Digital Music Production
Part One: Loops
Explore the origins of modern digital music production and learn how to create loops that will form the basis of your original music.
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Your First Assignment
- Based on what was presented in the video, answer the following questions:
- How can loops act as the building blocks of a new piece of music?
- What makes a good loop? How do you know where to start and stop it?
- Where else can looping can be found in the world? In music? In visual arts? In architecture?
- Review this list of key music production terminology.
- DAW (digital audio workstation): application software used for recording, editing, and producing audio files
- audio track: an “instrument” in your digital song, an audio track contains a recording of sounds that can be edited and adjusted
- MIDI track: a track containing data that tells digital instruments what to play, like a score that the computer follows to create sound
- transport: the menu where you can control the playback of your song (most common functions found in the transport window are play, stop, record, tempo, metronome/click)
- tempo: the speed at which your digital song progresses
- bar: a way of organizing the written music in small sections where each bar is a small amount of time
Your Second Assignment
- Login to SoundTrap to start exploring the tools of digital music production.
- Watch this basic tutorial to get started creating music in SoundTrap.
- Open up a new file. Save the file as “Loop Experiment.”
- Create an original four-bar loop in this file using materials available in the software or samples from other programs.
- Listen back to your new loop.
- What style of music does your new loop sound like?
- What would you want to add to this loop to make it more of a complete piece?
Explore Other Parts of Digital Music Production
Digital Music Production | Part Two: Drums
Groove along with Charles as he breaks down the parts of the drum set and uses a digital sequencer to create new drumbeats.
Digital Music Production | Part Three: Bass
Establish the foundation of your original piece of music with a bassline that connects with the drums and sets up the harmonic space for your new tracks.
Digital Music Production | Part Four: Melody and Harmony
Find the perfect hook as you try out different approaches to creating melodies for your new song.
Digital Music Production| Part Five: Arrangement
Put all of your new digital loops together into a structure that tells a compelling story and provides surprises for your listeners.