EDMTunes Goes To Point Blank Online: Electronic Music Composition Week 5

point blank

Another week has come and gone, and with it comes another class from Point Blank Online. If you have not been keeping up with my posts as I have been taking this course over the previous four weeks, start with week one here.

Those of you who have been following over the past few weeks will know that, up until this point, this course has been heavily devoted into theory. We learned about suspended chords adding a heightened emotion, how a bass line can work melodically over relatively simple chord structures, adding melodic elements to spice up your arrangement, and everything in between. Now that we have a basic understanding of how all these pieces are put together, this week focuses on watching masters at work by breaking down some of dance music’s most iconic tracks.

Taking songs such as Acivii’s tune “Levels”, deadmau5 and Kaskade’s “I Remember”, along with many more, we took the great amounts of theory we have learned and saw it executed to perfection. This week was a bit more repetitive that most other weeks, as we just went through the motions of breaking down roughly nine tracks to see how all the parts work. Below is a video of exactly what we did (though this Jessy Glynn tune was not deconstructed in the actually course, but it will give you the gist of what we we were doing all week).

For those of you not in the course the basic process of breaking down a tune can be simple, and also a great way to model your tracks after. By simply dragging one of your favorite tunes into your digital audio workstation, you can start to see a roadmap of the overall track. Looking at the audio waveform, you can see where artists like Skrillex or Calvin Harris put their drops versus their breakdowns, or their verses compared to their intros. After you know where each of the parts of the song are coming in and out, you can go into detail seeing what exactly the melody is going or pinpoint how the bass line is interacting with the chord structure.

Breaking down a song structure like this can provide a wealth of knowledge for you as a producer. If you’re feeling guilty for “stealing” some of these concepts, let me just stop you right there. These professionals use these structures and methods because THEY WORK, and they can work for you too.

So try it out, and head over to Point Blank to check out the wealth of other courses they offer as well. Until next week, happy producing!