Studio Session Five: Creepy Music Creation Part Two

Studio Session Five: Creepy Music Creation Part Two

Jade Melody Composing here, and tonight I'm going to be creating some more eerie music. Interestingly enough, it's stormy weather again and the wind has been howling harder than I've ever heard it howl, so the theme has been set by the storm.. It's dark outside, and I've got a partial composition in my head so far that is ready to be brought to life. Let's get started.

Starting off, I begin the first track using a stringed ensemble that I like to use for this type of theme. I add an extra note an octave under the chords for each chord to help add a little extra doom to the sound. It works out exactly how I wanted it to, and there is no need to make any changes to the track as of yet. But once I have all the other tracks made, I'll be watching out for a muddy sound, especially since this isn't the only track that is going to be reaching into the lower octaves.

Next, I create two piano tracks, one with a mid-octave lead and a creepy sounding reverb, something that sort of paints the image of a figure playing the piano alone in the large dark hall of a creepy manor. At first, the lead is a bit fast on purpose, but I decide to make it a bit slower by cutting a few notes and using quarter instead of eighth notes. After some minor adjustments to the overall speed of the several tracks I have and to the notes in the lead, it comes out sounding much better. The overall song, I thought, was sounding a bit too fast, so I slowed down what I had made so far.

Next, I start working on making a cello track. The standalone cello helps add more structure to the song, even with the stringed ensemble as the song's foundation. I make it nice and creepy, holding out longer half notes in a low octave and I make it loud enough to stand out from the ensemble. I haven't had to make many adjustments at all to keep all of these lower octave-reaching instruments from sounding muddy mixed together.

So now that I have the structure of the song built with a lead that fits it well, and all the tracks that I had planned so far are made, I'm going to do a bit of experimenting and creating some other tracks to see if I can add to the theme of the creepy stock music as well as to the fullness of the overall song.

I start with a stringed ensemble copying what the cello plays but in a higher octave, giving a little more life to the piece to make it stronger, while at the same time still keeping to the theme. This works out nicely and gives it a little more fullness as I didn't think the song sounded right with the emptiness that I had originally wanted.

With this additional track made, I can't help but hear a choral track in my head, so I start to put one together. At first, I think about keeping it light, sort of like a little seasoning, but I decide to try a fuller choral composition. It ends up sounding a bit too muddy even with most of the notes in the mid-section, so I take out most of the notes and leave it very light like the original "seasoning" I had planned, and it works well. It makes for a nice creepy addition.

These two additional tracks make a world of difference in the fullness of the song, so now I am going to move onto the first change in the song. The plan is for this to be a background music track, so adding some length to it with a few light changes throughout the track will be ideal. Nothing major that will take attention away from any project that this song might be used for, but something to add a little uniqueness to it every so often. I do this by taking out the cello and the stringed ensemble that copies the cello in a higher range and then bringing them back in a second time for the next change a bit later in the song, and this has the desired effect. It's a light change that doesn't attract attention but has the desired effect of added creepiness for any project it may be used for. Sometimes simpler is better.

When I finish creating these light changes in the song, I am happy with the entire track and after making a few minor tweaks here and there I decide to let it sit for a while before I mix and master it. I do this so that I can come at it with fresh ears, and it also helps me hear if any additional tracks need to be made for it to give it a fuller or better sound. It's important to always give the tracks a little time to sit just to make sure it has come out the way you want it or better. Patience is a very useful thing in this sort of project, and listening to a song with fresh ears is always going to result in a better product.

Back to blog

Leave a comment