How did you overcome your creative block?
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:30 AM   #1
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How did you overcome your creative block?

"Hey, it's another one of these!"
Hold up, it's a bit different, there is a catch.

I ran into a wall with a song, listening to it over and over.
Creative block. Such devil.

But somehow today I realized that I had just overcome the creative block, after managing to rearrange almost the whole track into something that works.
What's different?

Soon after I ran into the wall, I went on a 2 week vacation (not because of the block ofc ). That's two weeks not listening to the song at all.
And after vacation, jetlag gave me a unique opportunity: producing early in the morning, when I usually did it in the evening.
So, a break, and then a break of habit.

I'm sure you have had a creative block before, what's your story?
PS: The catch is giving positive examples of overcoming the block

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Old 11-10-2016, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I joined a forum, and it runs a challenge where you have to use just a single sound sample (field recording usually). That has certainly been most fun and made me think of new ways of doing things that I now also apply to my "normal" stuff.

I also listen to a lot of stuff created by the multitude of hobbyist musicians on SoundCloud.

Also, starting a new project, going off it for some reason, and then revisiting some time later is always a good idea. I don't delete a thing and if I don't have any ideas after finishing my last project I will sometimes go back to some really old stuff.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:24 AM   #3
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I was stuck for a long time not finishing tracks and spending too much time in Ableton just playing with stacking effects and experimenting with the interesting synths bundled with the program - ending up with hundreds of unfinished projects.

So I started going through them and exporting everything that was useful and built up a personal 'Rack City' folder with folders like 'Fat Synths' 'Leads' 'Drum racks' 'Mastering' and effect racks, now when I start a project I get a much better start and it's easier to finish a track.

Also it really helped to just use the horizontal view more than the vertical one because then I work on the layout of the track and automate each sound as I add it, instead of having a mass of clips that i'd have to transfer to the other view to turn the ideas into a song.

Most of all though, I broke my block by just letting go - of insecurities, expectations and trying to make a specific sound. I just have to trust myself and move the mouse and press buttons - the rest just kind of falls into place when I don't burn my brain over-thinking and under-acting.

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Old 11-10-2016, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Sometimes beautiful things has to be destroyed to make shit happen.

also drugs

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Old 11-10-2016, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Well basically you overcome this problem by staying on the program until somthing work's out , and to the guy's who said using drugs while making music , a big NO , if you didnt know , weed makes your ears hear less lower frequency and makes everythings sound better or "sound with more meat on it" , never do that , other then that weed is great.you just have to sit down like a real musician , struggle like a real musician until you find out that perfect sound.
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:10 PM   #6
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I literally slapped a random track together last night....my strategy was "don't think about it". I used all stock sounds, stock effects, and one of my sound engineering friends was like "hey, this is cool, like angry clown music". And you know what? It did. I mostly ripped off sounds from the effects and hits folders (and maybe a rap kick) in the DAW and made purposefully silly sounding music.

"Don't think about it" is prettymuch all you can try to do when you're just trying to find the groove. The genre? Does it stop you? Does all your music become invalid?

I remember I had a bass teacher who told me "I want you to write whatever the hell you want on a piece of manuscript, no thought about it, and then I want you to play it." To be honest, I thought he was crazy and psyched myself out of doing it. This was also a guy who used to pull out Bach organ etudes and tell me to play the bass lines at 250BPM, and then proclaim "this is children's music!" after he runs your chops through the mud. But the principle applies; if you try to precompose a bunch of stuff in your head that sounds awesome and one day you get in a funk and can't will out the sounds anymore, what's it good for? Playing is the key to everything. How about improvising? Listen to old Charlie Parker Sax Playing; a lot of his material is so fast I don't think anyone for sure knew what he was playing (the recordings almost sound sped up, and this coming from a guy who used to practice from the Charlie Parker Omnibook), but he must've practiced a lot to be that adept sounding.
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:06 PM   #7
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by synkrotron View Post
I joined a forum, and it runs a challenge where you have to use just a single sound sample (field recording usually). That has certainly been most fun and made me think of new ways of doing things that I now also apply to my "normal" stuff.
What is this forum? That sounds like something I'd really be in to.
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Old 12-10-2016, 03:28 AM   #8
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Start writing, edit later.

With this mentality, not everything you write will be 'awesome', but you'll end up with a cache of ideas to use and edit later.

When I'm in a mixing mood, I go to town on all of the stupid ideas I hammered out and find the hidden gems. There might be a lot of fluff to wade through, but it's worth it in the end.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndytheWarg View Post
What is this forum? That sounds like something I'd really be in to.
Hi Andy,

It is the ambientonline.org forum.

Not sure if I should be posting links to other forums here but here it is:-

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cheers

andy

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Old 15-10-2016, 04:52 PM   #10
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjRapitops View Post
Soon after I ran into the wall, I went on a 2 week vacation (not because of the block ofc ). That's two weeks not listening to the song at all.
And after vacation, jetlag gave me a unique opportunity: producing early in the morning, when I usually did it in the evening.
So, a break, and then a break of habit.
PS: The catch is giving positive examples of overcoming the block
I was struggling with finishing any track almost for a year. Then I was sent to business trip for 3 weeks. When I returned I did a 5:06 track in 2 days. I think it's best track I've ever done.

So +1 on break. Sometimes it's all that it takes.
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Old 21-11-2016, 11:40 PM   #11
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

ok well not like anyone cares what i have to say but when i was first starting out my biggest hurdle was the feeling that you have to confine yourself to certain paradigms especially if you have a good deal of technological expertise (and therefore a set idea of how things have to be done). it can limit creativity because you're worried about the quality of sound over the structure of what you're doing, you can just do things in reverse order and clean it up later. at that point things will come out that you didn't necessarily plan on but add a special quality to your music or take it in a different direction. you can't take stuff too seriously and also it helps if you care more about sound itself over whether or not the end result is palatable to the 'masses'.
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Old 26-11-2016, 01:23 AM   #12
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I take samples from popular video sometimes before running it through effects to make it something new.

I have found that if I start making the samples and plug them into my DAW then the songs start to make themselves, because that arrangement of samples already wants to sound like something and I am just helping it out.
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Old 26-11-2016, 11:43 AM   #13
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Someone on [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
(reddit) had pretended that he is working for a client to finish his projects:

Quote:
I had a major problem with unfinished tracks. Splice informed me there are over 700 projects on my computer and it's not that old.
I've come up with a hack that has improved my workflow by over 200%.
The Hack: Pretend you are a mixing engineer/arranger for hire at $25/hour and you simply need to finish these tracks as your day job. For people you don't even care that much about, but obviously still want to show off.
I came to this realization after I left a corporate sales job where I regularly rang up Pepsi, Walmart etc. and sold them big deals with confidence. I broke out on my own and immediately found that I was all of a sudden nervous to call these same big companies. I had a light bulb moment that it was just some kind of mental block about putting yourself out there.
I use this hack now in both sales and in music, and it works. Just open an unfinished project, give yourself 1 hour to finish it completely (for a "client") and then export it.
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I definitely agree that this might work, because during live streams I work much more efficiently and sometimes actually manage do create something. Because there is a sense of responsibility for the viewers' time.

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Old 30-11-2016, 04:13 PM   #14
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I think time away is the answer, until you feel hungry to get back.

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Old 30-11-2016, 06:15 PM   #15
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I don't know about overcoming a block, but what does usually give me ideas is getting a bunch of new samples and/or preset library, then playing around with that. Fuck it, get new VSTs for reverb or something, just anything to keep it fresh and keep me interested.
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Old 30-11-2016, 10:04 PM   #16
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

My rule is to keep things fun 100% with no pressure so a creative block simply means I'm taking a break for awhile. Others can create well under pressure, that's great for them but not for me. That said, there are things that can inspire me out of said block- a great or shitty experience, hearing others really creative music (just heard Tipper for the first time and now I'm trying to broaden my own abilities) or as someone else said simply getting new sounds/plugins/gear to play with. The common theme here is some kind of NOVELTY to work with, which makes sense since I'm always trying to do new things with my music.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:34 AM   #17
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I try to have a happy medium between tunnel vision and ADHD
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:33 PM   #18
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I over came my creative block by taking up electronic music after 30 years of playing guitar in rock bands! Quit my band, searched out tons of music I had never giving a chance to before and bought a few Korg Volca's to get started on my new journey. There has been no stopping me since. From the minute I get up to the minute I go to sleep I have ideas coming at me. Everytime I sit down in my music room I completly lose a sense of time and the music just keeps pouring out of me. Not having any restrictions on what can and can't be done is what I had needed for a long time. Not having to compromise my ideas to other closed minded rock players anymore has been all win for me.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:09 PM   #19
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

I usually just load up Omnisphere/Gladiator/Serum/Grace/Whatever else and just create new patches from scratch constantly. Eventually, an idea for a track comes up when making something particularly decent/unique sounding and the urge to compose returns.

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Old 02-12-2016, 05:13 PM   #20
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Re: How did you overcome your creative block?

Mine came from the realization that I still have the skills that I need to compose music, but have trouble applying them to myself. Like, if someone showed me a piece of music and asked for a suggestion, I could likely do it. Saying, "Oh sure, in this section here maybe it'll be cool if you go to D to pull away from the tonic a bit to build some tension before you explode in the chorus."

I realized that I could still do that, but for some reason was keeping myself from applying that to myself. So, I started making myself make the time for music, and then coming to it with the understanding that I know how to make ideas to make it progress.

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