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 an 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.