A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
moonpie
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A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by moonpie » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:35 pm

My electronic duo has set aside some time to spend an entire month to focus on the group. With an EP to finish and alot of writing to to - Planning to do 9am-5pm days finishing songs, writing material, getting better at sound design, becoming better musicians. Probably the most serious and time sustained effort Ive ever had the chance to put into a single musical project. A really great opportunity.

Just trying to decide how best to set it up and divide up time, so any advice/experiences welcome. We've been talking about it for a long while, so its actually very exciting now its happening.

We're borrowing/renting out a relatives house for it - with electronic stuff up till now - our equipment is rarely if ever in the same room, and very rarely set up the same every day so you can just launch into writing. Even getting silence in our respective homes is a big ask.

So we've to decide the layout of the room we'll be using, the setup, what goes where, what controls what.

We write completely in the box - zero outboard gear (not including acoustic instruments). 2 laptops and er.. 7-9 controllers of various types. (also - mixing speakers, interfaces, mics).

My plan was to approach the controllers like a modular system. Dedicating a controller to a single synth or effect - that's set up the same every day, so we can learn it and mess with it with ye old tactile feedback. Try get the most out of single vsts/aus.

Some other ideas (with a 2 laptop setup) were to dedicate one laptop to the majority of controllers and synths and Live. Then record stuff as audio into Studio One on Laptop 2. Giving us the opportunity to play music in, and get away from midi as fast as possible (to prevent us from making changes round the clock and going in circles...).

With that in mind - my collection of vsts is pretty good now, and (importantly) my knowledge of them. I guess we want to get away from subtractive synths a bit and more into fm. So assigning controllers for Reaktor, Massive, FM8, Operator, Bazille in a way that it makes creating sounds alot easier. (although a keyboard set up for DIVA and Oxium would be pretty great too!).

Making presets could be a separate process with its own time devoted to it. So too creating effect racks in Live.

Dividing up time for the biggest benefit is the harder part. Where to spend the time, when to learn, when to create, keeping us motivated and productive and inspired. Probably something we'll learn as we go along.

But there's always alot of experience on this forum - so if anybody has any ideas, or projects that went particularly successfully for whatever reason Id love to hear about it. Where you lost time, where you gained time, what you got out of it, your setup!

simmerdown
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by simmerdown » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:47 pm

#1....unplug modem, give it to your grandma and tell her not to give it back under any circumstances

#2...from 9-5(?) remove phone battery, give it to grandma too

#3...get after it

moonpie
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by moonpie » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:14 pm

simmerdown wrote:#1....unplug modem, give it to your grandma and tell her not to give it back under any circumstances

#2...from 9-5(?) remove phone battery, give it to grandma too

#3...get after it

Yeah - one of the great things is the house doesnt have broadband. So weve no option. Planning to use the phones as controllers, but yeah, I agree, it would be amazing to be off the radar for a couple hours.... Hm. Really glad the net wont be an issue.

ian_halsall
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by ian_halsall » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:17 pm

moonpie wrote:
simmerdown wrote:#1....unplug modem, give it to your grandma and tell her not to give it back under any circumstances

#2...from 9-5(?) remove phone battery, give it to grandma too

#3...get after it

Yeah - one of the great things is the house doesnt have broadband. So weve no option. Planning to use the phones as controllers, but yeah, I agree, it would be amazing to be off the radar for a couple hours.... Hm. Really glad the net wont be an issue.
If you don't have internet you're relatively safe.

Also don't go near an off license (liquor store) or stay up after 12.

Get up early every day and get to work!

Drink a lot of coffee (not instant - never instant - that will destroy any good work you have ever done).

moonpie
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by moonpie » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:31 pm

ian_halsall wrote:
moonpie wrote:
simmerdown wrote:#1....unplug modem, give it to your grandma and tell her not to give it back under any circumstances

#2...from 9-5(?) remove phone battery, give it to grandma too

#3...get after it

Yeah - one of the great things is the house doesnt have broadband. So weve no option. Planning to use the phones as controllers, but yeah, I agree, it would be amazing to be off the radar for a couple hours.... Hm. Really glad the net wont be an issue.
If you don't have internet you're relatively safe.

Also don't go near an off license (liquor store) or stay up after 12.

Get up early every day and get to work!

Drink a lot of coffee (not instant - never instant - that will destroy any good work you have ever done).

Haha! Instant is the devils brew!

Szuumm
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by Szuumm » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:08 pm

[quote="ian_halsall]
Also don't...stay up after 12.

Get up early every day and get to work![/quote]

Just my $0.02, but this wouldn't work for me at all... I would rather stay up for 36 hours straight when the muse strikes. The idea of having to be creative on a 9-5 basis seems a bit strange.

simmerdown
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by simmerdown » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:10 pm

ive always been more 9pm to dawn..whatever floats yer boat though

ian_halsall
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by ian_halsall » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:13 pm

I was being ironic on the coffee - just drink whatever you like as long as it's not booze.

Angstrom
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by Angstrom » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:28 pm

there are many ways to aproach this, but often the most interesting work comes out of (after you are all familiar with the material and the set-up) getting utterly wasted about two weeks in, and making sure that someone sober is on hand to capture it as stems or un-cliped deep bit-depth waves.

As an out-of context example - I put a spell on you, by "screamin'" Jay Hawkins was recorded when the band had finished their session and went out for a drink, they returned totally wasted and recorded the classic version. Source . The next day Jay didn't even remember recording it.

The 'drunk' version had a wildness that the originally intended version never could, and it provided him with a career (it provided Dr John with a career, and Captain Beefheart with a career too).

Getting 'out of your head' is not always a bad thing.

djadonis206
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by djadonis206 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:32 pm

It's a shame you're limited to 9 to 5. Pro skater Rodney Mullen practices in the middle of the night

Also, the Rolling Stones rented a house once in France. Partied 24/7 and made some awesome songs and an album

My point is to not limit yourself and figure out a way to let go...that isn't totally destructive
Ableton | Elektron

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trevox
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by trevox » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:38 pm

It's a good idea - if you are part of a duo - to get anything you can do by yourself done in your time and then bring it to the table. Nothing has to be set in stone, but if you learn some synths really well, design a load of sounds you like, jot down some basic ideas you would like to try etc, this will save the valuable time when both of you are in the same room at the same time. Coming from experience, it's not a particularly efficient use of time to "learn" things together. Limiting yourself to a setup is a great idea too - means you won't end up spending 5 hours deciding what VST to use and you can get to actual music writing!

Tagor
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by Tagor » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:11 am

smoke all days ganja and do nothing - and on the last day - create the next-summer chart hit :twisted:

maybe thatsoldfashioned: but i think Bob Marley did it that way

infernal.machine
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by infernal.machine » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:31 am

Invite some ladies over.

Zygi
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by Zygi » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:08 am

Well... I've lost the biggest amount of time asking what to do, which software, hardware, controller and trying things out...

Concentrated on things that are not necessary to make music and here I am - with nothing. Or worse - with a lot of knowledge about unimportant things.

Forget about complicated mappings.

Just mess with the (software) instruments until something comes up. The more planning you do, the less happy accidents you make. And happy accidents are the most important thing in music.

moonpie
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Re: A month set for 9-5 writing/creating- what would you do?

Post by moonpie » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:59 am

Zygi wrote:Well... I've lost the biggest amount of time asking what to do, which software, hardware, controller and trying things out...

Concentrated on things that are not necessary to make music and here I am - with nothing. Or worse - with a lot of knowledge about unimportant things.

Forget about complicated mappings.

Just mess with the (software) instruments until something comes up. The more planning you do, the less happy accidents you make. And happy accidents are the most important thing in music.
Well I guess - happy accidents are wonderful, but for me, the best accidents happen when you can control something or edit something keeping up with your imagination. Thats the fun part. Zero fun when inspiration hits and youre scanning through software asking wtf it wont work.

Then Google.

Then.

Night Gone. :(

I guess - I know what you mean with "overmapping" things - pointless because - yes everything is in danger of sounding the same - and then you make something so complex you cant get familiar with it anyways so its self-defeating. But an easily accessed adsr, filter, lfo rate never hurt anyone! :)

Dont worry - Im in the same boat - feel like Ive wasted alot of time researching music rather than doing it. Creating mappings and setups that cover every imagined eventuality - except that of actually writing music and letting it throw up the problems first.

Id really like a controller dedicated for an arp, distortion fx and a delay. So Ill prob do that. The rob papen stuff would definitely benefit from direct control as the gui is a bit fiddly. Arps are crazy fun mapped (kirnu with automap) - the possibilities are endless, and exciting things can come out of that.


All the suggestions are both funny and true - gotta admit - Angstroms advice:
Angstrom wrote:..(after you are all familiar with the material and the set-up) getting utterly wasted about two weeks in
is pretty genius. THATS a crazy productive idea. Totally doing that! The thing about screaming jays band (probably like most bands that long ago) - their default skill level when completely wasted would be still way higher than the average musician's best day today. Most people just suck with ideas when out of it.


To everybody asking or wondering WTF with 9 - 5! Ha! Well. Ive discovered after many many years - Routine is crazy important. As unsexy/lame as it sounds. Especially with music. The majority of people good at music do have to work really hard - and I really respect musicians like that. Definitely to build the skills to write the music Im interested in there has to be a tiny bit of structure. And when you have that great idea - you wont put it off - youll be able to do it then and there when inspiration hits. Anyways - its only for month, Im already living the 5am lifestyle, so a change would be good. Might actually kick start the brain cells again.

Thanks everybody for the advice -

Cant tell you how much being away from net and phone will help!! Net, phone, shiny objects. Gotta avoid.

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