Need Help With Trance Project (CD Completed)

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
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wagtunes
KVRAF
14578 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:23 am

Here you go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbPJyPpJqTY

Okay.

Song starts at 13 seconds with kick and arp. Continues on until 42 second when kick gets stronger. Then around 1 minute snare comes in and then around 1:09, drums drop out and then comes back in again. Then drops out around 1:40. Vocals come in around 2:04 and drums come back in with it. Now all this is the breakdown, right? Not sure because drums keep cutting out and coming back in while she's singing. Are these mini breaks. At 3:05 drums drop altogether. She's still singing. Instrumental comes in around 3:45. Starts to build. Still no drums. Kick roll comes in around 4:20 or so and builds until at 4:23 it stops and then things start back up again. This is very hard to type and listen to this at the same time. At 5:20 things build again. Then at 5:50 drums drop out again and come back in a few seconds later.

I didn't really hear any earth shattering drops in this track. Just, IMO, a lot of little mini ones. Pretty much?

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
10630 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:32 am

wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:23 am

Song starts at 13 seconds with kick and arp. Continues on until 42 second when kick gets stronger. Then around 1 minute snare comes in and then around 1:09, drums drop out and then comes back in again. Then drops out around 1:40. Vocals come in around 2:04 and drums come back in with it. Now all this is the breakdown, right? Not sure because drums keep cutting out and coming back in while she's singing. Are these mini breaks. At 3:05 drums drop altogether. She's still singing. Instrumental comes in around 3:45. Starts to build. Still no drums. Kick roll comes in around 4:20 or so and builds until at 4:23 it stops and then things start back up again. This is very hard to type and listen to this at the same time. At 5:20 things build again. Then at 5:50 drums drop out again and come back in a few seconds later.

I didn't really hear any earth shattering drops in this track. Just, IMO, a lot of little mini ones. Pretty much?
Yeah you pretty much nailed it, that's what I hear also. The main drop at 3:05 is the one you identified.
BT is one of the legends in the scene, you could learn an awful lot from his back catalogue. Wonderfully nice guy also (not that I know him).
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14578 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:39 am

Mushy Mushy wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:32 am
wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:23 am

Song starts at 13 seconds with kick and arp. Continues on until 42 second when kick gets stronger. Then around 1 minute snare comes in and then around 1:09, drums drop out and then comes back in again. Then drops out around 1:40. Vocals come in around 2:04 and drums come back in with it. Now all this is the breakdown, right? Not sure because drums keep cutting out and coming back in while she's singing. Are these mini breaks. At 3:05 drums drop altogether. She's still singing. Instrumental comes in around 3:45. Starts to build. Still no drums. Kick roll comes in around 4:20 or so and builds until at 4:23 it stops and then things start back up again. This is very hard to type and listen to this at the same time. At 5:20 things build again. Then at 5:50 drums drop out again and come back in a few seconds later.

I didn't really hear any earth shattering drops in this track. Just, IMO, a lot of little mini ones. Pretty much?
Yeah you pretty much nailed it, that's what I hear also. The main drop at 3:05 is the one you identified.
BT is one of the legends in the scene, you could learn an awful lot from his back catalogue. Wonderfully nice guy also (not that I know him).
Trust me, I've listened to a lot of his stuff. Hell, I've listened to a lot of everybody's stuff and still going.

I'm starting to get it. The trick is to make it obvious without being predictable and boring. You want to know it's coming but you want some mystery too. Otherwise we can just program a computer to make this stuff.

IOW, making Trance that is interesting to listen to is NOT easy. I am absolutely learning that.

AnX
KVRAF
3791 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:41 am

this is one of the very few vocal trance tracks i like (20 yrs old :hihi: )

https://youtu.be/fU_OQgkpt5I

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
10630 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:46 am

wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:39 am
The trick is to make it obvious without being predictable and boring.
Yes, exactly. It needs to be predictable to the extent that you can dance to it but at the same time add little unexpected twists here and there.
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14578 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:58 am

AnX wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:41 am
this is one of the very few vocal trance tracks i like (20 yrs old :hihi: )

https://youtu.be/fU_OQgkpt5I
Kind of plain by today's standards but eh, it is 22 years ago so there is that. Kind of hypnotic. She reminds me of Sada in "Smooth Operator"

AnX
KVRAF
3791 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:04 am

wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:58 am
AnX wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:41 am
this is one of the very few vocal trance tracks i like (20 yrs old :hihi: )

https://youtu.be/fU_OQgkpt5I
Kind of plain by today's standards but eh, it is 22 years ago so there is that. Kind of hypnotic. She reminds me of Sada in "Smooth Operator"

yes, its quite smooth, i prefer slightly harder stuff myself without vox, I'll dig one up.

edit:

https://youtu.be/KQehN7xtvnM

https://youtu.be/oCHiSB2jHv0

https://youtu.be/GtP0URXj3PI

recursive one
KVRAF
3847 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:33 am

Wags, frankly if you want to impress people who live and breathe trance with your stuff you need to completely change your approach to melody and composition. But if you want to inject some trance or edm elements into your music while still sounding like you, what you did in this track is just fine. Still could be fatter and tighter but it all comes with time.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14578 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:53 am

recursive one wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:33 am
Wags, frankly if you want to impress people who live and breathe trance with your stuff you need to completely change your approach to melody and composition. But if you want to inject some trance or edm elements into your music while still sounding like you, what you did in this track is just fine. Still could be fatter and tighter but it all comes with time.
Eh, I expected to fail. I did, so I'm not disappointed.

It's all good.

But yeah, in retrospect, I think that's what I'll do. I'll do my own thing. People can call it whatever they want. And everybody's happy.

recursive one
KVRAF
3847 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:37 am

I don't think you failed. I understand that your goal was to add some trance elements and production tricks to your tracks without radically changing your style. I think you succeeded at that.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14578 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:57 am

Fascinating Stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYjQJea02W4

Okay, so I really studied this video and made notes. No need to watch it. It's 40 minutes long. I'll summarize below:
***********************************************************************************

Trance Structure

DJ Intro – Drums only

Mini Breakdown – Drums drop out and intro of thematic material (Optional)

Bassline Entry – Drums come back and bass line enters

Melodic Motif – Melody is introduced

Main Breakdown – Track drops in intensity. Drums drop out. Main melody is developed and builds towards the drop

The Drop – Drums and bass come back in and everything is real big here building on main melody

Drop Outro – Things start to wind down with instruments dropping out

Mini Breakdown 2 – Drums drop out and it's like the first. Builds to next section towards end

Beginning Of The End – Like a 2nd drop but winds down as it goes on, thinning out towards end

Bassline Outro – Bassline is removed or filtered down. Only it and drums here

DJ Out – Drums to end
***********************************************************************************

I get it. In essence, it's not really different from analysis of any genre structure.

Take a pop ballad, that I've been writing for over 40 years

Intro - Usually pretty soft with piano. Maybe strings

Verse - Also very soft. Introduces lyrical theme of song

Pre Chorus - Musically starts to build in intensity

Chorus - Main melody comes in. Musically bigger than the verse. Main hook.

Verse 2 - Same as 1 but maybe a little more developed musically. Maybe additional orchestral instruments or drums

Chorus 2 - Same as 1. Could be bigger but maybe not.

Bridge - A change from verse and chorus with big build to last chorus or could die down at end to next verse which really quiets down only to then build to final chorus

And so on.

You listen to enough of these over the years and it's not hard to write them if you have any talent as a composer. These songs all comes down to how interesting the words and melody are. Trance? That's a different animal. As most is just instrumental, it's melody and intensity of the music with the ebb and flow of the dynamics going from one section to another.

Intellectually, Trance structure is no harder to understand than pop ballad structure. But, you need to have a feel for the music, just like you need to have a feel for writing a pop ballad. I'm still working on feeling the music. It's probably closer to classical orchestral than it is to popular music. Study enough symphonies and you'll see.

There is no question I could now do something like the piece in this video. I think I showed my production skills have improved enough, thanks to you guys, that production wise it wouldn't sound too bad.

But...and this is the big but...would it only end up sounding like every other Trance track that's out there, just not as good because my production skills are not quite up to the pros?

If so, what's the point? At least with the track that I did, if nothing else, you have to say it was unique. It was all me. My stamp was all over it. With something like the track in this video, it's lost in the soup and nobody even notices. Yeah, AnX will say "Yay, you did a Trance track. You also put me to sleep with it."

Doesn't make any sense to just bake a cake that's technically correct but nobody likes because it's bland as hell.

But, having said all that, because I need to prove that I can do a technically accurate Trance track from start to finish, that's what I'm going to do for at least one song on this CD. I doubt anybody will like it, but at least they won't be able to say it's not Trance.

Fascinating stuff indeed.

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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
5255 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:10 am

wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:57 am


If so, what's the point? At least with the track that I did, if nothing else, you have to say it was unique. It was all me. My stamp was all over it.
Surely that's the point? And all the better for it, to have your own recognisable sound/style. As an analogy, you could give me any electric guitar and amp, and without even realising I was doing it, over time I'd tinker with the settings a bit at a time, and eventually come up with exactly the same sound I always do... :hihi: Go with it, don't fight it!

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vurt
addled muppet weed
40524 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:24 am

donkey tugger wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:10 am
wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:57 am


If so, what's the point? At least with the track that I did, if nothing else, you have to say it was unique. It was all me. My stamp was all over it.
Surely that's the point? And all the better for it, to have your own recognisable sound/style. As an analogy, you could give me any electric guitar and amp, and without even realising I was doing it, over time I'd tinker with the settings a bit at a time, and eventually come up with exactly the same sound I always do... :hihi: Go with it, don't fight it!

give me a guitar or a synth and its going to sound like excessive fx usage :hihi:

and stop saying failed ffs.
is it likely to take the dancefloor by storm? probably not, but considering your introduction to trance was quite recent you did a good job of finding the elements and turning them to your own stylings.
and think about what you've learned along the way, forget the genre specifics, all that production stuff you've learned is applicable across the spectrum of music. the settings may be different but the goal is always the same.

i enjoyed the final mix.
the others might be able to tell you more about where it fits, but for me it had elements that reminded me of clubbing it back in the 90s.
but i was a little off kilter for one reason or another most nights :hihi:

but. trance was a lot more experimental back then too. there was a lot less rigidity other than, does it have a beat we can dance to?!

also, a lot of bloody jugglers and stilt walkers. why do they think people on acid want to see weird shite like that? :o

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14578 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:39 am

vurt wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:24 am
donkey tugger wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:10 am
wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:57 am


If so, what's the point? At least with the track that I did, if nothing else, you have to say it was unique. It was all me. My stamp was all over it.
Surely that's the point? And all the better for it, to have your own recognisable sound/style. As an analogy, you could give me any electric guitar and amp, and without even realising I was doing it, over time I'd tinker with the settings a bit at a time, and eventually come up with exactly the same sound I always do... :hihi: Go with it, don't fight it!

give me a guitar or a synth and its going to sound like excessive fx usage :hihi:

and stop saying failed ffs.
is it likely to take the dancefloor by storm? probably not, but considering your introduction to trance was quite recent you did a good job of finding the elements and turning them to your own stylings.
and think about what you've learned along the way, forget the genre specifics, all that production stuff you've learned is applicable across the spectrum of music. the settings may be different but the goal is always the same.

i enjoyed the final mix.
the others might be able to tell you more about where it fits, but for me it had elements that reminded me of clubbing it back in the 90s.
but i was a little off kilter for one reason or another most nights :hihi:

but. trance was a lot more experimental back then too. there was a lot less rigidity other than, does it have a beat we can dance to?!

also, a lot of bloody jugglers and stilt walkers. why do they think people on acid want to see weird shite like that? :o
Thanks Vurt. Glad you enjoyed the final mix, whatever it is. LOL.

recursive one
KVRAF
3847 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Need Help With Trance Project

Post Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:05 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:57 am
would it only end up sounding like every other Trance track that's out there,

Doesn't make any sense to just bake a cake that's technically correct but nobody likes because it's bland as hell.
Well, many people do just this. Make "technically correct" trance tracks. On the one hand, it pushes the whole scene into the direction of very cliched, predictable and boring stuff. On the other hand, these people who don't have anything to add on their own and just repeat the tried and tested cliches, they are polishing the production side to perfection and then someone takes this perfect production, adds their own touch and takes the whole thing to the next level.

I listened to some of your tracks from your Music Cafe thread, your melodies and the overall aesthetics are very remote from what I actually enjoy. But you do have songwriting skills, there is no doubt in that. This sounds very trivial but it only worth it if you put enough effort into your production but at the same time you should actually like what you are doing. If you don't actually like trance, there is no point in making a "technically correct" trance track just to show someone that you can do it. if you don't like the musical side of trance but enjoy the production - the synths, the groove etc, you can take what you have learned in this thread and apply this to your own tracks in your own style. In this case I think you shouldn't give a flying f*ck if someone says "it's not trance".
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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