Trap Music Production: Drums, Baselines, and Melodies | K Theory Music | Skillshare

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Trap Music Production: Drums, Baselines, and Melodies

teacher avatar K Theory Music, DJs / Producers

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Templates and Samples


    • 3.



    • 4.

      808s - Part 1


    • 5.

      808s - Part 2


    • 6.

      Hook and Melodies - Part 1


    • 7.

      Hook and Melodies - Part 2


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About This Class

Trap music is dominating festivals everywhere, and in this new class with DJ/producer duo K Theory, you'll learn how to build trap beats of your own. From drums and basslines to hooks and melodies, this class provides the structure for professional sounding and subwoofer-rattling tracks. You'll get K Theory's take on:

  • Templates and Samples - organizing your program for efficient and effective beat making
  • Percussion - understanding go-to drum patterns
  • 808s - designing 808 patterns to make your track boom
  • Hooks and Melodies - creating chord progressions and using synths

At the end of the class you'll create an 8-bar loop that will provide the building blocks for full song. In a follow up class K Theory will teach you the art of composition and arrangement.  

It is recommended that you have a basic understanding of digital music production (any digital audio workstation will suffice) to fully utilize the lessons in this class. 

Meet Your Teacher

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K Theory Music

DJs / Producers


Imagine all the genres of music as the stars in the universe & then those stars collapsing into a giant ball of musical matter and then being reborn into Electronic Hip Hop, that is K Theory...

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1. Introduction: We are K Theory. My name is Dustin. I'm Dylan. Today, we're going to be going over some of our processes and how we make trap music. We're going to start with the fundamentals in making a trap beat and by the time you're done with this session, you'll be able to walk out with your own little demo. Trap music for me is definitely the heart and soul of hip hop. Trap music is hard-hitting 808s with massively side-chained and compressed snare drums, and big builds, and huge synths, and just the long lasting note of a sub just like rumbling your gut. Today, we're going to be taking you through how to make a full trappy from your drums, to your bass line, to your melody, to your hooks, to your arrangements, to your effects. I mean we're literally going to cover the whole process, so that you can show your friends that you make your own track, and you can do whatever you want with it. You can get a rapper, you could sing on air, or just jam it as an instrumental. We're going to be breaking today's class into two sections. You'll have the meat of the track down with your melodies, and your bass line, and your drums. The second class will get to dial then with the mix down, and the effects, and perfect the arrangement, be able to show you guys how to get there to that polished level that we're going to take it there. 2. Templates and Samples: So, today we're producing in Reason, and we are going to go over our brand new template that we've developed for our 808 hip-hop production and trap music. When you come to the start window here, we have this nice color-coded SSL mixer, with all of our different sections of the track already color-coded, and a pretty beefy rack, if you're checking this out here. Then, the arrangement window. Justin's going to break down the specific parts and why it's important to be able to have this template and how it's going to help you become a more efficient producer. In this template, it's pretty much set up to get you ready to start making trap music right away, and this is how you would set it up. If you go right here, File, if you go Show Template Folder, you would put your template in here. Then, when you wanted to open up a new session, you would just knew it from template. If you're feeling like trap mood, then it would be in here. Then, you would just pick it, and it would open it up like this. That's how we would get here. Then, you can do that every time. So, all the setup that we just did, those hours of setup, cut out. So you've more time to be creative. You have your own individual sections for vocals, color-coded yellow. Builds and fills are color-coded in kind of a moss green. We have our drums here in a form of forest green and then baselines in red. We've got some Leads, Melodic and Harps sections, Pads and Textures section. A lot of these sections might seem like they overlap, but the fact that they're separated, it gives you a lot more control with audio tracks on each different channel. Then, we come down to our effects. We have some sample section. Then, we get into our final texture affects that we'd be using for rises, and drops, and sweeps. Being able to see all of this visually, we know what instruments we're working with already. You know you can create right away, you don't have to worry about sequencing your whole template from scratch. So it really allows you to just get in the creative workflow, which I think is really cool because as a beginning producer, I find myself getting lost in just where to go first. This allows you just to walk right away. Eventually, with the full arrangement, you can see your sections color-coded, so there really is no question about what's going in the track. Yeah. You get so attuned to looking at what is what and you just know what it is. So, I can just build my song. I also have some drums preloaded in that are already pre-mixed. So, if I didn't like this snare, I can change for new snare. But the mixing adjustments are going to be so small because I already kind of dialed in. So I don't have to waste as much time mixing it, and it just gets a faster, cleaner signal, and I even have a little pattern to start me out. Nice. So this is our sample pack. This is a sample pack that contains some of my favorite samples I've heard, and samples that I really enjoy, and samples I made. So it's kind of like a super pack, so it's like a shorter sample pack. Because if you have a lot of sample packs, you might just spend an hour going like, listening to each snare 100 times. You've done it, I've done it. I think that's probably one of the biggest parts of it, is being organized, just because you get these packs and they just have thousands and thousands of sounds on them. Well, where do you really go? It's true. Yeah. Overwhelming, you download all these syncs. And I think it's really taught us that, I guess, the lighter you roll, the better you know your stuff. Absolutely. It's going to allow you to be more familiar, get all the good stuff. Just get all the good stuff. You only want gold. What I want to show you now is how, if you are using this template, this is a nice snare. But, say, it's not the kind of style of snare that you really want to be hearing in your beat. You go into the template, and let's, maybe you want a more of a hybrid sound. I just dragged it in there, I didn't change any of the mixing. I'm going to play. This kind of gets in the way, let's just mute this for now. But, you know what? It still sounds kind of mixed. Maybe it's a little loud because it has more substance. So we'll just turn it down a bit. So the template doesn't take away everything. But do you see how simple that was? That's the only mix you want to do, and I could do the same thing for the kick. As you can see, when you have a template, it's super easy to get creating right away. I'm going to turn it down a little bit. And I feel like right now we could just hop in the beat. 3. Drums: All right. Now, it's time to get into the drums. We're going to get a little pattern going here and go over all the theory behind what we're doing here in the drums for your trap beat. So, we're going to clear out the red-drum here, which is our drum machine that we're using inside of reason. I'm going to start fresh here, and I will just get rid of our samples, so we can build our new session. Keep our mixing with our template, and what do you think is like the most important thing about track kick pattern? What do you notice it being like? Okay. So, there is a terminology for that and it's the track is all based off there is some B called two-step. I'm going to break down two-step for you in its most basic form and from that, you can evolve more elaborate syncopated beats. So, we're going to go to- What's syncopation? Syncopation. Okay. So, syncopation is like the opposite of like capasion, I don't know the proper Latin word. But it's essentially this is not syncopated, it's like feeling like dun, dun, dun. Syncopated would be. I'm more flow to it. see how it's like, it's not like dun, dun, dun, dun. It going like, it's like a weirder. That's what syncopation means. It's like weirder. The easiest way to make a two-step beat, is to just first have your kick. So this is straight, and to make it two-step is you move this so it's, and that kind of comes from like drum and bass in a way because a faster beats like boom bap, boom bap, boom bap but slower it's boom bap, boom bap. This is how you get your beats. You would, you just get it two-step. You now know how to make it two-step and from it, you can kind of play with it. So what happens if I move this over here. Then I have a difference. Okay. What if I, we're going to go like this and maybe if I add another one right here, like what would that sound like? Kind of cool, although I probably wouldn't have a kick here because it's kind of, it's almost sounds like it's not going to be a two-step because you want your kick to be like over here. So, I could maybe push it away from like the one. So, and see how it's very easy to like get to this type of trappy hip-hop be it from basing it off the two-step. And then I might add another one here just to do like a double and see if that add would affect the rhythm. That's kind of cool. Right. Would have an eye to catch us in? Yes. And then maybe take this velocity down. What is velocity? So we can explain that to the user. Velocity changes the volume, and the reason why you do that is if you are playing it on here, depending on how hard you hit it, it's going to be louder. So it kind of gives it more of an analog feel because that's how things are in real life. If I really hit this hard it's going to be louder. So, velocity is trying to mimic that and you can kind of play with it with the mouse over here. You don't have to use on the keyboard. It mimics the inflections that you will get from a real drummer. And I think what's important about velocity too is, it allows you to create different tension point in your drums. When you're doing your high hards, you can alternate your velocities to create a different feel for the kick and you can see it has a different dimension to it when you make a lower volume in between the regular volume kicks. We, should we do this trick, we will go like this. Now, I can just edit this a bit. So, what I did is, the original one that was here, these, I just duplicate it, moved it forward and deleted that and now I have four of our loop now. And would you say the main reason for doing that is so we have variation and it adds me more flow to the beats. Yes. It's kind of like, it's a lot like speaking a language. Music is kind of like, I mean it's cliche and happy as it sounds, music is a language and this is like a sentence. And there's some phrases you know, how like when I talk we end on a lower note and all this stuff, we don't even think about it because it's so natural to human behavior like linguistic. But like the normal person isn't thinking about auditor pitch down, so we all know I'm finished. We just do it. But you do that in music too. See how they kind of- I like it. A little slang twist to the end there to give the beat a different feel. Yes. Then, I will go like this and then right here and then. I want like a build up scenario like a Phil snare. So, I'm about the make a Phil. And Phil are really important for phrasing on the drum beat. It allows it to go into new sections pretty seamlessly, and not sort of have this just driving monotonous same be going through. I think it creates good tension and release points in your arrangement. Right now we're going to continue building our chorus drum loop with the Phil, we've added a new snare here to give some final dimension to the end of the loop. So we can have a fluid eight bar, loop for our chorus section. The chorus section is going to be the most high energy section of the drums in the whole entire track, and we can essentially use the chorus section and deconstruct it to be able to have our verse section, bridge section and any additional sections we need to go. So, as soon as we get this dial again, we're going to be a lot closer to finishing our beat here. Phil section traditionally is going to happen on the last bar or the last half bar of any major phrase to create a good transition for the next section. So right here we're working on the last bar of the A-bar section. And I'm just, there's a there's a certain feel that like always works. I think it's dun, dun, dun. dun, dun. Yeah. That's it. So, this is like a go to feel that you can always use in your trap tracks. An action is a little bit longer. So, we're actually going to extend this field into the seven bars. Two bars. So, now we two bar full transition in the section here. And it should be because like the courses is like the biggest section. We are using a syncopated rhythm, eighth nodes with our secondary snare for our Phil here. You should memorize this pattern because this pattern will save your life. [inaudible] Yeah. So that pattern will save your life. I need to get on it. You need to get on it. So we get on it together. As much as we are taking it together too. The prom [inaudible]. Right now we're going to add the high hats to our chorus groove and when I attended on this in a lot of hip hop production is a variety choices of 30 seconds, sixteenth and eighth notes for the high hats, and using spacings. So we're going to show you how to utilize all three of those things in our chorus groove. Way I like two high hats. If you don't know what a high hat is, high hat is a symbol on your drum kit. It's based on the symbol, that's like right here, it's two symbols. So, there is a symbol that has like a top part and the lower part. And they kind of clamp together and you hit the pedal, they open, when you close the pedal, they close. So, that's why you hear open high hat, close high hat, opens like a tsiiii closes like a tsi. So now we're using a closed high hat. But electronic high hat made with white noise. So it sounds trappy. So, a combination of eighth notes, sixteenth notes and 30 second notes, sometimes you got triplets. And where would you recommend giving space for the high hats in your drums? Where would you use that? I would challenge the tension point. On the snare. On the snare. On the snare for sure. I like that. The snare is so big. It has much to rerun it anyway. Yes. So, I would join up a high hat, and make them anyway from 30 seconds there. This is something that's kind of cool to do. I've noticed when I listen to trap music. I started listening to like old school trap music that he used to listen to because I wanted to sort of get into the vibe of the hats. That's something that I'll do. That sounds good in EDM style trap, it's and be like. But then let's bring this up here so it's this. So essentially, I'm making eighth notes with these little 30 second notes. It's nice. And to get good at this kind of higher production kind of like just takes practice. Yes. I've been experimenting it doing random things lately just trying to find new loops. You've got to listen, you've got to learn, you've got to teach yourself how to analytically listen to music. And that's a whole skill in itself. We're going to see how good it sounds. And we use all three of our patterns for the high hats, you could hear the different lyrics in variation. Let's listen to this one more time. That's kind of cool. Right. Yes, that sounded real good. I think now you've got this chorus loop. We can do almost anything we need to with the song, with this loop and we can move onto the heart of trap music with the 808 and show you guys how we get those done. Nice. 4. 808s - Part 1: I'm going to talk to you about 808s. A lot of people nowadays, because of the rise of trap and EDM fusion, when they hear the word 808 they think it just means the kick bass sound, the boom, but it's actually a reference to the machine where that drum sound comes from, because you have 808 snares and 808 hats. Actually, this crash right here, that's a classic 808 crash, which is why they call it the 808 crash. 808 drum machine was made in the 70s by Roland and they actually didn't take on popularity at first. They were not heavily utilized in pop production or anything like that. So ironically, these weren't popular, but these are the staples of what we now experience in electronic music. So, now we're here and we're in hip hop in 2016, and we're still using the same stuff that no one thought was cool at first Yeah, but it's cool. Now, these aren't directly from the source, they're a little bit modified and saturated to be competitive. So, what we have here in our assemble pack, different 808s samples, audio that's been rendered out in different keys, which we're going to use here with the NN-19 digital sampler. So, depending on what key we're in, but I'm thinking E might be the one. Yeah. I like that one. That one is sick. You can just drag and drop it onto your sampler. Then, what I'm going to do, I'm going to be tricky right here. Right click, edit sample. I'm going to make this bigger because we have HD now. So, let's play it. So, we set this to E. That's the root key. So, make sure you set that up in your software or whatever you're using so, it doesn't trick itself and think it's in the wrong root key, which will be our starting note for our songs. So, I guess now we're going to be in E for the whole song. The way the sampler works and most samplers work this way too, is you want your root to match the root of the sampler. Well, what would happen if you didn't have it? If you didn't, you would play the note C on your keyboard, but the note coming in the output would not be C. It would be like E or something like that. Or whatever the key in your sampler is. You just don't want that. You'll be in some random key and you don't know where you're at. So, this is what the 808 looks like and if I wanted to edit it, I could do some fades here, but I like how is. Your 808 is your kick drum essentially. So, I'm just going to drag this down here and just do some subtractive deleting. Here's a cool trick, I clicked on this section right here, and I'll get to press Z, and it just zooms you right into your area. Pretty cool. So, I know what my 808s are, they're all these things right here. So, I'm going to delete this because I just drag the midi from the drums to the bass line section. The bottom mini notes are always going to be the kick on the way we set the sampler up. Yeah, but I'm not going to use these. They've got to go. So, what I will do because of that decay, is I'll go- I need to be in eight notes right now. I guess, because we're so spoiled by the ease of the template, this process may seem tedious. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. You don't want it to be easy. I'm just making them fill the spaces so there's no gaps because that's how long the 808 is going to play. My release is so low that when the midi note is not playing, it's going to stop and actually that's going to come in really handy right here because this is where my- so, I don't want this to go there. So, it's going to be- Every midi note for the 808 matches the kick because the kick acts as the top layer for the 808 sub section. So, as you can see with our many information here it exactly mimics the drum pattern that we had up there. We have to move it up a bit, so it's in the right register on the scale here. Do you want to do a F-sharp or E? E. E, just keep it like that? Keep it to E, yes. Now we got the drums and the bass for our 808 track beat. 5. 808s - Part 2: Should we spice it up more though or- I think we might want to spice it up because right now we've got a cool sounding 808, we've got our chorus drum group. But we can take it to the next level by adding a baseline layer, that mimics the same notes and adds a little more harmonic texture to the sound. Yeah, and we can also maybe do some octave changes on this. Definitely. If you listen to other old school hip hop beats, they do this a lot and it just become a really nice tried and true trend to add variety to your beat. All right, are you ready? Similar to what we were doing with the high-hats in the field section. There we go, so, we've just moved up the e note, up one octave and added a kick to help back it up. I could even go like this and you see how creative this is getting right now? Stuff like this will happen, you'll get inspired to change your beats, so, your beat's going to keep growing. So, it's not going to be the same every time, which is nice. To add more texture and warmth to the 808, we're going to layer it with this synthesizer, the thore. I'm going to do a little bit of sound design, simple sound design to teach you how to get a good sound. But because we're having multiple instruments, I'm sending both of these to a bus channel. So, they're getting mixed on here and the reason why that's good, because the kick, those little meters that are happening right here and here, is side chain information coming from the kick and the snare. By using this bus I have control of all my baseline so they're all compressed, and cued equally and they have a uniformity to them. So, that's why you should do bus mixing, you do a bus mixing for everything, your drum should have a bus mix, your vocal should have a bus mix, your leads, your melodies and your effects or whatever groups that you're comfortable with, you should always do bus mixing. Essentially aside from having your volume control, you're able to do side chain compression. If I would use my hands visually, so say this is the kick drum and this is the bass, the side chain will make it so whenever the kick happens, the bass goes under it so it's lower in volume, so that you have more clarity, you're hearing your kick and then when your kick goes away, it's like the bass is back. So, your kick would be like boom boom and it just does that relationship, it's almost like it's breathing. And if you are using a bus, you can have that kick come in and side chain the entire bus, so, every baseline you make, you don't just have to run all the side chains to just every single base, you can just do it for the entire group equally together. It's very uniformed and you should do that for your melodies too and other groups. Yeah, it's essential to the whole track and you'll notice, especially on electronic production, how paramount side chaining is. It means you don't have to have your drums as loud because they're making space. The template, it's nice because it's already pre-side chain, so you just come in here and just design your 808. What are you looking for in a baseline layer, if you already have your sub and you have your kick. What's really going to help bring it out? Frequencies above 200 and something that's not too high so it doesn't sound like it's like a lead on top of it, you want the sound like it goes with the bass. So, I'm going to take the octave down to where the bass is, let's see what it- okay, I think it's definitely one. I'm going to use this multi oscillator and what that, it's essentially a bunch of synths being de-tuned and panned. I'm going to use the oscillator 2 to layer it with another one but I'm going to use this band passed one, which this sounds like by itself is- When you want to activate one of the layers that you're using in your oscillators, you should just click one of these- Yeah, yeah you click those. -three. So I can hear it solo. Now I am going to layer them on top of each other, kind of a cool sound. So I think here is a fussy harmonic that will give just more dimension to the 808, more characteristic and this is essentially an area where you can customize your sound like we talked about earlier and having your own sound and being able to develop that. That will be a characteristic for your 808s that will be unique to you. So, we tend to use a signature sound for this, to be able to add the quality that we want with our 808s. This EQ is good, it's a good EQ but it's not transparent. So, transparent is like you're doing something and you don't know it, so essentially what I'm doing is I'm cutting out frequencies, but you don't really hear it. I mean you can hear it but it's not noticeable and that's what transparent is, if you want to do transparent, because you don't want it to sound like you're taking out the low end but you want the low end out because it makes the track muddy. So, you want people to think every track is just like forty, like loud but it's really not. So, that's why we're using this transparent EQ, the reason why we want to cut the low end, is because the 808 is full of low ends and it already has low end and we don't want to clash with it, because then it's going to mess up our mix and we won't have the correct peaks for a good master. So, with our drum mix and our bass mix, we have our 808 sitting around 50 hertz, our 808 layer above the 200 hertz range, the kick to that about 100 hertz and it snares around 200 hertz. So, everything has its own sort of way that it's weaved into the frequency here to have its own space and to be able to shine. That's very important when you have too much in your low end, you're going to get muddy and we've essentially isolated each part so it has its own arial, as they work cohesively together at the same time, I'm going to introduce to you to that. You noticed why did that, I messed with my mouth a bit, I know that looks really weird but okay this is going to sound weird but just bear with me on this. When I'm messing with the filter, because I'm trying to find a sound and I'm using my mouth because the filter is essentially a mouth, that's the best way to think about it and it sounds silly but that's what it is. If you think about how your mouth does certain sounds like those sounds, if you can kind of figure that out, you can figure how close it is, this is like aaah and this is like wooo. So, if you're trying to figure out a sound like, I want to sort of like pow sounds, so, I am thinking what is a pow, it's like a slowly moving, it's like a closed in mouth. So by playing with this frequency knob, the amount that it sends to the envelope, I can control the decay, which is just slowly turning this over a period of 1.79 seconds. Now this sounds all really technical and it is, but it's actually a lot easier to learn than it sounds, all you have to do is just play with it and just figure out how to get the sound for it. What's easy about it is, it has four different parts, you have the attack, how fast or slow your sound is- Comes in. -comes in, to the full volume, your decay when it starts to decline in its volume, you sustain how long it will hold. Yeah. And. The release. The release. How long it goes after you've released the key. So, you got four simple parts that. You just memorize that and then you know it for the filter envelope, for the amp envelope, you just go like envelope, I know the four envelopes. It really is like breathing them because if you had your mouth open, you wouldn't make any much more sound than you just breathing. So, if you had a completely just factory set filter, you wouldn't really affect anything. So, I use this specific setting because it lands with the 808 and it almost makes it sound like they're one and the same sound. So, without it and with it? I like that better and that's why we had new layer, it really takes the character of your 808 up a notch, to really give it a different feel than it just high with the standard sabby, sabby feel. Let's get those higher than there. All right, as you guys can see, we now have pretty much. The groove. The groove for the chorus, without the melodies and we're going to go into our hooks section right now, develop it out and get our chord progression and so get it ready for its final arrangement here. 6. Hook and Melodies - Part 1: So, now that we have our drum, chorus loop, and our base 808 layer and our baseline layer, we're about to get into our melodies here. We'll just bum that beat real quick. All right. So, you guys can see we've got the fundamentals to creating the rest of our song here with our drums, and our 808's locked in. But first, I want to give a little rundown on what we're doing, what key we're in here, and how melodic parts can help embellish the song. So, you have two main keys that a lot of modern music is made in, and that's major and minor. Today, we're working in E minor, so the signature aspects of E minor are half steps which means that's second and third note, and the fifth and sixth note. So, if we are to come over here and look at E minor, our scale would be in a half-step, is just the spacing between an individual note. So, you have a one there as a half-step and a whole step would be skipping a note in between, so you have one to there. For our specific scale, our root note is E for E minor. So, E would be our first note, F-sharp would be our second note, G would be our third note, as you noticed there's the half step, A would be our fourth note, B would be our fifth note. Again, we are going to experience another half step here to C, and then we go to the seventh note which is D, and then back to the root which is E. So, our scale is an E minor today. Major is very similar scale except you'll notice half steps between the third and the fourth note, and the seven and the one are returning to the root instead of on the second and the third and the five and the six. So once you know those patterns, for those things, you'll know your scales, and you'll have two different scales to work in. Scales and minor being darker or less happy and you tend to notice- Moody. Moody, yeah. You tend to notice that major scales and major chords are going to add a lot more poppy, happy feel. But today, we're working in minor, so we're going to get moody. Dustin's prepared some samples for us today, a melodic loop that he made. So, we're going to use this loop right here. That loop is a vocal sound like this vocal texture and it was processed with this tool in Reason called the Alligator. I'll show you how the Alligator works. The Alligator is this tool, and see these flashing dots? If I mess with this, this is the eighth triplet, 16th, I can control the filter and what you're hearing is the filter going up and down through this LFO, and you have attack, decay, and you can just dial it in, and so I dialed my melody in. This specific technique is called gating, and there's a lot of cool sense for that, but in Reason, we use the Alligator. The Alligator. Yeah. This is 16 bars, I could just go like this easily and extend that loop. So now, we have a full phrase and it's in C-sharp minor, we want to be an E, so we're going to go up three half steps. C-sharp, one, two- Then three. -and three, and we're in E minor. Then on your transpose window, on the top of your screen- Right there. I just did three. -it should go up three half steps. Just to clarify, there are 12 half steps in a full scale, and that's how you can reference where you're at by just using your step sequencing here. You can really see how much character that adds to the song and we really want to encourage you guys to make your own melodies and experiment with your own synthesizers. We're going to go over some lean melodies in a bit, but first, we want to dial in the chord progression which will essentially guide the rest of our melodic structure for the track. We're going to start off with some strings here. We're working with the Ideate, so as the Stock instrument and Reason. They're pretty good for a quick strings and they sound all right. Yeah, they have orchestral, smaller section, choir section, so you have little options in there and we're going to start off with the orchestral sound. I'm going to start playing around here on the strings and see what we can come up with and see what sounds good. So, because this is a long loop here, we've got 17 bar loop, so we've just changed our chorus. We might want to do two bar chords. Then we can just copy and paste. Dabble and paste in that way. Instead of doing, traditionally we might do one bar chord, which is a a bar is four beats or four quarter notes, we're going to do two bar chords so we can have four repeating sections here, and our root key is an E minor. So, let's see what we got. Yeah, I have [inaudible] like an E. All right, that sound good there, and I'm going to do a chord progression of one, five, seven, six. Some of you might be thinking like, "What does that mean?" Well, every chord also represents the same note on the scale. So we said we have a seven note scale and each note in the scale will represent the chord. So, if you're doing fancy music lingo of people you can reference the chord, either by its letter number or its number. Yeah. So, it's letter or it's number. Right now, I have two bar length chords and that's going to cover our whole section here for the first eight bars, you can hear the strings here. All right. So that sounds good, but I think it might be better to do three note chords just to embellish it a little bit and bring it to the next level. Let's show them how to do it. So, the first chord in, when we're building a chord and we're doing a three note chord, you're going to follow essentially just the first chord in the scale which would be one, three, five. It's called the triad, by the way. Essentially, we have our first chord here. So they go in order, they go in one, three, five, five, seven, two. It goes in this revolving clocker, two, four, six. As you're counting, you notice the pattern three, five, seven, four, six, one and it rotates like that. So, the chords we have chosen today are one, five, seven and six, so we have our first chord here. I'm going to do something a little bit fancy and do an inversion which would be put placing the third note, an octave down, so it's closer with the other five that I have in my chord progression here and it just has better voice leading which is the way the notes connect to each other. For my second chord, I'm going to do five, seven, two, and for my third chord, it's a seven, so that would pattern will be seven, two and four. I'll probably just do my four up here. [inaudible] it. [inaudible]. Yeah. Let's just try and see what it looks like. Switch on inversion here and see. Yeah. The final quarter will be six and that will be six, one and three. That's how we got there. As you can see, now we have four chords here that are two bars linked each, and this is what it sounds like. I'm going to extend that chord progression here for a full 16 bars over here. 7. Hook and Melodies - Part 2: Now that we've got that, I think it might be time to get maybe a top-line lead for, where do you think we take this? I'm thinking of doing an arpeggio. An arpeggio. An arpeggio is essentially chords like these, but instead of playing long notes, you'd be playing them broken, separately. So, it goes this note, this note, this note, so it's. There's a couple of ways of making an arpeggio, you can do it manually, or I can show you a trick. Because Dylan spent work making this beautiful chord progression with voice leading, I can actually make an arpeggio with that by using, so we go like this, no it's in utilities,. Monophonic arpeggio. Is it connected? Yes, It's connected. Okay. There we go. Okay. You press K to hide and show the cables. I couldn't tell if it was connected, but it is. So, I'm going to solo this and just play. So, this is really cool, because I just turn his chord, I just dragged his chord MIDIs onto this RPG- 8 track. So, it's a- I have control, I can make this more bigger. Do stuff like that, like the more kind of flume sounds, like. All right, I want to do a slower one, like that you think. Then, I can kind of change the pattern right here. So, what exactly, what exact notes are being played when you're doing this. So, I'm going to right-click on it, arpeggio notes the track. Okay. So, what that did is it created this track. Okay. I'm going to drag this over to here, and we're going to mute this right now. I will open this, and so, if you can see that here's the chord, and here's the octave it made. It is essentially just doing this note, this note, this note, this note, this note. It's playing the chord, but it's broken. So, they're not playing at the same time. So, it's playing these notes in a different pattern. Yeah. And going up the scale? Yeah. I control over that by messing with these settings. So, you can make your own custom arpeggio. Up, down. Now that I have an arpeggio, I'm just going to delete this, because I don't need it anymore, and I'm going to start the sound design with this. It would be a good sound. I know. Something kind of plucky, right? belly. Bell sound could be good. So, I like the way the tables for bells. Then we'll do some shaping with the attack decay release. We'll have maybe a little mix release, so it sounds like it's like a bell ringing it out. Also known as an envelope which we mentioned earlier. A little chorus, delay, I think so, I don't think it delayed. Pick out some low end. Then, the kind of effects do we have already on here. This template came with some effects that we kept, because it's good to have effects that are template. Should we see how it sounds with the rest of the track? I think so. So we start mixing. I think what would really put us over the edge is a nice like [inaudible] classic hip-hop, longer notes though. Like West Coast. West Coast, yeah. Like little Dr Dre throwback. From what I've noticed, using the West Coast Synth, it has a really cool impact, when you use the tension point between the five and the six. So, I start with the root note, and then I move to the sixth then to the five. Something that was really special about this harmonically, a specific track, we chose to go one, six, five. That's the starting point of our melody. So, we're going to clean up the rest of it here. So, we can make sure there's no overlapping notes that are causing some weird tension, and see if we need to adjust anything else that, to the end part of the melody. I think this would be sort of a fundamental layer to the melodic friction. Nice. I think we should also stick into our theme of labeling, and doing everything correct, we're going to add and label here at the top of the screen, we use the pencil tool, and we can just. Oh the intro. Drop that, but this will be our chorus groove. Okay yeah. Our main groove that we're currently building. So, now that we have this, we have our strings, we have our Bell Apr which we did earlier. This is going to be our, probably our fattest section. You'll have the most instruments, we've got our lead there, we've got our strings, and our lead line, and then. That's the melodies right now. I think we got a lot of good melodies. Do we want to add another layer for the chords? Do you want to do add anything else? Yeah. I really want like a big snare hit. Now that we've built this chorus loop, it provides us everything that we need to make a full song. We've got our drums, we've got our base, we've got our melodies, and we got our chords. So, tune in for the next class, and we're about to turn this bad boy into a full song.