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Music Flow

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CrazyCale
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Music Flow 2013-01-09 01:06:45 Reply

I write good parts to a song ,but sometimes I can't get them to flow into each other. For instance say im writing a verse, and I come up with a good chorus. How do I make a good transition? Are there any tricks or things too keep in mind?

(I'm not completely a noob to writing I make songs all the time on guitar. I'm new to fl studios though)

Blackhole12
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-09 05:45:50 Reply

This is highly dependent on the genre of your song. Various styles each have their own methods of transitions, although for dealing with sharper transitions there tends to be a common theme of using a buildup and release of tension, such as a cymbal crash.

CrazyCale
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-09 09:08:15 Reply

At 1/9/13 05:45 AM, Blackhole12 wrote: This is highly dependent on the genre of your song. Various styles each have their own methods of transitions, although for dealing with sharper transitions there tends to be a common theme of using a buildup and release of tension, such as a cymbal crash.

Yeah that makes sense. I often think of music as just buildup and release (especially during solos)
The type I'm mostly thinking of is orchestral so that does help. Thank you

JayenareMusic
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-09 14:17:13 Reply

This was definitely my biggest problem when I started making music. And it still is a problem. I could make these awesome sounding melodies and percussion. But after 8 bars or so, I didn't know what to do! I just kept play around and finally figured stuff out and I got ideas by listening to other professional music. My tip to you, LISTEN to professionally produced music for ideas. How is a melody ended? When does a break down or break in come in? How do I make one? All these questions can be answered by carefully studying the production of music that has been professionally produced by well known artists.

If you have any questions about music or need help, please PM me!
-JNR

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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-09 14:33:35 Reply

You mean how to make the intro that transitions to the chorus or how to make the actual point where it transitions to the chorus? If it's the first, try introducing very subtle elements from your chorus in an intro, and make it progressive. Another thing that I personally like to do is introduce some simple secondary melody that transitions well to the chorus, and then the chorus comes in, and that secondary melody doesn't come in again until the very end. Then it's used to end the song.

Regardless of what you do, it's important to make sure that this intro does not feel detached from the rest of the track, as what may often happen if you work by making a chorus first and then making the part before it. That's why it's important to throw in little embellishments and recurring motifs at the beginning, even in small amounts, just to unify it to the rest of the track. It's not vital by any means though; there are plenty of other great approaches and anything could work in a song if done right.

If you mean the actual transition to the chorus from the intro, then that depends on a lot of things. Each transition's a different case and other than stating the obvious like "make sure it's smooth" or something, I can't give you much advice without hearing the transition as it is now. Although the rise and fall in tension thing that Blackhole12 mentioned is a solid approach, particularly for orchestral. The key element here is balance; don't make the buildup so massive that the chorus ends up being a disappointment, but don't make the buildup so subtle that it doesn't even feel like it's building up to an important section such as the chorus.

Hope this helps.


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SkyeWint
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-09 16:20:12 Reply

Okay. Transitions. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I'm going to toss in a whole bunch of ideas.

For orchestral music:
-The EXTREMELY classic cymbal roll.
-The also EXTREMELY classic string swell.
-Quick timpani rolls with little spaces between them. Think percussive sliced pad.
-Glissando up.
-Glissando down.
-Quick percussive sounds in the strings/horns, pause, chord, next section.
-Arpeggio flair.
-Drumroll please.
-Rising action.
-Falling action.
-Staccato melody about half a measure before transitioning.
-Ritardando at the end of a melody.
-Fermata on the last note of a melody along with a cymbal roll or swell.
-Bring new element about a quarter-measure before the next section.

Guessing that's all you need, but in case you want ideas for other things...

For electronic music:
-Reversed sound effects.
-White noise swell.
-Pause everything with a super-reverbed high or low end hit.
-Pitch slide pads.
-Sudden new element.
-Increase distortion gradually on an instrument.
-Pause everything with a random sound effect like a cat meow.
-Drumroll or just drum solo.
-Fake an ending with a crash, then reverse the crash and snap back into the song. Note: I've rarely heard this done correctly. Use with caution and a ton of double-checking.

Cutting that list short because there are a lot more possibilities within them and orchestral transitions can work in this as well.

REMEMBER: Jayenare had it right. Listen to as much music as possible within the genre you're making, or heck, even out of the genre you're making. You could come up with a good original idea, and you'll probably be able to figure out a whole bunch of other techniques for doing transitions.

Some songs with awesome transitions (and yes, I'm tooting my own horn with some of these because I work harder on transitions than most things - putting a variety of music in here though, so hopefully this won't count as advertising :P):

  • ~SW~ Star Nuclei
    ~SW~ Star Nuclei by SkyeWintrest

    Music from the stars.

    Score
    4.50 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    General Rock
    Popularity
    2,569 Views
  • ==(Drifting)==
    ==(Drifting)== by Buoy

    A very groovy chillout/nu jazz piece with a tasty bassline and a heavy shuffle feel.

    Score
    4.33 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Jazz
    Popularity
    5,612 Views
  • Ecosystem
    Ecosystem by Step

    A song made for my school project. (3:49)

    Score
    4.54 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Classical
    Popularity
    5,013 Views

http://puu.sh/1A8tJ

  • ~SW~ Depth Charge
    ~SW~ Depth Charge by SkyeWintrest

    Take a breather, sit down, have a listen. We have cookies.

    Score
    4.55 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Miscellaneous
    Popularity
    645 Views

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/419683 (specific transition in the author's comments, but plenty in there overall)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppFQHS5m39k

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/512537 (more specifically the way the drums come in at the beginning is genius)

  • '12 Artifical Intelli Rmx
    '12 Artifical Intelli Rmx by PeterSatera

    A remix of a track I created in 2011.

    Score
    4.55 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Miscellaneous
    Popularity
    842 Views

I think that's good enough. Hope this is helpful.


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Buoy
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-09 17:45:36 Reply

At 1/9/13 02:17 PM, JayenareMusic wrote: My tip to you, LISTEN to professionally produced music for ideas.

YES!! This is the general solution to problems like these. Listen to music you enjoy or that impresses you. Find out what aspects of it you would like to replicate, then analyze it: break it down to bits. Consider what makes it work. Then try to replicate it - experiment with your software and instruments of choice and find out what works and what does not. Take the things that work and integrate it into your songwriting as a new tool, becoming a more diverse and mature artist in the process. Think of it as expanding your vocabulary.
Then if you can't figure out how to do a specific thing, consult Google and music forums (in that order:).

An example: since Skye mentioned some of my tracks (thanks bro), I'll explain how I did the first transition in Endless Forms.
It looks like this in my DAW from start to the first transition: screenshot ( with automation). The white line is where the switch happens. It's a pretty long transition, but it's just a combination of 4 very simple things:
- The sine sweep is just something I found somewhere; it cracks up nicely at one point, which makes that point a nice "anchor".
- The sustained chord from the keyboard and choir glue the two parts together. The organ has a long reverb tail: same effect.
- The drum fill makes the full drum track that comes later, feel like the natural continuation. The filter sweep makes the transition from no percussion to full drums very smooth; a volume swell usually works fine too.
- The other drum layer and formant synth create a definite line between the parts.
And that's all that happens for the first half minute of the song.

SkyeWint
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-10 10:47:12 Reply

At 1/9/13 05:45 PM, Buoy wrote: (thanks bro)

DARNIT, I TOTALLY FORGOT MINDMINER. That song has GREAT transitions.


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Buoy
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-10 11:54:18 Reply

At 1/10/13 10:47 AM, SkyeWintrest wrote:
At 1/9/13 05:45 PM, Buoy wrote: (thanks bro)
DARNIT, I TOTALLY FORGOT MINDMINER. That song has GREAT transitions.

and a wrong bassline

CrazyCale
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-12 03:34:26 Reply

At 1/9/13 02:33 PM, Step wrote: You mean how to make the intro that transitions to the chorus or how to make the actual point where it transitions to the chorus?

I was mostly using that as an example ,but your advice will help me for sure in the future. Thanks

CrazyCale
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Response to Music Flow 2013-01-12 03:41:53 Reply

At 1/9/13 05:45 PM, Buoy wrote:
At 1/9/13 02:17 PM, JayenareMusic wrote: My tip to you, LISTEN to professionally produced music for ideas.
. Listen to music you enjoy or that impresses you. Find out what aspects of it you would like to replicate, then analyze it: break it down to bits. Consider what makes it work.

When analyzing a piece of music what all should a be looking for?
When I do it I first inspect the chords then intervals. I look out for rhythm next all the while noticing general ideas (dynamics or how a note is played for example)

as far as orchestral music goes Im really inspired by Koji Kondo and Jeremy soule.

Thanks in advance