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  1. #1
    Tech Guru jprime's Avatar
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    Default Scales and dance music

    Anyone here know if certain scales are more prevalent in dance music?

    It would be nice to load my sampler with Synth notes and play something at some point if the mood struck. Drop a loop on the fly in a tune that's pretty open and play away.

    Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard psyEDk's Avatar
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    The short answer: No.



    Dance music as a whole is a massively broad style, so what might work in funky house might not work in minimal techno or glitch hop or jungle or dubstep. Not to mention different corners of the globe favouring a different sound.

    E.G: Italian Trance sounds the way it does because of the scales they're used to hearing in their music, same goes for Brazillian Psy-Trance, or Russian DnB.
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  3. #3

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    Fully agree with psyEDk!

    Some might say C major could be less rare as it's the easiest scale but there's nothing like a bunch of typical dance music scales.
    The NI trio - Traktor Kontrol S4 - Maschine - Komplete - and some more gear...

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  5. #5
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    It really depends on what genre you're going to be producing in. Within prog house, tech-house, ____- house the scales used are extremely diverse, pretty much anything goes. In Dubstep, Trap, and other Harder 2-step kind of stuff the majority of songs are in some variation of D, E, F, and G. The reason is that the Subbasses used in these productions are wanted to be as low as possible, to make the music feel really heavy. A systems subwoofers can only reproduce certain frequencies clearly. Bassnectar speaks about this in an interview he did for electronicmusician.com. Check it out its a pretty good interview with him, he goes pretty in depth about his music making and why he does what he does.
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru jprime's Avatar
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    I'm not concerned about scales in the context of production & sequencing; but rather in a more live PA scenario using a set(s) of scales to bang along to some loops. Was looking for scales that are versatile.

    I fear psyEdk is right though. I may need to formulate what scales I load in to my sampler based on the tracks in the routine.

    Good advice al round tho, cheers I'll check out that interview too.

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor alchemy's Avatar
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    the pentatonic scale is one of the most versatile scales there is, if you know the key of the song, playing alogside the pentatonic scale will make you sound "good" always, this is the principle that was used when djtechtools made the sample pack of power tools. they are sound based upon the pentatonic scale

  8. #8
    Tech Guru jprime's Avatar
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    "The" pentatonic scale? There's more than one (Hemitonic and anhemitonic, Major) At any rate - it's moot now, so no worries.

  9. #9
    Tech Convert luxi's Avatar
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    Hey guys... i m new to this forum. Glad to find it as it seems it has a nice friendly atmosphere... anyway, my input on the subject...

    Well it used to be true that most edm was written in a minor scales just because of the mood those scales bring but is the whole scene got more diverse and popular people started reching for other scales and nowdays its not that rare that to find scales like Dorian or Aeolian. Though nowdays with the bass heavy music certain scales tend to prevail just because the sub in those scales souds better or is easier to fit within the mix.

    But with music in general and edm specially it always goes... if it sounds good its good... so anything goes. There is even producers out there that dont use scales at all... just their ears.

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor alchemy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jprime View Post
    "The" pentatonic scale? There's more than one (Hemitonic and anhemitonic, Major) At any rate - it's moot now, so no worries.
    i was talking about the pentatonic scale as whole.

    "The pentatonic scale plays a significant role in music education, particularly in Orff-based, Kodály-based, and Waldorf methodologies at the primary/elementary level. The Orff system places a heavy emphasis on developing creativity through improvisation in children, largely through use of the pentatonic scale."

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