Genre recipes step-by-step

deltadio
@deltadio
8 months ago
55 posts

Genre recipes step-by-step

Hi y'all, glad to be back. It's been a while. I have noticed the PT forum still is a bit sedentary but with quality posts like the 35 days collab and others I am still very much motivated to follow and participate.

This here request of mine has been on my mind for years. I would like to have time-lined step-by-step recipes for music genres. I realize that deconstructing an existing song is part of the essential skill set of any (aspiring) music producer, but 'recipes' offer a quick intro into a genre (say 'minimal tech', 'reggaeton' [or even more specific sub-genres] etc.) AND give you the tools ('the grammar') to deconstruct other songs.

Recipes should include (this is not a complete list, just a quick sketch):

  • BPM
  • Key
  • Named parts of the song
  • Instruments typically used in each part
  • Midi resources for used instruments 
  • Variation indications
  • Length indications of parts
  • Insight as to which instruments are layered at what time
  • etc.

The fact that such a recipe is bound to be very generic is exactly it's point, aspects like melody or chord sequences can be left to the 'cook' (but the recipe should include some pointers for those elements, possibly also some midi files). 

If you argue that any construction kit or song template already equals a 'recipe' I would like to point out that analysis/interpretation/deconstruction of these resources is still left to the user. What are the attributes of the core drum beat of a track, what are its typical variations etc. Not many song templates that I know are meticulous in their part descriptions and quite a lot of song templates don't contain a song from start to finish; none of the templates that I bought contain any written explanations of the parts of the song and their (possible) variations.

I am not entirely sure in what shape or form such recipes should be presented, but even a more narrative form could work: "Start your 126 BPM E-minor Minimal Tech song by a hi-hat loop (sample of your choice or midi [link]) for xx bars, at bar xx introduce a kick etc. For this genre make sure your chosen hi-hat and kick (...)  etc." A recipe built like a spreadsheet with time-lined columns and their musical parts could work even better.

It's my expectation that no song following the recipe will sound the same so it could be a fun challenge for competitions.

Perhaps on the WWW there's already a comprehensive, possibly authoritative resource on music genre recipes that I don't know about, in that case I would appreciate a link.flirt-1

SamuelClouston
SamuelClouston
@samuelclouston
8 months ago
245 posts

Good idea!

I'll kick things off.

JUNGLE MUSIC

  • BPM - anywhere from 75-85 - you don't want to go as fast as D'n'B most of the time, or it becomes too robotic and hectic.
  • Key - really doesn't matter which key you play in. As it's sub bass music though, you want your very lowest bass note to drop somewhere in the E/F/F#/G range - so perhaps you write your bassline first in any key, then transpose it down so the lowest note is one of these - then you can write the rest of the moelodic parts around this key you've chosen.
  • Named parts of the song - Intro (16 bars) - Build up (16 bars) - Drop/Verse (32 bars) - Breakdown (16 bars) - Drop/Verse 2 (32 bars) - Outro (16 bars)
  • Instruments typically used in each part - Bass: 808 Bass hit (unsaturated) Drums: a Funk break, chopped up and sped up Synths: classic Juno/Jupiter/Korg presets, and also rave stabs. Both of these can be samples or synth patches. Vocals - 90's RnB diva acapellas.
  • Midi resources for used instruments 
  • Variation indications - Main variation in Jungle comes in the breaks and bass. You want to alternate break patterns between sections, and also vary the break chopping bar to bar - not so much that it becomes a different genre (breakcore) but that it keeps the listener on their toes. 
  • Insight as to which instruments are layered at what time  - Bass and Breaks at all times - then the rest of the elements fit together like jigsaw pieces.
  • Reference tracks:
  • Euphoric intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0tLEfD6JTc , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0IrNQsfL9c 
  • Breakcore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe24PdiP55k, 
  • Ragga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IezLEriYO-U , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flyCeihI8pM

Hope this helps any budding Jungle producers - one of my favourite genres to produce!

deltadio
@deltadio
8 months ago
55 posts

[quote="SamuelClouston"]

Good idea!

I'll kick things off.

JUNGLE MUSIC

Hope this helps any budding Jungle producers - one of my favourite genres to produce!

[/quote]

Yes! That's awesome Samuel, so glad you've got the ball rolling. I most definitely believe this way of deconstruction/analysis has an added value, at least for some of us, the analytical types with brains working a certain way ("Programmers Do It On Command!", "Programmers do it with pointers" etc.). 

Your BPM indication for Jungle at 75-85, goes a little over my head since I thought the Jungle "standard" was approx. double that (>=140 BPM), I have tried to educate myself by reading the somewhat related Reddit discussion "Dubstep - 140 or 70 bpm?" [link] but it still is a bit cloudy for me, that wonderful reference track that you mention (Euphoric intro [Special Request - Pull Up (Tim Reaper Remix)]) I simply can't imagine to be < 140 BPM (it turns out to be 165BPM) but I understand you just want to highlight the euphoric intro of this track; Goldie's track is 163 BPM. I feel a bit stupid when I see Sully - Swandive (YT comment: "Which 3 chumps disliked this absolute banger, ffs!") is a surprising 112 BPM, so I take it some parts were on 1/32 grids or higher (?). Anyway, me being too noob for not getting the bpm trickery is not the topic!

SamuelClouston
SamuelClouston
@samuelclouston
8 months ago
245 posts

[quote="deltadio"]

[/quote]

Yes! That's awesome Samuel, so glad you've got the ball rolling. I most definitely believe this way of deconstruction/analysis has an added value, at least for some of us, the analytical types with brains working a certain way ("Programmers Do It On Command!", "Programmers do it with pointers" etc.). 

Your BPM indication for Jungle at 75-85, goes a little over my head since I thought the Jungle "standard" was approx. double that (>=140 BPM), I have tried to educate myself by reading the somewhat related Reddit discussion "Dubstep - 140 or 70 bpm?" [link] but it still is a bit cloudy for me, that wonderful reference track that you mention (Euphoric intro [Special Request - Pull Up (Tim Reaper Remix)]) I simply can't imagine to be < 140 BPM (it turns out to be 165BPM) but I understand you just want to highlight the euphoric intro of this track; Goldie's track is 163 BPM. I feel a bit stupid when I see Sully - Swandive (YT comment: "Which 3 chumps disliked this absolute banger, ffs!") is a surprising 112 BPM, so I take it some parts were on 1/32 grids or higher (?). Anyway, me being too noob for not getting the bpm trickery is not the topic!

[/quote]

Hey no worries! My specificity about BPM comes from my days as a DJ - almost always, if I analysed my tracks before playing, jungle tracks would always be at a halftime BPM, ie at 80BPM, instead of 160 BPM. Same with dubstep - would always be 70BPM, instead of 140. So to me, they're essentially the same thing, depending on how you count the beats (not very scientific I know!). Jungle and Dubstep tracks seem to be discussed often at the halftime BPM - not sure why, some kind of subcultural trait!

Glad you like the bangers! Swandive is definitely in the 80/160 range, but the proliferation of snares often confuses BPM counters, so only trust your ears :)

RobJones
RobJones
@robjones
8 months ago
127 posts

I really like this idea! We could definitely do some tuts on this... be good to do a deep dive into some different genres and really map them out. Watch this space...

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