to find that other element in either the bridge or the idea to incorporate something from that into the main groove and then some kind of outro. So by putting this together in this way, it's really kind of just giving me structure and giving me guide. It's saying, okay, you've done, you're done with the main groove. Now it's time for this bridge. So do that. Now, are we married to this? No, absolutely not. Are we married to this? If I get into this bridge and I say, holy smokes, this bridge cooks, I made something awesome for this bridge. I don't wanna go back to this main groove. I want to keep this bridge go in for a while. Then, yeah, I'm totally it and change it. But having this kind of structure in place gives me at least something to work with. I'm going to let myself bang it and break it all day long. But at least I've got something to start with. 26. Don't Get Married to the Form. Let it Take on a Mind of its Own.: Okay. I just want to reiterate one more time that we don't have to stick to this form. And I mentioned a second ago that it's sometimes great. When you don't stick to the form that we've made here. The reason for that is, as, you know, just like I said here, when you end up finding something really cool and you just say I have to stick with this, this is awesome. Then you have to break the form that you've established. And those are honestly in my tracks when I've ended up with my favorite tracks, that always happens if I stick to the form, it means that things are going fine and according to plan but not awesome, right? So it's actually better to break the form, but I would never know that I broke the form or the formal plan if I didn't start with something. So I can't stress enough how useful it is to put in these little blocks to keep you on track. Even though they're almost certainly going to change. Okay. I've said enough about that. Moving on. 27. How is our Track Coming so Far?: Okay, so the next thing we need to do is kind of takes dock. Oh, what's going on? So in-between those last two videos, I kind of filled out the rest of our plan, mostly up until the second half. So now I have something for an intro, kind of expanded that a little bit. Main groove I added base comes in here, added a second idea of bridge. And then got back into the main groove. And that's where I am now. So that's kind of enough to see if we've taken stock yet. If we should take stock and see what's going on. I'll point out that my formal pattern, I stuck to it so far. Which means that all the extra stuff I've added has been kind of me, I'm not super excited about any of it. But it's not bad. It's just I don't know I don't know what to do about it yet. We'll see. So let me just play for you what I got and then we'll talk about this idea of taking stock. Hello. Okay. Okay, so that's what I have so far. There are elements of it I like and elements that I don't, but that's okay. We're still just playing around, right? So what I wanted to decide here is in this kind of taking stock moment is, is this worth pursuing? Or am I really kind of going down a dead end here? I have a lot of tracks and I'm sure you do too if you've written stuff before where you just it just feels like you hit a brick wall, right? Like you're just writing and then you just stop. There's just no where to go. And I don't feel that in this track, I think there's still a lot of places to go. To me. It's worth continuing with this track, mostly because this main groove that we came up with earlier, completely by accident, that I'm still really feeling all this other stuff added to it. Nothing is really hitting the mark for me quite yet. But that groove I really like, I'm really happy with that. So I think we're still playing around with the ideas here, but I think we've got something that's worth continuing. Now this is the point where It's totally fine to say. This track is fun, but it's going nowhere. And that's okay. You're going to put that away. You're going to file it in some folder somewhere. And you're going to pull it back up and a couple of months. And you're going to say, maybe now I feel like this is going somewhere. Maybe you've woke up on different side of the bed and now that tune feels like it's got some where to go. So that's totally okay. But we're going to continue for this. Now, let's talk about preparing for the sound design stage. 28. Preparing for the Second Stage: Okay, So as we're preparing to move into really the sound design stage of the track. There's a couple of things to think about. One, obviously, this track isn't done yet for me. So is it worth going into the sound design stage? And the answer for me would be a very solid maybe, because it might be that, man, I'm just having trouble bringing this to life and coming up with what to do next. So sometimes the remedy for that is just to let it lie. Move on to the sound design stage. And maybe while you're working on the sound design elements, a new idea will come forward. That's very possible. But generally what I like to do is at least have a sketch for everything before moving on. Only if I'm really stuck and really believe that there's something good here, will I move on without finishing it? But for the purposes of this class, I'm going to move on. So the biggest thing we can do to prepare us for the sound design stage and make a copy. Let's not work off this one. Let's go to Save Live Set as well actually first, just for good measure, we're gonna go to File and then collect all and save, and just save everything. So it puts all your samples in the same spot. And we don't have to worry about losing track of anything. Now I'm going to go to Save Live Set As. And I'm going to go back to wherever my folder was, some writing project. And I'm still working out this template project, which was dumb. And we're going to call this dark and creepy. I don't know, give it a name. Okay, So now I've made a copy of it. Now we can really pull it apart and screw it up and not worry about really losing track of the, the essence of the track. We can always go back and get it from this copy. So before you move on to the next section, make a copy of the track. Very important. 29. Thinking About Sound Design: Okay, Now we need to think about sound design a little bit, and let's think about what kinds of sounds that we want. So for what I've got going here, i'm I'm liking the piano and I like the strings in the piano. That's kind of my thing, is strings in piano lately. So I definitely like those. I need new violin sounds here. These needs to sound better, or I need a real violin, which I could do. But generally I'm thinking about the color of this track. Is this a bright track? Is this a dark track? Is this lot high-frequency stuff? Is this more mid-range? And to me this is very kind of, I mean, I call it dark and creepy. So it's darkening, creepy, it's dark. It's not very bright. So I'm going to want really kinda would sounds. I'm really feeling that with this, even this drum groove I have going, which I might still totally replace. Its drum groove is very wood sounding, right? There's not a lot of symbols in it. There's nothing like that. The piano is a very weird sounding instrument. It's kind of a darker tone that we've got on it right now. That brings a little bit of light to these sounds, which I don't really like, right? Those are too bright. They don't really fit the, the, the color of the track that I'm going for. So that might be something I can take care of in the sound design element. All of these violin samples are very, you know, would sound. I usually think of things in terms of wood, metals and plastics. And plastics are just kind of a little bit strange. It's hard to, they're kinda odd ball stuff, but woods and metals are pretty obvious. Does it sound like you're playing something on wood, which means it's very organic sounding, or does it sound like metal, which means like much brighter sounds. Although would sounds can be very bright as well. Just think of like the upper register of a xylophone. But metal sounds tend to ring longer, that it tends to be more like symbols, brass instruments, things like that. Throws are all kind of metal sounds to me. So I want a lot of wood sounds. And that's important to think about ahead of time because that means that I can really start to hone in on what I'm looking for. I'm even with my EQs. With my EQs, I can say I want a wood sounding EQ, which means roll off that high-end, probably on a lot of different stuff. So it's important to tend to think broadly first about what we're going to be looking for when we start really crafting this piece. 30. Track Update: Okay, so before we move on to the next section, I took a day in between filming that last video and now to tighten up this track, I just had to get it to something that I was at least happy enough with to move on to the second section of this class. Otherwise, it would be a pretty boring class. So here's the new version of the track. What I did is I kind of broke up this intro, the beat at the beginning, and then had it fully drop in a little bit later. I added this baseline, which is just in the piano. Now, this is something that I think I was playing with earlier, but I just did it quite a bit. I put it in the piano, is that since I was using was out of tune, I didn't feel like going in and tuning it, so it's just in piano now. That's fine. We'll tighten that up later. I added this DX7 patch, which I'll probably put into the synths library for this whole projects. I really like these DX7 sounds. And then I just kind of rip through this scale with a bunch of delay on it. Additive variation of the core progression for this idea to basically go back to the intro for the bridge. And then for the kind of penultimate thing here, added some more DX7 that even though it says piano because I copied it from up here, but it's more DX7, more DX7, baseline kind of everything kinda stacks up here. That'll be tricky to mix, but that's okay. Don't worry about that for now. And then a quick little outro. So here's what we got. Most likely to be perfect. Hi, hi. Okay. Square root of x squared over R squared like that. So we are back in our course. I hope that you'll be happy with that. So cute. 31. Thinking About Lyrics: Okay, So the next big topic that we should look at his lyrics. Now, I personally primarily write instrumental music, So I don't work with lyrics all that often. And when I do, I collaborate with people, I just really don't like writing lyrics. Every time I've done it, I've been unhappy with how it's come out. So if you're going to have lyrics and you're going to sing on it. This would be the time where I would start playing around with that. So everybody who adds lyrics and a melody, or not a melody necessarily, but a vocal part to attune does it differently. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the vocal part comes first. And all depends on how you like to work. What I like to do is collaborate with people who are singers because I'm not I'm pretty terrible singer. If you're savvy enough online, you can find recordings of me singing and it won't be it won't be pretty. So don't do that. So I like to, at this point, you could bounce this out, save it as a single audio file, even though it's super rough. But at enough information is here too, where you can hear notes and rhythms, harmony and form. So you could send that out to a collaborator and say, put a vocal on this. You could do that later also. But now I would say is probably the earliest stage that we could do that if we wanted to do it. So let me give you a few things to think about when you're working on lyrics or collaborating with the singer. Because even when you're collaborating, you still have obviously some input into lyrical content of the piece. So couple of things to think about in the next couple of videos. 32. What is the Message of the Music?: Okay, so the first and kind of biggest thing that I would think about is what is the message of the, the piece to you, right? Obviously with this, I've called it dark and creepy. It's kind of got a really kinda dark harmony to it. So I probably want the lyrics to reflect that. The most annoying thing to me is when I hear a, a track or a song or anything, where just the lyrics feel like they were already written before the song came about, right? So someone has this song about, you know, a happy, happy pink clouds. And they get sent this really dark track and they put these lyrics about happy pink clouds on it. You hear this kind of thing all the time where the lyrics just don't make sense with the music. So, really think about that. Think about what is the theme of this? What is really going on here? To me, this is, this is kind of a dark song. We've talked about that. It's kind of a dissonant song. It's kind of, it's got a lot of space to it. So I would want a melody and lyrics that reflects some kind of idea of openness and emptiness and some way. So you know, this isn't going to be a happy song. This is probably gonna be kinda dark, but it's also not going to be a lament or a dirge. You know, like, like a dirge is like a funeral march. Really slow. Like just pain, pain. It is kinda drum and bass. It's slow drum and bass, so and it does have something energetic to it. So how can I come up with something that is both dark and energetic? Well, there's a lot of dark themes that have a lot of energy behind them. So that's the kind of avenue I would start thinking about is where those intersections are. Because I really want the lyrics to make sense with the music. That's so important and so overlooked. There's another element to this, and that is finding metaphor within the music itself. So let's go to a new video and talk about that. 33. What Clues are in the Music?: Okay, so there are always metaphors in music that are easy to find. We've, this is a technique that's been used for hundreds of years. Call it text painting at 1. Composers had been doing it forever and there's no reason that you can't use it. In modern music. It's just kind of a glue that can really hold the lyrics and the music together. So here's how it works. Basically, we're going to find things in the music that makes sense. So here, here's a good example. So we have this little melody here. It's not really a melody, but this little riff in the DX7. So that makes it art, right? It goes up and then down, inherit the end. So it goes up. So let's think about we have an ascending line. Okay, So wouldn't it be great if somewhere in the lyrics at this point, it had something to do with an ascent, right? So the lyric might be something like we're going higher here or we're going up or I am uplifted or something like that, right? It's just the making the lyrics match what's happening in the music doesn't have to be as a literal is that it could be just the lyric at this point says something about or gives the impression of moving up. Here's another one. This violin is holding these really long tones, right? So long tones mean no motion. Stasis, purgatory, that's what that kind of is a symbol for. So, how can I incorporate this symbolism into the piece? Into the lyrics? I mean, thinking about the drums right here, the drums dropout. What does that say? The drums are kind of the floor of the piece. The floor opens up. What are we going to do? What are we going to What does that mean if the bottom drops out of where we are, right? That's, that could be an emotional thing, that could be a literal thing. This violin sample, this is an old sample. We can hear that kinda scratching this of the record in it. So what does that say to us? Does it that's pulling from the past, that's pulling something in. You can find these kind of metaphors in just about every note of a piece. If you look hard enough, the ones that are the most obvious, you should really try to latch onto and incorporate into the lyrics. So if you're working with a collaborator, let them know that this is an important concept to you. You can find out more about this if you just google text painting. It's a important concept. I really like it to be used in pretty much everything I do. 34. Do you Need to Adjust the Key for the Singer?: All right, one other thing about lyrics, that is just a practical matter. And that is if you're working with a singer or you are the singer, now is the time where you are going to want to adjust the key of your song if you have to do that. So the reason we would adjust the key of the song for the singer is, I mean, a singer can sing in any key. That's fine. However, think about the high notes, right? If, if there's one part in the tune where we want the singer to go up and hit the high note. We want that high note to be the perfect note for that singer. We want it to probably be tonic in the key or the chord. And we want it to be right in their range where they're not straining for it, but they really have to belt it, right? That's a very specific spot. So we might have to adjust the key of the whole song so that when we get to that high note, it lands right where we want it to land. We've been doing this for centuries in music, changes the key to adjust the singer. That's why a lot of the time, guitars are tuned down a half-step and so that singer can hit that note. It also has something to do with the low-end of the singer, but less, less so because the low end we don't associate with having a lot of energy. So if I did need to adjust the key of this tune, fairly easy to do. Like let's say I wanted to move it down a whole step. I just have to go into all my midi tracks and move them, select all and then move them down a whole step. For each individual midi clip. Anything that's an audio sample or the drums I can leave alone because they're not pitched this audio sample I should transpose. I would just go here, transposed down a whole step. That's going to, this is half-steps, so it'll be 2. So I go negative two, that would do it. And you need to do that for all of these. So you can kinda select a whole batch from and, and do it that way. I need to do it for these samples. Whenever you transpose and audio sample, you degrade it somewhat. So you want to avoid doing that if you can. But if it's a small transposition like a whole step, a third, even a fourth. You can pretty much get away with it. Midi stuff. You can transpose all day long. But once we get into the sound design element and we start, if we transpose after that, it can affect the timbre of the sound design elements that we do. So we need to think about that a little bit. So now is the best time to do it before we do any of the sound design stuff. You can totally do it later if you want to. But now is the ideal time. And don't transpose your Trump's, you're just going to degrade them. I think that's it. Okay. So think about if you need to do that. If you don't, then move on. Like we're gonna do right now. 35. What Kind of Drum Sounds do we Want?: Okay, so time to move on to really crafting this track. And that is going to be the sound design elements. So let's start with the drums. What we wanna do is we want to first think about two things in the drums. One is what kind of feel do we want, and the drums and two is what kind of sound do we want in the drums? Like actual drum sounds. What kind of sounds do we want? Do we want a big rock kit that feels like it's in a big room. Do we want a tight, quiet kit with a lot of space? It's basically what I have here. Do you want really would sounds to you weren't really metal sounds. What kind of sound? D1. Now I've put this loop in here as temporary. And the danger in doing that is that you're going to fall in love with whatever loop you put it as a temporary thing. I don't like using loops right out of the box. However, I've done the thing that you're not supposed to do, which is I really kinda fallen in love with this loop. It works really well. It's the exact sound I want. It's the exact feel I want. And I'm pretty happy with it. So I'm going to recreate a new drum groove for the purposes of this class. However, if I ever released this track, you'll probably hear it with this loop on it. But let's do it. Let's move on. So the, so step one, figure out the feel that you want. In my case, I really wanted this kinda slower drum and bass feel. Normally driven basis quite a bit faster than this, but this is slow and it's not really driven based, but it's the right rhythm, it's right kick pattern. So I'm going to college, I'm a base. And then the sounds I really wanted to would kind of sound a lot of emptiness. If you listen to this with the glitchy stuff off, it's really empty. It's got a lot of space in it. Does have these little high hats in it. But those are not really resonating like a hi-hat. They're more like stick on symbol. And we're hearing more of the stick sound then the resonating of the metal symbol. So it feels more like wood to me. So I'm pretty happy with it. But we're going to mute this out. And that one, actually, I'll leave that one for now and load up a new drum kit and play around with it. So here we go. 36. Finding Drum Sounds: Okay, so I'm gonna go to drums. We'll look at drum racks here and just look at what presets I have here and see if I can find anything that kinda hits what I'm looking for. Kinda like this one, but the kick is just kinda too fat. Okay. I'm gonna go with this to show you something. So I'm going to make a new midi track. Put this here really all I was listening for are right then or was the kick sound? So I'm just going to look for a kick to start with. Okay, so here are the sounds in my drum kit. There's my kit. Kick hat is my snare. I don't like that snare. That's too big. There's another stem cell that really like that. Okay. So I like this kick. That's about all I like, but that's okay. So I'm gonna make my groove now. Well, no, let's finish getting our sounds right. So any of these sounds can be replaced, right? So what I could do is find another snare. So it's gonna go here and look for snare. Well, this is going to pull me up a bunch of files. Let me go to my sample library. I'm going to go to drum one shots. Oh, and there's so much stuff. Single drum heads bank, sort of had snares, claps, and rems. Okay, see if I can find a quick stare up at that works. Okay, Fun Boy, 1. So I'm going to drag that file onto my snare here. Okay, it's going to replace it. Now that's my snare, right? So you can take these preset drum kits and replace any sample by just dragging the sample right onto it. And then you can craft that sample here. You've got some controls over it. So now I've got to kick out a scenario like this is way too metallic. That's better. But it's still two metallic. So I'm actually just going to tighten this up a whole ton. Better. Do I have an EQ on this? Yes. It's tighten that up. There we go. That's a little more of what I want. Yes, I just added a little bit of an EQ. So my three main things are going to be these three, kick hat and fun boy one, it's fun to say, which is my snare and hat. I need a little more volume now. Okay, cool. Maybe a little less volume. No. Okay. So I've got my kit all set to go. Now it's time to start putting some notes it Let's do that next. 37. FreeSound: One other thing that I mentioned before we go on. I mentioned this before, but I'm going to mention it again. If you don't have a big hard drive full of drum sounds or any kind of sounds. A highly recommend This is a free site where you can say dry snare and get 289 hits. Right? So you can get an infinite amount of samples here. They're all free and they're all royalty free, so you don't have to worry about any copyright stuff. So remember,, a super, super good resource for you to use. 38. Programming Basics: Okay, so I am going to open this up to be full bar. I get certain loop off. Okay? And here I have a beat. Now I have two bars. Okay, So the only thing I really want to use here is this Fun Boy and that hat. Yeah, fun boy. It's so weird to say. Okay, you can click on the little keyboard here to hear the sounds. If you want. If you're clicking on a keyword and don't hear them, make sure you have this little blue thing to know. Okay? So I'm fortunate in that I know kind of the group that I want for this. It's that drone-based things. So that's a very specific, had a rhythm. It's one. It's basically this rhythm. Except for what we're doing here. We want a double time. So I'm just gonna actually can click on that and hit the times 2. Oops, other way, divided by 2. Okay, so now we're double time and let's duplicate that. Get it lined up just right. Okay. So that's just kind of the basics of a drum and bass thing. It's snare on 24 and kick on one, and then the end of two and then three or double that. I'll be doing it. Okay, Let's do a little bit with R hat. Where was our happy right there. This hats can kinda do anything and give a basis. So let's just do a bunch of offbeats too fast for that. Let's do this. I'm going to do straight up quarter notes, but then I'm just going to delete some kind of randomly. Okay? I gives us a buffer. All right, so let's, oops, I don't want Woburn. Well, let's set that as a loop. So loop length 1, one. So we have a full bar loop here. And now I can stretch that out here. Okay, so let's hear how that works in our track. I'm going to leave this drum loop off and leave this one on. Oops, my loop is not good. There we go. Okay. It's high hats are infuriating some skill lower the velocity on those hi-hats upon request. Okay, let's add in that Gucci stuff that we liked. Your question. Okay, I'm gonna go back to the kick really fast and just tighten that up a little bit. It's a little boomy. Really need another filter here. Okay, one thing we can do could add a clap to our snares to give them a little more crunch. And you'll notice that my duration of my midi note is different for Fun Boy, our snare and our clap. That's okay because we're just triggering a sample. It doesn't matter that it's sort of like that. Okay, Do we like that better than this? Let's mute this one. Pull this over decades. It's certainly CRISPR. I don't know why we lost a whole bunch of volume here. It's a lot brighter with that clap in there. But it's not bad actually. It's clean, tight, still primarily that would sound so I'm actually pretty happy with this. So let's continue on. Let's talk about swing and feel next. 39. Swing and Feel: Okay, So swing and feel this is an important concept. It's something that you should consider adding to your track. However, I don't wanna do it here because part of this drum and bass thing is that it's really tight and straight. It's just really mechanical. However, if I did wanna do some swing and feel, here's how I would do it. First, let's talk about field. So the easiest way to get something that feels a little more natural is actually not to program in, in, in this way, but to play it in using a keyboard or a drum pad or something like that. You can play it in. You get a much more natural sound. You'll get some variation in the velocity. You'll get some very slight variation on where the beat is. It can really add a lot of life. It's really subtle, but it adds a lot of life to your track. So if I just play my keyboard, and I found these notes B-flat, right? So there's this weird latency. I'm not too bored, but playing those in with a keyboard can really get you a really, a really kind of organic feel to the beat. That really helps a lot. If you want to add swing, you can artificially do that. Enable to him we would go over to the groove pool here. We would find a groove. So if you don't have any installed, which apparently I don't right now. You can make one like I could actually take the groove from this. If I just drag this over here, it's going to extract the groove, meaning it's going to find where notes are placed on the beat, either in front of or behind or anything like that. In this case it's going to be like pretty straight. But now it has that and I could actually apply that here. It's probably not going to sound any different. Yeah, didn't really do anything. But just grab any kind of well, let's do it whole and let's grab a drum loop with some swing to it. I guess I don't have one handy, but if you just grab a drum loop with some swing to it, drag it into here, and it'll extract the groove. Put that on here, and that'll make it swing. And it'll give you some control over how much swing you want with this timing. And the randomization parameter. That randomization all the way up to a 100 and then drop it here. And then we'll commit it. Okay, see how much that changed it, it randomized, a whole bunch of stuff is going to sound terrible, right? Because I just like randomized where the beat Falls, which is now what I want to do. But if you wanted to sound a little more human, I could add a tiny bit of randomization and then put that on there. Right? That actually sounds pretty good. You can see what it did like right here. Right? Those aren't lined up anymore. They're like a millisecond off. But that can give it kind of natural field. I'm going to leave that other kind of like that. Okay, cool. So you can feel Moving on. 40. Let's Really Focus in on Those Synths.: Okay, next step is let's focus in on these since so we're starting with his piano. I rather like that, and it'll leave that piano as is. Because if you remember, when we started, I loaded up a pretty nice piano. Now I've added some delay to it and things so that it's clearly not just a piano. I'm not trying to lie to anyone and say this is an acoustic piano and a concert hall. I'm pretty okay with that. This, however, I don't love. So this is a Rhodes that I throw on here. One thing I want to try is anything I've already got in the track. Because if you can avoid adding more since it's better in my opinion. So we don't want to add the kitchen sink and add a 100 different sense. So let's utilize what we already have. So later this DX7 comes in. If you don't know what a DX7 is, if it's an FM synth, it's really popular in the 90s. It's still got great sounds. So I'm going to try putting this in the DX7 and seeing what happens. That's a little bland. But what I did at the very end here is I just took this the main core progression and added a delay to it so that it gives it this rhythm, like this. Kind of X-Files ish. What if I introduce that back here? Right? I wouldn't wanna do that. I'm going to do with that. So where was that? This track? Okay, I'm just going to loop this. It's okay. It's got kind of a weird tone to it. Okay? Okay, raise it up another octave. I'm just gonna grab the same clip right there. Let's do that. Okay. I don't mind that. I still have this going. Does that work better now? It's cool. I want to darken this a little bit. I like it but little bright. So I'm going to take an EQ Eight right on there. We can do something to it. Okay, I haven't replaced all the drum things yet. Sum is going to be those jumps back in. So let's hear how this works. Pretty good. I like that. One thing I haven't addressed yet is I'm keep going back and forth between getting rid of this space right here. I like it and I don't like it. I haven't decided what to do about that yet. So I'm going to leave it for now. Okay, great. Now when you're thinking about the sound design elements and your synth, there's a couple of things to consider, so let's talk about registering frequency for a minute. 41. Register and Frequency Things to Consider: Okay, liter, we're going to get into the mixing stage, but we can do ourselves a favor by keeping a couple things in mind that will make mixing a little bit easier. And that is our frequency ranges. So we don't want to be, we want each thing to have it's own little pocket of frequency range. So when we're doing these sound design elements, we don't want things to go all over the place in terms of frequencies. So I'm kinda leaving some spaces here, and particularly in the base, right now in this section, there's no base. The base will come in here, and that's the next thing we need to deal with. But if I had a singer in this, I don't want to leave room for them. This is pretty high. It's dark. So there's not a lot of upper frequencies here, but it is up in the upper range. So I might adjust this EQ depending on where the singer is going to sing. If it's a male singer, they might be right in this range. If it's a female singers are going to be a little higher. So I should be already out of the way. So something to think about. This violin is probably in the way of a female singer. So if there's a female singer right here, I might think about getting rid of this file in part altogether or might not need it. Or I can move it down lower, or I could kinda have a weave around the singer a little bit. So think about creating those specific kind of pockets of sound for the singer or for anything. Any instrument should have its own kind of area. We'll get into more than that when we get into mixing. But for now, just kinda keep in mind, you'll do your future self a favor. 42. The Bass Sounds: Okay, Next thing I gotta deal with this base. Let's loop right here. Okay? So I just have this on a piano as a placeholder. Now, generally speaking, I kind of like piano for a bass sound. It's got a nice punchy attack. It's got a decent sustain, but not too much. It actually can be a good bass sound, but in this case, it's got too much movement. I like base in piano when it's kinda hitting a note and then sits on it for awhile and doesn't go too far. Um, but this is moving around a lot, so the piano doesn't really work. It's also got a really widespread, if we look at it here to here, the lowest note to the highest node, got an F. To an F, We've got an octave, so it's got a wide, a pretty wide range. So I want something else. So let's just make something here. So I'm gonna go to my instruments and I'm going to go to operator. Let's throw that on here. That's gonna get rid of our piano. That's okay. Okay. So right out of the box for default operator patch, sounds like this. Let's hear that. That's actually not very far off from what I want. The only thing that I, the big thing that I want to change is the sustainable as stain of it goes on forever. So I'm gonna go to my first oscillator here and adjust that a little bit, little tighter. That's not bad. Let's see that in context, it's really, really simple. Okay? I like that. It's simple. It's just a sine wave and an envelope is literally the only thing that's happening here. Let's give it a little bit more color, okay, So I'm going to add in this other oscillator. I'm going to make this a square wave. So it's going to be buzzy, but we're going to pull it in low, right? And we're in FM mode here. So these are modulating each other. So basically what we did here is we just gave it a little bit more hair. I think of it as hair. Right, Let's hear that. Okay. Not bad. I told love this upper know it sounds out of tune no matter what I do. So what I might do, an experiment, it's just getting rid of that note. And you might be thinking, Hey, we're in sound design mode here. We shouldn't be messing with the composition. Not true sound does that affects the composition? Absolutely. So we're going to go back and forth between them. It's just the main part of the composition I want to have done. I can adjust things all day long while I'm in the sound design mode. Let's hear this. I think I like that better. It's cleaner, it doesn't. You know, I've been such a weird harmonic area here, that upper bass note just didn't, didn't really fit, even though it's technically did. Okay, so let's make those match. Let's hear that enter just to give it a read feel for it. Go, I like it. Okay, So we solved that base with a really simple synth patch that we made from scratch. We just took an operator. We took our first oscillator, sinewave, Nothing fancy. Put an envelope on it to tighten it up a little bit, and then added a little bit of FM with a square wave. Now if you're not up to speed on how all of that stuff works. I don't want to go into huge amounts of detail on sound design because we've done that in the other class. But if you need a refresher on it, maybe we'll go into that later in this class or in a future class. But for now, I'm going to leave it at that. Okay. I think I'm going to leave the rest of this as is for the moment so that we can move on. 43. Fixing "Real" Sounds: Okay, it's time to talk about real instruments. So if I wanted to add any real instruments, like I wanted to record something to put into here. Now would be the time. So there's really kind of nothing in this particular track that could be a real instrument other than this violin. Okay, so let's listen to just a violin player. Okay? So there's two things I can do with this. One, I could make it sound better by using a better sample library. And two, I could record a violinist playing it in. Side note too. Is that I don't happen to have a violinist handy at the moment. However, I do have a violin and I am really good at editing. So I could record myself playing a single note and then edit together that patch. Let's do it both ways. Okay, so first, I want to show you some tricks to make this sound a little bit better. Using a sample library, I can actually use the same sample library I'm using now because it's a really good one. But there's a couple of things I can do to make it sound a lot better. So let's do that first and then we'll explore. It's recording it in. 44. Making the Samples Sound Better: Okay, so what I have loaded here in this track is contact. And in contact, I use this sinister ring solo library. Now this is designed to be solo instruments, solo strings. Okay, I got this library when I was working on a string quartet project. So what I primarily have here is individual strings, okay? What I loaded up as my kind of default was an ensemble of those strings together. But now that I've written the piece, I know I actually want a solo here. So I'm going to get rid of this ensemble patch. And I'm going to switch over to solo violin one, and I'm going to call it true legato is the one I'm going to use. So I have basically three of each instrument. One is articulations. It's going to be more, for a more rhythmic stuff. One is legato and one is pizzicato. So if we're plucking notes, these are all long-held notes. I'm going to use legato. Now. If you have a part that goes between legato and articulations, the best way to do it is to duplicate the track and load a separate instance of contact. One for the long-held notes, put those on legato, and then one for the shorter notes, put that on articulations and then delete the stuff you're not using on each one. It can be tedious, but that's how you're gonna get the best sound. Okay, so I'm gonna go through Legato here with Violin 1. And that should sound quite a bit better. Okay, pretty good. Next thing I'm gonna do is combine all of these into one midi clip. I'm going to select them all and unable to as command J. That'll make it so nothing we're kinda refreshes. Now I'm going to make sure everything overlaps just a hair. It looks like I already did that here. I want these notes to overlap just a little bit. Because what that's gonna do is it's going to add a little bit of a transition between the notes, which is just going to make it sound a little more natural. And yeah, I know I said don't try to make things have real at the beginning, but that's what we're doing. Okay, Let's go to here. Oh, we're still hearing the chamber ensemble I added instead of switched. Hey, now we're hearing that only the Legato. I gotta do this from scratch. Sometimes contact gets really weird. Okay? I'm gonna get rid of contact and go to my plugins. Actually, I can go to sense and disco contact here. It's going to cue this up from scratch. Tree legato. Here we go. That's what I'm looking for it. That is the single instrument. So you now you can really hear that overlap a lot better. So what do I think sounds and different? So listen between these two notes. You can almost hear the finger change. And that's because they overlap just a touch one has to get cut off a little bit. It's basically you were kind of tricking the middy into making it sound more real. Okay, so now I've got a solo instrument here. That's great. It's a little flat, so let's get some reverbs, the hair of delay, and crank up that reverb. Okay, much better. That sounds pretty good. Lets you in context. And now I've decided I don't mean just hold. Okay. I kind of want to go there. I want to go up here and I want to go early. Okay. Kinda wanna go up again. So that sounds pretty darn good. So I'm happy with that. Next, Let's try me play in it. This will not sound as good, but will be a fun experiment. So here we go. 45. Setting up to Record: Okay, So I'm going to record a single note and then I'm going to make this melody out of it. So the first thing I'm going to do is I need to make a new audio track and then I'm going to group it together. So I have a group within a group. Yes. But that's okay. So I'm going to rename this live violin. And that should be good. So I like grouping it together with the Midea that I'm trying to replace. No matter what I'm recording, it just makes things simpler because then I can do this and I just have my violin part or this. And I just have my violin part. So this is what I meant to call strings. I want to call that violin. Okay? So there's my violin part and it's going to have all of them. It might take me a few tracks to edit this altogether. Okay, So now I'm just sort of to record. 46. Recording Violin: Okay, so the thing here that I'm going to do is record OneNote that are going to then transpose around. So I don't want to record the lowest note because then it's going to have to transpose a whole bunch to get to the highest note. The more I transpose it, the more integrated the note. So the node that I actually want to record is somewhere in the middle. So I'm going to go for this note, just kind of in the middle, a G-sharp. Okay, so what I have set up here is my violin and I have a tuner here. So I can see if I'm playing. If I'm right on that G-sharp, and now I'm just gonna do it. So hopefully my mic that's recording this video. It lets me know if it's going to let me have it. Let's see here. Chuck. But we got it. Okay, so who's gonna try it? So I'm going to solo it as I don't want to hear anything else. Okay, Now it's pretty hairy, but we've got enough. Let's go to chop it up. 47. Editing For Pitch: Okay, The first thing I wanna do is find the best stuff. I think it was kinda right in here. Okay, Good enough. Let's boost the volume a little bit. And let's read it in just here. To zoom in. Ok, and we're going to figure it out just a hair. Okay? Now I'm going to have to do some math. I could dump this into a sampler and then just play it. Or I could be a little more clever, clever about it. I'm going to duplicate this track because I'm going to want these to overlap a little bit. So first, I'm going to shorten this down to here, and I need this note. This note is an F, and I recorded a G-sharp. So I have to think about what transposition that's going to be. So here's my transpose. So if I recorded a G-sharp down 1.5 step is going to be G down, another half step is going to be a G flat. Another half step is going to be an F, say F or F sharp. F. Okay, That's right. My next note is a G. So I'm just actually going to copy this. Well, let's not do that. So next I'm going to copy this one over. Let's leave my original lot there. Tighten that down. So we have a G sharp. And we need a G. So we're just gonna go down 1.5 step. To get that. Next we need a C Sharp. Okay, so let's put that there were on a G-sharp and we need a C sharp. So down one, that gets us to G, to F sharp, to F, to E, to E flat, to D to C sharp. Okay, now we're at the original pitch, which is great. And now we are at a C Sharp. Okay, so if we start at a G-sharp. We're going to go a, a sharp, B, C, C sharp. And then our last node is going to be an f. Okay, so we started out a G sharp. And we need to get to an F. So G sharp, a, a sharp, B, C, C sharp, D, D sharp, E, F. Okay? Now let's make the sound a little bit better by overlapping them by a tiny bit. That's probably too much. And zoom in a little bit more. About there. There. There. There and there. Okay. Let's let us drag out a little bit. All right. Okay, next, before I even hear this, I'm going to soak both of these in reverb. So in case I didn't say it, the reason that I'm alternating tracks here is just so I can get a nice overlap on these. It doesn't sound like they're cut off. All right, well, let's hear it and let's hear it. And kinda eggs of the track. I'm going to mute this one. And let's just hear how it sounds. I hope it's okay. I could, if I really wanted to, I could run this through something to really tune it. Let's hear it. At the same time as my midi 1, 0 for my logo. One more time, I'm going to mess with the panning and just a little bit. 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00, 00, 00, 00 00. I kinda like it. I kinda like it all mixed together. It sounds like two violins. One person's better than the other. This one's better than this one. But the out of Tunis, the kind of the, you know, the weird Boeing's I was doing because I don't go very well. With that delay in there adds a little bit of motion to it. And we're not going to like it. I'm going to play around with it a little bit more. Okay, let's move on and let's start talking about mixing. 48. Mixing Principals: Okay, let's move on to mixing. So mixing is a huge topic and really should be its own class. But in this section, we're going to focus on the kind of cliff notes version of mixing. And this should get you into a pretty good ballpark with your mics. So there's really four steps to mixing the way I do it, the way I think about it. So the first step is balancing. It's relatively easy. We're just going to make sure everything is where we want it in terms of volume, right? We're gonna make sure this is louder than that and all the other things. The second step is creating space. Now, creating space is kind of the second, third step. So in the second step, creating space with reverb, and that's going to be the physical space. Okay, so we're going to, for each sound, we're going to kind of determine the physical space it's in. We'll primarily use reverb for that. The third thing is creating space, but we're gonna thinking about frequency space at this point. So creating space for each individual visual thing using primarily EQ will use some other tools, perhaps if we need them. But EQ is going to be our main tool for that. And then the four-step rebalancing. Because after we do all that creating space, we're going to need to balance everything again. So those are kinda the four steps that we go through. So without further ado, let's dive into bouncing. 49. Balancing By Ear: So there's really two different ways that we can get a good balance. The first is just to go with our year, okay, So let's just pick a spot. Let's go to this is a good spot. Okay? So if I'm going to work on a balance here, I'm going to go kind of tediously through each thing and try to find the right mix. So the first thing I'm gonna do is say the basis to latter. Okay, so we're going to pull that back K Now. See, this is the method that's so hard to explain because I'm just like listening for what I want. You know, I kinda want the drums a little bit hotter. Okay? Not bad. One thing to keep in mind while you're doing this is automation. And you're going to want to automate stuff. So an Ableton I'm going to press a that gets me all my automation lanes here. So I might say, I want the base to be this loud. I'm going to put a little dot on both of those so that if over here, say I wanted a little bit louder, I don't change what I did back here. Right? So everything you want to do really with automation as much as you can. And you can see I've already done some automation on the piano here and on the sample. So we're going to automate, we're going to tediously go through and just decide what should be at the front. What should be in the back. Really what we think about is foreground, middle ground, and background. So in this track, I'm really feeling the drums as foreground. I want those like really kinda up in your face. The sample is kind of the middle ground there, kinda the middle area and the piano is kind of the background. So everything else kinda fits within those three things somewhere. But that's probably a typical. Having the drums be the background is more common, but the drums are just so punchy here that is kinda wanted to be really kinda in your face. Okay? So you might be thinking, Man, I wish there was a more scientific way to do this rather than just tediously automate everything by ear. And you are in luck. There is, there's this thing just called the noise method. And let's try it. Okay, So we'll go to a new video and do it. I need to undo this automation in order for this to work. Well. Okay, let's go to a new video and let's do the noise method. 50. Balancing By Noise: Okay, with the noise method, this is a really good thing to do if you have a mix that's really just kinda out-of-control. Like you're like things are just all over the place with the mix. And I just needed a way to reel it back in and get everything kind of under control and then I can find unit from there. In this case, this mix I wouldn't consider to be out of control. It's actually pretty tame. But I'm gonna do it anyway. So what we're basically going to do here is we're going to create some noise. And then we're going to compare everything to the noise we're going to use. The noise is our baseline. So you can do this just with a noise sample, or you can just make a new midi track. I'm just going to throw an operator on this midi track. I'm going to go here. I'm going to set this to white noise and go back to the beginning. Oops, I turn off automation. We getting turn that off loop. Make a nice big mini file. Play a note. Habit sustained for the whole thing. Okay. Clearly I didn't set something up right. Fixed. Turn all those. Nice. There we go. Okay. So now I just have straight up noise. Turn this filter off. A bunch of really annoying noise. I had to have that noise go all the way through the whole track. Okay, so let's set the volume of this noise. I'm going to pull it back a little bit. Hey, I'm going to pull it in minus three roughly. Let's make it exactly minus 3. That's going to leave us a good bit of headroom, right? It's going to leave us some room at the top so that we can adjust things later. Now this method, like I said, is going to get us in the ballpark. That's the idea. It's not going to be our final mix. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna go through each element and compare it to the noise. So I'm going to solo this drum and solo the noise. So I'm just going to hear drums and noise. And what I wanna do is pull the drum down, pull the volume down to where I can't hear it above the noise. Okay. Then I'm going to slowly pull it up till I can just barely hear it. Now. I can hear the kick, but I can't hear the scenarios there. Okay, cool. So that's going to be my level for that. Same thing with this track. Up and says, Okay, here's these drums. Let's do it with those also. Okay. And then what's the next my violin? Let's take that off. To the next one. The next 12. Okay. Now onto this piano on to this roads. Okay, now to this base. Okay, almost done. This thing, is a few more people. Okay, and then this is my sample. So you want to be sure you can hear the rhythm in there. And not just like the attacks of notes, that's kinda of a secret. Okay, now I'm gonna get rid of this. Only my noise anymore. Now let's see what we got. Let's go here, dilute something solo and probably yes. All right. Okay. Pretty good. Again, my mixed didn't start off in really bad shape. But if you do have mics in bad shape, this distillate get you in the ballpark. This isn't going to make the perfect mix, but it's a great way to get a mix that's really out of control, under control, then you can fine tune it. So let's go to another video and talking about kind of fine tuning from this. 51. Fine Tuning: Okay, from here, now that everything is balanced, well, I would think about the foreground, middle ground background thing. Okay, so I'm going to say, I still like the drums as a foreground. So they don't quite feel like the foreground here. Or push them up just a little. So does this piano feel like background? And does the sample feel like middle ground? Kind of does actually. So those fell into place pretty well. So just when you're mixing always tried to be, or when you're balancing, especially always trying to think about that. What, what is the foreground, the most present thing that you want? And then think about what is the background the most. It's not the least important thing, but it's the most further back thing. And then what's the middle ground, the main thing that takes up the middle. Those are kind of your three most important elements. 52. Creating Depth: Okay, the next thing we wanna do is create depth. So if you think about the balance as a vertical idea, it's not really, but think about it as a vertical thing where you have foreground, middle ground, background, everything else kinda sliced in there. And that makes up all the musical elements of our track. Okay, that's balanced. Now we need to deal with depth. That's This, whether things are here or here, right? This is depth. So the main way we do that is with Weaver. Okay? We have some things that we want right up here. We have some things we went way back here. And then, but most things we want to be somewhere in this space, right? So in my case, I already have a good amount of depth built in. So these drums are right here. These are right in your face. Really forward. Really dry, nothing much there. These strings, however. Oops. Right, these are way back, these are just way back against the wall. Washington reverb. This piano I've added just now a little bit of reverb to it, to put it just a little bit far back. This doesn't feel like it's back against the wall. But it's not right in your face either. It's in the middle. Right? This has some depth to it. We've got some reverb here. This has a lot of reverb to that, right? So that's way far back. So what you wanna do is go through your mix and find places where you can create depth. You don't want everything right up in your face and you definitely don't want everything smashed against the wall. That would be just everything soaked in reverb. You don't want that. You want to mix, right? You want things that live up here and things that live back there, and a bunch of things that happened somewhere in between. But think about that in your mix about where things live in this kind of depth field. And make sure that there's a good There's good diversity in your track of where things are in depth. 53. Creating Space with EQ: Okay, the next thing we need to do is deal with the space that each individual track has. And what we're really looking for is making sure nothing gets too muddy. Okay? Moneyness is when a whole bunch of things they're trying to occupy the same space, okay? We don't really have any good examples of that here. The easiest example is usually in the base. If you've got a baseline and a kick going at the same time, which we do here. Generally, they're probably in the same space. That's not really a problem for us. It's not really an issue because this baseline is, I think quite a bit lower than the main thump be part of our kick. Also, our KYC isn't very boomy here. So if you have anything that's conflicting, so you're getting any kind of sense of mud or just too many sounds piling up. You've got a whole bunch of stuff happening in the same frequency range. Like you could almost say that this and this, these two things are in the same frequency range. That's solar those. This is real mid range. But perhaps this and violin. Not really because these are single notes, so they're not really getting in the way of anything. So I don't have any big problems with that here that I can that I can ascertain quickly. If you did though, what you would do is just carve out a pocket for whatever you have. So for example, let's say this piano was getting in the way of something else. Here. Let's say this piano was getting in the way of one of these other things. What I would do is I would take an EQ and DQ8 in my case. And I'd set a high-pass. And low-pass. Basically just wanna make a little shelf and you're just gonna kinda draw a circle around it. So I'd say that's the pocket that this keyboard is going to live in. So then I would go to the other thing that is occupying the same space. Let's say it's this. I'm going to copy that EQ into it. So there's that EQ, but now I know I have to move it. Okay? Now this one, it has a own unique space. Let's hear what that does. Let's take everything that's here. Everything. Don't really like that sound of that keyboard with Eddy Cue on it. And I don't need it, so I'm not gonna do that. But that's how you would kind of create a little shelf for everything to live on? Just like a shelf. That's probably why we call it a shelf filter. Yeah. So carve out space for anything that's getting muddy. 54. Re-Balancing: Okay, then the last step after you do all of those other things, you're going to want to rebalance everything. And this time I wouldn't go back to the noise thing. From here. We already know we're in the ballpark, but we may have done some adjustments. So we just kinda want to hear where we are in fine tune thing almost always using automation. Okay, So I didn't make a lot of adjustments, so there's not a lot for me to do here, but basically we're just gonna go retouch up everything. You might at this point also think about any kind of panning you wanna do if you want to. Move things around in the horizontal space. So moving things left to right. And you don't have to automate it so that they're moving all the time. It could just be I always like to do it with like things that are copies of each other. Like I did it a little bit on this. I did a little bit of padding. But maybe these two things. Yeah, maybe I'll push this one a little bit left or right. This one a little bit left. Just to kind of widen the space a little bit. It's a good sound. So you can think about that at this 0.2, we didn't talk about compressors, which you would want to use a compressor if you have a file or a sound, that's really hard to mix because it's got both really quiet stuff and really loud stuff in it. If, for example, if this drum beat had some really quiet notes and some really loud notes. And I was having a hard time mixing it because it was always going all over the place. That's when you would use a compressor to flatten that out. That's what compressors do. So that would probably go back to that first mixing. That first balancing step is I would add those compressors in back then if I needed them. There's really nothing here that warrants a compressor. I could put a compressor on this and just boost it, but I don't really need to, so I'm not going to. 55. What Actually is Mastering?: Okay, Let's talk a little bit about mastering. Now. Mastering is kinda of a widely misunderstood process. So what mastering means is it's getting your finished track ready for popular consumption. That's the main thing it means. So let's pick that apart a little bit. Getting your finished track. That means the mix is done and it's written in stone. Because we don't mic, You're we don't master from a session. We master from a to track audio file. For example. Let's go back to my Fun Boy 1. This is how what we would master. We would not. Well, that's bad example. Let's just bounce this. So I'm going to export my track dark and creepy V2. So when we are, so when we're mastering something, we're looking at the final track. We're not looking at a session. A stereo audio track is what you master. So everything was the track is already done. There's no more changing the mix. There's no more any of that. Here this comes. Okay. So when someone is mastering, this is what they're looking at. They're looking at two waveforms of your whole track, right? They're looking at this. They're not in your session, they're only in a stereo. So a final track, part two of that state the original statement is getting it ready for popular consumption. That means a one of the big goals of probably the biggest goal of mastering is to take your track and make it sound good in places other than where you meet it, right? For example, this to me, sounds really tight. It sounds great. But I have like $8 thousand speakers in my studio here. So of course it's gonna sound good because I had these really fancy speakers. You might be listening to it on your laptop speaker or headphones, or crappy headphones or really nice headphones, or your car or the radio. All of those are very different situations. And so the way I've mixed it, it might have too much base because maybe I don't have enough base of my room, so I mixed the base really hot. I think it's probably the opposite in my particular case because I have a sub. So the base is really hot to me. So I probably mixed it quiet because I hear too much base in my studio. So that means when I send this out, there's probably not much bass in it to most people. So the thing that mastering is going to do is try to kind of split the difference on his many different systems as possible. They're going to make sure that it sounds good on a crappy set of speakers that are going to make sure it sounds good on your ear buds. And then make sure it sounds good and nice speakers in your car when played over the radio, right? When played on Spotify. There's actually specific mastering standards for like Apple Music and Spotify and those things. So that's kind of the main goal of mastering. Okay? Mastering is a science and it takes a very, very tuned ear and a lot of skill. So I'm sad to say I'm not going to be able to teach you the fine points and intricacies of mastering because I'm not a mastering engineer. I can however, teach you two methods to do mastering in kind of a quick and dirty way. If you want to just get a quick Master done. Okay, so let's go into those two ways now. 56. The Best and Easiest Way to Master a Track: All right, The best way to get mastering done. And it'll be really good master, and it'll be really easy for you to do. That is higher a mastering engineer. That's what I do. That's actually what most people do. Most people mix their tracks, get them exactly how they want and they send them out to an engineer. There's a few reasons why that's good. One reason is that you're sending it to someone who's only does mastering. They are mastering ninja. Someone who's really focused, really tuned in to what makes a good master. That's important. Another reason is they have the right tools. The tools that someone uses to master are different than what they used to produce different software, even some different hardware. Another reason is that it's really good just to have another pair of ears on your music. You know, they might hear something that you don't. There might be something in the mix that well actually there might be something missing from the mix and you don't even realize it's missing because it was there at 1 and maybe you took, took it out and kind of subconsciously you're still sort of kind of hearing it. That happens actually more than you would think. So it's really good to have someone else master it who can really have a fresh set of ears, has the right tools, the right equipment. However, it's not entirely the cheapest thing you'll ever do. A good mastering engineer can be quite expensive. And I know someone's probably gonna ask me, what does it cost to have your stuff mastered? I'm trying to remember. I would say is somewhere depending on the project, somewhere between a $100 a track and a $100 an hour or so. If it's per track, that's generally better because they're going to spend at least an hour or two on each track. So you can get there's a wide range of people that would do it, but I would say probably at least a 100 and our and each track is going to take probably two or three hours. And that's for someone probably, I'm guessing like mid road, not like a super expensive one and not a super cheap on either. 57. Using a Rack Preset: Okay, So you're thinking, that's cool. I don't have money. So I'm not going to do that. There is another way. This isn't as good, but there's kind of a quick and dirty way that you can get close and close this and go back to able to him and then make a whole new section. So it's loading my default session. I just want an audio track. So I'm just gonna make a new audio track at the bottom. I'm going to load in my master. So here is my bounced session. That's what it sounds like right out of the gate. Cool. So here's some quick mastering that you can do. If you're enabled him, go to audio effects rack. Open that up, go to mixing and mastering. These are going to be some kinda preset mastering plug-ins. Okay, so aggressive dance master. I'm gonna throw that right, honest, this is going to do a whole bunch of stuff, right? Let's look at what it's actually doing. So it's going to EQ it, roll out some of the real low-end boost, some of the high. It's going to add a compressor saturated and a limiter. So a lot of volume adjustment, a little bit of EQ. So let's hear this. Let's jump right to the beat. So that's about the mastering. Okay. And you're like, oh, I just kinda got louder. Yeah, but I did it in a pretty smart way. And there was some dequeuing happening there too. There's some other settings here that we could use. Let's get rid of this one and let's look at punchy dance master. Let's try that. Let's look at what's in it. Just an EQ, a compressor and a limiter. As widened warm master actually. See here we have an EQ really boosting the kind of upper mids compressor. And not much happening here. But it's giving it an extra little shine. It's making sure no frequencies are really out of control. So all of these you can really throw, you know, right on there and just get a decent sound right off the bat. It's a parallel punch master that'll probably somebody and you can find 200 if you want. But these reality, the gate are actually really great ways to just do a quick and dirty mastering job. I hesitate to even call it a mastering jogs. It's not really mastering job, but it'll get any frequencies that are going weird out of control, do a little compression and kinda get everything in the right ballpark. So it's not bad for a quick fix. 58. "Printing" the Master: Okay, The last step in this whole long process. So once you're done with the mastering, what we're gonna do is actually render it out again. If you're gonna go to Export, Let's take a quick peek at our export settings. We could turn normalize on if we want, but if this is a mastered file, we don't want that on. I'm sampling rate 441, that's fine. We could leave it at 48 half-lives, which is the wave. Maybe there's ring. I don't need an MP3, I don't need to send it to SoundCloud right now. There's no video. Okay, so I'm going to export it. And this is actually can have a funny name. We've made the track, we've mixed it, we've mastered it, and now we're exporting our master. We would often call this printing. It's kinda weird. But this is the, this is printing the final track. It's like sending it to the printer. It's done. No more changes. So we're going to print this and say dark and creepy. Final. Okay, so now it's printed, done. We can no longer mess with it. Even though I'm going to continue to mess with it because I'm kind of into this track that I made in this weird little glass. And I think I'll probably keep playing with it. Maybe, maybe it'll find its way into this project. We'll see. 59. What Comes Next?: All right, that gets us to the end of this rather long class. What comes next? What should you do next? If you're not super up to speed on Ableton, I would recommend taking some classes. You might consider taking some music theory classes if you want to get into some of the ideas of harmony that I was playing around with in my initial little improvisation. Why I picked the notes I did, if that kind of stumped you, music theory for electronic musicians would be great. But any music theory class would be really good. And if you want to get more into mixing, mixing classes would be really good too, because you can check those out. Okay, one more video and then we're done. 60. Bonus Lecture: Hey everyone, want to learn more about what I'm up to you. You can sign up for my e-mail list here. And if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also, check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me. And one of those two places are or both? And we'll see you there.