Veil of Maya-esque

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by tbshreddin, May 30, 2012.

  1. tbshreddin

    tbshreddin SS.org Regular

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    Hey all,
    I know you guys see these threads all the time, but I really wanna ask some questions. I hope you can humor me and give me some decent answers.

    First, I simply cannot understand the thought process behind writing breakdowns in this particular style. Some of them are remarkably simple yet so complex because of timing. Is there something they know that I don't? Is it just me not practicing or writing enough? I understand to an extent the concept ot syncopation, but these types of breakdowns always elude my writing, and consequently frustrate me.

    My other question, how does one go about deciphering one of these breakdowns when listening. For example, I recently learned the breakdown pattern for It's Not Safe To Swim Today, and it's surprisingly simple despite how it sounded to me. However, I am always at a loss when trying to figure them out on my own. Any tips? Thanks a lot guys.
     
  2. penguin_316

    penguin_316 SS.org Regular

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    The reason you are having a hard time with them is because the patterns the guitar+bass+kick drum are doing ends up repeating at times that do not coincide with the straight 4/4 grove of the high hats.

    Having said that, some people call this a polyrythym although it isn't really. It can be thought of as a polymeter (ex. High hats cycle 4/4 groove 4 times while a guitar riff completes 3 cycles in that duration). The easiest way to explain it is simply called "syncopation" and VoM typically sticks with 16th notes in their breakdowns.

    If you want more ear training to get used to this type of rhythym pick up any Meshuggah record, with the earlier records being the closest to VoM style-wise.
     
  3. tbshreddin

    tbshreddin SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the response!

    The thing is, I've been listening to this kind of music for years. But I just can't seem to get the thought process going for writing that kind of stuff. And as far as listening to/for it, can someone give me some examples of songs and how to listen or what to listen for? Just examples of techniques used to get that "off" sound. Again, thanks!
     
  4. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    Meshuggah, they pretty much do that for shits and giggles.

    The only way to get it into your writing is to just practise, I've literally just began using a similar approach. Give it some time
     
  5. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Are you able to transcribe the rhythms yourself? If not learn to count semiquavers as 1 e and a 2e and a and so on; write rhythms and learn to clap them and count then simultaneously. Doing this should help to familiarise you with understanding the rhythms you hear/play. Transcribe some of the rhythms you like then listen through for which of those are accented. Within those, there'll be less heavy accents. Use these to see how long the phrases last. Keep analysing as much as you can and you should start to see certain rhythmic figures (even just a few semiquavers long) which crop up repeatedly. Compare those to the figures in similar songs and you'll see what stays the same to retain the style and what changes to keep things fresh. Create your own variants of these rhythmic figures and piece them together to create your own, longer sections.
     
  6. tbshreddin

    tbshreddin SS.org Regular

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    Great, thanks a lot guys :hbang:
     
  7. SevereIntentions

    SevereIntentions SS.org Regular

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    ^This. From playing their stuff its very simple depending of how you approach it. I usually count the number of notes being played in repetition for the first measure or two (not always, I think some of the breakdowns on eclipse vary) but as an example take "we bow in its aura". All I did was count the number of attacks made. Its all in 4/4, comprised of eighth notes in a pattern of 3+5+7 (number of palm mutes). Hope that somewhat helps :D (also correct me if im wrong, don't wanna give false or bad info)
     
  8. cult-leader-of-djent

    cult-leader-of-djent SS.org Regular

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    Cough* Cough* Arbiter method hernnnnn* Arbiter method
     
  9. groovemasta

    groovemasta SS.org Regular

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    ^ :ugh:

    What's the point of even writing music if you're just basically hitting random and chugging away whatever comes out?

    I honestly can't tell if your post or the video itself is even a joke since their music sounds like they use their own 'method'.
     
  10. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Normally, I keep quiet when that video is posted. I think it's a totally valid method of composition (although it says something rather particular), but those dudes are far from the first to do something like that. Iannis Xenakis used mathematical models to produce stochastic music, and there is another 20th century composer whose name I cannot remember who threw dice to generate music. Maybe Pierre Boulez or somebody equally disliked. John Cage did something similar with the I Ching. Hell, Mozart wrote rules to a "make your own minuet" game that was played with dice.

    Mozart's Musikalisches W├╝rfelspiel

    Deterministic algorithms abound in all levels of composition to varying degrees, even outside of aleatoric music. Using a deck of cards to tell you how many notes to hit and when to squeak a Henry is an extreme method of determinism, but hey, if that's what you want to do with your music, more power to you. Sometimes it helps to have some kind of generator spit random commands out at you when you're learning this stuff. Or, you know, you could start reading staff and learn your key signatures. Some say that works.

    Also, I found this while trying to find that other composer: Musician's Dice
     
  11. groovemasta

    groovemasta SS.org Regular

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    Not sure if your post is directed at me but, I understand there are no rules in music and maybe using a generator method may be an artistic choice but to me it's like microwaving a hand made recipe that you made, it's just a lazy way to make something and seems very pointless to skimp out on making an odd structured groove when at least most people would have put alot of time into other aspects of their art (hoping there is other aspects)

    Basically to me it just seems like cutting corners to get a product faster, it's not that hard to make a groove less or more than 16 notes, play it over a 4/4 beat and cut and restart it every hypermeasure.

    Obviously you can get alot more creative with it but that seems to be the basic idea. I feel like I just let out the big secret :ugh: :lol:

    EDIT- maybe I helped the OP for once with this post ahah
     
  12. Semichastny

    Semichastny SS.org Regular

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    :eek: How is this lazy or cutting corners? It's just another way to write music. Having a closed mind is inherently lazy and self-serving as music cannot breathe and come to be in it's own way as it's constricted by the bias of the writer.

    to the OP; Determinism is an excellent way to write those types of breakdowns especially if you take the arbiter method and upgrade and convert it into your own style.
     
  13. Varcolac

    Varcolac Frets? What frets?

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    I use my microwave for home-cooked meals all the time. It's a tool for cooking. Stupid not to use it. Microwave a lemon for 40 seconds before stuffing it up a chicken: epic lemony roast chicken.

    Here, corners cut. Creativity drained. Or not. As SchecterWhore mentioned, it's a perfectly valid method of composition. As is this (and the majority of Western music has done perfectly fine with it for a good couple of hundred years, thank you very much).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    ^ Bingo.

    It's not. I just had something to say on the subject.

    -----

    Write any way you want. There is no court of music that will hold you accountable for how much chance you employ. In the end, composition is more about personal discretion than it is methodology. Taste (The artistic kind, that is. Mmm, roast chicken.) dictates what a musician does far more than anything else, so you want to learn to develop that. Some people are overly concerned about their originality (not necessary, because they usually suck at it and have a skewed view of what constitutes 'original') and others blatantly reject originality and say, "Fuck it, I'm stealing dat shit," like Igor Stravinsky. Name me one original person that has more acclaim than Stravinsky. It's a total crap shoot: nobody can tell you how to think, so you need to find out how you think so that you can tell yourself what is right and what you should do.
     
  15. groovemasta

    groovemasta SS.org Regular

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    Well at least I didn't get neg repped, I was just stating my opinion on it, arbiter seems to be a at least somewhat serious band and making their music by randomly drawing cards seems abit silly to me, you could basically 'make' thousands of breakdowns or whatever in like 10 minutes. I'm sorry if I offended anyone.
     
  16. Semichastny

    Semichastny SS.org Regular

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    I wasn't offended I just don't like the whole tr00 music spiel. Neging someone for a harmless opinion like the one you stated is bullshit I'm glad to hear your rep is OK.
     

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