Change the structure of your multitracks to keep things fresh

Protools multitrack sessions

If you’re like me, then you probably like the traditional structure of pop and rock music. There’s something to be said for the layout of a couple of verses, a couple of choruses, and a killer bridge that keeps you interested and engaged. These formats have stood the test of time for a reason and people just seem to like it.

But I need to hear some change every so often to keep my music sounding fresh. How many of you would agree to that? You can change the instruments you use inside your multitrack sessions, but the simplest, and most efficient way is to amend the actual structure of a song. Below are a few suggestions you can use.

All You Need is One to Tweak

What I’m trying to get across is that you only need to choose one sound in your multitrack project to tweak and mix up the song format. It will keep your project fresh and break up things up a bit.

You can start by choosing a song (from your Album) that you feel is struggling compared to your others. You might have that song that just doesn’t have that sparkle to it. It might just need a little something extra to give it some extra life. You could also write a song or two that are different.

Never Leave The Bridge

You might have a song that does a traditional verse, chorus, verse, chorus and then gets to a bridge. But instead of leaving the bridge, why not stay there until the song ends? You don’t have to view the bridge as a temporary change that comes back into the chorus. The bridge could also be the next chapter of the song that leads right to the outro.

This is a tactic that I’ve used before in a few of my songs. I’d have a simple verse, chorus format that would lead into what I would like to think is an epic bridge. The bridge would be the release from all that tension I built up prior. From a lyric standpoint; it also would sum up everything I said in the verses and the choruses. It’s the climax, which I will stay at and never come back from.

Start With the Best Part

Everyone loves a good chorus, am I wrong? It’s probably because that’s the hook of the song and the catchiest moment in those three short minutes. It’s the part that everyone knows and hums along to. It’s the part you can’t wait to get to, so why wait? You can easily set up your multitrack session inside of Pro Tools to lead in with the chorus of your song.

It’s not even a secret and plenty of other songs do this technique and so can you. It’s as easy as flipping around your chorus and your verse. No need to start a song from scratch. Linkin Park is notorious for using this tactic, so you should too!

Do You Even Need a Chorus?

This tactic isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you want to go outside the box, then you can try and get rid of the hook in it’s entirety. Just like all the hymns that have been around for years and years, they are essentially just really long verses. It’s not uncommon to go 4 or 5 verse before the song is done.

To successfully pull this off, you need to have an excellent melody and some clever lyrics. Without a chorus, you can’t just have a bunch of repetitive words all over the place. You need to say something useful and then wrap that into a melody that people will remember.

Here’s an awesome guide on song structure:

My top tips for beginners who are learning multitrack mixing

Sometimes mixing can be a complicated process, but it actually can be broken down into a few simple steps to make it much more manageable. In today’s article, I am going to be focusing on the last 10-20% of the mix to help you take something that sounds good and turn it into something that sounds great.

Enhancing Your Sounds

The majority of your time mixing is spent on making the song sound good but in this phase, you make your song POP through the speakers. Not every mix is meant just to sound bright and punchy; it’s also to try and evoke emotion from the listener while taking them on a journey. Every second of every song should be engaging and sonically interesting. It’s a thing of reality that people’s attentions spans are rather short, so it’s up to you to keep them listening.

The sweetening stage is pretty straightforward: just listen to the song from start to finish and try to do whatever you can to make sure that the song keeps evolving. If the first and second verse sound identical, then try and separate them a bit. You could mute something, pan another thing but I think you get the idea. Attempt to make every part of the song important.

Use References

So at this point, your mix should be clean and energetic and also engages the listener form to start to finish. This is the point where you want to make sure that it’s going to translate to other speaker systems. This is where referencing comes in. Our mix might be great, but we need to use references to make sure that it is competitive with other songs in that sound similar.

We can reference our songs a couple of different ways. We could listen to them it on headphones or another set of studio monitors. Every speaker system is going to sound different and has a slight color to it even though the manufacturer is going to try and convince you otherwise. Send your mix through a pair of speakers that are an a completely different sound from your monitors and keep track of the deficiencies. Now make adjustments to make sure it sounds good on both sets.

The other way to reference is to load up a pro mix and then listen to see what we think sounds amazing about it. Once the pro mix is inside your software, just volume match them and compare. Now bring your mix to a closer tonal balance from top to bottom. This will do wonders for you when you try to make it translate.

Follow A Blueprint

If you follow a set of steps in the mixing process, it will take your songs to the next level. The three that I have highlighted in this article are only a few. If you aren’t happy with your mixes, follow the necessary steps and then add these 3 to your process. There are many different approaches to mixing, but the fundamentals along with these three tips are at the core of a great mix.

If you want some more mixing tips check out the following videos:

Welcome to my blog on music production and audio engineering

What’s up Peops?

My very first post, I can’t believe it!  This is going to be a blog about my life and all things that are related to music production, mixing, audio engineering and all the other things that I find interesting.  Please do leave me feedback and let me know how I am doing.

That’s it for now.  So just be patient and stay tuned because I got a Lot of cool things planned 🙂