How do you compose your Music?

I was just wondering how others start working in their Ideas. I know that knowing Music Theory helps along the way . but i sincerely heard some amazing tracks from producer that dont know that much Music Theory .

so do producers just wing it the melodic samples to see what comes up ?. do you write your Music and ideas ahead of time ? whats your Thoughts about it ?

I tend to wing it mostly and see what works as I play around! I have a basic knowledge about music theory! I know about keys and scales, but I still have to look up what chords go in a key everytime!

Mostly I work around a sound or sample that inspires me. HarmoniEQ is very useful for working out what notes will go with a sexy bit of audio that you’ve landed upon! I just build up from there until I got all the elements I need to make an arrangement.

pretty interesting dude!! i used to work like that before but i always end up choosing samples that never could match up and I used to end up frustrated with tired ears. and feeling unaccomplished heheh . i think one of the reason is that used to fail in that part is that i use to over think too much about Music theory and block my creativity.I think there is some producers who are better winging samples

I am with Gav on this one - I tend to listen to some other producers I like and then work out how they may produce a certain sound - then I wing it and produce something completly different

Again I have the basics of music theory - but I tend too use my ears more than anything with the help of Span as well - probably the not the way the purists go around things but it works for me - sort off :smiley:

Sometimes I’ll have an idea of what I want - rather than an actual riff or tune per-se.

Usually I’ll lay down a basic kick / bassline & mess around with a synth or mangle a sample… with some fx on it. Nearly always have some parameters assigned to my controller & be twisting a bit. Typically, I’ll be assigning LFO’s or envelopes to something… trying to get a bit of a groove / movement.

Either way… I’ll usually end up bouncing some sounds & working with them on their own. I’ll have a better idea of what I want then & go from there.

I try to work in layers… rather than sequence - if that makes sense. Everyone probably works like that too. When I’ve got loads of possibilities on XX tracks… I’ll start jamming them out. Muting rhythmically & fading sh!t up & down. By playing with the sounds I get a fresh perspective of what to do next.

At that point… I’ll probably end up hiding 5 or 6 tracks of stuff that I wont be including. Thats what you get when you are running away from melody! :w00t: :hehe: :smiley:

I think I work a bit differently from the other answers. Not sure if 1 is better than the other, but this is essential to the creative process for me I think :smiley:

First obviously I create my drums. I usually only do kick/snare/hats. Simple. I try to do all my basic FX/compression/eq at this point for my drums at this point as well.

Once I have some clean sounding drums, I move to the bass & lead. The thing about how I create the bass & lead is that I don’t just wing it. I am 98% of the time making music with my brother who plays piano and I play guitar. What we do is create a cool bass sound that we both love. Then we create a cool lead sound that we both love. Once the 2 sounds are what we want we start jamming together. Finding 3 or 4 chords that we like and we write/play out a beat. Almost 99% of the time what we play is more in tune with a rock song then a dance music song. This being the nature of how we learned to play. After we come up with a cool chord progression that we like we record the notes.

At this point we have something laid down. We break the chords/notes down into smaller & faster patterns. Do alternate patterns. It is at this point that usually we come up with something that is cool for dance music based off the chords/notes that we have been jamming to. From there we take those patterns and expand them into new riffs so that we can create something that is not repetitive and is exciting.

After we have these beats/patterns/notes put in clips for ableton, we will go back and create some more sounds with synths that go with what we have been playing. Repeat the step above 2 or 3 times. At this point we have a good direction for the tune and we start arranging stuff out. Then you start adding FX, automation & SFX.

thats the bulk of it.

When I make my melodies and basses with notes and such, I pick the scale I want to work in and try to come up with something. However, when my mind is blank and I can’t come up with a progression that I like, I turn to sheet music. That will give me the key and the notes in a progression. From there, I change the progression to taste, but it gives me a push in the right direction. I knew playing the piano was good for something. :smiley:

@United Vision,@Howie

I think that having a basic knowledge of where u going . helps to achieve not an originall Track but a solid structure .I am trying to work the same way and it is taking and awful time to learn Music Theory . I guess it will pay off later on :wink:

Slender wtf is your avatar? lol

[quote]jpgetty2win (02/12/2010)[hr]Slender wtf is your avatar? lol[/quote]

his girlfriend. she likes techno.

Lots of people start with beats, but I normally start with a melody or groove in my head and I lay it down.

I keep meaning to try beats first because it seems so unusual to me.

Also I might knock up a simple chord progression then copy that up and down the scales so that it ranges from very low to really high. Then you can basically pick out any note in that ‘field of notes’ created lines that weave along, up and down etc deleting all the other notes, that way you know all those lines will work harmonically.

i always imagine my tracks from the beat and get the grooves for all other elements from there :slight_smile:

still hoping slender will scope in and see the last post on the first page of this thread.

[quote]UnitedVision (03/12/2010)[hr]still hoping slender will scope in and see the last post on the first page of this thread.[/quote]

i think it’s a skull? :hehe::w00t:

i usually start with a simple kick and then try to do some chord progression but usually it ends up really poppy which is alg i like producing pop music as well haha!

Close your eyes, sit with posture relax. and hum.


[quote]UnitedVision (03/12/2010)[hr]still hoping slender will scope in and see the last post on the first page of this thread.[/quote]

Haha - I wouldn’t want to be accused of going off topic now would I :P;):smiley:

[quote]slender (06/12/2010)[hr][quote]UnitedVision (03/12/2010)[hr]still hoping slender will scope in and see the last post on the first page of this thread.[/quote]

Haha - I wouldn’t want to be accused of going off topic now would I :P;):D[/quote]


[quote]UnitedVision (03/12/2010)[hr]still hoping slender will scope in and see the last post on the first page of this thread.[/quote]

I’ll take a skull winking for $500. Final answer :slight_smile:

But to comment on this thread as well, It varies for me… I typically like to start with drums however I often get stuck in 4 bar loops. I often get scared I’m going to lose the groove of the loop so I skid away from evolving it…

Any suggestions as to how to get out of the 4 bar loop habit?

Try making longer loops :w00t:

Serious :cool: :slight_smile:

Stretch them out to 16 or 32 bars with subtle changes.

Also… Try making your loops with no hats or percussion… just synths & noises, w.just a kick & bass.

When it sounds cool… stretch them out over the arrangement & you’ll still have elements that you can add & the loop wont sound naked when you take them away.