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Generdyn

I'm new here, so just want to say "hello!", also a question about Keys

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Hey OCRemix, Community,

My name is Joshua and I'm a 17 year old producer from Australia. I use FL Studio and write Electronic most of the time, but I've recently started to get interested in Film Score and am just starting to experiment with it! :D

I got onto OCR from watching some of the videos on Zircon's Youtube channel, were he mentioned that here would be an awesome place to meet new people and find some awesome opportunities.

Basically I'm just saying hello and I hope I can gain some awesome knowledge from this forum and vise versa! So starting it off I have a quick question...

Is there a "magic key" to write music in that resonates with people, causing them to be more susceptible to the musical techniques used in a soundtrack melody?

As far as I'm concerned, I think there must be more to music then writing good melodies or do I have it all wrong?

Anyway, bit of a heavy question haha :dstrbd:

You can check my soundcloud out for some of my tunes, most are fairly amateurish though haha http://soundcloud.com/generdyn/sets

Regards,

Generdyn

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Hey thanks a bunch Andrew! That helps a lot actually, I can see it becoming very useful! According to some other people I've spoken too and in my own research C#/Db is supposed to be the best one for epic/moving pieces.

Regards,

Generdyn

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Nice to meet you. :)

I hear the workshop here is wonderful, and from your question about if writing a good melody is all there is to it, usually a lot of people write that first after determining the key and feeling. Just keep in mind the chords and progressions that come in during and after. Those can be a pain sometimes, but they are definitely a part of music and how it feels. Of course, you probably knew that already. :b

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I expect you'll find more variation in different modes and/or scales than transpositions. For example, take the Phrygian mode, formed by taking the third note of a major scale as the root. A Phrygian mode based on the scale of C major would have E as its root and proceed through the rest of the notes in the C major scale. This gives chords commonly associated with Flamenco. Try building some chords around E minor as your tonic and it'll be pretty clear.

That's just a starting point to maybe point you in another cool direction to look. I've noticed that most powerful melodies I notice generally bend the standard musical structure, either occasionally 'ignoring' chord structure or bringing the chord with it into a temporary key shift. Strong Hollywood-style melodies also tend to be quite sweeping, using simple and mildly varied cues that take up one or two octaves, using the space liberally.

And for each example I'm giving, there's also many, many counter-examples that are effective as well. While some of your development will come from learning what your tools are, the other part comes naturally from creative experimentation and finding sounds you like. Find a platform, but don't just latch onto it and stick with what's safe; mess around, try to tweak and twist facets to create your own sound.

</ramble>

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Hey man, welcome to OCR! :-D

If what you're looking for is improving your musical skills, you definitely came to the right place ^_^ Fair warning though: you should make sure you're ready to take critique from very direct and honest people. I think the best thing you can do is to stay open minded as much as possible (without losing sight of your own vision of what is music of course).

Personally, Rozovian's remixing guide helped me a lot to get started. Using the "Workshop Feedback: ReMixes" section of the forums is also great for getting help and feedback on specific tracks. And of course, submitting ReMixes to the judges panel is a great way to "test" your skills ;)

Listening to your soundcloud, I think you definitely have great talent, and you really should keep going :D I'm looking forward to hearing more of your stuff!

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C#/Db major has always been my favorite-sounding scale. It sounds so warm. I think all the notes in the scale just happen to fall in a really pleasing frequency range. But I'm really just bullshitting; it's probably a matter of taste.

Otherwise, I write pretty much all my minor tunes in F minor. Why? iono.

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Welcome! Looking forward to hearing what you have to say on various topics.

Keep in mind that many of the lists of keys and their affects, such as Christian Schubart's list (provided by Andrew, above) is written before the developement of an equal-tempered system of music. Now, each key is extremely similar (in that the distance between any two half-steps is the same on an equal-tempered instrument, regardless of key), which is why it was rightly pointed out that different modes will provide greater variety in affect than different keys in today's equal-tempered system. That being said, if you ever write a string quartet to be played by live players, they aren't restricted by equal temperament the way that the piano (and subsequently, most MIDI-driven sample libraries by default) is.

In short, unless you're writing period-specific 18th/17th century music, you're much better off choosing a key that is idiomatic in some way for the group of instruments for which you write rather than relying on the outdated opinion of musicians from history. :P

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Bardic has it nail on the head. Why else do we have so many electronica pieces written in minor keys and sound anything OTHER than sad? :)

Welcome aboard to the OCR forums! Yep, aside from the Workshop and links, the only other 'magic key' I can really think of is to make sure the source tune means something to you; that way it would be a lot easier to be able to write for.

In addition to the Workshop, you can also try your luck over at the Competitions area, and hone your skills on any ongoing contests. A fair chunk of OCR's roster had developed their skills using that as an outlet :)

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Wow,

Thanks so much for all the helpful feedback!

@Kenogu Labz

So your saying to instead of worrying too much about the key I write a song in, I should focus more on the "scale mode" I write the melody and chord progression in, correct?

@DaMonz

Hey thanks DaMonz, I'll keep as open minded as I can, I'll definitely be coming from the mindset that you guys know more about music than me. Also thank you for the link, I'll have a read through it and get as much as I can from it (still trying to get used to the forum!)

Thank you also for your comment regarding my soundcloud, some of the stuff on there is fairly old, but thank you nonetheless! :D

@ectogemia

First of all, your soundcloud chiptunes are awesome! Never really experimented with that style before, but it seems really interesting.

Otherwise, I write pretty much all my minor tunes in F minor. Why? iono.
Well, according to Christian Schubart's list (provided by Andrew, above) F minor represents:

Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.

And listening to your songs they don't give me that impression haha xD But I suppose as Rexy said minor keys can be happy keys too. I find minor key's the extreme keys, they're either extremely happy or extremely depressing. What do you think?

@BardicKnowledge

Ahhh I see what you mean. Thank you for the detailed reply Bardic!

@RexyThanks for the advise, I try to write songs that I like to listen to. I'll see if I can enter some of these comps soon ;)

Regards,

Generdyn

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@Kenogu Labz

So your saying to instead of worrying too much about the key I write a song in, I should focus more on the "scale mode" I write the melody and chord progression in, correct?

That's certainly one place to start! Just put it in your toolbox as something to look up and fiddle with later.

I'll take a look at your Soundcloud pieces later, when I'm back from work. Lookin' forward to having a listen!

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The only time I'd worry about key is when I need a strong bass and have to transpose everything to keep the bass audible while still being as low as it gets. That's in electronic styles, tho.

Other than that, everything is relative. The key of the song is relative to the tunings of instruments (which is why everything is in G or C or something, rather than Ab or D#), relative to the previous song on the album/playlist; and each part is relative to what came before. When remixing, or just re-using a melody, it's also relative to the original, where a lower key will typically feel slower and somber whereas a higher key will feel more lively and energetic.

I wouldn't worry much about trying to match a neurological resonance or anything like that. As others have said, focus on intervals, chords, modes, texture and all those other things. Even if you think your track will sound drastically different if you transpose everything a step or two, the first-time listener doesn't have your previous key to compare it with. In topographical terms, don't worry so much about the elevation, focus on crafting your emotional landscape.

Also welcome. :D

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@ectogemia

First of all, your soundcloud chiptunes are awesome! Never really experimented with that style before, but it seems really interesting.

Well, according to Christian Schubart's list (provided by Andrew, above) F minor represents:

Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.

And listening to your songs they don't give me that impression haha xD But I suppose as Rexy said minor keys can be happy keys too. I find minor key's the extreme keys, they're either extremely happy or extremely depressing. What do you think?

omgad, i have a fan! :D

Welp, I don't buy into the whole minor/major thing. I suppose I use them as a base and modulate/create accidentals when necessary. For instance, that chiptune you like (Spitting Fire, I am assuming) is written in a minor key, but it doesn't have a "sad" feeling. Keys are just are just aesthetically guaranteed sets of intervals. Sure, people will tell you there's a happy/major or minor/sad quality to certain keys or intervals, but it's all in the context. If you're writing in minor keys and all your tunes sound sad, then that's either your intent or you aren't being creative enough with how you're using that scale, accidentals, or harmonies.

And yeah, chiptunes are definitely awesome <3<3

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