“Rhythm is what you feel, melody is what you hear; together they make a song!!”
We can break down a song into its’ components in many different ways. We can say a song is made up of singing and music, or lyrics and notes, or melody and accompaniment, and so on so forth. Some purists might skin the hair and go as far as breaking down lyrics into intro, verse, chorus, bridge and a possible outro; and the same bunch of wisest lunatics will break down music into bass line, beat, chords, melody, hooks and riffs. The more you want to embroil yourselves, the more you may please yourselves. But what actually makes up a song?
Irrespective of the fact whether a song contains any singing at all or is it just instrumental, irrespective of its’ genre, like whether Rock, Pop, House, Trance, Hip-Hop, Opera and so on so forth, I personally dissect a song into two basic components; one that is heard and one that is felt. The one that is heard is the pulse of the song, the rhythm it is propagating, it is the vibrations your body feels when you hear that song. The other component is the melody that you actually hear, the music, the sound, the words or lack of them. “Chillax” is just a new way of defining their use in a production.
Yes my dear friends, today I present to you a new genre of music I lovingly christen “Chillax”!!
So a very obvious question now would be, “What is “Chillax” and how is it created?”
Well friends “Chillax” is based on a very simple psychological principle of providing release through internal strife and a process I name as “Shifting stereo field”.
I am sure this definition has confused you even more than explaining anything. But then I haven’t set a definition for “Chillax” as yet. Maybe I am just waiting to figure out better words.
However, even if I cannot provide you a perfect definition of it right now, I can still explain in detail the working principle behind “Chillax” and how it is created.
How is “Chillax” created?
“Chillax” is created by a careful mixture of two techniques: internal strife and shifting stereo sound.
1. The internal strife within a “Chillax” production is created by creating a simple strife or non-conformity between the two components of a production; the Rhythm and the Melody. The Rhythm, as used in current context, refers to the pulse of the song and includes the sounds of drums (namely Kick), sub-bass and bass line. These are the components whose sound is more predominantly felt than heard (exceptions being some new bass line driven music like Dev and Cataracs’ “G6”, or Dizzee Rascals’ “Dance wiv me” where it is both heard and felt, but then neither of the two is a relaxing number). The melody refers to all other parts which are heard and identified clearly by their distinct musical sounds like hooks, riffs, melodies etc.
In case of “Chillax”, an internal strife is created between the Rhythm and Melody components by intentionally giving one of them a slow movement by using far spread and longer notes, while the other one is given a quicker feel by very short and closely spaced notes. This creates a sensory paradox in the sense that while our body and limbs may feel the pulse of the music to be fast or slow depending upon how the Rhythm has been defined, our brain (via auditory organs) will perceive the melody to be differently paced. This effect is created without altering the tempo in any way and can be created at any tempo. The result is a sound that alleviates stress and gives the listener a relaxed chilled feel, hence the title “Chillax”.
2. “Shifting Stereo Sound” is an effect which makes the listeners believe that the sound source has shifted around in a stereo fashion, from one end towards the other, that is, the sound started on one side and moved around to the other. The simple trick to create this effect is to create a sound in duplicate and then pan the two sounds midway around the opposite ends. However the trick is to delay one sound only by a minute fraction and make sure it is not panned as far away on the other side of the stereo file as the non-delayed sound is. So for example, if a sound is paned at 33 degrees to the left, its’ duplicate copy will have to be delayed by about 1-3 milliseconds and panned about 27 degrees to the left. The levels of the two sounds have to be the same or the delayed sound can be slightly quieter, but never the reverse. This will create an effect when sound will appear to be actually moving from one end of the stereo field to the other, as it will start early (or on time) at one end while its’ counterpart will be slightly slower, and while the first sound will finish, it will still continue by the delayed amount at the other end. This will sound like a shifting stereo field. For best effect, if one sound is shifted from left to right, make sure another one is shifted in revrerse.
How does Chillax works?
“Chillax” works in two ways, depending upon which component is faster of the two.
1. If the Rhythm of the music is set to slow, the pulse or feel of the music will relax the tension in the body muscles sending them into a relaxed state while the fast melody of the song will excite the brain. The strife between a relaxed body and a hyper active brain will force the energy out of the brain and dissipate it through the body, thus relieving the brain of stress and rejuvenating body muscles with the rush of energy or hormones, thus relieving fatigue.
2. If the Rhythm is fast it will excite the body which would try to respond to the music, but the relaxing effect of a slow melody would calm down a stressed out brain. This internal conflict will force the body to push the excitement into the brain, thus pouring all the bodily energy into the brain, which in turn will act like a balloon put under stress. This would force the excessive energy through the brain, thus relaxing the body muscles and giving the person a feeling of content sleepiness.
While in first case the “Shifting Stereo Field” acts like an excitement module, in the second case the same “Shifting Stereo Field” creates an artificial feeling of a relaxing head massage as the sifting sounds excite one ear and follow it around the head and excite the other ear, after a delay.
So friends, this is the simplest way of defining and presenting “Chillax” to you guys. The concepts mentioned in this article have been used in all the five songs from my debut album “I’m Fine” so far. Hope you are enjoying them.
Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss,
Amanpreet Singh Rai