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Old 10-06-2015, 04:47 PM   #21
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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One thing I experimented with recently was writing out a full song using really simple patches and place holder drum sounds. Absolutely no sound design or mixing allowed until I've written out an entire song with at least a basic set of 3-4 instruments + percussion
Holy crap. I should try this. I tend to try to get as "finished" a sound as possible while composing, which seriously stalls the creativity with all the knob twiddling going on.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:44 PM   #22
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

I stole the idea from flux pavilion or whatever his name is :p

re keeping things fresh...I just make something drastically different to shake out the cobwebs

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Old 10-06-2015, 06:33 PM   #23
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

I like to have a clear idea of what I want to do before I start on a set of songs. What do I want to"say" with the music? Is a question I ask myself each time I formulate a album or ep.

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Old 10-06-2015, 07:12 PM   #24
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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Here's a question though, what if you feel like you keep recycling ideas and even song structures and all your tracks start sounding too similar or parallel? How do you break things up/ keep it fresh? Use/learn a new tool? have you personally experienced this?
that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. if you just find yourself naturally gravitating towards doing a particular thing because you really like that, then that can just be part of your sound. not every track has to be innovative and groundbreaking and unheard of before. it still takes plenty of skill and talent to make something well, even if it squarely fits into the boundaries of some genre.

however, if you find yourself using the same structure not because you just like it so much, but because you don't know what else to do... then recognizing that and wanting to improve that is half the battle right there. as an exercise, you can try doing the extreme opposite of what you tend to do. so if your tracks are very linear with kind of the same main elements playing throughout, where you just add/subtract minor elements, you can try picking some convoluted song structure, like ABACAB and try to write your track so that you have these distinct A, B, and C sections.

in general, studying a bit about classical forms or even pop song structures can provide you with some ideas to try.

trying to write tracks in very different genres really helps to keep things fresh. there's inevitably some cross-polination that will happen, where you just can't help but bring elements or techniques from one genre and apply them to a different one. and that's where evolution comes from. it's very rare that someone comes up with something very revolutionary and unrelated to other things happening at the time. it's always these small incremental changes where some elements morph over time and things fuse together that eventually it turns into a unique thing with its own identity, yet still kind of familiar.

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Old 10-06-2015, 07:24 PM   #25
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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however, if you find yourself using the same structure not because you just like it so much, but because you don't know what else to do...
Exactly my problem. And I do know some musical theory. I've tried creating outside of my genre. It's just that when I'm facing my DAW, I tend to work in the same way. So yeah, your tips about being mindful and trying to do the polar opposite of what I would typicaly do might just be the trick. Awesome discussion, folks.

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Old 10-06-2015, 09:19 PM   #26
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

It's helpful to read about music composition techniques and that ultimately might require learning some music theory. Knowing about DAWs and knowing how to make a good tune are completely different things. And knowing how to mix a decent tune is even different from that.

Trying to become really good in all three areas is like trying to get good at 3 separate careers all at the same time. That's why it takes so long.

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Old 10-06-2015, 09:26 PM   #27
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

personally I find the DAW to be a fairly sterile environment when it comes to inspiration...feels more like programming code than writing music to me.

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Old 11-06-2015, 11:30 AM   #28
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

Interesting thread. Most youtube tutorials are complete crap. Or rather, they can't really teach you to make a song. They can show you how to do specific technical things like sound design, but when writing a song those tutorials can get distracting. At least for me they make me think of the music as boxes on a screen rather than sounds in a virtual space. You learn a lot more from actually listening intently to the music you like.

When creating you shouldn't try to pander to some rules, but rather recreate a nice experience you've had with music yourself. Like think of a part of a track you really like and remember how it made you feel the first time you heard it. For example like a buildup that felt really intense. You might get tempted to google "how to make an intense buildup", but watching those kinds of tutorials can make you forget to create an interesting sound, and instead get you to focus on "the boxes on the screen" if you know what I mean.

This has been an important discovery for me at least. I believe everyone needs to learn different things, and what YOU need can only come through experience. If you feel completely lost, at least remember to view your life as a process, and maybe those feelings of being stuck and without direction is a necessary part of your growth.

Now I know I said youtube tutorials are mostly crap, but you should check out "the art of Mr. Bill season 2". Mr. Bill is one of the few who I feel communicates his creative process in such a way that you can learn from it, even if you don't use Ableton. I binge-watched the whole 10 hours and at the end his creative energy had rubbed off on me and I got a lot of work done. It's just important to keep in mind that guys like this have a lot of experience and they already know what to do in order to achieve the emotional effect they imagine in their head.

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Old 11-06-2015, 04:34 PM   #29
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

Self development is good

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Old 11-06-2015, 04:57 PM   #30
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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Now I know I said youtube tutorials are mostly crap, but you should check out "the art of Mr. Bill season 2". .
Thanks for the recommendation! Sounds good. I will start watching this soon as I can.

"Boxes on a screen" is the perfect description of what's going on in my creative process. If you look at my songs as boxes, the structure is pretty much the same, just using different patches.

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Old 11-06-2015, 08:56 PM   #31
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

I agree with a lot of things that have been said already. As others mentioned, a big benefit to me was when I stopped worrying so much about sound design upfront. Getting deep into sound design can actually take you out of the right frame of mind when writing the overall flow of the tune.

Another thing I would say is that one also needs to practice the art of actually finishing tunes. In this regard, the focus should be on Quantity instead of Quality. Quality often comes through the act of Quantity (as counter-intuitive as it may be at first). There's an interesting read about this here: https://medium.com/the-business-of-l...y-3bc2b16fe3f5. If you continually don't finish tunes, it will become more and more of a habit to leave tracks unfinished. The second you lose some inspiration on a tune, it's easier to reach that place of "oh well, I'll just start something new."

In other words, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Trying to get everything perfect will actually hinder your growth in the long run. It's about learning from your mistakes, and improving from track to track. The hard part is that the final 10% of work is what can take 90% of the time if you want to create great art. And if you never get around to "finishing a track", you won't be getting the added experience you get from doing a true "back down to zero" final mixdown and mastering pass.

Not being happy with the sound of your music is actually a really good thing . It shows that your ears are continuing to grow and your taste is ahead of your current skills. It's what will continue to push you forward to learn and get better.

The hard part is that you can't let the fear of failure stop you from trying. Push through, finish tracks, and share them with others (even if under a temporary handle). Rinse-and-repeat.
Also, I think there is a common misconception that creative art is always done in this mystical place where you are guided by the muse. The muse doesn't always hit. Not everything you do needs to be "inspired" or "from a special place." When those times come, it's truly magical, don't get me wrong. But waiting to only work during those times will cause more harm than good. I find often that I'll start a session by doing mechanical/menial things to push a track forward and inspiration will start to hit again. Don't be afraid that inspiration won't hit you, it always comes in time.

A GREAT BOOK that I can't recommend enough in this space is published by Ableton, "Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers." It goes into different ways of thinking, tools to use, etc. when making music. It will give you good tips on how to get unstuck, come up with new ideas/sounds, etc. https://makingmusic.ableton.com/. READ IT .
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:53 PM   #32
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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A GREAT BOOK that I can't recommend enough in this space is published by Ableton, "Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers." .
Whoah, this is an AWESOME resource. Just what the doctor ordered: a creativity book for electronic musicians that isn't platform-specific. Just wish they had the full book online too. The buy link is dead.

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Old 16-06-2015, 08:07 AM   #33
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

Just go back and finish a track even if you aren't happy with the outcome. At least then you'll have broken the cycle of not finishing anything and that is one less thing that will eat away at you.
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Old 16-06-2015, 02:12 PM   #34
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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Originally Posted by Praqzis View Post
Another thing I would say is that one also needs to practice the art of actually finishing tunes. In this regard, the focus should be on Quantity instead of Quality. Quality often comes through the act of Quantity (as counter-intuitive as it may be at first). There's an interesting read about this here: https://medium.com/the-business-of-l...y-3bc2b16fe3f5. If you continually don't finish tunes, it will become more and more of a habit to leave tracks unfinished. The second you lose some inspiration on a tune, it's easier to reach that place of "oh well, I'll just start something new."

In other words, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Trying to get everything perfect will actually hinder your growth in the long run. It's about learning from your mistakes, and improving from track to track. The hard part is that the final 10% of work is what can take 90% of the time if you want to create great art. And if you never get around to "finishing a track", you won't be getting the added experience you get from doing a true "back down to zero" final mixdown and mastering pass.

.
Actually I like this approach, quantity before quality. Hard to implement tho. But worth a try... eg. make 20 finished tracks. Throw away those that suck, maybe 10. Leaves you with 10. Iron out the tracks which you like, leaves you with perhaps 5. Than make these tracks better with sounddesign...you have 5 tracks left that do not suck btu also aren´t that good. Make another 1 track from these 5 ergo you have 6 cool tracks then But make sure the suck tracks have gone, so you can resist the flooding of the nets with more subpar or suck stuff

Last edited by AlphaQuadrant66; 16-06-2015 at 02:19 PM..

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Old 16-06-2015, 04:35 PM   #35
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

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Whoah, this is an AWESOME resource. Just what the doctor ordered: a creativity book for electronic musicians that isn't platform-specific. Just wish they had the full book online too. The buy link is dead.
Before you shell out the dough on that book...from the sample I was able to read...a lot of those ideas are available on the internet for free...they "isms" (for lack of a better term) that have been floating around about music and creativity for years. Abelton have just printed them in a hard bound book to so they can charge you out the ass to read them

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Old 16-06-2015, 06:48 PM   #36
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Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

Sure, but there is massive difference between picking up a book and wasting time googling and browsing forum

I admit lots of the hints there aren't new, but it's the convenience that makes it work.

If you think about all knowledge is just a collection of different facts.

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