A colorful representation of an energy flow
My previous guest post on howtomakelectronicmusic.com opened up a discussion about an important but overlooked part of music production — energy in your tracks.
In that article, we talked about how to shift energy between sections, via transitions (go ahead and read that so you’re up to speed).
This time, let’s talk about increasing and decreasing energy throughout your entire track.
In part one, we will briefly discuss the why of increasing and decreasing energy. We will go over the point of energy and its role in moving your track forward.
In part two, we will discuss practically how to go about increasing and decreasing energy. This should help you get familiar with the concept.
Energy’s Role in Arrangement
In my recently released eBook, “Electronic Music Arrangement: How to Arrange Electronic Music,” I discuss a concept that I’ve labeled the “Trinity” of music arrangement — Energy, Tension, and Emotion.
The Trinity is important because behind all the chords, harmonies, melodies, sweeps, bass- lines, and roaring synths we make, we find these three things as a driving force.
In fact, everything that goes into constructing a song is basically a vessel to communicate the Trinity.
Energy, the second part of the Trinity, is the lifeblood of your song. It’s the pacing, the speed, the intensity, and the pulse. And just as blood is always flowing, so should the energy in your music.
That might sound like a simple statement — that energy is always flowing — but it’s actually one of the most relieving things you can take hold of when it comes to arrangement.
For instance, when writing a track, if you know that you want your energy to be lower in the next section, your decisions are pretty simple — reduce the energy through whatever method makes the most sense given your track.
When you boil it down, your goal as a music producer while writing and arranging a track is to sculpt an entire three to eight minute energy flow. Using this perspective can seriously assist in helping you figure out where to go next in your track, or even what comes before.
In my video, How to Escape the 8 Bar Loop, I talk about using the same instruments with a different flavor. But one layer above that — the core of my decisions and the reason I made the decisions for my second section — are because of the flow of Energy.
Moreover, there is no better example of Energy flow than in “I Remember” by Deadmau5 and Kaskade. This song is as naked of an energy flow as you can get. They have a very simple set up — a couple synths, some basic percussion elements, and a vocalist. The same chords play throughout the entire ten minute track.
Why is it such a powerful track if it’s so simple? Energy. Ninety percent of this track is the shifting of energy. Not only that, but almost all of the energy shifting is simply the cut-off filter on synths being opened and closed.
But it’s so well sculpted — so intentionally and expertly crafted — that it’s interesting for ten freaking minutes. Hell, I’ve listened to this track on repeat many times over, so they’ve effectively held my interest for hours at a time.
Take a listen for yourself here (although I’m sure many of you have heard this one):
That’s the power of Energy. That’s the power of creating a flowing river that your listeners can groove down, losing themselves and enjoying the ride, not even caring how long it is.
So now that we’ve acknowledge how incredibly important and fundamental Energy is in writing tracks, how do we go about creating, shifting, and sculpting an incredible flow?
Find out in part two!
If you can’t wait, click here to check out my ebook titled, “Electronic Music Arrangement: How to Arrange Electronic Music.”
Then, check out my YouTube channel to stay up to date with me and my creative-process focused ramblings :^).
You should also Like this site using the Facebook box on the right-hand side of the page! See you in part two!
Great articles. Thanks for sharing ur info and knowledge!
thank you for advertising your completely ineffective e-book that should be free
Good read, transitions are something I struggle with, finding the right transition to fit the rest of the track so things flow seamlessly.
Nice Article…. Energy in dance tracks is a must, Im going to pass this article onto a few people
i am bord
OMG THIS IS NO FREAKING HELP
Slurping drinks during tutorials …. not a good combo.
Not the best combination yeah lol
I like to be very relaxed and “real” in my tutorials, which is why you see me enjoying my tea addiction on camera.
(and I slurp because it’s so tasty 😀 ).
lol I misread Randolph’s message: I thought HE is drinking while watching tutorials sorry 😀
I too share a tea addiction, what’s you favorite? i prefer mint, and honey-vanilla chamomile
Japanese sencha is my favorite! Chamomile is nice at night to relax.