2014!

My annual post! ;)

Wishing you all a creative and happy 2014!

PS: Don’t forget about “Patches” up there in the header.  Some people may not even recognize it.

Take care!

Finding…

… yourself. One of the more difficult aims to accomplish being as a music producer and artist.

We follow our idols to get close to their sound. The current soundware market is offering numerous products, like sample and preset packs, even full construction kits, specifically made to allow upcoming producers to get a certain sound instantly, compared to the *regular* way of learning individual steps that may need years of practice.

As much as this seems very beneficial, there is more to it, especially when people get lazy and rather prefer shortcuts, as dealing with learning and creating things on their own. If we look back on the history of electronic music, we notice certain things that are going to remind us on what electronic music also was about.  Music is one of the the greatest discovery of mankind (spicy food and beer are also awesome!), but the spirit of today seems to be about, as much as you want, as quick as you want, including the least amount of effort possible. Stolen software copies, some presets and samples and there you go. This doesn’t stop with the unknown guy, producing in his bedroom, unfortunately. More than one upload on the Future Music magazine YouTube channel is prove enough that even the big guys don’t care for purchasing their main tools, even after numerous successful records and tours around the world.

One of the most, if not the most, famous little synthesizers, the TB-303, was primarily aimed on recreating real bass guitar sound. A huge miss for Roland when it came out, leading to a lot of bargain 303s. The electronic music / Techno community took this device and made it into one of the most desirable pieces of gear to acquire. By using it beyond the intended purpose.

I don’t wanna bash on presets and samples. I use them all the time, but I don’t base all my work on them. You can build your average, generic song with these easily and be one of the millions of people, having a release on Beatport or wherever. But what is the memory you want to trigger, if people think about you? What is the difference between a producer that is an inspiration for you and one that just made a good track, that you won’t listen to anymore in 2 or 3 weeks?

Keep a good balance! Find gear and samples that give you a decent set of essential tools. Get yourself a book or watch some online tutorials, but don’t overdo it. Follow your favorite artists, but learn how to make things your way. Notice when the time is right to practice and experiment with the things you know, to discover your own techniques and your way of doing things, the way you feel is right, not how some other dude somewhere else thinks how you should do it.

Keep creating.

 

Limitations

Today, I would like to talk about limitations and how helpful they can be.

I like to think about myself as someone with a minimal setup. I mainly use Reason 6.5  and rarely add more content to my production arsenal, like new samples, ReFills or Rack Extensions.

I believe, that once your collection grows you loose track of what you already own. A good example for this is Reason’s own Factory Sound Bank. First of all, it has way too much to offer to remember everything in there. Secondly, some of those effect Combinators can spice up a boring sound easily. If you checked the FSB in the past, you should get back to keep rediscovering new goodies.

Same goes for any other ReFill or sample pack I own. In a new content or in a different mind state or mood, some sounds may attract you more than others.  A sound that you not liked before could be the inspiring spark this time.

You can try to reconstruct Combinators into pieces and learn from there. Once separated, you can use those pieces to craft new sounds and textures. Another reason why most of my current sound are based on NN19/XT sounds is because of my collection of sampled instruments for both samplers and my enjoyment in mixing and matching them for my own creations. This can be done with any device in Reason and is one way of working with other people’s creations.

I like to clean and delete stuff, even more so when checking numbers. Who seriously could ever need 2.000 snare samples? This is one of the questions I ask myself, but I also know that some people are able to handle a lot of options and content in numbers. I’m not one of them and I learnt my lesson the hard way (that G.A.S. thing), but these tips may help other people with minds working like mine.