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Music Production #FastTracks - Tails | LevelsFM

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Watch full episodes on the channel, listen at https://levelsfm.com or wherever you listen to podcasts. Tails breaks down writing chord progressions, choosing a key, creating a satisfying bassline, choosing the best low notes based on frequency, creating a leads and melody with the right leading note ,intervals, and adding texture. 

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Music Production #FastTracks - Tails | LevelsFM - YouTube
[Music] so what i'll always do is step one is i'll choose my key um i used to always write in minor keys but now i've realized the joys of major keys being totally awesome as well so no limits anymore but um i'll literally write up my scale in ableton put it off my piano roll so it's not being played but i can see it and then i'll literally just pick between like three and six random notes from my scale draw them in at random lengths through like an eight bar loop um and just basically arrange a baseline or like the root notes for what my chords are going to be because realistically with my like level of music theory not being super high what i'm looking for the most is satisfying chord movements and for me the main way to get that is satisfying



movements in the bass i don't want um i generally don't want my chorus to come in on like something like an a flat or like you know like g or any g flat even because those bass notes to me aren't low enough they're not satisfying frequency wise you're you're speaking like exactly right okay yeah so when you hear that it doesn't have that like really nice full low sound a flat to me a flat is like the worst note i don't like that note what's the best what are some good notes for for chorus notes uh hitting on d i like like honestly anything from like c sharp if i'm writing hip hop stuff c but c sharp all the way up to like like g i don't even like that like maybe g flat or f sharp um i try and make that my one chord my like resolving most satisfying chord


or hit in the song fall in between those notes because i do find that to be just the most full bass sounds that you can get in the biggest low end you can have um really cool yeah the beauty of that is like your chorus can land on an a flat but let's say it lands on the a flat goes down to like g flat you know what i mean like you're not going to be quick and then it hits your one chord and that's still no matter when you go to your big one chord moments it's gonna be a satisfying bass note right um and that's what i look for so like my drops do sometimes end up on a higher bass note but they'll go like boom boom boom you know what i mean they'll hit like the right spot and the satisfying one chord eventually um so yeah that's the first step is i choose a key usually between c sharp and like g ish and j sorry just to clarify you move your piano roll out of the way so you can't once you've picked the notes you can't see that and it can't influence you anymore right um i i keep them there i pick those


notes i pick those like six notes and i arrange them into just like some sort of movement that i like between those notes basically forming like where my chord progression is going to go okay and then i do the same thing every time to get started i'll command a i'll select all i'll duplicate pitch up seven semitones so basically i've got like my bass notes for my chord for my root notes and a perfect fifth and then i'll plug in my standard triads like a major or minor third depending on whatever quality is needed for the diatonic chords whatever it is you know music theory and then i'll take all of those thirds major or minor select all those and put those up in octave so my chord shape is always that when i'm starting it's my root note perfect fifth and then the third is the


highest note it's my leading tone of my chord um notably you can hear that like the start of like rushing back by flume if anybody knows that song um that's that chord structure and i love that sound i use it in my leads everything like if i make a lead sound and it's not just like a single note and people always go like how does what sound how did you make that sound for your lead it's not usually the sound that they're looking for it's that it is that section that basically like interval or that chord any any random sound with that chord to me sounds good so i lean on that a ton that's cool this is this is this is gold people yeah so i mean i i use that all the time and the beauty with that is when you have your base note and the perfect fifth kind of like moving through your chord progression you can start to change that third like the leading note the major or minor third you can start to change that


and move that up and down and get really great melodies because i find like a lot of the stronger melodies especially like ones that i've written that i'm happy with they they generally revolve around say you're playing like a c major chord they generally would revolve around like e like the third you know what i mean like that is always like a nice note for me to choose so yeah i mean that's that's kind of like the basis of how how i'll start every single song is like that chord structure moving it around um yeah that's like yeah i start eventually i'll go in and i'll put in like you know some extra qualities to the chord like make it a minor seventh or ninth or you know what i mean just add them in and and use my melody to pad those chords out if i can like i'll have a simple triad with that inversion


and then use like ninths and elevens in my melody to make them have a little bit more of like a feeling but yeah right man yeah the other thing you need is texture everybody everybody needs more texture in the music i do like a lot of remix judging for like a company in vancouver and the one thing that was always feedback is there's no texture over the chords i think like it always needs that even if it's like a nice clean pop song a little bit of texture goes such a long way and what would you describe as texture textures to me are things that do not have any rhythmical relationship with the song so things like like the classics are like vinyl crackles or like waves or like you know these vhs hum that sort of thing of some kind yeah yeah yeah i've been like


doing them a little bit more heavily lately like messing around with like just straight up sounds that don't have any rhythmic relationship to the song and i find that those are the things that really draw a lot of interest it's like when there's like even like a laser zap that like speeds up through the sound with no accord like nothing to do with the actual tempo i love that like right it's so ear catching in my opinion right some excitement in the mix right yeah definitely makes the chords it makes some like generally like a lot of my chord progressions are pretty basic but because of the texture over top it adds a ton of excitement to the chords and a ton of interest to the chords sweet

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