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Blog: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureRyan van Eerde

Getting a bit scratchy

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

Sound experimentation

Oliver and I got into the studio this week to start making a scratch track for the project and experiment with some synths and MIDI sequencing. Actually making a scratch track provided to be more difficult than what we originally thought it was going to be, but we did learn a lot about the different sounds that can be created with synths.

I think one of the problems was because there were so many synth sounds to choose from it was difficult to find the right ones that worked musically with the riffs I had recorded. So we ended the session with not really getting anything down in the form of a scratch track but we did succeed in doing a good amount of experimentation with synths and programming music, which will help when we come to do the track again.

Luckily the next day we had a class dedicated all to making scratch tracks which gave me a push in the right direction to actually make a good start on one. The main goal of the class was to use a DAW to produce a basic 2-3 minute song using EMP elements/techniques as to facilitate a learning outcome, it didn’t need to be anything related to the main project we are doing. Seeing as Oliver and I didn’t really make much headway with our scratch track the day before I thought it would be best to devote the time I had to try and come up with a good baseline for our project (and that is baseline to bass-line).

It was really helpful having an industry professional explain to us his process of making a track and what elements are important to focus on. One of the biggest things I took away from the session was to not worry so much about selecting or creating complex synth sounds in the beginning, just find a basic synth patch and start composing music then refine the sounds later. This really comes back to the session Oliver and I had where we got to preoccupied in sounds and neglected to actually do any useful composition for the scratch track, get the song done first then make it sound nice later.

With this new thought process and outlook I actually managed to make a good start on the scratch track and although it is not finished yet I now have a better idea of how the end product will come together.

This is an image of where I am up to with the scratch track at the moment, I have just been coming up with different sections and experimenting with melodies to complement the guitar track (which is Audio3, need to start naming track properly as well). The guitar riffs I came up with are working well and are making it relatively easy for me to construct the track.

There was also another class this week on the track teardown where we came up with topic sentences to help us analyse more specifically to our projects. The topic sentence I came up with and the reason why I want to analyse my reference track is

The purpose of the track teardown is to analyse ElectroMetal production techniques and to apply these to a film soundtrack.

Just a nice and simple point but one I believe will help me to achieve the sound I want for the completed project. As I am relatively competent with the heavy metal guitar side of the project having a better understanding of how EMP elements are used in another track where this is done will provide me with a better insight of what I need to implement into my track going forward.

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