3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
newndank
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:22 am

3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by newndank » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:23 am

Hi, so 2 friends and I are trying to make music together (electronic). So far I am the only one with any music making program/ equipment (Ableton Live/Push/Studio Monitors) and I am constantly driving back and forth for them to play with the push and ableton but they get very little alone sit down time with it and are just basically playing around pressing buttons not knowing whats going on. not allowing me to show them the technical stuff I've learned because they are over eager. which as you can imagine is pretty frustrating for me because i dropped all this money and am spending all this time working on something for us while they just kinda of play around on it and expect me to pretty much run the program for them and not have to do any real work with it.

I was wondering what kind of equipment and programming that I could point them towards so that we can get a real active trio thing going on, where everyones got a job and is working together to make something thats (hopefully) amazing. So far from the reading I've been doing, the best option seems like them having 1. a mixing controller (like a NI S4 or something along those lines) and then 2. Reason on another computer that will be run as a slave to Ableton on my computer? (I have no idea how this is done or what benefits it has) but I have heard its a pretty slick set up and seems like a good way for us all to be working on something.

Any better ideas? Product suggestions? I would really like to have them with me so we can team up and enjoy this together but if it keeps happening where I'm just doing all the work and they just kind of tinker around with it when they feel like it and I'm available, then I may as well just do it on my own. They are not very respectful of my push/ computer (greasy pizza fingers on the push, setting drinking glasses on my monitors ect.) and I can't have that happening anymore because it drives me absolutely insane! Im really anal with all of my equipment because i saved up for 6 months to get it all and I absolutely love my equipment.

Really looking forward to your replies! Thanks a lot for the help!

Tarekith
Posts: 17329
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
Contact:

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by Tarekith » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:29 am

This is exactly why I stopped doing the band thing and went with electronic music in the first place :)

Not helpful, sorry, but hopefully they realize it takes equal effort for your sake.

newndank
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:22 am

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by newndank » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:52 am

Im glad im not the only one! haha Its to the point where I'm just not bringing my stuff over for them to play with me because Im constantly worried about them ruining my set up and they really arnt helping me in any way, if anything they're just wasting the time that could be spent actually getting into it and learning/ making new beats.

I try and show them the things I've learned through trial and error but they will literally just start pushing random buttons as I'm trying to show them things. Maybe its me, but if they don't get a setup for them selves and actually start being productive I'm just gonna go solo. Its sad though because we are best friends and dreamed about this for a long time.

onshiftingsands
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 1:55 am

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by onshiftingsands » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:31 am

I'm in a 2-piece electronic group and the base agreement is that we all maintain a base level of gear:

1. Logic Pro
2. Ableton
3. BFD
4. Kontakt.

Everything else on top of that we freeze the tracks and transfer using Dropbox. When we need additional musicians I'll export stems and they'll usually record in Protools or whatever their choice of DAW is. I then import to Logic, and split up for use in Ableton as necessary.

If you expect to be able to collaborate then everyone needs the base level of gear in order to be able to contribute, otherwise you may as well be solo already given you're doing all the work.

JoshG567
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:42 pm

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by JoshG567 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:12 am

Sounds like this arrangement is better for your friends in theory than it is in practice for you. If you've got all the gear I'd say your place is where the shit goes down; when your friends can make something happen at their place you all can go over there too and you can get way too cozy with all of their shit.

Couldn't they at least run demo versions of some daw to start learning how the shit works?

chrk
Posts: 1713
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by chrk » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:15 am

newndank wrote:...are just basically playing around pressing buttons not knowing whats going on. ... they are over eager.
Are they contributing anything musically in those sessions, or are they just fiddling around like they were trying a new console game?

panten
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:02 pm
Location: South of London

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by panten » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:20 am

This is my perspective.

I was in a 3 person group (admittedly a long time ago now) when I was at art school. One of the friends had all the gear and we would end up round his all the time smashing about on his stuff and having a great laugh. There has to be a certain degree of that involved. It is a natural instinct to want to push those buttons or strum the strings; that's part of the beauty of what we do.

Anyway, we each of us had our own traditional instrument disciplines; The other two had Guitar and Bass respectively and I on the drums. The more we were exposed to computers and electronic equipment the more involved we all became in the process.

I bought a drum machine, then some effects, then a sampler and eventually my own computer.

Do your friends have any natural roles they'd fit into?

Even though we all ended up with our own setups we still seemed to fill that Holy Trinity of Guitar, Bass & Drums.

Perhaps one of them could save for an instrument of some sort, whether that's a sampler, iPad, traditional or otherwise. That way they can be working on some ideas on their own.

The Korg Electribe ESX2 Sampler is out soon, won't break the bank and looks like it will integrate really well with live.

Working within limits can force you to be creative sometimes.

One final word from me on this. I would definitely say something to them about leaving drinks on monitors and greasy fingers on your Push. It's not very punk rock but these things are valuable when you're starting out.
Don't be a Dick about it but just explain that you spent a good deal of money on them and if they go kaput then you're all out of your dream )

Sorry for the ramble but I hope you can sort something out.


newndank
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:22 am

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by newndank » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:11 am

First of all thanks a lot for the replies! Im gonna try and answer all the questions in one go here so hopefully I don't miss any details. They live together and are identical twins so basically one DAW for the two of them will work fine because they do mostly everything together. They are saving up to get their computer fixed right now so a demo isn't going to work for now. I live with my step dad and I'm not trying to have the homies over at his house constantly to avoid conflict not to mention they don't have a car so the sessions definitely can't go down at my house.

As far as musical talent goes, I am drums and they have light brass experience and are pretty good beat boxers(not exactly a prime skill but helps none the less) so they have a pretty good grasp on rhythm at least so we can make good beats but we all lack in the note structure area (which I've been compensating for with heavy research.) But when it comes to the actual translating of the music using a DAW they are more or less completely oblivious, I run the whole show and they just press the buttons with me while we search for good sounds. (I am still very new to it as well but have been working very hard at it and spending a lot of hours teaching myself over the past few months to a point of being able to finish simple to early staged moderate songs) So they add little to the songs other than a different point of view and more fingers. I can finish a song myself, but when I try and make a song with them we can't seem to get past halfway through an intro because they don't understand the progression and modification that needs to take place.

I have tried telling them about the misuse of my expensive toys on many occasions but they come from a privileged family and I think that has lead them to not respecting objects because they were easily replaced at their house. (They have to pay for there own things now so the parents arnt gonna buy them a studio or anything haha) I truly don't think they notice how haphazardly they are treating my things so they just give me the classic "Its fine man, you worry too much" line.

Basically I'm going to give them a suggestion of equipment because they trust my research skills and have asked my opinion about it because they know how heavily I've been looking into it. But there are so many options I really don't know where to start, I just want to point them in the right direction then wait to collaborate till they get on it. I wasn't aware of the whole dropbox situation and that seems like a good solution, So maybe just tell them to get DAW of choice and hand songs back and forth? We do plan on playing live once we get on our feet and want to do improvised stuff for parties so we arnt just "pressing play." Should we just worry about that later? Or get something now to get practice in on it? If so what would be a good improvisational live tool?

Real sorry if this is coming off as a rant but Im really just trying to find a solution that works for all of us so we can have fun, and maybe if were lucky go out and live that dream.

Thanks again!

newndank
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:22 am

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by newndank » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:31 am

Also with the drop box can i send midi information? So that they can use the same sounds in a similar song were working on? Im sure theres a more technical way to explain this but my production vocabulary is still very low. Or would it basically be like us remixing off of each other?

doghouse
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by doghouse » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:17 am

You can share any kind of files you like via dropbox.

Angstrom
Posts: 14661
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by Angstrom » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:24 pm

One of the biggest problems with nascent bands is the tolerance of deadweight.

At the start you have to really want to make great music, your goals should be ludicrously high. You should be driven with fervour and purpose, because thats what you'll need to get you through the initial years of making derivative dogshit. You need drive to get weird, to explore, to push on past the easy goals.

Everyone involved's personality flaws should be driving them ever forward, of course band members are always annoying, but they should be annoying &productive - the guitarist who is driven to play ultra precise and tidy because his mom is a junkie, the singer who annoys everyone with trying to sing weird worldmusic styles they found as an escape because they were touched by an uncle. The bassplayer who will not stop his relentless Mick Karn riffs. The drummer who turns up way too early, so keen, and gets really angry when anyone slacks off.

Thats what you need: driven passionate people. Self motivated people.
Every band attracts deadweights, the drunks, the fakers, the lazy cant be arsed messing around people.
Lose them now.

You do not need fools.

garyboozy
Posts: 2580
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:27 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by garyboozy » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:33 pm

Angstrom wrote:REAL TALK
take heed

sonik777
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 1:53 am
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by sonik777 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:16 pm

Figure out which one has the most talent/potential and focus your energy on them. Put the other one in charge of snacks.

alexjholland
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact:

Re: 3 person group, how to keep everyone involved?

Post by alexjholland » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:45 pm

You should ask them to remove their clothing and rub colored paint over their nipples, whilst screaming and playing a variety of low-skilled percussive instruments, such as the triangle or maracas.

Post Reply