Ableton, experimentation, discipline and rambling


#1

hi, first of all id like to introduce myself! I am chkharti and ive been making music for ~1 year, my main inspirations are aphex, autechre, merzbow and a few more that i cant think of rn. This is my first time posting on this forum and on any forum in general, so im sorry if this post goes against rules/isn’t the right format.

I’d love to hear some of your experiences with music making, more specifically with experimentation and how you manage to keep things exciting and fresh. Personally i make music with ableton and most of the techniques i have learned have been from NedRush. But as of now i’ve hit a wall where im just repeating what i have already done and im bored. Taking breaks doesnt seem to help either as i spend hours playing league of legends, feeling guilty and empty that im not making music; eventually i go back to ableton and the same loop continues. again sorry if this type of post doesn’t fit here, but i promise ill learn the rules along the way. looking forward to meeting the community!


#2

I think that your good…if you hit a wall id say do a dive into max4live if you havent already…

Or you could use renoise…

I think there are downloadable max4live patches on kvr and glitchdotcool among other sites

For renoise i think you can rewire into ableton i think…not sure also renoise is relatively cheap…
With renoise you can do a lot with the hexadecimal commands that modulate the tempo and sample offset…as it plays with wierd time divisions…

But im not sure how much you know and dont know…also im not an ableton user per say…i use fl…

But yeah either max4live, renoise, or it maybe time to invest in some hardware…
:slightly_smiling_face::+1:

As for keeping things fresh…just make the music thats inside your head…and dont worry about genres or format…

Ive made tracks just to see what the result was of automating a compressor…

But yeah if you know all the rules…start breaking them…who knows you might discover some new technique to make sounds.
:slightly_smiling_face:


#3

Generally speaking, I make a to-do list of things I want to try and if I can’t think of anything else to do, I go down the list. Right now, that’s going through all the major/minor keys and writing a song in each, even if that never goes anywhere (or doesn’t even get saved) it will build my music theory knowledge and force me to do a bit of sound design here and there.

And if you’re thinking that you don’t have any ideas for a list like this, watch some youtube music makers and if you see any interesting ideas, make a note that you want to make a song like that/based on that idea.

Another one I’ve had good luck with is trying to do things in a different order. In my case, I normally program chords first, then a bassline and/or melody, maybe some stabs or an arp, and then I do drums last. Instead, I could force myself to start by writing a drum beat and work backwards. That will make a different kind of song.

You could force yourself to use certain tools (maybe a new plugin you want to learn) and force yourself not to use others (the ones that feel a bit samey but you keep falling back to them because you know them).

Perhaps not something you want to do all the time, but you can always switch the genre you’re producing. I think it can take a while to learn the ins and outs of making a genre of music and it can be worth it to stick it out - but if you really are bored of everything you’re doing it might be worth taking a look around and seeing what other kinds of music excite you. I did that about 5 years ago to land on house, but I’ve been less inspired the past few years. I still do ambient stuff on the side now and then, and I recently started on something more techno that has been really fun to work on, so maybe I get more into techno in the future.

I’ve had to get more comfortable with taking breaks from music, especially the last year. For about 4 years after I started, I didn’t miss a single day making music and it was always at least an hour. I finally missed a few days when I traveled once, and I came back and made up for it and continued to not miss. Then covid hit and I didn’t do anything for two months. Got back into it eventually and put out an EP and then some singles the following year, into this year… and then I fell off again as life has gotten in the way. I’m still doing some music, not as much as I’d like, but I’m confident as time permits and I feel inspired again I’ll get more songs done. I’ve been through this before and I’ll go through it again, so I don’t let it bother me too much. You’ve only been at this a year, so that’s kind of just a feeling I think you’ll have to get used to. I can think of at least half a dozen great artists on this forum who have gone years without making music and gotten back into it and done great work almost out of nowhere.


#4

thank u man <33