Old 08-23-2009, 04:21 AM   #1
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default How Do YOU Start Recording a Song in Reaper?

I'm still blundering about.

When you, as a largely one-man act, start a song from scratch, how do you go about it?

What do you record first? How do you organize your project so that it flows smoothly and in more or less organic form?

I'm still looking for a method that makes sense to me as a beginner.

As always, thanks for any helpful advice!
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 05:05 AM   #2
bfloyd6969
Human being with feelings
 
bfloyd6969's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 861
Default

Well, I don't know what you as a one man act plays, but I'm a guitar player and my music is guitar based. So, basically I start with a rough guitar track idea that I wrote, and record that to a click track. I use a click track so that when I add the drums, I'm already in time. The guitar track is just a rough starter track to lay down the rhythm section. Next, I do (and spend alot of time with) the drum track. Because I am a 'one man recording band' I use drum sims. I have EZ Drummer but lately I've been using the free (and excellent) Super Drums FX. I lay down a midi drum track that fits nicely with the rough guitar track. While doing this, I may hear some alternative changes and I just lay down more rough guitar tracks to finish the drum track. Next comes the bass guitar. Because I don't have a bass guitar, this too will be midi. I have several convincing bass guitar synths (again all free) that do the job. Sometimes I use my guitar with Amplitube 2 utilizing one of their 'guitar to bass guitar' presets. Pretty much this is just throwing in an octave pedal in the chain (tuned one octave down) and turning the dry signal all the way down. Once I have my rhythm section complete, I record all the keeper guitar tracks. After that, the vocals come in and then I start mixing. This is just my 'system' and it works fine for me
bfloyd6969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 06:26 AM   #3
Doughboy
Human being with feelings
 
Doughboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Gaylord Michigan
Posts: 1,679
Default

for me, since I use drum software, or when I used a drum machine.....I obviously put together the drum parts first. Then A Rhythm guitar or two. Lead Vocal.....Back Ground Vocals, Bass Guitar, Lead Guitar, Keyboards if necessary, vocal adlibs.
__________________
---------------
Doughboy
http://www.reverbnation.com/GregPillsbury
Doughboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 06:29 AM   #4
LCipher
Human being with feelings
 
LCipher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,563
Default

Do you mean "write a song" or "record a song"? Big difference...
LCipher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
Europanaut
Human being with feelings
 
Europanaut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 503
Default

Here's the typical Circle of Wings writing/recording process.


Decide on tempo.

Record clean rough gtr with click.

Add rough dirty gtr where applicable.

Add rough bass gtr.

Record midi drums played with V-Drum kit(or sometimes real drums in a local studio).

Edit drums.

Add midi keyboards.

Write arrangement map while rendering to mp3 (where verses start and end, etc).

Send to singer.

Render two more for bass player (full mix with click and my rough bass, full with click and no bass).

Send to bass player.

Bass player returns keeper bass part.

Singer returns rough vocal.

All rough gtr parts are re-recorded.

Solos recorded.

Singer comes into studio for final lead vocal.

Vocals are edited, and vocal harmonies are written.

Singer returns to studio for harmony session.

Final odds and ends are recorded (shakers, bass pedals, sfx, etc).

Additional session players are recorded (violin, oboe, etc).

Song is mixed.


Euro
circleofwingsband.com
Europanaut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCipher View Post
Do you mean "write a song" or "record a song"? Big difference...
Well, I was referring to using Reaper, so the second. Writing the song's never a problem; recording the song is sheer hell.

So far, the different responses are interesting. To answer one question, I am a vocalist who can do or at least fake the instruments (with enough takes to get at least one professional-quality result -- which is all that matters). I'm the least able on keys, unfortunately, as keys are so vital and currently versatile, but an OK guitarist and bassist and a pretty good percussionist.

My assumption would be that you'd want to start with a scratch MIDI drumtrack built from loops to function as a glorified clicktrack that reflected the layout of the song, then a scratch rhythm guitar track to fill that out with the chord structure, then build from that, gradually replacing the scratch tracks with the real tracks, perhaps two or three times each by the time you're done, and adding your vocal tracks, instrumental breaks, wild noise, etc.

Does that make sense as a logical plan? If not, where am I wrong?

[My eternal problem has been that scratch drum track, which means I'm really stuck in the gate. I have EZDrummer, a set of electronic drums that successfully gate it and even a SR-16 (never mind a bunch of actual drums), but I haven't yet figured out how to translate that into a properly assembled scratch track in Reaper. I'm sure it's very easy if you know how, but I don't. I've asked a few times about this here but have received no help.]
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 04:02 PM   #7
Audiofarm
Human being with feelings
 
Audiofarm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Porto Alegre/RS - Brazil.
Posts: 17
Default

Heya.
For me, it depends on the project all the time.
However, if I had to suggest something for the following situation:
I'm not used with the studio.
I never heard the band.
I haven't talked to the producer.
I have no info about the the project.

I would say go for what works 90% of the time for me in those situations:
1 - Set the click track.
2 - Record a rough "guide line" (guitar/bass/voice).
3 - Record the drums using the "guide line".
4 - Record the bass using the the drums+"guide line-bass".
5 - Record main harmony (guitars, electric guitars, keys, etc) using the drums+bass+"guide line-bass-guitar".
6 - Record the voice.
7 - Record everything else.
8 - Mix the song.
9 - Pre-master the song.
10 - Master the song.
11 - Enjoy.

=)
__________________
Mateus Borges
www.audiofarm.com.br
Bring me Sound and I'll Make you Music!
Audiofarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 04:17 PM   #8
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofarm View Post
I would say go for what works 90% of the time for me in those situations...
This sounds reasonable.

I think that my eternal problem is that I can't work with the regular clicktrack because the emphasis is on the one (kick) instead of the three (snare).

I'm used to working with real drummers, so the standard clicktrack sounds to me like the drummer's on the off-beat.

This totally throws me. It's paralyzingly disorienting. So...I want to never use a clicktrack but rather a scratch drumtrack that I don't know how to quickly assemble.
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 04:37 PM   #9
Doughboy
Human being with feelings
 
Doughboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Gaylord Michigan
Posts: 1,679
Default

It's just me....but it sounds like your just creating extra work and frustration by using the scratch tracks. I would say....get the drum beat perfect....by the way....I use Drums On Demand, because there so easy to put together and they sound so good. But...if your looking for easy, which I was...that's one way. Then just finish your rhythm guitar track....why keep redoing it. Once it's done.....IT'S DONE!!! Same with the vocals.....yeah...you can always redo them if you decide they need a change later, or if you hear mistakes....Punch in punchout...touch it up.

If you have a hard time getting all the way thru a rhythm guitar track without making a mistake.....then find a couple of spots to pause....so you can continue on from there with a punch in.

When I have a finished track....I feel like I've accomplished something, and then I can move on....and I can focus on the next thing in the project, enstead of still knowing nothing is done.

Also....learn to know, "what is as good as you're gonna get it". From that point move on. Or you can keep trying, but make sure you've saved it, and you can go back to it.
__________________
---------------
Doughboy
http://www.reverbnation.com/GregPillsbury
Doughboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 04:53 PM   #10
zorn
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: france
Posts: 230
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
I think that my eternal problem is that I can't work with the regular clicktrack because the emphasis is on the one (kick) instead of the three (snare).
you could make your own click track with emphasis where you want it.
For jazz (emphasis 2 and 4) i made one with one bar of metronome sounds in shortcircuit, increasing the velocity on beat 2 and 4; then saved the track template with "include track items in template" ticked on.

So instead of using the Reaper's metronome, i just drop a metronome track. Works fine for me.

In that case it's nothing i couldn't have done with Reaper's metronome options (secondary beat gain), but i like the flexibility of the metronome track. it can be handy for exotic rythms.. Or just marking the beginning of the bar with a different sound on beat 1.
zorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 05:33 PM   #11
Henry-S
Human being with feelings
 
Henry-S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 158
Default

When recording the key to making it "work" is being organised and knowing exactly what you do and do not want

1. Recording Template has to be made and on this template you will want to save a few key things.

Firstly you will want to have some tracks premade, now I do not know your exact specs, but I will say what I have in mine. For playing with my band and getting a "rough" version of the song we want to record I use a template that features

Track 1 - Preloaded Superior 2 drumtrack, all assigned to my drummers midi drumkit.

Track 2 - VSTi AmpegSVX loaded for bass player - loaded with his stock sound

Track 3 - Vsti Amplitube 2 loaded with a general "rock" guitar sound

Track 4 - Vocal Chain loaded for singer. Comp, Eq and Reverb

the above is the very start of producing a recording

I then put in markers for every part in the song (belive me, 5mins marking the track with verse/chorus/mid8s pays off). We obviously now have guide tracks to then overdub everything back in

Then we go over drums, get the best takes we can of drums, then will edit parts if needed.

Then Bass guitar track, lock it in with the drum tracks

Then Guitars, decide about when tracks need to be doubled or single

Then Lead Vocals, look at double tracking, chorus parts etc.

Then Backing Vocals

But knowing the order that works for you is the best, but being organising about what you do and do not want on your recording is the key thing. Think about what you want and then work towards that
__________________
Oscar Wilde
"Of course the music is a great difficulty. You see, if one plays good music, people don't listen, and if one plays bad music people don't talk."
Henry-S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 09:37 PM   #12
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doughboy View Post
I use Drums On Demand, because there so easy to put together and they sound so good. But...if your looking for easy, which I was...that's one way.
Thanks, I'll give that a try. I haven't messed with that.

I'll eventually be doing a played drum track/loops because I want my own drum playing. Drums are incredibly important, almost beyond exaggeration, to most music, even when they're not noticed.

Quote:
Then just finish your rhythm guitar track....why keep redoing it. Once it's done.....IT'S DONE!!! Same with the vocals.....yeah...you can always redo them if you decide they need a change later, or if you hear mistakes....Punch in punchout...touch it up.
Sure, but for the vocals on the piece I eventually want to record after experimentation gets me passibly Reaper-competent, I am anticipating 150-200 full/partial takes for a three-minute song. Might get it in three, but I doubt it. And I am a good vocal artist.

In this case, the nuances have to be perfect but sound totally casual and even somewhat artificially sloppy.

Quote:
When I have a finished track....I feel like I've accomplished something
Yes, and you have!

Quote:
Also....learn to know, "what is as good as you're gonna get it". From that point move on. Or you can keep trying, but make sure you've saved it, and you can go back to it.
There are a few things that are incredibly crucial and most things which are not. The trick is to know which are which.
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry-S View Post
When recording the key to making it "work" is being organised and knowing exactly what you do and do not want

1. Recording Template has to be made and on this template you will want to save a few key things...
I really need to understand templates better.

You are right; punch 'em up and get them there is where I want to be.

I downloaded some templates for EZDrummer here, unfortunately, which are pretty much a wreck in my installation of Reaper. Gotta keep trying.

Templates are a must in Amplitube stuff because I literally cannot see most of the adjustment parameters onscreen. Appalling visual ergonomics for someone with vision problems.

Good suggestions from everyone!
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 07:29 AM   #14
Mudcat
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 219
Default

I am a one man guitar, bass, drums vocals and (occasional) keyboard operation.

I usually start off by loading a drum loop in a track and settle on a tempo. (FYI - I uses drum loops from Betamonkey). I settle on a tempo and stretch the loop out as long as I think the song will go. I will edit/replace/compile the drum loop as the recording progresses. At this point is strictly there in place of a click track (I have a very hard time playing to a click).

Next I will record a scratch guitar rhythm track. This is usually just to get the basic song structure down.

Then the serious recording begins. I either add a "keeper" guitar track or a bass track.

At this point I start adding, revising, editing parts. The sequence of what I do depends on the specific song and where I amin the composing process. If I have complete lyric I will add a vocal track fairly early on. I usually complete my lyrics somewhere down the line and add the vocals near the end. My recording order changes form song to song once I have a basic rhythm track recorded.
Mudcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 03:04 PM   #15
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat View Post
I usually start off by loading a drum loop in a track and settle on a tempo. (FYI - I uses drum loops from Betamonkey). I settle on a tempo and stretch the loop out as long as I think the song will go. I will edit/replace/compile the drum loop as the recording progresses. At this point is strictly there in place of a click track (I have a very hard time playing to a click).
OK, good, I'm glad I'm not alone here in this feeling.

I'll also check out Betamonkey.

Thanks!
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 11:14 PM   #16
kelldammit
Human being with feelings
 
kelldammit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 543
Default

it's kinda weird, my whole process has really undergone some drastic change lately...i used to just noodle, and then go with whatever came out. now, i seem more apt to get some rough structure worked out in my head, write lyrics, then sit down, and start sketching out the music to fit the form of the lyrics...often just a piano, something for a vocal melody, and mebbe a couple cheesy drum patterns to get the structure down. once everything's in order that way, i just start coloring inside the lines, and tweaking structure/lyrics as necessary.
i find it a lot more difficult, but at the same time, more rewarding, as now the things i'm working on have more "focus".
i still like to sit down and noodle, and squirrel those ideas away for use in other projects, or to just get my brain something new to toy with for possible lyric ideas...
as someone else stated, it sounds so easy...but the actual "coloring in" part is what works out to be pure hell for me. though, if i take a doodle, i tend to flesh it out while the inspiration's there, and get dead-ended with structural ideas...lol
why do i do this again?!?!

__________________
--
dammit, jim!!! i'm a magician, not a musician!

-OR-

feed the children. preferably to starving wild animals.
kelldammit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2009, 06:36 AM   #17
soul&folk
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 315
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post

[My eternal problem has been that scratch drum track, which means I'm really stuck in the gate. I have EZDrummer, a set of electronic drums that successfully gate it and even a SR-16 (never mind a bunch of actual drums), but I haven't yet figured out how to translate that into a properly assembled scratch track in Reaper.
Use bfloyd6969's method of a scratch guitar track to a click track before you start with the drum track. That way you'll be listening to the song as you build the drum track. That's much easier than having drums alone first. That'll probably get you out of the gate!
__________________
some original songs, none of which are ready for publication.

http://www.motagator.net/bands/25/
soul&folk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2009, 06:55 AM   #18
Mudcat
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 219
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
OK, good, I'm glad I'm not alone here in this feeling.

I'll also check out Betamonkey.

Thanks!
I see that you have EZ Drummer. Have you tried loading in a simple groove to start and then going back in and editing the drum track once you have more instruments recorded?
Mudcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2009, 06:58 AM   #19
jens
Human being with feelings
 
jens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Posts: 3,807
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
I'm still blundering about.

When you, as a largely one-man act, start a song from scratch, how do you go about it?

What do you record first? How do you organize your project so that it flows smoothly and in more or less organic form?

I'm still looking for a method that makes sense to me as a beginner.

As always, thanks for any helpful advice!

I start with what I start with... if that makes sense - it doesn't?

Well, think about it - something made the song/composition start to come into existence in the first place - be it a melody, or a rhythm, or a guitar-pattern or whatever - I usually start with that, then build the rest around it.
jens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2009, 07:03 AM   #20
Glennbo
Human being with feelings
 
Glennbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 1,091
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
I'm still blundering about.

When you, as a largely one-man act, start a song from scratch, how do you go about it?

What do you record first? How do you organize your project so that it flows smoothly and in more or less organic form?

I'm still looking for a method that makes sense to me as a beginner.

As always, thanks for any helpful advice!
My main axe is drums, but I also play guitars, basses, and keys. Drums is usually the *last* thing I record, because until I've recorded other parts, I have no idea what the drums should do. That said, I usually grab a guitar or bass and jam around to some ready made scratch drum groove. If I start playing something I like, I press record. I have my setup such that in order to jam, I am also ready to record, so the second things are coming together, I can capture it before I lose it.
Glennbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #21
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat View Post
I see that you have EZ Drummer. Have you tried loading in a simple groove to start and then going back in and editing the drum track once you have more instruments recorded?
I haven't gotten going with EZDrummer as I was told to download and use some templates from here and they screwed everything up when I loaded them on my system. I'll deal with that mess later. Maybe they're for v3.*

Where do you install Beta Money stuff so you just can drag and drop loops into a track? I've never done this before and am unfamiliar with what is probably a very simple process.
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 12:23 AM   #22
stupeT
Human being with feelings
 
stupeT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: frankonia
Posts: 1,996
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
[My eternal problem has been that scratch drum track, which means I'm really stuck in the gate. I have EZDrummer, a set of electronic drums that successfully gate it and even a SR-16 (never mind a bunch of actual drums), but I haven't yet figured out how to translate that into a properly assembled scratch track in Reaper. I'm sure it's very easy if you know how, but I don't. I've asked a few times about this here but have received no help.]
Dunno EZDrummer. I solved this by using GrooveAgent in the past and now with reaper is use MDrummer. In both cases they behave more like real drummers. No MIDI loop copying required. You just tell the overall style you want to have...

In case of MDrummer you can easily refine the "click track" by adding just a MIDI note each - at the right time in your arrangement - to tell MDrummer to play an intro, break, chorus rhythm a.s.o... in MANY cases this "click track" will be very good drums for the final mix. If you want excellent drums you can always fine tune that track down to every single beat...

I found that when I start recording rough guitar ideas to a real click track my groove is worse compared to playing along a real drum groove in an appropriate style.
__________________
------------------------------------------
Don't read this sentence to it's end, please.
stupeT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 12:59 AM   #23
taigablues
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
My assumption would be that you'd want to start with a scratch MIDI drumtrack built from loops to function as a glorified clicktrack that reflected the layout of the song, then a scratch rhythm guitar track to fill that out with the chord structure, then build from that, gradually replacing the scratch tracks with the real tracks, perhaps two or three times each by the time you're done, and adding your vocal tracks, instrumental breaks, wild noise, etc.
This is more or less how I record. We always write the basic structure of the song before we start recording - recording always works out much easier if you know what you want to record (at least the basics, wee overdub flourishes are fine as an afterthought) and if you've practiced your parts.

I would tend to start from either a basic click track or a scratch drum track to then start recording rhythm guitars and bass etc and then gradually refine the drums as we go along. Drums tend to be MIDI for us so it's easy to keep altering them. We hardly ever do scratch tracks for guitars or other instruments. Practice the parts first and then record them with a minimum of punching or overdubbing required. Flows better and has a more live feel IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
[My eternal problem has been that scratch drum track, which means I'm really stuck in the gate. I have EZDrummer, a set of electronic drums that successfully gate it and even a SR-16 (never mind a bunch of actual drums), but I haven't yet figured out how to translate that into a properly assembled scratch track in Reaper. I'm sure it's very easy if you know how, but I don't. I've asked a few times about this here but have received no help.]
If you have EZ drummer you should be able to piece together a basic scratch drum track just by dragging the included MIDI grooves from the EZ Drummer window onto your drum track in Reaper. There you can then edit the MIDI as required to make it fit. Should be good enough for a glorified click... EZ Drummer has lots of decent grooves covering different styles built in. There has to be something there to get you started, I reckon.
taigablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 01:52 AM   #24
aMUSEd
Human being with feelings
 
aMUSEd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,239
Default

I play stuff, experiment and make sounds (sound design) and see what emerges. Often a new sound will suggest to me ways the music can progress and I will follow those. If I don't get too carried away and immersed in my playing, sometimes I remember to press the record button

I'm never "trying" to do anything in particular - I find it's "trying" that tends to get in the way of getting into the "flow" - let go and allow music to emerge.

Last edited by aMUSEd; 09-09-2009 at 01:55 AM.
aMUSEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 10:43 AM   #25
DKS
Human being with feelings
 
DKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 17
Default

Since Im really a guitar player that dabbles in everything else I usually start with a scratch guitar track playing to a click. I then start laying everything else. A lot of the times the scratch guitar track ends up becoming a rhythm guitar track or in a couple of tracks it just became the final track after some eq-ing. My recording flow is usually, guitar, drums, bass, lead guitar, synths or other textures, then vocals.
DKS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #26
Diogenes
Human being with feelings
 
Diogenes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: A place that allows me to protect myself...
Posts: 8,240
Default

This is the eternal question eh? I'm kind of like Jens. Whatever "thing" got the idea going is what I start with. BUT I always lay that first bit down with a click. Even if I have to fight it tooth and nail. (Which I do for guitar driven stuff.)

Sometimes an idea will come from screwing around with grooves in EZD. I might find something that strikes my fancy so I'll let it loop while banging on guitar or keys. Maybe capture something and build it from there.

Other times, such as "Hey dude? Can you record us a 60 second tune that sounds like XYZ123?" it's Band In A Box time. Find the 'style', bang in some chords and melody. Export to Reaper and keep working it.

Get the parts tight.

Mix... "Master"... DONE.

Receive Grammy for "Best song nobody ever has nor will ever hear."
Return home to grumpy wife, ill kids and messy house... NORMAL!

D
Diogenes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 11:22 AM   #27
jens
Human being with feelings
 
jens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Posts: 3,807
Default

I press * on my computer's keyboard.
jens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 11:30 AM   #28
Mudcat
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 219
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
...Where do you install Beta Money stuff so you just can drag and drop loops into a track? I've never done this before and am unfamiliar with what is probably a very simple process.
I buy the Acidized WAVE files for Betamonkey and have a folder for them under "My Documents" on my computer. To get them into your REAPER project all you need to do is create a track, open REAPER's media explorer and navigate to the folder where you have the loops stored. You can listen to the different loops in the explorer and locate a basic groove that works for your song idea. Double click on the loop you want to use and it will import to the track.

Since the loops are Acidized they should sync to the project tempo. Sometimes they don't, and I don't know why. Probably has something to do with the way I have REAPER set-up. If you have this problem you can right click on the loop, go into its properties and resize it appropriately (IE. if your project is at 130 BPM and the loop is at 125 BPM you would stretch the loop by a factor of 1.04 {130/125 = 1.04} and keep the "maintain pitch" box checked).

Once I have the basic loop loaded and tempo synced I drag the right side of the loop out to between four and five minutes. That gives me plenty of time to work out the instrumental parts for any song I will come up with.

Once I have the basic arrangement of the song worked out (IE. the verse/chorus/bridge structure) I go back in and completely edit the drums by cutting, pasting and reorganizing loops on the drum track. That is a completely different discussion which involves a lot more than I can explain in a forum post.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Mudcat; 09-09-2009 at 11:33 AM.
Mudcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 11:40 AM   #29
carbon
Human being with feelings
 
carbon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eesti
Posts: 2,150
Default

I'll trick myself by saying: "I'm not going to make a song, I'll just try these sounds out" or "I'll just practice some guitar".
__________________
KasparTORN
carbon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #30
Bezmotivnik
Human being with feelings
 
Bezmotivnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat View Post
Hope this helps.
Looks like it should.

Thanks!
Bezmotivnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 10:27 AM   #31
skipkent
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 215
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelldammit View Post
it's kinda weird, my whole process has really undergone some drastic change lately...i used to just noodle, and then go with whatever came out. now, i seem more apt to get some rough structure worked out in my head, write lyrics, then sit down, and start sketching out the music to fit the form of the lyrics...often just a piano, something for a vocal melody, and mebbe a couple cheesy drum patterns to get the structure down. once everything's in order that way, i just start coloring inside the lines, and tweaking structure/lyrics as necessary.
i find it a lot more difficult, but at the same time, more rewarding, as now the things i'm working on have more "focus".
i still like to sit down and noodle, and squirrel those ideas away for use in other projects, or to just get my brain something new to toy with for possible lyric ideas...
as someone else stated, it sounds so easy...but the actual "coloring in" part is what works out to be pure hell for me. though, if i take a doodle, i tend to flesh it out while the inspiration's there, and get dead-ended with structural ideas...lol
why do i do this again?!?!

I also find that the songs that end up working the best for me are the ones I write and arrange on paper first. Even if it's just a verse and a chorus, with some idea of an intro. Then I'm chomping at the bit to record, instead of wondering what to record ; ).

Still, I've done things the other way and had it work out as well, jamming and recording in the DAW from the get go.
skipkent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2009, 09:37 PM   #32
cowpunk
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Beta Monkey are really good for throwing together beats. They're organized so the fills go with the beats. you can build up pretty convincing drum tracks by really making the fills fit the moment. Usually this is best to do (fills that is) after the bass and/or guitar has been figured out. That way the fills can really build drama on the various parts. I just started with Reaper, most of my experience is with Acid Pro 6. I find audio loops are easier to work with but thats really just because I'm a MIDIOT.
cowpunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2009, 11:01 PM   #33
bikerider
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 560
Default

1. chose a template session based on tempo with set up kick and snare tracks
2. play guitar to tracks to see if the tempo works. if yes, continue. if no: go to step 1.
3. record guitar track to establish the structure of the song.
4. record scratch (sucky) lead vocal to establish the melody. At this point I usually find out if the song works with the music I wrote for it and the tempo I set for it. Sometime this has me going back to rewriting the song's music and starting with step 1 again.
5. record two to 20,000 takes on lead vocal till I get one I'm happy with.
6. record harmony vocals, usually 3, one same as the lead vocal, one below, one higher or even lower (if I can sing the high one)
7. fill in the song with the other instruments, bass first, keyboards: usually piano and something else. other guitars ( if any ) and finally the rest of the drums (snare and kick fills, toms, high hat, cymbles)

I prefer to add the other instruments after vocals. This way the song is build around the vocals.
bikerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2009, 01:38 AM   #34
blitze
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 142
Default

I'm usually most productive when my wife beats me over the head and comes up with vocals and a basic melody for me.

We record some basic ideas with piano and vocals and then I get to work with synth VSTi's and VSTi instruments that work with the melody and mood of the text.

Can't say I'm prolific ATM but things get done.

For me with a background in classical instruments, singing and jazz - I think text is primo and everything evolves around the text. If I go with sound shaping off the bat - get bogged down for weeks as I have no clear idea to convey sonically. AKA I get lost in the sounds. :LOL:
blitze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2009, 04:33 AM   #35
With an E
Human being with feelings
 
With an E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In perpetual hope
Posts: 265
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
I'm still blundering about.

When you, as a largely one-man act, start a song from scratch, how do you go about it?

What do you record first? How do you organize your project so that it flows smoothly and in more or less organic form?

I am a guitarist but when I pick up the guitar I always start to play solo phrases, so for compositional ideas I leave it alone.


1 I start with a good inspirational vsti keyboard patch which lets you hear chords and melodies clearly and which has a good enough attack to get a rhythmic feel going - you don't need to be a piano player

2. Try your melody, chord and rhythm ideas at different tempos - loop a number of bars and practice the piece until something good emerges

3. Then experiment with drum or percussion loops to get a specific feel

4. Stop and think about what ideas or feelings the music evokes and then work to support that with the rest of the 'writing' and arranging.

Listening to music you like and respect (either really or just in your head) at this stage is a good idea imo; thinking about what those composers were thinking about as they developed their ideas. Don't copy, but extrapolate - if they did such and such at this point in their music, how would that method translate to my music.

I find this method can create a surge of really good original ideas. The trouble for me sometimes is when the process takes me 80% of the way and I don't want to let the 'good' idea down with 20% of crap to finish......

Good luck!!
With an E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2009, 07:19 AM   #36
ThePulse
Human being with feelings
 
ThePulse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 364
Default

Haha when I saw that title I was seriously gonna respond with "By Pressing the Record Button" lol.

It sounds like you're bridging the means of writing and recording together. And in the case of writing a song...everyone's way is different. No one way works better than another.

But in terms of Recording/Producing...

I know I like to get my rhythm section in first and foremost (Drums, Basses and sometimes Rhythmic Guitars). Doesn't happen like this 100% of the time, but these are essential to me as they form the spine of my song body.

I then start to work in whatever main melodic instruments I hear(ed) in my head, tweaking the sounds meticulously as I go. They, to me, are the muscle structure of the song body.

After the main structure of the song is built I then start to introduce the vocals, atmospherics, reverbs & delays, accenting instruments and so forth. This would be my skin.

And then at the very end I do my mixing and mastering. This serves as that Versace suite that you thought you couldn't afford at $2500, but then one day while strolling through the mall you saw it on sale for $1250 and bought it; and then at the next function you attended you wore it, were the life of the party, and when people gave you the look...you shot one right back and said "How you doin'?"

Make it work.
__________________
Reaper 4 / OSX 10.8.2/ 12-Core @ 2.66GHz/ 24GB RAM/ RME Multiface II/ PreSonus Studio Channel/ NT1/ Samson Resolv 65a's
ThePulse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.