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Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: jivatma on December 24, 2010, 08:59:00

Title: How to create e. g. a good Melody in a Tracker?
Post by: jivatma on December 24, 2010, 08:59:00
When i listen to e. g. C64 SID files, i wonder, how they create/ed such good Melodies  O_O .

I mean, how did and do they do that? Entering the Melody in Real Time wasn't possible on a C64 or was it?

Maybe i should first learn, how to create a Melody on my Keyboard (a musical one, not the computer keyboard) and then try to recreate it in a Tracker?

I like to compare, making a Trackermusic-Piece to making a Pixel-Art-Piece...
Both have their Restrictions and Limitations, but with a little bit of Experience in Making Music / Drawing a Picture, you can translate your Style into a Trackerfile / Pixel-Art-Picture.

So, how did they do that?

btw.: Merry X-mas to you all  :) ,
Title: Re: How to create e. g. a good Melody in a Tracker?
Post by: Saga Musix on December 24, 2010, 12:07:41
So, how did they do that?
Some people call it "skill"... ;)
Title: Re: How to create e. g. a good Melody in a Tracker?
Post by: jivatma on December 24, 2010, 20:03:56
Haha, yes, that's true.

Hmm, as i can figure it out by myself - from an other music program - humming, singing, whistling, the Melody either "loud" or in thoughts, that you have in Mind, over and over again and then try to recreate it in a Musicprogram (e. g. a Tracker) can really help. The same goes for a good Bassline.

I guess, either that, or playing it before on a musical Instrument, was and is their "magic trick" to get the Melody into the Tracker.

It's a bit like, as if you make a Sketch on Paper before you create the Image on an other Medium, like e. g. a C64 or Amiga Paint Program, etc.

Well, i guess, that's how it is done.

Thanks for reading,

PS: I hope, you all had a wonderful X-Mas-Day.
Title: Re: How to create e. g. a good Melody in a Tracker?
Post by: Saga Musix on December 25, 2010, 01:05:56
Having some music theory background or having played an instrument before certainly does help. I have a bit of everything, I never played a bass instrument so that's probably why I suck at basslines. :D
Title: Re: How to create e. g. a good Melody in a Tracker?
Post by: CommanderKeen on March 06, 2012, 10:52:24
There's not an easy answer to this, because creating melodies is an art. You can try humming the melody, or try to hear it in your head and then recreate it in the tracker. This is easier than it sounds, though.

Another way to do it would be to create a chord sequence first and base your melody line on the underlying chords. So, if you have a C major chord and the current key of your song is C major also, the obvious notes to choose for your melody line would be C (the root note), G (the fifth) and E (the major third) (in that order) of which the chord is made up. These will always sound good. Next up would be the pentatonic notes of C major, which in this case would D and A. Then, you could use the notes B and F, which are part of the key of C major, but they will clash with the notes in the C major chord, so you (usually) want to use them as short notes in between, or leading up to other notes. Finally, the remaining notes (C#, D#, etc) could be used, but they will sound dissonant. Still there are situations where such notes could sound very cool, if you know what you are doing.

Think about whether you want to use "steps" or "skips". A step are two subsequent notes that are close to eachother, for example, C-D, or C-B. A skip is a bigger leap in melody, for example C-G. Usually, a good melody will consist of a mix of steps and skips.

Where does your melody go? Sometimes it can be a good idea to start with the last note, and works backwards. For example, if your chord sequence is C-Am-F-G-C, you might want to end the melody on a C note on the last C chord, so how will you get there? Working this way can give a refreshing perspective in things.

Also consider the rhythm of your melody. Does your melody start on the first beat of a pattern? That's fine, but also a little cheesy. Try starting the melody a beat earlier or later, or have a little run in the previous patternbar or leading up to the first note. Also, a note-off, or a pause of one or two beats, can create some breathing space in your melody line.

Finally, adorn your melody with some glissando's, vibrato and other effects!