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Lesson 18 from: Songwriting in Logic Pro X for Electronic Music Production

Tomas George

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Lesson Info

18. Arrangement


Class Trailer

Writing Drums and Bass Part Introduction


Making Drums Beats with Ultrabeat


Beats with Ultrabeat and Drummer


Writing Bass Parts - Part 1


Writing Bass Parts - Part 2


Writing Drums and Bass Parts Assignment


Writing Chords Introduction


Writing Chords


Lesson Info


Next, we're going to be looking at arrangement. Arrangement is super important. I would say when I'm writing a song, it's 20% or even 10% writing and 80 to 90% arranging. It's all about arranging. You wanna take your listener on a journey and the way you do this is through arrangement. If it's the same, all the way through, it doesn't matter how exciting the parts are, it doesn't matter how intricate the melodies are arrangement is so important. You want breakdowns, you want build ups, you want excitement, you want your listeners to be so excited from a music and that really comes from arrangement. A lot of arrangement is trial and error. You might not get this right straight away. You have to go through and move stuff around, try new ideas. That's all I can really say about arrangement. It's not really a formula, it's about imagining you are the listener. What is your song for? If it's for a club, it's for dance music. You wanna take your listeners on a journey of dance and movements.

If it's for people listening at home, you might want a different type of journey. So just imagine it's a journey. It's a story. Your music is a story. People are listening to this needs to be a build up, it needs to be a climax, it needs to break down and needs to build again. That's really what arrangement is. Of course, if you want a traditional pop record, it should be between about three and four minutes long. However, if it's a club track, if it's a long mix, it could be 78, 10, even 15 minutes long. It really does depend on what you want your track to before I do recommend creating a radio edit and a club mix of all your songs. So if you do want this to be played on the radio, generally the radio stations will prefer it if it's around about 3 to 4 minutes, if it's a club track, make it as long as you want. So I do recommend, like I said, creating a radio edit of all the songs you want. If you do want to release it as a single, if you just want it for music for yourself, if you just want to make it as a club track, if you want to add it into some of your DJ mixes, make it as long as you want, it doesn't have to be 3 to 4 minutes. But if you do want to be played on the radio, I do recommend this but have a look at making a radio edit later on. But for now, we're going to jump into this project and we're going to start arranging this. So a lot of arrangement is just finding the key ideas and breaking stuff down. It doesn't have to be super complex. And remember your listeners will get confused if there's too much going on. So a lot of this is just keeping it simple. Remember Kiss, keep it simple, stupid to really keep your music as simple as possible. Of course, you can have different parts, different elements. But when you're arranging music, try and have one key idea at a time, don't have too much going on. If there's too much going on, your listeners will get confused. So let's start arranging this song that I've been working on. Let's first of all, make a bit of space so we can see our arrangement a bit clearer. So I'm going to close some of these tabs. Now, you can see our arrangement a lot clearer. So I really want to start off with something simple. And if this is going to be played in a club a lot of the time, it needs to have an intro which can be mixed in. So don't have the intro. Too complex. Try not to have any tempo changes in the intro because if A DJ or someone's mixing your track in, they will need a beat, they will need some kind of pulse to mix it in. If you have too many chores, too many elements. It'd be difficult for them to mix into another song. So if you hear a lot of electronic music, it normally just starts with some drum parts or a kick drum or something really simple. So a DJ can easily mix this in. I'm also going to change the tempo to 122. So it's more of a house tempo cos generally house music is around about 100 and 22 beats per minute. And then I'm going to select All Mandate and drag this over four bars. So I'm going to have a four bar intro. So I'm just going to drag this drum part over and then I'm going to color this first drum part of alt and C. Let's choose this yellow, choose whatever colors you want. It doesn't matter too much. This is more so I can quickly see the different parts and then I'm going to double click this and let's just create a loop. So let's double click on here. Let's have a listen back. So with this conga here, I'm actually going to mute this. So I'm gonna have this come in a bit later on. So go to the mute tool up here, the M and hit command and click. This has muted this bit. Then I'm gonna drag that back. And from bar three, I'm actually going to bring in this Congo. We do want to build layers, we do want to make it more exciting and also going to hit Alton C and just color this slightly different. Just so I know it's a slight different section. Then we're going to unmute this conga by using the mute tool again. And now let's hear this if this is an electronic song and I do want to create a build up, no Congo will enter here. There's too much going on where it enters there. So what I'm going to do is actually command a select all, drag this over another four bars, drag this these two sections back. And now we're going to have this bit here, which is the green section, which is actually the same as this. I'm going to drag this back here and now we're going to add the base part this time, I'm going to add the base just with the one cord just on this C minor. So when the other cords come in, it will build up a lot more. I'm just going to copy this and paste it over. You can use all you can use copy and paste and then not every time every other time just to add a bit of variation. And let's hear this back. Now, I'm actually gonna move this over here like, so then I'm going to do the same thing, command A and then actually eight bars, we're gonna move it back. So we're starting to create a build up. It's really what this is about. Then we're going to copy this section over again. Not really a fan of loops, to be honest in logic, when I'm creating arrangements, because I do want to quickly be able to drag stuff around. So I'm actually gonna get rid of that loop and drag this bit over. And again, we're starting to create a bit of an arrangement. And now from bar nine, I'm actually going to add this cello part. We look here, the cello does actually change to another note. It changes to f doesn't really fit with our C minor chord. So I'm gonna delete that and just play a G for out, it's a slight different variation and then we're gonna co this slightly different. So I know it's a little bit different and copy this over. Then I'm going to add this piano part here and I'm just gonna play the same chord, all, I'm gonna play just the first chord again and again, but not every time, every other time like this just, just variations. So when the base part plays, there isn't a chord and when the base part doesn't play, there is a chord, this is just to mix it up just to make stuff a bit different. And then I'm actually going to select all, drag it over again, drag this first section back again. This is really how I do arrangements in Logic Pro and then I'm gonna break this all down and just play the Arpe Gator. This will introduce the new chords. And the second time around, I'm actually going to add the drums. Then we're gonna have this as kind of the main section. Select all, drag it back, another four bars, drag this back again and just have this playing again. Then the second time we're actually going to add the other drums. So really, we're up to bar 29. Let's just hear this back. This is the first arrangement, I'm gonna get rid of this loop because I'm like I said, I'm not really a fan of loops when I'm trying to arrange. And I'm also going to drag the rest of the project from Bar 29 over a bit just so it doesnt really get in the way. Let's put it back to 41. OK. Let's hear the first section and this is our introduction. OK? We're getting there. You can hear from that. There is a lot of work to be done for the mix. It does still sound very midi, it does sound quite robotic at the moment. There's a lot of work we need to do later on when we're mixing this track. But for now, we're just going to be looking at the arrangement. So it's building up, we're creating more of a song. And when this Arpege comes in, this is really where the DJ will take the mix over. They've built it up with these drums and that piano part and then it's this song and then our song comes in. So now we've introduced the new chords, we can add, basically kind of the new section. We can add the other base part. So lets just copy this over, then we can add the Arpeggio again and then let's actually add the melody after this. Let's find the melody we had before drag this over. Then we're gonna keep this really simple and we're gonna break this down just to a kick drum cos this will introduce the melody, but there won't be too much going on. So when the melody enters, later on everything else playing, it will be a lot more exciting. So it's just the kick drum. So what I did, I went into the drum part and deleted everything else but the kick drum color this different. So we know it's a different section. Then began to add the piano part after this, them against a SIM strings and then again, add the pad and then the second time round the kick drum will enter, then we're going to add both drums. So this is just another arrangement. It's just about building up and breaking down. Now, it really builds up to where a track enters to what we wrote before. So let's play this from the PTA entering. There's just too much going on here. I made a mistake by having too many breakdowns. So we took all that time to build up the drums and then it just dropped too suddenly. So we're gonna continue the drums on here. We're also going to continue this RPJ and just hear if this works. No, so no RPG to that, this is really what it takes when they're arranging, just trial and error, trying new ideas and hopefully this will inspire you to arrange and don't be afraid to make mistakes, just keep on going and trying new ideas. We're not recording on tape, we're recording on a digital audio workstation. So if you make a mistake, all you have to do is hit command and Z and that's it. It's so simple. We live in such an amazing day and age for making music. You can pretty much just do this on your laptop anywhere in the world and you can make as much mistakes as you want. It's absolutely incredible. OK, great. So I'm actually gonna copy this section over again and add a new element afterwards, just drag this back, copy all of this. So we are repeating this, of course, repetition is essential. But a lot of the time we do want to add new elements or take stuff away, that's really what it's about. So this time, I'm actually going to take the second drum part away, just have this play. Then I'm going to take away the melody down here. I'm gonna bring back the second drum part and then the second time we're gonna bring in the kick. So let's hear this from about here. Ok. I did a few more arrangements as I went along there. I'm not too sure about this, chopped up bit at the moment. So I'm actually gonna drag this down to this kind of ghost track here that I'm not actually using. Then we're going to bring in this riff again. Then we have the bit, the breakdown section if you remember and it all kind of comes in. So I think the arrangement is getting there a lot of the time. Like I said, it's just about messing around and seeing what sounds good and remembering about your audience, the most important thing is how does this make your audience feel? Are they going on a journey? Are you telling a story with your music or are you just putting stuff in for the sake of it? That's really what you need to be thinking about when you are arranging your music. So let's play from here and there. I just thought of something really interesting we can do. I'm just gonna break this whole thing down to just two chords. So just the first, just the last two chords, silence, create a new section just from this. So we're really just using the ideas over and over again and just changing things. Every time the listener won't really know what's going on, they just know it sounds good. It makes them want to dance. A lot of people who aren't that musical, just allow the music to give them a feeling that makes me feel happy. It makes me feel sad. Makes one to dance, makes one to move rather than them deconstructing the song like for me and probably you as well. When you hear a track, you hear a song, you overanalyze it, you don't just let it make you feel something, which is what music's really about. A non musician, wants to hear music because they want to immerse themselves in a certain mood. They want to go somewhere and experience music. They want a journey. So just remember that you're creating music unless you're making music for musicians. Remember about the audience, remember how is this going to make them feel? What journey will this take them on? So let's go from here. Then I'm just going to play the last chord over and over again. Just a quite a bit of a build up. And then of course, there's a lot more work needed for this section, but we're starting to get there. About the first half of the song is arranged a lot more to do. It's all about building up and finding interesting ways to basically play the same stuff over and over again. Add new ideas, add new elements, change stuff around and that's really what arrangement is about. So, thank you for watching this lecture. I hope you found it useful and we'll be continuing working on our song in the next lecture.

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