How fast are your tracks?

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TrondC
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How fast are your tracks?

Post by TrondC » Sat May 02, 2009 7:50 pm

I was a guest at the local student radio last night, they played some of my tracks and it was all fun and I had a great time. However, they commented on the tempo of my tracks, as I had several tracks in either 140 or 150 BPM, which apparently is very fast for techno and dance music. They told me it was harder for DJ's to use a 140 BPM track in a ca 130 BPM dj set, and that my tracks were likely to be dropped more because of the tempo that the actual sound. This got me a little concerned, as my entire liveset is at 140-150 BPM, and every time I try to slow it down it just sound boring..

so, how much attention do you pay to the tempo of your tracks? do you think there is a big difference in doing 130 than 135 bpm? I found that for some reason, I always end up at a pace that apparently is between the traditional Techno/Dance/club music (at 120-135 bpm) and Jungle/D'n'B (160-180 bpm), I just find that tempo to fit the music best..
What I'm trying to say: How important is tempo? will a good track at 130 bpm sound less so at 140 etc?
I'm working towards getting some playtime on the radio and in some local clubs, and hopefully in some DJ-sets, but this whole tempo discussion got me thinking if I'm kind of making it hard for myself here?

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by Syn303 » Sat May 02, 2009 8:59 pm

I always keep my tracks at certain tempos. The usual club sounds are between 120 and 128bpm, and a lot my stuff falls into this bpm range, sometimes i often venture outside that from 128 - 136bpm. Acid Abuse was 138bpm, although it seems slower :roll:

The Koncept album was a strict set tempo of 126, although one track deviated off at 128 bpm.

Gabba/Gabber was between 150 and 192bpm. Most of that cheesy trance stuff with the chipmunk voices is quite fast too.

I guess slower tempos are to make things more club friendly! If you wanna do more plastiky type acid stuff, you need to slow down a little :)
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by TrondC » Sat May 02, 2009 9:27 pm

yeah, I just tried running through some patterns from my liveset in 135 bpm instead of 140, and it's just not the same anymore.. I'll do a 128 bmp version of clenophora for a record company why may or may not put ion a compilation cd, but I don't like it as much at that tempo :p
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p.s: the DJ at the radio show really liked your track Syn :)

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by stikygum » Sat May 02, 2009 10:05 pm

It's pretty much what the DJ wants. The 120-135ish range is safe. So if you're looking for airplay it might make it easier on you to make tracks in this range. Otherwise, produce what you like and don't worry about it. Maybe make a mix of standard and faster tracks so you satisfy yourself and the DJs.
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by optimus prime » Sat May 02, 2009 10:10 pm

Tempo is an integral part of a musical composition, just like melody, harmonic structure, rhythm. It's not a question of production, like EQing this way or that way. Changing tempo means changing the song, just like changing the chord progression of a part or whatever, IMO.

My advice would be to stick with what sounds best to you. Your preference defines your style, which makes your music recognizable among millions of tracks. Stuff that's made to please an assumed general taste, or sound "club-friendly" is usually just plain boring and is worth little in the long run. Don't sell out so soon! :lol:

If you really want to try the friendly tempo range, don't lower the tempo of the tracks you've already done. Try to write a new track at certain tempo. Look at it as an experiment, you'll notice you're thinking differently in terms of what the song should sound like.

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by RobotHeroes » Sat May 02, 2009 10:34 pm

When I was making dnb a long time ago in a galaxy far away my tracks were in that 160-180 range. I started sticking to around 160 because I figured out how to make tracks sound more active and busy so I didn't have to make them as fast.

Depends on the station and the audience they are catering to. If a station invites you to be you they shouldn't be telling you how to write your own music. As for it being hard to use? They need to try a little harder and work on their transitions. It sounds more like it's too fast for them and what they are going for.
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by shaft9000 » Sun May 03, 2009 1:04 am

TrondC wrote:I
What I'm trying to say: How important is tempo? will a good track at 130 bpm sound less so at 140 etc?
tempo is a fundamental.
if there's any SWING at all, then boosting bpm is going to compress and de-emphasise it.
that's why you almost never hear any swing in fast (140+ bpm) music, and why it often FAILS as dance music, or even as music at all.
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by TrondC » Sun May 03, 2009 10:38 am

shaft9000 wrote:
TrondC wrote:I
What I'm trying to say: How important is tempo? will a good track at 130 bpm sound less so at 140 etc?
tempo is a fundamental.
if there's any SWING at all, then boosting bpm is going to compress and de-emphasise it.
that's why you almost never hear any swing in fast (140+ bpm) music, and why it often FAILS as dance music, or even as music at all.
Yeah, I know what you mean, I end up almost never using swing for that very reason..(exept my track "Tropical Nightmare", but then again, that's not a dance/club track at all) I think for now I'll stick to my 140 to 150 BPM range, but I'll do some slower tracks and versions for radio and DJ use maybe..

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by blitzdj86 » Sun May 03, 2009 11:01 am

it depends what style of music you're making


No hardcore DJ is going to play a 135 BPM track.

There are plenty of styles in the 140-150 range!
trance, the ORIGINAL hardcore rave, psytrance, middle-hardness techno, dubstep....

Theres people out there in every BPM range imaginable.

BTW Shaft9000, music doesn't have to be funky. Ever seen how big trance parties are in europe? tens of thousands of people dancing all night to something with no funk factor at all.

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by Joey » Sun May 03, 2009 4:47 pm

i dont base it on style... just what i'm going for with the song

I have some all the way at like 88 bpm and then one at 150. all in the same setlist!
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by TrondC » Sun May 03, 2009 5:10 pm

blitzdj86 wrote:it depends what style of music you're making


No hardcore DJ is going to play a 135 BPM track.

There are plenty of styles in the 140-150 range!
trance, the ORIGINAL hardcore rave, psytrance, middle-hardness techno, dubstep....

Theres people out there in every BPM range imaginable.

BTW Shaft9000, music doesn't have to be funky. Ever seen how big trance parties are in europe? tens of thousands of people dancing all night to something with no funk factor at all.
ah, well, trance, anything "hardcore" and psytrance are the generes I really don't like in electronic music :p Dupstep is cool, but pretty far away from what I'm doing. I think my problem is that I make music that is traditionally within slower tempos, my "genere" is more suited for 120-135 BPM than the 140-150 BPM I landed on. I like fast music, but I generally hate hardcore techno/trance stuff.... Now that I think of it, I think the tempo more than the actual music is why I like dubstep so much :)

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by Syn303 » Sun May 03, 2009 5:18 pm

TrondC wrote:but I generally hate hardcore techno/trance stuff....
Oh well f**k it, there goes The Owls (north of edinburgh hardcore dub mix) :roll:
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by TrondC » Sun May 03, 2009 5:20 pm

Syn303 wrote:
TrondC wrote:but I generally hate hardcore techno/trance stuff....
Oh well f**k it, there goes The Owls (north of edinburgh hardcore dub mix) :roll:
lol, I think I get confused by names of generes here ;) I'm thinking Eurotrance, Scooter etc as "hardcore", the first Owls remix was not like that at all ;)

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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by futureworlder » Sun May 03, 2009 5:31 pm

If you're talking about dance music, 131 is the magic number. that will keep the energy of the room up all night at a tempo that people can dance to comfortably- all night being, 8 hours or so. I've been DJ'ing going on 20 years now and that has been the sweet spot for me. Of course, some tracks require a little less speed, especially the older stuff like Italodisco and most "vintage" electro, etc. so there is a range, definitely, but I think the bulk of the set should be around 128-131.

A few disco punk tracks have clocked at 141-150, but they're often the most difficult to place in a set, unless the ENTIRE set is in that range or you can transition up to it and play a few tracks like that, then it's a novel idea; but unless your audience is hopped up on coke or speed, they're eventually going to sit it out and you'll end up with an empty floor. I like to mix a few dubstep and D&B tracks in with some actual dancehall classics, which subdivide nicely: aka a Switch track @ 161 bpm works great with a Barrington Levy or Supercat track @ 80 bpm. Another thing, the tempo should match the density of the floor as well; fewer people means slower jams.

keep it moving! :wink:
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Re: How fast are your tracks?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon May 04, 2009 1:26 am

futureworlder wrote:If you're talking about dance music, 131 is the magic number. that will keep the energy of the room up all night at a tempo that people can dance to comfortably- all night being, 8 hours or so. I've been DJ'ing going on 20 years now and that has been the sweet spot for me. Of course, some tracks require a little less speed, especially the older stuff like Italodisco and most "vintage" electro, etc. so there is a range, definitely, but I think the bulk of the set should be around 128-131.
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