Forcing a track
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:37 AM   #1
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Forcing a track

Do you ever try to force something from the beginning? I tried this because I was personally ashamed of my own lack of productivity in the music world. I noticed that it was stressful to do this however. Rather than experimenting, I was forcing some ideas based around a rhythm

I think when you force something from an idea you formed in your mind; it taps into your ego, and you forget about the love for what you're doing and just become anxious.

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Old 02-09-2016, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Forcing a track

I pretty much disagree.


When you suck at finishing tracks, you have to "force" yourself to learn how to finish tracks. What are you expecting? To sit down and be inspired and create a masterpiece on your first try?

I mean.. If people learning to play instrument took this approach, and never forced themselves to practices scales, chords, melodies etc.. we wouldn't have many skilled instrumentalists.

Not trying to be harsh. But realistically you can expect to be "forcing" yourself for a while. But lighten up about it. View it more as experiment and exploring with arrangement and song forms. If you do this for a quite a while, it will become second nature to finish tracks and you'll be ready when inspiration hits.

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Old 02-09-2016, 07:24 AM   #3
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Re: Forcing a track

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Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
I pretty much disagree.


When you suck at finishing tracks, you have to "force" yourself to learn how to finish tracks. What are you expecting? To sit down and be inspired and create a masterpiece on your first try?

I mean.. If people learning to play instrument took this approach, and never forced themselves to practices scales, chords, melodies etc.. we wouldn't have many skilled instrumentalists.

Not trying to be harsh. But realistically you can expect to be "forcing" yourself for a while. But lighten up about it. View it more as experiment and exploring with arrangement and song forms. If you do this for a quite a while, it will become second nature to finish tracks and you'll be ready when inspiration hits.
I think you're right about the idea of finishing tracks, that is definitely a necessary practice (whether the track is good or not). But I believe there's two ways around finishing tracks..
1. You stumbled on the perfect arrangement of sounds for the track through experimentation in the first stages.

2. You forcefully fill in the DAW with what you think might work with previously ready-made sounds.

I think both ways can achieve a good outcome. But what I personally found stressful was option 2 -forcing something from an empty screen. It's a different story when you initially have something going on because then you can naturally think about new ideas that could be solid
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:05 AM   #4
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Re: Forcing a track

I only force tracks out when I think I can make something work. I have ideas that I write that I think work sound great if it was finished and I would work on it a few days. If it turns out like crap, if I'm not interested in how it sounds or if I don't think I have enough skills to do what I want to do, I'll stop. It's important to know when to stop because you don't wanna waste your time working on something that sucks when you could using that time working on other music.

However, if I think I can take the track to a different direction, I'll try my damned best to turn the track that other way because I know I can make something great. Sometimes, it doesn't work out, which sucks. But man, when it works out, it turns out really well. I'm usually most proud of those tracks because I managed to salvage it to create something better.

So I would say you should force something out when you get a really good vibe from what you're working on. Forcing music out all the time would make me fucking miserable and I can't imagine how life would be like if kept doing that. However, if you think you can make something great with it, take some time to work on the track. If it still doesn't work out, then you should probably stop because it's wasting your time and energy.

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Old 02-09-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Forcing a track

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Originally Posted by Narukami Music View Post
if you think you can make something great with it, take some time to work on the track. If it still doesn't work out, then you should probably stop because it's wasting your time and energy.
when I have something and it sounds like chaos, I still go right into it.. I can't stop. I'm restless and this is a problem I have
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:58 PM   #6
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Re: Forcing a track

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Originally Posted by aLiner View Post
2. You forcefully fill in the DAW with what you think might work with previously ready-made sounds.
I do a little bit of this (thank the preset gods), but I find that what people respond to the best is what actually comes from me. Maybe my track that's just a beat and a piano right now should just stay a beat and a piano because that works. In fact, if I look at a good portion of what I've put out so far, it's:
a. under a minute or two long
b. only one or two instruments, many without drums

To me, these feel unfinished and I'd like to put more of a framework around them, but some people really enjoy that stuff and think it's a-ok if that's what you intended. So maybe consider a 3rd option being to leave something that works alone.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:15 PM   #7
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Re: Forcing a track

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Originally Posted by aLiner View Post
when I have something and it sounds like chaos, I still go right into it.. I can't stop. I'm restless and this is a problem I have
Ah. Perhaps this is me repeating myself but I really think it's important to know when to stop. You can keep going all you want but forcing yourself to keep going is unhealthy. Your ears get tired, your eyes start to strain and you start getting angry at yourself because you're not satisfied with what you've worked on and you want to keep going until it starts to sound remotely good.

I say work in hourly intervals. Get a timer and set that thing to buzz off in an hour. Once the timer goes off, force yourself to stop or at least finish up real quick and stop. Then take a break. Do some stretches, grab a drink and let your mind rest. It's more healthy than forcing yourself to keep going and give yourself mental anguish.

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Old 02-09-2016, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: Forcing a track

I have tried forcing a song out of my head but usually those sessions end up getting deleted after a while as they just sounds well, forced. Uninspired.

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Old 02-09-2016, 11:57 PM   #9
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Re: Forcing a track

All the time. Can't help it. It's an on/off addiction. When it's on, no choice. Might go to sleep 6am and wake up early if needed, but staring at the daw takes the 1st place, even when having zero inspiration.

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Old 03-09-2016, 12:39 AM   #10
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Re: Forcing a track

Well, a good way to avoid forcing stuff without losing a certain drive, is to be honest with yourself from the beginning with whatever you want to create. Yes, it won't probably be a project you will finish up the day after, but you'll get to struggle less with any possible "creative blocks" as the frustration from not expressing yourself out will be stronger than the idea of finishing something just because you "must finish something", therefore, it will keep you constantly working on your song towards its end.

I think the main problem comes from having too much bullshit going around our minds at the moment we open up a new project, not recognizing really what is it we want to aim for, so we will feel the whole workflow really unnatural and unpleasant as we advance. Not saying you have to be really explicit and precise about every project idea, of course you can start by experimenting or stumbling across occurrences like"happy accidents", but at least starting from some solid ideas that make sense to you at the moment, so you can change that "forcing a track" or rough task idea into a natural "need of finishing a track".
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:17 AM   #11
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Re: Forcing a track

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoSoyPincho View Post
Well, a good way to avoid forcing stuff without losing a certain drive, is to be honest with yourself from the beginning with whatever you want to create. Yes, it won't probably be a project you will finish up the day after, but you'll get to struggle less with any possible "creative blocks" as the frustration from not expressing yourself out will be stronger than the idea of finishing something just because you "must finish something", therefore, it will keep you constantly working on your song towards its end.

I think the main problem comes from having too much bullshit going around our minds at the moment we open up a new project, not recognizing really what is it we want to aim for, so we will feel the whole workflow really unnatural and unpleasant as we advance. Not saying you have to be really explicit and precise about every project idea, of course you can start by experimenting or stumbling across occurrences like"happy accidents", but at least starting from some solid ideas that make sense to you at the moment, so you can change that "forcing a track" or rough task idea into a natural "need of finishing a track".
Listen to this person. Brilliant post. You're exactly right.

Essentially the solution is mindfulness. Being conscious of the purpose of each action you take. Ensuring that it reflects your goal. Not just fiddling around and hoping that inspiration will cause a track to manifest.

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Old 03-09-2016, 05:37 PM   #12
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Re: Forcing a track

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
Listen to this person. Brilliant post. You're exactly right.

Essentially the solution is mindfulness. Being conscious of the purpose of each action you take. Ensuring that it reflects your goal. Not just fiddling around and hoping that inspiration will cause a track to manifest.
Wow, appreciate it.

Completely agree with you, so much true here.
Props to you fellow creator.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by aLiner View Post
I think when you force something from an idea you formed in your mind; it taps into your ego, and you forget about the love for what you're doing and just become anxious.
I have to completely agree, and frankly I'm relieved I'm not the only one experiencing this.

I've never properly written tracks before, in the sense that I've never seen myself being able to publish something with a feeling of accomplishment, or the feeling of "ok, this won't get any better even if I tried".
In fact, I find myself extremely insecure with everything I produce, so much that it has taken me months to finally start considering publishing something.

At the same time, due to my lack of knowledge in what refers to sound design and mastering, I've started panicking for not being able to speed through the creative process, which is a pretty dumb thing, now that I think about it: the producer is supposed to enjoy every bit of what he does, otherwise it becomes a spiral of dissatisfaction and destructive self-criticism.

The best solution seems to be finding a reliable source of information on these topics. And I just came across this forum.

Ain't that neat? xD
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:03 AM   #14
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Re: Forcing a track

Hahaha..

I hate to maybe sound like a jerk (again), but I just want to point out that the people who say they don't think your should pressure yourself to finish a track are the people who are saying they are not able to finish tracks.

As YoSoyPincho said, you can shift your perspective to where you're not seeing it as "forcing".

Another way of looking at it is that you're practicing finishing a track. If you were to go to school for music composition, you would analyze pieces and what not, but they would also require you to complete many compositions. That's because completing a work is a skill to itself. If you never bite the bullet and focus and develop that skill, you will probably be dealing with this issue for a long time. But like I said earlier, eventually you won't have to think about it.

It sucks at first and it's hard. But it's worth it. Like I always say... Making music is one of the best experiences you can have, if it was easy, everyone would be a musician.

Tl;dr:
Gotta pay your dues

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Old 04-09-2016, 06:21 AM   #15
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Re: Forcing a track

Oh hell yeah, I've been through many occasions where I wanted to rush out as much material as I could. Similar to what others mentioned, there has been times where I would stare at the DAW and hardly do anything.. No matter what I keep all of my drafts and as much as I have the urge to delete all my shit I know that they'll come in use later in the future.

Normally when something I'm making gets tangled up midway I just drop it and work on the next set draft. If it sounds completely shit to me I'll just wipe the sets timeline clean and rework it with all the samples and effects I already got in the set.

The anxiety sometimes gets real when I host my shit.

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Old 04-09-2016, 03:59 PM   #16
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Re: Forcing a track

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
Hahaha..

I hate to maybe sound like a jerk (again), but I just want to point out that the people who say they don't think your should pressure yourself to finish a track are the people who are saying they are not able to finish tracks.

As YoSoyPincho said, you can shift your perspective to where you're not seeing it as "forcing".

Another way of looking at it is that you're practicing finishing a track. If you were to go to school for music composition, you would analyze pieces and what not, but they would also require you to complete many compositions. That's because completing a work is a skill to itself. If you never bite the bullet and focus and develop that skill, you will probably be dealing with this issue for a long time. But like I said earlier, eventually you won't have to think about it.

It sucks at first and it's hard. But it's worth it. Like I always say... Making music is one of the best experiences you can have, if it was easy, everyone would be a musician.

Tl;dr:
Gotta pay your dues

"Completing a work is a skill itself"

I agree wholeheartedly. I've written quite a lot of tracks over the last year and this year. The reason why I can write so many songs is because, at the start, I pretty much forced myself to finish and complete songs because I need to write something and move on, rather than be stuck and be miserable forever.

However, I still stick to my previous post in that if you REALLY can't think of anything to do with your track. Move on and write something else. No use feeling upset over something that you'll never complete. You should know when to force yourself to continue going, and know when to stop and move on.

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Old 04-09-2016, 05:53 PM   #17
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Re: Forcing a track

Yes, I agree with this also. As with so many things it's a fine line.


For me, eventually the question became not "can I finish this track?" but "do I want to finish this track. Nowadays, when I'm working on something, after the initial chunk of creation, I can visualize what the process of finishing would look like, and I decide if that's something I want to do.

Another thing I would recommend is moving at a quick pace I general. Anything's going to become uninspiring if you spend to much time on it. Decide what you want to do and do it or move on. No regrets.

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Old 05-09-2016, 03:42 PM   #18
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Re: Forcing a track

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Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
Yes, I agree with this also. As with so many things it's a fine line.


For me, eventually the question became not "can I finish this track?" but "do I want to finish this track. Nowadays, when I'm working on something, after the initial chunk of creation, I can visualize what the process of finishing would look like, and I decide if that's something I want to do.
If you sent an unfinished demo to someone (a track that you decided you didn't want to finish) what would you do in the case where he/she wanted you to finish it?
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:04 PM   #19
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Re: Forcing a track

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If you sent an unfinished demo to someone (a track that you decided you didn't want to finish) what would you do in the case where he/she wanted you to finish it?
well this, happened to me the other day actually

I'm going to finish it. I just sent him a little demo of a new piece of kit I got, and he was like "will you finish this so i can release it?" I most definitely wouldn't have finished it otherwise, cause it wasn't the type of thing that i'm that interested in at the moment. But, he's my old friend, so that is enough a reason to do it.

Like I say, if you have the skill of finishing a track, then you can pretty much finish anything you choose. So, you could finish anything for any reason. you could finish it cause someone liked it and asked you to, because you have a deadline, because you are feeling lame because you haven't made a track in a while, or because you are trying to impress someone of the opposite sex.

I just really disagree with the notion that you can only be "truly" creative if everything is just so. Creativity is a muscle, and when you work it out, you can use it when you want to. Kind of like how there are some people who can just whip out funny jokes all day every day. It's just something they've gotten good at.

We're kind of spoiled nowadays. Back in the day, some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time were playing gigs constantly just so they could keep eating. They didn't have a choice whether to play or not. But they were able to be creative all of the time.

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Old 05-09-2016, 04:58 PM   #20
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Re: Forcing a track

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Do you ever try to force something from the beginning? I tried this because I was personally ashamed of my own lack of productivity in the music world. I noticed that it was stressful to do this however. Rather than experimenting, I was forcing some ideas based around a rhythm

I think when you force something from an idea you formed in your mind; it taps into your ego, and you forget about the love for what you're doing and just become anxious.
When I was totally inexperienced to FL and my only goal was to slap together ideas that old band mates just were completely stubborn to try, it was like magic. A year or so later and I heard "you've got ideas, but the production doesn't sound great". I tried forcing myself to learn about compression, EQ, watched tutorials endlessly, and honestly when I would put out new tracks, they'd sound god awful compared to how they used to. My old material, despite sounding uncompressed, was fun. Maybe too fast, but really fun. It was fun because I let clipping happen, shape my sound, I worked with it rather than against it.

My opinion, take a break. Forcing what is not working will only sound forced. Figure out how you want to sound.

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