Descriptors are musical algorithms that play a specific style of music.
Like real musicians, each algorithm has its own personality—a distinct musical style and a set of quirks and characteristics that make up its DNA. One descriptor might be born to play punky New York rock, and another might excel at chilled out beachside folk.
The best part is that these musicians are well-practiced and reliable. Every time you compose with a given descriptor, they will always play within the style and mood you’ve chosen. When making music with Score, descriptors are your bandmates and songwriting partners. In the following sections, we’ll learn more about how you can use descriptors to craft the sound of your music.
To understand the breadth of a descriptor's capabilities, let’s think in terms of food.
A descriptor is like a chef with a specialty.
Consider a hibachi chef. Every time they cook, you know they will light a few onion volcanoes ablaze, and serve up some fried rice. Each meal is different, and you may order different things cooked in different ways with different ingredients, but all of these meals are still being served to you in the style of hibachi.
Similarly, the Indie Rock Rebellious descriptor has been trained to play a certain style. Namely, it specializes in fast power-chords, upbeat rock drums, and a gritty, CBGB-infused indie rock. Indie Rock Rebellious is Score’s hibachi chef.
Use one descriptor to get similar, but different tracks.
Now, consider our chef cooks two orders of steak fried rice, one for Friday dinner and one for Saturday dinner. As a patron, you can expect the two dishes to be reasonably similar. However, it is unlikely they will ever be identical. There’s a spectrum of variety. Maybe one day, the steak is medium well and another day, the cut was a bit different and it comes out more on the rare side. Both orders are still steak fried rice, they just have subtle variations.
Similarly, while no two tracks composed with a given descriptor (chef) and band (ingredients) will be identical, they will be similar with subtle variations. One track may be fast, another slow. Maybe the chords are more chugging in a certain track, and more reserved in another. Just like a chef cooking with the same palette of ingredients, there are many ways a descriptor can twist a band into a fresh composition.
If you’re seeking adventure, try changing:
- chefs (descriptors)
- ingredients (instruments)
- cuisines (sub-genres)
Here’s a few ways you can use descriptors and bands to produce or restrict variety in your tracks:
Keep the descriptor and band constant: Choosing an identical descriptor and band will produce two tracks that sound similar, while still producing subtle differences.
Change the descriptor while keeping the band constant: Your band will stay the same, but the mood and style of your piece will change completely:
Go to the mood drop down menu in the workspace
Browse and select a new descriptor
Render your changes
Change instruments: Keeping a descriptor the same while swapping out a few instruments can produce a shocking amount of variety from the original track. Read more about editing instruments here.