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  #1  
Old 12-06-2022, 12:50 PM
Raphaeld Raphaeld is offline
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Default Different Arrangements - How To?

I’m a songwriter. I’m looking for a workflow for to try out different arrangements as I’m composing. For example, arrangement might be verse verse chorus verse (AABA) and a second arrangement may be verse chorus verse chorus (ABAB). I’m not talking about making edits to a finished, or almost finished mix, I’m talking early in the process where I may have scratch drums, bass and/or piano (midi or audio) laid down and I just want to rearrange them. I really don’t care if doing so makes jarring transitions; I’m just playing with different arrangements before I actually record the real tracks.

Right now I’m just saving copies of the session file but that’s cumbersome. I would love a tab-type system in the same session where each tab is a different arrangement.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2022, 01:14 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

My first thought:

Say you have some tracks recorded to a click, set edit window to grid mode. Enable 'All' group. Set grid size to 1 bar to help with precise selection. Insert the cursor on the bars you'd like the main 'divisions' to be, and hit cmd-E to make sure all clips are separated there.

Now you should be able to select f.ex 1st verse, over all tracks, and move it to a new location, and move stuff around. If you enable 'Shuffle' mode, you should be able to shuffle them also, but it might result in inconsistent behavior.

I never really worked like this, but it should be a start.
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Old 12-06-2022, 02:56 PM
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nednednerb nednednerb is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

You might also try "Playlists" on various tracks (on the drop down selector).

In one playlist you might have all the "parts of song" like Ben describes, and you could pull from that playlist to make arrangements in a new playlist. You might then make a new one or alter that other new one to suit your interest.

It's possible to group the tracks such that they would change and create playlists together and copy and paste together, or suspend groups to change them individually. This could be tailored to suit both need and complexity of arrangements.

It might work well for you to get flexible with working with audio between playlists. There are many "shortcuts" and snappy ways to do things. Including "shuffle" which is an overall edit mode, which Ben mentioned, could play a role in moving sections between each other to other points in time.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2022, 09:55 PM
Tweakhead Tweakhead is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

Seems like Pro Tools is the wrong app for what you're wanting to do. MOTU Digital Performer can execute all these kind of arrangement alternatives very easily. DP has been able to do this forever . . . check out this article from 2009.
Once you're done stream the entire session from DP into Pro Tools in one take using Aux IO (if you even need to . . . you might dig just mixing right there in DP)
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:07 AM
Raphaeld Raphaeld is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

I know StudioOne has something called "Arrangements" but I really like PT. Not all songs need this arrangement feature, once I decided on an arrangement it stays.

But now that I'm saying this, when I have a stereo master and I want to make a radio edit or an extended version having a feature like this would be helpful. Right now I make different sessions.
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Old 12-07-2022, 07:54 AM
originalscottyg originalscottyg is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nednednerb View Post
You might also try "Playlists" on various tracks (on the drop down selector).

In one playlist you might have all the "parts of song" like Ben describes, and you could pull from that playlist to make arrangements in a new playlist. You might then make a new one or alter that other new one to suit your interest.

It's possible to group the tracks such that they would change and create playlists together and copy and paste together, or suspend groups to change them individually. This could be tailored to suit both need and complexity of arrangements.

It might work well for you to get flexible with working with audio between playlists. There are many "shortcuts" and snappy ways to do things. Including "shuffle" which is an overall edit mode, which Ben mentioned, could play a role in moving sections between each other to other points in time.
The one big downside about creating arrangements using playlists is automation. If you have any automation, all the different arrangements on the different playlists will have to share a single set of automation.

Automation playlists, or automation tied to playlists, has been a request through the years. But I don't see it happening anytime soon.
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:08 AM
Raphaeld Raphaeld is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nednednerb View Post
You might also try "Playlists" on various tracks (on the drop down selector).
That is an interesting approach I didn't think of. My markers won't tag along unfortunately (at least I don't think they will). If I was able to use color vertically (i.e. verse 1 is a vertical blue stripe top down in the edit window, verse 2 yellow, etc.) it would be easy to see the sections w/o markers. That being said, this will let me rearrange and try out different song structures more easily than saving different sessions.
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:36 PM
take77 take77 is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

All viable suggestions from experienced users.

I took note that you're not referring to a finalized mix.
However, you could still bounce a starter arrangement that includes all the sections to a stereo track, split the sections (tab to transient if not to the grid) and employ shuffle mode.
That would enable you to switch the parts around on a separate "arrangement" track.*

Then use the playlist option on the arrangement track to switch between versions.

Even though your initial arrangement has all the original marker placements, you can name each clip after splitting the stereo bounce into each section.

Right now I'm doing this with an extended version that includes all possible sections. Everything is just a MIDI representation of each part measured on the grid. That way I can easily split the bounced stereo track at each section before shuffling.

Each full section is now available to shuffle, duplicate or omit so I can get an a feel for a few different arrangements on a single track & create a new playlist for each version.

Just a way to work temporarily until you establish a more official arrangement. Then you can start a new session with a specific vision in mind.
Having a more "measured" session template (according to tempo & grid) will enable you to split, shuffle and use the cut/insert time option more precisely should you decide on any changes.
As well as create and arrange grouped playlists & folder tracks from the start.

*If the tabbed transitions of your shuffled arrangements glitch because of not being grid aligned, select the adjacent clips, open the Fade options and apply the default cross-fade value of 10ms.
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Last edited by take77; 12-08-2022 at 01:53 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2022, 09:09 AM
Raphaeld Raphaeld is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

Quote:
Originally Posted by take77 View Post
However, you could still bounce a starter arrangement that includes all the sections to a stereo track, split the sections (tab to transient if not to the grid) and employ shuffle mode.
That would enable you to switch the parts around on a separate "arrangement" track.
I tried the copy/paste method. It worked but it took a little time to set up (e.g. I had to bounce SD3 to stereo) and without markers, all the switching around made playing along a little awkward. The arrangement still isn't done so I'll try this playlist method.

The use case is I want to audition different arrangements until I find one that feels right and I really don't want to do this in another DAW if I can avoid it. I know this is niche.

Last edited by Raphaeld; 12-08-2022 at 01:08 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2022, 09:00 AM
Raphaeld Raphaeld is offline
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Default Re: Different Arrangements - How To?

Quote:
Originally Posted by take77 View Post
bounce a starter arrangement that includes all the sections to a stereo track, split the sections (tab to transient if not to the grid) and employ shuffle mode.
Just for completeness, this was the easiest way for me to decide on the right arrangement. I bounced drums, bass and keys to a stereo file and then loaded it into a reference track at the top of my edit window. I then cut up the sections and renamed them (e.g. verse 1, bridge, etc.). Then I made different playlists with the different arrangements until I found the one that I liked best.

Thanks again to the community for all the help.
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