Industrial song arrangement help.

Discussion in 'Industrial' started by Rob Humanoid, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    Hey 'dere,

    Any suggestion on arrangements for industrial music? I always seem to get 3 parts of a tune, but they don't seem to gel.

    So any advise of transitioning and a general song arrangement would be great.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. fraifikmushi

    fraifikmushi Audiosexual

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    take your five favourite industrial tracks and analyze them. write down what happens when (in bars, not minutes seconds) etc.
    then adapt your track accordingly and modify as needed.

    no need to invent the perfect arrangement, it's already out there :)
     
  4. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    Yeah, that sounds like a plan. :) Cheers...
     
  5. Studio 555

    Studio 555 Producer

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    @ Rob Humanoid,

    &

    Perfect... but which are these '3 Parts' of a Tune ?
    I mean, which 'Root' (Tonality), which 'Mode(s)' (Major, Minor),...

    and by the way, the 'Circle of Fifths' Theory can certainly be of great interest for you (when you could be 'blocked' with some of your Parts)... *yes*

    Countless images and comments can be found on Internet (use 'Google') about the 'Circle of Fifths'. :wink:
     
  6. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    I get what your saying about the musical concept of the circle of fifths. I'd definitely use that concept if I was doing something with more melody. The problem for me in that regard would be that I have a tendency to move out of a scale by using accidental notes. Because I like music that tends to be darker and more dissonant. So I might start in Aeolian mode, but it will have a few notes that are just a semi tone up or down. Thus giving us that tension.

    I'm more thinking along the lines of stitching them together. Like using risers, etc. So it's more about some fresh ideas.

    I'm also wondering about how long people are playing their intro, main and outro, etc.?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  7. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    Industrial couldn't give two shits about the circle of fifths or music theory in general as Industrial music was called anti-music at it's inception and eschewed the rules of classical form. Sound design is key, they make more interesting use of sound design than practically any other genre. You can write in any minor or even major key just make sure to make use of dissonant passing notes, tritones, etc. The intertwining rhythms are usually quite complex compared to other genres, that's why it makes your ears prick up. A lot of it is dissecting artists you like and looking into their arrangements and the rest is experimentation particularly with effects. Remember Industrial is very diverse and it can imitate pop structures or do something completely different. Formula is your enemy here and that's always been my problem as well since you feel like there are no rules to help guide you. If your music is lyrically driven then there are some good Angelspit Blipverts that I've posted that might help you out.
     
  8. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    I absolutely agree... I really tend to not go into a specific key. It might be the initial plan, but if I don't use accidental notes it sounds 'too nice'. Not that there is anything wrong with that it's just not to my taste. Even minor keys tend to be sad (I use that very broadly btw).

    When you say 'passing notes and tritones' are you referring to an accidental notes man?

    I know what you mean about staying away form a formula, but it's kinda' nice to have some idea of what to do in a way. As a starting block at least... :)

    Re. lyrics, I'm actually going to start adding some in in a few of my newer tunes. So that would change the tracks form again. Because I'll need to have some kind of place for me to sing. But I'd like to do gruffer vocals as opposed to raspy ones. Which for my taste lack punch. So, I'll be sticking with a UK82 style vocal. Similar to GBH or Black Light Mutants, etc.

    Thanks I'll also checkout the blipverts. :)
     
  9. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    Yeah like if you were looking at it from a music theory perspective (purely for analysis and understanding) it would be more dissonant notes that aren't in your key like a diminished 5th, the diabulus in musica. However really just let your ears guide you, a lot of more intersting Industrial is melodic decoration, creative use of fx, etc. Or you can use melody very minimally but I find it more interesting when it has a good melody since it becomes memorable. Baxter might actually be able to help you out because he makes IDM and those genres are related in a way since they fuse for certain heavier forms of IDM. And as to having some idea, that's been my issue with it as well. There is no idea, there are no tutorials so we're pretty much canaries in the coalmine.
     
  10. Studio 555

    Studio 555 Producer

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    ...and that's the reason why this note (interval) is named the 'Blue Note' in Blues/Jazz. :blues:
    Because that's the Note of the... DEVIL !!! :headbang: :rofl:

    After all, the Blues was considered, in its early days, as the 'Music of the Devil', isn't ? *yes*

    _________________________________________________________________________​

    @ Rob Humanoid,

    More seriously now, it's true that the 'Circle of Fifths' is for more 'conventional' Music Styles that this (these) you're composing/playing.
    And as my musical 'background' is not exactly 'Pure Industrial Music (Underground, Dark)', hence my answer...

    So, as so well said by 'Catalyst', you want and need more 'Tension'.... then use non-conventional Intervals, as you already do, for instance, when you play a semi-tone up or down of a 'regular' Scale.

    'Modality' (Modal Scales) can also suit you in some sense. You should perhaps also look at this. *yes* Some Jazz Players (not 'Industrial or Dark Music', I know :rofl: ...this is just for the example !) regularly use Notes that are 'out' of a 'regular' Scale, and if I'm not wrong, this kind of playing is named : to play 'out'.
     
  11. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    It was actually banned by the church too so composers had to come up with ways to hide it in their music. Unreal.

    Velvet Acid Christ once had a great line in a track: "it's the perfect harmony, that tires me so endlessly." It's one of my favorite sounds in music, it adds so much interest to what otherwise would be a cheesy melody or chord.
     
  12. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    Very true that... It's pretty splintered and underground, even for the net. I really couldn't find a dedicated forum until this one :). There's not much on KVR or Gearslutz. I did stumble on what looked to be an interesting forum (dedicated to Industrial music). But it seemed to go nowhere and I'm not sure why so I bugged out in the end. C'est la vie...

    Yeah VAC have some really great stuff. They have a tune called 'futile', my favorite. It sounds kinda' 80's (which I love) but the main melody, if played by someone else could be kinda', to use you own word 'cheesy'. But they have this cool arp that is surrounded in reverb that sets the atmosphere. He also drops the whole melody down by a semi-tone (I think). Which sound 'off', but in a cool way. :)


    That's cool, and I totally understand why you'd recommend the C. of 5ths. And I'd definitely try and use it for some pieces. I know about the main modes, Aeolian, Dorian Locrian, etc. But to be honest, I'm still confused when they change key. Like the way you can play Aeolian mode, starting on a different note. But is it Aeolian if it's all the natural keys but starts on D for example. As you can probably tell my theory is kinda' basic. :(

    Could you recommend a mode I should look at?

    BTW - thanks for all the help from you guys!! :)
     
  13. Studio 555

    Studio 555 Producer

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    @ Rob Humanoid,

    Well... not so basic ! You already know their names... :wink:

    The 'trick' to understand with the 'standard' (Greek) Modes (I write 'standard' because it exists some more complex 'extensions' of these, as for example : 'Lydian Augmented',... ) is that all these use exactly the same Notes *yes* ...but with a BIG difference : it's that all these Modes have a different Note as 'starting point'.

    You was talking about the 'Aeolian' Mode (which is a Minor Mode, and the Minor relative of the 'Ionian' Mode).
    From here, if for instance, you play in A 'Aeolian' Mode, you'll play the following Notes (of the Scale) :

    A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A [8va]

    As previously said, the other 'Modes' contain the same Notes, but with a different 'starting point', thus :

    B - C - D - E - F - G - A - B [8va] <-- 'Locrian' Mode

    C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C [8va] <-- 'Ionian' Mode (the so well known Mode in our 'Western Music')
    ...

    Following this logic, you can have the 7 (Greek) Modes at your fingertips... *yes*

    If you play all these same Notes, but with 'F' as 'starting point', you get the 'Lydian' Mode, if you start from 'E', you get the 'Phrygian' Mode,...


    That's one of the reason why my above example was rather focused on the 'Locrian', 'Lydian', and 'Phrygian' Modes. Not to denigrate the other ones at all ! *no* All are important and have their role in, for example, some Music Styles rather than others...

    But these 3 Modes can give to your compositions, improvisations,... some really interesting 'colors' : the 'Lydian' can sound great on 'sus' ('suspended') Chords/Harmonies. The 'Phrygian' is (almost) necessary if you plan to play/compose with a touch of 'Arabian/Spanish (Flamenco)' feeling in your Music. BUT... the 'Phrygian' Mode is also extensively used by Musicians of 'Death Metal', 'Dark Metal', 'Speed Metal',... all these kind of Style Extensions of the 'ordinary' Heavy Metal. It could really suit some of your Compositions (for the 'Dark' touch you want to add). To try ! *yes*

    And finally, the 'Locrian' Mode (certainly the more 'esoteric', or 'enigmatic' of all these). This one can really add some 'strangeness' or 'special' ambiences/atmospheres to your Music. *yes*


    With this in mind, when you play a semi-note up or down (as you like to do it !), you'll discover that this (these) Note(s) not belonging to the usual Scale/Harmony you're playing/composing can lead you to another Modes 'starting points' for that (these) specific Note(s),... *yes*

    In this case, it becomes the 'Dorian' Mode with the 'D' Note as 'starting point' :

    D - E - F - G - A - B - C - D [8va] <-- 'Dorian' Mode

    and if you want to get the 'D' Aeolian Mode : D - E - F - G - A - Bb(A#) - C - D [8va]


    In fact, that's the specific 'Intervals' of the Notes toward the 'Thirds' within these Modes that indicates you if such Mode is Major or Minor. *yes*

    Ionian : Major Mode
    Dorian : Minor Mode
    Phrygian : Minor Mode
    Lydian : Major Mode
    Myxolydian : Major Mode
    Aeolian : Minor Mode
    Locrian : Minor Mode
     
  14. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    Ah right, the mist clears skightly :). So, when the mode is played on a different key it becomes ‘X’ mode. If I understand this correctly?

    Thanks also for giving me an insight of their function. I’ll defiantly delve deeper into these, Locrian, Lydian, and Phrygian. They’d be good starting points as you say.

    Phrygian sounds like it’s right up my alley. If the death metlers use it, it must be dark indeed. :)

    It would also be easier to write a tonal exchange. Assuming they were in the same mode. I really like to use drones. But sometimes they can sound too ‘off’ because of the accidentals throw the scale.

    One thing, I’m also doing is speeding my music up (sometimes). I’ve been listening to ‘Bestias de Asalto’ quite a lot recently. They seem to be hovering around 190bpm. I really like their misc, but the lads voice isn’t really what I’d be into.

    Really appreciate the detailed info man! :)
     
  15. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    I don't see anything that was misinformation in this thread, people are just answering from different angles. What was misinformation exactly? Analyzing other works, keys that lean towards darker sounds, accidentals, what exactly? Industrial doesn't have to be chaotic or it can be depending on what you're aiming for (Industrial is very diverse), what is Industrial are the timbres and the general feel of the rhythms which are mechanical in nature. Who puts accidentals in their music to be weird? It's done to add interest from generally boring melodies or chords that are too harmonious. It's decoration more than anything else. People gave valid answer considering we have never heard the guy's music nor do we know what he's aiming for.
     
  16. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    No, I think the the OPs know what I’m looking for. So I don’t think it’s misinformation at all to be honest. I’ve been making music for about 4 years in a DAW - So, I’m kin’a beyond basic. So I can follow and analyse what everyone has been saying.

    So far the advice has been great, and it’s always nice to speak to new guys with similar taste. :)

    Industrial is a ‘big term’. So technically I’m not doing the ‘Boyd Rice’ type stuff, IE - Stuff that is pretty non-musical. It’s cool and all, but I’d be using some form of musical structure, as I mentioned in my previous posts.

    Catalyst likes VAC, so do I. That’s a link right there immediately he knows where I’m coming from. And I totally agree with him about ‘de-colorization’ as he’s mentioned.

    I certainly don’t use accidentals because I can, or just to be randomly random. These are fundamental to my music tastes, and writing style. I’ve been in Punk and HC bands for years, but I had know idea what I was writing (or that I constantly used accidental notes). It was only in the last few years that I’d become interested in Theroy as a tool to enhance my production skills.

    Also, Studio 555’s explanation of modes has really helped me out here. And even cemented some of the knowledge I had before, but wasn’t quite sure of or how to articulate.

    Re. the methods you mentioned. Yes, I tend to stop abruptly, this works rely well on some material, but it can also sound stilted.

    I also, would stitch different scales together, again that can sound stilted. But for metal or hardcore you could easily do that, and on those type of electronic tunes at 180bpm I think it works well.

    I do keep the tempo of the song solid, but I may use double time for speed.

    I’ll check that article, thanks. Yes, I’d like to improve in this area too. Because I seem to be going for the usual riser time after time.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  17. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    My view on the rejection of classical form should also not be misunderstood as I didn't make it with the intention that you should discount theory completely since it is helpful when writing any kind of music but it was to point out that in this genre in particular it can quickly become a prison if you let it. I say that from personal experience because when I first got into it I studied a lot thinking it would help me and in certain things it did like what makes a melody good but in a lot of it I found myself no further along than before I undertook my journey, even worse it made it rather difficult to operate unfettered. You think Chemlab or Skinny Puppy were sitting there saying: gosh I think we should add some more melodic decoration through the use of accidental notes. Hey Jared do you think my counterpoint is sounding well? Fuck no! They took all those years of angst, did a lot of drugs, experimented, learned from the past, used their ears and pushed their gear until it bled. [​IMG]

    There will be songs that are less about generic framework but the dancier or rock/metal/punk side of Industrial such as Electro-Industrial will certainly adhere to common guidelines likely modelled after the influence from their subgenre and what kind of importance it places on melody, structure, etc. Here's where song maps come in handy and those are basically a song schematic that you make from the analysis of tracks you like where you map out changes that happen every so many bars, risers, effects, new melodies that are introduced, etc. where the x-axis will be bar number. It's good to do this on a graph rather than simply writing it down because the visual aspect helps a lot in your understanding. Industrial doesn't care about harmony as almost all the songs I've heard use what is called a static harmony and it all takes place in one chord (bass, lead, etc.) and often it's just basic intervals, another reason that going too deep into theory will hurt you rather than help. Mostly interest is maintained through motives that fit into a general melodic theme, rhythmic ideas, introduction of harsh timbres or through the use of effects. That's what I meant by my use of the word chaos, not that it was necessarily crazy but that it didn't strictly adhere to theory or generic ideas, neither did jazz. Artists tend to think outside the box and it sounds like it, it's a very malleable genre. Oh and don't forget the use of samples from movies and television shows that can help bridge ideas as well. I like to keep a notebook on hand whenever I watch something just in case a sample presents itself that would be perfect for a track. [​IMG]

    You can see an example of a song arrangement if you check out the kits Geist comes with because there are five great songs that Portion Control used Geist to create and you get their samples to use in your own productions. Since you're into Punk and they happen to lean towards the more Punk-oriented side of Industrial I think that may help. You can hear how the snares were processed so you know what you're aiming for in tone and they will often use a few snares processed one way (harsh processing) and then on the last beat of some bar they'll use one with more reverb to lead into the next section which will highlight the importance of using processing and effects to ease the transition between simple ideas. Overall their stuff is pretty straighforward in arrangement so you can see how they develop on their initial ideas from start to finish. Phrygian is a good key by the way, it's also widely used in PsyTrance.

    Also I just wanted to give a good tip that isn't directly related to this topic but I figured it might be helpful to you. Try out New Sonic Arts Granite, you can use it to make some cool industrial soundscapes. It's basically a granular synth that works with your samples and it may seem a little weird the first time you load it up but it's really useful once you watch a quick video to help you get your head wrapped around it which of course I've included:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2UKDwgTrrE​
    Right now you're probably thinking about what would be some good samples to throw in this baby so let me take the guesswork out of that for you and tell you that you should check out the Celldweller Sonix Producer pack on AudioZ that I released a while back. It has some great drones, guitar riffs, one shots, loops, FM, tons of gear including sexy modular synths and I have no doubt that you would find it useful. There is also Zero-G's Skinned which was developed by none other than Skinny Puppy and it has some useful stuff as well. We don't have that up now because we received a DMCA notice but I have it and I'd be happy to share it with you. Here's a video for the former:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIyWw_KeUlg​

    The Industrial mindset:
    [​IMG]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QaLkLsCeOo
    The recipe:

    count down
    1-2-3-4
    1 the bruise
    2 the fuse
    3 abuse
    4 let it loose
    let it loose
    get your neck
    out of that noose


    [​IMG]Now THAT'S how you make Industrial!!! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    @Catalyst.

    Thanks again mate - lots of great ideas here! :)

    I agree with you Catalyst about the common guidelines. Especially if you are trying to relate a concept to other people. I can’t find the actual song, but this might give everyone the kinda style I’d be after, but with gruffer vox. :) Not ripping them off, but as a starting point.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU1JtJVhcsI

    Cubanate would also be a major influence on me.

    This is one of my favourite tunes of all time (skip to 3:30 as it has a looooong intro).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLHEPEMkyOM

    Vac too in some regards. Their darker stuff, but with shorter songs. I’m looking at around 3-4mins ‘ish.

    I also really like retro 80’s sounds, and even some modern synth tones as well. I really use Tone2’s Nemesis a lot. I’m trying not to get boxed in they type of sounds I use. That’s one of the reasons I bought a Shermman Filterbank II.

    Re. theory, when I first learned about scales and keys I rigidly stuck to them. I felt it was like a creative prison after a while. The tunes sounded okay, in fact they sounded like you’d expect. Maybe a bit sad or maudlin. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but my end goal was something a little darker and faster. I do like minor melodies too (sometimes). :)

    It was only when I managed to go back to my writing style. That I started to achieve the sound I was after. Basically using accidentals to get that deliberate or aggressive mood I was after. I still have a long way to go. ;)

    That’s a great idea of ‘visualising’ a song like that (as a graph). But I know what you mean about Jazz , etc.

    As I’m an absolute horror fan, I’ve been using samples. The original Evil Dead II is genius for that. I love 80’s horror music. Showing my age there. ;) Good news I’ve got Geist as well, but I’ll checkk out those kits.

    I’ve not heard of Granite, looks cool and is pretty cheap. Thanks for the intro video too mate. As it does seem a bit bewildering form the interface.

    Are they your samples mate, in that CD vid? They are class…

    That Chemlab is class btw. And actually after listing to my own stuff again, I can definitely see that it’s missing that DIY industrial ambience. So those samples will be cool to use.

    I have some of the old jungle Zero - G stuff. But I must check out that SP. Be rude not too! ;)

    Thanks for all you help again matey!
     
  19. Studio 555

    Studio 555 Producer

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    @ Rob Humanoid,

    As I just noticed a new Article posted in this 'Brother's Site' (aka 'AudioZ') by our Dear 'Olymoon' :bow: , I though that it could be of great interest for you to have a look at it... *yes*

    "Music and Twentieth-Century Tonality"
    (You can find this article under : 'Education' --> 'Methods')

    [​IMG]


    Happy read on ! :wink:
     
  20. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    Thanks for that mate. I'll have a gander at it now. :)

    BTW - I was havening a lot of fun with the Phrygian mode (how did I not pay attention to it in the past?!) :). It's exactly the sound I'm after. I managed to make some really cool bass riffs, and add in other melodies with no hassle - because everything was in scale. I'll give Locrian a go next. So, thanks for helping me out.
     
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