Studio Session Seven: Intro Music Creation Two

Jade Melody Composing here. Tonight, we will be working on creating more intro stock music. This type of song often requires high energy and catchy music that is memorable. Tonight, our goal is to produce exactly that.

Starting out, I don't have a specific plan yet, so this session is going to take a bit longer than many of the sessions that have been in this blog so far. I usually begin with foundational pads or other instruments before adding percussion, but this time I decide to start with percussion because I'm going to try a  percussion only intro into the project.

I try out a couple of different beats with the kick drum and once I make a good high energy kick drum beat, I add in the other pieces. I start with a snare that initially has a double snare hit, but then I change it to a quadrouple hit pattern. I also include a steady, fast-paced open high hat instead of a crash cymbal. Since I'm starting a high energy song with just percussion, the beat needs to be unique enough to catch the attention of viewers for any projects it may be used in. I plan to add some snare rolls later in the project but, I'll do that when I know where the transitions are going to be.

Next, I will add a pad of some sort and come up with a good chord progression for the song. I spend some time trying different chord progressions with a good full-sounding stringed ensemble pad. During this time, I start getting an idea of the direction I want the song to go. After altering chords and picking different ones, I create a fast-paced chord progression. I also make some unique changes to a few of the chords to make the song stand out, as it is important for intros to do be unique.

I am very happy with what I have so far and decide to add a choral track to add an epic element to the song. The choral track is nothing fancy and copies the ensemble. The two sounds work together very nicely making a strong, full sounding foundation for the song. Now, the song is starting to come together with the few tracks I have. I also decide to add a structural track, a bass track. I plan to make it fast-moving and see what I come up with.

I experiment with the bass and record different styles for the project. I end up choosing a relatively simple but fast-paced style that adds to the structure and creates a strong, steady sound. Sometimes it can be challenging to come up with a good faster-paced bass track, but this time it was easy.

I consider the bass an important part of a song's structure, similar to the mortar in bricklaying that helps fuse the sounds of the tracks together. Thinking about song creation as building a structure has been helpful in solving issues like adding tracks to an empty-sounding song or removing tracks from a muddy-sounding song. By classifying instruments into different parts of building a structure, I can figure out what instrument I need when I'm stuck in the middle of a project.

After listening to the bass track with the song for about twenty minutes and making any necessary additions or subtractions, I decide that it now fits perfectly and move on to the next track. One side note is that I may need to make some changes to the track later because I'm hearing a lead in my head that may colide with the bass too much.

Since the beginning of this song, I have been considering creating a low octave, single or double note piano track. I love the way this sounds and find that it will often times strengthen a song and will add fullness if done right. I decide to give it a try on this song. However, certain portions where I went pretty low sound muddy due to the low octave and the fast movement of the bass. After adjusting the track and making changes, I realize it isn't needed and delete it.

Sometimes it can be easy to add too much into a song, especially when you have too many ideas popping up in your head. However, it's important to remember that sometimes less is better. Intro stock music should be like candy to the ear, so it's crucial to keep the entire piece sounding "tasty" rather than overfilling it with unnecessary tracks. Fortunately, this is usually an easy fix.

At this point, I decide to add a lead into the song, something memorable and unique. I have been forming one in my head while I was busy recording the other parts of the song, but I may need to make a change to the bass line to avoid the two tracks from colliding too much. This can also cause a muddy sound in the song, even though the lead will be a few octaves higher.

I experiment with different synthesizers and after some minor adjustments, I find a good lead sound for this project. It has a strong treble sound while still maintaining the presence of the mids and lows, making it comfortable to the ear. I record the lead I have in mind with relative ease, and this track is completed faster since it was already partially formulated in my head by the time I started working on it. I solve the problem of the lead and bass tracks colliding and sounding muddy by making changes to the bass line, resulting in a nice fit.

Before listening to the song and determining if any more tracks or changes are needed, I record some extra percussion and snare rolls to transition into different sections of the song. I create a couple of different snare and tom rolls and after making some changes and volume modifications, I place them where they belong. These are like tasty appetizers before each course of the meal, and they help bring the song together nicely.

I spend some time listening to the project and decide that, for now, I'm pretty happy with it. I'll let it sit for a day or so and then listen to it again. If I don't need to make any changes, I'll mix and master it. This was a particularly enjoyable session because I had to solve a few problems and because I had almost none of it planned out before I started. It's always fun when you begin with a blank canvas and none of the song is created in your head yet. Thanks for reading!


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