In this week’s “Write and Produce Hit Songs with Ryan Tedder” class, the focus was on production. Ryan Tedder’s videos showed how his song developed, from the initial concept to the final song, sharing songwriting tips along the way. The assignment was to create a song using different layers of production to experiment how the different sounds fit together.
Some tips included introducing something new every four bars to keep it interesting, start with the rhythm (drums) and build a vibe from there, add the lyrics, add different layers of production. Avoid using sounds that are on the same frequency (such as vocals and saxophone). Create tension and release tension to move the song along and keep people listening.
After I finished my last song in Ableton, we were able to get a Mac-mini and so I started the trial for Logic Pro and as I got started on this song, I needed to become reacquainted with the Mac (I used one for many years for work, but it’s been about three years since I used one) and start to learn Logic Pro X. I had some familiarity with Garage Band from my iPad, which seems to be a basic form of Logic Pro, so I found it easier to use than Ableton (though I was starting to get the hang of Ableton while working on my last song.)
It was fun and, at times, frustrating. First I found a cool bassline and that became my “vibe.” Two days later I had the lyrics to the first verse and chorus. I started working on the lyrics on the evening of the inauguration and was so inspired and hopeful, hence the first line of the chorus “This is a new day.”
Each night I worked on the songs after the kids went to sleep and had some late nights, reworking it and reworking it. Two days later, I rewrote the chorus, as I wasn’t thrilled with it. The next day I rewrote the lyrics again and it was starting to become incoherent because I was steering it away from being political but wasn’t sure where it was going yet.
By the time the song was due, three days later, I had made lots of changes. It still had the cool bassline running throughout, but the lyrics were different and I added much more production, in the spirit of the assignment to experiment with production.
I’m pretty happy how it turned out, although I wish my vocals would have come out better and not sure about the mixing aspect. It sounds better on some devices than others. There are so many things to think about and learn!
So here it is, my song for the 4th week of 2021 and my debut song on Logic Pro X: “This is a New Day.”