In part 1 of this blog series we went into what we as artists can do to start the process of creating music from scratch. This part 2 is all about what we can now do once we’re gone through the process of writing the initial track.
So you have a basic idea which now needs to be fleshed out to make a fully fledged track ready to be recorded, what’s next?
We get quite a few people into Cosher Recording Studios who come in with ideas and work their tracks to a fully produced piece with a very minimal idea at the start. This process involves many parts, chord structures, arrangement etc.
Arranging In Short
So what is musical arrangement actually? In layman’s terms, it’s how a track is laid out, so you could decide something like this – I have 4 chords which go over 8 bars, so I’ll do 16 bars in the verse, then 16 bars as chorus, repeat this and then add a bridge, and lastly throw in another chorus.
This is called structural arrangement, because you’re looking at how the structure of your track is going to work using chords and music you’ve already thought of.
Chordal arrangement is similar, it basically goes – I have this vocal for my verse, and that one for my chorus, and so I now need to work on the chords.
Essentially it’s not important whether you have chords or vocals or even just a short idea on either, you can still find a basic structure that works.
Knowing What You Want
So structure and arrangement are ready to go, now what? Well now comes the crux – what do you want your music to be?
If you’re looking for a track to go to radio, you have to subscribe to radio standard, this means that your track has to be around 3 and a half – 4 minutes long, and it has to fit the types of genres which are played on most commercial radio, eg pop, hip-hop, R&B or electronic music like house. In South Africa we have a slightly wider audience and one could include gospel, kwaito and afro-house into those.
If you’re wanting something more niche and you want to be found on Spotify playlists and youtube, then you can afford to step out of these general rules in terms of time frame for radio and go more for eclectic genres, like the lo-fi, singer-songwriter, synthwave, harder electronica or more classical genres like orchestral and jazz/funk.
This is something you may find you want for your brand, so think about what kind of brand you’re building.
Into The Studio
So once you have a track idea, a general idea of what you want from it, it’s time to get it recorded.
We have a few videos about what we do up on our youtube channel (click here) with regards to this, so please, go and have a good look there too, but for the most part this is what you can expect.
You will need to know your song well enough to be able to give the audio engineer a basic idea of what you’re going to do, or an idea of what you want from tracks that are already out and on YouTube or on radio, i.e. reference tracks.
More often than not you’ll have to record a scratch version that will be then produced on, adding elements you want and all of the music parts which you could do yourself or couldn’t do without a producer.
Once it’s all said and done, your track will be mixed and mastered, and as easily as that, you have a track ready to go!
Please check out our YouTube Channel for more on the processes we use to produce music from scratch.
If you’re looking to record, then contact us to setup a time so we can help take your creative ideas from an idea to a track.