The Genre Bender


Sometimes, you feel there must be more to rhythm than 16 squares in a row. You realize your ears are analog and alive. You feel the desire to create a soundtrack to the pictures in your head. Sometimes, you simply want to explore a different style of music.

Then you realize the music you dream of will probably take a formal education and many years of training to get here. You might fear the risk of embarrassing yourself with exposing too much of your personal imperfections, making yourself vulnerable when facing an unforgiving audience. Lacking the routine of putting together music in a specific genre you are not yet familiar with, will leave you with unfinished fragments that only add to your fear of never getting there.

It takes a lot of courage to leave the genre and try something new!

Not anymore with Synfire, I would say. And, what is even more important, not if you carefully listen to the genre you are heading for. These are my tips:


Collect a few of your favorite tracks and become aware of every detail: Tempo, rhythm, instruments, melody patterns, arrangement patterns and everything (all of them are equally important). Rebuild this 1:1 with Synfire, step by step. This way you will quickly learn what makes the other genre work. You will get the idea of its underpinnings, its DNA. Listen to these albums at least three days. Listen to yourself, what this music does with you. And why.

Analyze Rhythm

Regarding melodies, rhythm is the most distinguishing and critical property you need to understand. Synfire will take care of the rest. Get rhythm examples from midi files, if possible. Copy & paste the "Step" and "Rhythm" to your melodies and make them monophonic. This will make them feel closer to the genre immediately.

Collect Progressions In Advance

Find some chord progressions and collect them in a library, or save them as parameter templates. Starting a new progression in the middle of a project may drain your motivation when you need it most. Pulling progressions off a library or template is way more inspiring.

Recombine Existing Material

After you collected enough raw material in libraries, go and paint new pictures using these brushes. Try different progressions at double and half speed. Try different drum patterns at double and half speed. Double and half everything and get surprised.

Record Your Own

Once you got familiar with the genre, train your fingers to the ryhthm patterns of the genre. Synfire will take care of everything else. Your body will need some time for this. It's not learning that fast as your head. Record your own phrases and add them to your fundus.

These tips will get you going with a new genre. This workflow, by the way, is my personal favorite to start a new project. From imitation to evolution.

andre's picture
Last seen 2 days 23 hours ago

Here's a follow up post of mine that roughly attaches to this topic:

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