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Music Works of choro the Japanese Guitarist

Choroidea Online mixing ZENRYOKU Syndrome

Mixing Tips and Tricks 5/9 Songwriting and Arranging for Band

2016/05/20

 

choro_Jeepta

Choroidea Online Mixing Course Vol.1

This online course shows the process of mixing this song.

▲ZENRYOKU syndrome - Words, Music, Arrangement and Guitar by choro
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Previous article - Mixing Tips and Tricks 4/9 All About Compression, EQ, Reverb, Delay

 

Rock band guitarist choro's showing how to write a song for band, which part he starts with, what instrument he starts with, how to chord, how to make a cool riff and more!

 

03
Sho Uehara

Today, I'll ask you a lot about composing!

Let me start off by asking about your DAW environment, since your demo was so good. I'm really curious as an engineer.

 

02
choro

My DAW software is Cubase Studio 5. Audio interface is EDIROL UA-25.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Is that right? I use Nuendo, and Cubase and Nuendo are compatible. We didn't have to bother to make audio data and MIDI data, did we?

I like the sound of your demo track of gutar. You can get enough quality by private recording.

 

02
choro

Wow, are they compatible? Why didn't you tell me that? It should've been a lot easier!

I used to use DAW to made demo for the band menbers. This time I studied mixing and effects all over again.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Before the recording, we talked about our DAW environment, but I forgot to tell you.

For the bass, I used the audio data you gave me. What kind of audio source was it?
02
choro

I used PickBass of HALionONE, I found in Cubase. Then I used the attached amp simulator and compressor.

 

03
Sho Uehara

I think attached audio source can do a lot. They are, at first, not so unique or attractive, but easy to mix.

 

02
choro

I like them to use simply, not to process too much.

 

03
Sho Uehara

When you write a song, what do you start with?

Of course, you start with the guitar part, because you are a guitarist, don't you?

 

02
choro

This time, I started with the guitar riff in intro.
But usually, I started with the drum and the bass.

I don't think the lead guitar is definitely necessary for a song.
The most important part of a song is the bass line and the rhythm of the drums.

Sometimes I start with melody, sometimes with chord,
It depends on the situation.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Wow, this time, it started with the guitar riff!
You mean, after then, melody and chord derived from the concept of the riff?

 

02
choro

Mmmm, I don't have much of a concept at the beginning.

I just try various patterns of bass and drums.
Only with that, the riff sounds differently.

I work with chord at the end.
It's not choosing what I want but finding suitable ones.

Actually, this song came off as a bright song,
but I can make it as a sad one.
It all depends on chord, rhythm and bass line.

I try so many patterns, then I choose the best one for the riff.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Well, it's interesting!
You're saying that the riff itself has its own concept.
You only help to find it.

I'm relly curious, what do you do when finding process.

On the way to make demo, you tried many tempo, I believe.
Can you tell me what changing tempo will do to the impression of the song?

 

02
choro

Mmmm, it's hard to explain......
Well, actually it does change the impression of the song.
And, even with the same tempo, arranging or performer can change the impression.

At the very beginning, I made melody with an instrument on the DAW.

Then, let the Vocaloid sing it, I found the tempo was too fast for her. I couldn't hear what she was singing.

I couldn't help but had to slow the tempo.

I covered the slowness with mixing and performance.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Yes, everybody wants to know what she is singing!

As for lyric and melody, which do you say has a priority?

 

02
choro

Usually it depends.
This song, it was melody.

I kind of feel that songs these days are more like folk songs.
People are looking for lyric-oriented songs again.

 

03
Sho Uehara

Is that so?
Setting lyrics on melody looks so hard to me!

By the way, you have your own way to make and play riffs.
Please tell me what the secret of it!

 

02
choro

I think this is the basics, I don't use the guitar to make a guitar phrase.
Using an instrument ends up too artificial.
Instuments don't need to take breaths.

Mostly I sing to make a phrase.

Otherwise I use DAW's piano. If I play the guitar, the phrase may sound good with my guitar playing skill.

DAW piano sound is so flat.
If melody sounds cool with the piano, that means the phrase is really cool.

 

03
Sho Uehara

I'm really surprised to hear that you don't use the guitar to make a guitar phrase!

Do you mean that taking breaths is really important for phrase making?

 

02
choro

Beginners tend to focus on the sound, but where to have soundless moments is the key.

Some instruments like saxophone need to take breaths and naturally takes breaths.
String instruments, you need to take breaths consciously.

All the famous numbers are made with breaths, that's why they became popular.

 

03
Sho Uehara

I see.
The tone length, soundless moments......those things can change the impression of the song a lot.

Let me simply ask you, what a cool phrase is like?

Not many song-writers may not be able to tell if his or her phrase is really cool.

When is the time you can tell "this is really cool phrase!"?

 

02
choro

Oh, I'm like everybody else. I can't tell, either.

Even if I do think it's cool at the beginning, while song-writing process, I may feel too familiar to get bored with it.

Cool or not cool, it's based on the listeners' feeling.
I can't satisfy all the listeners anyway.
My criteria is that I like it or not.

 

03
Sho Uehara

As for myself, a mixing engineer, I always ask myself "is this cool?" on and on and on.

It's been a very rate chance to know what a musician does on
song-writing.
Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it!

 

To be continued

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Next Article - Mixing Tips and Tricks 6/9 Ask Pro about Parameter Editing for Vocaloid

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