Writing tunes

Continuum Oct 15, 2004

  1. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Ain't that the truth? :Smile3:
    I derive a lot of satisfaction from doing the things I need to be good at (Dad, Programmer, Breadwinner and all round top bloke) and the rest simply has to drop off the radar. I was trying so hard to do everything AND get my stuff up to releasable standards that the frustration was starting to make me freaked and resentful. So one day I just said 'fuck it it's not going to happen' and decided to be happy with what I have...
    TBH I'm much happier for it, now I've removed a major source of inner tension and external grumpiness...

    I've had one in production for about two months and it will get finished eventually :Smile3: but I'm not sure you can capture the vibe when it's done so slowwwwwwly. It's all starting to sound a bit sterile and academic. Nevertheless, you're right, and I do enjoy the few hours I spend on it. Thats the point really, innit?

    Me too. Why did I bother? Recently I've concentrated on getting a really good pre-master mix (very slowly of course) and thats definitely working for me. I think mastering SHOULD be taken out of the hands of the writer because it needs to be a dispassionate exercise done by a skillful third party. IMHO.
     
  2. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    [e|sy]mpathy post

    me too :Smile3:

    except its nearer 3 or 4 months i think.... doh...

    the more conscious part of my brain knows if i finished it it'd bea nice track, but the more subconscious part is bored shitless with it. i even ignored it altogether for about 2 months, and that helped, but i was only re-interested for about 2 hours :hehe:

    hm... maybe i should post a clip of it?

    i personally disagree with j in that if i do a brush stroke a day, i do 70% of a painting but get so bored of it i never finish it and end up having just wasted a lot of paint... thats just me personally. if i spend longer than a couple of months on something, its almost certainly sunk forever.
     
  3. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Aye. :Smile3:

    Dance music (especially the 4/4 stuff) is generally quite 'sterile and academic', given that it's a computer that regulates when notes are played - it's the little flashes of inspiration here and there that mark the stand-out tracks.

    It's the playing part of the equation that's the kicker for me - I'll live with a mix that's 'reasonable' as long as I had fun making it - you can always go back and refine the technical qualities later. I'd hazard a guess that your little one is most obviously having the best time when she's at play - take a leaf out of her book! :Grin:

    When it comes to the guitar stuff, I'm going back to songs I started as long as five years ago. I used to get frustrated because due to not having a four-track, and because my usual co-writer was recovering from a long illness I could never even approximate what I was hearing in my head because it needed four or six hands to do so, plus it's damn hard to work out decent melody lines without the backing part playing along. I've come to the conclusion that I come up with my best stuff due to lucky combinations of inspiration, plus just arsing around and jamming. Also, because I've started getting creative in that arena again, I'm having more and better ideas for electronic stuff too. I'm marrying stuff that I more or less gave up on a few years back with new ideas that I wasn't skilled or knowledgeable enough to have come up with back then.

    I believe that just because something isn't working now doesn't mean it won't work when I'm in the right frame of mind.

    J.
     
  4. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Damn you can be profound sometimes :Grin:
     
  5. onestone

    onestone Member

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    Come on you guys, what's the difficulty in putting down 140 bpm 4 x 4 doof doof with a few wizzz plink plink here and there? :Wink3:
     
  6. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    Well, yeah, I'm the same with band stuff and instrument stuff, but thats the point isnt it. your "material" there is a piece of music / song in the publishing-rights sense of the word. so its fun to pick up, easy to approach afresh and reinvigorate, because you recreate every time you play it.

    Where computer dance music stuff is spending 3 weeks on a 4 bar drum loop loop with a droning root note sine wave under it. your "material" there is a piece of music / track in the mechanical-rights sense of the word.

    I get utterly bored to point-of-never-returnnig with the latter , but not the former.

    because thats not what i'm making :Wink3:
     
  7. Ott^

    Ott^ Guest

    Maybe you should.

    I was flailing around in a vacuum for a couple of years before i got the nerve to send an mp3 of one of my tunes to a mate over IRC. He really liked it [or so he said] and my confidence went up a notch.

    So I sent it to a few more ppl and they were all very nice about it.

    I got more confident.

    Obviously this had a direct effect on the music I made and, in turn, the reaction i got.

    Weird that I've "known" some of you for 18 months and all for at least 6 months but I've never heard any of your music.

    It takes bottle to post up something you know isn't finished - inevitably somebody is going to say something daft like "The bass is a bit flabby..." to which you could only ever reply "I know - its not finished. Dildo."

    But - it can really help if, at that tricky halfway point, somebody points out what they like about what you're doing, so - in the spirit of mutual encouragement - I give you;

    "The Encouragement Thread."
     
  8. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Member

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    Ok at some point tonight I will do a rough mixdown of the track I am working on right now and post it. I've kind of put it in the backround for a while because frankly I don't know where to go with it.
     
  9. Warwick Bassmonkey

    Warwick Bassmonkey Average Sized Member

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    That's bollocks. The stuff I've heard of yours has been ace.

    You must surely know that you're capable of great things, but having a full time job, and being a Dad simply means you're not going to be able to churn it out as regularly or as rapidly as some of the full-time people.

    In the same boat here, really. The first trick is to stop letting it bother you, and just be patient. IMHO.
     
  10. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Ooh you smooth talker you
     
  11. onestone

    onestone Member

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    But don't you think it takes bottle to say "The bass is a bit flabby..." ? Surely if you post something it's because you want some reaction both positive and negative? After that it's up to you to take up whichever point you feel will benefit your tune.

    I know I get a knot in my stomach whenever someone asks for my opinion. I just can't say "Wow that's cool man" if it isn't. I know that's what they're hoping to hear and I hope to f*ck that it is a "wow man" because if it isn't then I have to churn my brains for ways to make a constructive criticism in a way that it doesn't sound negative.

    Am I making sense? :?
     
  12. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Perfect sense, but don't waste your time mate - be honest. I absolutely categorically do not want to hear "Wow that's cool man" if someone doesn't think it is. If they tell me why they don't like it then fairdos, and if they can give any constructive comments then thats priceless. Often my buddies have heard some glaring howlers in my stuff that I'm just too close to it to hear.
    However if someone just says "thats rubbish! you suck!" then my fragile little artistic ego is utterly and irrepairably crushed for days :no:
     
  13. Ott^

    Ott^ Guest

    And thats the point really. As an engineer, I found the hardest part of the job was coaxing great performances out of singers. Singer goes behind the mic and his throat is all tight cos he doesn't know me that well and he feels as if he's under scrutiny. Which he is.

    After years of recording horrible vocal takes, I noticed a pattern forming. If, after the first take, they ask me how it is sounding and I reply "Terrible..." - the second take is always worse. Without exeption. If I reply "Sounds terrific mate - really beautiful. Try opening your throat a bit and watch the tuning on the low parts.".... you hear the improvement straight away.

    They hear the second sentence and usually take it in, but the really important part is the first sentence. Lack of confidence is the real killer of inspiration, and a tiny bit of encouragement always works wonders.


    The other point I would make is that there are two ways of asking "What do you think?" and they both mean different things.

    Sometimes it means "Give me your detailed critical appraisal of my work." and other times it means "Tell me its good and I'll be really happy!"

    My instinct is to concentrate on the aspects that I like - unless somebody specifically asks for my opinion on what is "wrong" because one man's "flabby bass" is another's "primal low-end growl".

    I've had loads of people corner me at parties and tell me all the things they don't like about my tunes - as if I should be grateful for the feedback and can then go away and modify my sound to suit them.

    As if.

    As somebody once said, "You can't please all of the people all of the time." and so, if you don't like what I do, don't listen to it. Keep your banal jaded and frankly erroneous opinions to yourself.

    If, on the other hand, you think its a work of genius and want to lavish praise upon me then I respect you as a person of discernment and taste.

    :Grin:

    Negative criticism is rarely a good thing when directed at art because it always says more about the taste and disposition of the critic than it does the nature of the work. Therefore, the only possible way criticism can benefit the process of creating art is by being creative itself.

    If anyone wants to start a "Tell me why my music sucks" thread, they are welcome. It'll get thousands of posts but won't benefit anyone.
     
  14. oogerbooger303

    oogerbooger303 Junior Members

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    i think you need a muse.
    my best stuff was written when i didn't have a girly, but knew one that i really wanted.
    the fantasy and desire was an integral part of my being and caused much creativeness and inspiration.
    now i'm with her, the creative flow has ebbed somewhat...
    happier, but less productive.
    i work best when i'm miserable.
    psy-blues anyone?
     
  15. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    There is a school of though which maintains that contentment is a barrier to creativity.
    I think its true. I've never been so happy, or written so little music before. Don't know whether thats a :Smile3: or a :Sad:
     
  16. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    <double post>
     
  17. seuss

    seuss Junior Members

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    there's lots of reassuring talk round these parts... :Smile3:

    i believe different types of creative energy are exuded when you're in different moods; so happiness and contentment might inspire me to make a floaty uplifing joy-from-above psy track, a dark reflective air might point towards a soulful, minor, acoustic guitar session...

    the creative output is necessarily different every time, and it's ultimately all the product of one consciousness, but we express our feelings through artistic composition - and to be honest, the only ones i've found really difficult to work with are anger and apathy :Wink3:
     
  18. Low Halo

    Low Halo Junior Members

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    Keep it simple. Some of the most powerful music is very basic and uncomplicated.

    This works for me to begin with, and I add to it very slowly.

    I find that one of the most important things is knowing when to stop adding parts, and some of the moments of realisation come when I take things out of a tune and just hear the purcussion with the bass.

    Think rock and roll!

    :badger:
     
  19. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Member

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    This is completely me. The scary part is when you find yourself adjusting your lifestyle to be a little miserable so you can get the creativity flowing. :no:
     
  20. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guest

    hehehe you lot :Grin: , has anyone here seen Spaced? (the tv series) you remind me of the character Brian, he could only paint well when he was suffering some kind of emotional torment :Wink3:

    me? i need to be 1. happy 2. not tired (this doesnt happen v. often when u got kids) 3. not stoned, mental clarity is a MUST. If im stoned i go off on too many tangents & end up with a load of unfinished ideas, unfinished because i couldnt remember where i was going with them!....not good :?
     
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