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Everyone writes songs in their own way. Some start with a melody or a beat, some start with a lyric. Whatever your starting point, you need to get your ideas down quickly, and then polish them into demos worth presenting to partners, producers, and record labels. Pro Tools can help. It's one of the programs professional musicians and songwriters turn to for writing, recording, and mixing songs. In this short course, David Franz takes you from an initial seed-idea to a great sounding demo song, showing you how to find the best tempo, meter, and key; add in vocals, drums, and hooks; and put together a dynamic mix using effects like EQ, compression, and reverb and delay. These 10 simple steps can guide anyone with an idea and a little musical ability through the process of capturing a song idea before the inspiration fades.
Look for more courses in our Songwriting series in 2014! We'll cover Logic, GarageBand, and other popular DAWs.
I'm a fan of almost every style of music. Fact is, I write songs in a variety of genres and I think that there are quality songs in every genre. There are also poor quality songs in every genre, but who's to judge? Well, only you are. When deciding on the style of song to work on for this course, I thought about the genre for a bit, knowing that people with all different types of musical taste may watch this course. I decided to use the first idea that struck me. And tap into what ever musical energy wanted to come out. Instead of writing something intentional, I let the song choose me.
So, what came out was a guitar riff that I immediately heard as a pop rock song. As a music producer, I can often hear a song idea already produced out as a full song. And that's what happened when I wrote this riff. So, I'm going to record this basic riff. Go here, and name my track, acoustic guitar, and I'm going to mute the click track so I can just play the idea in freely. So, I'll record enable the track. Hit Record and start laying down this idea.
So that repeated guitar line. Seems like a nice little hook. You may not like it, or hear it as the foundation of a song. But let me show you how I'll transform it. And let me note that it's easy enough to start a song idea with the keyboard part. A cool sample, a drum loop, or whatever inspires you. But whatever it is, capture the idea as soon as you have it. Open up your Pro Tools template file and hit Record. After the initial idea's down, then spend the time refining it.
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