Trance Forum | Stats | Register | Search | Parties | Advertise | Login

There are 0 trance users currently browsing this page
Trance Forum  Forum  Production & Music Making - Off the Grid
Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on StumbleUpon
Author

Off the Grid

routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Feb 6, 2017 11:20:54
Sup guys

This is merely a tip which i have lately found to be quite useful. Staying off the grid with your patterns in ur DAW. Committing to insert every element using only a midi keyboard or in my case a Novation launch pad. Awesome little thing to have.

Anyway, I have done this in the past but I used to quantize the notes afterwards which kinda defeated the purpose, cause you go back to the grid once more and only ,in the end, waste time. Variation in volume is all u'll get.

What i propose is to keep it rough and off grid from the kick drum to the lead.. This way you Sync elements using your ears rather than filling the other 16th notes etc. As you may have heard sometimes in tracks the note in the bassline or a percussion hit - hits on an very groovy off beat location, its not on the last 16th or 32th note, it's somewhere in between.

So make a loop where the only portal for the sound to be inserted is an midi instrument. I will say yes it would probably take longer but u would be amazed by the results. you will have alot more groove. if something sounds out of sync, move it around a little bit with the mouse, rather than quantize to grid.

If you think it wont make a difference try this experiment. Press record and play a piano part, if you can play, not looking at the screen. Feel what you are playing. Then listen to it.. duplicate it (piano2) and quantize the notes to grid. Listen to
piano 2 and compare. I have done this over and over, and the quantized version always takes the life out of it.

This way you will always reach a kinda live sound, with a humanized groove.. The track does not have to be on the grid, not even the first sound. Let the sounds naturally sync and put 4th 8th and 16th notes out of mind. Don't go insanely off grid, otherwise you'll have duplicate issues, and you will have to play every kickdrum until the end. Use a metronome but don't quantize.

In the end,, is that not what real music is.



          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Feb 6, 2017 13:55
In my modest opinion, there's a reason why you have a grid. Among other things, it makes life a lot easier. The grid is something you can come up with yourself, it's based on mathematics, simple fractions of time, based upon the BPM you choose - quite easy calculations that can also inform you about sensible settings for other things, besides composing, like time-based effects for example.

This isn't a small thing: if you use delays, and, quite frankly, who doesn't? Then if all of your instruments are laid out in a "free hand" fashion, it will be all the more difficult to use any form of "sync to host" tempo options, as they'll sound off. That's what happens when you ignore metrics: with no anchor, things will surely fall out of place.

However, there's a place for "off the grid" and humanization. I just don't see how this method that you're proposing would be effective. Let's face it, it's not even anywhere near practical. If you take a look at what "swing" does, it does move notes to either side of their grid positions, but it leaves the down and off beat notes alone. And there's a solid reason beyond that, it's so that you don't find yourself amidst some uncorrelated mess that's like a nightmare to cope with.

I've come across many people, specially learning hip hop producers who seem to think that a natural groove or feel is only attainable through avoiding the grid, like you're suggesting. I think they're wrong. And that their music shows it. It's true that you can fine tune your timing, sure, the grid is just a guide line, so you don't get lost on infinite space without any form of reference. It also helps, like I said, with time based effects, so everything grooves along nicely together. And if it somehow feels robotic or mechanical, you should really look elsewhere.

Besides, you'd be amazed to find that most of those special natural grooves from some of the musicians that are best known for it, many times have their drum hits fall in the grid, even if you have to turn it to 1/32t.

Just the thought of having someone trying to manually play a standard psy bass line makes me laugh, almost. I mean, surely you can find other ways to give your music the beloved "hands on approach" and a more human feel then trying to make electronic music as if you were some jazz performer only to find yourself losing plenty of hours correcting all the mistakes you could have prevented by... using the grid as the natural guide line that it is.
knocz
Moderator

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  1130
Posted : Feb 7, 2017 11:01
I agree with both

- The grid is there to help you,
- But many people open a DAW and have only ever seen the grid, and never even thought about turning it off.

I think the trick is balance, especially in our highly syncopated psytrance music. If I tried to play every element by hand, my whole tune would just be sloppy and out of time But, make a beat / bass / drums on the grid, and after making some nice pattern, move or add some elements outside the grid positions: you'll find a whole new universe of musical possibilities.

For me this is all very nice theory, but the real sweat and tears comes when you are trying to make it all sound as a whole - where all your elements should do something on cue and they don't have any reference point (thinking about Ajax / Kindzadza style buildups, tons of percussive elements that are tightly snapped to specific timings )           Super Banana Sauce http://www.soundcloud.com/knocz
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Feb 8, 2017 10:33
This reminds me of an occasion where I analyzed the structure and composition of the track Animals on the latest Dr Dre album, just as a proof of concept and managed to find a place in the grid for that "magical" and "natural" groove that Premiere is so well known for.

The same could be said for a big number of tracks, even by artists well known for their remarkable "natural" grooves.

There's also a lot of hype around some machines that are supposed to have some kind of "magical" timing. For me, it's all about the one behind the machine/instrument - pretty much all the time.

"In the end,, is that not what real music is. "

Quick answer: No. Mozart and Beethoven have both written pieces of music that they didn't have the chance to listen to. This music didn't break the music rules. No one calls it mechanical or robotic. This terms are applied to rather amateurish music, regardless of how it was composed, be it mouse clicking or jamming along with a keyboard or pad controller, doesn't matter.

It's nice to have some anchor, something that you can use as a time reference. This is true for any kind of music. Luckily it's quite easy this days to keep things in sync and we're still free to deviate when we want to.

If everything is loose, then it's just that: loose timing. If there's elements that are rigidly attached to the grid and then there's something deviating, then you're sure to feel it - 'cause then you have contrast. So that's one clever way to go about it.


routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Feb 17, 2017 11:42
Yes i agree with everyone. the delays would be an issue if you go way off grid. which is not really what i suggested but yeah i get it.

You should kinda stay on the grid but just be off the line with a few milliseconds otherwise it would become sloppy. You could actually do this with a mouse also, taking each pattern bit a little off the line.

I would say yeah keep the kick fairly close to the grid and add percussion elements with a controller. you can even slow down the main BPM's so it's easier to add the 3x 16th note bassline. cause on 145 ur gonna have a bad time.

Like you said - it's like keeping a balance. Having a solid beat, but with leads n stuff - being off grid and more natural. Creating a flow




          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
Mathura
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  14
Posts :  90
Posted : Feb 19, 2017 21:00
Mozart and Beethoven might have been thrown out by the creative possibilities,
if they were to sit from now on just in front of a D.A.W.

frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Feb 22, 2017 21:11
Quote:

On 2017-02-17 11:42, routingwithin wrote:
Yes i agree with everyone. the delays would be an issue if you go way off grid. which is not really what i suggested but yeah i get it.

You should kinda stay on the grid but just be off the line with a few milliseconds otherwise it would become sloppy. You could actually do this with a mouse also, taking each pattern bit a little off the line.

I would say yeah keep the kick fairly close to the grid and add percussion elements with a controller. you can even slow down the main BPM's so it's easier to add the 3x 16th note bassline. cause on 145 ur gonna have a bad time.

Like you said - it's like keeping a balance. Having a solid beat, but with leads n stuff - being off grid and more natural. Creating a flow








Many more things would be an issue. Even using LFO tool for ducking would be an issue. All time based effects would feel off and sloppy. Multi-FX sequencers like Effectrix would sound even more crazy. There's many examples.

I can totally get why one would want to deviate from the grid. That's not the issue here. I just don't get why you put so much emphasis in hand input, like you seem to do.

You do realize that there's many great electronic music with complete parts written with things like sequencers and arpeggiators? Then there's stuff like swing - many times integrated into the things I just mentioned -; and you can nudge, use sample delay/track delay, swing in both midi and audio, so forth and so on.

The nudging of some elements relative to others (and it's a good idea to underline the word *relative* here) is a source of great nuances in music.

Bare with me, if there's nothing that you're deviating from, then this effect is almost entirely lost, no?

Plus, if you're to make use of the tools I've mentioned, you can get this "natural" feeling and not run into trouble by using the many things in music that are time based/depend on host sync/clock.

Cheers
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Feb 22, 2017 21:17
Quote:

On 2017-02-19 21:00, Mathura wrote:
Mozart and Beethoven might have been thrown out by the creative possibilities,
if they were to sit from now on just in front of a D.A.W.





I'm pretty sure they'd be bought by Google only to be transformed into musical AI bots that would go on forever - but only on Android devices.
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Mar 6, 2017 11:01
Quote:

On 2017-02-22 21:11, frisbeehead wrote:
Quote:

On 2017-02-17 11:42, routingwithin wrote:
Yes i agree with everyone. the delays would be an issue if you go way off grid. which is not really what i suggested but yeah i get it.

You should kinda stay on the grid but just be off the line with a few milliseconds otherwise it would become sloppy. You could actually do this with a mouse also, taking each pattern bit a little off the line.

I would say yeah keep the kick fairly close to the grid and add percussion elements with a controller. you can even slow down the main BPM's so it's easier to add the 3x 16th note bassline. cause on 145 ur gonna have a bad time.

Like you said - it's like keeping a balance. Having a solid beat, but with leads n stuff - being off grid and more natural. Creating a flow








Many more things would be an issue. Even using LFO tool for ducking would be an issue. All time based effects would feel off and sloppy. Multi-FX sequencers like Effectrix would sound even more crazy. There's many examples.

I can totally get why one would want to deviate from the grid. That's not the issue here. I just don't get why you put so much emphasis in hand input, like you seem to do.

You do realize that there's many great electronic music with complete parts written with things like sequencers and arpeggiators? Then there's stuff like swing - many times integrated into the things I just mentioned -; and you can nudge, use sample delay/track delay, swing in both midi and audio, so forth and so on.

The nudging of some elements relative to others (and it's a good idea to underline the word *relative* here) is a source of great nuances in music.

Bare with me, if there's nothing that you're deviating from, then this effect is almost entirely lost, no?

Plus, if you're to make use of the tools I've mentioned, you can get this "natural" feeling and not run into trouble by using the many things in music that are time based/depend on host sync/clock.

Cheers



I get what you are saying. I think it was just a pre-theory for me (putting emphasize on hand input), cause this weekend I made a very very nice track. Super punchy and flowing. What i ended up doing was, say on the bassline, put in a on the grid 2/3 offbeat 16th notes - but then I zoomed in completely, deactivate snap and nudged the pattern just by a little bit forwards or backwards, until it blends much better with the kick. This was done after compression.

What I realized is that if you go further away after the kick hit, you kinda reach a swing pattern. Depending on the patch ur using. It gives a synced yet almost not result. Very groovy.

I did the same with the clap which turned out amazing, as it like seriously combines with the kick. When I put the clap pattern on the grid exactly it sounds So So.. like synced but not so nice, probably due to the fact that the transients are on top of each other.

Then I continued with leads fx and percussion. Listening to the sound alone together with the kick. Nudging each pattern I little bit to combine/blend with the kickdrum, becoming one. (Kickdrum stays on the grid)

The end result was a track I could never get at, following the grid. The sounds morphed together sounding surprisingly amazing IMO.

Will share a link when I finished the track.


          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Mar 6, 2017 14:20
None of this is new. For instance: not having the Snare hit exactly at the same time as the Kick is, generally speaking, a good idea.

On the technical side, it will help the transients of both snare and kick pass through instead of colliding and masking = more clarity and more loudness potential.

Musically speaking, most drummers will either hit before or after the click when playing to a metronome. On a real recording, you'll find that this tendency is maintained throughout the entire track. That doesn't discount the obvious little nuances and fluctuations that all add up to the expressiveness of the performance, of course.

But let's keep it simple. Three possible positions: before, exactly on, after.

Before will generally increase the sensation of speed, add tension, etc.

On the Grid will sound mathematical, precise, sometimes a little mechanical, i.e. not exactly human/natural.

Afterwards will generally produce a more laid back feeling...

Same thing works for pretty much any element. You want to give the sensation of more speed, sometimes nudging the Hats a little bit to the left will produce such effect. You get the point.

On a practical level, if you're nudging entire patterns, you're better off just using the track delay option or any similar approach - simply 'cause it's more precise, you can dial in numbers (thus easier to recall), you don't have to zoom in and out, just slowly change a parameter and listen carefully.

I think it's worth mentioning, also, that the relative length and general volume shape has as much impact on all this matters as the transient position by itself. And a lot of care should also go into that. It's about shaping the attitude of the different elements.

Many people, even well known producers do apply a little nudging to their bass patterns (I'm thinking 4/4 psytrance canonized pattern here). It's important that you really know what's going on, though.

If you move Bass notes to the right, you may have the last one mask the Kick. Same thing the other way around. More often then not, regardless, there's a certain amount of blending between at least one note and the Kick.

Just be careful with the blending and the masking, specially on key elements of your tracks, i.e. your Kick and Bass. Some producers fine tune the phase of the first Bass note (that gets mixed with the Kick's tail) until it feels/sounds right. Mentioning this as a reminder that besides having the thoughts/ideas, one has to find ways to make it work.

p.s. curious about that track.

Cheers
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Mar 25, 2017 20:01

you were always a mr. know it all frisbee-head,, lol

but yeah i get it           " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Mar 26, 2017 14:24
Quote:

On 2017-03-25 20:01, routingwithin wrote:

you were always a mr. know it all frisbee-head,, lol

but yeah i get it




This isn't the first time I've read hints on that direction.

But if I'm to be honest here, I think I might have read a thread that you started and that I took the time to answer with my views on the subject - and I was quite alone doing so too. How's a forum supposed to work anyway? You ask questions and people answer, isn't it?

So I think that's a bit uncalled for and even kind of rude. If you have a problem with people expressing their opinions or if you can't stand the change of having people disagree with you, you should give it a thought and perhaps writing a book would be a better idea then posting on a FORUM - because, by definition, this is what you get.

Oh, and welcome to the internet.
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Mar 26, 2017 14:41
Now that I have the reputation, I think I'm entitled to give it a go, then.

So you've just found out that you don't actually have to live with the snap to grid engaged all the time and that timing is a source of many musical nuances. That's cool and all. But how come you'd think that you'd come here and give everyone else the good news?

You're not searching for answers, you're really providing us with the ultime theory. And I'm so self entitled that I failed to cheer you for your achievement. Is that it?

Well then, congratulations.
Vermeee
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  107
Posts :  1069
Posted : Apr 2, 2017 03:49
if u play the stuffs in ur keyboard mostly will stay offgrid and things will for sure sound much more humanized...

but i find that some specific sounds are better tight on the grid.... more specific crazy 1/32 1/16 percusive leads stuffs like that...           
http://soundcloud.com/bgos
Trance Forum  Forum  Production & Music Making - Off the Grid
 
Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on StumbleUpon


Copyright © 1997-2017 IsraTrance