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A Few Questions
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Stuka1944
Hi. I'm very new to the production scene and had a couple questions.

I'm working on my first non-sampled track and am having some great difficulties with a few things. Primarily the issue is with smoothly adding layers and dropping them off. Drums aren't too big of a deal, but any synth or pad patches are really getting me. If I'm adding another layer in place of the one that's getting dropped it's not too bad...but still the only thing I know to do is either fade it out or just smudge it over with a reverse crash or a filter sweep which mostly comes out sounding really tacky. What are some basic techniques for transitioning layers?

Secondly, I've been debating with myself over continuing to make sample tracks while working on these. Would you all think it beneficial to continue working with samples as well as synths/presets etc.. to get a better understanding of composition? Lol, people will ask me "You made this?" and when the track is made up entirely of samples I always feel like I'd be lying if I gave a straight "Yes."

Thanks!
stewart.m
Well if you made all the components work and made the arrangement of the track then yes you can call it your own.
It sounds to me you are stepping out of your comfort zone by doing something new just stick with it there is no golden rule to making tunes.
Deillon
quote:
Originally posted by Stuka1944
What are some basic techniques for transitioning layers?

List is endless, noise sweeps, highpass/lowpass filter automation, tonal sweeps, drum shots, drum fills, plucky melodic transitions, or just sometimes you introduce a synth instantly. It all depends on the situation and you should just keep trying untill you have found something that does not sound tacky but fits correctly.

The preset thingie, well, they are there to be used, so why not. However, if you learn how to use a synth you can also modify presets to your own liking.

Instead of clicking the next button of the preset selection you will be able to create the sound you have in your head, which just saves so many time.
optik
You're right - it's much more satisfying creating your own tunes from scratch rather than using bits of other peoples work - but music isn't about the satisfaction of the author really, it's about the satisfaction of the listener. That said, you stand the chance of ending up in hot water should one of the artists you sample decide to take legal action against you, although this is unlikely.

transitions are probably the hardest thing to do - automation is the key - automate the volume, filters and anything else you can think of (delay send etc) to bring a sound into a track. be aware that there is a strange psycho acoustic thing that means that after the brain has heard a theme in a track, it can pick it out much more easily, even if it is lower in the mix the second time it appears, so any repetition can (but not should) be at a lower level.

It also helps to use "impacts" to announce the start of a new sound - these can me crash hits, reverb-ed kicks or noise splashes 9or anything else that creates an impact.

hope this helps - automation is the key here

TS
Stuka1944
Thanks for the replies!

I am stepping outside of my comfort zone by not using samples, yes, but how else am I to improve? I want to eventually be able to make sounds from scratch and write all my own stuff, but I will never get there if I don't challenge myself.

As far as legal action for the samples; I've got a few sample packs so I'm not sampling straight from preexisting tracks. Licensing on the samples just says can't sell the tracks.

Great pointers, plus just knowing the names of techniques allows me to do further research...I can't tell you how many times I came up with nothing googling every variation of "trance transition tutorials" I could think of.
stewart.m
sampling doesn't make you a bad producer you learn something new with every track you make.

what do you want from your music personally i like working on different projects at different times in different ways.

creating all your own work from the ground up is great if that's what you want form music production dont think just because you sampled a riff or loop from some source it will be all fake.

or even worse make you a lazy producer you learn by doing.
Stuka1944
Right now, I'm really on a mission to prove to myself that I make a decent sounding track without them...for example I can't tell you how worked up I got when I got my first workable melody down.

I'm coming from a background of musical ignorance. Aside from when I was a kid I've never studied music, in fact before I started on this whole endeavor I probably had a below average understanding of music theory and principles. So once I prove to myself that I CAN do this, then I likely won't have such an aversion to samples.

I'll probably experiment with transitioning samples to get a feel for the different techniques, then apply them to the main track I'm working on.
stewart.m
quote:
Originally posted by Stuka1944
Right now, I'm really on a mission to prove to myself that I make a decent sounding track without them...for example I can't tell you how worked up I got when I got my first workable melody down.

I'm coming from a background of musical ignorance. Aside from when I was a kid I've never studied music, in fact before I started on this whole endeavor I probably had a below average understanding of music theory and principles. So once I prove to myself that I CAN do this, then I likely won't have such an aversion to samples.

I'll probably experiment with transitioning samples to get a feel for the different techniques, then apply them to the main track I'm working on.
cool its good you have goals
shadowsthatmove
Never underestimate the power of sampling ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU5Dn-WaElI
Evolve140
No reason to try and prove anything yourself by not using samples. I don't know what this is some kind of misconception, that sampling is some taboo. It can be highly musical and extremely effective, and is very widely practiced. Just using a sample isn't going to make your track great anyway, the overall production and song writing will. Besides, music is cultural and grows and evolves this way, and is crucial to the art form.
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