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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.
Now it's time to fill in the holes of the arrangement, as well as creating an intro and an outro. A club mix is generally 5-7 minutes in length and should take the listener on a journey. So now I'll work through each instrument section--drums, bass, keyboards--as well as add some vocal samples to create some ear candy and special moments in the arrangement. You won't be able to follow along with me step by step, but you will get an overview of how to complete this part of the process. (music playing) Now that we have a completely finished arrangement, I'll spend a few minutes taking you on a tour of what I added.
We will start at the vocal. I cut out a word, just a syllable actually of the word waiting, and I created what I call a vocal sample or vox chop--that is my nickname for it--and I will solo this out so you can take a listen to what it sounds like. I cut out just the wait of the word waiting and I placed it on the and of the beat. And then I consolidated 8 bars of it into one audio file. And here it is, from the beginning. (music playing) And you can see, the delay has a rhythm and then I filtered the delay, so the echo has a darkness to it. (audio playing) And that runs underneath the lead vocal and we listen to the lead vocal and the vox chop together in the chorus and it is a pretty cool combination.
(music playing) It's a nice bit of ear candy that just sits underneath the vocal. It has some rhythm to it so it does help pulse the track along. Unsolo those.
Next up are crash symbols and drum fills and what I call sfx, sound effects, sweeps, things of that nature. So you will notice that when the track starts as a crash symbol at the very beginning, and I continue it for almost every 8 bars throughout the whole arrangement. This is nice. It's a splash of frequencies on the downbeat of a new section. (music playing) And I also created an intro and an outro, and the first verse of song begins at measure 33.
So let's take a listen to the buildup to what I would call the drop, right before verse 1 begins. (music playing) So what I did is I created an 8-bar moment, a hype section if you will, using the hype sound that I programmed in a couple of movies back.
So no new keyboard parts have been added. Things have just been redistributed, and I've added higher-end frequencies like crash cymbals and white-noise-type sweeps to help build tension and release in different sections of the song. I also cut up some of the kick drum file to create these kick fills, along with a clap here at what I would consider to be apex of the song. (music playing) And you can hear that I added a ride cymbal in the last chorus, just to add another set of frequencies on top.
(music playing) So the idea behind working in this arrangement was to create seamless sections. In other words, one section seamlessly leads into the next, into the next, into the next, from start to finish. There is no moments that feel choppy or no sections that don't feel like they belong next one another. So I hope this gives you some insight into how to work your way through a club mix from the shell--the sketch, the blueprint-- add parts, begin to feel in the holes, and then finesse it until the arrangement makes sense from start to finish.
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