Composing & Arranging: Riffing on Loops
Once you've got the cords laid out and some basic song struck her, you can start riffing and sort of jamming over the top of it because you've basically got the outline of your story and it's really about adding in some cool details that keep it interesting throughout eso one thing I like to do is loop a section of the song arrangement and this case, well, it's the second progression we can, you know, for our purposes, we can just call it part b and I am going tio find some sounds um, that we've got in the mix and play along with it. I'm going to record clips in the session view so that it can loop while my arrangement plays, so basically I'm playing from the arrangement, but I'm recording into session view and I can keep going in session view if I wanted to, I could play uh the whole song I could play a part a a and b and I could and I could keep just recording over and over in session and it's a it can be a kuwait tio comp instruments on then basically just take the loop and break it...
out and move the loot brace over to the start points, so in this case, I'm just going to loop it on uh, this part and record in session and see if I can come with up with something that might fit into the song, so I'm going to select that this epic grain lead, okay, collapses, return tracks and way down some clips totally sold on those see player, the filter frequency, a little bit theme that's, why it's off way? Okay, so I'll take that and I'll pace it into our track and definitely a few notes we're going to have to fix, but that's ok, so I'll do a pass and I'll go in and listen and watch the cursor as I go, like all of it that way like that one, I didn't like that one time extend this call, so I like it. I like it on that part of the song, but I don't think I want to bring it in quiet that early, so I'm going to move it to the the same part b that happens at the end of the song, so whenever that sort of reprise happens then or that, whenever that song, when that with that part repeats, then it will have a new component to it. So from there, I think what I'd also like to do is add in some of these real drums that we've got tio, so basically we're riffing in session view while we're working with this arrangement that already lives in this you know linear timeline so our vision is coming to life and uh once you get some ideas and um when are you know once you get some some ideas in clips and you start pacing them in this is also a good time too to work on the transitions and when you're working an arrangement and this is definitely the best place to do it because you can see the you know, the overall you could see the whole timeline of track so what I like to dio and the thing I love about transitions is it's kind of the time of the song when anything could it can kind of go off the rails for a minute and and you know you can throw in a drum fill or some kind of weird variation or um or there may be our accord that stranger there's some kind of huge riser and a crash usually there's some kind of something happens it's a drama there's maybe a space there or a reverse sound that brings in the first beat really hard. So basically, um you know, if there's something so now that we're building up towards something there at the end we have this we have a finale that has a little upright bass variation and it also has this new rift that we added real quick I want to add some some of these drums to it so I'm gonna go ahead and just pace this part in tow are ending and so I kind of want to make a little phil there we'll see how that sounds maybe I'll even trick changed the drum break up there on dh um bring out our last loop still got, uh, piece of this original beef you might actually just come in here a little reverse it, stretch it out that's not that awesome, but maybe I'll give it a space on on a little faith or something. So I'll go in here to the envelope of the sample and I am going much like the volume, so bringing down I just want to have a a little blip kind of ah lead in before that last that last sound. It could be a little longer than that and zoom in I'm gonna automate the volume on that e so let's hear that? Thiss uh, this passage now let's bring it back. And so I just kind of I want there to be a little pause and a hesitation so that that that cycle of the freeze kind of drops harder so I just kind of attracted a cup a little bit there is that little I'm actually gonna believe make another little pause at the very end of this phase peace is the way the menace trim off there okay, so I feel like that adds a little bit of ah ah story that's something you know, those drums come in something really happens there and, um one thing we might want to add though is some kind of a, uh arise and crash uh, one thing I love is like a reverse symbol so I might come in here to my so my samples and go to my urban fire kit and it's good upon him one that's it snares volume two they're symbols or crashes would be good transition symbols that would work. Okay, so what the reverse symbol leading into a crash does is it provides some kind of a foreshadowing other than maybe like a cadence corridor or something harmonic it's happening and so me gonna bring us back a little bit because I feel like this is a little this a pretty big energy change maybe not that one no one's core it's pretty soft just gonna trim it something I'll do tio is actually, um I had a little bit of reverberation so that it fits in with the other sounds there all right for some bring that send up on a and c so you know, as we dial in these transitions, we have this song short you're here, we've got a couple we've got a new riff in there these air, the final embellishments that air going to make it a song. And not just like some repeating groups and that's. You know, that's. What you want to do is just flesh out the skeleton at it all.
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.