Music Theory—Arrangement 4 “Finishing Touches, part 1”

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   Dynamics 101




     I then overlaid the solo in the verse in Sonar and took the 16th notes and kind of randomly started deleting some with the idea that if a phrase was generally ascending, I would take out every note or so in between the beginning and the end and lengthen the notes. Then when the notes overlapped with ones from the verse, I almost exclusively used the ones from the verse since generally they were 1/4 notes or longer. What was left was something that had a bit of a start and stop feel at the beginning with things kind of tending toward legato at the end of the solo.


     For the outro, I did kind of the same thing but sort of focused on entirely legato phrasing for it because the arrangement has a stop and then the electric piano finishes with the final Em7 arpeggio with the synth pad playing on top it for a couple of measures. Having the notes from the outro flowing towards the end and then stopping abruptly really sells what follows.


     After listening to the melody of the whole song over and over again, the tone of the Super Spooky Keys plug-in really started to get on my nerves so I fiddled with it a bit more and found a tone that had less attack and a bit more release. I primarily changed from a pulse waveform to the tri-wave option and then turned a few of the other knobs until I was happy with the sound. It plays through a compressor, phaser and then reverb. I wanted a big, warm, sound that wasn’t so much in your face that you couldn’t listen to the song over and over again. 


Here’s a link to the whole song—click here


Next month, I going to mix the song. As you can tell by listening to the clip above, there are places that the melody does really sit on top of the rest of the mix and there are a few other things that need some attention—Stay Tuned

    As I said in last month’s newsletter, all we needed to complete the arrangement was to fill in the solo verse and the outro section and then mix everything. This month, we’ll look at the solo verse and outro and then next month, we’ll get started mixing.


     Starting with the solo, I wanted to change up the feel from a kind of 1/4 note to something that blended staccato and legato. I went back to Band in a Box and used the solo generator to come up with a kind of jazzy bit that was mostly 16th notes.