Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Song Structure EDM

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    22

    Question Song Structure EDM

    Hi DJF-members,

    Can somebody tell me something more about the structure of a song? Like about the intro, build-up, bridge... how an EDM song is made.
    Because i've heard about a chorus etc., it might sound stupid but I don't know what it is. Just want to know anything about song structure.

    With kind regards,
    CÚdric

  2. #2
    Supermod pea Manu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    On your screen
    Posts
    6,866
    Have a little read of this page, it will help you understand structure a little bit better.


    https://flypaper.soundfly.com/write/...ong-structure/

    A lot of tracks will follow this pattern below, but keep in mind it is not a set formula.




    This is pretty much a typical pattern, though it does not apply every time. For example, I was listening to the new Slipknot single, and they start off the song by introducing the chorus, and then developing by adding all the chorus layers. Then it's back in the routine of first verse, chorus, second verse, bridge, back in chorus, double chorus and end. Now that's something more unusual in terms of song architecture, but quite a typical signature of Slipknot and their approach to songwriting.



    how an EDM song is made
    EDM can be a different animal. For instance, deep house or progressive techno do not quite follow those patterns. Instead they use progressive elements of adding or subtracting layers of sound. If you start listening to some Europop or whatever, then it will fall back on those verse / chorus patterns.

    Depending on the style of EDM, the producer may use different ways of building a track.
    Last edited by Manu; 06-09-2019 at 05:29 AM.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    22
    Thanks!!!

  4. #4
    Member steveryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    130
    Most EDM does not have a bridge. There might be a few examples, but most do not. In fact, A lot of genres don't have one, so as a DJ you don't really need to be concerned about it unless your playing top 40 or popular music (Open format DJ's).

    Techno for example, will basically never have a bridge. Most house music won't either unless there's vocals and even then not always. A bridge is just a way of returning to the chorus (Or verse) but doing it in a different way than it was done earlier.

    As far as EDM structure and all dance music structure in general, here's what you need to know.

    Nearly every track is built on four bars of 8 beats = 32 beats. 32 is pretty much the magic number with basically all dance music. If you start counting from the beginning of most tracks, you'll see that the changes in the song will take place every 32 beats. You might hear a small change or some kind of sound at the 16 beat mark, but any big changes are taking place every 32, 64, 96 and 128 beats. Most breakdowns are also 32, 64, 96 or 128 beats.

    The terms "Bar" and "Measure" are used interchangeably. The 32 beat chunks might be called a "Phrase". You might hear some DJ's talk about phrasing.

    As a DJ mixing EDM, you're pretty much taking one chunk of 32 beats (A phrase) and laying another chunk of 32 beats from a different track over the top of it. If you have your 32 beat chunks right on top of each other, the changes will take place at the same time on both tracks.

    Some DJ's call it the 32 beat rule.

    So yeah, the numbers 8 and 32 are super important. A lot of DJ's count in 4's, but those are people who haven't discovered the number 8 yet. 8 is a much more convenient number because the tracks are so repetitive and everything is happening after 32 beats. It's easier to visualize 4 bars of 8 beats instead of 8 bars of 4 beats. See what I mean?

    With that in mind, somewhere towards the beginning of most tracks there will be the first major breakdown. Sometimes you will find a small 16 beat or 32 beat breakdown that comes first, but then there's usually a large 64, 96 or 128 beat breakdown that will come.

    After the end of that big breakdown is your first drop. Whatever the producer had in mind, he's going to do it at the end of that breakdown. If you mix in a track and you miss the drop, you've basically screwed up. You don't want to be playing tracks and missing drops. Mix from somewhere towards the beginning of the track with correct phrasing and make sure to hit the drop.

    Later in the track, there will be another big breakdown similar to the first one. Sometimes it's longer or more intense. At the end of this breakdown there will be another drop. It's usually the same as the first drop but sometimes a little different. Not all songs drop twice, but it's fairly common. The idea is that the people are going to like it the first time, so you should give it to them again. Some tracks drop 3 times or more, but not often.

    After the end of the second drop, the song will start heading towards the end. At this point, most tracks will taper off a little bit and quiet down. Some sounds will be extracted and perhaps the bass line. If there was vocals, they probably won't be coming back anymore unless it's a short loop. You'll notice the energy is suddenly calming down. This is a good place (Usually) to bring up the new incoming record and hit em' with the drop. At some point before or after the drop, you'll carefully fade away the outgoing record and try to hide it so nobody hears it leaving. That takes a lot of practice. Keep in mind, that if your bringing up a track that has a lot of noise in it, you can usually hide an outgoing record in the noise without anyone noticing. If the incoming record doesn't have noise, it's more difficult. You just have to be patient with it and use the EQ. This is a great skill for a DJ.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    22
    Alright, I already heard about phrase-mixing so that does mean to play 32-beats over another phrase of 32-beats?

    Thank you very much for your time!!!
    Its appreciated (+1 reputation!)

  6. #6
    Member steveryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricdhaese View Post
    Alright, I already heard about phrase-mixing so that does mean to play 32-beats over another phrase of 32-beats?
    Typically, yes. Keep in mind though that you're the artist and you can paint the picture however you want. You don't have to conform. You can bring up your mixes from anywhere and if people like it then go for it.

    But getting your phrases lined up is fairly standard. Most DJ's wont press play on the incoming record until the first beat of a 32 beat phrase comes around. When everything's lined up, it helps the dancers anticipate where the changes will take place so they can plan their dancing. If the changes are taking place at strange moments, then it cam be a little awkward...

    The beginning of a breakdown is almost always the start of a new phrase. So if you count the number of beats from the very beginning of the song up until the first breakdown, you'll notice the track is constructed from a bunch of 32 beat phrases. This is true with virtually all EDM. Sometimes the producer will throw in a few extra beats right at the beginning of the track though and you have to watch out for that. This can be like a small intro or part of an intro that doesn't fully conform to the 32 beat rule. So if you try to start your phrasing right from the very beginning of the track, your phrasing will be off because of those extra beats. Most tracks are DJ friendly though, but not all, especially when your dealing with Acid House and Techno.

    A track with extra beats might look something like this:

    i = 1 beat
    I = 8 beats
    IIII = 32 beats

    iiiiII / IIII-IIII-IIII-IIII / IIII-IIII-IIII-IIII / (IIII-IIII 64 beat breakdown) / IIII-IIII-IIII-IIII / etc, etc.....

    Those extra beats at the beginning can screw up a DJ. It's better to identify where the first full phrase begins and start from there.

    Just remember, ditch the number 4 and start counting in 8's and you'll realize exactly what's going on.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
a