Here’s another edition of “Level UP Friday”, a curated power-list featuring the best music production tools, techniques, and strategies to help you create a successful career in music.
This week we’re focusing on turning an idea into a song.
LEVEL 1: Listen —
Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
LEVEL 2: Learn —
In this video, Gotye talks about discovering the Musical Fence in Australia and finding inspiration there. He spent hours sampling these notes outside on the fence, and sampling other percussive sounds. If you listened to the song, you’ll know there are only 5 sampled fence notes, 3 on the verse, 2 on the chorus. He then got back to his studio, used those sampled notes, and wrote the song on the piano. It’s cool to see how he used the samples from the fence to lead into the piano part and provide the bass notes for his chord choices. It’s neat to see how he wanted an instrument “to capture the sound of a lonely wasteland” and that he chose the pedal steel guitar to bring that into reality.
In this song, Gotye gets away from his normal song writing process. He normally doesn’t write at the piano and normally doesn’t record live drums. The last 30 seconds of this video showcases Gotye using all these sampled elements in Ableton Live to create an entirely new track based upon the chord structures from Eyes Wide Open. It only goes to show yet another way to take simple ideas and create something amazing with it.
LEVEL 3: Apply —
Experiment with sampling something of your own and adding it to your productions. Listen for tones in every day experiences in your world, and let them inspire you. Also, try picking up a different instrument to write a song, or challenge yourself to record in a way that’s completely different than you normally do. You just might be surprised at how this frees you up creatively.
LEVEL 4: Succeed —
This fall Ableton released a series of videos called “In the Process”. Check it out to hear from a group of artists, producers, and technologists talk about their creative processes.
Quote of the week:
“The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.” – Ernest Newman
Please let us know your suggestions and requests for future weeks so we can be the most helpful to you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with Level-UP-Friday as the subject line so we’ll be sure to see it.
Thanks and see you next week!
– The Multi-Platinum team.
Are you finding yourself stuck in your productions? Maybe you feel like your track doesn’t have the energy build like so many of the EDM songs you love?
In these videos, Master Producer Falcone first takes us through editing samples, drum racks, and building snare risers. In addition, he shows us techniques for quantizing midi using MPC templates. He talks you through the creative use of midi effects, midi pitch bend, and using effects like delay, reverb, and filters. Finally he talks about saving and building your library of risers to use in your future productions. (Click on the image above to check out the course!)