Original song guide?

Discussion in 'Music Production' started by pickledylans, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    hi! i was wondering if anyone has good advice/links to tutorials for people making original music with utau? i feel like most of the stuff ive found is for people making covers with usts... im struggling a lot to make things sound natural and its super time consuming just to get a couple words to sound vaguely right and its sort of frustrating. id like any help i can get! thank you so much!

    by the way, i only want to use english UTAU for now, and ive been experimenting with tetos eng ver
     
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  3. spookysneeze

    spookysneeze Harp Seal Enthusiast Defender of Defoko

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  4. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    there doesnt seem to be a lot here specifically for UTAU, but i think it might be helpful for my progress regardless, so thank you!
     
  5. spookysneeze

    spookysneeze Harp Seal Enthusiast Defender of Defoko

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    Np! It's not the same but you might also want to check out tutorials on making original vocaloid songs? Not the same software obviously, but it's in the same ballpark, so it might be at least a lil useful to look at ^^
     
  6. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    ahh that makes sense. ill look into it, thank you!
     
  7. fadingfebruary

    fadingfebruary Momo's Minion

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    I can't point you in any specific direction to tutorials but may be able to give some tips or attempt to be mildly helpful xD. In terms of making things "sound right," can you elaborate on what you mean? Tuning / phrasing, composing the melody line, or writing lyrics that sound natural?
     
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  8. Kiyoteru

    Kiyoteru Local Sensei Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    If you're looking for help specifically with using UTAU, you may want to look into tutorials about making USTs and using certain types of voicebanks. The typical method of making a UST involves making a midi track along to an existing song, but in the case of writing original songs, the midi track would be your own original composition.
     
  9. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    well i guess i am having some trouble figuring out how to write lyrics >.>;; i actually meant tuning and spacing out the syllables when i wrote this, though. ive made some progress on tuning since this but i still feel like spacing out the syllables is super hard (and my tuning does need a little help, but its gotten a bit better)
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 11, 2018 ---
    ahhh yeah this makes sense and i didnt realize it for some reason and thought people just started from scratch in utau itself,,,

    now ive been recording my voice and trying to duplicate it into midi and using that in utau, but i still have a problem where im not good at estimating how utau breaks up a word (especially for english banks) so i end up having to rework everything a whole bunch. im sort of fine with that but im wondering if theres a more efficient way??
     
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  10. Line Gheist

    Line Gheist Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    I'd recomend coming up with your melody and amount of syllables, usually lyrics start to mirror the rhythm and timing as you go on. It seems a little easier to work with making an instrumental when you have a melody to base it around. Another approach is to sing it to the best of your ability and have a recording, which you are already doing.From there you can reference for a midi and where letters are pronounced. You can midi in programs such as FL studio
    **There is no set way in stone to approach song writing ^ -^ Remember.
    *And when working with english banks, not everything is written as it spelled, because natural prounciation, you don't need a syllable for every letter. The brain has a tendency to piece sounds together into words .
    sorry if this is long.... ^-^;;; Sometimes song writing can be a long frustrating process. Tuning does not have to be done immediately due to time consumption
     
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  11. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    ahh yeah i mostly meant about the syllable thing like. ill expect utau to break it up into 3 sounds and it breaks it up into more than that and kinda messes up my midi and im like ????? uh
    and yea ive been using fl studio to midi!!! fl studio is sooo helpful for so many things i l ov e it

    by the way, do you recommend starting by writing out the instrumentals for a song entirely and then doing the lyrics?? actually, ive been kinda having a hard time understanding the music theory behind where lyrics fit in >.>;;;;;;;; like i understand pretty much everything else, but whenever i get to trying to fit in lyrics i get sort of stuc k
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 11, 2018 ---
    sorry i kinda misunderstood part of this and got sort of repetitive??? umm

    so youre saying to write the lyrics first and then the instrumental? i guess im sort of confused bc ive seen people recommend the opposite so i dont really know,,, which one is better hmm
     
  12. Line Gheist

    Line Gheist Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    Sorry about that wording. It comes down to "it depends". You could start off coming with an instrumental. Benefits include having a beat to work with(personal preference). When I referenced melody, I meant the actual melody, not lyrics on their own. However, it's still possible to try to do lyrics first, just their's some barriers such as having to work around them and adjust a lot.

    *But if you really are struggling with that order to put lyrics into an instrumental, try doing some in parts. Ex: lyrics+melody and a rhythm for a phrase
     
  13. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    AHHH okay sorry im not super familiar with some music terminology ^^;;;

    hmmm okay! it might just take some experimenting at this point and trying to figure out what works best for me,,,,
     
  14. partial

    partial UTAU English advocate Global Mod Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    The hard thing about getting into making original songs is that there is no one good way to make them. I dabble in originals but generally never finish or never post.

    No matter the DAW, something that has helped me are these particular videos. (x and x) This is one I think is good for a starting point. Even if FL Studio isn't your DAW the same basics should apply to others. (LMMS is a good free one!)
     
  15. Kiyoteru

    Kiyoteru Local Sensei Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    I personally write instrumentals before I do vocals, but that's because I have an instrument-focused mindset. It wouldn't hurt to be vocal-focused when it comes to songwriting.
    The tough part about starting from instrumentals is that many musicians often start with short loops of about 8 bars, without really knowing how to expand it into a full 3 minute song. Here's a couple videos that give a bit of advice about breaking out of loops:



    For your first few songs it'd be beneficial to stick to a traditional/typical song structure, so that you get a solid feel for how it works before trying to do anything crazier. This would go something like:
    Intro instrumental
    Verse 1
    Prechorus
    Chorus
    Midsong instrumental
    Verse 2
    Prechorus
    Chorus
    Bridge/instrumental (this is where you can put a guitar solo, if that's the kind of stuff you're into)
    Final chorus
    Ending instrumental

    In most DAWs you can add markers along the timeline so that you can label specific sections. So label each of these sections, give them 8 bars each (or 4 bars if you want it to be shorter. Powers of 2 are really helpful for a strong musical structure!) Then you can break down writing the lyrics for each of those sections. In fact, it's super easy to write the chorus first since you can just copy+paste it into all the other sections... hahaha
     
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  16. fadingfebruary

    fadingfebruary Momo's Minion

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    Okay @pickledylans ! so a few tips that might help (hopefully!! :0 ) :

    0 Troubleshooting: in terms of breaking it up into "3" sounds or w/e, are you using the lyric bar? bc honestly I just double click on each note and type in the syllable I want, since english has some symbols that utau wants to break up into separate pieces.


    0 Tuning/spacing: don't be afraid to tweak the length of the ending consonants (the VCs and etc.) until things are intuitively sounding right. And sometimes less is more -- ie the word "just" I often use "je es" and make sure the s is held out a bit instead of "ju us st".

    shinamiEBA has a tutorial on "specific pitchbends". (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUK5HXPAMUI) I think having different pitchbends in your toolbelt and using them as needed is a pretty fundamental part of emotive, effective tuning. Honestly having an arsenal of pitchbends to use gets you like 75% of the way there in terms of tuning.


    0 Song writing: Honestly, I've done every approach and I think its just about finding which workflows work best for you. I've literally sung a melody then put chords over it, started with chords and put a melody over them, started with drums etc...they're all valid. I think it's fun to mix it up, but maybe that's just me!

    But for fitting lyrics to a melody, understanding the idea behind meter is essential. Meaning, in words certain syllables are stressed (for example, its "ME-lo-dy" not "me-LO-dy"). The rhythm of the melody should fit the natural stressors of the words you're trying to sing. And phonetically complex words can be hard to come through clearly in a very fast melody section, so that's something to be mindful of as well.


    [also @Kiyoteru I love Andrew Huangs videos!! They're always either super helpful or super interesting to me xD]
     
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  17. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    i actually have fl studio!!! >:3cc but thank you! these videos seem pretty helpful! ill need to follow them more closely when i have more time but i appreciate it!!
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 12, 2018 ---
    ahhh yeah i totally have the problem where i have like a million little loops and then just abandon them after writing a couple bars!! i need to work on that, so these videos should be helpful, thanks!

    also thank u sooo much for ur little outline it actually... makes everything make a lot more sense, esp with the thing about everything being 4 or 8 bars... i had no idea about that but it makes so much more sense now!!

    also, what do you mean about "powers of 2?"
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 12, 2018 ---
    as far as how ive been writing in utau, what i have been doing is writing the structure out in fl studio, importing it into utau as a MIDI, and then using the english converter plugin and using "replace note". it doesn't work perfectly, but its the best method for me ive found out so far >.> my problem is utau doesnt really conserve the structure of the notes, so i have to do a little bit at a time and rework it to how its supposed to be. i hope that makes sense!

    as far as double clicking it and just typing in the sound by hand, i. dont really understand how to figure out how english banks are typed out... so thats why i use the plugin for help lol

    i pretty much just figured out how the tuning plugins work because i was having extreme problems setting it up for some reason ;;;; im gonna go back and revisit some tuning videos (including yours!) and see what progress i can make from there!

    thanks for all your help though! its given me a lot to think about and i think itll be helpful!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  18. Kiyoteru

    Kiyoteru Local Sensei Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Numbers like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64... they're all two to the power of something.
    When it comes to writing lyrics, a typical guideline is that 2 bars of music has 1 line of lyrics. A typical verse may have 4 lines of lyrics, which means 8 bars of music. It's a common structure that sounds good, especially when you do rhyming patterns like ABAB.

    Instrumentally, having a pattern of 4 means that you could do something like have the same pattern the first and second time, change it up the third time, then return to the original pattern the fourth time. Or you could do the same thing the first three times and then change it up the fourth time, which leads into the next section of 4. These patterns aren't limited to just 4 bars, it could be 4 sections of 2 bars, or 4 sections of 8 bars...

    Not all music is solely based on these numbers, though. For example, a well known structure in blues music is the 12 bar blues, which is made of 3 sections of 4 bars each.
     
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  19. pickledylans

    pickledylans Momo's Minion

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    i see! i didnt know this either so thanks so much!!
     
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  20. HydroChromatic

    HydroChromatic Momo's Minion

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    I personally start with sketching melodies or my leading instrument and then once I have a sound I like, back it up with a key scale.
    Look into the circle of fifths if you don't know what key scales are cause they're very important in making sure your music doesn't sound off

    From there, I work on the chord progression, and then adding in a beat, and finally details.

    Either the vocals will follow the lead instrumental or I use the vocal chord and the lead instrument as a indicator of where I can write my notes in.

    That is, unless a tune and vocal melody came into my head.

    It may be hard to make a full song, I've only done 3 that were full but there's no shame in going for 1 minute songs. In fact, the next one I'm working on is about 40 seconds long and very simple since I'm focusing on the story of the piece. https://clyp.it/4mdpxz3e Its not finished but I made it and FL STUDIO and I plan to use it for a character song series of my utauloid.

    Best thing you can do is to try arranges so you can understand how songs are structured or spend a good amount of time with "doodling" compositions for practice.
     
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  21. fadingfebruary

    fadingfebruary Momo's Minion

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    @pickledylans
    when you say utau doesn't preserve the structure of the notes, is importing the midi making it all glitchy looking?
    b/c if you're having the same problem I typically have importing midis from FL studio, I have to use audacity (a free program) to import the midi into audacity and then export--> midi and somehow that 'fixes' the midi so that utau can read it okay. I dunno why, it just works xD


    (also all this talk about how to make music makes me wanna start making simple how to music tutorial videos even though I'm pretty much a music noob myself LOL)
     
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