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how do you make something sound hypnotic?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Albini_Fan, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    is there any method? or anything?
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The most hypnotic music I can think of is ambient, trip hop and trance. Some New Age music definitely has that hypnotic flavor too. Both ambient and New Age of the hypnotic persuasion are characterised with droning, repetitious music that lulls one into a peaceful trance-like state (or even puts one to sleep.)

    The songs last a long time with little change for noticeable choruses or bridges. There are no sudden tempo changes or wide swings in octaves. Ambient songs take a long time to slowly move from one section to another, gradually going through several gentle permutations during the same song.

    The goal is to make the music peaceful and relaxing. Often the music is characterized by electronic sounds that feature dreamy chimes or Middle Eastern and Oriental instruments such as sitars. I have some New Age music that is quite hypnotic in which the main instrument is a harp which plays seemingly endless arpeggios.

    If there are any vocals at all, they tend to drone or be electronically processed in a way as to sound ethereal or angelic. Also, if there are vocals, the lyrics are often simple and repetitious, more like reciting a mantra. Such music is not politically charged or amorously passionate.

    The tempo of hypnotic music is mid-tempo at most. Usually it is quite slow.

    For some really hypnotic music, check out some ambient music. AOL has a radio staion that plays electronic music. One of the channels plays only ambient. Listen carefully to see if you hear what the DJs do to give the music its characteristic style.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Repetition of melodic and rhythmic figures works well for that effect.
  4. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Be repetitive
    Only have 3 or 4 notes in a riff.

    Thats all i can think of so far. But like boplicity said, New Age techno and trance (especially trance, hence the name :D ) can bring someone to the point of breaking or even put them to sleep.
  5. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    Like what kind of figures? I don't know anything about melody >;o
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    read up on ostinato
  7. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
  8. Mongolian Throat Singing.

    www.golfmongolia.com/misc files.html

    For a list of sites ripped from Yahoo!

    I watched a Discovery Channel show once where the hosts filmed a performance by some of these singers. Evidently it's a dying art, and from the stress it must put on the throat I can see why. Very droning, very wierd, rather hypnotic.

    For some strange reason it's included as background music for "mystic" sequences for karate flicks.


  9. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    in addition to mucho repetition, it's probably worthwhile to use intervals that are easy on the ear... i can imagine a 'hynotic' kinda groove will work better with harmonically ambiguous things like perfect 5ths, 4ths and maybe the occasional minor7th

    can't imagine diminished 5ths lulling you into that trancey hypnotic state, although there's always an exception to every rule :)
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Oh, I thought it involved a huka full of red wine and a big bowl of hash. My bad:D
  11. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Give this a shot:

    Whole tone scale = 1,2,3,#4,#5,b7.
  12. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Yeah, I would look to ambient music for inspiration. I listen to a radio program called Echoes (http://www.echoes.org/) every night that features ambient music. You might want to check out that website for a sample ambient artists.

    Ambient music and such takes advantage of the use of space. It lets you float on a note or pattern for a certain amount of time and doesn't immediately jump to the next pattern. Just as an example pluck your open E string and let it ring Go deep inside the note, the sound. Lose yourself in it. Hyponotic isn't it? That's what ambient music does to me.

    A technique I've been interested in as of late is 'droning' (Les Claypool does this on some songs I know). Pluck your open D string. Now, on your G string you can play a melody or a rhythmic pattern above that D Sounds very neat. :)
  13. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Check out Mick Karn or Bill Laswell for some hypnotic bass.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree with that. Indian music has that & IMO, it can be quite hypnotic.
    On the drive in, the OLdies station played "Do It Again"(Steely Dan)...there's an example of droning/Indian-influence in a Pop song.

    Still, for me, "hypnotic" is primarily about rhythm & mood.
  15. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    I've got to agree, Bill Laswell W/ Tabla Beat science "Tala Matrix" . Check that out!
    Very good disc! :)
  16. Don't use hippy scales (happy ones like Ionian). Use diminished runs and such. Works for me.
  17. I agree with these guys. Most of the music I listen to/write etc is ambient rock kind of stuff, and I usually just strum the same bassline over and over whilst the other guys embellish it (if you will).

    Ergo - In my opinion the key to ambient basslines is BE REPETETIVE, and PLAY SLOWLY.

    Things like lots of delay on the vocals are also good, as are samples.

    I know I've basically just reiterated other posts, but there you go. Repetition, see?

  18. Echoes...like....THIS??


    This is me scratching my fingernail along the sides of the strings, I overdubbed certain parts a few times, obviously.
  19. kubacki

    kubacki Guest

    May 24, 2003
    Brunswick, Me
    that vacuum thing was the first thing i thought of when i read this thread.

    now back into the shadows where i hide...

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