“Havana”: The only thing that stands out for me here is the bold choice in janky piano samples, just pitchy enough to transport you to the world of well-preserved cars and state socialism. It’s also subjective whether it’s a different chord change, or just a different arrangement of the same chord change that happens when Young Thug comes in. I’ll tell you one thing, nobody on the dang dance floor cares if the implied chords are diminished or dominant.
Hughes says, “So if you’re in the key of C major, at the top of the hierarchy is the note C. Because that’s the most important note in the key of C major.” That’s the root or tonic of the scale, and the name of the scale — and so it’s the most important note.
Convenient though it is, some musicians don’t want to accommodate a 12-TET, insisting instead that we continue to use pure intervals derived from harmonics the way God and Pythagoras intended. Harmonics-based tuning systems are collectively known as just intonation. This is a poetically apt term, because it implies fairness. By contrast, the implicit message of 12-TET is that life isn’t fair. As we’ve learned, just intonation systems give you some lovely pure intervals, but are severely limited otherwise. A few malcontents prefer alternative historical compromise tuning systems that make some keys sound better at the expense of others sounding worse. There are many such esoteric temperament systems, but none of them are in widespread use.
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“Drip Too Hard”: They double the choruses and end the second verse with some title/refrain stuff. Hey, you know, one trend that I’d like to call cemented this year is that song form is becoming more and more lyric based. As songs are increasingly built around one single loop phrase, you have to base their form off of something, so it might as well be words. Because it used to be that the chorus, verse, and bridge would all have different chord changes, which would help determine the form. That’s just no longer so.
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With the advent of systems like the Kemper Profiler and Fractal Audio AX-8, many guitarists are making use of amp simulators instead of using the real thing. Even some of the most well known bands are using them live and in the studio.
Hildur Guðnadóttir’s name might sound familiar to you of late as a result of her incredibly powerful score to HBO’s series Chernobyl, as well as her name being dropped recently as the composer who will score Todd Phillips’ upcoming blockbuster Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix. But she’s more than just a film composer. She’s also a cellist, singer, electronic producer, and proponent of a strange digital variant on the cello called Ómar — a six-string electric cello built with computerized signal processing hardware that simulates the sonic properties of an acoustic cello, but with infinite flexibility and zero feedback. But back to her composing. She’s written and recorded several film and television series scores, and performed solo cello on countless others like The Revenant, Arrival, and both Sicario films, and has also arranged for choirs and contributed to recorded works for bands like Sunn O))), Múm, The Knife, Skúli Sverrisson, Nico Muhly, Hauschka, and Jóhann Jóhannsson. For sure, we’ll be hearing more from her for years!
With all of Logic’s inredible instruments, producers often rely on the sound of the samples right out of the box, here’s how to make them more interesting.
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You may have noticed by now how these sorts of structures really can be plug-and-play to some extent. In our analysis of 2018’s top Billboard tracks, we saw how these different sections pop up again and again, some more than others, but with many different variations. Here’s a chart from that analysis that shows how often each section appeared throughout all the songs we looked at:
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“You can’t really beat them for that warm, saturated sound that you can only get from analogue tape. I picked up a digital version recently, an RE-3, and it’s nice for what it does but it doesn’t have the magic of the real ones. I like the crunchiness when you overload the tape and the spring reverb is really good… We’re always picking up interesting old analogue gear, but we’ve never found a tape echo that’s better than the Space Echo yet, so yes, I guess it is something of an icon.”
We’re going to go with the second route today, but everyone’s workflow is different so feel free to experiment. If you’re looking to get a bit more out of this versatile DAW — how to compose, record, edit, mix, add effects, and develop shortcuts and personalized methods in the process — definitely check out Soundfly’s mentored online course, Intro to Making Music in Logic Pro X. Otherwise, let’s get started!