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Old 17-08-2014, 05:50 AM   #1
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Studio Mantras

Hey, everybody.

I realized today while working on some stuff in Ableton, that I have a few phrases that have stuck with me over the years, and in a lot of ways have actually been more helpful to me than most of the tutorials and articles I've read over the years (because they're so versatile, and fundamental), and because they're so short, and catchy, I find that my subconscious tends to pull them to the forefront of my thoughts to provide a spark of inspiration whenever I need them the most. I call them my Studio Mantras. This is the first time I've ever really tried to discuss them, or put them into a written format, so a lot of them are still floating somewhere in the back of my memory currently, and I'll have to add more later. Anyways, here's a few of my favorites.

"If it sounds good, it is good."
- I'm a big fan of experimentation in sound, and doing weird thing, but I sometimes feel a sense of pressure to make tracks that live up to some imaginary standard I've created based on tracks by my influences, and the processes I know they use. This mantra really helps me push those fears and thoughts aside and say "Fuck it. This is cool."

"Work smarter, not harder."
- I've heard this one around, but it's something my dad use to say all the time, so it always stuck with me. In terms of production- this one for me means finding simplest, and most efficient way of doing something. I think Ill Gates' "128s" in Ableton are a perfect example of this- if anyone is familiar with those. I'm a huge proponent of maximizing workflow efficiency.

"No more giving up, no more giving in."
- This is an actual mantra Lorn recorded and used for his song "Not Today" on Self Confidence Vol. 1. I'm somewhat of a chain-smoker, but I have to go outside to smoke, and when I do, I like to take my iPod out with me so I'm not smoking in silence. One particular night, I was feeling particularly frustrated and defeated with a track I was working on at the time, and about ready to trash it, I went out for my 3rd cigarette that hour, and my iPod happened to choose that song, and having never really paid attention to the lyrics, I did finally, and in that moment, and wave of inspiration and reassurance hit me. I really can't explain it. Anyways, it's stuck with me ever since.


I'm really interested if you guys have any "mantras" or anything of your own?

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Old 17-08-2014, 07:06 AM   #2
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Re: Studio Mantras

Never abandon anything, there's a track in everything somewhere, you just have to take the time and coax it out.

That's one I came up with over this last year when I realized since 2012 I haven't abandoned anything. In fact some of what I would consider to be my best work has been born out of something that was dangerously close to being trashed.

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Old 17-08-2014, 07:59 AM   #3
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Re: Studio Mantras

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
Never abandon anything, there's a track in everything somewhere, you just have to take the time and coax it out.
That's a really good one, and something that I really struggle with personally. I'm really bad about trashing a lot of my material. I've was doing really good about it, but had a bit of relapse a few months ago, and regrettably trashed a lot of the material I had (hence the currently barren Soundcloud.) Definitely something I need to adopt.
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Old 17-08-2014, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Studio Mantras

'kill whitey'
'toke that bowl'
'kay kay KAY. kay kay KAY. kay kay KAAAAAY??'
'i've got pork shoulder'

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Old 17-08-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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Re: Studio Mantras

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghyt View Post
'i've got pork shoulder'
This intrigues me.
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Old 18-08-2014, 07:29 AM   #6
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Re: Studio Mantras

ytmnd is pretty dead : (

I don't have any mantras except "mix better!" and "finish a goddamn track already". This keeps my productivity and quality up 200%
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Old 18-08-2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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Re: Studio Mantras

"Am I being productive or just active" - meaning is what I am doing acomplishing anything, be that learning, experimentation, creation, mixing ect... or am I just sitting here hitting spacebar over and over again.

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Old 18-08-2014, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Studio Mantras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam201 View Post
"Am I being productive or just active" - meaning is what I am doing acomplishing anything, be that learning, experimentation, creation, mixing ect... or am I just sitting here hitting spacebar over and over again.
This is a good one.
There's definitely a fine line between productive and active.
That spacebar sucks you in...
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Old 19-08-2014, 06:37 AM   #9
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Re: Studio Mantras

The biggest one I've found is to block off time everyday for producing. Neil Strauss, 7 times new york best selling author says his goal as a writer is to write "two sh***y pages a day." he says if he wants to write more, he can, but that's his quota for every day.

so my thing is to make sure I produce a certain time period (usually at least 4 hours) - if I want to produce more I can, but I force myself to produce no matter what
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Old 20-08-2014, 01:08 AM   #10
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Re: Studio Mantras

"It doesn't have to be a banger"
"Mix with your ears"
"put down the limiter"

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Old 20-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #11
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Re: Studio Mantras

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorfrank View Post
"Mix with your ears"
This.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:37 AM   #12
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Re: Studio Mantras

"When was the last time you tried something for the first time?"

I love to try new things. You have different experiences and will then lead to new ideas. Related to music, since this is a music forum, it helps bring inspiration to make new stuff. Also it helps me get rid of staying stuck in a routine. Try new methods, play with new sounds, just keep experimenting with different things

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Old 14-09-2014, 08:57 AM   #13
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Re: Studio Mantras

some wise man once told me " it takes 30 minutes to perfect a mix, and it'll take 6hours to mess it up" this being said often times ill get it how i like it and be done with it.. cuz the truth is , its never done and ull always wanna go back in tweek it . just ride with it for a bit so u can see the stuff u def need to change. its like letting the smoke clear.
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Old 14-09-2014, 04:37 PM   #14
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Old 14-09-2014, 06:22 PM   #15
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Re: Studio Mantras

"Don't conform", "do whatever the fuck you want", and "someone will like it if you do" are my favorites. No sarcasm, either. I was into smarter music when I wanted to go the EDM route at one point in time (every kid wants to me famou5) but after seeing music for the journey it is, all of the hurdles have already paid off.
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Old 14-09-2014, 07:19 PM   #16
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Re: Studio Mantras

"Get it right at the source" and "Arrangement is the best EQ." have been really big ones for me. I love the mixing process and it's fun to sculpt sounds to fit together, but if you just get shit right when you record / design it and make it sound good right out of the bag you save yourself a whole lot of trouble later on. Easier said than done, but still helpful I think.
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Old 16-09-2014, 08:19 AM   #17
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Re: Studio Mantras

"Don't be afraid to scrap the crap."
- I used to get attached to a lot of the sounds/melodies that I create during production, there were times when this kind of attachment got in the way of progress and can really clutter/muddy the mix. This doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to, mostly because I follow this rule.

"Sleep on it, take a break."
- As much as I love producing, I find staring at a computer screen and listening to the same segments of a song for 5+ hours can cloud my judgement and desensitize me to the project. Sometimes its best to step back from your work and return with a fresh mind later.

"Create whatever you enjoy."
- There's no point in making music in an attempt to appeal to the masses or become part of some kind of fad/trend - at least to me anyway. I make the kinda stuff I'd like to hear, if lots of people end up enjoying it then that's a bonus.

"Finish what you start."
- There's nothing worse than getting halfway through a project only to stop and let it sit and collect dust - then by the time you get back to it you're not in the same mindset that allowed you to start it in the first place. Finish your project before your mind moves on from it. There are exceptions to this mantra of course, but I find it keeps me focused.

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