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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 23 of 26

Get Muddy

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

23. Get Muddy

Lesson Info

Get Muddy

Okay. Last thing about baselines. Um, this is a pretty simple one. Uh, do not put chords in your baseline. And by cords, I mean more than one note. Bass lines are always a single note, and I'm going to tell you why. The reason is too many notes in this low frequency it turns to mud. That would be the technical term for what happens. Mud. It's not really a technical term. Um, but, uh, let's say I added a, um the third to this if this was a cord adding the sea on top of this a would be great. Um, right. I'd be basically creating an A minor chord, and it would sound often, but because we're in such a low frequency for this, um, this is just gonna sound gnarly, right? There's it takes away from the baseline. So baselines are always one note, um, one note at a time, I should say so. We never put chords in Ah, in a baseline. And that's why now, when you get into sound design stuff, this is what I was mentioning earlier in the first video in the segment. When you get into sound design stuff, ...

you'll figure out why, Um, we don't do this and you can make you can craft sounds that have, like, ah, lot of kind of a lot of different pitches in them that happened in the low range. But you're you can do it in a way that keeps it from, like, turning into mud like this. Um, let me just play like, one long held note here. So if I play these two notes, this is just a minor third, we ought toe like the sound of this, but it's just too much stuff too low. And the frequencies get all tied together, and it just becomes a mess. So one note at a time in your baselines, Too much stuff in the low range, and it just turns the mud. So, um, if I was to move this note up inactive, it will sound fairly interesting. That's an okay sound, cause they're they're far enough away to where they don't get all Mudede together. And when I'm up in this higher range, if I put a note above it, it sounds fine because I'm in a higher range. It's that lower range where everything just gets all gnarly when it's all put together. So, um, that's all I wanted to point out in this. Ah, quick little nugget of a video. So, um yeah, that's it. Okay, let's move on to another analysis, okay?

Class Description

In the first part of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this second part, we'll expand on those ideas. We'll work with minor keys, focus some time on melody and bassline writing, and we'll talk about how different tracks work. 

Extensive Analysis 

In this class, we feature an extensive track analysis segment by Daft Punk, Avicii, Skrillex, and many more. In each of these segments, we'll look at their tracks on the piano roll editor. We'll talk about why they sound the way they do, and how you can use similar techniques in your own music. Each of these segments picks apart multiple elements of the song and dissects it in an easily digestiable manner. 

Who should take this course? 

Anyone interested in producing their own tracks. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.


This course consists of video lectures, which all contain a session in Ableton Live 9. If you are using a different program (or none at all), no worries! This isn't a class on how to use Ableton Live, and the concepts can be applied to any DAW.  



Well, I slobbered all over you after your first class and this one is as good or better. I realize people don't go to college for 12 years and learn what you shared in a few hours and you didn't earn your doctorate with just this stuff. I mean Julliard must offer a lot more, but you have advanced my knowledge by miles and I've got to say thank you. Make some more of these simple, common talk courses - I'll buy them all.

Nick van Lochem

This course its so good he makes it al sound so easy. that ists easy to remember and use in your creations.

Scott Vincent

Very cool class - learned a lot from this class as well as from the Part 1 class. Highly recommend both classes!