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In this course, author Josh Harris shows how to create radio and club arrangements, and a radio edit of a club mix. He utilizes four different digital audio workstations (DAWs)—Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic, and Reason—and shows how to build different arrangements from the ground up, by adding guitars, drums, bass, and synths. Each DAW explores different types of arranging scenarios. Plus, learn how to add ear candy and take your arrangements to another level.
We have spent most of our time so far working in a 16- to 24-bar section of the arrangement and now it's time to build out the remaining sections. The finished arrangement should not feel forced or edited, but natural. All sections need to make sense with one another, especially during the transitions. Radio arrangements have no wasted space, and if that means your arrangement is three minutes and twenty seconds, as opposed to three minutes and thirty seconds, that's fine. Don't get hung up on the length of time, but do keep in mind that most radio stations won't play songs over four minutes long.
My ideal time is somewhere between three minutes and twenty seconds and three minutes and forty-five seconds. Although you won't be able to follow along with me step by step, I will now provide you with an overview of how I build out a radio arrangement. (music playing) Let's spend the next few minutes taking a look at how I built out the radio arrangement.
We'll start up here at the vocals, and you'll notice that there's an edit point in the background vocals right here towards the end. I felt that the background vocals went one cycle through the course too long, and that they should end with the lead vocals. So, I cut out 8 bars of background vocals and shoved the last 8 bars of background vocals over to the left so now, the background vocals and the lead vocals start and end at the same place. I built out the rest of the drums and added some programming on top of the loops that we had had previously in the arrangement.
Let's solo out the drums and take a listen. Primarily on the chorus is where you will hear the elements that I added. So this is a few bars before chorus 1. (music playing) So, you can see that I added a ride cymbal and a tambourine and a crash cymbal happening every four bars here.
And I'm adding a little bit of metal up top in the drums. Those frequencies help the chorus punch a little bit, pop a little bit, feel like it elevates and lifts to another level. I recorded this synth bass part in the bridge. Previously, that section of the arrangement was empty. (music playing) You probably noticed as that section played that there's a little bass fall, or what we call a glissando, something that you would hear in old funk and R&B records. It's sliding your hand down the keyboard very quickly to add a waul sound and let's solo it out, we can take a listen.
(music playing) And it adds a little bit of flavor, I think a bit as a transitional part, leading from one section to another. I worked on an intro that's four bars long, with verse one starting to measure five. (music playing) And we can take a listen to the last few bars and hear the cold ending. (music playing) The arrangement clocks in at just over three and a half minutes long, which is a perfect amount of time for a radio edit.
Now keep in mind that later in the course, I'm going to be adding just a few more elements of ear candy. So, I would say that this arrangement in its current form is about 95% done, and we'll take some time to add the last 5% later on.
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