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A music production odyssey.

A few thoughts on arrangement

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Today I want to talk a little about arranging music. We spend hours working on a tune, however messing up the arrangement can kill the entire song.

I generally arrange my music by first building up a loop. I used to make a four bar loop, but that ultimately wasn’t doing me any favours in terms of getting my music to be very interesting. Then I moved on to longer loops, 8 and 16, even 32 bar long. I’ll talk about how I build up the loop another time.

Within this loop you can find the entire arrangement.  The way I do it in ableton is to “play” the song, as though I was performing it, in session view. The way to do this in another daw is to fill say, a 3 minute block of time in your daw with the loop, on repeat. Now, mute all of the channels and press play. Unmute them the way you want the song to build up and down. Rinse and repeat until you are happy with it.

This will be your basic arrangement. All of the parts are where you want them to be, everything fits. Great.

Now, I want you to consider what the song needs next. Are any of the changes too abrupt? Do you need to include something else into your arrangement?


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