Music theory is not so bad as long as you have a chart in front of you while doing electronic / computer music.
You dont have to have it memorized but I think its good to know what key your bass drum sample fits with and work in a key which compliments the bass drum. But breaking away from the 'rules' of the scale your working in can sound cool and bring in an evil or mysterious feeling. Even music theory in the sense of how you have your LFOs set up, are they strictly in time and on beat or do they drift and go out of time while still sounding cool..that kind of stuff.
Also knowing what scales have each certain feeling. Radian was explaining phrygian dominant to me while back. That is a cool scale. Its always going to sound quite metal, quite evil but mysterious.
The pentatonic scales always sound quite 'zen', like a japanese garden or a 'spirit forest' or something.
Game music designers must rely on that kind of knowledge of the 'feelings' of scales when they get their brief. How do you write a piece for 'kirby in dreamland' vs 'resident evil'?..there is pressure and they will be expected to write quickly too. So not much time for really feeling out a song by trial and error or writing by ear.
Also, if an electronic musician can play the keyboard live and knows all the fingerings for scales and chords, they can write a piece of music 20 times faster than someone who only step sequences.
I'd say music theory is important in the sense that it will save a lot of time in writing apiece start to finish.
One thing I really would like to know more about is song structure.
How to make an arrangement that builds properly, drops properly, has breakdowns in the right places, scratching in the right place, vocal samples at the right time. How should the drum sound grow and become more and more layered and powerful. Where to keep it simple, where to include big harmonies. Thinking about how people would move to it.
Edited by lettuce, 16 February 2018 - 20:12.