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ARRANGEMENTS

#1
I'm torn. One one hand, I an now consciously striving to get to grips with the 'classic' arrangement, as I have come to think that it can often be necessary to learn the rules before you can break em effectively. ON the other hand, I think that hardcore and (some) Jungle's stop/start aesthetic gave the music more freedom than any other form of dance music, and that it was this, rather than any technical 'science' that really gave the music the edge.

Check any old Hyper-on-E or Rufige Kru (especially Terminator 2) for some prime examples of what I'm on about - bridges, drops, freaky little asides, switches at the 'wrong' time (according to the 'new rules of d+b', that is) etc. etc. This shit gets me excited cos it's like a slap in the face form the monotone of most d+b, but one an hardly ever hear it any more.... now we all know why so much d+b got shit.. but is there any other reason why more people making the good shit can't fuck up the straight lines a bit?

Perhaps the increased tempo makes it harder to stop/start too? Anyone find this? Or is it because fewer producers use samples as blatantly and instead try to just blend them seamlessly into the whole?

Anyone else care about this?
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#2
There is definitely a different, more unpredictable aesthetic going on in some of the more interesting 93 jungle tekno tunes.

Sometimes it is nice to have a tune that doesn't come back in after a 16 bar breakdown, instead it comes back after 20 or 24 bars or whatever - pain in the arse for the Djs but who cares about them!!

Your tune Soundclash definitely has that air...loads of little breakdowns, stopping and starting where it "shouldn't".
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#3
BTw, I am as interested as the next DJ in 'mixability'... although I make much more of an effort to mix the 'difficult' stuff than most DJs I know. Still, even the most interesting or quirky stuff (arrangement-wise) of new d+b tends to be..... I dunno - it's not quite what I'm on about. Take Matrix's 'Convoy' where it spins off into 3/4 time at the end - sounds lovely.. but a royal pain in the hole to mix out of.
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#4
Logos Wrote:There is definitely a different, more unpredictable aesthetic going on in some of the more interesting 93 jungle tekno tunes.

Sometimes it is nice to have a tune that doesn't come back in after a 16 bar breakdown, instead it comes back after 20 or 24 bars or whatever - pain in the arse for the Djs but who cares about them!!

Well, yes and no! But I'm thinking that when a Dj has lots of stuff to play in that style - only then does it make real sense..

Quote:Your tune Soundclash definitely has that air...loads of little breakdowns, stopping and starting where it "shouldn't".

Yeah, that's one of the things that I'm trying to do with the Soundclash stuff.. and Part 1 (that tune) is sorta sitting on the fence - rolling it out but also breaking it up. Hard to do though!
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#5
Naphta Wrote:Yeah, that's one of the things that I'm trying to do with the Soundclash stuff.. and Part 1 (that tune) is sorta sitting on the fence - rolling it out but also breaking it up. Hard to do though!

Hmm so the soundclash thing is going to be a bit of a 'project' is it?
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#6
i find this area a bit of a nightmare its actually why i don't get tunes finished, I find that i always endup with about 3 arrangement (overall ) possiblitys, But back in the day when i was djing alot, i knew the tunes so well i knew where i could mix from and drop with out some fucked up clashing going on, since arrangemnts have been generally " Simplified " i have found i do the same , usually have an intro up to either bar 48, 64, or 81 then drop then the time i will bring in a breakdown (if i have one) will vary depending on the track really, The other edits and changes do occur anywhere for me but , i do get sick of constantly sticking to the same way of arranging for 6 years, i need to maybe get into differnt time sigs and learn some more about arranging.

I actually think its harder to mix now days as the time when i used to mix all the time before i was not making tunes pretty much since producing my mixing has sucked. also because of analysing the tracks to much and noticing stuff i would have never noticed before producing. maybe its just that i focus on say the snare or the hats rather than the actual tune.

To many tunes are made for the dance floor which has (for a lot of producers) standardised dnb too much. I do realise there are many exceptions to this i personally think this all happened from about 1996 a good example is ed and optical they pretty much stuck with the same way of arranging their tunes.
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#7
Logos Wrote:Hmm so the soundclash thing is going to be a bit of a 'project' is it?

It already is... I have ruff versions of Part 2, Part 3 (plus remix) and Part 4! But, er, one at a time..! Hahaha
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#8
dsp Wrote:i find this area a bit of a nightmare its actually why i don't get tunes finished, I find that i always endup with about 3 arrangement (overall ) possiblitys,

Me too! Too many ideas struggling to compete over 7-odd minutes...

Quote:I actually think its harder to mix now days as the time when i used to mix all the time before i was not making tunes pretty much since producing my mixing has sucked. also because of analysing the tracks to much and noticing stuff i would have never noticed before producing. maybe its just that i focus on say the snare or the hats rather than the actual tune.

Absolutely... getting into Djing undoubtedly effects your producing -and vice versa. I was talking before about how BLIM said he changed the way he arranged his tunes after starting to DJ - same with Shy FX. It's not hard to see how some popel have a very negative view of DJing with regard to this, cos getting on that Dj circuit definitely impacted negatively on lots of producers that I loved. Interesting to hear how it's workingy the other way too though. My guess is, that like many things, the mroe you start to actually *think* about it, the harder you make it.

Hmmm. Is self-awareness the death of creativity? Baffled

Quote:To many tunes are made for the dance floor which has (for a lot of producers) standardised dnb too much. I do realise there are many exceptions to this i personally think this all happened from about 1996 a good example is ed and optical they pretty much stuck with the same way of arranging their tunes.

Well, the 'science' of d+b demanded that everything be reduced and compressed and tightened mroe and more and more - squeezing out all the greay areas in favour of what 'works best' (i.e. intro, drum rolls, big drop bla bla bla).

I had this argument on DOA a while ago, and someone was of the opinion that rhythms could not, of themselves, induce an emotion - or carry emotional value, I suppose... In hindsight, this seems more like bullshit than ever!
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#9
With regard to that last comment, anyone who believes drums can't carry emotion is a stupid fucking cunt. Icon_evil Sorry, that pisses me off.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway Grin

It is all the DJ's fault, when you look at it, really, isn't it? Wink

'You have to keep it mixable or no one will play it'. Now that's fair enough comment - you couldn't have a tune with an lfo going to the master tempo and expect someone to mix something over it.

BUT why aren't more people taking absolute fucking liberties with the drum and bass format?

Intro>drums>build>drop>build>breakdown>all over again. It works, I know, I mean I follow that enough, BUT IT IS BOOOORING and predictable.

Arranging is probably the weakest aspect of my production (bar bass of course), and I know exactly what is is that causes it and why.

The tunes I enjoy listening to (of mine I mean), with the good arrangements that keep you guessing, are the ones where you don't lay out 8 minutes of beat then hack away at it. The best are the ones where you build it more as you go, bar by bar.

Blatantly the tunes you don't finish are the ones you get bored of cos you have laid out loads of 'loop', then get stuck thinking, this is nice, what next?', then 'this is okay but it needs this one thing, to 'I AM BORED OF THIS NOW'.

Anyway, I am starting (especially with dgoHn) to just do what the fuck I want, and bollox to anyone and everyone else. My tune Dilations is a good example I reckon - elements of the usual arrangement spiced with bits of 'what if I do this?' . We are also increasingly asking 'why do you HAVE to have a breakdown?'. I am sure loads of people read that and think 'so you can get your breath back, so to speak'. Why the fuck do you want to? Grin Not saying there shouldn't be a breakdown, but in every tune? Why? Are the drums/bass/groove/whatever not good enough?

And besides, doesn't it nearly always sound naff when you just bring back the same thing you had before? Why bother stopping, just so you can start the same thing again? Why don't enough tunes just morph into something else halfway through, or over the course of the tune, so the end bears no similarity to the start without being disjointed?

WHY NOT?????? Grin

Interesting arrangements make DJ's work for their money, and make making music more fun. It makes the listening better too.
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#10
Macc Wrote:Interesting arrangements make DJ's work for their money, and make making music more fun. It makes the listening better too.

agreed
from the point of a

DJ
listener
producer

Johndoe

now make it so dnb scene worldwide !! Teef
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#11
you need to listen to the dj producer. seriously! he fucks with arrangments lots, and yet his stuff is totally full-on dancefloor.

i just don't hear anyone doing what i'm talking about in d+b really... Nervous
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#12
naphta Wrote:i just don't hear anyone doing what i'm talking about in d+b really... Nervous

why aren't you doing it?

you're trying i know, but try less and just do, that's the approach i reckon.


the anti-ctrl d campaign starts here! Teef
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#13
Macc Wrote:Why aren't you doing it?

I AM trying. Just gets lonely out here is all!

Getting a basic handle on the production thing has really dragged me back though.. cos it don't sound right, 'funny' edits and changes are 1000 times harder to make sound convincing in the context of d+b - especially present-day d+b.
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#14
@Macc Applause

In my mind it should be up to the DJ to provide the breathing space - it shouldn't be about each tune! I like to see things holistically, so what if one tune has nothing but drums for 7 minutes, why can't the DJ blend in a little atmospheric bit, or mix straight into the breakdown of the next tune.

Creativity!!!
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#15
i think arrangements have been one of the weakest elements of dnb for a long time now.

no worries naphta....i'm all about the alternative arrangement experiments too. i fully agree that a lot of what made those early tunes so cool is that it comes at you with all sorts of arranging twists. another lost element of old school is harmonic structures (dodz talking about disappointing harmonies in drum and bass! UNHEARD OF! Cool ). when you hear an old hardcore tune....sometimes they'll go from this really dissonant sounding dark vibe and resolve it into a secondary breakdown in like the relative major key or even something completely out, but the point is IT WORKED IN THE TUNE, and you didn't expect it. that's really cool.....and no one really does it anymore.

i have a tune called "pensive" that i made with the non-ctrl-d method. all the drums (the out front ones) were built bar by bar....the repetative stuff is undulating underneath the mix. but i think it's my favorite approach to drum writing....i'm going to be exploring that methodology more and more in the near future as i feel it's always been the way that i write the most interesting music. (pre-electronic and otherwise)
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#16
Logos Wrote:Creativity!!!

What's that again?

I do all my tracks by following this set of rules I have here in front of me Teef

1) 170+bpm or stfu.

2) Everything in the track, EVERYTHING, as fucking loud as it can fucking well be, I mean right in your face, and everything has to be like that. LOUD OR STFU.

3) If it isn't divisible by four, it goes or stfu.

4) There must be an obvious downbeat at least once very four bars or stfu.

5) Not too many drum fills ('edits', whatEVER!) cos I lose the beat and can't mix/dance to it or stfu.

6) Every sound must be something you have never heard before, you got to push boundaries - and you can't do that using the same instruments as have been used before - or stfu.

7) Emotional breakdown in every tune or stfu (note: what the fuck are we making, euro-trance?).

8 ) Has to be totally banging and in your face, the music is fast so it has to be loud and abrasive too, there's no room for subtle undertstated music here or stfu.


To sum up:

EVERYTHING ON ELEVEN OR STFU!
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#17
Naphta Wrote:I AM trying. Just gets lonely out here is all!

Hugs

Right there with you man.
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#18
Naphta Wrote:cos it don't sound right, 'funny' edits and changes are 1000 times harder to make sound convincing in the context of d+b

That's one of the reasons why I quit making dnb. I tried to experiment with structures and it never really felt right, like forcing my arrangement ideas into a format that doesn't fit.
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#19
You stopped?

D'oh! Your stuff was good, man!

Maybe you just need more practice at getting the funny edits to work.......

Icon_question
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#20
I said I stopped making dnb, not making music Wink
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#21
macc Wrote:everything in the track, everything, as fucking loud as it can fucking well be, i mean right in your face, and everything has to be like that.

Xyxthumbs Hahaha
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#22
littleNemo Wrote:I said I stopped making dnb, not making music Wink

I know, I meant your dnb was good man!

Icon_sad

Ah well.
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#23
good good subject, the more i read all your points the more interesting this gets...

well i got into buying records and dj'ing about 10 years ago, a few years after discovering the whole rave scene, 92 ish for me.
anyway ive only started the producing about 2 years ago and only 1 year of really having a good go at it so i have both views.

i think for producers who want there music to be played at clubs to start making more leftfield d&b ( or at least when it comes to the arrangements ) the dj's have to drop the odd ODD tune in there sets, i mean if you keep your mixing tight for half an hour and then mix into an odd tune that has a long intro or something ( so sort of just drop it in ) that way people can't turn round and say "well your shit at djing cos you just drop tunes in all the time and don't mix them". Then slowly over the course of a year-2 years drop more and more of the left field stuff.

as naphta pointed out about the producer , i listen to his stuff all the time .. so when i then hear some 2 step shit tune that you can read like an open book from start to finish it pisses me off!! Great for the dancer but shit for the listener

The reason for those old hardcore tunes being so unpredictable and suprising is that there simply wasnt any RULES back then so they made it up as they went along trying to outdo one another with an even wackyer tune than the next person. But over time rules have emerged into mnost dance music in general.

THERE SHOULD BE NO RULES , from a producing point of view Icon_eek

bla bbla bla , i don't know what came over me then Hahaha
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#24
For me though, 'experimenting with structures' isn't quite where it's at.. at least, I wanna get away from a conscious approach to doing it.

One thing that I think is ESSENTIAL in this regard is making tunes more sample-based again.... trying to fit in whole chunks of reggae or funk or hiphop in jungle..... or madder shit during the hardcore period (Aled Jones vs Rebel MC anyone?!) - that's why much of it turned out 'weird' IMO - cos they had the sample-collage thing going on properly, giving loadsa room to the samples to breathe properly.

For me, this is the strategy, rather than sitting down and thinking, 'I wanna change the structure'. I also choose this approach because I'm trying to make my changes more hook-based, cos that's where the excitement and energy is for me right now - not in building upon layer upon layer of rhythm inna Paradoxical drumfunk-style....

Y'see, much as I dig that kinda thing, I actually see it as less er... 'revolutionary' than what many producers were doing in jungle and hardcore, where the best stuff generally bypassed the intellect (Hype, SS) altogether. Not that it wasn't complex - often it was indeed pretty complex.... but listening to it didn't feel like sitting down for an exam - which lots of stuff since 96 has felt like to me!
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#25
markgabba Wrote:Great for the dancer but shit for the listener

I agree with you, but there you are falling into another common trap - why is it better for the dancer?

I can't put this subtly, so don't take offense, but stuff like that does fuck the fucking fuck of all fuck all to me on the dancefloor.

It's bullshit that 'tricky mix' stuff doesn't make people dance. You'd best get the fuck out of my way when some proper drums are going on!!!

Anyway, that is OT.

Quote:THERE SHOULD BE NO RULES , from a producing point of view Icon_eek

Too fucking right.

The problem is that ALL labels, at least all dnb labels that I know (actually there are two exceptions, sorry), whether consciously or unconsciously will NOT sign stuff if they don't think it will work on the dancefloor, no matter how 'leftfield/out there/chopped' it is, or how straight it is, or whatever.

The point is, there are rules for people putting stuff out, ie. will it work on the floor, which inevitabbababably means it knocks on to producers, who obviously want to get things signed, next thing you know everyone is making dumbed-down shit, playing it safe.

Hold on - this happened 7 or 8 years ago!


Quote:bla bbla bla , i don't know what came over me then Hahaha

Don't worry mate, I get it allll the time Grin
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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