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Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Lesson 2 of 26

Songwriting: Starting with an Idea

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

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Lesson Info

2. Songwriting: Starting with an Idea


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:06:20
4 Songwriting Q&A Duration:26:32
5 Tracking and Comping Drums Duration:27:24
6 Editing Drums Duration:16:25
7 Drums Q&A Duration:31:15
8 Micing an Amplifier Duration:25:09
9 Rhythm Guitar Tones Duration:18:52
10 Tracking Rhythm Guitars Duration:34:13
11 Tracking Bass Guitar Duration:23:34
12 Bass Q&A Duration:21:45
13 General Q&A Duration:16:30
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Tracking Vocals Duration:18:27
3 Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon Duration:24:37
4 Vocals Q&A Duration:17:50
5 Mix Prep Duration:34:45
6 Mixing in Logic Pro Duration:42:03
7 Mixing Blazing Star Part I Duration:27:14
10 Mixing Blazing Star Part 2 Duration:19:34
11 Mixing Blazing Star with EQ Duration:30:09
12 Final Q&A Duration:24:12
13 Closing Thoughts Duration:11:22

Lesson Info

Songwriting: Starting with an Idea

This is an idea for I don't know what it is, to be honest, but there's an idea for a song that I just jotted down because I had my guitar plugged in and my my computer on and I just thought, here's, this here's an idea for a thing? And I want to show you how I get through, and I don't know what this is going to become. It may be a song, a solo record because I'll do the death clock stuff, and I also have a record called galactic on, which is basically a very melodic version of with melodic vocals and stuff version of death clock and then produced differently, and it sounds differently we'll get into that because we'll get into some galactic on stuff later on to but but the most important thing that I need to have to start anything is to have normally I don't know how all this stuff works is this isn't my house. Um, though I may be sleeping here later on, depending on how drunk I get anyway, that's water. So what I need is I need one button to turn everything on. So I have, like, a big ...

power saying, what's, the thing called all right, that I have power, power. Like a power backup, power conditioner, kind of a thing. So if all the power goes out in the place but that also turns I have everything on and I turned it on and off with one button. That's. The first thing I needed to be easy. I need to not have an excuse to go and do my work. I need to have a guitar that's relatively in tune near this area and it needs to be plugged in already. I don't want to mess around with cables. My brain shuts off when I have to do anything technical. So I want to make everything as easy as possible. So I need to get our here. I'll get into this later on. And I have today a beautiful gold top gibson that seattle, the seattle gibson house shop place loan made, which is really nice and it's from this is from the custom shop. So that's, really cool and it sounds good, but I have approach will session already on here, and what I usually will do is set up a session with normally just a click track. And the most important thing when starting writing a song is is just the first decision that you have to make is your tempo, what is your tempo going to be? And you'll notice this and this happened very often and death out one where the default tempo is one twenty one twenty beats per minute, which is like how many? How many clicks there running the clock? You know, in one minute s o it's there's something very natural, very human about one hundred twenty beats per minute and that's my first one so I said whatever this is ok, one twenty b p m it's already that so how do I just get a click happening? Um that's it that's what? One twenty bpm sounds like nothing fancy, nothing special but that's where I start so already have some drums in here, but I'll show you how I do this so and you'll notice something else in my on my session if you look at this, I have that clip down there, I have it on the default thing cause I don't want to mess around with it and get a different thing I have also I have a couple of things label than I have like audio on audio to audio for and then it says base so it's haphazardly mess lily labeled and I'm not going to sit around in waist creative time labeling stuff even though it's going to make all ricks life horrible later on, you'll see that and he'll have to deal with that stuff, but he he that's part of his job so don't feel sorry for him, so the next thing I'll do is I'll usually play some guitar stuff too that tempo, so I'll mess around, I'll have this is the second most important thing about recording in my book is that first of all have everything very easily plug in that's one too I guess I have three things to is establish a tempo that'll make your decision for you and three, um record enable a track that's the most I think recording able track is more important than the other ones, too, because that means I can make a good start sound like a guitar, so I'm in input mode I have a right rhythm guitar thing and I'm already plugged in to this and I've got a sound that sounds like some kind of electric guitar sound I think my boy was down here while I'm in volume on here lamb on there what happened? Oh, I know I come in, you see, here we go, so I've got, um I have gods, so I think it's our by itself, I'll have a little bit of delay or something on what I'm plugged into, I don't even have a fancy plug in or anything sometimes I'll just commit to stuff like in the early days of the first death album, phil I would just print everything I wouldn't have options where I'd re amp later on I'd leave that to other people I just would usually I would either have like a line six pot in this case I've got the boss m e a t which is a really cool floorboard the thing with tons of effects and I'm just using this for the distortion and it's kind of a d s one the orange pedal boss pedal thing and that's what I have here and then I threw some some of this delay whatever the new stereo delay is way that's ok it doesn't matter this is just roughest isn't gonna be final guitar so so I got this so I had like this idea like ok what's the simplest thing I could do I have to come up with a song so here's the idea well in two three four I think that's the most generic a group of course you could probably think of doing and that's where I start is something kind of generic because I need to have some kind of an idea and I'm gonna I'm gonna make that cooler but first what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go into superior drummer and get a cool um a cool uh drumbeat so what I usually do this I do the same thing every time I go into superior drummer I go into the grooves oh um let me see construct so here's the drum kit I use it's usually there's my snare their my kicks those were toms and I will I think the instant I mean ex drum one of mine I'm in this thing combined priest you can see sometimes in the whatever drum thing I have I'm using I will go into these there's like devin townsend has a drum kit um there are a lot of different frederick from the sugar has a drum kit and who is this roderick wild has a drum kit that we'll get into maybe later on how is that? Who is that guy that's you that's you know like your famous look your name and little letters on a thing on what you've always wanted and it's now in the end, if you scroll to the very bottom you can find your little name story of my life yeah there's a last name business keeps you very humble so so down at them so whatever I'll pick a drum kit in this case, I already got one that sounds like a drum kit and then I'll go into groups within groups all usually go into the metal foundry because I have my good old pal jean hoagland, who I record with all the time who has got his own presets that he went in the studio to record all these things so I go into like, I'm going to be in for four of ours because I got this g a g it's, the that's, the thing, so I'll usually what hats open variations, and I would listen to a couple of things I want something a little bit with what I have to do at this point, what I want to do is find a solid drumbeat where the oh, twos and fours or where I want them, so I just so normally when I'm coming up with an idea this that this early, I just want to know where my snares are in them and maybe some double kicks because this is ultimately going to be in the rock or metal genre, so I'm going boom, buck, buck bob, I want to find a snare that's there, so let's find something simpler and I and I usually just scroll through these names that's double time, so I don't want that that's when I just had that sounds pretty cool, I like that one, so the way to do this, what normally what I'll do it's got a nice little fillip the end I'll usually take that something like that, and I've already got a mini field open, but I'll take that and I'll put that let's see, I've got that I could just dragged that into my many field and it's it's really that simple, so I'll get rid of that and and that's what I did, so I've got some reason I've got I repeated that three times, and so so this is what it sounds like in here. Now, now that it's in the superior drummer um you that in my thing and I could just listen to this, we'll get further along. There you go that's now that's in there that now that's in my session and I can take that and I can duplicate that if I want to. And I did that already three times there's like a cooking show where I've already I'm telling about things and then I already have them done it's great it's really is, so I have that duplicated three times, so I'm a record that riff that I just talked about over that, but I don't want to just do that riff. So this is where a couple of arranging things come in and just having a little bit of court knowledge makes your riff a little bit more exciting. I had this boring riff, which was hey d k so what I want to know is, are these minor cords? Are these major chords? How can this be more exciting so if I want to do like him so a minor g major a teenager on then maybe I'll go to a major instead of a minor and then keep going back but there's got to be a cooler way to play that in the lower strings on guitar and normally I'm tuned down really low for death clock I'm tuned standard here and on the galactic on stuff all tune standard and all tune uh lower to so in this case I have a court that's like what I have is I have a first inversion cord for those you guys you know about music theory it means I put the the major or minor quality of the court on the bottom meaning the minor third fifth to run it through the fifth of that, but I want to do that now it has a little bit more character still, it needs a little bit more but it's it's not a bad way to start, so I'm gonna record this first riff we'll see what happens. I hope I don't blow it case that's five times through and uh that's what that sounds like so I recorded a riff so that's what I'll try to do just to get an idea for a song down and I don't know I mean throw this away I may keep it may turn it into a song, but now what I want to do is I want to get into a second groove

Class Description

Adult Swim's Metalocalypse is a cheeky parody of metal culture — featuring the shenanigans of a cartoon band called Dethklok. In Toontrack Presents: Studio Pass, you'll get a closer look at the creative process behind this mesmerizing metal powerhouse-turned-TV-series.

Brendon Small is the creator and primary musician driving Dethklok’s music, including its four full-length albums. In this installment of Studio Pass, Brendon and producer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, White Zombie, Slipknot, Deftones) will show how they compose, engineer, and mix the music of Metalocalypse – explaining the recording techniques used for Dethklok’s drums, bass, guitars, vocals and effects.

The music behind the hilarious spectacle that is Metalocalypse is no joke. Join Brendon and Ulrich for Studio Pass and learn about the unique creative process behind the music of Dethklok.


John Thaxton

I love Brendon. He has always treated fans super well. There's so much wisdom to be gained from listening to him about workflow and music in general. Great class!

Aaron Thurtell

Being someone new and looking into recording songs, I found this class very informative and in a way essential, the idea of recording seemed over whelming and I had no idea where to start, being a fan of Brendon small and Ulrich Wilds work on Dethklok and Galaktikon I found it very enjoyable and must for any fans of Brendon small looking into how he goes about making a record