Page 6 of 11

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:42 pm
by heisenberg9
It's mostly all been said.

Your 42. The world will look VERY different to you 5 years from now and even WAY more different 10 years from now. I am in my 50s so I have gone down this path and so have billions of others. The aging thing and your perspective on it is remarkably similar no matter the life experience. Some things are relatively constant, others not.

Besides all that... To me it sounds like you are effectively going to blow your retirement savings, whether you think that or not. I also suspect you have kids. If you do then you have post secondary to worry about. I wouldn't saddle my kids with a massive debt when they are starting out their lives due to me following my bliss. That is just so not on.

Secondly, if you have enough to coast for 5 years, then you probably have in the neighbourhood of 200K in the bank. With 7% compounding interest that money doubles every 10 years, meaning you would have 800K in the bank when you are 62, even if you didn't contribute another dime. If this assumption is correct you are well positioned for retirement. You may not want to retire now but dollars to donuts, in 10 years, you will be ACHING to retire. It's the inescapable aging thing.

If you want meaning in your life, volunteer and help your community and the world around you.

The other stuff I could say has been well covered by others.

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:25 am
by tintala
I didn't read through all of the comments but I sped read thru alot and wholly shit 8O I can totally 100 relate to


I have a similar story. am roughly the same age with few more on top. I couldn't help but jump right in with a comment. I have been a musician since childhood , playing clarinet, sax, guitar.. formally trained in all the above. However, I had a change of endeavor to which instrument I really wanted to play.. especially after seeing it performed , I totally switched to playing tabla the north Indian percussion. Lol. :roll: Have been taught by the best in the world and live in Nepal part time.

I had a dream to perform masterfully in front of crowds in a traditional setting. But work and obligations ALWAYS took the forefront. Not to mention I could never sit and play tabla for 12 hrs. I persisted at it for 20 years. Yet I never became proficient while painting houses. I then had a horrible health crisis, my spine began to become compromised. I had to stop working after 10 years of pain and meds. Thankfully my wife who is from Nepal had a good job here in the USA. I finally applied for disability got denied, hired an attorney with hopes that if i could get SSD, I would have a chance at music.. however not playing table professionally but by mixing it with EDM. I did get my first DAW in 2002. Cubase.. I could not for the life of me figure it out no youtube or help back then.. so I kept painting houses till my spine failed. I actually started growing medical cannabis during the last tenure of my painting career, with the notion I would build a studio and buy everything I needed. Well it sorta worked until legislation changed the requirements of Dispensaries for their suppliers. So I was out of a job again. I decided to take the 25,000$ that I made growing weed put that in a savings and take classes and endeavor EDM. This whole time I hadn't touched cubase. Once my studio was built I took classes at Berklee for Reason, Midi, and composition. After finding out about Live, I freakn switched, it was very difficult. I took workshops, videos, tutorials , the works on how to make EDM with Live. All this time wondering if I would get SSD. I just found out a month ago I got it!! :lol: :!:

Which brings me to this point in time. I have been learning Live, full time now for about a year. I just cannot bring myself to give up after all I have put into it. I have mentors, and I am friends with some amazing artists. The new music coming out lately from them has just given me inspiration to not give up, even if I never make music that is close to what they come up with ....

Age IS relative though, look at DJ CHEB I SABBAH, anyone know his age?????? 65!! he still makes some of the best EDM in the world and is famous. But granted he has been at it for a very long time... Anyway I just wanted to throw my story in the kettle , and let you know that your not alone in this type of endeavor. We all gotta dream, even if we wake up one day and say wtf was I thinking? I just never wanted to wake up when i was old and say WHY THE FUCK didn't I pursue music more!? And regret THAT even more than putting ALL of my time and all of my $$ into it... I now know Live pretty damn well. :D

Sorry for the length peeps. :mrgreen:

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:34 am
by Sibanger
** Great life story tintala.

What is SSD ? Some kind a disability pension ?

I kept reading it as Solid State Drive... lol

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:14 am
by thegoodsirjames
Thanks so much Tarekith, Heisenberg and Tintala - great posts.

Helped by you guys, I think I am realising that my dilemma is really: - do I want to work for myself or for a company? And I am leaning towards wanting to work for myself. And I want it to somehow involve making electronic music and/or other forms of creativity. Like people have said, the focus must be on making the business work.

Perhaps what I need is a bunch of you guys to invest together with me in a social enterprise that does some good for society, feeds our interests, and helps feed our kids! I am thinking something related to education, maybe of hard to reach kids or those with special needs. Who is up for it? :D

Wow, as you get older the choices are never black and white...all have pros and cons. The trick is probably just to go for something, whatever it is, and accept it will have ups and downs.

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:08 am
by Tarekith
Honestly I think the real key is understanding that there's multiple ways to fulfill your dreams while not ruining all you've built so far at the same time. Some people take a measured approach, others jump all in and swim or sink, and some do a combination of both. We can all tell you what worked (or didn't) for us, but it's not that important to YOU, because only you can know what path will work in your situation.

Making music (or working in the industry) for a living has a very strong appeal to a lot of people, it's a dream a lot of people have. The truth is that it's work like any thing else, and because you're combining work with something you care deeply about, it's often MUCH harder to deal with than a "normal" job. That's not meant as a deterent, or to say the rewards when you're successful aren't worth it. Just that it's not as simple as lot of people think it is before they get involved enough to not turn back.

I get this question a lot from people, and it's always a tough question to answer. I want to be encouraging, but realistic at the same time, and that's sometimes a fine line to walk. But, at least in your case you have a really solid foundation (family, savings, etc) to build off of already, so no matter what you decide you're already far ahead of most people contemplating something like this.

Whatever you decide, just remember to have fun along the way now and then, and you'll rarely regret your decisions.

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:20 pm
by irrelevance
Family and kids are a great learning experience imo and a chance for living creatively (and frugally) as well :) On reflection I believe I have become a better musician and person in general because of the challenges family life has allowed me to experience.

Thoughts on going self employed:

I'm self employed in an engineering discipline and I'm working most days of the week. 3 days on site (up to 15 hours a day) and maybe 2 days admin, accounts, invoices, quotes etc) . Weekends I might pick up an extra job as it pays better. So you see self employment doesn't equate to more time if you're running you're own business at least not in my field. Although most self employed business owners I know are the same. However If I feel like taking a day off to devote to music I can!

Before I was self employed I had about 3 years out of work couldn't find employment actually. You think I must have got a ton of tracks to show for that Spent most of the time looking for work, retraining, worrying about not having work and becoming self absorbed in my own problems and predicament.

I think the ideal for me right now would be to take a low stress/low responsibility job part-time to tide me and mine over, live frugally and creatively whatever that may mean and see what comes of it, no expectations.

The story of the original musicians of the Buena vista social club is certainly inspiring. I'm constantly trying to remind myself of the need to realise my dreams today and not gaze ahead for some far off future satisfaction. March 5, march 5!!! :p

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:26 pm
by thegoodsirjames
^^^ Yep I can relate to you. Actually at the moment I work long hours and often weekends too...I don't really mind that but I'd rather be putting all that energy to something I like better. Plus like you say you can be flexible. Some weeks at the moment I work 70 hours and then some I could actually probably work 10 hours, but since I'm on payroll I have to make it up to 40 on those 'down' weeks, sitting around watching time go by and dreaming of things like...March 5th :D

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:16 pm
by stoersignal
if you`re sure about it that music is your passion than theres always a way to make a living out of it! (in my experience)
i`m not 42 but 31. i`ve got familiy (1 child + wife) , i make music since im 11 years old and i always knew that music is all i want to do, but i have never studied anything but music and i don`t have any savings. when my child was born i already was dj for about 10 years ,that doesn`t mean i earned a lot of money with it! i played in front of many many people but most of the time that have been on self organized non-commercial parties or at parties from oganizers which were my friends too. it was a very wild life. lots of parties, lots of fun but not a life for the father of a child. so what to do? the decision felt pretty fast: now i have to do that all in a much more professional way. as i said i don`t have any other professions. i already produced with logic and ableton for years but always more for fun than for anything else. anyway, that time it was about 4 years ago i put myself in front of the laptop and started learning and i`m sure that i have learned the double amount in this time than the 10-15 years before. but there was one problem: i`m not a buisnessman, i hate facebook and i`m not good in promoting myself so i earned no money :-( ok, new plan! if this is not working i take my knowledge and my passion and give it to others. it all started with youtube tutorials which got a very good response and i realized that the market (here in austria) is big enough to start a EDM-Music school or something like that. i started giving private lessons and courses on the Volkshochschule (sorry i don`t know the english word for it). but then a lot of things started to happen :-) one of my students asked me if i want to produce deep house and he would take care about marketing, promotion and all this stuff. i never was into any kind of house, but i thought it would be stupid to miss this opportunity so i said yes. in the beginning it was very strange and in a way very difficult to make music you`re not really interested in, but suddenly i saw that the tracks are getting more successful from day to day. which was a big motivation and in the meantime i started to love this music too. and the more i loved this music the more successful all this was getting. but i always knew that this project won`t last for my whole life nor the next 10 years (but who knows :-) ). but then it was about 2 months ago another student of mine called me and told me that his father is producing a musical and he wants me to compose the music for it ! i thought: musical? the next style i never had something to do with? but ok, it`s a great challenge and it`s very well paid. and as this musical will be showed on the whole globe it will be a big chance to get into areas which are even more interesting (at least if it will be a success) especially filmmusic (my final goal)!
so long story short, what i want to say with all this: if you put enough energy and passion into it and you`re are open for some things which aren`t exactly the direct way to your goal it will work sooner or later.
but theres one thing more i have to tell you as it may be very important for you too: it almost broke the relationship to the mother of my child. she supported me the whole time but in the end it was too much for her because i spent much more time making music, learning and teaching than i would have spent with a normal dayjob. but i never had an alternative! because i`ve never learned something else. so for me it was like: ok, either live a live as a working poor, doing a job i hate (i had lots of differnet jobs in my life but it always took my creativity and in the end my happiness) or try as hard as i can to realize my dream so that one day i can not only provide enough for my family but also show my child that everything what you want is possible

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:44 pm
by tintala
Sibanger wrote:** Great life story tintala.

What is SSD ? Some kind a disability pension ?

I kept reading it as Solid State Drive... lol
Solid State drive,, :lol: I totally didn't even think about that... 8O

yep SSD "SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY" benefits... or as republicans like to call it "entitlements".

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:40 am
by thegoodsirjames
stoersignal that is a great story, thanks! I hope all goes well with the musical, sounds exciting. And most of all I hope it continues to go well with your wife and child in beautiful Austria. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:17 am
by 3dot...
[disclaimer - didn't read through the whole post]

depends on what you call success...
Ableton is a tool to make music.. nothing more..
many musicians die broke...that isn't to say they don't succeed...
(in living a life of passion)
in a day and age where digits count... its not a small thing

if you're scared of dying broke.. go study a profession that's needed in the industry..
get a decent job at some company and work your way up with the years

if art is your "calling"..
you will be given feedback from the outside world telling you so
you've got to work hard on putting your skills out there for the world to see
all this while still maintaining a sustainable life...
(Ableton Live costs money.. do food/drinks/roof/computers/etc)
so like they say.. "don't quit your day-job just yet"

if it were just you... a guitar.. and the blues... I would say go for it


Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:14 am
by corporation
For me, money and creativity never mixed well.

I don't want $$$ to be motivation for my art.

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:03 am
by Tarekith
It doesn't have to be though.

I spend all day working with other people on their music to support myself, which means I can write whatever, whenever I want for my own music (art). Or look at guys like Ill Gates, Cosm, or DJ Vespers who teach about Live to earn money to make the music they want.

There's a balance there if you want it.

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:12 am
by dsu

There have already being many useful ideas expressed and some good advice. Your question is really not about music at all, It is about how to live a happy life.

I will be 61 next month. In the seventies I had a run at the music business but gave up because I was tired of starving. A high school mate, kept at the music business. He has been married 3 times has twice as many kids (counting step kids 3 times) as I have. He is incredibly talented, worked on hit shows. When I was in my mid to late 40's he approached me with an offer to go into business doing film post-audio. I was sorely tempted but at that time I was making OK money working in IT and most of the people I worked with where both brilliant and fun to work with. There was a lot of security in my job and I didn't think I would work as productively if I was always worried about where the next paycheck was coming from so I gave up on my dream once again.

Last year I attended an AES meeting in town with my friend and met all these old guys like me. They all had done really incredible work in their lives and they where all starving. I retired last year with a modest pension and I finally get to do the music I want. My friend is not using his talent to express himself or "be creative". He is looking for work.

I am still filled with regrets that my run at the music business didn't work out the way I hoped. But my life did. Got a great wife, two adult sons still living at home. A small music studio which is much more capable than the McGill electronic music study I worked back in the day. And people I respect, respect the music I'm creating now.

In my experience, it takes a particular combination of characteristics to be successful running your own small business. One of the most important is the ability to get out there and sell yourself, constantly. In my teens and twenties I was extremely shy and introverted and not at all comfortable meeting people which is just about the most important thing you can do if you want to establish connections in any business.

I took the safe road and after 40 years, I don't think I could have done anything else. I just didn't have the aptitude need to run my own business and my musical interests where anything but mainstream. I realize I have had a happy life but this is only because I am slowing learning to accept myself for who I am rather than who I wish I was.

If you can accept yourself for who you are, your happiness won't depend on whether you work in music or not.If you can move from disappointment with "your life as it is" to curiosity about what else your life can include you might find creative expression flowering of is own course.

I really respect and appreciate that you took the risk to put this question out there and the many thoughtful responses people have offered.

And now for something completely different, a little Monty Python on the subject of midlife career changes.

Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:23 am
by [art]
I'm 31. Done music stuffs since I was a kid. Never 'made it'. But still LOVE it.

I feel like I'm in a sweet spot, and a friends told me about Frank Zappa's advice, which is to have a part time job. I really believe that, after practicing it a few years. My job lets me take 8 weeks off whenever I want. And there's always heaps of work. So my preferred method is to actually smash work for a few weeks, then take a week or two off to do my own thing. I find if I try and squeeze it in after work its half-arsed or I'm too tired.

I'm actually gearing up for a creation mission this year. Just gonna save heaps of money, so I can take heaps of time off and stay afloat during that time.

My advice would be to look at things as 'projects' , just do some projects bro, and don't think about the money. Shit, you'll have to do stuff for free first! Keep your job or find another one with more flexibility and closer to what you like. You can leapfrog from there.

Another important thing I think is to take a big deep breath and Reelllaaxxx. Being able to zen out and not lot your job get to you is probably just as important as finding a new one.

The minute I start to feel like I'm not achieving 'my dreams', I actually get kinda depressed. I find if I chill and don't worry about it then come at it candidly when I have time off, I'm all the better mentally. Being at work sad about being there isn't any good for anyone.

Life can't be all music until it is, so if it isn't then look up!