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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:42 am 
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Create your own context for the sounds to live in.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Pelecaras wrote:
ross-alexander wrote:
A year is fuck all, if you are worrying about stuff like this at this stage of your creativity, personally I think something is wrong.


What could that be? please expand.

I have made music for years, firstly in a band and then singer/songwriter kind of stuff. I have been into techno since 1991 but only decided a year ago that I like the idea of making some. Personally I don't think anything is wrong, other than a bit of self-doubt and the lack of experience making the genre.


Hi, sorry maybe my language made me sound nasty there, wasn't meaning to be! I just think as others have mentioned that expecting to find your own sound after a year is a little impatient or optimistic that's all!

Look at the way artists for centuries learned their craft. They took guidance from their masters until they were freed from these shackles!!

That's all I meant shouldn't have written such a brief response!

To be fair I also knew nothing about your interests or background either ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:38 pm 
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ross-alexander wrote:
Pelecaras wrote:
ross-alexander wrote:
A year is fuck all, if you are worrying about stuff like this at this stage of your creativity, personally I think something is wrong.


What could that be? please expand.

I have made music for years, firstly in a band and then singer/songwriter kind of stuff. I have been into techno since 1991 but only decided a year ago that I like the idea of making some. Personally I don't think anything is wrong, other than a bit of self-doubt and the lack of experience making the genre.


Hi, sorry maybe my language made me sound nasty there, wasn't meaning to be! I just think as others have mentioned that expecting to find your own sound after a year is a little impatient or optimistic that's all!

Look at the way artists for centuries learned their craft. They took guidance from their masters until they were freed from these shackles!!

That's all I meant shouldn't have written such a brief response!

To be fair I also knew nothing about your interests or background either ;)


There's indeed a huge difference between enjoying a good meal and cooking it.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:04 pm 
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innovine wrote:
Music is a language which you learn. Imagine if someone sat down to write a book and got all upset that the words they were using were used before somewhere. That's what you are doing.

Don't be scared of sounding like something. If you want to make something which is recognizably techno, you'll need to have the common techno elements in there, so don't feel pressured to re-invent the wheel. You could make a track consisting of nothing but sampled farm animal noises which no one has ever heard before, but it's not likely to be any good.
Originality needs to be balanced with familiarity, otherwise it is known as noise. The internet is very fond of shouting "make your own style" in response to the "how do i make this sound" threads, but really, originality is overhyped. Learn from the greats, stand on the shoulders of giants, give the audience 90% of what they expect, learn the rules before you break them, etc etc. Otherwise you are not a musician, you are just neck bearding. Your own style doesn't just come from the sounds used, it comes from the selection of sounds you use, how you arrange, and how you mix it together. And personally, I don't see anything wrong with an artist who fits exactly and anonymously into a particular mold, once its something i like. If I put on a particular web radio for a genre, or a dj mix, I dont care who the artists are I just want a stream of a particular style. Individual fingerprinting all over everything isn't important, imho.


Also, if you think you sound like someone else, are you really sure your tracks are as good as all that? Like, every time you write a track its up there with professionally produced well-known tracks, is what you are saying? An enviable position indeed.



:lol: :lol: :lol: maybe I should have said "that sounds like a poor imitation of such and such" my tracks are far from professional, I think my wording was wrong. Apologies. I just meant to say that every time I make something it sounds familiar to me. But, as you and others have said, staying in the genre is going to be familiar. I think I was being hard on myself, after all a year is little time to get great at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:09 pm 
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ross-alexander wrote:
Pelecaras wrote:
ross-alexander wrote:
A year is fuck all, if you are worrying about stuff like this at this stage of your creativity, personally I think something is wrong.


What could that be? please expand.

I have made music for years, firstly in a band and then singer/songwriter kind of stuff. I have been into techno since 1991 but only decided a year ago that I like the idea of making some. Personally I don't think anything is wrong, other than a bit of self-doubt and the lack of experience making the genre.


Hi, sorry maybe my language made me sound nasty there, wasn't meaning to be! I just think as others have mentioned that expecting to find your own sound after a year is a little impatient or optimistic that's all!


Look at the way artists for centuries learned their craft. They took guidance from their masters until they were freed from these shackles!!

That's all I meant shouldn't have written such a brief response!

To be fair I also knew nothing about your interests or background either ;)


That's ok mate, I never thought you were being nasty, I was just interested in your opinion of my problem. Apologies if my reply came across as self-righteous.
I think I just need to keep at it and have a little patience. After all, I doubt Jeff Mills nails it every time....then again maybe HE does, bad example :D

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Finding your own sounds is hard, but rewarding. I'm no professional, but there have been a few sounds in the past year i made that, while not the most groundbreaking sounds, are certainly things that i haven't heard before. Part of what i find interesting about techno (and, in a way, dance music in general) is that producing it is kind of like recycling and repurposing old machines, so that the musical process gets to this very inbred, but also very creative spot. I mean, it's pretty impressive that the 909 sounds are still the standard. I kind of think of it as if everyone is a kind of repairman, tuning up old gear, and putting it together in a different way, as opposed to making things up that are completely unique.

I understand the feeling though, when I make a melody/synth/rythm that I like, only to I think to myself, huh, that sounds too much like ________. What I found is if I play it to people, they usually don't see it, and it's just paranoia. If i really can't find myself being comfortable with it, I'll just use it more sparingly in the track than i was intending, or save the preset for another day.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:16 pm 
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sinesnsnares wrote:
Finding your own sounds is hard, but rewarding. I'm no professional, but there have been a few sounds in the past year i made that, while not the most groundbreaking sounds, are certainly things that i haven't heard before. Part of what i find interesting about techno (and, in a way, dance music in general) is that producing it is kind of like recycling and repurposing old machines, so that the musical process gets to this very inbred, but also very creative spot. I mean, it's pretty impressive that the 909 sounds are still the standard. I kind of think of it as if everyone is a kind of repairman, tuning up old gear, and putting it together in a different way, as opposed to making things up that are completely unique.

I understand the feeling though, when I make a melody/synth/rythm that I like, only to I think to myself, huh, that sounds too much like ________. What I found is if I play it to people, they usually don't see it, and it's just paranoia. If i really can't find myself being comfortable with it, I'll just use it more sparingly in the track than i was intending, or save the preset for another day.


I need to start playing my tracks to people. I think some feedback would be good but I'm scared that people will think my tracks are shit :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:06 pm 
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Pelecaras wrote:
I need to start playing my tracks to people. I think some feedback would be good but I'm scared that people will think my tracks are shit :lol: :lol: :lol:


I know the feeling, but sometimes the harsh advice is pretty useful. It only helps if your friends actually like electronic music though. Most of my mates listen to crap, and whenever I'd play them tunes it was "oh this is cool bruh." Even if their actually producers themselves, if they don't make a similar style they might not get the sound your going for. When I started sharing tunes with like minded people they'd actually give solid advice, like "i think that lead doesn't fit," or "sounds too much like an unreleased _____ B side."

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:11 am 
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rktic wrote:
Create your own context for the sounds to live in.


I really love this sentence.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:58 am 
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definitely. great quote.

All I gotta say is that classical composition training is like this... you learn by learning to imitate the masters first.

You are told to make a fugue or a sonata, a nocturne or some Romantic-era kind of music, and it takes you into the 20th century where things go all haywire, and then the profs are like "???... go for it!"

Because 20th C stuff is kind of a free-for-all, and the only way you have any kind of grounding to go on at all is by having the reference point of the previous exercises.

Maybe it's true that truly artistic electronic music is not that different. You are not churning out top 40 or edm tunes, there's no preset formula to apply, and the freedom to go into so many sub-genres within techno itself is tricky unless you actually try them all out and find out your sound in the process. And in so doing you are definitely going to sound like other producers along the way. I'm saying.. that's a good thing! If it's temporary.

As others mentioned that necessarily takes a bit of time. I took a solid decade away from the scene and it left me pretty clueless how to fit back in. So I pretty much went apeshit and just tried to write whatever I could, as long as it sounded decent enough. Rejected a bunch of my own material along the way, and also surprised myself in a lot of ways.

For example a "DJ tool" can be way more valuable than an over-produced art track if you want flexibility in how you mix it into your live set. If you care more about live performance than releasing, maybe that's a good thing.

Anyway I had about 5 years of fairly dedicated production and then a decade of dabbling while I had way too much on my shoulders to be serious about production, but the time away was strangely helpful because the patterns I saw in classical composition seemed to help me eventually find my way in electronic.

That remains to be seen because I still haven't really settled into a sound I would say is unique just yet, but getting there. It's somewhere in this drone/deep/dub kind of space and I like when the rhythms and textures mess with people's sense of linear time.

Anyway, hope something in that rant is helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Thats like, looking for the answer searched for millenia by Jewish sholars "what is the true name of god".

Finding your own style......
You have to reach some bizarre zen like state where you both actively try to find your own way, but let go enough of the engagement so that it happens naturally. Its a paradox.
You have to both employ and disengage your inner censor at the same time.
Connecting to the muse.

You know it when you find it, because the music appears, like it finds you and not the other way round. And then you can tear your mind apart trying to recapture that moment again.

Clearing your mind can be very helpful.
But so can utilising influence.

I can't think of much applicable advice beyond listening to as little of the genre you are trying to make to remove too direct an influence.

Listen to techno all the time and then try to make it, whatever you do will probably sound too much like everything else.


This. Best advice I've read so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:46 am 
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Mattias wrote:
rktic wrote:
Create your own context for the sounds to live in.


I really love this sentence.


Thank you :)

I'd like to demystify the process a little further, because there are actually things one can and should do to create this context.

1. Find the gear that works for you
This is the nasty one in a digital world of endless choice. Back in the day that was defined by money and availability of gear. You'd simply use what you've got, very often just a handful of things. The sound was pretty much just there in the context of those few synths, the mixer and effects. You either made it work by exploring your gear to its very depths or eventually considered what was missing from your setup. That was quite a mutual thing that just happened along the lines.

Right now we have a paradox of choice. Alongside with the attention span of a dayfly at dusk people tend to browse around if stuff doesn't work the way as expected. Which is very easy but also prevents you from in-depth exploration and learning.

You're not looking for a coincidence and a compressor preset that fits your current situation. You really want to find one that works the way you expect it to be. This needs a lot of exploring, testing and tweaking the shit out of it. Do it.


2. Limit your setup, fathom your setup
Once more back to the days of little gear. People had their studios setup. You powered everything on and went for it. The last track was always physically available through wires, knob positions and settings. Starting a new track often inhabited something from the one before and because everything was more or less ready to go it was much more spontaneous than starting with a blank screen these days.

There's nothing bad about Ableton setup presets. Create a context for yourself and stick to it.


3. Stop browsing, start learning
Finding your own sound really is the way you make sounds work together. Maybe even on a granular scale. Moritz von Oswald mastered the art of minimalism by constantly revolving around the sweet spot between noise, dry and wet signals. Sheds sound pretty much derives from microscopic dynamic perfection that translates to the big picture.

Neither of them are using unworldly, never-heard source material. A signature sound grows from exploration and experience. Don't expect yourself to become a master of anything without this process.

That said, you won't get afar with browsing presets and sample directories. The more knowledge you gather about mixing your tracks, the sooner you'll develop your own idea of balance. That will be your trademark sound.

Last not least making music is all about making decisions, really. Deciding for yourself means less dependence on happy accidents.


4. What are you trying to say with your music?
This is the fucking self-awareness part. I firmly believe that those producers with a strong sound signature actually please a basic need for themselves with their music. To me, that's really the strongest (dare say "only") intrinsic motivation to spend all the fucking time on mastering a skill.

The sooner you know what your real motivation is, the earlier you'll be able to focus. And less fucking frustrate yourself with taking directions you really don't give a shit about. Listen to your moods. They surely wanna tell you something.

If you just make music for the kicks, fame or whatever - that's probably the part that won't make sense for you. Then again you'll most likely never take the efforts necessary due to lack of intrinsic motivation to get somewhere anyway.


5. Shit takes time.
Treat your own sound like a Bonsai tree. Give it love, time, time and fucking time to grow. Don't push it. Use your brain and mood. Explore. Explore further. Learn something. Ask for advice. Be a good student. Make a thousand shitty tracks. 1001 might be the bomb. Become a good teacher.


Happy new year.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:45 pm 
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rktic wrote:
Mattias wrote:
rktic wrote:
Create your own context for the sounds to live in.


I really love this sentence.


Thank you :)

I'd like to demystify the process a little further, because there are actually things one can and should do to create this context.

1. Find the gear that works for you
This is the nasty one in a digital world of endless choice. Back in the day that was defined by money and availability of gear. You'd simply use what you've got, very often just a handful of things. The sound was pretty much just there in the context of those few synths, the mixer and effects. You either made it work by exploring your gear to its very depths or eventually considered what was missing from your setup. That was quite a mutual thing that just happened along the lines.

Right now we have a paradox of choice. Alongside with the attention span of a dayfly at dusk people tend to browse around if stuff doesn't work the way as expected. Which is very easy but also prevents you from in-depth exploration and learning.

You're not looking for a coincidence and a compressor preset that fits your current situation. You really want to find one that works the way you expect it to be. This needs a lot of exploring, testing and tweaking the shit out of it. Do it.


2. Limit your setup, fathom your setup
Once more back to the days of little gear. People had their studios setup. You powered everything on and went for it. The last track was always physically available through wires, knob positions and settings. Starting a new track often inhabited something from the one before and because everything was more or less ready to go it was much more spontaneous than starting with a blank screen these days.

There's nothing bad about Ableton setup presets. Create a context for yourself and stick to it.


3. Stop browsing, start learning
Finding your own sound really is the way you make sounds work together. Maybe even on a granular scale. Moritz von Oswald mastered the art of minimalism by constantly revolving around the sweet spot between noise, dry and wet signals. Sheds sound pretty much derives from microscopic dynamic perfection that translates to the big picture.

Neither of them are using unworldly, never-heard source material. A signature sound grows from exploration and experience. Don't expect yourself to become a master of anything without this process.

That said, you won't get afar with browsing presets and sample directories. The more knowledge you gather about mixing your tracks, the sooner you'll develop your own idea of balance. That will be your trademark sound.

Last not least making music is all about making decisions, really. Deciding for yourself means less dependence on happy accidents.


4. What are you trying to say with your music?
This is the fucking self-awareness part. I firmly believe that those producers with a strong sound signature actually please a basic need for themselves with their music. To me, that's really the strongest (dare say "only") intrinsic motivation to spend all the fucking time on mastering a skill.

The sooner you know what your real motivation is, the earlier you'll be able to focus. And less fucking frustrate yourself with taking directions you really don't give a shit about. Listen to your moods. They surely wanna tell you something.

If you just make music for the kicks, fame or whatever - that's probably the part that won't make sense for you. Then again you'll most likely never take the efforts necessary due to lack of intrinsic motivation to get somewhere anyway.


5. Shit takes time.
Treat your own sound like a Bonsai tree. Give it love, time, time and fucking time to grow. Don't push it. Use your brain and mood. Explore. Explore further. Learn something. Ask for advice. Be a good student. Make a thousand shitty tracks. 1001 might be the bomb. Become a good teacher.


Happy new year.


Thanks for this excellent post.

I am starting to figure out what gear works for me, I have only been making techno for a year so still have to figure out my gear/suitability.

I certainly do have a little too much gear to choose from and this leads into stop browsing start learning point. If I can't find something in my set-up that works, I'll just buy one more plug-in and I know that this attitude will never get me anywhere. However I think as I learn more I will figure out what kind of synth works for me (subtractive, additive, granular ect) and what kind of drums work for me. I think once I've got a set up that works for me, a few grand will have been wasted.

Also I want to make techno for me, just to see if I can do it and also to see if I can make something decent enough to play in one of my sets if I play at house party ect. I really don't want fame or money, in fact the one thing I hate about modern dance music is the celebrity culture that sits alongside it, and also how dance music is used to sell us things.

As for your final point, I am jamming and jamming and jamming every spare minute I get. I know it takes time and I am willing to put the hours in to make something I can be proud of.

Thanks for the great post. In the few months that I have been a subsekter I have learnt so much. It's the dogs bollocks.

Bex

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:33 pm 
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I would absolutely suggest playing your own music in live sets. You learn a lot about it that way, and seeing the reaction can be inspiring.

As for the actual question, it's hard to give a complete answer. Of course the biggest problem in dance music right now is that it's mostly generic and mediocre, but at the same time we can't expect to make truly groundbreaking music, especially not all the time. It's a good practice to approach things differently sometimes, but it's also ok to sit down and say "I am going to make a club track" and not worry too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:46 am 
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Pelecaras wrote:
I need to start playing my tracks to people. I think some feedback would be good but I'm scared that people will think my tracks are shit :lol: :lol: :lol:


there's an argument that you don't even need to get others' feedback, you just need to listen to it with someone else present & your own perspective will change:
https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/columns/gregory-scotts-kush-cafe-how-to-hear-everything-differently-instantly/


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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:18 pm 
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winston wrote:
Pelecaras wrote:
I need to start playing my tracks to people. I think some feedback would be good but I'm scared that people will think my tracks are shit :lol: :lol: :lol:


there's an argument that you don't even need to get others' feedback, you just need to listen to it with someone else present & your own perspective will change:
https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/columns/gregory-scotts-kush-cafe-how-to-hear-everything-differently-instantly/


Thanks, will have a read when I get a few minutes. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:22 am 
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Others feedback is a double edged sword as ideas are subjective. Feedback on mix issues and processing can be very valuable though. Even feedback on structure. Just be prepared for people's opinions on ideas as sometimes they vary massively, just decide what to take on board.


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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:52 am 
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rktic wrote:

Thank you :)

I'd like to demystify the process a little further, because there are actually things one can and should do to create this context.

1. Find the gear that works for you
This is the nasty one in a digital world of endless choice. Back in the day that was defined by money and availability of gear. You'd simply use what you've got, very often just a handful of things. The sound was pretty much just there in the context of those few synths, the mixer and effects. You either made it work by exploring your gear to its very depths or eventually considered what was missing from your setup. That was quite a mutual thing that just happened along the lines.

Right now we have a paradox of choice. Alongside with the attention span of a dayfly at dusk people tend to browse around if stuff doesn't work the way as expected. Which is very easy but also prevents you from in-depth exploration and learning.

You're not looking for a coincidence and a compressor preset that fits your current situation. You really want to find one that works the way you expect it to be. This needs a lot of exploring, testing and tweaking the shit out of it. Do it.


2. Limit your setup, fathom your setup
Once more back to the days of little gear. People had their studios setup. You powered everything on and went for it. The last track was always physically available through wires, knob positions and settings. Starting a new track often inhabited something from the one before and because everything was more or less ready to go it was much more spontaneous than starting with a blank screen these days.

There's nothing bad about Ableton setup presets. Create a context for yourself and stick to it.


3. Stop browsing, start learning
Finding your own sound really is the way you make sounds work together. Maybe even on a granular scale. Moritz von Oswald mastered the art of minimalism by constantly revolving around the sweet spot between noise, dry and wet signals. Sheds sound pretty much derives from microscopic dynamic perfection that translates to the big picture.

Neither of them are using unworldly, never-heard source material. A signature sound grows from exploration and experience. Don't expect yourself to become a master of anything without this process.

That said, you won't get afar with browsing presets and sample directories. The more knowledge you gather about mixing your tracks, the sooner you'll develop your own idea of balance. That will be your trademark sound.

Last not least making music is all about making decisions, really. Deciding for yourself means less dependence on happy accidents.


4. What are you trying to say with your music?
This is the fucking self-awareness part. I firmly believe that those producers with a strong sound signature actually please a basic need for themselves with their music. To me, that's really the strongest (dare say "only") intrinsic motivation to spend all the fucking time on mastering a skill.

The sooner you know what your real motivation is, the earlier you'll be able to focus. And less fucking frustrate yourself with taking directions you really don't give a shit about. Listen to your moods. They surely wanna tell you something.

If you just make music for the kicks, fame or whatever - that's probably the part that won't make sense for you. Then again you'll most likely never take the efforts necessary due to lack of intrinsic motivation to get somewhere anyway.


5. Shit takes time.
Treat your own sound like a Bonsai tree. Give it love, time, time and fucking time to grow. Don't push it. Use your brain and mood. Explore. Explore further. Learn something. Ask for advice. Be a good student. Make a thousand shitty tracks. 1001 might be the bomb. Become a good teacher.


Happy new year.


By the way this should be stickied somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:55 am 
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I had some additional thoughts i could add and make it a blogpost?

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 Post subject: Re: Haven't I heard that sound before? Finding your own styl
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:05 pm 
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subsekt
subsekt
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:22 pm
Posts: 7824
Location: Lego City
Go for it mate. I'll add it if you want

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