This course is an extension of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, in which we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this class we expand on those ideas and work with minor keys, focus some time on melody writing and bassline writing, and talk about how different tracks work.
The most important part of this class is an extensive analysis of tracks by Daft Punk, Avicii, Skrillex, and many more. In each of these analysis segments, we look at their tracks on the piano roll editor, and talk about why they sound the way they do, and how you can use similar techniques in your own music. Each of these segments picks apart multiple elements of the song and dissects it in an easy to understand way.
Who should take this course?
Anyone interested in producing their own tracks. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.
This course consists of video lectures, which all contain a session in Ableton Live 9. If you are using a different program (or none at all), no worries! This isn't a class on how to use Ableton Live, and the concepts can be applied to any DAW.
Minor scales! What separates major scales from minor scales? What are the patterns in a minor scale?
Every minor key has a relative major key, and every major key a relative minor. In this lesson, we talk about how to find the relatives, and how to use them.
Our old friend the diatonic chord progression that we learned in Music Theory for Electronic Musicians I in the major key. Now, we learn it again for the minor key.
In this lesson we examine the track Some Chords by Deadmau5, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.
What is the circle of fifths, why is it important, and how can we use it in our tracks?
Now that you have a command over the circle of fifths, we can use it as a creative tool to find new and different chords for our tracks.
In this lesson we examine the track Get Lucky by Daft Punk, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.
We looked at 7th chords in the previous class, and here there are again applied to minor keys.
Moving beyond 7th chords, we can add more extensions - 9ths and 13ths. See how these sound and can be useful to us.
Adding the 2nd and 4th into our chords for a "suspended" sound.
Why not a little Michael Jackson? Lets try reading a chord chart, you will be surprised at what you already know how to do.
Found a chord without a good name? Call it a cluster chord.
In this lesson we examine the track Everything you Do is a Balloon by Boards of Canada, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.
How can we find a melody that fits with a chord progression? Some techniques and strategies for finding a melody in this lesson.
How about finding the chords to fit with a melody we have? Techniques and tricks for finding the right chords in this lesson.
We now have a chord progression and a melody. In this lesson we look at adding another layer - a countermelody - to the mix.
In this lesson we examine the track Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.
J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.
J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He is a co-founder and owner of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music.
J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.
If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)