How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
studiowaveform
KVRist
91 posts since 5 Oct, 2012

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:39 am

This is one thing im not very good at. My tracks have too much of a laid-back feel. Theres something im not grokking about pattern arrangement when it comes to adding drive to a piece


I fall into loopitis where im just adding parts into the piece to keep the energy up, instead of them being somehow more expertly added and making the whole thing a driving whole


Can anyone give me any pointers? Tips & tricks about approaches to arrangement to create really danceable music? Theres defo some techniques that I just havent got yet

maybe to do with moving around the snare, pushing and pulling on the arrangement. Not sure if its at the micro or more macro step level

seriously, thanks for any help, im so close to being happy with my skill at writing music

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melomood
KVRist
312 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:48 am

You are about to get hit with a bunch of questions for specifics and an audio sample of what you've done that you're not happy with.

dark water
KVRian
920 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:58 am

Some basic advice (which can be followed but should be changed as you become more experienced) would be to:

Keep your kick rigidly on all 4 of the beats, assuming classic dance 4/4 time etc.
Keep your snare on the 2 and 4 beats.
Let the hi hats sit rigidly on the beat / half beat.
Let the cymbals come make a noise sometimes around the 4th beat for effect.
Do fills/rolls of the kick, snare, hihats and cymbals (maybe) around rigid fractions of the main beat.

Let other percussive instruments such as woodblocks, bongos and cowbells etc have regular rhythms of their own pushed slightly behind or in front of the beat, depending on what feel you want. Vary these in terms of note duration and position on the grid.
(Experiment with irregular rhythms too).

Of course, the percussion's rhythm has to fit with other instruments too to make any sense whether something is laid back or rushed.
So keep your bass and drums together to cement a groove.
Allow more melodic instruments / vocals to have a freer range around the rhythm.


Finally, consider buying this for $12.99.
The webpage seems a bit spammy, I grant you, but it's a decent read to get some fresh ideas:
https://zenchamusic.com/electronic-musi ... nt-course/

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melomood
KVRist
312 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:18 am

...or maybe not,but it would help to have an audio example of what you're doing,unless that was all the help you needed.

dark water
KVRian
920 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:26 am

melomood wrote:You are about to get hit with a bunch of questions for specifics and an audio sample of what you've done that you're not happy with.
next post:
melomood wrote:...or maybe not,but it would help to have an audio example of what you're doing,unless that was all the help you needed.
:nutter: :hihi:

studiowaveform
KVRist
91 posts since 5 Oct, 2012

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:15 am

I hope you can listen to 90s techno :lol: , ive covered most of the stuff dark water said already, I guess im looking into discussing more advanced technique than that, like:

This track - there's something about the rimshot & the tom interplay/call & response that gives the track drive, and when the jump back into the initial hook pulls the listeners back in. Thats the sort of thing I want to learn more about

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zVCQT ... Ce02j4rZd5

When I discuss stuff I find it cements it in my head, sometimes I find i've answered my own question just by posing the question to someone :lol:

studiowaveform
KVRist
91 posts since 5 Oct, 2012

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:16 am

im trying to program this sort of thing in modular-land as well, so just my usual 'move blocks around till they fit' doesnt work properly. im trying to get to the guts of what makes something energetic or not

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melomood
KVRist
312 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:55 pm

dark water wrote: :nutter: :hihi:
:smack:

dark water
KVRian
920 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:39 pm

^^ :idiot:
Melomood: you assumed something would happen (''a bunch of questions'' from people asking for an audio sample), but it didn't.
Weirdly, you then asked for a sample yourself (and also chose to follow my own fair post with ''...or maybe not'').
Why not just ask for a sample in your first post rather than coming out with the 'gamey' comment you did?

As for the OP, tbh you're probably better off solving this, as you say yourself, given that you've moved beyond the basics and seem to know what you like in terms of genre, specific rhythms and techniques.

elassi
KVRAF
1892 posts since 8 Sep, 2009

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:02 pm

studiowaveform wrote:This track - there's something about the rimshot & the tom interplay/call & response that gives the track drive, and when the jump back into the initial hook pulls the listeners back in. Thats the sort of thing I want to learn more about

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zVCQT ... Ce02j4rZd5
The dance floor does not like complicate things (unlike experts and critics, but this story is as old as music - and art in general - itself).

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melomood
KVRist
312 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:39 pm

dark water wrote:^^ :idiot:
Melomood: you assumed something would happen (''a bunch of questions'' from people asking for an audio sample), but it didn't.
Weirdly, you then asked for a sample yourself (and also chose to follow my own fair post with ''...or maybe not'').
Why not just ask for a sample in your first post rather than coming out with the 'gamey' comment you did?

As for the OP, tbh you're probably better off solving this, as you say yourself, given that you've moved beyond the basics and seem to know what you like in terms of genre, specific rhythms and techniques.
Wow. Only a month or so back and already being grilled for expecting something that did not happen.
Since you take my comments and responses so very seriously perhaps you should hold an open KVR senate hearing to decide if I should be able to say things here that bother you.
I'd also like to point out that what I expected to happen not happening says a lot about coming to KVR for the kind of help he was seeking. I do not make techno music. I am the least qualified to suggest what he should do for a techno beat so I was leaving it to other to speak up. Apparently that's not happening

Lighten up and get over yourself

studiowaveform
KVRist
91 posts since 5 Oct, 2012

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:43 am

I just realised this would be better in the production techniques forum as well. Wondered if a mod could move it?

tapper mike
KVRAF
4764 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:30 am

Meter goes beyond quantized beats....

Yikes no time to complete my statements.

janac
KVRer
4 posts since 6 Dec, 2017 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:08 pm

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I listened to the track you posted.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zVCQT (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zVCQT) ... Ce02j4rZd5
I think what makes this work is a certain underlying rhythm that I've heard many times in dance music. It creates a lot of drive, and if you use it, you would not be "copying" anything, it's used all over. The rhythm is: dotted eighth note, followed by a sixteenth note tied to an eighth note, followed by another eighth note, and beats 3 and 4 are empty for that rhythm part. Again, I've heard this rhythm a million times. Then over that, a rhythm that's a straight 4/4 rhythm, with nothing fancy. The tension between the two rhythms works really well. Then you can add layers and create additional tension/polyrhythm according to your taste. In my opinion, this track starts out really well, creating a great drive, but then it loses clarity. I think you should keep it simple, and make sure that any layers you add contribute clearly and constructively to the overall beat.

jezzaj
KVRer
3 posts since 29 Dec, 2017

Re: How to stop rhythms from being too laid-back

Post Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:48 am

If you find a melody is too laid back try working in double time for the percussion/drums etc. Lots of dance music uses this technique e.g a trance track with slow vocals in contrast to up-tempo beat.

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