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RTG    8

So I roughly created this chorus to a song I'm interested in creating in about 3 hours. I'm pretty new to making music (so don't yell at me about no mixing lol) I am currently at a stuck point. I made this melody, and I REALLY REALLY like it. I have some chords and drums. The problem is I don't think the melody fits the BPM. It may not be the BPM but something just doesn't sound right. Maybe the drums are too fast for it. I don't know. That's why I wanted some of you geniuses :D to help me! What should I do differently? Here is a link to a video of my project. 

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Dallon426    25

Yeah your bars are not lining up.  What will help you grow as a producer, if yo are new to music is to copy people music you like.  Learn the software and try to figure out how other people put their music together.  Watch things on youtube, production videos, etc.  Dive in head deep!  Then, of course learning an instrument and taking the time to get proficient is absolutely rewarding, because it is so challenging, especially if you are starting later in life.  If you like piano, find a great teacher and learn the styles you enjoy.  Just as long as you are having fun with it!

 

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Ray888    159

I'm no musician but depending on what music program you are using there should be a sync application that will place your notes in sync to timing.

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HoboSage    1,907

This sounds like the drums are trying to play to specifics of the piano's rhythm, when it should sound like the piano is playing to the general rhythm of the drums.  In my opinion, the drums have too many crash cymbal hits and too many stutters of the kick beats in too short a span of time.  I don't think there should be any crash cymbals yet, or at most, just the first one.  I think the kick beat should go: buh, buh-buh . . . buh, buh-buh, and not pause even when the piano does. If this is a drum loop that you can't alter, then you need a different loop that provides a beat that flows more straight ahead.  

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MonoStone    824

Hi,

 

Excuse me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression you haven't understood the purpose of the bars etc. If so I hope my explanation helps (though I'm crap at explaining)... 

 

Your DAW marks out the bars, they're numbered (see the numbers at the top which line up with the bars!).... 

 

So your drum pattern, for example, should line up with those bars, and the beats within the bar. So for example set your DAW to loop around one bar... and then program a kick drum on every 1/4 of that bar (so the kick plays 1,2,3,4 and then loops back to the start of the bar)... any percussion playing faster will play at other fractions of the bar e.g. every 16th. The important thing is that it loops around the bar and each drum hit happens in time with the fractions of the bar.

 

If you have the drums playing close to the correct beats/bars then as Ray says you can use 'quantise' function in your DAW to line the drums up properly in time...however... when you're miles out, as you are, then you really need to correct it manually. 

 

But even if there was a magic bit of software to put everything in the right place and tempo, until you understand what it's all about you'll find everything a struggle, and the idea of writing a drum or instrument pattern of hits or notes in time with the bars is really the basics... very easy to figure out... so don't try to bypass that. 

 

Start by using the 'click' function which all DAWs have. Turn the click on and press play, and you'll hear the click count the time.... then line up your loop points to the start and end of a bar (or more than one bar, but always line up to the start and end, exactly). Now you'll hear the click continuously loop in perfect time. Next draw a kick drum on the drum track, draw a kick hit in on every 1/4 of the bar (you'll hear it play kick, kick, kick, kick, exactly in time with the click, click, click, click)... Next think where the snare should come in, and where the hi hats should come in, etc... it's your choice but line them up with the fractions of the bars (you can change your DAW to display and quantise to 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 or whatever... so try playing a hi hat or other drum/percussion sound on every 16th of the bar.... now you hear the basics of how a beat is formed).

 

Whether you use a drum beat in the track or not, doing that little exercise will help you understand what's going on. Once you've got that down, then imagine your melody in time with the beat...and play it in to match... 

 

 

 

 

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tunesmithth    1,217

I'll leave the software advice to those with more hands-on experience. BUT, I can tell you this...something is wrong with the timing of your drum track.

I'm not talking about the drums as they relate to the keyboard (sinc)...I mean just the drums.

When they're first introduced it's most obvious. There's a single count in your drum loop (heard first at the 28 second mark) that sounds as if it strays from the timing preset. Once that anomaly occurs, the timing seems to correct itself. Each time the loop plays, I hear the same anomaly...a noticeable drag in the timing of that single snare stroke.

It almost sounds like your program is switching from straight-time to "triplet time" for that one count...can't be sure. 

You may want to begin by isolating the drum loop & checking your timing presets (BPMs, type of timing, time signature).

 

Tom

 

*Although I lack familiarity with this specific software, I am an actual drummer. I know what I heard...something is wrong with that drum loop. ;)

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RTG    8

Wow! I'm so very pleased with the help you guys have given me! So what I'm hearing is I should use the metronome more often for making the drums :P should of used it in the first place (my mistake). I do appreciate all of the knowledge you guys have given me! Thanks!

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RTG    8
8 hours ago, Dallon426 said:

Yeah your bars are not lining up.  What will help you grow as a producer, if yo are new to music is to copy people music you like.  Learn the software and try to figure out how other people put their music together.  Watch things on youtube, production videos, etc.  Dive in head deep!  Then, of course learning an instrument and taking the time to get proficient is absolutely rewarding, because it is so challenging, especially if you are starting later in life.  If you like piano, find a great teacher and learn the styles you enjoy.  Just as long as you are having fun with it!

 

Quick question: would you say only the drums are the thing that is causing this to be incorrect or is the melody affecting it too? OR is everything off beat and I should start over?

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tunesmithth    1,217
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So what I'm hearing is I should use the metronome more often for making the drums :P should of used it in the first place (my mistake).

 

If you laid those drums in manually & you are not a musician, I would recommend that you always "quantize" your individual tracks.

Forget about the metronome...since you're already creating these tracks with software, utilize that same software to make the timing precise.

If you don't, you'll have a hell of a time once you begin layering in additional tracks.

If the timing of each track is just a little off timing-wise, by time you're finished...it'll sound like an absolute trainwreck. :rolleyes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantization_(music)

 

Tom

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RTG    8
4 minutes ago, tunesmithth said:

 

If you laid those drums in manually & you are not a musician, I would recommend that you always "quantize" your individual tracks.

Forget about the metronome...since you're already creating these tracks with software, utilize that same software to make the timing precise.

If you don't, you'll have a hell of a time once you begin layering in additional tracks.

If the timing of each track is just a little off timing-wise, by time you're finished...it'll sound like an absolute trainwreck. :rolleyes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantization_(music)

 

Tom

I am a musician. I've played guitar for around 5 years. I am just horrible when it comes to making music on a computer. It's a skill I really want to have. I appreciate the help.

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tunesmithth    1,217
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I am just horrible when it comes to making music on a computer.

 Don't feel bad...so am I ! ;)

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Jenn    171

hit all the buttons... that's how i make a song personally

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RTG    8
35 minutes ago, Jenn said:

hit all the buttons... that's how i make a song personally

Haha! Love it!

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Richard Tracey    252

If you want to do your drums manually, pick a drum sample or loop you like the beat of, place that in the daw as an audio or midi file, set the bpm to what you think sounds right and play along to the beat. Start with the kick, then add snare, hi-hats etc till you get what you want. As others have mentioned, always quantize, as this will help when you start adding your instruments keeping them in line with the beat.

 

Which DAW are you using?

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RTG    8
9 hours ago, Richard Tracey said:

If you want to do your drums manually, pick a drum sample or loop you like the beat of, place that in the daw as an audio or midi file, set the bpm to what you think sounds right and play along to the beat. Start with the kick, then add snare, hi-hats etc till you get what you want. As others have mentioned, always quantize, as this will help when you start adding your instruments keeping them in line with the beat.

 

Which DAW are you using?

FL Studio 12 (I know a "noob's DAW" but I don't have a MAC for Logic Pro X lol).

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Richard Tracey    252

RTG - nice piano chords, but the melody notes seem off with the chords, like some come in too late. Have you played them into the DAW or drawn them in?

 

The beat sounds a lot better, but there is one kick note in each section that sounds like it comes in too soon as well. It might just need shifted to the right. Sometimes quantising doesn't always hit the right bars, it depends on whether you do 1/8, 1/16 or 1/32. For drums I always do 1/8.

 

The melody might sound nicer if it was a different instrument, a nice synth sound to contrast against the piano chords.

 

If you think about the bass and how you want that to go, whether arpegiated or not. This will help direct the drum pattern, as most of the time the two go hand in hand.

 

Nice start though.

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Jenn    171

What Richard said.... things are still off. Are you able to see the actual notes as they play in the bars? Such as like this?595d6232b340e_ScreenShot2017-07-05at6_03_16PM.thumb.png.eb2a57d49d8d7ea9a37a9f2e2046049d.png595d62372a7d3_ScreenShot2017-07-05at6_03_10PM.thumb.png.3d3f09ccfc0f0d22466ef6f28860216b.png

 

If so.... you can drag them to the little tick marks to make sure they're in time ... and then eventually line everything all up together so it's on the right beat

 

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RTG    8
17 minutes ago, Jenn said:

What Richard said.... things are still off. Are you able to see the actual notes as they play in the bars? Such as like this?595d6232b340e_ScreenShot2017-07-05at6_03_16PM.thumb.png.eb2a57d49d8d7ea9a37a9f2e2046049d.png595d62372a7d3_ScreenShot2017-07-05at6_03_10PM.thumb.png.3d3f09ccfc0f0d22466ef6f28860216b.png

 

If so.... you can drag them to the little tick marks to make sure they're in time ... and then eventually line everything all up together so it's on the right beat

 

I do not think my DAW has such a feature. (Another reason to switch DAWs haha). The problem for is, since I created the track, it's hard to really hear what's wrong. I'm not saying I'm right but it's just troubling to fix something when i cannot pin point what everyone is talking about. I'm just a tad confused on where you think the melody notes should land.

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RTG    8

@Jenn Here is a screenshot of what I just did to the notes. I placed them next to the closest line. Is this what you meant? 

445dc5490a097a09d14f8a2e113e6192.png

Edited by RTG

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RTG    8
24 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

RTG - nice piano chords, but the melody notes seem off with the chords, like some come in too late. Have you played them into the DAW or drawn them in?

 

The beat sounds a lot better, but there is one kick note in each section that sounds like it comes in too soon as well. It might just need shifted to the right. Sometimes quantising doesn't always hit the right bars, it depends on whether you do 1/8, 1/16 or 1/32. For drums I always do 1/8.

 

The melody might sound nicer if it was a different instrument, a nice synth sound to contrast against the piano chords.

 

If you think about the bass and how you want that to go, whether arpegiated or not. This will help direct the drum pattern, as most of the time the two go hand in hand.

 

Nice start though.

So for the kick drum that was off could you please give me a timestamp (the time inside the DAW) that you noticed it was off? Doesn't have to be EXACT just close to the timestamp :)

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Richard Tracey    252
2 minutes ago, RTG said:

@Jenn Here is a screenshot of what I just did to the notes. I placed them next to the closest line. Is this what you meant? 

445dc5490a097a09d14f8a2e113e6192.png

 

RTG - that's the difference between playing the notes and drawing them in. Post the chords you used and I'll mock up what you have done tomorrow when I get in from work and see if we can identify how the melody should sound - if you want to...

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MonoStone    824

Put a click on with it.... let's hear that... you don't need to do a presented video, but let's hear it with the click on.

 

It doesn't sound at all right yet, for several reasons, and I hope the click will help us explain, and help you hear the issues. Hearing that it's not right is the main thing!

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Jenn    171
Just now, RTG said:

@Jenn Here is a screenshot of what I just did to the notes. I placed them next to the closest line. Is this what you meant? https://gyazo.com/445dc5490a097a09d14f8a2e113e6192

Yes! That's exactly it! So the labeled "1", "2", etc are the bars numbers I can safely assume. Although you have everything during a defined beat, technically, timing is everything... This part you just have to learn by ear.... An 1/8 note difference can make a huge difference between anticipation and gratification! It's hard to explain without showing you the difference, but Richard could really help you out by mapping it out. 

 

This is personally one of my favorite parts of music... finding where everything fits. It's a giant jigsaw puzzle. 

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RTG    8
1 minute ago, Richard Tracey said:

 

RTG - that's the difference between playing the notes and drawing them in. Post the chords you used and I'll mock up what you have done tomorrow when I get in from work and see if we can identify how the melody should sound - if you want to...

Sure! I'd love to see what you think! The chords are Dm, C, F, and Gm7

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Richard Tracey    252
1 minute ago, RTG said:

Sure! I'd love to see what you think! The chords are Dm, C, F, and Gm7

Can you post an image of your drum loop as well, just so I can see where the kick and snare are placed... cheers.

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RTG    8
3 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

Put a click on with it.... let's hear that... you don't need to do a presented video, but let's hear it with the click on.

 

It doesn't sound at all right yet, for several reasons, and I hope the click will help us explain, and help you hear the issues. Hearing that it's not right is the main thing!

Here you go! 

 

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MikeRobinson    146

Without dumpster-diving into any particular piece of software ... it sounded to me like the crash cymbals, in particular, were what was "off."

 

Now, here's what I would do about it:  "step back and think like a drummer," as you lay out the drum-track.  Personally, I'd either hit a drum-pad MIDI-thingy ;) or hit(!) keys on your MIDI keyboard.  (In any case, "actually hit(!) something!")  The bass drum is always the timekeeper.  Toms and snares keep the quarter-notes.  Cymbals are the icing on the cake. But everything is tied to the drum, which pounds out a sequence of on-beats and off-beats.  ("ONE two THREE four!") Above all(!), the entire structure must be locked to this.

 

I daresay that if you shift the crash part one measure to the right or to the left, your piece will "magically" sound much better.

Edited by MikeRobinson

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RTG    8
1 minute ago, Richard Tracey said:

Can you post an image of your drum loop as well, just so I can see where the kick and snare are placed... cheers.

There it is! 

867bfdacfbd2446ed17f52d3fc68b881.png

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RTG    8
1 minute ago, MikeRobinson said:

Without dumpster-diving into any particular piece of software ... it sounded to me like the crash cymbals, in particular, were what was "off."

 

Now, here's what I would do about it:  "step back and think like a drummer," as you lay out the drum-track.  Personally, I'd either hit a drum-pad MIDI-thingy ;) or hit(!) keys on your MIDI keyboard.  (In any case, "actually hit(!) something!")  The bass drum is always the timekeeper.  Toms and snares keep the quarter-notes.  Cymbals are the icing on the cake. But everything is tied to the drum, which pounds out a sequence of on-beats and off-beats.  ("ONE two THREE four!") 

Thanks for that info! I have just never been good at drumming so this is a rough start haha.

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