Live Recording with Ryan Clark


Composing Metal Melodies and Harmonies


Lesson Info

Live Recording with Ryan Clark

I think way should go into actually recording this and, uh we'll talk through some tension release we'll talk through patterns, lengths and all that uh you know, run the risk of embarrassing ourselves in the presence of yes, the uh this is a very interesting insight into the process. Totally vulnerable insight into the process. S o meet this and let's just make sure that this is yeah not blasting us that's right? Go up ok? And I'm getting my phone out only because I have lyrics in my phone not because I'm checking texts. Good clarification as this check check check yep works ok, cool. So all right, let me give these guys an intro so what's going on? Um I wrote this riff and drum beat for ryan tio have him write stuff on air with for it. So this is custom for him uh, let you guys hear it just musically his repeats so feared that might be something cool toe get right on. Do you want do it quickly check. Make sure. Yeah. All right. Check check courts of this. Yeah, this is a little like g...

etting things for other people to write on because it's usually something a little bit outside the box of what I would do, which makes it interesting and fun um, this one I kind of approached and there's a few demon under songs that kind of follow the same thing where there's a there's a main kind of root note that happens that in all honesty could probably happen the whole entire time and it would in the part that I'm singing to it would work it's very much just writing on the route note it's instead of following big sweeping chord changes that happened you know, like here's this part that happens for five seconds and then a big court change you know um so this this one I'm kind of just writing on that on that route note um let's check it out. Yeah, so this is the uh this will be kind of like the first idea that I had when I uh and I came up with a couple different ideas for this um that's which is another thing I like to do is I have several ideas go back to him and usually give it some time before I go back to figure out which one I like the most and then write the actual lyrics I think that's that really ability and that's really smart lots of the best people I know do that exact thing it's ok, so let's uh let's run this and let's see what this what your favorite one is you know for ok there goes your lyrics I wrote a half hour ago well, all right. I'll play that back. Like I said, we were to do it five times would sound better. I was five. You I do another taking it on. So now, do you have a harmony for this? Yeah, aiken aiken. Kind of trying one. Ok, cool. So I just want to be here where you would put a army, have nothing to say about that vocal it's really cool. Okay, um, yeah, I would probably start with trying to put a harmony on the whole thing, but then I would say once you figure out what that is, try to take away at least a few parts. In this case, I've already taken apart a little bit of it. I'm not going to say I will at the beginning of the song. So what are the lyrics? I will rise for the sake of falling, crawling, backto life inside, I awake my calling for I see it die, which is actually apostrophe for which is before so there's kind of a phantom be happening there, which I could or couldn't put in, um, depending on what I like the sound of it there, but, uh, before, uh, that would be pretty easy to start, like a phantom be in there, um, so this I'm going to take out I will at the beginning because I will is actually happens before the one ok so I'm going to start the harmony on the one um and actually I'm going to do the same thing on the third line which is inside so actually only gonna do this side of inside inside so I'm just going to start with side which is a totally it sounds a little weird to start halfway through a word like a harmony partway through a word but it totally works effectively I don't think it's weird at all because it's not like you're speaking it's all good it's speaking it's singing so right rhythm of where the words fall exactly dictate mohr of where the harmonies exactly think about the notes more than the words when when you're figuring out where to put abilities sometimes it might be a half a word that needs a melody yeah yeah harmony totally all right let's check out what you've got for the sake of going that way so let's get that second line again yeah yeah you can just barely back from the beginning okay, no problem right? Let me hear that uh live these are things that you figure out we're doing this definitely on the fly this is great this is I think that people would enjoy to see what the process action in this little things like crawling back to life where that happens because it could be crawling but to live that raises in the he could actually happen early or it could go straight to crawling back to life where you don't even build up to it you don't even stair step up to it so let me hear that again I like to build up into it so it's pretty early in the in the word back to life and also when you're doing these harmonies listen to the melody five or so times before you do it and then you'll know exactly where things like that fall yeah and it's so important to match the inflection right toe and the tone I do that a swell when I'm producing guitar's like I make harmony parts all happened on the same stream as uh the original part was played and all kinds of things to make sure the tone sounds like one big tone rather than a part and then army you have sound separate like I like harmon usis just sound like a big sound right right exactly I will play this record this now wait cool and let's get the second half of the main line cool of the first line yeah yeah I'll meet the harmony and just punch you in on this for the second half of it right not enough that was much better it was that the horny I probably said the whole inside this is definitely but yeah hang on a second you could roll that again if you want okay alright punching in the same spot also when you are when you are punching things like this it's good to sing like the last couple of words of the line before it and the line after it I think in the line after it absolutely because you're editing when you certain little parts don't go straight and on the first word he wants to re cut because it's going to sound more of a natural yeah yeah you're basically the idea is tio start a little before and and a little bit after the idea so that the transitions into the punch or natural whether or not you keep those words you don't want it to sound like it's been job no no and and that's all in how it's punched or mainly inhabits punch okay right it seems sometimes a different harmony will just strike me and I'll just go for it that I want to listen to that that that was a okay so now one thing I'd like to do while we still have time is maybe try some variations on this so let's just the other one reason why I wanted to just squeeze that in quickly for time's sake is to show that I if there's a line that happens that has kind of the same um melody which would in this case is one and three kind of have this a melody um I I'm going to want to make the harmony on those two lines a little bit different in order to give some variation in the song and that's not always the case sometimes you do want the same harmony on the same melody um but it makes for an interesting outcome when you when you do something different on melodies the same within us with same part generally agree on that well, it helps it developed all right, so let's talk about a few different concepts that way talked about when preparing this class I want to talk about the idea of front heavy and back heavy vocals. Now what I mean by front heavy and back heavy is that the vocals are very they lean on the one a lot will be front heavy at the beginning of the phrase or back heavy would be you know, coming in after the one where it leans towards the end of a phrase and that can change the feel in the meaning completely of what you're working on. Yeah, it was for instance, this one if I was if this was ah of course I was working on the I will at the beginning of the phrase will rise the I will would happen before the course even kicks in so the one of the chorus would be on rise which is also the reason why rise is kind of a long drawn out now and a little bit higher now yeah, so the eye will is technically it happens to measures in here but if it was that if this was an actual course I was working on the I will would be happening at the end of the pre chorus or in a little gap between the two so that's that's one exactly you do a little a little break there so that a few words kind of prepare you for the chorus or it also helps make of course, when it comes in to sound that much bigger both with the like I said, the key that you're hit we decide to hit when it comes in the length and duration of that note that first note that comes in with the chorus with the rest of music um I tend to do this quite a bit put a couple words before the course actually comes in um yeah that's that's a good example of ah, front loaded front heavy. So what if I was like and a copy I'm gonna say these takes and, uh if I was like, can we try that a little bit more back heavy now, uh, is there a way to do that or one of your other ideas? Maybe one of my other ideas definitely didn't start until after the one was trying to check that one out let me see if I can find it on here okay? Common practices that you end up putting into this I mean it seems like building a holistic approach to writing melodies is just really practicing, practicing all this year training stuff and then allowing it to just kind of come out but I wonder though are there any formulas that you're kind of sticking to any common practices that go throughout every well you're kind of watching them? I mean this is pretty much I mean, we've never done this together before but this is pretty much have vocal sessions go when there's a prepared vocalist it's like you're working on stuff that you both know musically and they'll do something and you try other things so you think it's great and you keep that but you know we did we didn't like the second line so he's saying it's different a different harmony and yeah, this is like a condensed version of of what it's like but yeah this this is how it goes I mean it's not yeah, it is pretty yeah kind of stream of consciousness stuff once you get in there like you, you do what you know and what you've prepared for but then like if this other harmony just struck me at the time just put it on there because you know if you're in most cases, he's going to be recording every single time I do it. So if I decide to do a different harmony just to get it on recorded, that means it's something that we can reference later when we're talking about oh, but I liked the one that you did on three you did a totally different harmony, so go to that one, and by that time I could have forgot what I did on three so he could play it back for me and be like, oh, cool, yeah, I do like that one better too, so this is very this is very much how how it because the thing that's important to note is that so he has this idea that we recorded and I think it's cool and I think you think it's cool but he's totally cool with checking out a different idea and trying a few different things that should be noted too that that's that's also how good vocal session should go, so think watching us do this is more about getting to, like, peek into the process of have it's done this? Isn't this really isn't that different than just the fact that there's people in here and concrete walls and stuff but it's really not that different then if someone was that audio hammer doing it and the, uh the like I was talking about before you know I'm going to get to a better take four five six takes down the road um that's an important thing to remember is to do it we'll be repetitive about it and record every single one and realize of it takes this guy three or four takes to get to the good stuff totaled and also by that time I'm going to not be focusing so much on what the lyrics are like right now and read them out of my phone so I'm thinking about what word is coming next what line is coming next what's the phrasing once I have that completely memorized which I will after five takes then I can really start focusing on the feeling behind it and the inflection of the voice in the small little details that make stuff like this sound really great when it's performed um the first couple of takes air always going to be three always and unless there's some kind of magical moment happening um but everything is just kind of once you haven't really concrete into your head that's when all the good stuff starts coming out totally well that goes back to what we I just said earlier about having deliberate intention when you're delivering vocals um I can't do that until you've got it memorized you know exactly what you want to put on a totally not and you can hear the difference we just don't have time right now to, like, actually take it, you know that much, and also be explaining what we're doing. What else? You know what other juxtaposition of the melody will come out? So I mean, you have another, another one, another track to lay down? Yeah, I was just going to show this one. I didn't put lyrics to it. I would have to be different lyrics because a pretty different melody, but I could show kind of ah, different version of what I would like seeing into my phone if I wasn't kind of putting a front loaded version of this. Um all right. Shall we go for it? Cool. I got to say it would be just those kind of nonsense where herds which sound ridiculous, but they get the point across. That's what's important and what's interesting to me about. This is just by making it back heavy. It sounds like a first now, whereas the first thing you did sound more like a chorus on what I might do to something like this. If I was really into that, I could add the opposite of, like, a dale. And I could add apart before it that basically made it front loaded and still kept that whole part. Could be like one or two words that sprung from the end of the pre chorus and kind of overlapped into the chorus you want try. Give it, um, sure. All right, let's do it. It's a little like a little walk down. Yeah, like something that just leads up to that part. So now it becomes like, a payoff. Yeah. It's like, yeah, exactly. It's some kind of a payoff. Yeah, so, I mean, and that it's interesting without this makes it front heavy, which does make it sound like a payoff, but by just having the melody shifted over and rhythm, it doesn't sound like, of course anymore. And here I'm gonna play your original on real quick so people can hear the difference. But first one just sounds more like a chorus. So as opposed to that sounds much more like a transition. And if I liked that if I liked what it did the way that it worked with the chorus, I could find the same kind of cadence, you know, the way that uh huh on a repetition that's happening? If I really like that, I could take that and make it put it in a higher a little bit higher register, find a place for it that did sound more like a big pay off course um I wonder I wonder if we might be able to actually get some final thoughts here on the recording process because we have a whole bunch of critiques that we'd like to get to you before the end of the day that's fine final thoughts on the recording process uh don't suck it up uh I think in my opinion uh so yes, we could take these off in my opinion one of the best things you can possibly do to record vocals well is be prepared he's done a bunch of preparation throughout his life so you know, just in a few tapes we already have some sort of a direction going and if we had a couple hours we would have some we would be ableto have something really for it I think um never having really worked like this together before and I think it's because we both have done our homework over over however many years we've been at it um yeah, I think that if you hadn't done all your homework over the years you won't be able to just, you know, here's a line okay here's another way to do it. Okay here's another way to do well I you want to go with this, we can try it higher or whatever that it's uh that only comes through preparation and not having to really think about things so much so if anything, I would say that the best thing people can do is prepare as much as possible and do as many exercises as possible. So you actually get to recording. Uh, you're you're good to go, will be afraid of the process. Either the process like like we saw just sometimes it looks and sounds silly and it's, and it sounds like very raw and unfinished, but that's all part of it, like if if muttering out, you know, nonsense words just to get the part where the idea out or the feeling or whatever, that's, just going to help the end product you have to like with everything. You just have to respect the process totally.

Class Description

A great melody is one of the most important ingredients in writing a memorable song or piece of music. It’s the melody that catches your attention and stays in your head long after the song is done playing. The best melodies are often very simple to play or sing. Writing them is where the real challenge lies.

Join Eyal Levi (Audiohammer Studios, DAATH) and his guest Ryan Clark (Demon Hunter) for their half-day follow up to Mastering Metal Songwriting. This class, which is the perfect addition to Eyal’s Mastering Metal Songwriting, will cover more songwriting ground – teaching you the basics of melodies, how to write them, place them and evaluate them.. Whether you are an accomplished musician or just starting out, this course will answer all your questions related to composing harmonies and melodies in a metal context.

You'll learn how to construct a melody, how melodies and harmonies interact, call and response, countermelodies, what to do when your melody isn't working, key signature changes, how to create tension and resolution, and more.

If you're ready to take your compositional skills to the next level this is the course for you!


a Creativelive Student

Please give us the keynote pdf file as mentioned! This course is amazing and so inspiring! Thanks a lot!