So, my latest Drumfunk track is coming together nicely - but, I always find I struggle with the ‘form’ of the song/tune. I’m happy with an intro of ‘X’ bars - introducing different elements to build up the beat or ‘picture’.
Then, once it’s hit I aim for a motif or riff element to keep the listener engaged, which can either be added to or kept sparse if I want the drums and bass to take centre stage.
Cue a drop, take elements out, introduce something new to keep a tune fresh - atmospherics - bam! Beats back in again - tying back to original motif.
I listen to a lot of tunes I like to get an idea of form and function/s on a track (thanks Photek) but just wondering what tools / templates or just making notes of song markers in the pattern area on the Renoise ‘Edit’ tab.
So, certainly be interested - how do you guys structure your tracks???
Sometimes base my composition on music in a similar genre, though I do occasionally introduce an unexpected change. The last few things I had worked on borrowed more from classical composition. Each sound being a character that introduces itself and converses with other characters, no hook or main melody, sometimes just a build up to a crescendo. Mostly though, I have no set format. I like to experiment and see where it takes me. I may start with a beat, a hook or melody or just an atmosphere. Sometimes I work with a mood and in a weird way, the structure and sound gets pushed to the background. So long as I am representing that mood, I am not concerned with how it is achieved so to speak. I have also worked similarly to how you describe and sometimes I like to add a half speed tempo change in the middle to three quarters of the track, just to break it up. As I have yet to discover the limits of my experimentation (which I hope I never do), I will continue to work in a varied manner.
oh and I do use markers to indicate obvious changes in a track (intro, outro etc). I definitely find that useful.
I try to keep everything tidy, especially in the instruments, using drumkits so i have a group of similar samples within one inst rather than all seperate instruments. Otherwise it just slows me down selecting and finding stuff. Easy to have loads of samples on one keys, obviously it is more for one shot sounds. I like renoise in the way you can have one drumkit of sounds and just quickly assign them to different tracks thus getting their own mix channel.
Markers, clear ones, make use of the sequencer highlighted blocks etc, in the mixer, moving channels to groups is good, for processing and also to see everything easier.
my pattern blocks are quite small, usually 1 bar, 16 lines. So i work in 16ths. Keeping everything in nice bold colours etc
For arranging, i find atmosphere very important, and usually increasing intensity throughout the track.
Btw curious to hear more of your drumfunk track photek is indeed a great artist to be inspired by