Hi guys, i thought i would post a mini guide to making backing tracks,
this is by no means a 100% guide of everything, but more mini guide to general construction, and some pointers.
Alot of you will know things like this already but here it go's
Lets start with drums, these are the back bone of your song, good sounding drums r the difference between
a good track and a great track (same with most instruments) but the drums control the overall feel
of the track, by altering the patten (to make it less robotic) changing the volume of the snares, hats, crashes, you can create a vast array of different sounds.
Here's a example, this simple drum patten might be the drum beat your after,
but it sounds very simple:
This next example adds hi-hat's to it, which improves it:
This final example has a more flexible drum pattern, but its still basically what you hear above, only more interesting:
Here's the same type of exercise but with a fast drum pattern:
Now lets look at Drum rolls, weather you use them or not, its handy to know how, since you can put small drum rolls at the end of a verse in a song etc, they r very effective when made correctly.
Here is a basic drum roll, using only 1 snare sound:
As you can probably hear, it just about does the job, but not brillant,
here's where a decent drum kit comes.
For a decent drum roll you need two almost identical drum snares, they just need to be slightly different to create the right effect, this next example is using 2 snares, every other hit is the second snare:
This type of drum roll is far more effective then a single snare sound, so remember to experiment.
Remember drumming, like playing any instrument is about playing well, and interestingly, the more effort you put into the drumming the better it will sound.
Things like Crashes, Toms, Hit-Hats, Cymbols can all add to the effect, so experiment, and see what works, its really that simple
Check this thread for more infomation about sound fonts and links to some good sites with drum kits:
other then Drums, Bass is the most important component of a song, ridged bass lines can be the back bone of a song, but there is no need to make these wooden either.
Here's two different ways of doing the bass for the same piece of music:
The bass rings through the song, which makes it very important to changing the feel of a song, here's two more examples of the bass changing the feel.
First no change in the bass, which isn't wrong, but it shows how different the change effects the feel of the song, but both work for different effects.
This is the same piece which some bass changing, again this isn't the correct way to do it, there is no right or wrong way, only different ways, but see the diference:
So once again, experiement, when covering someone else's song, you might be limited to the kind of patterns they used (to a certain extent), on original piece's, you can do anything you want though.
Thats about it really for the bare bones backing, the other kind of instruments you use will depend alot on what your doing, but try to treat them like a real instrument, play them (via the sequencer) as they would normallay be played, and if you don't know how, look into it, its amazing what a search engine can find when it comes to learning
With regards to sequencers and other equipment, this is mainly down to budget and personal preference, i use Computer Muzys (which is free on the cover disk of Computer Music magazine in the UK, possiblily else where too), all my instruments are either free sound fonts, free VST Instruments and effects.
So look about, there are many links in these forums to alsorts of programs.
I hope this mini guide has been of some use