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Frans van den Berge

Writing lyrics and song structure

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So I have 2 audio tracks (bass) (guitar) midi track (empty) and a drum pattern trough a drum instrument. The drum pattern has intro chorus verse chorus verse solo chorus verse outtro.

 

can I structure lyrics and create blocks without midi notes? Is there an advanced way of dealing with using Sonar as a sing a song writing tool and create from scratsch? 
 

If I create blocks (arranger track) will that be seen inside the lyrics page? 

Edited by Frans van den Berge

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There are thousands of ways to create an original song. And tenfold that using a daw. 

The most simple way that I use is to come up with a guitar part I like and then I find a simple drum pattern that kicks it along. Sort of sounds like this is what you did.

I play the guitar part along with the pattern. Some people just use a metronome for this but I like using drums. One thing for sure is you really need the tempo of that song nailed down while everything is midi. I will often also play the bass part just to see what happens. I then convert the bass to midi using the drag and drop via Melodyne. This way I can change the tempo. It's not advisable to change the tempo later as audio can degrade with time stretching. 

I might add a piano too. Just simple chords to experiment with voicings. 

I might not have words at this point but no problem. I often write songs without words and get back to them later with an idea. 

I just sit there with a good old fashioned pencil and write them down as they pop in my head during the day. They don't get typed out until I have a solid plan. So I'm not sure why your choosing the lyric page of cakewalk, it's a very crummy word processer, your better off using even Note Pad. 

If I do have a full set of lyrics and no clear music I will just work this out on the couch with my guitar first. Then I go back to as above only difference is I record the ( scratch) Voice and guitar together after finding a simple drum pattern that fits the music. 

Now if your talking about figuring out arrangements then Cakewalk has a that tool. I've never used it as I rarely change arrangements. And when I do I'm stuck in the past and still just use copy paste because it's quicker than trying to figure out this new fangled feature ( ya I know I should take the time, someday I will) 

 

Edited by John Vere

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Cakewalk’s Lyrics View is the most baffling, strangely-implemented feature I have ever encountered in a DAW, and is in at least the top 5 in any software I’ve tried.

When I want to have lyrics written down as part of the project, I use the Notes feature or Meldaproduction’s plug-in.

As for learning to use the Arranger Track, my approach was/is to just start making Sections that correspond to intro, verse, chorus, bridge and see if it inspires me to continue with the tool.

It did, once I realized I could so quickly copy and paste and move Sections. If nothing else it’s a way to have bits of the song sort of permanently selected. Change something and wham-wham, it’s easy to chop ‘n’ drop the altered verse without going through all the steps of finding the markers, selecting, etc. It just streamlines the process.

Along the way it’s gotten me to be more aware of and think in terms of arrangements rather than a song as a linear thing.

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I just tried it in Cakewalk by Bandlab.

In an empty MIDI track, choose the Lyrics view and you can type in the words without existing MIDI notes, and that data will appear in the track view clip as vertical lines, indicating that something is there.

Although I don't know what you mean by 'blocks'. Clips, maybe?

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1 hour ago, 57Gregy said:

In an empty MIDI track, choose the Lyrics view and you can type in the words without existing MIDI notes, and that data will appear in the track view clip as vertical lines

This does work. But try editing the clip. That is when the real fun begins.

21 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Cakewalk’s Lyrics View is the most baffling, strangely-implemented feature I have ever encountered in a DAW, and is in at least the top 5 in any software I’ve tried.

When I want to have lyrics written down as part of the project, I use the Notes feature or Meldaproduction’s plug-in.

The phrasing of this is more diplomatic than I would have been but I agree and use the Notes panel as well.

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I used a arranger track to make parts. The chosen drum pattern has quite a few sections. I was hoping the colours of the arranger track would have been seen in the lyrics window.

Edited by Frans van den Berge

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(Taken from the X3 Sonar manual) Entering Lyrics From the Staff View. Cakewalk has the ability to add lyrics directly to the Staff View. To do so, select the Pencil tool and move the cursor underneath the lowest note on the staff. Continue to move the cursor down until the pencil appears with a capital "T" next to it; then click.

Edited by Frans van den Berge

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Adding and editing lyrics in the Lyrics view (Taken from the online x2 Sonar manual)

Lyrics appeal in the Lyrics view as a stream of syllables, each one associated with a note in the track. In this context, a syllable is any continuous string of characters, without a hyphen. For example, “love,” “desire,” and “infatuation” are all syllables; each one would be associated with a single note. If you want to break a word into multiple syllables, you must hyphenate the word. For example, “de-sire” would map onto two notes, since it is now two syllables long.

When you enter the lyrics, you can mark the syllables the way you want, or you can simply type the text in normally and use automatic hyphenation to break the text into syllables. This means that you can add lyrics to a project by copying and pasting them from another application (such as a word processor), and then hyphenate them automatically.

To extend a single syllable over more than one note, you can use extra hyphens, separated by spaces. For example, in “Oh-say can you see…”, the “Oh” is extended over two notes. If a track contains no lyrics yet, the display will show only a series of hyphens (one for each note in the track).

If you enter more syllables than there are notes in the track, SONAR assigns the extra lyrics times at quarter note intervals.

To enter lyrics in the Lyrics view

1.

Click in the upper left corner of the view to position the cursor at the start of the text.

2.

Follow the instructions in the table:

Table 201.  

To do this

Do this

Enter a word or syllable

Type it

End a word or syllable and move to the next note

Type a space or hyphen

Break a line for easier viewing

Press ENTER

To edit lyrics in the Lyrics view

Editing in the Lyrics view follows standard Windows conventions for cursor movement, selection, cut (CTRL+X), copy (CTRL+C), paste (CTRL+V), and delete (DELETE). When you pause, SONAR will update all Lyric events in the track.

To hyphenate the lyrics

1.

If you want, select a portion of the lyric text. If you do not select any text, all the lyrics will be hyphenated.

2.

Click the Lyrics view Font menu and choose Hyphenate.

SONAR hyphenates the lyrics.

Edited by Frans van den Berge
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Above is from the X2 manual.

looks to me like it was more like, you create lyrics and notes. And as a bonus from the lyrics page you can grab the lyrics and print them. 
Instead of being integral part of a structural sing a song writers tool.

Edited by Frans van den Berge

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16 hours ago, 57Gregy said:

Although I don't know what you mean by 'blocks'. Clips, maybe?

I am using an arranger track. The timeline (and exact time) wich can be seen moving in the track window, cannot be seen in the lyrics page.
 

If the colours of the arranger track would be visible and/or time, you could adjust words/phrasing according to music. 

Edited by Frans van den Berge

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I had my trackview open. Opened lyrics. Went to midi track to see the lyric. Left was the arranger block overview. Above timeline ruler and arranger track. The first 3 blocks were named Intro, precursor and verse.

I went to the start of these arranger blocks and at that time I gave in that name in the lyrics page. At playback these words were moved, and did not align with the timeline ruler when moved to the start of each blok of the arranger track. 

Edited by Frans van den Berge

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IIRC Lyrics in SONAR/Cakewalk are primarily used for those wanting to create Karaoke tracks.

Personally, for lyrics I either use either the Notes tab or MNotepad by MeldaProduction. 

MNotepad has the advantage of having its scrollbar automatable... so if it's docked to the multidock, and you've automated the scrollbar position, it'll jump to show the correct lyrics as you move the now time.

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12 hours ago, msmcleod said:

MNotepad has the advantage of having its scrollbar automatable... so if it's docked to the multidock, and you've automated the scrollbar position, it'll jump to show the correct lyrics as you move the now time.

Okay, I've been talking up the wonders of the MFreeFXBundle and how each plug-in rewards closer scrutiny (unlike, say, Cakewalk's Lyrics View). Here's another example. If I remember correctly, the initial reason I found the bundle half a dozen years ago was that someone mentioned MNotepad on the Mixcraft forum. So, first Meldaproduction plug-in I tried, I still use it, and I didn't know it could do this. 🤦‍♂️

I'm going to examine it more closely, for all I know it could have some multiparameter or modulator that changes the font or color in time with the project tempo or in response to signal level....🙄

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If you want some real amusement, once you get your song laid out and words entered into the Lyrics View, edit the song a little and then open the Lyrics View.

It was almost disturbing, as if Cakewalk had taken too much of some drug or other and was randomly repeating phrases and words. I decided to just leave it in the chill out room.

Maybe useful if one were into the William Burroughs cut-up-and-paste thing, which many artists have used. David Bowie, Brian Eno, and Thom Yorke, for instance. For those not familiar, it's where you take a bunch of words and phrases, write them down on paper, then cut each of them out, put them in a hat, and reassemble them in random order. The Lyrics View might be useful in that context.

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10 hours ago, Frans van den Berge said:

Truely depressing to read. 

Not really. There are hundred of ways to create a song musically. The real difference is to create the lyrics first or after the music.

Go ahead. Learning by doing mistakes..

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