Modal Fusion Funk in 12/8

Veggie Dave

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#1
I thought it would be fun to try writing a song purely on paper and then see if it was playable without changing anything. Well, when I say paper I mean Sibelious, but it's almost the same. ;)

I almost succeeded, too. When I started practising the main melody on the alto I just couldn't get it fast enough. Up to 135bpm was relatively consistent but I'd written the music to be played a 150bpm and I just couldn't get anything like perfect enough to record. B (C#m Dorian) was just too many sharps for me at that speed, so I transposed the whole thing up a semitone.

But other than that it didn't change. ;)

I also found soloing in 12/8 remarkably hard as well. Again, the high tempo probably didn't help, either.

Brand New Version. :D
What Did You Come For..?




I'm going to try and attach the sheet music to this post, too.
 

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Veggie Dave

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#4
Interesting that you shared your angst, yet all that matters is what we hear and that's good.
From the very first recording I made I've considered these songs to be more than just me showing my latest achievement, and sometimes failed attempt. I'm sharing what I'm learning and, hopefully, not only inspiring others to have a go but also let anyone who's had the same or similar problems know that they're not alone.

nice work, how did you program the drums - that's always the bit that I can never get right
The basic drum stuff is usually done with EZDrummer, which is pretty flexible (to say the least). I usually make final tweeks in the midi files on the timeline to make the drums sit perfectly with the rest of the music.
 

jbtsax

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#5
Fascinating! My eyes see 12/8 on the page, but my ears hear 4/4 + 2/4 or 6/4 in the recording mostly due to the drum track. Please don't take this as a criticism because it is not. I really like the music you have created. Let me see if I can explain without sounding too pedantic.

Typical 12/8 has triplet feel:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

This song on the other hand has a duple feel:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

When a song in 6/8 shifts accented eighth notes (quavers) and temporarily goes into 3/4 time that is called a hemiola. An example of this is "America" from West Side Story in 6/8 time or Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk in 9/8 time.


Perhaps Pete Thomas can add more information, or correct anything that I may have gotten wrong.
 
D

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#8
Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk in 9/8 time.
Im with John. I dont hear this as 12/8. I only heard it through once, but heard 4/4 all the way through, with melody/improv having a triplet vibe over the top......... I think
I liked it. Nicely done.

Just a little point regarding “Blue Ronda”, in case it causes rhythmic confusion.
Yes, it is in 9/8.
But it isnt the same as a “normal 9/8, which would be heard as three groups of 3.
Ie 123, 123, 123.

Blue Ronda is grouped as 12, 12, 12, 123.
BUT there is then a bar of “conventional” 9/8. ie 123, 123, 123. .... to keep you on your toes !!
So, its 3 bars of the “funny” rhythm, then 1 bar “conventional.”

Listen and see if you can hear/feel it that way. It should make more sense
 

Ivan

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#9
The basic drum stuff is usually done with EZDrummer, which is pretty flexible (to say the least). I usually make final tweeks in the midi files on the timeline to make the drums sit perfectly with the rest of the music
Does EZ drummer provide loops to build on, or is everything played via screen and controller by you? I see in Ableton Live (wot I'm learning to use) that different loops can be 'warped' together to adopt the same tempo. Were you tweaking the drums to fit tempo, or to finesse the frills?

Like the vibe
 

Veggie Dave

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#10
Fascinating! My eyes see 12/8 on the page, but my ears hear 4/4 + 2/4 or 6/4 in the recording mostly due to the drum track.
I have to rush out, so I'll comeback to this later but in the mean time my version of EZDrummer may be excellent but it doesn't do unusual time signatures, so what you're hearing on the drums is a series of three 4/4 patterns rather than a proper 12/8 pattern.
 

Veggie Dave

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#12
Fascinating! My eyes see 12/8 on the page, but my ears hear 4/4 + 2/4 or 6/4 in the recording mostly due to the drum track..
The drums will be a little confusing as they're not a single 12/8 pattern, but I like how it sounds like it's just 4/4 - it means the melody flows smoothly without drawing attention to an unusual time signature.

Brubeck was a master at this.

Sadly, I don't think the solos faired quite as well...

Regarding 12/8 or 6/4 - I only realised the melody wasn't 4/4 when I started creating the backing on Reaper's timeline. When I listened to the backing I counted it as 6/4, but when I went back to Sibelious to update the time signature I found 6/4 on the page didn't match the notes and bars on the timeline. 12/8, on the other hand, matched each bar perfectly.

The way the notes are beamed can help determine the "feel" of a tune. Attached is a piece of the melody with the notes beamed for more of a "duple" effect.
That is subtly different. I'm not sure how I would do this in Sibelious as it likes to control how the notes are beamed.

Does EZ drummer provide loops to build on,
It has a library of midi files of starts, beats, fills, different styles, different time signatures (on my version that's 3/4, 4/4 and a twelve bar blues 12/8) etc., which you can then tweek in the app itself. For real control, though, you drag the files from EZDrummer onto your timeline and then alter the midi file directly.

The app can be used as both stand-alone and a VST within your DAW.

Were you tweaking the drums to fit tempo, or to finesse the frills?
Finesse frills and accents. A missing accent can make or break a drum fill or pattern. This has to be done directly to the midi file as the app doesn't have that level of control.

Regarding tempo, that's all done automatically and synchs to the tempo you've set for the project.
 
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#17
…so when you say “write a song purely on paper “, do you mean you heard the tune in your head and wrote it down, or did you give yourself a ‘palette’ of notes/scales / chords and arranged them in a way pleasing to the er, eye?
(Great stuff, either way)
 

Veggie Dave

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#18
I had an idea of a melody 'shape' in my head, which was in Em, but I wanted it to be modal so made it the dorian mode of D and accentuated the 6th. The only problem was when it came to playing it on the alto - it transposes to B (not G# like I said in the post right at the top for some reason), which is 5 sharps and I just couldn't get the phrases up to 150bpm.
 
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