a couple of random tips: how to make music you'll enjoy more

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:58 am

doc holiday wrote:
heavensdaw wrote: Have your gear set up to GO! It kills creativity when you gotta do the cable thing..

Hd
depends on the gear.
I tend to agree with the good doctor: having everything ready means it's ready when I am.

I am infinitely tired of screwing around with gear, both software & hardware.

While all this gear promises to fly you to the moon, it is often this same gear that prevents you from even getting off the ground. If I can get it as close to being ready in real time, the better!

a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:22 am

I disagree about the starting with drums thing - everyone works differently. I write a lot of dance music, and to me the percussion is the most important element as it defines the groove, so I like to nail drums and the bassline first before moving on elsewhere.

My advice:

Separate the creative stage from the mixdown stage as much as possible. Nothing stifles creativity more than tweaking a kick or a bass synth for 4 hours. as soon as it's sounding "pretty good", move on and keep the creative juices flowing. You can go back later when the key elements of the track are in place and attempt a proper mixdown.

Have a small library of good drum sounds ready to go. Same reason as above really - keep the creative juices flowing!

When you get a setup that works, don't change it! Whether it be hardware or software, having a stable system that you know inside out is valuable. Always wanting new plugins, or the latest software versions, will probably just slow you down, not to mention potentially cause headaches when you might discover you've just made your machine unstable. There's nothing wrong with continually trying to improve on your setup, but that shouldn't translate to newer = better.
Butter Party: Beatport | Soundcloud | Mixcloud

Jeroen
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Post by Jeroen » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:36 am

Great Thread!
Life is made of stories not atoms

Noel
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Post by Noel » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:39 am

(note to self)

For when you can't think of anything to do

- do anything! It doesn't matter if it's any good or not, once you have some noise going (any kind of noise) you'll soon start to get other ideas to add to the mix. even if you end up throwing away what you started with.

For when you are insecure and afraid that what you are doing is not good enough

- Same advise as above!

Save everything you do, even if it's unfinished or just the germ of an idea that you decided not to pursue. Save these in a "spare parts" folder and go back to them when you are stuck for ideas.

Watch the news, read the paper, go to the pub and put the world to rights with your cronies. think "I'm so angry/amazed/ecstatic/ about what's happening in ... that I'm going to write a song about it."
Noel has left the building!

ubermnd
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Post by ubermnd » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:37 am

If you have periods of writers block, learn to recognise them and step away. Don't spend hours endlessly tweaking something when you're stuck.

Use the time to do the kind of things that usually stunt your workflow. Setting up control surfaces, building drum kits or effects racks and all the other admin types of jobs. That way, when you are ready to come back to composing, you will have all these ready-to-roll assetts to use!

I also find that when I get stuck it can be good to work on sound design rather than attempt to make a tune. Its a great opportunity to delve deeper into your synths and effects and just experiment. You could create whole libraries of noises that come in useful later on down the line.

spkey
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Post by spkey » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:15 pm

b0unce wrote:Remember to inhale plenty of oxygen
And rest. Take many short brakes. Move your shoulders. Sit properly - Do not sit like a retard. Exercise. Drink loads of water. Live a balanced life.

Otherwise... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetitive_strain_injury

Be Warned.

obscurityknocks
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Post by obscurityknocks » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:21 pm

Great thread.

1. I agree totally with "Separate the creative stage from the mixdown stage as much as possible" --this is crucial to getting any tracks done. People will come back to a lofi sounding solid tune, but a "great sounding" crap tune is a waste.


2. Look at each session as a new track-- even if it was only started to practice a certain effect or different programming techniques--make sure you make a simple "song" out of it. Even if the track as a whole isn't great, you're much more apt to have some sections that will be useable later. And, for real, what are you learning new programming techniques for, if not to use them in a song?

3. Make quick and dirty mp3s of as many sets as possible and listen to them regularly.--If you think of yourself as always working on an album with a deadline--(say "Summer 08')--you take away the luxury of throwing stuff away. Soon you'll have a few "albums" sitting there on your player, and you'll be reminded of the stuff that worked, what didn't, how you can make things better, how you're progressing (?), etc. This was probably the best habit I ever got into.

4. ALWAYS REMEMBER--ALMOST NOBODY GIVES A DAMN WHAT EQUIPMENT OR TECHNIQUE YOU'RE USING.--I remember reading an interview with some synth artist, and he was saying how he "even played in some of the melody parts by hand, if you can even tell". (!) --Like he had committed some sin against the Synthpop gods or something...wtf? If you make more inspired tracks with a slide whistle and banging on pots with a cassette recorder nearby, go for it.

beats me
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Post by beats me » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:34 pm

Avoid this forum. It's like having a hot wife but insisting on swinging by the strip club after work everyday.

Grappadura
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Post by Grappadura » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:48 pm

Good tips! I like the "separate creativity from mixdown", hadn´t heard it before.

About sampling, it can also be nice to sample your synths, slice them and map slices to drumpads.
ubermnd wrote:If you have periods of writers block, learn to recognise them and step away. Don't spend hours endlessly tweaking something when you're stuck.
I´d rather go with Noel:
do anything! It doesn't matter if it's any good or not, once you have some noise going (any kind of noise) you'll soon start to get other ideas to add to the mix. even if you end up throwing away what you started with.
Well I do music for fun, and even when I don´t have any ideas its fun to play around. When I don´t have musical ideas, I tend to build racks and see what they sound like. Eventually I come up with something that I can go on with.

Grappadura
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Post by Grappadura » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:56 pm

Would you rather start with chords or with single notes?

b0unce
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Post by b0unce » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:00 pm

I wrote:Remember to inhale plenty of oxygen
I can't emphasise enough how important this is. without appropriate amounts of oxygen in your lungs you will pass out and as a result you won't launch the next scene on time!

ps: remember to exhale the carbon dioxide
spreader of butter

evon
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Post by evon » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:50 pm

I always start with drums, then chords, then one melody track.

Then I mix these as sweet as they can possible get using just the basic plugs (Comp. EQ) and probably a little reverb or delay on the closed hihats or any track that I want to be kinda the centre of the mix, however I use these sparingly.

I think of this as a sketch of what I have in mind. Next I save this set as a Copy or as another name and then use this copy to do my experiments.

Most importantly, I use the first cut to make notes (using the Live feature) about things like the different instruments used on any of the unusual tracks. This I do even after the tune has developed to about the third or fourth copy. I make copies at each important stage of acheivment.

Just my one cent.
fe real!

Idonotlikebroccoli
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Post by Idonotlikebroccoli » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:07 pm

Here are the two that work for me:

- Make joke tracks on a regular basis
- Make tracks from a theme/idea
Please vote! Live 10's "multi" clip editing should allow selection+editing of multiple clips in one action:

(L10-SUG-0228) Multiple MIDI transpose

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=228094

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:30 pm

beats me wrote:Avoid this forum. It's like having a hot wife but insisting on swinging by the strip club after work everyday.
nah it's like having a hot wife and going online to talk about all the ways you could be banging her, but never actually doing it :)
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

TITBAG
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Post by TITBAG » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:56 pm

REMEMBER NOT TO BE A HUGE FAG

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