Anyone have any tips on making originals?

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Overlord99
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Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby Overlord99 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:30 am

I think I've made more than enough covers and remixes during my time using FamiTracker, so I want to move on and deviate from my covers-and-remixes-only shtick. I tried messing around with an instrument set of mine, but this percussive bit was as far as I could get before becoming completely stumped. If anybody has any advice, please do let me hear it. Thanks in advance!
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TheMudkipMaster12
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby TheMudkipMaster12 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:10 am

This is the process I go through for making originals:

1. Listen to songs until you find some sort of inspiration.
2. Think of a short melody based off of the song you are 'inspired' by.
3. Add on to your song, like another melody, perhaps.
4. Repeat step 3 until you are happy.
5. After you have completed step 4, go back to step 1. ;)

I don't know if that helps or not, but that is usually what I do :/

Also, I really like that short beat! You could definitely build off of it.
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HertzDevil
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby HertzDevil » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:48 am

  1. Think of a main phrase that will serve as a recurring theme;
  2. Plan the overall structure and style of the song that would fit the main phrase;
  3. Draft a chord progression in Hooktheory;
  4. Elaborate on the main phrase and add other melodic lines, adjusting the chords as necessary;
  5. Copy the notes and the bassline to FamiTracker with a blank instrument, while using placeholder percussion patterns;
  6. Modify the notes in FamiTracker as necessary, then copy these changes to Hooktheory;
  7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until the results are satisfactory;
  8. Add embellishments, effects, and other tracks to FamiTracker, possibly creating new bassline or percussion patterns;
  9. Repeat Steps 3 to 8 for all the sections in a song that do not repeat from earlier parts.
Whenever I try to make anything original, I tend to follow all these steps systematically to get exactly what I want. Some people can improvise, or are used to improvisation, but even within short time frames I still do the Hooktheory planning as above. It can be replaced by anything else capable of prototyping music tracks.
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ollaxe
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby ollaxe » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:38 pm

Well...


In all seriousness, I just improvise. I just get a song idea into my head, rush to the computer and start tracking. I start with my small idea and then just try to build off of that, adding drums, choirs, arpeggios, and just simply everything that might make the song better or longer.

A good example of how I build up my songs is Digging in the past. I randomly just got the stuff that's in pulse 1 during frame 0x00-0x09 and the bassline that is during frame 0x02-0x09 into my head, recorded me singing it, and then started tracking based on that recording. I then added the choirs and the triangle bass, then I added the lead, the backing lead, etc, until I felt that everything was done.

A bit of inspiration can also help, of course. Listen to music you like often. One day or another, you'll suddenly get a song idea based off of the music you've listened to.

Good luck with making originals! I look forward to seeing what you'll do! :D


Also, before I click "Submit", have you posted any originals to the FT forums in the past?
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby Threxx » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:54 am

HertzDevil wrote:
  1. Think of a main phrase that will serve as a recurring theme;
  2. Plan the overall structure and style of the song that would fit the main phrase;
  3. Draft a chord progression in Hooktheory;
  4. Elaborate on the main phrase and add other melodic lines, adjusting the chords as necessary;
  5. Copy the notes and the bassline to FamiTracker with a blank instrument, while using placeholder percussion patterns;
  6. Modify the notes in FamiTracker as necessary, then copy these changes to Hooktheory;
  7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until the results are satisfactory;
  8. Add embellishments, effects, and other tracks to FamiTracker, possibly creating new bassline or percussion patterns;
  9. Repeat Steps 3 to 8 for all the sections in a song that do not repeat from earlier parts.
Whenever I try to make anything original, I tend to follow all these steps systematically to get exactly what I want. Some people can improvise, or are used to improvisation, but even within short time frames I still do the Hooktheory planning as above. It can be replaced by anything else capable of prototyping music tracks.


I find it interesting how similar these steps are to my own composition process.

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Xyz
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby Xyz » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:52 am

Write a rudimentary bassline, write accompanying 0xy cords to go over it. Write a melody that fits these chords.
Then transpose down your melody so that it's now within bass range. Delete your original bassline. Delete your chords. Start again with this new dynamic bassline.

I would be really really keen to hear how lepage does TonyThai-like basslines or just how he does his own.
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iYamWhatIYam
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby iYamWhatIYam » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:32 pm

I've only made two original pieces and one cover, but when I did make an original piece, the process went something like this:

-I fiddle around with either my MIDI keyboard or in my head what I want my song to sound like.
-I then work to input the notes in FamiTracker.
-From there, I create percussion (although I prefer to do percussion first).
-Then, I add whatever I feel sounds appropriate to my song.
-When I get all the notes in, I take a little time to finetune what I've done.

And that's it, for me, anyway.
I have permanently switched to 0CC-FamiTracker. If and when JSR decides to update vanilla FamiTracker at this point is entirely out of the question for me.
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Overlord99
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby Overlord99 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:40 pm

Thanks everyone for your wonderful advice! It's going to help out a ton in the future. I look forward to putting it to good use!

And ollaxe, no, I've never made an original at all, let alone uploaded one to the forum. :P

Livoh773
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby Livoh773 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:11 am

Good thread!

I am still developing my process. I am still prone to frustration and the likes, but I hope that with practice and keeping it up I get better someway or another.

I think of a melody or a bass line, just in my head, and then I add elements to it...still in the head. Most of the time is Bass line + Drums, I "transfer " that to my mouth. While I am on that, I may improvise a tight melody to it. If I like it enough to the point I start being happy humming all the thing, I rush to my phone, where I have like 4 recording apps, I choose the appropriate for the "project". I think this is the approach I will be making permanent, and sure is the safest.

The other way is kind of ...dangerous, specially with the wrong mindset and trying to "push" something. i am thinking you cant push music, and I am experiencing that most of the time with this approach.Is this...sit down, open the Music editor, and try to create something.It would be ok If i could accept anything but my self criticism start yelling and is hard to ignore it... As there is nothing, I have to create a melody, sequence it, create a bassline, sequence it etc, drums, sequence it etc. It can get messy as I have to create something from thing air and then with patience, sequence it along the way. When there isnt a clear idea already in the head it feels like work and there is no room to creativity! Frustration is very probable here. However, most of the time, with enough effort ( which translate to time), some brain desconnection ( like getting into it, focusing) something good comes up.

I read something about being worry about energy, and not time. So, pay attention at your energy, and trying to use it at max. Maybe with the right energy and mindset you make in 10 minutes what you couldn't do in 1,2+ hours and leaved the session sad.

Still developing my processes so this thread is very appealing!

PS: Also listening to music. I try to not get too engaged and take them as inspiration. As soon as you hear something, and feel you -want more- that's inspiration right there, satisfy yourself creating something alike, at the end it will be made your way because...you are the one making it!

Edited: Tried to make it more readable.
Last edited by Livoh773 on Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pencildragon
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Re: Anyone have any tips on making originals?

Postby Pencildragon » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:06 am

Still being relatively new to Famitracker, I can't give a ton of insight into specifically making originals in Famitracker, but I have a ton of experience composing other types of music. Usually my process involves:

1) Listen to other music that might inspire me, or watch a movie/show that might inspire me, or perhaps I already have some little snippet of music floating around in my imagination that I feel like I could grow into something more.
2) Write out my idea on traditional sheet music. This is how I learned music, so I find it the most convenient way to organize my ideas. Some people can use a midi editor to write down their ideas or put it straight into the tracker, other people just memorize it until they're ready to put it in a tracker/other music program. Experiment and find what works for you. If you're not that familiar with music theory, I highly, highly recommend learning more about it! It will provide you with the tools to understand how your musical ideas can become bigger pieces of music. (Btw I use noteflight to write down my ideas)
3) "Musically vomit on the page." By this I mean I just throw down any ideas I have. All of them.
4) Sort through those ideas, pick out which ones I like and which ones might go well together.
5) Organize transitions, write accompanying parts, triple check syntax.
6) Move on to production/mixing/ect.

I didn't systematically make myself follow this process, it just kind of evolved naturally as I learned more and more about writing music. I might change it up sometimes and do something different, but this is primarily what I do.


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