Allan Didier

Intro CS Music Production Projects

See below for the following topics

  1. Song Creation
  2. Rhythm Creation
  3. Audio Recording
  4. Midi Recording
  5. Synth Creation
  6. Audio Techniques

Song Creation

Part 1. Tracks and Loops

  1. Create a simple, 1 minute song.
  2. Use at least 3 different tracks using a least 3 different instruments or sounds. At least one track should be a rhythm/drum track.
  3. Use at least 2-3 different loops per track, for a total of 6-9 total loops.
  4. All tracks should sound good together and use the same BPM (beats per minute).

Part 2. Verse and Chorus

  1. Add 1-2 minutes to your already existing song.
  2. Create a verse and a chorus.
  3. Create at least one verse of a song. A simple verse should consist of
    1. 8-24 bars long
    2. Constant rhythm throughout the verse.
    3. 3-4 changes in the lead/supporting instrument pattern. Changes can be small like just a chord change. 
    4. Lead changes follow a pattern, like a 12 bar blues (A, A, A, A,   B, B, A, A,   C, B, A, A). 
  4. A chorus is similar to a verse but with some differences.
    1. 8-24 bars long. Chorus length can be the same or different from the verse.
    2. A change in the rhythm. Use the same instruments, but use a different pattern or loop.  
    3. A new pattern for the lead/supporting instruments different from the verse.

Part 3. Song from Multiple Verses and Choruses

  1. Add another 1-2 minutes to your already existing song.
  2. Repeat the verses and choruses to extend the length of your song. For example: verse, verse, chorus, verse, verse, chorus.
  3. Add variations to the verses and choruses to eliminate repetition.

Part 4. Completing the Song: Bookends and Bridges

  1. Add an Intro to the song. This could be a single loop on track or a gradual building of the song by adding tracks at specific bars. 
  2. Add an end to the song. This could be a single loop on a track or a gradual breakdown of the song by ending tracks at specific bars.
  3. Add a bridges or two between verses and choruses. Bridges are the short 1-4 bar sequences the break up the rhythm of the song. They are meant to add a contrast to the song and break the monotony of the verse-chorus structure.

Rhythm Creation

From Loops

  1. Create a 1-minute, slightly complex rhythm “song”.
  2. Use 1-3 tracks/instruments.
  3. Use 10-15 different loops. Loops can be in the same track or different tracks.
  4. All loops should use the same BPM (beats per minute).
  5. If different tracks are used, the different instruments should sound good together.
  6. You can cut or shorten loop clips to create loop variations. 

Custom Loops

  1. Create at least 8 different, custom loops using an existing drum kit.
  2. Loops should be 2-4 bars long.
  3. All loops should use the same BPM.
  4. Use at least 4 instruments in the kit per loop, or at least 16 different instruments across all the loops created. 
  5. Timing of beats and hits should be clean and in sync with the rhythm (quantized). 

Rhythm Theory

  • Create rhythms following different styles of music.
  • Create at least 4 variations of each rhythm or pattern.
  • Rhythmic styles include: rock, blues, reggae, jazz, dance, hip hop, waltz, disco, funk, swing. salsa, samba, Bossa Nova, and more.

Audio Recording

Record your own playing and music. 

  1. Record your own riffs, rhythms, or an entire song. 
  2. Record vocals, guitar, bass, and other instruments.
  3. Learn to use click tracks to keep the timing of all your recordings in sync.
  4. Add DAW beats, rhythms and loops to your own recording. 
  5. Make a song with your own recordings following the steps above for making a song.

Midi Recording

Record your own playing and music. 

  1. Record your own riffs, rhythms, melodies or an entire song using midi. 
  2. Edit the midi tracks to fix any time signature issues. 
  3. Find the right synth for the track. 
  4. Record both drum track and instrument midi tracks.
  5. Learn and use midi techniques like quantization, groove, velocities, and more. 

Synth Creation

  • Dive deep into how synths are created. Learn how synthesizer are created and make your own sounds and synths. 
  • Create your own synth from scratch using tools like Massive, Reactor,  Simpler, or Sampler.
  • Customize an already created synth to make it your own. 

Audio Techniques

Learn more advanced audio techniques and tools.

  • Effects: Study and add effects to tracks
    • Reverb
    • Delay
    • Chorus
    • EQ
    • Dynamics (Compressor, limiter, gate, expander)
  • Side Chaining: Side chaining is using one signal to modify another signal. For example, a lot of hip hop and dance music side chain the kick drum to the volume of other channels to make the volume pulse with the kick drum. 
  • Mix and Mastering: Got the basic parts of a song down and are ready to for the next step before exporting the song and sharing it. Take the next step and learn how to compress, EQ, and balance the tracks for a great mix. 
  • Time warping. Got various clips at different bpms? Learn to time warp clips to make them fit together.