Make something in 20 minutes and post it (part 2)

Here we go again, as the title says, get to work!
testing out this new microtuning ableton max extension, works pretty cool


Here comes my stuff

true story btw


I think it’s hard to do something in 20 mins(for me anyway) but this was written in 20 minutes and then i did some effects like compression and leveling afterwards. Sort of fooling around with acapellas in my projects. Would love to get vocal stuffs, similar to what i used, can be used in an instrument setting, or not fully upfront. I don’t know what i mean exactly. trying to spice up the musics.

I got the acapella from looperman. not really keen on the idea though but need some vocal stuffs.

Hope you enjoy.


I think this thread is so creative! It’s really cool to see what other people are working on. As someone who doesn’t make much music of my own, I really appreciate it

Not promising anything, but I might do something tomorrow.

Still waiting. :smile:

I think I did and posted a video somewhere, didn’t I?
I know I have the track I did…

This kind of challenge always messes with my head.

Clearly no one is expected to start completely from scratch (an unconnected computer with no software installed). 20 minutes would hardly be enough time to install a functional operating system.

…but where then is the line between preparation and “actual work”?

A skilled jazz-performer could easilly whip up a unique take on a jazz-standard in a few minutes.

…it’s what they do.

But he’d need to have an instrument already - and some way of recording it too.

(should setting up microphones be included in the 20 minutes?)

And if a jazz performer is allowed to use a piano (a mechanically complex instrument that usually takes several months to build), - it would only seem fair for an electronic musician to be allowed to spend an equal amount of time building a similarly complex instrument (said the synth-designer).

But where did the 20 minutes go?

And does the challenge in fact just mean: “Show off the instrument you (or someone else) spent months building - but pretend you did the whole thing in 20 minutes”?

To answer my own question, I’d say: “probably not”.

But what is the intention then?

I’m still not sure, to be honest, - but I’d like to suggest that the challenge could possibly benefit from being more specific. Like (for example): “Make a piano composition in 20 minutes”, or: “Make a beat with the factory presets in your Octatrack in 20 minutes”.

That way, doing the challenge immediately becomes easier, and you no longer run the risk of spending a lot more than the intended 20 minutes on doing it.

don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be; make something in 20 minutes doesn’t mean you have to play to a timer, and whether you decide to start from scratch or use instruments/samples you’re used to is up to you, nobody really cares how you made it and it’s no competition either.

Building your own soundbank is like building your repertoire (in jazz, folk music or rock whatever). It’s part of becoming a better musician. You work on your knowledge and skills, and it’s easier to start something new later with the capabilities you have developed. So, yeah, if you “make something in 20 minutes”, you’ll be using sounds from your soundbank and the skills you have accumulated over the years.
If you keep going the direction you go here, you’d have to say “make something in 20 minutes in a DAW you’ve never used, in a style you’ve never composed in before, in a tempo you’re not comfortable with”. Wouldn’t make sense. “Make a piano composition in 20 minutes”, yeah sure but what about people who took lessons in harmony and counterpoint and can probably compose something in the style of a Schubert sonata in 20 minutes.

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Man, those guys are just the worst! :slight_smile: he he…

I understand what you mean, though.

Your way of seeing the challenge is basically what I called: "Show off the instrument (and skills) you spent months (or years) building - but pretend you did the whole thing in 20 minutes”.

To me that’s just infinitely more complex than having a precise set of rules, since it can literally mean anything.

there’s no “pretend”, the hypothetical scenario you’re imagining, where people literally build their instruments in 20 minutes doesn’t make sense :hear_no_evil:

it’s no “show off” either. Just have fun, and instead of spending hours, days, and months crafting sounds, drop stuff together as quickly as possible and give it some form. That’s what the “challenge” is about. Just like the “X album writing month” concept, it just urges people to get to the bottom of making music which is arranging sounds together on a timeline, not spending all your time buying gear online, playing with patches, or learning about a new compressor. All of that is preparation to the moment when you open a new project and actually compose a track. The 20 minutes challenge just forces you to focus your attention on the actual form of your track, not the sounds you use. Using presets (maybe your own presets) is one way to keep the sound design off your mind. You could also use a simple square wave and decide not to bother more than that. You know what I mean?


I think part of my problem has to do with how I work.

I almost never use presets or ready-made samples, so I guess the idea of “throwing things together” is not natural to me.

It’s not that I think using presets or ready-made samples is wrong, it’s just not something I’m used to.

The way I work, I have to make things first - then “throw them together”. It makes most sense for me to do it like that.

I guess there’s a paralal here to how some painters insist on preparing their own pigments and paints.

This doesn’t mean that their paintings are automatically “better” or “more serious” than paintings by painters who use readymade paints (some commercial paints are excellent!), - it’s just a matter of personal preference.

The downside to “mixing your own paints” is, of course, that it’s a relatively slow process.

I’m basically too slow for a 20 minute challenge :smile: ha ha!

haha that’s ok, you can definitely decide this is not for you. It’s just a game, nothing serious, closer to sketching than painting.


Easy, just take the paints you’ve already primed and delete everything about them. No midi notes patterns, arranging. Take those paints from something else and put them to a new canvas.

Have fun.

Pretty solid and quite fun to listen to. Could definitely make for a full on track . Right on!

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I made this simple pattern in 20 … well, not really, more 20 to 30 min …

IDMF Beat the clock

Took me 19 minutes to make this.

I made this in under 20 mins:

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Played around a bit, only came up with this:

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