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Structure and arrangement
Old 13th June 2016
  #1
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Structure and arrangement

Hi Mark,

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

Amongst the myriad of sonically similar artists, the one thing that sets you apart to me is the organic flow of ideas and movement. There's always this sense of urgency through narrative. I can understand that most of the time each track has a different way of finishing and can sometimes evolve on its own. Can you shed some light on how you approach structure and arrangement in a genre that uses heavy repetition?

Cheers in advance!
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Old 14th June 2016
  #2
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Hi Tian,

Cheers,

Thats quite a difficult one to explain.

I think when i started say with Evolution records i never arranged anything it was all live punching in stuff on the sequencer, The Q80 Kawai that i used had 32 track buttons and you could bring stuff in and out. So i would put it down to dat live, maybe a couple of takes and chose the best one.
So it was more of a natural feel, when something is getting boring bring something in or drop something out. Probably by the time i got to Reload album and onwards i would arranged stuff still on the Q80 but do full arrangements. Pain in the arse though as it had a small screen but thats probably a good thing in the end as it wasn't visual you had to have it all in your head. It also made for happy accidents, copying the wrong part to the wrong track.

By around 94 i would have started using Cubase on the Atari so moving into block type arrangements pretty much like it is now a days. So maybe learning in that early way i would have tried to get the good parts of how i used to do it into the new way of working. We would always tweak synths and effects live though.

By the later 90s moving into Audio recording inside the Sequencer, i think i used Cubase on a mac first then eventually moving to Logic i had to adapt to that. What i do now with most tracks in all styles is when i first work on the idea at the end of the day i will put down a version, kind of in a similar way to how i did it when i started. Just mute stuff in and out and put down a demo really. Sometimes i get a decent structure out of that, ill just drag that demo in to the arrange and copy it. And then change bits i didn't like. Add more complex arrangement parts etc.

Then really its down to loads of detail, detail i suppose that isn't obvious or you may not even notice it, but something is changing subtly to hold your attention. I love that stuff and happily spend days on things that you wonder if anyone will ever here it , but whats important is i hear it i guess and I'm not getting bored with the track. I think the combo of jamming down a arrangement and having some kind of Organic feel or more human feel but then going in on fine detail creates the balance you are noticing.

Arranging is one of the harder parts for me and time consuming. I need to live with stuff for a while usually. Another method i have used is put a live version down, then edit that as a 2 track so its closer to being a better structure then put that in the arrange and copy it. Then add extra stuff to that to keep it interesting.

I guess from what i have seen Abelton maybe a more fun and quicker way of Arranging stuff. I just prefer using Logic.

There was a thing in Logic which they took out where instead of Cycling a loop of a section you could jump to another section so you could have different sections of a rough arrange and jump between them, that was well handy. I have asked them to put that back in haha

Cheers Mark
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Old 27th June 2016
  #3
MDM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark P View Post
Hi Tian,

There was a thing in Logic which they took out where instead of Cycling a loop of a section you could jump to another section so you could have different sections of a rough arrange and jump between them, that was well handy. I have asked them to put that back in haha

Cheers Mark
Sounds like me, Cubase on an Atari with an S1000 end 90ies - PS:


Create a skip cycle

Do one of the following:

Hold down the Option key while selecting a cycle area in the ruler.

Set the cycle area to the part of the project you want to skip, then click the Swap Left and Right Locators button in the control bar (or use the Swap Left and Right Locator key command).

The cycle area changes color, indicating that it is now a skip cycle.
Figure. Skip cycle in the ruler.

You can add the Swap Left and Right Locators button by customizing the control bar. For information, see Customize the control bar.

By the way I love your tracks.
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Old 28th June 2016
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Cheers MDM,

I'll have a look at that, Can you do that skip cycle in logic when you are in record mode though? As thats what i want and i don't think you can. I suppose i could get a external recorder and do it to that to get around it. Its really just about putting a demo down really fast and live.

Mark
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