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Trance Forum  Forum  Production & Music Making - What is your biggest struggle?
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What is your biggest struggle?

frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Sep 23, 2015 02:42
Nice post man.

About the midi, do you mean ways that the software interprets the input data and turns it into something else automatically? 'Cause there's some ways that can be done these days. Most DAW software on the market these days has got some form or another of midi plug-ins. Which can do ordinary stuff like quantising or arpeggiation, or more complex stuff to. Cubase seems very complete in that department. But if you're really into exploring that, then you'd have a good time trying out some max devices on Ableton or messing about with Reaktor.

Now back on topic. The only thing I don't quite agree with in your post is when you say the public on this scene isn't demanding. I think most people are and they can really appreciate when some artist pushes the right buttons on them.

Problem is that the artists can easily spot when something is making the crowds roar, or which direction it seems to be going and, for some who've been doing this for long, the struggle must be between staying relevant and appealing to the new audiences with their "seasonal" tastes and expectations or to remain attached to one's own identity and stick with it. Of course many responses to the same dilema are to be expected, but the pressure towards standardisation is certainly there and one can at least say that much of the music sounds rather similar.

I think that's not necessarily a bad thing, as there seems to be enough variation with the scene to justify at least the names of a few sub genres which keep on developing, orbiting around the main psytrance movement. If you think of it in terms of language, it's natural to actually refer back to other previous solutions and trying to give a new twist to things even playing around in a given context that may seem - and probably many times is - a bit constricting and maybe even narrow.

I remember once making a thread here, with a kind of challenging tone to it, about the lack of change in the Bass department. Only to be reminded, a few answers later, that nothing really seems to cut it that would justify a replacement. Do something long enough, and everything starts feeling like routine. But this is actually music to make people dance while entertaining and involving their minds as well, to take a bunch of people on some kind of journey, so forth and so on. And some things you can change, others you can't. Take the beat off and nobody would dance to a weird drone of noises, right?

If someone finds it in their hearts that things are looking boring as they are, they should also find the guts or the adventurous spirit to do it as they think it should be just for the heck of it. So many people doing things for all the wrong reasons. Some different approach could be refreshing. Breaking things and turning them into something else seems to have worked for Picasso, hey?
splikz


Started Topics :  1
Posts :  287
Posted : Sep 25, 2015 05:12
my struggle right now is to open the daw and make music... the days go by and I have no time to produce.

still, my quest is to build a business around music and internet. I'm trying diversify in order to get more revenue streams. since I'm not a touring producer and I never was.
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Sep 25, 2015 16:06
that's good thinking. if you then manage to find the time, which you will if you really want to - baring in mind you'll always have to sacrifice something for it to happen.



routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Sep 28, 2015 09:46


A fairly strait forward solution I found, not that I am really trying it anymore - now that i've moved on to other genres, is to leave out the K&B and add it afterwards. That repetitiveness can actually put you off especially when it takes you a few days to a week to produce.

Lead, perc and fx sounds are much more soothing and also keeps your energy contained so you can concentrate and finish the track. Many times i've found that the k&b takes all my attention - like, the whole time. So all my other sounds are kinda boring - thinking that the bass elements will compensate for the "not enough" of other sounds.

Other thing was I always tried to be too minimal when starting with the k&b, ending with a tune that does not have enough energy with the bass levels drowning the track.

If you leave them out till the end you get the benefit to create a story, without energy elements winding you up. Linking the gaps and also with a full track it's easier to mix the bass elements getting a nicer level in volume between all the sounds.

In some unsure areas a metronome can temporarily be used to check if everything is still on the grid.



          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
drumpets


Started Topics :  6
Posts :  7
Posted : Sep 28, 2015 23:32
Yes, I've come to the same conclusion: having that base of kick and bass can make you kind of lazy and uninspired; it's such an important part of the music that its presence can make you feel that a lot of the work has already been done. I also keep forgetting to actually try this approach every time I start a new track, though...           http://drumpets.sporkles.net
http://soundcloud.com/drumpets
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Sep 29, 2015 10:15
Quote:

On 2015-09-28 23:32, drumpets wrote:
Yes, I've come to the same conclusion: having that base of kick and bass can make you kind of lazy and uninspired; it's such an important part of the music that its presence can make you feel that a lot of the work has already been done. I also keep forgetting to actually try this approach every time I start a new track, though...




Exactly dude. You got it spot on with the

"it's such an important part of the music that its presence can make you feel that a lot of the work has already been done."

I also know what ur saying that you forget to start this way every time you begin composing. Still the first try with this method turned out very good, my buddies told me the track actually sounded like music - cause the K&B was accompanied by this nice background story / movement, keeping the interest within the track.

The Bass elements and all the rest is like 2 separate compositions. Almost 2 different tracks that you "in the end" mesh together.

You would maybe think that this could cause the two not to compliment one another, but if you leave it out completely, not even touching it. You can actually design it to fit perfectly - why - cause the story of the other sounds will drive the creation.

Ending with much more complex K&B patterns.


          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
drumpets


Started Topics :  6
Posts :  7
Posted : Sep 29, 2015 11:52
Agreed, and really, this is how all the great composers made their music: get the notes right on the piano, then "spread them out" for the various sections of the orchestra. It's a much more musical and fluid approach, when you think about it. In fact, I'm beginning to realise that the method of building everything on top of a phat kick/bass combo is way too mechanical and inhibiting.           http://drumpets.sporkles.net
http://soundcloud.com/drumpets
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Sep 29, 2015 17:19
That's an interesting approach.

Myself, I work on the main elements until they feel right: that would be k&b combo and main drums. I do this so I can address composition knowing I can go ahead and resample and post process and do whatever I feel like with the material without worrying that I'm doing these things on top of a not so good snare, or a Kick that sounds a bit off.

Once that's done, I can go ahead and create all the "chaos" I want and I actually find it a bit easier to balance things together if I have those elements sounding good.

I route my sounds to groups, and an alternative to this approach you guys are speaking about here, is simply to mute whole groups so that your attention can really focus on making those elements work good on their own.

routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Sep 30, 2015 09:48
Quote:

On 2015-09-29 11:52, drumpets wrote:
building everything on top of a phat kick/bass combo is way too mechanical and inhibiting.




This is why it never worked for me to start with bass elements, cause having them in the way makes you believe that the track is "in a way" already full and you know those two needs mid frequencies as well to shine through. Now you try to fit synth hits and melodies in between them - searching for gaps.

So you end up with a track full of percussion which is very boring. The other way around you realize it's more like layering the K&B on the track - so you can balance out the mid frequencies nicely giving the leads and pads their well deserved attention and still keeping the K&B audible.

Frisbeehead:
I think people differ with techniques to reach the end-point. Any way that feels comfortable is the way to go, for that person. Like they say "If it works."



          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
Ricciardo
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  188
Posted : Sep 30, 2015 14:53
I strongly recomend you all to read this article...

http://mikemonday.com/the-cure/

because this article will change your perspective about many things and it can influence a lot the way you think and concept about your own music.

(well it changed mine...)
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Oct 1, 2015 04:40
@routingwithin

absolutely! many ways to approach things.

the way I do it is one out of many. the reasoning beyond my method, if you will, is quite simple: I need those elements in a nearly finished state (sonically) 'cause I'm relying on post processing some elements together early on, as I'm composing - this is mainly done with automation, rendering, editing and so on. Really just resampling and post editing and processing.

so to me - and this is as subjective and personal as it gets - this works better then having to go back and do all the composing stuff again 'cause I later decided to change the sounds to much. like, when you have some filter sweep going on your Kick and Bass, if you change those elements later on, chances are it's going to sound a lot different and so the effect is lost. other way around is to keep all the midi and automation in real time, but that of course takes up some precious resources from the system.

but that's all technique and work flow talk. second reason why I like it, is 'cause I feel the need to compromise early on so I don't second guess myself to much. I like to convince myself that this is the way to move forward, as if I was in a studio, paying by the hour, just hitting the record button and going for it.

doesn't necessarily mean I always start a track with those elements, I can start with a melody or whatever. but once I feel like it's time to move on and organize the project and start building an actual track, then I make sure I get some elements ready first - and some basic structure with some fx channels and groups and stuff like that in place, just 'cause it makes life all that much easier.

Like they say, whatever floats your boat, but it's cool that there's some discussing of this topic taking place. Cheers
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Oct 1, 2015 11:44

That sounds a lot like I use to do things, it turns out too chaotic for me. Post processing earlier on etc etc. Usually it became a mindfcuk for me cause processed sounds don't really jive with unprocessed sounds. So now every time you add something you have to process it before it fits, leading to a loss of inspiration.

It's way easier to layer the processes, bread, butter, meat, tomato, etc.

This being Composing the story/flow of music (until finished), Designing a K&B that fits like a glove and layering it on top, *Important* - Processing only where necessary (EQ,Comp,Sat,Effects), Mixing - Balance Volume & Frequency levels, Mastering - Making subtle processing adjustments to make that trophy shine.

Following these guidelines for me were much more organized and easy, giving each stage its full attention it requires. However, if you have been doing it for a while and you know what works best with what, then you can do it like you want to, cause it worked before.

          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
Mathura
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  14
Posts :  90
Posted : Oct 1, 2015 12:59
Ricciardo's last post takes something in front, what shows at least two sides of the struggle story...

On one hand there could be the "technical struggle" on the other hand there could the "emotional struggle"...
Both sides / hands are somewhere and somewhow connected with each other and there could not be a "success"...

The connection of both hands maybe is the the "upper-body" ergo the "mind / spirit"...

And when there is somewhere in "whole state if mind /beeing" a kind of struggle, the struggle spreads around...
Words of struggle : "Learning & Knowlegde, Time & Passion, Experience & Formulas, Money & Work" and so on...

In this time of 2015 with "all the things around in the world" its maybe good to understand,
that also modern-psytrance-music became a "piece of service" (And its good & great service)...

Every "new" producer without the "music-history of people like Astrix" should answer the question itself whether he wants to serve this service
and how the "service" works.
And also it should be answered how much time and passion is truely available in a producers life...

Some producers gives examples of a very "high-end" sound-production and the people who listen get a very impressive and great experience...
Also thoose producers are telling deep storys and its frequently a adventure for the listener of the music...

Also a lot of the "parties" are great "events" of the tribe which becomes a service for some "users"...
This is a corrospondece of the humans... And the beat with the "music above" is their connection...

So what is the difference between a party, an event or a service ? What is the difference between art and the service of art ?

First its important to understand "the mainstream"...

The mainstream is the most prominent "collective energy" of the whole ergo of all involved human beings
(The same takes effect for the genres and sub genres)...

And the mainstream-tornado takes effect for everyones life :
Everyone (The most) needs money for a home, food, clothes etc. and more and more people are more and more "under pressure" to enable their daily life,
although our technical possibilities are telling a very differnt story ( Ergo - States of Inter-Nation or a open civilization ? )

Ergo "the mainstream" is the pressure to have "success" in life to be alive and its a social-political-media-META thing of money...

So where is the "producer-being" positioned in life ? What is the music-history on stage and the "label" of the producer ?

"Free music production" for (free) parties ? - Less need of knowledge, expierence, passion, time, money, work...
"Free and saleable music production" for small events ? - More need of knowledge, expierence, passion, time, money, work...
"Saleable high-end music production" for the service ? - A lot of knowledge, expierence, passion, time, money, work...

Thoos three levels are (sadly ?) mostly only downwards-compatible ?

Maybe, maybe not... Who can answer here ?



frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Oct 1, 2015 15:37
@routinwithin

I hear you. Don't think I've made it clear enough that this "post processing" I kept speaking of has much more to do with the actual composing and sound design then it's to do with mixing.

Imagine I just want to pick a few elements on a short break and process some granular effect on it, like on Kick&Bass and a couple of the Drums. Even though the effect does deviate a lot from the sound of the original sources, it still feels like "something has happened to those elements".

If you were to use a hardware sampler, you'd do yourself a favour if you fed it with some decent sounding samples, and even better if you ensured that your Kit is working good together. It's a similar thing.

While it's good not to wear the engineer's hat while composing, one does not need to stretch it as far as pretending not to know about those things. From my experience, the later stages inform the previous ones a lot. It's not a one way road, so to speak.

I just make sure everything "sings" together. No pun intended here, but my bass lines are not an after thought, they're an integral part of the composition. You have to listen in context and to how just some of the elements are working together - and I mean the actual arrangement here!

So, what's wrong with using "solo" and "mute" buttons to work on your leads for as long as you want? Then listening to leads and drums? Then whatever you need? Distractions can be turned off. That easy.

Sorry for the very long post. Cheers
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Oct 1, 2015 21:45
the mainstream is simply what's pushed in front of us. those making the decisions at that level, where there's enough money to pull even the most extravagant projects forward, are more likely to be marketing guys then artists or people with a good grasp on arts in general.

usually when there's clearly less talented people involved, you can rest assured there's a crew of highly proficient professionals backing it all up with very good production, mixing and mastering and then they can still count on their massive global distribution networks to make sure everyone knows about the greatest and latest and suck the money there's to be made out of the system.

even though most people involved with the industry won't admit it, for obvious reasons, no one really cares these days if they're putting out a masterpiece that will endure the test of time or some fast consuming hit that no one will remember next year. some of those artists are consumable goods to. if they wear out or go out of fashion, it doesn't matter: there's like thousands lining up waiting for a chance. know those reality shows casting people's abilities to sing? most people will do anything to get the spotlights and the industry is there to profit from them. like a machine. artists are just the fuel for it. they're expandable and replaceable. if any of you think this is a bit far fetched, take a serious look at the Trap scene in Atlanta, for example. Some of them are real gangsters that can get shot with real guns. Some of them do. In a culture where this is all romanticised and made cool, guess what? If one dies, it really sells more. If someone is in prison, rest assured there's an album waiting once he gets back. If one of them is living a real self destructing kind of lifestyle, it's his problem, but just makes life easier for those marketing the stuff: if they're already gangsters and drug addicts, most important clubs of that scene are stripper clubs where there's more money on the ground on a night that most of us do (with normal jobs) in a year.

Some may dismiss this as being a very special context and a very extreme example. Maybe it is, but it's good to remind people that we're living in weird times where integrity is a precious rarity rather then the "modus operandi".





Trance Forum  Forum  Production & Music Making - What is your biggest struggle?
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