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Fundamental: Arranging


Continuing our best selling series on the Fundamental production techniques for dance producers comes Fundamental: Arranging.

We’ve all been there. You have a killer 8 or 16 bars running in your DAW but when it comes to building an entire track from them it isn’t as easy as it first appears. Simply repeating the loop throughout the length of the track and dropping audio channels in and out doesn't make for an interesting or exciting track and is more likely to send your listeners to sleep.

For Fundamental 6 we spend over 7 hours examining the theory, practice and tricks of the trade when it comes to cleverly arranging dance music. Beginning with an examination of some basic music theory including the all-important phrasing and response, we move on to examine the theory and practice of sonata form, energy, development, recapitulation, motion, contour and anticipation.

Using an example track constructed from nothing more than 16 bars, we use the previously discussed theory to produce an entire arrangement. Over numerous sessions walk through and examine how to create a complete, interesting club arrangement using these techniques whilst also discussing further production techniques such as syncopation, meter, poly-meter, hyperbeats, hypermeter and hemiola. All of these are used by artists to create interesting patterns and loops from a limited number of instruments.

Finally, we examine the principle of builds and drops, discussing the theory and practice of synthesis programming for the creation of risers, sweeps and falls before examining how to cut down a 8 minute club mix to create an arrangement for radio play.

Note: for this tutorial, you should already have a basic understanding of musical scales, as discussed in Fundamental: Music Theory, Bass.

Runtime: Over 7hrs

An introduction to the DVD

Session 01: Phrasing & Response
In this first session, we discuss the starting point of any arrangement; the 8, 16 or 32-bar idea and examine the theory to assess whether there is enough to construct an arrangement.

Session 02: Structure & Acts
Here we examine the theory behind formal structure and discuss why we arrange club and pop songs in a certain way.

Session 03: Development/Anticipation
For this session we begin with an example track and show how we can begin to create anticipation and development within club music.

Session 04: Rhythmic Meter and Syncopation
In this session we discuss more theory and examine principles such as polyrhythm, polymeter, hemiola, hyperbeats, compounding and syncopation.

Session 05: Development Part 1
Here we continue working on the example track and continue building the arrangement looking at the theory of development.

Session 06: Recapitulation 1
We take a look at recapitulation in music and using our example track begin to build the recapitulation

Session 07: Recapitulation 2
Different genres of EDM will employ different recapitulation methods so here we examine an alternative method of recapitulation in the arrangement.

Session 08: Further Development
With the track almost complete, we work towards finishing by adding further development to join the different sections of music together and produce the final track.

Session 09: Sweeping Effects
With the basic backbone of the arrangement in place we move on to discuss how to synthesize the infamous sweeps for builds and drops in club music.

Session 10: Radio Edits
In the final session, we quickly discuss how to create a typical radio arrangement.

Coming soon...

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