One Way to Examine the Layout of Your Favorite Tracks

The template.

Video Discussing the Process here

A process I learned a few years back that really helped me learn how sections in a track are sequenced, transitioned between, layered and the like. Couldn’t find the original site I learned it from, so I figured I’d put together a quick post as I’m sure there are few others out there who would benefit from it.

The process:
-Open your favorite DAW and put in your track
-Download and print a few copies of the template or copy the structure to your own pieces of paper.
-Go through each phrase and write down what you hear element-wise in the upper boxes.
If the track’s first phrase starts off with a kick, clap and hi-hat pattern, write those down in the upper left box (also remind yourself that you should branch out from listening to house music for once).

Write down any notes relating to effects/transitions/misc. other things you notice in the boxes below. Repeat this process for every phrase until the track’s done.

(if you’re not familiar with phrases, bars and the like, here’s a great tutorial on said concepts).

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After doing this drill for a few different tracks, I quickly began to understand when certain elements come in, when certain elements fade out, how they do so, etc.

The best part is, once I made a few of these, if I was struggling to come up with a layout from scratch for your own projects, I could use one of the track layout notes to act as a guide.

Hope this proves valuable to some of you :)

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