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Thread: How can trance be improved?

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    How can trance be improved?

    I do not mean by that: "Todays trance is bad, in the past was better" argument.
    But what can producers/creators of trance do, to improved it in composition? Add new sound or instruments etc.
    I was looking through concerts if somebody already did it, and yes they did.
    Here in Armin concert guitar riff 5:51: https://youtu.be/OX4s25ZbwR8 (it sounds and fits phenomenally)
    Second these type of vocals 1:10: https://youtu.be/Fm8cOCegz_w

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    Get away from the Generic Metallic Kick that is everywhere.

    Get rid of the trance pluck.

    Get rid of long, epic breakdowns that build up to nothing.

    Introduce a wider variety of percussion and rhythms, not just bad triplets.

    Make acid sound less "canned" and more organic. This one is tough to describe, but notice how a lot of tech trance producers (ex. Askew) loved to use acid in their tracks, but theirs sounds like crap somehow.

    Introduce a wider variety of sounds overall, specially real life instruments* but this needs to be done skillfully and organically. You can't just stick random strings and guitars on a trance track and expect it to be good.

    Draw more influences from other genres, including chill out/downtempo and trip hop, glitch gop, hip hop, etc.

    Emphasize basslines (fixing the kick should help with this)

    Get vocalists that are actually good.
    Last edited by Fredjan; 07-14-2019 at 22:25 PM.

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    Good post. Pretty much agree on all points.

    - spend time on beats again. Not just kicks and snares. I want multiple layers of hihats and percussion elements.
    - use original/new fx sounds, not just typical ‘wind risers’.
    - stop mastering too loud and let tracks breathe again.
    - dont force yourself to make the tracks short(er).

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    100% (great points, both of you). Would add the one thing that is probably the most important one:

    Have more artists, not just tutorial/template/copycat/wannabe producers. And I say this being one (the latter category).
    Gagi & MaickelJ - Prisoner Of Past [THREAD | BEATPORT]
    Gagi & MaickelJ - Prisoner Of Past (Remixes) [THREAD | BEATPORT]

    Gagi - Classic Tech Trance Mix [MIXCLOUD]
    Gagi - Short House & Trance Mix [MIXCLOUD]

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    Spend more time on building up the track, not just haphazardly throwing random sounds in every 8 bars until you reach the breakdown

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    Songwriting and production: How about we just get rid of long breakdowns. It's dance music; keep the beat moving. Most breakdowns are mediocre anyway, and when you make them long on top of a 30-60 second intro all you're doing is making dance music that's 30% beatless. Stop.

    More acid. More polyphony, less bass. More acid. More goa, less psyroom. More acid.

    More songs between 130 and 138, and also more songs above 140. I always get a kick out of people complaining trance is too fast today. "Connective," "Unity," "Constellation," "1998," "Ayla (Taucher remix)" -- these are not at 135. They are not at 138. They're not even at 140. These are all 143+ bpm. Trance hasn't gotten too fast, it's just gotten too cleanly compartmentalized between the 138-140 range on one end and 130-132 on the other end.

    DJing: trance DJs should feel more freedom to edit around breakdowns so that there are fewer of them or at least shorter in duration, and in general just approach the decks more like techno DJs do, building up tension and releasing it over the course of several tracks rather than within each track. You don't need a big moment every single damn track. Well, okay, maybe if you're spinning at a festival and everyone's trying to one-up everyone else as much as possible in 60 minutes, but you don't need a huge uplifting swell every 5 minutes if you have time to build a set in a club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AstralNilaya View Post
    Songwriting and production: How about we just get rid of long breakdowns. It's dance music; keep the beat moving. Most breakdowns are mediocre anyway, and when you make them long on top of a 30-60 second intro all you're doing is making dance music that's 30% beatless. Stop.

    More acid. More polyphony, less bass. More acid. More goa, less psyroom. More acid.

    More songs between 130 and 138, and also more songs above 140. I always get a kick out of people complaining trance is too fast today. "Connective," "Unity," "Constellation," "1998," "Ayla (Taucher remix)" -- these are not at 135. They are not at 138. They're not even at 140. These are all 143+ bpm. Trance hasn't gotten too fast, it's just gotten too cleanly compartmentalized between the 138-140 range on one end and 130-132 on the other end.

    DJing: trance DJs should feel more freedom to edit around breakdowns so that there are fewer of them or at least shorter in duration, and in general just approach the decks more like techno DJs do, building up tension and releasing it over the course of several tracks rather than within each track. You don't need a big moment every single damn track. Well, okay, maybe if you're spinning at a festival and everyone's trying to one-up everyone else as much as possible in 60 minutes, but you don't need a huge uplifting swell every 5 minutes if you have time to build a set in a club.
    Dont edit breakdowns,just play great building progressive tracks to create a journey of a set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magdelayna View Post
    Dont edit breakdowns,just play great building progressive tracks to create a journey of a set.
    The problem is when those breakdowns lead to nothing, ir the exact same loop you had heard earlier. Now THAT needs to go away.

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    I agree with a lot of the things already mentioned.

    - get rid of the sledgehammer kick which strangles everything else in the track

    - more playful/exciting rhythms, percussion; this is one of the things I miss the most in modern trance. A lot of it just sounds dull, because itís strictly banging and/or deep, there is no playfulness in the tracks because of boring rhythm and percussion.

    - less focus on specific styles based on BPM: as someone mentioned it seems like most of the tunes nowadays are split into just a couple of groups based on BPM and each of these groups has a strict style. You have the low 120s where most tunes sound the same, you have the 132s where most tunes sound the same and you have the famous 138 where again most tunes sound the same. Producers need to start stepping out of these boundaries again.

    - more balance in tunes: a lot of the tracks just focus on being banging for the dancefloor and donít work as good for home listening or deep for home listening and donít work as good on the dancefloor. In the past I felt that most of the tunes were made to work in both environments

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredjan View Post
    The problem is when those breakdowns lead to nothing, ir the exact same loop you had heard earlier. Now THAT needs to go away.

    Well just pick great breakdowns to play hehe! im talking on the viewpoint of a DJ,not a producer here - as that is what you were talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magdelayna View Post
    Well just pick great breakdowns to play hehe! im talking on the viewpoint of a DJ,not a producer here - as that is what you were talking about.
    I see. I wouldn't mind a long breakdown as long as it's dynamic and interesting. I get pretty bored with ultra dramatic Andy Blueman-style breakdowns, but luckily those are largely forgotten.

    Back on topic: Make the climax of the song longer. None of this "the good part of Meridian Bay is less than a minute long" stuff -- at minimum 48 bars of whatever bpm you're playing, specially if you only have one climax.

    Dang, I just realized I'm so picky. I wonder how difficult to implement my suggestions are.
    Last edited by Fredjan; 07-17-2019 at 04:58 AM.

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    Well about the lenght: dont underestimate the importance of streaming. Artists get paid per stream. Not per second. This is why tracks are so short. Lots of pop is now 2:30 to 3:00. In stead of repeating a chorus a couple of times, or fade it out (60’s 70’s style), it ends quickly. It leaves you unfulfilled with a desire to listen again (thus more money).

    its also why pop now starts ditectly with a vocal, maybe even with the chorus. It has to grab attention before you click ‘next’. This is why there are no subtle meaningful intro’s anymore. Its also why lots of radio songs tease till around 30 seconds, and then reveil its actual course the track is heading. After 30 second a stream counts as ‘play’ (thus money). If someone then skips, it doesnt matter much. As long as they gave the first 30 seconds a chance.

    Every genre probably feels the consequenses of this all. I also think this is why Moons of Jupiter has so many short ‘songs’. They could just as well be combined and called one song. But financially that would be dumb.

    Streaming services should pay per minute, not per play. Only then there wont be a desire for short, shorter, shortest.
    Last edited by Voci; 07-17-2019 at 22:33 PM.

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    Wasn't aware of that, but it's just odd to have the best part be less than one minute long for a track meant to be played at a DJ set.

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    It definitely sucks. I would add to your suggestion: dont be so affraid of a second breakdown.

    tracks often only have one melodic climax these days. Make them 7 - 8 minute again, with 2 breakdowns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gagi View Post

    Have more artists, not just tutorial/template/copycat/wannabe producers. And I say this being one (the latter category).
    Well thats the thing,all the proper 'artists' wont care whats written here,as it doesnt apply to them,they just do their own thing. This thread is aimed at the producers just going through the motion of making generic,safe Trance to try and get signed to as many labels and how many ASOTs they can get on.

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