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Okay, so you were probably searching how to make trance music when you found this page, so let's get started. And if you're searching this, chances are you are using a program to create the music. Maybe not, but if so, this is the best place to look. I personally use FL Studio 7-10 to produce my music, which mostly consists of trance, or at least based off of trance.
Before we get started, you might want to read the page on this website dedicated to trance music. Just click the link and you will be sent to the page. It also covers the history of trance, but feel free to ignore that if you're not interested.
So, first, some basic guidelines to follow. Trance typically has a tempo of 140-150 beats per minute, so in your program, set it to this before getting started. The tempo of a song is one of the most important aspects of the genre, sometimes even, the tempo can DEFINE the genre, like in speedcore, but that's not the case with trance. Even so, it's best to follow this guideline.
Now, for some more detail. As anyone who is interested in how to make trance music knows, it will be very melodic and upbeat. We will cover the beat first.
It will almost ALWAYS have a bass drum on every quarter note (unless it's during a buildup, or perhaps a special section of the song). This means, set your drum machine or bass drum instrument in your program to hit on every 4th note. A snare will sound on every other bass drum hit, the 2nd and 4th to be more specific. And last, while not as important, a hi-hat will be placed in between each bass drum hit.
Now for the melodic part of this wonderful genre. In my opinion, this is BY FAR the most important aspect of this music. It really makes it what it is, and is so crucial to the overall sound. This section may be the reason you were trying to find out how to make trance music.
Artists will typically have three parts to their songs. The main hook (the melody played throughout most of the song), the build-up (the softer section of music that essential "build-ups" to the main hook) and many songs will also have a bridge (this is one of those special sections I was talking about earlier, although the 4/4 beat usually stays the same in the case of a bridge).
First, we're going to start with the main hook. These main hooks can last as long or short as the artist wants (sometimes through the entire song without stopping!), but typically they will last 16 bars. This will be a little complicated to explain, so I'm going to take it slow and do my best...
Trance hooks are usually composed of different chords (usually a chord will have 3 different notes played at once, sometimes 4.). The artist then takes these chords and separates them into separate notes, and are played in sequence. This is called an arpeggio. Let me try and give an example...
Here we have a chord, it looks like this: 123. When separated, it looks like this: 1 2 3. Now you have separate notes. This doesn't mean they need to be played like: 1, 2, 3, they can be played like: 2, 3, 1, 2, 2, 3, 1, 2, for example. Typically, a track with its main hook will have four different chords which they turn into separate notes. These sequences are then played one after the other.
I made a small example of an arpeggio. In the first section, you can hear the sample chords, in the second section, you can hear arpeggio, where it uses notes from the chords, and in the third section, you can hear arpeggio, but an arpeggio that is just based on the original chords. It will also use other surrouding notes as well, to give it a more unique sound. This is also important when learning how to make trance music.
The build-up is the softer part of the song, right before the main hook, or chorus comes into play. It will start with a muffled sound and start getting clearer and clearer until it snaps to the main hook. This is used to give the audience a taste of what is coming. Percussion is almost never used during the build-up.
And lastly we have the bridge. While this isn't essential to creating a trance track, it's still important. A bridge is a section of music which sort of gives a break to the song. In this sense it will sound a bit different to the main hook and give the listeners something else to hear while preparing for the main hook again.
I hope this small guide, how to make trance music has helped someone out there with their ambitions to create some really great music. If you have anything to say, questions, corrections, etc... please feel free to comment below. Thanks again and have a nice trance-tastic day :).
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