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 Post subject: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:25 pm 
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leper
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Hi all, do you have a method or a workflow when you want to create a track based on a specific idea?
How do you collect these ideas, and how do you translate them into a track (or just elements of a new track) ?

In my case i mostly work stuff by jamming and developing rather than creating something on purpose, but when it's done on purpose it has a different energy, quality.

what about your work?

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:55 pm 
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im another one who most of the time jams,
when i have some kind of motif/theme in mind i try to jam too, but not with all setup, i start with just one piece, sometimes a drum machine, sometimes a synth, until i get that first idea/feeling out there, then i let that thing running and see what can empower that emotion/feeling so i go adding those, until i got everythin i thinks is necessary, then i sketch some ideas about the arrangement then press record and play, simple, isn'it? hehe

some days when i cant find the starting loop, i go to research, i watch/read/listen some stuff that can carry the kind of emotion/idea i want to express to put me in the mood and see what they used to get that idea going and then, go to the first process again :)

and i agree with you, when you produce with a purpose in mind, it sounds more powerful, maybe is just our perception, because we can see more clearly what we did and why

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:30 pm 
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Maybe it's just perception yes, or it's because you can connect the music to something bigger than with an abstract jam?
Do listeners hear a real difference?

I see your method, it's how i do too i think. sometimes i feel i should only work with a purpose.
Jamming can be great of course but most of time it hasn't the expression or meaning you can have with something built on an idea...

Actually jamming is as good if you are just aiming a 100% dancefloor thing, but for something else a feeling or idea add something.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:00 pm 
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Dust Layer wrote:
Maybe it's just perception yes, or it's because you can connect the music to something bigger than with an abstract jam?
Do listeners hear a real difference?

I see your method, it's how i do too i think. sometimes i feel i should only work with a purpose.
Jamming can be great of course but most of time it hasn't the expression or meaning you can have with something built on an idea...

Actually jamming is as good if you are just aiming a 100% dancefloor thing, but for something else a feeling or idea add something.


Yeah sometimes i read people saying things like that and think if i shouldnt do the same, just go to the studio with an idea or somehitng like that, but the thing for me is that im not djing anymore, so the only time i really using and sharpening my musical skills is when im in the studio (or listening to music, but thats other thing right?), so when i have time i just go and jam, having or not an idea, to be ready when some idea comes up, to be able to translate that emotion or idea whitout getting myself trapped too much thinking about how to do a thing with my setup, thats the way i see this thing now

maybe thats just because im kinda new into this process, so i have lots of things to lear yet, i used to do everything in the box and changed gradually to this kind of hardware setup in the last few years, im not sure

and other times i just go to the studio to have fun, since i dont work full time with music, when i have spare time i choose about, reading, listening to music, playing some videogame stuff, movies OR jamming in the studio, most of the times nowadays the idea of just jam some techno shit has beeing the first one in my mind hehe

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:01 pm 
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the less you know, the better for you.
just focus on good sounds, not on methods.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:54 pm 
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I used to try taking extensive notes on stuff like this...now I prefer to keep it in my head to "cook" a little and then go into the studio to jam...I thinks it's important to let the tune have a life of its own and go where it needs even if it strays far from the inspiration...I often have read interviews with artist who speak of their inspiration for a song or album and I don't see the connection...I get a totally different vibe...the inspiration need not be the end product.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:33 pm 
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daunzila : i get what you say, we are basicaly in the same boat :)

krypt ; wasn't talking about technical knowledge but just how you do in a more abstract way.
If you prefer another formulation : How do you focus on good sounds?

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:35 pm 
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A.M.Smith wrote:
I used to try taking extensive notes on stuff like this...now I prefer to keep it in my head to "cook" a little and then go into the studio to jam...I thinks it's important to let the tune have a life of its own and go where it needs even if it strays far from the inspiration...I often have read interviews with artist who speak of their inspiration for a song or album and I don't see the connection...I get a totally different vibe...the inspiration need not be the end product.


"I thinks it's important to let the tune have a life of its own and go where it needs even if it strays far from the inspiration"
100% agree man...

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:03 pm 
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I don't even entertain switching on the gear without an idea in my head.
Usually a reasonable picture of a tune, sometimes just a riff idea or a sound and a riff.
The more emotional stuff comes when I am going through an emotional time, for whatever reason.

I don't know, music for me is something natural, it flows out of me, I always thought this is what being a musician is, it's like writing, the words just come out.
The music is in you and it wants to come out, that feeling is the difference between a musician and a producer I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:22 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I don't even entertain switching on the gear without an idea in my head.
Usually a reasonable picture of a tune, sometimes just a riff idea or a sound and a riff.
The more emotional stuff comes when I am going through an emotional time, for whatever reason.

I don't know, music for me is something natural, it flows out of me, I always thought this is what being a musician is, it's like writing, the words just come out.
The music is in you and it wants to come out, that feeling is the difference between a musician and a producer I suppose.


Maybe yes, actually i never thought myself as a musician or even an artist... just someone designing tracks.
On another hand techno is not really music for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:39 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I don't even entertain switching on the gear without an idea in my head.
Usually a reasonable picture of a tune, sometimes just a riff idea or a sound and a riff.
The more emotional stuff comes when I am going through an emotional time, for whatever reason.

I don't know, music for me is something natural, it flows out of me, I always thought this is what being a musician is, it's like writing, the words just come out.
The music is in you and it wants to come out, that feeling is the difference between a musician and a producer I suppose.


As someone who has chosen writing/teaching writing for a living. Yes, for me the process is very analogous. I think it's entirely possible to go into the studio and look for an idea through the gear. Kind of like sitting down and just jamming on a guitar or with writing I'll sit down and just start writing the most interesting thing I can about my day looking for that seed to grow something bigger.

for myself, I usually don't have a problem walking into the studio and noodling to find an idea...whether I can take the idea anywhere is another story...but it never feels like wasted time as long as I come up with something I can use later...even it's a new understanding about a synth parameter or a neat little sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:42 am 
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I don't think too much about it, usually no master plan as such. It just comes out and I let it come out in whatever style it wants. Though I do follow moods or a feeling I want to get across, at least in the first stages, after sitting on the idea and listening for a period I may then think about it more specifically to take in a certain direction, add vocals or not etc.

I like noodling around, some of the best sounds and ideas come that way especially experimenting with effects and samples.

.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:22 am 
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A.M.Smith wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
I don't even entertain switching on the gear without an idea in my head.
Usually a reasonable picture of a tune, sometimes just a riff idea or a sound and a riff.
The more emotional stuff comes when I am going through an emotional time, for whatever reason.

I don't know, music for me is something natural, it flows out of me, I always thought this is what being a musician is, it's like writing, the words just come out.
The music is in you and it wants to come out, that feeling is the difference between a musician and a producer I suppose.


As someone who has chosen writing/teaching writing for a living. Yes, for me the process is very analogous. I think it's entirely possible to go into the studio and look for an idea through the gear. Kind of like sitting down and just jamming on a guitar or with writing I'll sit down and just start writing the most interesting thing I can about my day looking for that seed to grow something bigger.

for myself, I usually don't have a problem walking into the studio and noodling to find an idea...whether I can take the idea anywhere is another story...but it never feels like wasted time as long as I come up with something I can use later...even it's a new understanding about a synth parameter or a neat little sound.


The throwing mud at a wall method?
I agree you can just play around, though jamming with an instrument is a little different to pushing buttons, there's a whole different process going on.
I can only speak for my own experience but musically I rarely do anything worth finishing unless there is an emotional drive and an idea in the first place.
Techno is tricky in this area, you can literally throw any shit together and produce it well, and it's techno. Randomly stabbing at an x0x grid, even easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:55 am 
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I rarely have any set ideas when I start. From my experience tracks I've started with a solid idea never end up following what I'm setting out to achieve anyway. What I do know is that working like this, if nothing is happening after about an hour, it's time to stop and do something else. I've wasted too many days fucking about with something that ultimately sounds like complete shite when listening to it a few days later.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:09 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
The throwing mud at a wall method?



No. Its the experimenting and exploring method, the leaving yourself open to inspiration and the muses method.

I mean obviously I have a feeling to start with... but never know where that will go, so it could turn out as a ambient track or a house track or techno or trip hop or anything.

Playing with new gear or a new plug in usually yields interesting things, that may just be a little melody or beat and thats it, might not evolve into a track, sometimes it does.


.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:52 am 
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msl wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
The throwing mud at a wall method?



No. Its the experimenting and exploring method, the leaving yourself open to inspiration and the muses method.

I mean obviously I have a feeling to start with... but never know where that will go, so it could turn out as a ambient track or a house track or techno or trip hop or anything.

Playing with new gear or a new plug in usually yields interesting things, that may just be a little melody or beat and thats it, might not evolve into a track, sometimes it does.


.


I was replying to the post above yours.

I agree though, once you have an idea playing around is inevitable, serendipity occasionally sparkles on to your idea.

It's like autonomous writing versus improvising on a theme.
Even Jackson pollock worked structurally within his so called "randomness".

It's all about balance between a clear idea and riffing from that idea.

I approach all of this from a musicians perspective, I'm a poncey artist, my background is visual arts and have been a musician all my life, so I didn't come to this via DJing.
My approach is clearly more flouncy than average for techno.
But I find a lot of DJ's who go in to production tend to be more methodical (In my experience from teaching production), more button pushey, and the music as a whole (if you look at techno broadly) reflects this.

I'm all for more artistic flouncey poncey feely emotional expression.

But obviously, whatever works.........

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:06 pm 
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What are the ideas or feelings you used for tracks?

For my last track started on purpose, it was creating a simple distorted breakbeat (with a bright snare) looped over a classic 4/4 techno beat + modifying a looped vocal to make it sound like a sort of synth and playing with it all along.

I was aiming a simple and efficient dancefloor track with this.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:21 pm 
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I wouldn't call it throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks...but sometimes picking your favorite tool/instrument can lead to a specific idea or feeling one wants to write about. When I noodle it doesn't feel structureless. Also, when I say noodle...I mean noodling on the keys to find a melody.

I am not super interested in making uber DJ friendly tracks. For me instrumental electronic music is about expressing things that I have never been able to get out in words.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:19 am 
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A.M.Smith wrote:
I am not super interested in making uber DJ friendly tracks. For me instrumental electronic music is about expressing things that I have never been able to get out in words.


There is no necessary contradiction, a track can be dj friendly and express something as you said.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:17 am 
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Dust Layer wrote:
A.M.Smith wrote:
I am not super interested in making uber DJ friendly tracks. For me instrumental electronic music is about expressing things that I have never been able to get out in words.


There is no necessary contradiction, a track can be dj friendly and express something as you said.


No. Of course not. That was kind of a superfluous statement...I just mean that for myself if an arrangement decision would make a song more difficult to mix I let that slide I favor of accomplishing whatever I had set out to accomplish.


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