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I copied a 90’s house track

Picture of Post by distilled noise

Post by distilled noise

I make house music, I share tips for house music producers on YT and Patreon.

Hi friend,

this week I want to share some takeaways from my last try at copying a track that I really like.

We all know that taking inspiration from the music we like is key to get new ideas and to improve at making music.

We also know that sometimes we start by copying a certain element and then we add our creativity and it ends with something completely different but that makes us really proud.

But this time, I am talking about copying a full track, start to finish.

In this case, the correct definition is “track reconstruction”, and obviously there is no plan to release it, but we do it simply for educational purposes.

This is what I did for this month project on Patreon. I was creatively drained by working on original material every month and so I decided to learn something new by reconstructing a 98’ house track I really like.

Reconstructing tracks activate your analytical side of the brain and pushes you to come up with ideas to emulate the sounds you hear, without knowing how they were made.

I documented the process on my latest You Tube video.

 

Here are some things that I have learned:

1 – Simplicity: old school tracks, that are style bangers today, were dominated by simplicity. Very few elements, put in the right places, arranged in the right way are more effective than overcomplicated tracks. Add to that a bit of vintage flavor (machine noise, tape noise, not too crispy high end) and a long lasting masterpiece is done.

2 – New techniques: for the first time I have used a pitch bend to blend the transition from a chord to another. I have also pushed myself to find sounds within the Ableton library or to build them from scratch with Ableton instruments.

3 – New chord progressions: never have I ever used a progression that move from the minor root chord (F minor 9th) to the major root chord (F major 7th). The major chord creates so much tension to be solved going back to minor again.

4 – New sounds: I have always used snares and claps, but I have never used rim shots, in the snare place, and ghost notes in the way I did for this track. This is for sure something that I’ll use in my tracks too.

5 – Arrangement: the last takeaway were new ways of using arrangement to keep the track interesting. In the original track there weren’t a lot of elements but the producer keeps adding and taking them away through the whole track in a way that keeps it interesting from start to finish.

This increases my baggage of music production skills in a way that couldn’t happen simply listening to music. You need to get your hands dirty and see what it takes to get as close as you can to the track you are reconstructing.

To go more in depth on these features, I suggest to watch my latest You Tube video.

FROM PATREON

You can download the reconstructed project, Constratti’s samples, my 5 new presets and 10 MIDI loops from my Patreon.

July downloadable pack.

If you are reading this post later than July 2023, find the project on my website.

FROM THE WEB

Today we talk about “generative music”. Ambient and textural sounds that evolve by themselves, based on the modulations that randomly are applied.

1 –  Generative Ambient Soundscapes with Ableton Live & Pigments

A nice tutorial on how you can use Ableton Live and Arturia Pigments to create generative music. Video here.

2 – Why Arturia Pigments is Perfect for Generative Music and Sequences

Same topic, but only using Pigments by Arturia. Video here.

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Here I share what I’ve been listening to lately both from the house music world and from every other genre.

I will keep feeding this section of my newsletter, with the hope you enjoy it.

1 – HOUSE/MINIMAL HOUSE MUSIC

New release from Rhadow: Indigo (Vocal Mix)

2 – OTHER GENRES

Fischerspooner – Emerge (Junkie XL Remix) Spotify

This song was used by Casey Neist in his video “Do More” (watch here) and it gets me very pumped, lol.