[TUTO] Improve your skills very fast
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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[TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

GOTTYA !

You could have 3 different reactions reading the title. You might be an advanced musician thinking "what kind of scam is it ?", be a beginner and thinking "finally ! The secrets on how to master music in three days and cut the head of the music industry", or you might be reading The Hitchiker's guide to the Galaxy, figuring out that no matter what, the answer is 42.

Well in each of these cases, you're right !

What I want to suggest you today is not an awesome VST that creates catchy melodies with awesome beats for you. It's not some upgrade of Ozone 6 that mixes and masters the track for you (but I tend to believe that some people thinks that's already what Ozone 6 does…). No, it's just a way to organise your workload during the week, to manage to do what people did before : become a master of your art.


THE 10 000 THOUSANDS HOURS RULE

If you're a bit into personal development, you might already know about that rule. Actually, it's more like a theory, but it has pretty strong arguments. What it says is that you have to work 10 000 thousands hours to become an expert in your art.
This is how an expert is considered : Someone who has achieved a high level of accomplishement compared to the others people in his domain. For exemple, it's way easier to become an expert in Curling or washing machines than in Football (I mean soccer, not the American thing with 15mn of ads every 5mn of game) or Music.

So what about and why the 10 000 hours theory ?
It has been set up by Anders Ericksson, who made researches on people considered as "gifted" or "talented". Ericksson considered that becoming good at something requires a lot of time, so he made researches and came to that theory. For exemple, Bill Gates had access to a computer since he was 13, and felt in love with programming he basicly did that everyday, and spent his whole free time programming. The Beatles, if you want to stick to music, were pretty unpopular when they started playing in Berlin in early 60's, but they were in love with playing music. They did more than 1200 live in 3 years in Berlin (yes, more than once a day).

So now you mght be thinking : Hey ! 10 000 hours and that's it ? So freaking easy ! Let's do that !
Well... no, it's not easy at all, this represents 20 hours/week during 10 years. Almost 3h/day. But guess what, here is the clue : fall in love with learning & practicing. And yes, these 3h/day will soon become easy.

For the record, when I finish my job at 6PM, I most of the time go home and start working on synthesis, composition, mixing, etc... Sometimes I just don't see the time passing, and 1 hour after I started producing, it's already 3A.M. I didn't go to toilets, I didn't eat, felt the need to sleep or to drink (but I smoked a shitload of cigarettes, yay). This kind of thing happens at least twice a week, I just produce during 8 or 9 hours in a row, just because I love that. At the end of the 9 hours, I don't even have 64 bars of a track, but it doesn't matter, I tried to create more and more complicated things, I have improved my skills because I naturally wanted to. And now I'm coming to the second point.


DON'T THINK ABOUT BEING AN AWESOME MUSICIAN IF MUSIC ISN'T ESSENTIAL TO YOU

Having this natural thing that makes me produce a lot is good. But if I was always doing the same thing, would I make any progress ? Let's say, if I was recreating again & again the same track, what would it be like ? No progress at all. You have to reach a new level every day.
That's why beside practicing, these 10 000 hours need to be associated with... learning !

This is the moment when being in love with music must be essential. Because if you don't, you will never find the resources to go deeper into technical subjects, and will just stay at the same point.
If your motivation in music is to be the next Martin Douche Garrix, to get the lights on you, bang hot chicks and snort cocain straight up on their asses, you might better go work to McDonalds, work a full year, pay a ghostproducer, an AR company & a manager, it will be more effective than spending dollars in expensive hardware thinking it will do the work for you.


GET A SCHEDULE !

A good way to organize your week and to make learning time easier is to split your days into sessions (once again, if you don't have passion, forget about it and go to a reality TV show). Spend half your time learning during the week and half the time producing things. Things you won't finish anyway, things that don't put pressure on your shoulder, just things that you will enjoy doing.

As an exemple, I got my week scheduled this way :
Monday - Learn Music Theory / Make a draft
Tuesday - Learn Mixing & Mastering / Synthesize a sound
Wednesday - Learn Mixing & Mastering / Make a draft
Thursday - Learn more about synthesis / Synthesize
Friday - Learn more about synthesis / Make a draft
Saturday - Orgy ! I do whatever I want ! (but mainly it ends making a track, one that will most of the time never get released)

This might look like I'm doing things while I don't want to but it's absolutly not the case. I just do it with love and most of the time the 3 hours tend to be 5, or 7, or 9. If you love what you do, it will be an easy schedule to keep. Apart from that, I don't watch TV, but it doesn't mean I only make music. Some days I practice 3 hours, then force myself to quit. Then I meet some friends (let's make more music togetheeeer !) or my girlfriend (let make music togetheeeee... well, she doesn't make music, but we still have a lot of fun ), I go to the cinema, have a drink, go to club, take ketamin (kidding... only molly), etc...

So think about it, the two only keys are : learn a lot, practice a lot. Who knows, if you have enough passion, you might be the next AphexKrillex, or the futur Daftid Guetta (please god forgive me for writing this... wait, I don't believe much in god !).

Hope this could lighten a bit the way of people who wonder what could be the secret to unleash their potential.

Cheers, and be creative guys !

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Old 06-19-2015, 09:50 AM   #2
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

It's amazing how the brain is so adaptable. Take a seemingly impossible task, and work at it for a long time, and one day you can achieve it, via a process of refinements. All that magic that happens in your subconscious when you're asleep or thinking about other things after practice, as well. What is going on there?

I know it sounds all very Anthony Robbins and we're much too smart for all this motivational bullshit, but I do still get amazed at how people learn and master all this new shit. Of course there's more effective ways to go about it.

good stuff man.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Hey thank you for the response mate !

Basicly I think that it's 30% passion, 30% pain because I always feel like I must improve my track more & more, and 30% of high brain activity --> I don't mean hear that I'm more intelligent than anyone but I have sleeping issue (basicly I'm an insomniac), it's due to the fact that when you make a task and you try to focus a lot, your brain produces gamma waves, and these maintain an high brain activity.

This is how I explain it, but yeah, one of the result is that I think about it when I go to sleep, and sometimes it's hard not to get up again to go back to my work. Another consequence is that I also think about it when I work at my dayjob. Let's clarify that : I love what I do for my job (I'm a marketing director at the 2nd biggest professional exhibition in France), but whenever I have free time at the end of the day or during my lunch break, I want to work on my music, this can be learning or practicing.

I think it can be the same for anyone, it's just about wanting to go deep into it.

About what you said, "most effective ways to go about it", you're 100% right. For exemple, my friends who are trying to learn MAO learn way faster than I did because they have someone (me) to explain this face to face, and to clarify some point when they don't get it. But for me, and I think for a lot of people out there, as I started getting into it when I was 17, the only oportunity was internet.

I realized that motivation comes itself, but sometimes you want to do 10 things at the same time (craft a new sound, make a full track of techno, a full track of house, a full track of IDM, mix things to make them sound amazing), and the schedule is more like a catalyzer than a motivational thing I think it's almost all about that.

PS: I see that you're from Melbourne ? It's an amazing city, I've been living there during six months last year (Southbank), and I love this city, so much artistic and inspirational things. Have you heard about the Resonance/Touche Française crew (they make techno events) ? It's something I created and that keeps on going, so maybe you've ever seen them/us play ?

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Old 06-19-2015, 01:42 PM   #4
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Can we hear some music from you? All links in your signature are broken.

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Old 06-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #5
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

I'm not a big fan of making people listen to my old productions, as I spent the past 6 months practicing without releasing anything. I release a track today on my records company but it's outdated too for me. But if you want to : [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

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Old 06-21-2015, 12:13 AM   #6
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

10k hours rule making the rounds again..some take 10k some take a lifetime..no rule..no shortcuts and no special sauce. but it is a good rule of thumb to start with..no tutorial..no book..no video.. can beat the old rule of practice practice practice.

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Old 07-23-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Very helpful. I find that scheduling is critical for success. And learning is the biggest thing. There were so many complexities within mixing alone that I had no idea about. I found useful information among topics I didn't even know existed. For example, reverb. Reverb seems ultra simple, but can be and is used incorrectly a lot of times.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Yes learning but practicing as well. Watching loads of tutorials is good, but you have to take what you learn and push it further, challenge it, add your special touch. You have to be very careful as well.

People tend to reproduce everything they see and apply it everywhere. Sometimes part do not need compression, sometimes it takes on/off compression/equalizing/whatever.

For you exemple, people tend to use reverb (but also compression, eqing, etc...) too much. Which results in drawn sound. Mastering hidden functions of a Daw is really important too, because it improves you work habits, make you create stuff faster, etc...

I consider that the 3 mains keys are : Learning, practicing, challenging. Never consider anything acquired, never give up or slow down (it's like working out, if you stop for 6 months you almost have to go back from scratch), and don't take it too seriously, because productivity doesn't exist without passion.

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Old 07-23-2015, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Hah I just posted/ranted about this. Gotta put the hours in man. Quality hours too, not hungover hours, or stoned out your mind hours, or going off on a tangent hours. So 100 hours practice equals for example 30 hours bass programming, 10 hours reading, 20 hours experimentaion, 40 hours arranging and mixing... not 10 hours scratching head on why your new midi graphic disco led won't light up, or 15 hours reskinning all your vsts.

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Old 07-25-2015, 02:03 AM   #10
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

I like going through all my WIP's on my soundcloud as I go along. It gives me an idea of what I changed and what sounded better in which context. Also, comparing my music to others!
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:41 PM   #11
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

if you're a serious sound designer then I think it's not a bad idea to have a dedicated schedule for that, if you're just makin music then I don't think a schedule is necessary really
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:34 AM   #12
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Quote:
Originally Posted by aLiner View Post
if you're a serious sound designer then I think it's not a bad idea to have a dedicated schedule for that, if you're just makin music then I don't think a schedule is necessary really
It's still a good tip for people who are new at producing who want to do it more often. I've seen so many threads on here about people giving up / lacking inspiration / being depressed about their tunes, and this seams like a reasonable solution. Just doing it gets the flow going.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:29 PM   #13
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

I like what you said man. I think that besides this 10,000 hour rule, another important aspect of improving is setting goals ( wether they are micro goals that can be achieved in one day or a few sessions of practicing or macro goals that can take more time such as finishing a track using a new and more complex concept you just learned). I find that it makes things much more focused and you feel driven towards a concrete spot.

I havent been much focused lately, mainly because of some stuff in my life that was a little off, but Ive never stopped practicing. And I think what you said is important, you always have to keep it up, even if you dont have acces or dont feel like using your laptop or instrument to practice, you can still do it mentally and run through musical or technical concepts in order to understand them a lil bit better than yesterday.

Its all about keeping in motion.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:17 PM   #14
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

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Originally Posted by Opium View Post
I'm not a big fan of making people listen to my old productions, as I spent the past 6 months practicing without releasing anything. I release a track today on my records company but it's outdated too for me. But if you want to : [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
I'm not too sure about the 10k rule, tbh..though, granted, it's only logical that the more you do the more you should learn or take in over time, so I guess there is merit to it.

By the way, just checked out your SC page..loved both Noir and Cinematic..appreciate the downloads.

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Old 12-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #15
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

nice post
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:05 AM   #16
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Interesting write up, Its all true though lol
Its like saying if you want to be a better cook, you have to cook lots.
it all boasts true

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Old 12-28-2015, 02:58 AM   #17
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Quote:
Hah I just posted/ranted about this. Gotta put the hours in man. Quality hours too, not hungover hours, or stoned out your mind hours, or going off on a tangent hours. So 100 hours practice equals for example 30 hours bass programming, 10 hours reading, 20 hours experimentaion, 40 hours arranging and mixing... not 10 hours scratching head on why your new midi graphic disco led won't light up, or 15 hours reskinning all your vsts.
Totally agree but it seems pretty obvious to me at the same time. You can spend 10000 thousand hours listening to the sample of a fart, it won't make your music better, even if you perfectly know how to reproduce it using FM Synthesis.

Quote:
if you're a serious sound designer then I think it's not a bad idea to have a dedicated schedule for that, if you're just makin music then I don't think a schedule is necessary really
It also depends on the style of music you make. If you are a pop singer using Maschine and tweaking some preset on Monark or some classic on the Arturia V Series, you don't need to know a lot about ring modulation. But if you make Techno, Ambient or Modern Movie Soundtrack and you don't know anything about substractive synthesis, then you can't pretend to be serious about this.

Quote:
It's still a good tip for people who are new at producing who want to do it more often. I've seen so many threads on here about people giving up / lacking inspiration / being depressed about their tunes, and this seams like a reasonable solution. Just doing it gets the flow going.
Can't agree more.

Quote:
I like what you said man. I think that besides this 10,000 hour rule, another important aspect of improving is setting goals ( wether they are micro goals that can be achieved in one day or a few sessions of practicing or macro goals that can take more time such as finishing a track using a new and more complex concept you just learned). I find that it makes things much more focused and you feel driven towards a concrete spot.

I havent been much focused lately, mainly because of some stuff in my life that was a little off, but Ive never stopped practicing. And I think what you said is important, you always have to keep it up, even if you dont have acces or dont feel like using your laptop or instrument to practice, you can still do it mentally and run through musical or technical concepts in order to understand them a lil bit better than yesterday.

Its all about keeping in motion.
That's a big part of it too. That's basically what makes the difference between making music as a hobby and aspiring to a proffessional level. I have absolutely not a pro level, but I have some friends who are living thanks to their music, and what makes the difference between them and the ones who make music as a hobby is that even on shitty days, when they don't wan't to do anything, they turn off a synth or their computer and start doing something that is related to music. And I can tell that after years, this type of routine must be a big part of their success.

Quote:
I'm not too sure about the 10k rule, tbh..though, granted, it's only logical that the more you do the more you should learn or take in over time, so I guess there is merit to it.

By the way, just checked out your SC page..loved both Noir and Cinematic..appreciate the downloads.
Well I think it's more like some way to get rid off the "genius" idea. To stop thinking that guys were born with some kind of gift and that after 500 hundred hours making music, they were able to make symphonies that would still be considered as masterpieces 200 years later.
Cheers for the positive feedback ! I have some good and way more elaborated stuff coming soon

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Old 01-02-2016, 12:52 AM   #18
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

opium wanna be my mentor haha lol

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Old 01-09-2016, 03:29 PM   #19
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

Hey Civy !

I've seen your post "Trying to learn more", in the Studio Section, and I was going to redirect you to this one, funny to see you had already posted here.

Anyway, two things :

1. It's nice to see that you have implemented a weekly routine. Mine has evolved a bit since I posted that thread. I began a job this week, and I have experienced a new way of doing things. Basicly, I try to go to bed around 11PM (which is really early for me, as I'm used to sleep around 2 - 3AM), and to wake up at 5 or 6 in the morning. I start my day with a bit of production, but instead of a defined schedule, I just chose to work on whatever I want when I wake up. Somedays it's mixing, somedays it's production, somedays it's sound design, somedays I just play around on my midi keyboard, layering engines in Kontakt, etc... It makes me achieves improvements everyweek, so it's a life routine worth to try. As I start work at 10 AM, it leaves me 3 - 4 hours of production/day, and I arrive at my job with the feeling that I've done something great.
Also, somedays I just read some communication and advertising articles, because in the end, if you want a result for all those hard hours you've put into production, you need to have the tools to get noticed

2 - Another thing that has brought me to get better is to watch other people work. Bad thing is that in my city (Strasbourg, France), my friends who produce music are making a very different type of tracks (I mainly make Deep Tech House & Techno, and they produce Dubstep, Trap, Trance, etc...). The great thing is that living in 2015 allows us to find videos of our favorite artists sharing their best production secrets. Classic tutorials don't help me much anymore as I'm usually bored by the fact that I already know 60% of what I see in it, and it's most of the time very generic advices. So, if you happen to feel that way, or even if you're tired of the very robotic way tutorials are presented, you should really consider these Youtube Channels :

[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
: A lot of VST Specific stuff, some producer masterclass that are worth watching, and real goldmine.

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: My fav one, a lot of inspiring stuff, going from real analogue modular synthesis, to awesome "In the studio with" sessions. The one you should go to if you are into 115 - 130bpm type of production : Emika, Fred Falke, Yuksek, Shadow Child, Huxley, etc...

[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
: See guys make tracks in 10 minutes : the most entertaining one.

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: long but top quality masterclass featuring big artists.

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: short tutorials, some good but also some time wasting stuff.

Anyway, if you want to catch up on facebook for more talking, don't hesitate to PM me.

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Old 01-09-2016, 11:55 PM   #20
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Re: [TUTO] Improve your skills very fast

interesting read...so many ours to go

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