Old School vs Electronic Song-Making


Electronic Song Making


Computer Sequencing is typically generated by a keyboard where composition and actual production are done done simultaneously. With Sequencing, you may start with a chord progression or drum pattern, then copy and paste it until you get to the next section of the song. In this case drums, bass, organ, horn sounds etc.. can be created with a good keyboard and/or sampler pasted onto the simpler parts originally created.

You can also use Drum loops. They are recorded drum patterns that you can manipulate. With sequencing, you can add endless instrumentation (as you can with live recording.) To make things sound even better, you can later replace some of the synthesized sounds with the real instruments by recording live along with the track.

Vocals would be done this way too, unless you want sampled vocals. Sampled vocals are robotic sounding parts typically placed behind the live singer. You can sample live instruments, too. Michael Jackson's "Black Or White" had a sample of Slash playing the opening guitar riff and then later placed again wherever needed.


Old School Song Making


The second form of songwriting is the old school method written primarily on a piano and/or guitar with the idea of recording the song later with live musicians. Lead sheets and lyrics are almost always written down and a simple voice/instrument demo is often used to play for the musicians to hear for reference.

In this process, a rhythm section is recorded (drums, bass, piano, guitar) together yet mic'd separately for later mixing. Then similar to sequencing, you add additional instruments for production value. However when recording, you must play/sing the song all the way through. Mistakes can be fixed by "punching in" the retake where the mistake was.

In final, Anyone going into music should start studying young and go to a GOOD music college where they teach this stuff. Publishing, Copyright Law etc...should also be part of the curriculum.