Need Help With Trance Project (CD Completed)

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14811 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:52 am

Hoping Recursive will give me a hand here and anybody else who is a Trance expert.

I've wanted to do this for a long time and I'm finally going to be starting tomorrow.

I know I have all the synths that I need (Spire, Serum, Rapid, Avenger, you name it) so there is no problem there. I doubt I will have to buy anything to do this project.

What I'm asking is simple.

What are the defining characteristics of Trance? I know there are lots of sub genres but for Trance in general, what makes it so?

Naturally, I'm going to head to Wiki and Youtube and listen to as much Trance music as I can before I start this. But I have a feeling after listening to hours of this stuff that it will all just start to blur after a while. So a general blueprint would help get me started.

I am going to be doing this project with vocals so that may or may not throw the whole Trance label out the window. I don't know. But I have found that most of the Trance posted in the Music Cafe is almost totally void of any melody whatsoever. It's all just, what I would call, backing track. There is no top line. I'm assuming that's normal. Well, for this project, I want to change that. I want to make actual songs but in the style of Trance.

Any help with this project will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Last edited by wagtunes on Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Delta Sign
KVRian
648 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:29 am

I'm by no means an expert on this stuff, and the only trancy stuff I sometimes listen to is often like 15 to 20 years old, so take my opinion with 4 grains of salt.

I would not agree that trance is not melodic, in fact, being melodic is what it distinguished from techno back in the day. Maybe that has changed with more modern trance, I don't know. Sure, the melodies are not very complex most of the time, but melodies, or elements in general that are too complex, can often distract from the "tranciness" of trance, if that makes any sense. It's supposed to be repetitive and hypnotic, after all.
There is also lots and lots of trance with vocals around. Just search for "vocal trance" on Youtube. It seems like Youtube wants to recommend me one of those playlists at least 4 times a day, for reasons only known to our mighty google overlords.

However, you are probably right that there isn't always a classic "lead" in the classic sense of the word, but that's just the nature of the genre, I suppose. The elements are all working together to create this flowing and moving soundscape instead of a pop tune with a hook to whistle in the car.

Just for reference, this is what I personally think of when someone says "trance". You are right, there are so many different sub sub sub sub genres now that it maybe means something different today, I don't know.

Chicane - Saltwater (Kinda the trance classic of trance classics):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET1-6Bef9xU

2 Players - Signet (An all time fav of mine):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYcE5xpAJA

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
14811 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:40 am

Delta Sign wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:29 am
I'm by no means an expert on this stuff, and the only trancy stuff I sometimes listen to is often like 15 to 20 years old, so take my opinion with 4 grains of salt.

I would not agree that trance is not melodic, in fact, being melodic is what it distinguished from techno back in the day. Maybe that has changed with more modern trance, I don't know. Sure, the melodies are not very complex most of the time, but melodies, or elements in general that are too complex, can often distract from the "tranciness" of trance, if that makes any sense. It's supposed to be repetitive and hypnotic, after all.
There is also lots and lots of trance with vocals around. Just search for "vocal trance" on Youtube. It seems like Youtube wants to recommend me one of those playlists at least 4 times a day, for reasons only known to our mighty google overlords.

However, you are probably right that there isn't always a classic "lead" in the classic sense of the word, but that's just the nature of the genre, I suppose. The elements are all working together to create this flowing and moving soundscape instead of a pop tune with a hook to whistle in the car.

Just for reference, this is what I personally think of when someone says "trance". You are right, there are so many different sub sub sub sub genres now that it maybe means something different today, I don't know.

Chicane - Saltwater (Kinda the trance classic of trance classics):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET1-6Bef9xU

2 Players - Signet (An all time fav of mine):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYcE5xpAJA
Thanks. Listening now.

garryknight
KVRian
1135 posts since 6 Jan, 2015 from London, England

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:45 am

I agree with Delta Sign. In particular, do a search for "female melodic vocal trance" and you'll hear a lot of stuff with definite themes.

IMO, one of the best examples of this style is Silence by Delerium, featuring Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, whose usual style is totally different, but whose voice suits melodic trance really well.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14811 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:47 am

garryknight wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:45 am
I agree with Delta Sign. In particular, do a search for "female melodic vocal trance" and you'll hear a lot of stuff with definite themes.

IMO, one of the best examples of this style is Silence by Delerium, featuring Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, whose usual style is totally different, but whose voice suits melodic trance really well.
Thanks. Putting this on the "to-listen" list.

mitchiemasha
KVRist
175 posts since 15 Aug, 2011 from teesside

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:01 pm

Here's a list
1. Sidechained Pads and rolling Bass Lines.
2. Stick to a chord or 2 for longer, then drop to another 1 in faster succession to create movement.
3. Use of Dyads 2 or 3 octaves apart, with supersaws, the lower octave note being 2 white keys lower than the higher octave note.
4. Stretched out reverbs and delays, sidechain pumped to create the atmosphere from the sounds with in the track, rather than blatent FX samples... Especially reversed reverbs of the sound to introduce it.
5. Super crisp hihats. Claps with predelayed reverbs, time matched to fit perfectly with the bpm, rhythm of the track.

I have a few trance projects in the pipes. I'd be interested in hearing what you have, possibly exchange a few ideas and help get some projects finished.
MSI z390, i7 9700k, Noctua NH-U9S, NVME 970 Pro, 16GB 3000C15, BeQuiet S11, W10, Cubase 10.

mitchiemasha
KVRist
175 posts since 15 Aug, 2011 from teesside

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:04 pm

And another... Chords where a note carries across to create more hold before an actual full change. This helps to capture that full on rush of a bigger change.
MSI z390, i7 9700k, Noctua NH-U9S, NVME 970 Pro, 16GB 3000C15, BeQuiet S11, W10, Cubase 10.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
14811 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:05 pm

mitchiemasha wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:01 pm
Here's a list
1. Sidechained Pads and rolling Bass Lines.
2. Stick to a chord or 2 for longer, then drop to another 1 in faster succession to create movement.
3. Use of Dyads 2 or 3 octaves apart, with supersaws, the lower octave note being 2 white keys lower than the higher octave note.
4. Stretched out reverbs and delays, sidechain pumped to create the atmosphere from the sounds with in the track, rather than blatent FX samples... Especially reversed reverbs of the sound to introduce it.
5. Super crisp hihats. Claps with predelayed reverbs, time matched to fit perfectly with the bpm, rhythm of the track.

I have a few trance projects in the pipes. I'd be interested in hearing what you have, possibly exchange a few ideas and help get some projects finished.
Your list is like Greek to me, especially the tech stuff. But that's on me to figure it out.

Thanks.

JoaquinAce
KVRist
120 posts since 8 Apr, 2018 from SC, USA

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:14 pm

Here is a recent hard trance release from me on Xtraxx Records: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1KiIjTHGgg

Don't pay too much attention to the "hard" part.It has the trance prototype intro, build, release, build, drop with rolling basslines, massive synth lines, huge kick etc. We can chat further over PM and/or phone and discuss what you want to "tell" with your track. I feel without knowing what you want to say, it becomes something that sounds like you got a construction kit from somewhere and put the samples together, devoid from emotion.
Artist name: Joaquin Ace
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-654529282

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
14811 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:56 pm

JoaquinAce wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:14 pm
Here is a recent hard trance release from me on Xtraxx Records: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1KiIjTHGgg

Don't pay too much attention to the "hard" part.It has the trance prototype intro, build, release, build, drop with rolling basslines, massive synth lines, huge kick etc. We can chat further over PM and/or phone and discuss what you want to "tell" with your track. I feel without knowing what you want to say, it becomes something that sounds like you got a construction kit from somewhere and put the samples together, devoid from emotion.
I don't really know enough about the genre and all the sub genres to know just what I want to do yet. All I know is I want to do more vocal based Trance with actual lyrics and song structure and still keep the Trance elements, if that's at all even possible. So I guess if you had to call it a label, you'd call it Pop Trance, which might very well be a contradiction in terms. IOW, there is a great possibility that this might not work very well at all.

Anyway, I am going through Wiki and all the Trance genres and listening to as many Trance songs as I can. I'd like to listen to at least a hundred or so. So far, what I've listened to is quite diverse. There seems to be very little gluing all these songs together outside of the beat. And even there, some of these songs the beat is quite syncopated as in not straight 4 on the floor. So I'm having a hard time nailing down a sound for this genre and I'm not even 10 songs in.

Trance may very well be as all encompassing as saying "I want to do a pop song."

JoaquinAce
KVRist
120 posts since 8 Apr, 2018 from SC, USA

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:11 pm

It’s mostly hard to nail it down for you since ‘trance’ as a genre is too diverse to nail it down to a few things. You will have it look at Sub genres and then you will be able to find a lot more commonalities. That’s why I offered to chat with you about it so I can help you navigate.,
Artist name: Joaquin Ace
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-654529282

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Googly Smythe
KVRAF
2280 posts since 12 May, 2011 from Not where I was just now.

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:39 pm

My favourite "trance" vocalists...

Stine Grove
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r_ZB73tZoY

Fenna Day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xw5mKHe3_0

Don't forget the arps and white noise.
It's not as easy as it seems, so good luck with your efforts. :tu:

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2975 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:59 pm

What are the defining characteristics of Trance?
16s rhytm on a bass. The notes itself can be longer, but in such case they overlap or are automated to create dynamic 16s sequence. Plus, of course, 4/4 drums.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

Amram
KVRian
601 posts since 12 Jan, 2013 from Foolish Shepherd = God

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:39 pm


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Distorted Horizon
KVRAF
1623 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:40 am

This site has some nice snippet of info here and there

https://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/tr ... -progress/

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