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#434390 - 10/20/17 12:55 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
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Based on what I have listened to in the showcase forum I suspect a lot of people in this forum are not making what most would consider modern sounding music so I wanted to toss out this challenge in case anyone would like to demonstrate/educate us all on how this is possible with BIAB and also share their process! I think this would make a dynamite blog post and would be quite a good thing for BIAB too!

Just to clarify what I mean by modern music I guess I'd say a mainstream popular/pop song written, produced and charted within the last five or so years. My goal is to understand how BIAB can be used to produce music that is chart-worthy in the current era of mainstream popular music.

Below are a few I would think meet this criteria but anything on a current or recent chart such as http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100 or http://www.billboard.com/charts#id-chart-category-pop would be a good choice to use as an example.

Imagine Dragons - I Bet My Life or Thunder
Sia - Chandelier or Elastic Heart
Rag'n'Bone Man - Human or Skin
Lorde - Green Light or Royals
JP Cooper - September Song
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
Avicii - Wake Me Up

And if you have already produced something you'd consider modern/mainstream please share a link as I'd love to listen without having to chance finding it in the showcase!

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#434394 - 10/20/17 01:39 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
floyd jane Offline
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#434401 - 10/20/17 02:51 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Samuel Davis Offline
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Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 433
Loc: Florida
Great examples Floyd. The style of those two songs fit right in with todays top charting country songs.

So to all the naysayers.... BOOM!!!
Floyd Jane everybody!

(and the crowd erupts in cheers)
_________________________
Samuel Davis Jr
BIAB 2018 + Cubase + Ignite
BMI

www.sammycountry.com

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#434406 - 10/20/17 03:54 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: floyd jane]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2234

Those are really good songs Floyd! I am not familiar enough with current country to know how they would fit into today's charts with the likes of groups like Florida Georgia Line but they are top notch!

A question about your process...do you start with a style and then add additional tracks or do you start from scratch and build with just tracks?

Wondering if you have anything more mainstream? Maybe more on the pop side of things?

Thanks!!


Edited by JohnJohnJohn (10/20/17 03:56 PM)

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#434426 - 10/20/17 06:06 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
David Snyder Offline
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I did not post a link to a song but I put a separate tutorial on how to do it yourself in 15 minutes and write your own.

If you go to my links like MusicDealers, SoundCloud or Reverb you can hear a boatload of stuff I have done using the technique I describe the separate tutorial I just posted.

But you will feel better if you tinker around and make your own cool song, and not listen to mine.

Go be free. Just remember to start kicking you know what when you get to the chorus.

smile
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#434435 - 10/20/17 08:08 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
floyd jane Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnJohnJohn

Those are really good songs Floyd! I am not familiar enough with current country to know how they would fit into today's charts with the likes of groups like Florida Georgia Line but they are top notch!

A question about your process...do you start with a style and then add additional tracks or do you start from scratch and build with just tracks?

Wondering if you have anything more mainstream? Maybe more on the pop side of things?

Thanks!!




Most often I am building the sound I want by simply picking the RealTracks that will create what I am looking for. At times I will start with a Style. If most of what gets created comes from a Style, I will list the Style in the instrument list that I post with each song.

Creating songs that have "that modern sound" requires that you be able WRITE songs that work for that sound. Most of the people posting song in the Showcase write in the style that they grew up with. For example, most of the Country songs posted are written like 70's Country - because that is what the writer was listening to when they became writers. So you get "old Country".... "Hey, man, that sounds like Willie Nelson!" Of course it does. All of my very early stuff sounds like John Prine - or other singer songwriters I grew up with. I did a lot of writing for the market during 90's Country (into the early 2000's) so much of my stuff has that style and feel - it is more "commercial" (pop-y) than most of the Country writers here - because they did not learn to write that style... And most people are totally happy with their style of writing - as they should be...

Today's sound requires a totally different style of writing - which 98% of those here don't care to even consider. It is a different animal than what it was even 15 years ago. There is a flow and cadence to the lyric and melody that is different. You have to learn that type of writing. Without that, it isn't possible to get a "modern (current) sound" - even if you use the right instruments. In order to create the 2 songs that I posted as examples, I had to "think differently" about the writing than my normal style of writing. I prefer the old style, so I will continue that for the most part as time goes on. I get easily bored with the new stuff. Listening to the radio I find it all sounds the same - song after song after song. But I do continually listen to new releases - and find a lot of things I like....

Along with the different style of lyric writing and melody writing, there is a slightly different style of production, but it is still made up of playing styles that are familar. You can find RealTracks that will recreate a lot of how songs are produced these days - as long as you "have the ears" to hear how they are done.

You can use the breakdown of tracks at karaoke-version to see how to build songs

http://www.karaoke-version.com/custombackingtrack/charlie-puth/attention.html

mute everything then pick one track at a time. Find a RealTrack that does that sound...

Most of "the sound" comes from the BEAT tracks in songs these days. You can find many in the BIAB loops library. It is good to learn to build them yourself in your DAW. You only need to build a single measure. Then copy that through your whole song.

I don't do "pop" (to answer your question), but that should be quite easy to do - AS LONG AS YOU WRITE THE RIGHT KIND OF SONG - the style of song being written today. Not the pop of 20 years ago. It is a differnt feel.

Much of today's pop is very minimalistic. A Beat, a bass and a single guitar (or piano or synth or mandolin, etc.)

As an example, I have stripped out all but those instruments in one of the songs I posted. The acoustic is a little too busy - it would sound more "popish" with a more sparse guitar - but this is just for a quick example - and keep in mind - I wrote this to be "current Country" not to be pop...

http://floydjane.com/Songs/LittleBit.htm

Play the top one...
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#434437 - 10/20/17 08:45 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2234
Thanks so much for sharing such details Floyd! And lemme just say that is a killer chorus, especially that second section,

a runaway train can jump the track
so don't lay a bet that you can't back
careful, lesser men have cracked from
a little bit of this

So sweet!

You make such great points about the need to "hear" and take apart the modern pop song before being able to write one and needing to write one before being able to create it in BIAB. I guess you are kinda confirming what I suspected that is that BIAB is not going to accept a few chords and then spit out a fairly complete sounding modern pop song the way it will definitely do classic bluegrass or classic country.

I have been able to create fairly complete sounding songs in genres I know little about using BIAB and common chord progressions for those genres. But I have not been able to get anywhere close to songs like Chandelier or I Bet My Life or Royals. Maybe that is because those songs are more distinctive and unique and many of the classic genres not so much?

Thanks again for your advice and I hope you are having success with your great songs! I will keep plugging away at it!

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#434444 - 10/20/17 10:13 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2380
Loc: South Africa
Hi John

Here are a couple for you to listen to. Happy to make a short video on how it was made.

Shortlisted 4 times, Licensed 3 times: 450K listens on songtradr. Female vocal: Pop/country
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/joanne-cooper-cement-shoes-enough/1

Shortlisted 4 times. Licensed once: Female vocals/pop folk swing.
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/karen-wilmot/paradise-is-everywhere-ft-karen-wilmot

This one has been shortlisted once: Female vocal. Pop
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/it-could-have-been/1

This one has been shortlisted a couple of times: Hip Hop instrumental
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/hip-hop-funk

This one has been licensed twice: Instrumental
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/feels-like-train


Edited by JoanneCooper (10/20/17 10:13 PM)

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#434449 - 10/21/17 12:32 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Samuel Davis Offline
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Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 433
Loc: Florida
I just threw this together in about 30 minutes to see what I could do on the fly. It's more modern dark country than pop but let me know what you think.

https://soundcloud.com/user-742389722/slow-dark-modern-country
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Samuel Davis Jr
BIAB 2018 + Cubase + Ignite
BMI

www.sammycountry.com

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#434474 - 10/21/17 06:54 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JoanneCooper]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2234
Originally Posted By: JoanneCooper
Hi John

Here are a couple for you to listen to. Happy to make a short video on how it was made.

Shortlisted 4 times, Licensed 3 times: 450K listens on songtradr. Female vocal: Pop/country
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/joanne-cooper-cement-shoes-enough/1

Shortlisted 4 times. Licensed once: Female vocals/pop folk swing.
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/karen-wilmot/paradise-is-everywhere-ft-karen-wilmot

This one has been shortlisted once: Female vocal. Pop
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/it-could-have-been/1

This one has been shortlisted a couple of times: Hip Hop instrumental
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/hip-hop-funk

This one has been licensed twice: Instrumental
http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanne-cooper/feels-like-train

Thanks Joanne! I listened to the three with vocals. These are great songs and performed and produced beautifully! I can see why you are getting these licensed!!! I'm just not sure if these are the types of songs I am thinking of when I say "modern". I mean absolutely no disrespect for they are obviously quite good and I think they fit just fine in a modern playlist but they also, at least to me, seem to fit in a classic genre as well.

I think I may be chasing something that is unattainable with a backing track-maker, at least without significant additional effort. By definition, some of the top pop songs that interest me are unique and different than songs from any of the classic genres. So it is probably too much to expect that BIAB could offer a shortcut to those types of songs. Thanks to you and David and Samuel and Floyd and Charlie and others I think I am starting to understand this is going to require additional learning on my part...both about what makes modern pop music and how to use BIAB in conjunction with other tools to create it!

Thanks again for your help; it is greatly appreciated!


Edited by JohnJohnJohn (10/21/17 07:06 AM)

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#434477 - 10/21/17 07:33 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5540
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: JohnJohnJohn
... Thanks to Joanne and David and Samuel and Floyd and Charlie and others I think I am starting to understand this is going to require additional learning on my part...both about what makes modern pop music and how to use BIAB in conjunction with other tools to create it!


One of our better threads in past days. I enjoyed the read.
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#434499 - 10/21/17 09:47 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2380
Loc: South Africa
J*3

I forgot about this one http://www.songtradr.com/songs/joanna-cooper/joanne-cooper-it-could-have-been-chimera-remix-prod.-by-ogi-feel-the-beat

Had a bit of a help with this remix from Ogi Feel the Beat but the majority of this is done with BIAB.



Edited by JoanneCooper (10/21/17 09:47 AM)

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#442920 - 12/05/17 09:43 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Samuel Davis Offline
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Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 433
Loc: Florida
OMG... I just upgraded to from BIAB 2011 to BIAB 2018. I was browsing the styles and chose Hip Hop as a Category filter. Just going through the style demos I can't believe that we actually had this conversation. There are so many options to make a great modern pop sounding tune in there.
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Samuel Davis Jr
BIAB 2018 + Cubase + Ignite
BMI

www.sammycountry.com

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#444871 - 12/13/17 09:43 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Challenge: Create (or share) a Modern Sounding/Mainstream Type Song With BIAB [Re: Samuel Davis]
funkycornwall Offline
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Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 177
Interesting topic. I think you could get well on the way to produce current sounds using BIAB but I think you'd need to use other software too. BIAB RealTracks and drums are a treasure trove of aural delights but there are some limitations. Obviously you don't have complete control over RealDrums since they are not separated out. You could use looping of RealDrums but you might have to also make up drums in another program - say you just wanted bass drum only or whatever for sections of a song. The RealTrack bass lines are also great but I actually rarely use them as I like to completely control my bass line. Too often the bass lines from RealTracks will be too busy or slightly out of tune or most annoying will have inappropriate octave leaps so ruining the voice-leading. I always make my own bass line using a program like Trilian or Modo Bass. I think bass is increasingly important in current pop and modern country. modern bass lines are often pretty simple but they have to be right and also have the right sound.

So in short I think it is down to the imagination and skill of the user as to successfully using BIAB to produce modern sounding tracks. But I certainly think they can be used in conjunction with other programs to achive very creditable results. You also need to have excellent mixing and ears and the right effects.

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