2-time winner of the NMG Best Female Solo Award Ellie Dixon has been featured on BBC 6 Music, ITV News and Glamour Magazine YouTube Channel. With recent singles garnering hundreds of thousands of plays on Spotify and social media channels blowing up, her ability to make Alternative Pop that captures the minds and hearts of the masses is undeniable! On this course, Ellie takes you through the main steps to producing a magical Indie Pop chorus from scratch.
The course starts by putting together the main hook and beats, to establish the foundations of the track, before a bassline is created by combining guitar with a synthesized layer from Logic’s Sculpture. The beats are then bolstered and processed with various effects to fatten up the groove. Following this, Ellie incorporates percussion sounds from multiple objects in her immediate environment, to add quirky rhythms and identifiable textures into the track.
Once the basic architecture of the chorus is in place, various melodic elements are incorporated using instruments in the DAW. These include electric and grand pianos, as well as a bell sound, which is shaped with effects and woven into a retro pop leadline. Parts are played in using a MIDI keyboard and some are bounced to audio so that additional editing and more precise arranging can be carried out.
The final 3-part module sees Ellie constructing each vocal track, beginning with the main vocal and then adding layer after layer of additional harmonies, using doubling and panning techniques to fill out the sound. Each part is edited and processed with effects to form a unified sound and sit comfortably in the mix.
Signing up to the course gets immediate access to the 2.5 hours of streamed tutorials, plus the project from the lessons and a bonus pack of Indie Pop samples from Loopmasters. Check out the sample module before signing up for an example of the course content and Ellie’s inspirational teaching style.
Sample Module - Alt Pop Bass Layering
Module 1 - Laying down the Chords
To get the track going, Ellie records and edits the main chords hook that will be the backbone of the arrangement.
Module 2 - Main Drum Sequencing
A kick, snare and hat are combined with the chords to form the dominant elements of the beat.
Module 3 - Creating the Bassline
A bass guitar is used to record the main bass hook, with Ellie explaining the methods for coming up with a groove, then laying down and editing notes. She then uses Logic’s Sculpture to add a transient layer to the bass.
Lesson 1 - Recording bass guitar - 12.52
Lesson 2 - Synth bass layer - 6.07
Module 4 - Drum Mixing
Various insert FX are applied to drums, including overdrive and EQ, whilst the kick is padded out with an additional layer.
Module 5 - DIY Percussion
Using purely objects on her desk, Ellie records a number of percussion tracks, to add syncopation and a natural feel to the beats. All sounds are edited and processed with various effects to make them stand out and have more space in the mix.
Lesson 1 - Flask & Mug - 15.12
Lesson 2 - Plate and Post-its - 11.52
Module 6 - Making Synth Melodies
An assortment of melodic accompaniment is added to the groove, including electric and grand pianos and a retro bell lead. Parts are played in using MIDI instruments, then edited, processed with effects, bounced to audio and worked into the arrangement.
Lesson 1 - Electric & Grand Piano - 22.13
Lesson 2 - Retro Bell Lead - 14.52
Module 7 - Adding Vocals
After briefly explaining the main principles behind vocal composition, Ellie records and edits the main vocal and a load of harmonies, as well as mixing all voices with individual and group insert and send effects.
Lesson 1 - Main Vocal Arranging - 12.35
Lesson 2 - Harmonies - 13.07
Lesson 3 - Vocal Mixing - 14.32
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