Movies, TV & Music
The Producer's Music Theory Handbook

The Producer's Music Theory Handbook

The Producers Music Theory Handbook

Discover the secrets to making amazing music. We’ve cherry-picked the finest tutorials and features from the pages of Computer Music and Future Music – each guide created specifically for the computer-based producer – to bring you this mega-compendium of music theory knowledge.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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In this issue

1 min.

The term ‘music theory’ is known to strike fear in the hearts of computer musicians, conjuring up images of stuffy classrooms, clusters of confusing musical notes and incomprehensible languages. However, with all this music-making power sitting on your hard drive, there’s no excuse not to fully grasp the fundamental building blocks of music. Yes, you can get by without any theory skills… but how much better would your tracks be if you could program those MIDI notes with gusto and tickle those ivories with purpose? So if words like ‘chords’, ‘scales’, ‘modes’ and ‘inversions’ fill you with dread, fear not. We’ve cherry-picked the finest tutorial features from the pages of Computer Music and Future Music – each guide created specifically for the computer-based producer – to bring you this mega-compendium of music…

1 min.
the producer’s music theory handbook

FIRST EDITION Future Publishing Ltd. Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA Tel: 01225 442244 Fax: 01225 732275 Email: computermusic@futurenet.com Web: www.computermusic.co.uk EDITORIAL Editor: Joe Rossitter, joe.rossitter@futurenet.com Art Editor: Paul Blachford, paul.blachford@futurenet.com Managing Editor: Kate Puttick, kate.puttick@futurenet.com CONTRIBUTORS Dave Clews, James Russell, Lee du-Caine, Leon Bailey Photography: Getty Images, REX/Shutterstock ADVERTISING Commercial Sales Director: Clare Dove, clare.dove@futurenet.com Advertising Sales Director: Lara Jaggon, lara.jaggon@futurenet.com Account Sales Director: Steven Pyatt, steven.pyatt@futurenet.com Account Sales Manager: Steve Hymas, steve.hymas@futurenet.com MARKETING Direct Marketing Campaign Manager: Will Hardy PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Production Controller: Fran Twentyman Production Manager: Mark Constance Printed in the UK by: William Gibbons & Sons on behalf of Future Distributed by: Marketforce (UK), 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU CIRCULATION Trade Marketing Manager: Michelle Brock, 0207 429 3683 SUBSCRIPTIONS UK reader order line & enquiries: 0844 848 2852 Overseas reader order line & enquiries: +44 (0) 1604 251 045 Online enquiries: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Email: computermusic@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk LICENSING Computer Music is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team…

1 min.

Secure and safe online access, from anywhere Free access for every reader – print and digital Download only the files you want, when you want All the downloads from all your issues, in one place Get started 01 Register your FileSilo account and log in. Even if you have a subscriber ID, you’ll still have to unlock each mag separately or migrate your old Vault account (see step 3) 02 Head back to the Computer Music page (filesilo.co.uk/computermusic) and choose an issue to unlock. You’ll need to answer one question to prove you’ve purchased the issue 03 You can migrate your old Vault account over to FileSilo to retain the issues you’ve added – head to filesilo.co.uk/vault and enter your Vault email address. Reset your password via the email you receive, and log in…

17 min.
the producer’s guide to chords & scales

download Get the videos and tutorial files on your PC/Mac at vault.computermusic.co.uk An unforgettable vocal melody. A moving chord sequence. An infectious bassline. Nailing just one of these could leave your listeners humming your tunes and whistling your melodies, eager for their next hit of your audio crack. Back it up with a killer production, and you could have another kind of hit on your hands! But the truth is that many computer musicians put the technical side of production first. With sonic standards always evolving, and endless plugins and techniques to master, why wouldn’t you? Well, see it from the listener’s point of view: they can’t sing along to sidechain compression or dance to multiband distortion! To keep your listeners coming back for ‘just one more listen’, you’ll need to hook ’em with…

24 min.
six more chord tricks

6. Smoother sequences with inverted chords A normal C major chord is C-E-G, but you can easily change it to E-G-C, called the ‘first inversion’, or G-C-E, the ‘second inversion’ – the bass note has changed, but it’s still the same chord, with the same root note, C. This can be used to create much smoother chord sequences. To try an example, create a 100BPM project and load Beat.wav; then use Chords.mid to trigger Bazille CM’s Computer Music » Joe Rossitter » Richmond Keys preset. This C minor progression uses basic non-inverted triads. Select the lower two notes of all chords in bar 1 and 3, then transpose them up one octave – most DAWs have a shortcut key for this, such as Shift-Up. Now hear how much smoother the progression is,…

6 min.
9 pieces of fast theory advice

01 HARDCORE MEMORIES If scale modes are scary, then chord modes must be truly trouser-soiling stuff, right? Thankfully not – chord mode or memory is the name of a classic synth feature where a chord is triggered with one key. In traditional implementations, the chord is simply transposed up and down, so it doesn’t stay diatonic (in key). However, it’s a sound that’s featured in countless dance and rave tracks, proving that music theory rules are there for the breaking! To achieve it, use a synth with a chord memory (eg, AudioRealism’s Redominator), duplicate or transpose a MIDI chord (there’s tons in our MIDI Construction Kit!), or use a chord sample in a sampler. 02 CHORD PROCESSING UNITs Building chords and using scales can seem more like a brutal maths exercise at times…