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tranceaddict Forums > DJing / Production / Promotion > Production Studio > Advice for improving?
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Looney4Clooney
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2010
Location:

quote:
Originally posted by routingwithin


Break down the complication. There isn't a Kick-drum or bass-line, no lead sequences and hihat patterns. Music is one thing all together.
don't see it as individual parts.


i think you need to look at the elements together and apart. You have to understand what you are doing down to the smallest fragment in order to make sense of everything together.

The problem with only making tracks, is that you are praticing one skill. Devoting actual time to sound design removed from your track will perhaps not seem to pay off now but in the medium long run, it will. If you can't spend 8 hours a day to do both, alternate days where you work on making a complete work and then days where you work on individual components.

But that is how you get good. If you only make tracks, you will find your progress rather linear. If you learn in a more thorough way , it seems slow at the start but as all the elements fall together and your skill at all the smaller things come together, you will see an exponential improvement.

My brother started playing guitar before me. But he never really learned how to play from a bottom up approach, He could play tunes, and sort of improvise but it was linear. I started playing but being the sort of compulsive have to know everything type of person, i start from the very basics memorizing the fretboard. Then chords, drop 2-3, all the inversions learning songs and being able to transpose it. He had played for about 4 years, in 6 months, i was better than him. And i would say we both had the same innate talent. I did put more time into it, and had a better methodology. After a year, i was teaching him , who had been playing for 5 at that point.


___________________
"This is why Superman works alone." GC
old stuff from days gone by (2001-2004)
Mad For Brad's gay little contest

Last edited by Looney4Clooney on Jul-25-2012 at 13:25

Old Post Jul-25-2012 13:12 
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wayfinder
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Berlin

quote:
Originally posted by routingwithin
Find a way.. then find your own way.


( =_^)


___________________
Here's my latest: rolling tech house and laid-back progressive trance

http://soundcloud.com/wayfu



Chronology a wayfinder discography in progress. Roughly sorted by date of creation.

Old Post Jul-25-2012 16:11  Germany
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Altavos
Junior tranceaddict



Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Norway

I'm having the exact same problem as OP. I used to produce lots (but simple) tracks some few years ago, but now I always feel stuck halfway trough each project. I've figured that my main problem is to find the right sound for each track. My lack of knowledge in sound design makes all my ideas go to waste because I'm not able to make the same sound as in my head. I always have these really good ideas of what kind of sound and melody I can make, but I'm never able to make it into actual music :/

Old Post Jul-28-2012 20:29  Norway
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DJ RANN
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: May 2001
Location: Hollywood....

quote:
Originally posted by Altavos
I'm having the exact same problem as OP. I used to produce lots (but simple) tracks some few years ago, but now I always feel stuck halfway trough each project. I've figured that my main problem is to find the right sound for each track. My lack of knowledge in sound design makes all my ideas go to waste because I'm not able to make the same sound as in my head. I always have these really good ideas of what kind of sound and melody I can make, but I'm never able to make it into actual music :/


Presets.

I'm not joking. Sure, you'll need to practice sound design eventually, but using presets (as many pros do) is a simple way not to get bogged down in tiny details and then concentrate on making the rest of the track.

Old Post Jul-28-2012 21:05 
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Looney4Clooney
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2010
Location:

part of being a producer is librarian in function. As RANN said , presets , whether they are your own or someone elses. But you have to have an idea of what you have available. Same with samples. Since i've been getting back into EDM, i have spend about 25 hours going thru samples and presets cataloguing them for use or study. ANd it doesn't just stop there, going thru your plugins, and exploring things and what the effect is and cataloging those effects. For example, i have about 10 or so distortion chains saved for different applications.

To expand on that idea, most composition and music making is a retrieval process where you have stored some sort of information whether it be a progression, a rhythm. What we do is very librarian in nature. We have this bag of tricks that we can use. You need to cultivate that part. Since i started studying classical music in depth, io have my own personal library of melodies or harmonic progressions , musical devices that i found really fucking cool and catalogued so i can use them. It is one of the best things i ever did. It takes time to get thru the stuff that is ok and find the gems. ONce you've spent that time finding it, don't waste time having to find it again. Catalogue.

NOthing is really ever truly improvised. Somethings happen from mistakes but generally, we are just calling memories of things we are using. In many ways it is like object oriented programming.

and although for me personally, i would never use a preset unless i was on a deadline and it was a commercial endeavour, that choice is a personal one and boils down to dogma. But i actually do pirate presets just to go thru them and hear what people are up to. YOu need to study was is out there.

Also. Restrict yourself to as few synths as possible. Shouldn't need more than 3.

Basically, the more work you do in preparation, the less you will find yourself stuck looking for something that fits.


___________________
"This is why Superman works alone." GC
old stuff from days gone by (2001-2004)
Mad For Brad's gay little contest

Last edited by Looney4Clooney on Jul-28-2012 at 21:43

Old Post Jul-28-2012 21:38 
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Altavos
Junior tranceaddict



Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Norway

Even though I know many pro's use presets, I feel like making my own to make my music unique. But I guess I should try to use more presets and try to tweak them a little. Any suggestions where to get good presets for Sylenth1? I'm currently working with Sylenth1, Zebra and Operator in Ableton.

Old Post Jul-28-2012 22:36  Norway
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Looney4Clooney
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2010
Location:

they are useful for other reasons. It is hard to create from nothing. You need some sort of influence which means listening sounds. Now you can listen to tracks which is great but sometimes just hearing sounds out of context, can inspire you , give you ideas or totally stump you and make you learn a new trick or two.

WHat i tend to do, is spend any TV time just going thru samples or presets. I also tend to do piano finger exercises to stay in shape as well. I usually watch my 1 hour of Daily show Colbert, then a podcast or lecture.


___________________
"This is why Superman works alone." GC
old stuff from days gone by (2001-2004)
Mad For Brad's gay little contest

Old Post Jul-28-2012 23:51 
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marc2001dj
tranceaddict in training



Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Coventry, UK

Looney4Clooney you mentioned earlier about components of making a track and assigning blocks of time to learning each of them.

Well say if you were my production teacher and you wanted to making me excellent within five years what would my timetable consist of?

For example:

Sound Design: 2 hours a week
Song Structure: 3 hours a week
Ear Training: 1 hour a week
Piano: 1 hour a day (I'm already doing this)
DJ: 2 hour a month.

If this isn't too much to ask and you briefly go over this, I promise to give you VIP tickets to all of my sold out shows when I become a superstar! Plus it would help any aspiring producer 10 fold, it's always easier to attack learning when it's broken down into smaller bitesize blocks.

Old Post Jul-29-2012 22:14  United Kingdom
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Looney4Clooney
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2010
Location:

i would have to hear where you are at. And your definition of good. That isn't a goal. Also, I would have to see how you progress with what you are given to adjust what you should be doing.

But honestly, if you aren't putting in at least 4 hours a day, forget about it. That isn't enough to be mediocre.

To be honest, this sort of discipline has to come within. Nobody has ever practiced 5 + hours a day because someone told them to.


___________________
"This is why Superman works alone." GC
old stuff from days gone by (2001-2004)
Mad For Brad's gay little contest

Last edited by Looney4Clooney on Jul-29-2012 at 22:28

Old Post Jul-29-2012 22:20 
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Deillon
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2012
Location: Amsterdam

quote:
Originally posted by Looney4Clooney
part of being a producer is librarian in function.
etc...

Excellent post, totally agree on that track building consists of your bag of tricks, which you need to expand ofcourse. Also agree on good things sometimes happen because of unintentional mistakes.

Old Post Jul-29-2012 22:47  Netherlands
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clay
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Jun 2003
Location:

quote:
Originally posted by marc2001dj
Sound Design: 2 hours a week
Song Structure: 3 hours a week
Ear Training: 1 hour a week
Piano: 1 hour a day (I'm already doing this)
DJ: 2 hour a month.

to be excellent multiply this by 10, since you where 10 years old until 25. 5 years of the hours mentioned above will only get you to call yourself interested in your hobby. a common rule is that it takes 10 years to be awesome at anything if your doing it 37,5 hours a week. and motivation must be there all the way. the reason why ive accepted to be mediocre at everything and therefore never give more than 50% effort - no more burnouts, lots more funtime and better sleep.

Old Post Jul-29-2012 22:52 
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Lobst
tranceaddict in training



Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Sweden

quote:
Originally posted by clay
to be excellent multiply this by 10, since you where 10 years old until 25. 5 years of the hours mentioned above will only get you to call yourself interested in your hobby. a common rule is that it takes 10 years to be awesome at anything if your doing it 37,5 hours a week. and motivation must be there all the way. the reason why ive accepted to be mediocre at everything and therefore never give more than 50% effort - no more burnouts, lots more funtime and better sleep.


Sorry to say this, but those 10 years could be 20 years and they could be three years. How do you define "awesome"? Also the numbers vary from field to field. Those 10 years are probably just an average and thus is only relevant in statistics and not in individual cases. Also, how good do you actually NEED to be? When making music, for example, there comes a point where the only thing that matters is your creativity. People don't notice, or usually don't care, if it's not 100% perfect. And that's a place you definitely can reach in only 2-3 years.

Similarly, in other fields, would you consider a person with 10 years of experience "awesome" compared to someone with 40 years of experience? It's all relative!

Old Post Jul-30-2012 04:16  Sweden
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