Welcome to the second edition of Electronica Dance Music Programming Secrets. In the first edition we explored the main styles that constitute Electronica and showed how to produce your own examples. This second edition brings us up-to-date with the latest emergent styles in Electronica, from Trance and Dreamhouse to Big Beat and Nu Skool Electro. One of the best kept secrets of Electronica is the way in which a few, very basic, breakbeats, basslines and melody lines are manipulated via sequencer and synthesiser programmining to produce magical effects, and we'll explore more of the these secrets in this expanded and revised edition.
Another of the London dance scene's best kept secrets is Newtronic, an expert band of programmers beavering away producing beats and basslines which are sold as building block kits. Many professional Electronica musicians use Newtronic's building blocks and I am proud to collaborate with them on this second edition to bring their secrets to you.
The power of sequencing lies in its empowerment of the individual to produce professional quality music from a modest home set-up. Musical tricks and secrets, previously the preserve of professionals with huge budgets and the time necessary to learn them, become easily understood through a sequencer's graphic displays, paving a much smoother path from musical novice to explorer and innovator. Who hasn't played around on a friend's guitar or keyboard and heard something in their untutored ramblings that sounded great but which they lacked the skill to replicate? With a sequencer your moment of musical genius can be captured, isolated from the dross surrounding it and replicated to form the basis of a new groove.
Beyond the simple process of recording and replaying, sequencers offer a wealth of music processing options that allow you to take your original idea and experiment or generate harmony parts which in the past would have required a studio full of expensive session musicians and years of learning music theory. This opens new avenues of musical exploration and is the driving force behind the continuing development of Electronica. No longer does a composer have to patiently explain to a bass player or drummer just the feel he has in mind and await their understanding of his concept before they can hear their own musical idea - now you can try out the juxtaposition of patterns you had in mind and adjust the results yourself until the required feel is obtained. Once achieved it is there to be replayed perfectly at any time, not just when the musicians are in the right mood. Using the power of computers to capture those precious moments of inspiration leads to faster working and a freedom to experiment which was previously only enjoyed by the classical or jazz musician with years of training and practice behind him.
Electronica Dance Music Programming Secrets is organised so you can simply dip into those areas of Electronica which you are most interested in. There are stylistic links and similarities between the various styles and I hope this book will lead you to explore those links and thus evolve your own, original, style. Along the way, sequencers' music processing features are introduced in context, where they make the most sense. Too often instruction manuals assume you have a degree in computer science and the musical knowledge of a classical musician, introducing powerful features out of context, bewildering novice and expert alike.
Introducing features from sequencer tricks through to sample manipulation and sound effects as they are required will help you unravel many of the mysteries surrounding Electronica music-making. This will free you to create the music we all hear in our head but which most of us have been unable to realise until now. Ultimately the magic that is music depends on that indefinable something that makes a chord sequence or riff transcendental and it would be foolish to say that simply reading this book will make a Derrick May or Goldie of you. What I hope it will do is allow you to discover the magic that is making music and uncover the hidden musician that beats in everyone's breast.
Nothing in this book about the different styles of Electronica is true of course. The very act of creating electronic music denies the existence of formulas. Take the patterns for Garage drums and make a Jungle track with them, try writing a Trip Hop bassline in a Techno style or mash together patterns from all the different styles. Above all else, remember, there are no rules, anything is possible.
This second edition text covers the new styles of dance music since the first was published, namely, Big Beat and Speed Garage. It takes the reader through the example MIDI files provided covering drumbeats, basslines and melodic motifs. The means of getting the right sounds is described.
From the Back Cover
The bestselling all-in-one user's guide to composing sophisticated electronica and dance music in all the leading contemporary styles: House, Garage, Trance, Techno, Big Beat, Drum 'n' Bass and much more.
Fully updated to cover the latest stylistic developments, Electronica Dance Music Programming Secrets 2nd Edition provides a tour of all the essentials of MIDI sequencing, digital audio, sound production and advanced General MIDI programming. With the help of the complete set of musical templates and digital sound files supplied on the CD, the book offers readers all the knowledge and raw material they need to produce their own professional quality dance music.
IN THE BOOK:
All the Basics ~ Programming House & Garage ~ Programming Trance & Techno ~ Programming Big Beat ~ Drum'n'Bass ~ Programming Trip Hop ~ Audio Programming ~ GM, GS, XG ~ The Mixing Desk, EQ & Effects ~ Getting Your Work Published ~ Sequencing & the Internet ~ Computer Basics ~ Program Change Tables ~ GM Sound Sets ~ Control Change Events ~ Synchronisation ~ Other Computer Music Software
ON THE CD:
Newtronic's MIDI files - a professional set of musical templates covering all the major styles in electronic dance music. Newtronic's Audio files - a professional set of sound files (two and four bar loops) for readers to produce their own tracks quickly and easily.
About the Author
Roger Brown is a freelance music programmer and former columnist for The Mix and Future Music magazines.
Martin Griese is the founder of Newtronic, leading developer and supplier of quality tools for music programmers.
String parts 168 Electric piano 169 Putting it all together 171 Chapter 6 Programming Trip Hop 173 Programming Trip Hop drums 173 Drum sounds 173 Tripping on jazz loops 175 Trip Hop loops 181 Percussed percussion 185 Programming Trip Hop basslines 188 Bass sounds 189 Blues basslines 189 Arranging a Trip Hop track 193 Electric piano 193 Analogue pads 194 Guitar 197 Effects 197 Chapter 7 What's next? 200 Chapter 8 Audio programming 202 Digital audio 202 What is digital audio? 203 Digital tracks 205 Recording digital audio 206 Changing the tempo to fit the audio 207 Changing the audio to fit the tempo 209 Time-stretching 209 Pitch-shifting 210 ReCycling 212 EQ and effects 213 Chapter 9 Getting the sound - GM, GS and XG 215 General MIDI 215 Introduction 215 Description 216 Set-up bar 216 Timing distribution 216 GM messages 218 Extended General MIDI 219 GM messages within the song body 219 Drum channel 220 MIDI gates in GM 221 GM implementation in sequencing software 222 GS 223 Introduction 223 Description 223 Set-up bar 223 GS messages 224 RPNs/NRPNs 225 Available parameters 226 Examples using NRPNs 227 Additional NRPN messages available in GS 229 MIDI gates in GS 230 GS drum set-up 230 Changing individual drum sounds using NRPNs 232 GS software 233 XG 234 Introduction 234 Description 234 Set-up bar 234 Single controller messages in XG 236 Real-time filter changes in XG 236 MIDI gates in XG 237
NRPNs in XG 238 Using XG effects 238 XG drum set-up 239 Additional NRPNs for drum instruments in XG 240 XG software (XG Editors, Mixer Maps, Environments) 242 Chapter 10 The mixing desk, EQ and effects 243 The mixing desk explored 243 The fader 245 Gain and loss 245 Mute and solo 246 All about busses 246 Balance and pan 247 Auxiliary sends 248 EQ, pump up the bass! 248 The master section 249 All about EQ 250 The different types of EQ 251 Tonal EQing 252 EQing vocals 252
EQing brass and wind sounds 252 EQing string sounds 252 EQing bass sounds 253 EQing piano sounds 253 EQing drum sounds 254 All about effects 254 Types of reverb 254 Reverb parameters 255 Echoes 256 Built-in synth effects 256 Chapter 11 Getting your work published 258 Submitting tunes to record companies 258 Doing it yourself - the white label route 258 Promotion 260 Copyright control - protecting your assets 261 Recommended reading 261 Chapter 12 Sequencing and the Internet 263 What is the Internet? 263 What is the World Wide Web? 263 What use is all this to me? 263 What do I need to get on line? 264 Where do I get an Internet account? 264 Web jargon explained 264 Surfing 264 Links 264 E-mail 264 Newsgroups 265 Internet Relay Chat (IRC) 265 Web browsers 265 The Internet - the music connection 265 Sources of music on the Internet 266 Commercial software sites 266 MIDI file sites 267 Sound file sites 267 MIDI software sites 267 Record labels 268 Other interesting sites 268 Newsgroups - make contact 269 MIDI and music newsgroups 269 MIDI jamming on the Internet 272 Online distribution 272 Appendix 1 Computer basics 275 Understanding computers 275 Computer/CPU 275 RAM/Memory 276 Bits, bytes, kilobytes and megabytes 277 Hardware 277 Software 277 Operating systems 278 Applications 278 Files 279 Documents 280 Folders/directories 280 Directory tree/structure 281 Menus 281 Commands/functions 282 Floppy disk drive 282
Hard disk drive 282 CD-ROM disk drive 283 Appendix 2 Program change tables 284 Appendix 3 GM/GS & XG sound sets 290 GM sound sets 290 GM drum kit 291 GS sound sets 293 GS drum kits 295 GS SFX kit 298 XG sound sets 302 XG drum kits 311 XG SFX kits 319 Appendix 4 Control change events 323 Appendix 5 Synchronization 326 Practical synchronization 326 MIDI clocks 327 MIDI time code 329 SMPTE 330 Writing SMPTE code 330 Syncing your sequencer to SMPTE 332 DIN synchronization 333 Frequency Shift Keying 333 Appendix 6 Other computer music software 334 PC software 335