How to Make Mashups - An Ableton Live Tutorial (Part 4)

Uploaded by fdancekowski on 28.03.2011

I'm gonna show you now how that tension and release thing is working in this particular mix. I drag my template for this mix...
I put the riffs in the riffs channel, put the vocals in the vocals... etc... and then did my arranging.
First thing you may have noticed is that I have a verse part leading to a chorus part. The verse part is the vocal of 'Single Ladies' and
the chorus part is the chorus of 'Hit the Road Jack'.
But before that, right in the beginning when we start, there's this 50 Cent refrain looping over and over, just over beats.
With no riffs, no melodies at all behind. What that's gonna make is that, that tiny part is already creating tension, and the release is gonna be
the beginning of the Ray Charles melody.
If you notice, other small things to build tension are rises, buildups, and drop downs or fills.
If you notice, the sequencing of the beats I use, start with the most simple beat from the Alicia Keys song, to one which is more dense, 'Put it in a Love Song 2'.
Another which is even denser, with claps. And another even denser, '... 2 (With Claps)'.
So basically this one is a very simple loop, let me just show you...
This one, denser...
Even denser...
And, the most dense of them all...
They build up until here, where there's a transition part from the 'Tipsy' song, and a drop down right here.
The vocal finishes, and starts the melody. So there's a tension and release event right there.
Then what happens in the end of this loop. the melody gets cut and chopped, it's not complete again. What it's gonna make
is build tension, because you're not hearing the full melody, you're only hearing some notes of it, and there's the 'Single Ladies' refrain behind.
Then, starts the verse, which in itself builds tension which is what verses are supposed to.
The melody gets full again, chopped again, and full again. All this before the chorus hits.
What this means is that, when the chorus hits, people who would be listening have listened to the whole melody three times and
the chopped part two times. So they'll wanna hear something different, and that's when the chorus comes in, releasing from
all the tension built while the verse was playing, and while we were having repetitions of the riff part.
Other things that add up to release are general overall loudness in the chorus.
Choruses are supposed to be loud and full. They're always louder and fuller than verses... or almost always.
They generally have more instruments. When we approach the chorus right here you notice that I've drooped these claps,
which will make the beats pretty dense. They're actually on the 'ands' part, like: one And two And... which will make it sound
like it's in double time. So it will make it pretty dense and pretty loud. Pretty intense like choruses should be.
Adding to that, right in the last repetition of the chorus, I added this beat. So it will be even louder.
Also I have these pacekeepers right here to make the percussion part fuller. It starts when the verse stars as well.
It kinda marks the beginning of the verse, separating the intro part of this mix in particular.
Other things that you may notice that I do a lot is drop outs. Small drop outs that most people won't even notice.
They're there for the most time, like here, here... another one here, two more here.
These all make for transition parts. Drops and fills like this one in the end of the beat here... like this one right here.
Not only they build tension for something to come, but they also ease transitions and make it sound like things are actually
coming, and not appearing out of nowhere. It's very important for this style of mixing because it's constantly changing the beat,
it's constantly coming new stuff in and out so... good transitions are very important to make it keep the flow and not lose it.
Because if you don't do good transitions, if you don't do a well set up tension and release, with intros, verses, choruses, and outro parts.
What's gonna happen is that you're just gonna be slamming a lot of riffs and melodies throughout, and it's gonna feel like
you're just zapping through music channels that happen to be on the same tempo. That won't be really cool.
It has to have a flow, and that's why I'm talking about it.
I'm not really gonna do any arranging here, because it takes a lot of time... I wanted to discuss just the theory behind it, or rather
my approach to it. And if you listen to my stuff, you'll feel what I'm talking about... all over my mixes, they generally have a
starting point, they build up, they have well defined verses and choruses, and outros... sometimes the outro of one mix
is the intro of another. They're generally well defined. I have lots of elements like this Drake beat over here. Just kinda separating
the outro from the 'Hit the Road Jack' mix from this Tina Turner one. Just in the transition, so it kinda is an outro to this one,
and an intro to this one. I also have this little vocal part here that kinda puts a period on this mix, so to speak.
And this rising effect, that kinda starts this one over.
So yeah, I guess that's what I wanted to say about arranging. If you are experienced with Ableton Live arrangement view,
it's gonna be very easy, because you're gonna try a lot of combinations pretty fast and you'll easily reach
combinations that you like. Then just build from that in a linear fashion, but always having some sequence and some method in it,
that makes it feel like whole songs that are all part of the same at the same time.
One more thing about this tension and release thing is that... if you wanna have verses and choruses,
it means that you'll have to sample stuff... for example, in melodies or riffs, you'll have to sample stuff that will go as a verse,
and samples that will go as a chorus. In this case I have the melody from 'Hit the Road Jack' which goes as a verse,
and the entire chorus from 'Hit the Road Jack' which goes as a chorus. I also used some chopps of the melody on top of it,
because I thought that without that, the chorus wasn't loud enough. And since choruses should be louder than verses,
I used some chopps of the riff as well.
One thing that happens is that, sometimes you can sample both parts for verses and choruses from a track,
sometimes you can even sample parts for a intro... but sometimes you can only sample two parts, or maybe even one.
What you can do to bring some variation to it, and not feel like the same two bar riff loop for 16 bars or something,
is do what's done here, cuts. The same that I did over here in this Coldplay melodie. I did some chopps here which...
let me create an outro off the same melodie I use in the verse. I use, as well, here, in the Pixies song. I only had two loops,
which were very similar. So in order to make an outro I did some chopping of the notes...
I did it here as well. I only had two loops again, they were very similar, one was the verse, the other was the chorus.
I didn't wanna end so abruptly, so I did a whole chopping f the melody... let's look how it sounds...
It's basically this loop, it's basically the same notes, I just cut a few off... and sometimes it's enough to bring in more variation,
and make it sound like you have more of the original track sampled than you actually have. That's important too,
and the way to do it is just using your imagination... try cuts, try chopps, try maybe reversing the order of the notes,
and make a different melody, etc. etc. Just use your imagination.