A Music Production Journal: Week #5 + 6

I am now reaching the tail end of my course with Point Blank Online. The past 2 weeks of lessons have focused on recording and editing arrangements (Song Structure). This stage in the creative process of making music is easily one of the most important steps for any style. Because of the emphasis on understanding the details of this critical phase the course dedicates 2 weeks to the concept.

Check out last week’s post HERE and read the full week 5+6 review after the jump!

The arrangement is the linear flow of a song from start to finish. Its purpose is to guide the listener through the track while delivering variations in order to keep our ears interested.

The 5th week’s lesson was our first introduction to arrangement. It was very similar to the other week’s lesson with a heavy emphasis on the technical side of recording our track ideas and editing the content. Just like in every other lesson, there were loads of videos to demonstrate these techniques.

The 6th weeks lesson was the most different compared to every other week. There were very few videos and more written content and actual songs to listen to and analyze. I found this to be extremely helpful for a variety of reasons. First, it demonstrated the very basic and popular methods used in the arrangement of pop and dance tracks. It also showed many examples of songs that go against the usual rules and have a very creative structure. Second, it provided a mental break from the usual technical learning and allowed time for us students to apply and experiment with the tools we had been learning the past 3 weeks.

Finally the lesson ended with our instructor breaking down the popular deadmau5 tune “Lack Of A Better Name.” He demonstrated how the song was put together and highlighted the elements of the track that tied the arrangement together. He showed that overall the song uses some very simplistic ideas and theories, but the arrangement and layering of these concepts make it a classic dance tune!

Before I wrap up this week I’ll be including a before and after shot of the track I have been submitting as a visual reference to my lesson. The first shot above shows my ideas in the session view, while the second  below shows them laying out in a linear fashion in the arrange view.

Be on the lookout for next week’s post on mixing!