So you’ve started playing with a cool loop in your DAW and you can't help but wonder how it would sound as a full song. But hours pass and you're still stuck with nothing more than that loop in front of you.
If you've found yourself a loop that's just a few seconds long, here are 8 tips to help you turn it into a full-length song.
1. Start With Something That Inspires You
Whether it’s a drum loop, a chord progression or a vocal sample, try starting with a loop that inspires you. This will make it easier for you to listen to the same loop repeatedly and help you power through that pesky writer’s block.
2. Add Layers That Compliment Each Other
Adding extra instrumentation on top of your original loop can help fill out the full frequency spectrum and make your projects sound more full. When you add layers to your tracks, it's important to make sure they match both the style and feel of any other audio in your project.
3. Use Live Recordings To Add Variation
One of the best ways to create a complete-sounding track from a repeating loop is to add live instrumentation. Whether it’s a vocal performance, a guitar solo or a piano session, live recordings can quickly transform an otherwise flat production into an interesting and memorable song.
4. Add Transitions Between Sections
Creating transitions between sections can help your projects sound less choppy and give them a more natural flow. By using uplifters, downlifters, risers, drum fills and automation, you can quickly give your song structure and help it sound like more than just a collection of loops.
Automating your loops allows you to make changes over time and add interest to your tracks. It allows you to manipulate loops throughout your project in an almost infinite number of ways, including pitch, filter frequency, reverb intensity etc. Automation helps to create tension in a build-up, avoid repetition, create smoother transitions and more.
6. Reference Similar Tracks
Be sure to listen to songs by other artists that have a similar feel to the song you're building. This can give you ideas on what kinds of additional loops may work well with the ones you are working with and reveal how other artists have used similar loops in their tracks.
7. Use Bass Layers Sparingly
Cutting out the bass frequencies in certain parts of your tracks can help you clearly differentiate between sections. For example, removing the main bass layer from your build-ups can help to maximize the impact of your choruses or drops.
8. Veer From The Main Loop At Times
When a song contains a repeating loop, it can quickly become repetitive and cause listeners to lose interest. By taking out the main loop at different times throughout your song, you can keep listeners on their toes and avoid repetition.
We hope that you now have a better idea of how to turn a loop into an entire song. Although there are a number of ways you can do this, the key is to find a method that works best for you. No matter what, don't be afraid to experiment!