Composing & Arranging: Hatching Ideas & Songwriting


Ableton Tips and Tricks


Lesson Info

Composing & Arranging: Hatching Ideas & Songwriting

Basically I might try some different combinations of of this stuff um my strip this one down duplicated on strip strip out these down beats so another thing you can do is a llegado which will uh it'll actually force all of these notes tio so in conclude a variation like that so I'm going to duplicate that and I'm going tio so actually just triggered some drum loops already existing if you already got that stuff this is a good time to start experimenting and uh I think I would just start trying different combinations of things and I would probably develop some more clip ideas first before until I find something I really liking and at that point as soon as there's something good you want to go toe arrangement and start working so basically discover new combinations and variations of of these different parts that you're experimenting with and once you get a couple solid ideas it's time to move on to arrangement okay, now let's see what we talked about sea launch a little bit where we're t...

riggering a few things at the same time so I'm gonna slide these clips down a little bit and the sea launches the launch over at this side and basically it triggers everything in that lane so you can trigger you know, multiple scenes at the same time and you can launch also launched these independently so whenever you want to experiment with these different clips you can try out different combinations uh so another thing you can do is you can change the qan ization of these clips independently from the sequence there so say I want tio experiment with doing like a little um like a drum fill I can I can actually uh make a one bar loop we owe on that I could jump outside of that now if I can before the end of that phrase so if I want to set that clip colonization independently aiken go in and say tell it to trigger at an eighth note and that'll allow I mean right now what happens is these clips wait until the end of a two bar cycle sick because our our global colonization is set to two bars were goingto change it toe one bar so thie end of one bar the's top clubs will start planes but right now I've changed this to waken come in early and that little variation provides us a fill for a transition or something like that and the cool thing is you can punch it in pretty much any time I mean you can take the colonization off completely if you want so it's but that's you know that's going to be up to you on the drumming at that plane okay so next we'll talk more about like the approaches the song writing and what works for different people as far as like you know you've got these ideas for a track on dh er you you're ready to make it makes something happen right? So the first thing you want to think about our you know what or what what's inspiring what's what's nonnegotiable like what is it that what is it that you want to make it so yeah and I just call these the non negotiable so these air like basically bpm key signature overall vibe if there's any samples what you really want to use or if there's a kind of based on that you want to make uh then if you know you're like I want to make on atmospheric german based tracker I want to make a trap track then this is the time when you you get all these ideas out and write him down so basically I tried tio pull my ideas into I write it all down and then um and as much as possible because you know it's really easy to get lost in the process in software and sometimes that's that could be uninspiring sometimes it can be really inspiring to um but I feel like the combination of the imagination and some awesome tools and work flow is what really makes the interesting stuff so tried to take some notes of beginning right all of your ideas down so that way if something's not working out you can just move on and try something else uh so that exists to the different mind states of of songwriting and uh so sometimes you know you're you're sort of looking for ideas and you're just experimenting and I call that like, throwing paint versus like brushing and basically, uh throwing paint is is when you're you're just experimenting with sounds playing around brushing is when you've got this thing in your head you know exactly what you what you want to make and you sit down and do it um I feel like uh you know, these throwing paint is really good whenever you want to just you are it's good to do sound design when when you're ready to just experiment and you don't really have any concrete ideas that you want to throw down and brushing is sort of if uh reserved for super clear visions and knowing when you're and in an inspired place versus when you're you know, just kind of like oh, I just want to make some sounds uh when you're if you're aware of that sort of mind state that can that can help determine your process because if you're if you have a clear vision of what your flow is then it's going to be really tough if you're really trying to write a song so uh there's a couple ways that I like to start off and uh for me the easiest way to make a song is to start with a court progression and the thing about a chord progression is that it out it lays out the harmonic motion of of a big piece of the track all at one time and whenever I write baseline grooves and drums and stuff, I feel like I lose the script a little bit and things get kind of new delhi and they don't have this big picture story that whenever then whenever I approach it when I records so what I like to do is do the cords first and then write the bass drums and harmony to that afterwards and, uh I have the most effective results with song writing that way it's a lot easier for me teo harmonize the smaller parts when when the cords are already there um and I just feel like I have a lot more options or maybe actually have fewer options because I'm not trying to build a court off of one note on and then and then a bunch of them or whatever or figure out which ones go together. So um that's my favorite way to start a mme so a lot of times I will just start by by making a simple rhythm and then I will play around with like a cord sounds like a pad or a electric piano and after you've started doing that sketching those grooves you've got a simple progression you can start bringing in, you know that's when you're you know you set your tempo you know, this is where you know, you know the key that you're working in you bring in all the samples that you want to work with and you start to roll everything in together so yeah, like I will start with some rough drum patterns and then I will build this song around that so the song that we have an arrangement right now uh was built on just five cords and the way that I started it was actually just with some really simple drums that I'll play and then so I just made this really simple rhythm and I and I brought electric in and I said and I thought and I'm going to try these cords so that was the first the first thing I recorded so I laid it down and I said, ok, I wantto come up with a you know, with us with the second part and I think I might have actually expanded the drum loop a little bit with some percussion are actually think the percussion came first in the night subtracted that and came down to the middle won't be and so at that plant I said, ok, what what would follow with six court? I think it was actually the forecourt so you know, just through experimentation, you know, I found you know, I figured out the overall flow of you know what what's basically the core skeleton of the song and the rest of the parts were harmonized and written around that so I um I brought it in to the arrangement view at that point and e I played around with the electric I had a little bit of a baseline tio actually no with analog on at this break e I duplicated the layer with the uh electric piano over to tension on later I came up with the ref for um that's in the more first part of that starts with in collision so and I've been kind of weight around just playing around a little bit with adding some more notes and filling out the layers and um so towards the end here e I bring it up right and there's a couple parts left of the song better that I want to make so first part being um I think it could do deal with like could have intro and so I think I kind of want it just to sort of hang out in the six cord and sort of resolved into the one which is the the first chord that I play at what's currently the beginning and sometimes that effect this six year lee you know goes nicely with the one so um that court well we'll probably go into a five on the cadence which will will sort of have that change and give that feeling of the evolving nature of so I'm going to go over here and I'm just going toe I'm gonna play with some of these high hatley because I think I wanted to be sort of a minimal a minimal entro as far as the percussion goes on dh and I might even want to put a little hat a little reverb to make this a little bit better in the mix societal space and there's like a little delay or something like that on that on return e that sounds kind of cool so now that I've got a little drum loop to start writing e think I'm gonna do something kind of like a little filter slummy filter it ends so I'm just gonna lay something down around quick probably just work with a small group of that way about the bar e try playing that and again not real happy that rhythm wait that drum and bass might we working for us sammy try one more thing, okay that's more of what I'm going for okay? Someone is going to take this over to the arrangement on and on paste it and pull it out a few bars with the high hats and I'm gonna tried some filter automation to see if I can't get it shaping up tio more of something that is I kind of make for a smooth entro now I might want to bring in an auto filter I mean, it is a low pass father. So right now, that's not making for a super compelling sound design. It's. Kind of cool at the very beginning. But it's. Not like it's. Not going to carry itself, so probably want to add in some some other layers. There needs to be some other sounds that sort of take the attention after a few bars of that.

Class Description

Ableton Live is the most efficient platform for electronic music production for djs, producers and sound designers. DJ and producer, Andrew Luck will take you through some of the coolest, and most commonly overlooked, features in Ableton Live.

In Ableton Tips and Tricks, Andrew will walk you through sound design using Ableton Instruments, mastering both Sampler and Simpler to bring real-world audio samples into your production. You’ll also learn about some of the less intuitive features of Session View including, Impulse, Clip Launching and Slice to MIDI.

If you're a new Ableton user and are ready to start using the platform like a pro, Andrew Luck's tips and tricks will help you brush up on those next-level skills.