How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
szeno
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:33 am

How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by szeno » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:55 pm

Hey guys, I'm new here, and also fairly new to music production.

My biggest problem right now is that I can't seem to "transfer" the music that's playing in my mind into real music. I've recorded hundreds of audios of myself beatboxing, but I can never seem to be able to translate those ideas into beats and melodies the way I had them imagined. I could use a few tips and advise.

I don't know what approach most people use. One of the easier ways for me to make a piece is to find sounds that I like and then make music out of them. It's fun but not so gratifying.

I would prefer so much if I am able to make music based on the ideas i have in mind. Been scouring the net for a good definitive writeup on such a topic but they're nowhere to be found.

Sometimes I even mix up between melodies and beats.. I don't know how to explain it. It's frustrating..

Anyone wanna save this struggling soul? :)


Best regards,
Szeno / K-Wo

doghouse
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by doghouse » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:12 pm

Assuming you are singing in tune (more or less) converting your melodies to music is just a matter of playing those melodies on a keyboard. Do you find yourself unable to do that?

Beats should be even easier as your pitch is not so important 8)

If you could be more specific about what seems to be wrong when you do this it would help us give you advice.

LeifonMars
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:48 am

Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by LeifonMars » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:23 pm

szeno wrote:Hey guys, I'm new here, and also fairly new to music production.

My biggest problem right now is that I can't seem to "transfer" the music that's playing in my mind into real music. I've recorded hundreds of audios of myself beatboxing, but I can never seem to be able to translate those ideas into beats and melodies the way I had them imagined. I could use a few tips and advise.

I don't know what approach most people use. One of the easier ways for me to make a piece is to find sounds that I like and then make music out of them. It's fun but not so gratifying.

I would prefer so much if I am able to make music based on the ideas i have in mind. Been scouring the net for a good definitive writeup on such a topic but they're nowhere to be found.

Sometimes I even mix up between melodies and beats.. I don't know how to explain it. It's frustrating..

Anyone wanna save this struggling soul? :)


Best regards,
Szeno / K-Wo
Let the accidents guide you. The most refreshing music comes from accidents. Try to mimic the voices in your head and music you find inspiring, and from there, let the accidents guide you.
MBP OSX 10.6.8, Live 8.4, MFII, Evolver, Monomachine, Octatrack, APC40, Launchpad

mojofunk
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by mojofunk » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:38 pm

I'll skip the speech about theory and musical training etc, but I did read here once that someone liked to sing into Melodyne and convert that audio into midi, that he then used to drive synths etc - seemed pretty clever to me!

LeifonMars
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:48 am

Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by LeifonMars » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:55 pm

mojofunk wrote:I'll skip the speech about theory and musical training etc, but I did read here once that someone liked to sing into Melodyne and convert that audio into midi, that he then used to drive synths etc - seemed pretty clever to me!
The only problem is that imo we often hear the music in our head (the melody) with chords and harmonies (even if we weren't aware of that) and the melody is usually carried with chord progressions as well, which you can't naturally capture with this technique. And as much as I appreciate "accidents" I mentioned about above, imo you should be able to play at least the melody lines you hear, or in case you can't, learn how to play. Controversial - sure.

But then again, what mojofunk suggested is smart.
MBP OSX 10.6.8, Live 8.4, MFII, Evolver, Monomachine, Octatrack, APC40, Launchpad

szeno
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:33 am

Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by szeno » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:12 am

doghouse wrote:Assuming you are singing in tune (more or less) converting your melodies to music is just a matter of playing those melodies on a keyboard. Do you find yourself unable to do that?

Beats should be even easier as your pitch is not so important 8)

If you could be more specific about what seems to be wrong when you do this it would help us give you advice.
Playing the melodies on keyboard: I'm pretty much doing it by ear, i'm no piano expert by any means, so i'm pretty much triggering the notes on my keyboard progressively on one octave with only one key per time segment most of the time (no chords..) I have to say that sometimes I couldn't find the note that I have in mind, so I guess knowing chords is essential. More often than not, I find myself wondering if some of the sounds that I have in mind are actually a discrete note (meaning another keypress), or if it's an "aftersound" (like the sound you may hear after you leave or sustain a key).

As for the beats, it's easier, but sometimes it's quite hard to differentiate the beats I have in mind. Kicks for example, sometimes I wonder if my progression of kicks are supposed to come from different samples/preset, or simply same sample/preset but articulated differently? Maybe I'm just lacking the practical experience here. But any advice here would be highly appreciated!

With these in mind, I guess sound design skills can come later because I can replace the soundfiles later, but maybe that's not a good practice for music? I usually just use sounds that're halfway there, hardly find myself getting the sound that I want.
LeifonMars wrote:Let the accidents guide you. The most refreshing music comes from accidents. Try to mimic the voices in your head and music you find inspiring, and from there, let the accidents guide you.
Accidents as in? Sorry I may be unfamiliar to music jargons. Any song examples? I googled the definition but still fail to understand (practically).
mojofunk wrote:I'll skip the speech about theory and musical training etc, but I did read here once that someone liked to sing into Melodyne and convert that audio into midi, that he then used to drive synths etc - seemed pretty clever to me!
I've had this idea before and done it. Problem is, like above, lies more in sound design to get near the sound i want and sometimes I find myself wondering what to fill part of the singing/beatboxing/whistling/etc. Because for example, I can whistle out a popular song and people would know what song it is, but in actual fact the real song is not as simple. So I guess my problem here is to get a grasp of the ensemble of instruments that will drive the music that I have in mind.

Thanks guys, I would love to hear more :). I just don't want these songs I have in mind to go to waste :(

Warmest regards,
Szeno / K-Wo
Ableton Live 8 | Komplete 7 | Maschine | Nocturn25 Keyboard | Behringer BCD3000

polymer
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by polymer » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:20 am

You could try Melodyne for your beat boxing and turn them into midi notes then import them into Ableton and whack sampled beats to the notes.It works on mono lines best and your beatboxing or even humming a tune could translate into a synthline via midi.

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LeifonMars
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by LeifonMars » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:42 am

LeifonMars wrote:Let the accidents guide you. The most refreshing music comes from accidents. Try to mimic the voices in your head and music you find inspiring, and from there, let the accidents guide you.
Accidents as in? Sorry I may be unfamiliar to music jargons. Any song examples? I googled the definition but still fail to understand (practically).
[/quote]

What I was trying to say, was that as you get along of trying to transform the music in your head into music, you'll often pump by accident into things that sound refreshing, maybe odd but awesome but don't fit to the music you had in mind: these are called happy accidents and it can be inspiring sound, rhythm or beat, cool sounding harmony in the chord progression gone not quite so it was suppose to go. Happy accidents occur when things go wrong or you don't know exactly what you're doing. I believe most of the new genres of music is born by the influence of happy accidents. The only thing is to know when to hang on to it and let go your original idea. I teach kids (teenagers) once a week music production in a local music academy and this class is open to everyone (also to those with no previous music education): often the most interesting things come up from kids who have no musical training back ground, and who, therefore have not so restrictive mind-set of how their music should sound like. But then again, those kids have also very often difficulties ending their projects because they keep jumping back and forth and not building on a cool stuff they've found so far.

I realize this doesn't answer to your original question at all. :lol:
MBP OSX 10.6.8, Live 8.4, MFII, Evolver, Monomachine, Octatrack, APC40, Launchpad

oddstep
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by oddstep » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:24 am

I have a similar problem. I think its down to having no formal musical training from a young age... one thing I do is sing and record melodies... convert this into midi slices using transients. Then use this midi clip to play a simple sine wave synth. I then loop the first note and move it up or down untill it sounds in tune. I then expand the loop bracket to include the next note and move this around untill i get the relationship between the two notes to correspond to the relationship between the two sung notes. And so on. Its always quicker to play the melody on a keyboard, but you need some experience with scales and intervals before this becomes possible. The other issues you are having are down to unfamiliarity with the instruments. If two notes follow one another, slur from one to the other ... thats legato mode. Two drum hits that seem the same but one is brighter, that could be one is pitched slightly higher, or it could be a lowpass filter that has its cut off frequency increased. The craft to music making is understanding how to express your imagination within the specific possibilities of an instrument. Which is why we get hung up on sound design :D

3phase
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by 3phase » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:12 am

relax.. when you are able to just realize 5% of your imagination you will be a known producer allready...

its pretty normal that the difference between imagination and realisation is bigger for beginners.. try to immagine you would deal with a real instrument you never have played before..the outcome would be horrific.. the strange thing with electronic music is that not knowing how to play can sound like intended propper tracks..
I remember my first contact with a software sequencer driving a multi timbral sampler...
The tool to realize all your imagination, was the promisse...
But my first track turned to be some kind of electro reggae somehow..

and i really dont know how that happened, wasnt my intention at all to do anything reggae like..
however still like the sequences..wasnt a bad thing to happen..just highly irritating.
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

3phase
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by 3phase » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:21 am

oddstep wrote:I have a similar problem. I think its down to having no formal musical training from a young age...

most people that had a formal musical trainig from a young age i ve met had problems with actually having own musical ideas or beeing able to improvise..
not all of cause.. some was actually brilliant in composing and improvisation. but the general tendency seems to be that too much training in playing others peoples music preprograms your style window.. score sheet robots dont make necessarily the better producers
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

Der_Makrophag
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by Der_Makrophag » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:51 pm

As all this is about the whoule music in ones mind, I think, soudn design is also very important. Because we associate melodies with a certain sound. Fo rexample if you suddenly have a slow, dreamy, smooth meldoy in mind, you will have this with a certain sound, like a really soft ambient pad with some high glitter but also a big bass fundamental....
Describing this by words is impossible and getting the sound (and the melody) is a hard thing to do.
Of course this depends on the sound you seek. For a certain Piano fo rexample I would not try to get it out of a synth, just flip through severel sample-libraries to get the sound you wanted. If nothing fits, choose the "smallest evil" and try to adjust it with FX.
For me getting certain synth sounds from my mind that I never did before are a real problem sometimes (for melodies this also aplies, of course, but somehow I find the synth problem more complex, because it starts with the qeustion: What synth to use?). In general I do not think that I am very good at this, I often end up the try and error method until I get something that sounds good (bu tnot what I wanted in the beginning).
By the way this also aplies for things you hear from other musicians or your idols where you also want THIS certain element in your track. At least, you can share this kind of problem with others, who are more familiar with this, because you have an audio sample somewhere, what it sounds like.
But only you yourself know what you want (as said above, dewscribing it is impossible, unless you have someone who thinks the same way as you, some telepathic twin or something).
Maybe I'll (and you) get better over time, as I always try to let my inspiration flow and not to force things strictly. If it does not work after a while, the piece of york needs a rest. Thus you tray again and again until at a certain point you loose inspiration on it, realize that you just can't do it or (hope fully) get it right.
My English is not perfect, I know... Sorry about that.

Greetings from Germany!

P.S. to wishlist forum users: Please search for former requests. Otherwise they will be splitted into many small ones and we are loosing impact!!!

flashy12
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by flashy12 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:28 am

In ableton set up a midi track with whatever instrument sound you want to start your track with

put the "scale" effect on it choosing a key then apply the "chord" effect try "5ths"

choose a tempo, you could beatbox and tap the tempo button 4 times to get a tempo you like

start recording playing one key at a time. you will be playing chords just by pressing one key and the "scale" effect will keep all the notes in the key chosen. record something like 8 bars long just progression from one key to the other that comes back to the first key.

now you have a chord progression to start off your track

chords= multiple notes at same time(people already have figured out what notes sound good played toegether and they call em chords)

setup another midi track with same instrument and same "scale" effect but without the chord effect.

play a melody you hear in ya head while following the chord progression you already recorded.


setup a drumracks set and tap or click in a drum pattern you hear in ya head that goes with your melody and chord progression



add mabout two more different instruments in there with the same scale/key effect

play another melody that sounds good with the first one


pretty much it we all start in ou "head" the software is just a toolset that you use to express what's in ya head
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szeno
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by szeno » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:18 pm

Thanks guys! This is getting pretty interesting. I just came back from Zoukout'10, a party 8am-8pm held in singapore yearly. It was fantastic - especially david guetta's set!

Makes me think, depending on the genre, the production style would be different. As i'm actually more into hip hop, i would say to it's a little difficult because i need to accompany the lyrics.

I think the difficulty here is in the instruments.. we have too much in our hands. If let's say, we have just a guitar, we'll know exactly how it will sound like.

Flashy12, thanks, i'll try that out!

Saxer
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Re: How to make real music with the music that I have in mind?

Post by Saxer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:20 pm

first of all: be glad you have music in mind!

lot of the music in mind is kind of a feeling, music should trigger emotionally. but it´s not a recepy of what to do to make it real. it´s like writing a book in a foreign language: you know what the book should be about, but you don´t know the words.

to learn it: copy! listen to music you like, analyse it, play it, select the single elements and recognize how they work alone and together. like learning a language: first you copy words and little sentences, then you learn to answer little questions by making own combinations of words. after a while you can speak and think inside this language.
once you can think "inside" music, you know what to do to let the music out of your mind and produce it. so it´s no longer a "dance feeling", it becomes bassdrum, hihat, bass, notes, chords, lyrics, melodies, instrument combinations...
on the long way to there, there´s a lot of fun with learning and also producing with the positive accidents on your side. start now, have fun, play... it´s a bit like having a chinese girl friend to learn chinese :-)

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