Ways of making a song?

squelch
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Ways of making a song?

Post by squelch » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:07 pm

Just working on my first song on the DS10 in song mode as i am just getting to know + test out the program. I am having trouble getting song to flow with the lack of fills/rolls i am used to doing on a limitless DAW. Also I noticed the synth's lfo resets when patters change even though the same synth patch is used.

I noticed in a lot of you tube DS!0 vids the best stuff looks like its just done on the fly (well practiced though). What ways/techniques + tricks do you use to complete a song?

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Sinqlogue
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Sinqlogue » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:07 am

I never record in song mode. But that´s just because I don´t have have DS10+.

I mostly pratice the combination of pattern, then check out what kind of changes I can make in Syn1 or Syn2 Edit. And muting on the moment itself.

Remember, automation is highly important to complete the total sound, and takes away a lot of trouble when recording.
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Geolm » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:09 am

Also I noticed the synth's lfo resets when patters change even though the same synth patch is used.
That's not true, if your patch is not synced with BPM you should be able change pattern without reseting anything.

With only a korg ds-10, the song mode is very limited but useful anyway I did some of my song with this mode but your song will be short (max 3 minutes) or will be repetitive. IMO, if you like to have fun with filter and smooth changes of the synth, you have to go live mode.

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Syscrusher
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Syscrusher » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:26 pm

Geolm wrote:That's not true, if your patch is not synced with BPM you should be able change pattern without reseting anything.
Correct.

As far as song mode goes I think people underestimate its flexibility. Every song I have recorded using DS-10 was done in song mode. Song mode still allows you to access all the parameters of the synth edit and patch pages. Access to the mixer and keyboard/kaoss pad is also possible. For instance you can still smoothly tweak filters while having the page automatically change upon arrival of the new pattern. I find this very handy and it has even allowed me overcome certain bugs during playback.

As far as song length goes, sure the DS-10 has it's limitations but it's not as bad as sometimes portrayed. In song mode there are 99 pattern steps. That means that at 120 bpm your song will be 3:30 long. However if you are using the DS-10+ you can extend the song into the B deck ( set the song to A-B) thereby getting 198 pattern steps and a seven minute long song. The transition from song A to B is seamless and any filters and effects smoothly transit.
Some users also set the patterns halftime and use effects to jack the tempo back up. This effectively makes each pattern twice as long. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Decktonic now works this way exclusively.

I think I'm forgetting something but I hope this helps.

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Decktonic
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Decktonic » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:40 pm

Syscrusher wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Decktonic now works this way exclusively.
I wouldn't say exclusively, but yes, most of my songs now are done at "half-speed."
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Geolm » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:39 pm

Decktonic wrote:
Syscrusher wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Decktonic now works this way exclusively.
I wouldn't say exclusively, but yes, most of my songs now are done at "half-speed."
Me too, the half-time trick (with double-time feeling drums) is a must-have technique on the korg ds-10 otherwise your tunes will be short !

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Syscrusher » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:00 pm

Geolm wrote:the half-time trick (with double-time feeling drums) is a must-have technique on the korg ds-10 otherwise your tunes will be short !

@Geolm - Do you have the DS-10 or DS-10+ ?

I have used the half-speed trick many times as well.

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by ChrisLody » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:17 pm

Well i reckon that ds10 is more suited to certain genres than others so complicated tracks can be tough. That said you can add a lot of variation to patterns using synced lfos and envelopes. I also sometimes like to use the half speed method and avoid the song mode as i don't have ds10+

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Geolm » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:09 pm

Syscrusher wrote: @Geolm - Do you have the DS-10 or DS-10+ ?
I live in the third world, I mean Europe for all Japaneses ;) so I can't buy a korg ds-10+ but I'll import it really soon...

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by QauNuckShin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:48 am

Syscrusher wrote:Song mode still allows you to access all the parameters of the synth edit and patch pages. Access to the mixer and keyboard/kaoss pad is also possible.
Only on the DS-10+. :/
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by squelch » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:50 am

Thanks for replies + great tips everyone :)

Nice tip with synced lfo not resetting with a pattern change. Normally use unsynced lfo's on slowest possible speed for background loops.

I will just use song mode for listen back sketches. I am currently practicing jamming for a more live approach. Going to end up with notes on paper in front of me though to remember what filter/volume/other changes to do on specific patterns.

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Geolm » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:55 pm

If you like to jam, the half-time trick is a great tool because it enables you to :

- do a solo (using keyboard or kaos) with a two bars loop rhythmic which is less boring IMO
- obviously you switch pattern twice less so you can concentrate on other stuff more (mix, effects, filters)

But of course you can't play 16th note, it can be an issue if you like to do live drum (play drums over the drum pattern), I mean there is no snare drums in half time.

And, if you add the "pitch trick" (changing the pitch every two bars using a wire in the patch) you can jam over "four bars" of music, but there are some limitations (same kind of chords for example).

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by bryface » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:46 pm

one discipline that i adhere to for songmaking is to make damn sure you have a kick-ass starting pattern/motif. don't start expanding and adding motifs until you're sure you can listen to that one pattern for ages. keep tweaking parameters and notes, and delete entire crappy sequences if you have to, until you have an absolute gem.

Several reasons for this:
1) you'll have a discipline in place for filtering out music that's kinda meh, instead of trying to desperately squeeze the last bits of life out of an idea that wasn't terribly compelling to begin with;
2) expanding the song is easier because you don't have to worry about further tweaking parameters that you've settled on;
3) it makes your whole song "stand up" better and more resilient to any new ideas for your song later on that may not be as good;
4) it helps build a discipline that makes it more likely to create better music from the start.

Of course, this is only one of many philosophies regarding composing, but it's one that seems to work for me.

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Decktonic » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:06 pm

squelch wrote:Thanks for replies + great tips everyone :)

Nice tip with synced lfo not resetting with a pattern change. Normally use unsynced lfo's on slowest possible speed for background loops.

I will just use song mode for listen back sketches. I am currently practicing jamming for a more live approach. Going to end up with notes on paper in front of me though to remember what filter/volume/other changes to do on specific patterns.
Let me get a bit more in-depth, since I have a few minutes to spare... there are a lot of different things you can do with the DS10... getting past the limitations is not hard with an "anything-goes" attitude. In various songs I have used different techniques, and I have used multiple techniques all in the same song... some anecdotes...

- My final cut of Bassfisher is done in half time. Also, the first 1:30 is programmed in song mode. The pattern that starts at 0:30 continues for about 45 seconds, and in that time I have a solo performed on the Kaoss pad... everytime I perform this song, this part is slightly different, as a result. After 1:30 I switched to pattern mode and the rest of the song is done in pattern mode, with manual track muting in some parts. Also, in the beginning of the song I manually fade in one of the channels.

- The first half of Southern Lights is only two patterns, each one played 3 times (so 111222111222 like that). It's also only one instrument track. It's generative noise music (using delay) so the patterns evolve over time.

- The track I just submitted for the space comp is done in half time, but I also only ended up using 10 patterns, and the second half of the song involves, yet again, a Kaoss pad solo, which occurs over a single pattern.

- While most of Robot Bounce is just a half-time song with 15 whole patterns, there's a lot of track muting done live, and then there are a couple parts where I turn up the delay feedback to the max, let the sound build up, and then switch to a pattern where that instrument doesn't play and slowly back off the feedback so a long, ambient sound stretches over multiple measures.

- Punk Robot is *not* half-time, uses all 16 patterns, and involves no trickery... it's a pretty normal track except for one EQ effect that I did in post-production... but it just so happens that the bass preset (which is a default one, if I'm not mistaken) oscillates in such a way that the sound changes from one pattern to the next... so it makes a mostly repetitive song, slightly less repetitive.

Anyway, you get the idea... turn knobs, push buttons, fit lots into each pattern, be creative.
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squelch
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by squelch » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:29 am

THanks guys for more replies, great stuff here :)

Very sound advice there Bryface :idea:
Decktonic wrote: - My final cut of Bassfisher is done in half time. Also, the first 1:30 is programmed in song mode. The pattern that starts at 0:30 continues for about 45 seconds, and in that time I have a solo performed on the Kaoss pad... Also, in the beginning of the song I manually fade in one of the channels.
I take it you got a DS10+, i am on standard uk DS10.

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Decktonic » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:29 pm

Yeah I did it on the DS10+.
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by HarleyLikesMusic » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:09 pm

When im making a new song, ill usually start because ive found inspiration in something around me, or it could even be from a sound that i have made on the ds-10.
With making dubstep/electro/dnb i tend to make the most upbeat part of the song where everything is at full throttle first, because then you just have to build everything up or down around it, then often any tricks or ideas bring them self to you.
And i always use live mode just because i can solo/mute/alter patches make the song sound less repetitive. (i use ds-10 rather than ds-10+)

I make them in live mode mainly because i do a lot of gigs and its always nice to see someone doing something haha.
Hope this helps in one way or another.
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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by zini » Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:11 am

My methods [lazy methods]

DS-10: I basically work on one true loop, making edits to everything including pitch and note cuts. I try to make the one loop as intricate and awesome sounding as possible, then when i'm ready I'll decide whether I want to just run the loop while performing notes [which does sound rather repetitive but people usually forgive you because of how awesome the loop is] or use song mode.
One loop method: To at least try to take away the repetitive feel the volume faders become your friend, also a good memory for the notes you play. Basically, you are improving and are bordering a very sloppy piece or something truly epic and unbelievable that you are using a regular ds10 without song mode. Sometimes, if you have enough timing, you can even jump into the loop and throw blocks around to make the song more dynamic.
Song Mode method: boring

DS-10 +: I'll copy the really awesome loop mentioned in the regular ds-10 method over 8 to 16 blocks/patterns and make minute changes to each loop to make the song sound more dynamic, [my latest track "dun ost" is a prime example of this method.] During the 8 to 16 block method, i'll use song mode to record bass lines, again, making the loop seem much larger if noticed as a loop at all. I usually try to leave one of the synths void of any recording, this is so i can use it as my main instrument for the track. Again, while in song mode - you can manipulate volume faders, making the 8 to 16 block loop seem even less repetitive

I don't know if any of this made sense but this is what I do when recording, I rarely make second takes or have to rehearse. I just jump in and record and rely on wit. It's just funner and more adventurous that way... it's like gambling with your time to be honest. I have had to delete some nasty waves because I wasn't "with it" during recording. I find maybe after a few beers or when you are up way too late - that's usually when the "ness" flows strong.

Good luck Grasshopper!
sideways 'till fully bled & solid

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Geolm » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:30 am

i'll use song mode to record bass lines
I did not mention that but usually I use my piano for chords/voicing then I write it down in the step sequencer. And for the bass line, I play the rhythmic section with my korg ds-10 and play my bass over to find the right bass line. Okay it's a bit cheesy that's the advantage of playing other instruments :)

But I found that most of the time I edit my patches, for me this is the heart of composing using a synthesizer. Sometimes I work one or two hour on one sound. And when I hear some of your songs guys that I love it's mainly because you have found some greats sounds which fits nicely together. Since this software is limited in term of memory, I think we have to work on the sound (and it can output some really good sounds IMO).

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Re: Ways of making a song?

Post by Syscrusher » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:35 pm

Geolm wrote:

But I found that most of the time I edit my patches, for me this is the heart of composing using a synthesizer.
Agreed 100%

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