So I suck at making dance music
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Old 27-02-2014, 02:55 AM   #1
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So I suck at making dance music

Really. No bullshit here. I'm thinking that might be the case. I just end up making some wonky music. My mixes don't sound like so and so's but I like the mixes I'm making for the most part. So it's a weird point where I feel like I'm shifting to something else. Don't get me wrong, dance music is a massive influence and is what I want to write. I'm also wanting to space out. But now my compositions seem to be like what a band would do, not as constant as like house or something, but all synchronized none the less.

It's weird, just like a transition period in my creativity. I'm not really sure what to do with it but embrace it. Maybe I'll start making dance music that works then. I don't know, weird abstract shit here.

Anyone else feeling similar?

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Nystagmus (27-02-2014)
Old 27-02-2014, 03:35 AM   #2
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

i'm curious why someone would wanna pick one single genre to work on. when creativity is limitless, picking a single genre to work in is like wrapping a plastic bag over your mind and suffocating it.

you are probably more likely to die from cancer if you have cigarette brand loyalty because the drive to try new things is the drive that's gonna help you quit smoking. just a random analogy.
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Old 27-02-2014, 03:42 AM   #3
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

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Originally Posted by JMagee View Post
Really. No bullshit here. I'm thinking that might be the case. I just end up making some wonky music. My mixes don't sound like so and so's but I like the mixes I'm making for the most part. So it's a weird point where I feel like I'm shifting to something else. Don't get me wrong, dance music is a massive influence and is what I want to write. I'm also wanting to space out. But now my compositions seem to be like what a band would do, not as constant as like house or something, but all synchronized none the less.

It's weird, just like a transition period in my creativity. I'm not really sure what to do with it but embrace it. Maybe I'll start making dance music that works then. I don't know, weird abstract shit here.

Anyone else feeling similar?
I used to feel that way and still do sometimes, but your music sounds awesome so far, and I applaud you for doing what you do and not fitting a mould. The last thing we need is another "so and so"
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Old 27-02-2014, 03:54 AM   #4
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

It sounds like you may be undecided about what you want to achieve in music. If you want releases on a specific label for example then tailoring your tunes and nailing down the skills to do that may be required. If your doing it for the art then the sky is the limit and you can do what you damn well please.

Either way you can enjoy the experience, either enjoy the challenge of trying to make something for other people or enjoy the experimentation involved in making new sounds for the art.

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Old 27-02-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

I'm not trying to pigeonhole myself at all nor be stuck in a certain thing. It isn't what I'm interested in nor what I am trying get at.

I listened Black Butter Spread Love comp recently and thought about many tracks, "that's a garage track" or "that s funky;" pretty much instantly recognizable. But then when I get to making a track I might think at the start "this'll be garage-y." I get done and I can hear the garage aspects in what I made but it isn't a garage track. Now if I tried making a house track, I'd say it's too boring, so I make all this wonky stuff that's kind of house but is totally something else once it's all done.

So there's a fair amount of frustration as to why I can't make something that would go along with so and so's tracks. But now I'm starting to feel cool about it all. When I got into the whole production thing there were definitely cats I wanted to sound like, to emulate, but it just never panned out. Now I'm deep in and am trying to make sense of it all.
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it is very much a I-don't-know'what-art-I-want sort of thing right now. Over the past couple of weeks I've been writing charts for my jazz band since we've got enough standards to just jam on now. My thought with these charts (one is like an a-tonal DnB thing) is that my band can learn them then I can come up with alternative versions and even record/sample individuals from my band. This whole chart idea seems to be the best idea I've come up with yet (which I'm sure others have done copiously) where I can blend what I know and have done for years with the newer synchronized aspects of my life.

So no matter how hard I try and make the next "banger" it probably just isn't going to happen. I just kind of suck at making dance music. But that doesn't mean I'm not comfortable with what I'm making, just more like a wtf why the fuck can't I do that.

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Old 27-02-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

Dance music is just weird in a lot of ways. It is mostly not arranged like music from a proper 3 piece band. To be quite honest a lot of it is going to be more loopy and repetative. Mixing it is way different than dealing with tracking real instruments and all that.

Honestly, see if you can get your hands on some DJ software cheap and have a go at mixing some tunes. I dont believe that DJs make the best dance music producers, but that understanding of mixing tunes will help you know why dances tunes are arranged the way they are.

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Old 27-02-2014, 07:54 PM   #7
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

start off easy just make a beatport chart topper. Grab an 808 a lead from sylenth and a couple of claps (one being the pryda snare ) and a rim shot sample tuned to c to use as a second lead and your done.

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Old 27-02-2014, 07:57 PM   #8
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

I think you suffer from an ailment known as: being a genuine and sincere producer.

I don't necessarily see your situation as a problem.

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Old 27-02-2014, 08:31 PM   #9
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

I tried to make an electrohouse song once. Things rapidly started going south from there as the breakbeats worked their way in.
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Old 27-02-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

I can't make dance music either bro. Main difference here being I don't mind that I can't make dance music.
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Old 27-02-2014, 11:18 PM   #11
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

I'm not good at making dance music either, but good dance music is what inspires me the most.
I used to be ok with the results I got, but somehow during all my time away from composing I forgot how to get even the good wierd results I was getting from being off centre. Now I gotta relearn EVERYTHING. It rather sucks.

But the funny thing is, I did recently finally learn how to get a 1990s sound. Something I hadn't been able to do for about 15 years. Pretty much it's just percussion phrase samples recorded and played as such with synth phrases over the top. Modern day VSTi stuff isn't really about all that so it gets glossed over by everybody who isn't trying to sound like that.

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Old 27-02-2014, 11:31 PM   #12
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

just keep taking your time and see how much you progress by next year.. or be honest with your self and stop making dance music...

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Old 27-02-2014, 11:53 PM   #13
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

Also if you play upright bass wtf are you doing making dance music. If I had one of those beauties I'd be recording the hell out of it and making blissful sound-art. I must now go listen to Mark Deutsch.

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Old 28-02-2014, 02:03 AM   #14
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

Dance music is fun, but if that's your main outlet, there's your problem.
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Old 28-02-2014, 04:45 AM   #15
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

Yes, this is a sincere attempt at trying to understand myself artistically as well as a performer; like how do I make sense of all this shit. I'm into and am doing so many different things. My country band's going great, I have an orchestra I play with and others I sub with, I just started a jazz group, and I'm busy as hell as a double bass teacher. But then there's the fact that in my free time I really only listen to electronic stuff and jazz, mostly electronic.

I've mixed plenty, hell, I even had a residency thing going at shitty spot with good sound. I'm not a stranger to performing electronically or in any traditional sense. The DJ sets got old after a while, it isn't like I'm in a place where someone will come up to me at the end of the night going "I'm so glad you played [insert track]." Party music or gtfo although I, and everyone + their mother, have an ear for trashy party music. Funny demographic in general here in West KY though.

So after all this time in music doing all sorts of shit I wonder how a guy like Todd Edwards does what he does. Just crankin' out tunes like it ain't no thing. I'm sure there's a method to the madness, like in Edwards' case his vocal sounds, but I'm just not on it. Maybe it'll click a year from now and I'll be more prolific than a psy trance producer on a head full of acid.

So there's no way to really bounce ideas off people and electronic stuff is something that people aren't too keen on. So I'm relying on this jazz band to make these ideas become real and to bounce things off of them. I hoping that this project really comes around. The last EP I made just kind of bounced all over the place and didn't fit into any box, which I'm cool with, but even on a track by track basis it isn't like that was juke, or house. Which I guess isn't a bad thing but I would love to have people abusing my tracks. There is an obviously trap tune on there though and it sounds like shit accordingly.

So it's just frustrating. As a DJ I hear a track that, for example, is house and think, "that's a great track, keep listening to this thing, and it'll mix well with [wtfever]." I know once I hear something that doesn't fit the criteria the chance of me thinking of how to abuse it goes out the window. This was especially bad when I knew I had play some place and I thought "need new, fresh shit NOW" and I was on a mission. If the track doesn't fit the mold, whatever, I'm good on the DJ game. But to make that connection where I'm connecting the track to another one? It would be cool make someone else think that about something I made. And I know, if my track doesn't mix well then go fix the track. Totally get that shit but then I don't like it when it has to fit the mold.

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Story of my life dude. I make something and I'm like, "it just needs that ummph factor....I know! Breaks!" For sure dude, breaks. Breaks on everything. Shit slow that bitch down to 30BPM and cover it breaks, it'll still sound fat.

So yeah, I think with everyone's support here I'm cool. It's all good, I'm not going to sweat it. Just embrace the weird. The music will come. Maybe I'll start some genre that's cooler and weird than skweee and then everyone will join my bandwagon. It'll be super cool and I'll buy pizza for everyone in my wagon. Also, to keep this whole discussion fresh, anyone listen to the Jackson and His Computer Band LP from this past October? I'm still jammin' on that.

Last edited by JMagee; 28-02-2014 at 04:54 AM..

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Old 28-02-2014, 04:58 AM   #16
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

I generally make dance music, but if I'm totally honest it's never ever what I think I would like. Do I care? No. Why? Because I'm still making music I enjoy and am happy with. I don't think it's worth dwelling on you're outputs style if you're making music for you and because it's your passion. If you're in it for the money I can see your problem, the problem with that is unfortunately simple. Most producers just aren't cut out to make a style convincingly and uniquely good if the feeling whilst making it is to just make some cash. The problem related to that is so many producers are in it for the cash and now we have a market full of shit music. But I digress...
Stop caring what others can do and how they do it, what matters is what you do and how you do it. I get it's tempting to try emulate a favourite or whatever, but again that's focussing on making music that isn't you
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Old 28-02-2014, 05:16 AM   #17
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

Despite how much it makes me bob my own head, if anyone can dance to tge crap I make I'd like to meet their dealer.

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Old 28-02-2014, 05:25 AM   #18
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

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now my compositions seem to be like what a band would do
There's nothing wrong with infusing "normal band" songs with dance music stylings. This is pretty much what electropop is.

You sound you're a very versetile musician. I think I speak for many people when I say I'd rather hear a song that incorporates many different influences and styles instead of "just another fuckin' dance song."

Don't think you have to make dance music because that's what you listen to. None of the music I listen to sounds like what I make, and I'm sure other people are the same way.

In fact, I think people who make music that's different than what they listen to sometimes get the best results. This is why whenever a new genre or style starts, the first bands or artists are usually the most interesting, because they've taken influences from other places and used that to create their sound. A few years down the line, and the next bunch of bands/artists come out and are only influenced by the earlier bands/artists, and the style gets distilled. If that makes sense.

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Old 28-02-2014, 02:20 PM   #19
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

There's other music out there that's somewhere in between.

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Old 28-02-2014, 02:24 PM   #20
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Re: So I suck at making dance music

^ that's awesome.

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