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What's your approach to making electronic music? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 5th March 2014
  #61
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

I smash buttons and turn knobs semi-randomly until I like what I'm hearing.

The process is a sort of controlled chaos.
Old 5th March 2014
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Yeah, I just use this guy right here. Probably something slightly better for 99cents at the app store but this works okay. I don't really use any music DAWesque apps on my phone. I haven't tried anything yet that strikes me as what I have in mind it should be. I'm sure it isn't far off. Even something like Garageband on iPad I find kind of difficult to use. I carry my MacBook most everywhere with me along with some good headphones and a USB dock for my dongles so I'm ready to go at any time. The phone thing just works well while I'm driving or working.
I do the same thing..but with the internal microphone of a 5 year-old flip phone. I too almost only ever record snippets at work or when walking about. Coherent inspiration shines now and again, so it'd be nice to have a little audio sketch-book with you at all times. I actually do just that, but with a pen and pad. Always having it on hand is key and has really helped me retain ideas that would otherwise have simply burned in the inferno of time. It can feel that way sometimes when you lose a great idea!
Old 5th March 2014
  #63
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pinkerton's Avatar
 

You can make a bleep or bleep but you can't make both at the same time.

But seriously. I'm usually just trying to make ugly sounds but then my brain just starts making music out of it. Start hearing chords, beats, melodies, whatever. And then I can't NOT add that stuff.

And sometimes its a combination of sound design + playing keys and just following dragons.

It sometimes is a beat.

Also have a portable voice recorder that I capture things with.

Too organic a process to sum up neatly really.

Seems like back in the day electronic music artists were expected to utilize all sorts of methods to create sounds. Moreso than now. Maybe that's all in my head.
Old 5th March 2014
  #64
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
I smash buttons and turn knobs semi-randomly until I like what I'm hearing.

The process is a sort of controlled chaos.
A bit like a mixture of weaving and playing Flipper. Just keep shooting the ball back up there and don't drop it and keep making it hit targets that come up. After a few hours something has occurred and left a sonic shape.

Start with a goal thought but once doing, just do, quickly and don't censor too hard about direction, only be hard about quality and parts entitlement to stay in the game. Anything that appears the weak link, kull quickly and move on. Weave, chisel.......chisel more......a bit like chopping at stones in an imaginary prison camp. But in the sun.
Old 5th March 2014
  #65
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
1) buy lots of ****
2) don't hook it up, just dump it somewhere
3) let it gather dust
4) cry myself to sleep since i'm never going to achieve or make anything
5) Sell dusty stuff to buy new shiny stuff?
Old 5th March 2014
  #66
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

I always start with making drums or a synthpatch which after a spliff leads to melodies and harmonies. If I start with the synth path I drop a solid beat on top of it that got pre-made!

Get the whole track going and do subtractive arranging. Cubase ruined me. Should have started with Ableton earlier. I have a dusty APC40 that could be used to arrange tracks on the fly, but no!
Old 5th March 2014
  #67
Gear Nut
 

I just put any sound into a hardware or software sampler and start manipulating it.

Then add effects, more elements etc.

Once I'm done with designing sounds and making patterns, I chain them together and record.
Old 5th March 2014
  #68
I keep it in the box.
Never gets out ....

;-)
Old 5th March 2014
  #69
Gear Nut
 

Used to be make a beat and try and find things to fit around it.

Now I just find a sample or I'll start tweaking a sound until I find something I like, make a melody or slice it up, then go from there. I'll usually play around until I can hear some type of progression in my head, then I know where it's going.
Old 5th March 2014
  #70
drums n bass in a tune push me so i start there for the most part.... all I ask is you don't make the kick drum the loudest part
Old 5th March 2014
  #71
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ecologie's Avatar
It's usually stagnation for me. sadly. my tracks wallow in misery on my HD never to completion.
Old 5th March 2014
  #72
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graphs's Avatar
It really depends. My best material usually starts with samples, be it a drum break/loop, vocal snippet or whatever. I find it's easiest to start with the element that dictates the tempo and tuning rather than trying to force the samples to fit a track already in progress. Then I try to find drum machine samples that jive with the vinyl samples. Then I try and find synth patches that fit in the appropriate register and go from there. If the sounds are right it makes writing licks a lot easier.

What I've tried to get away from is starting by creating drum machine patterns or programming synth patches. Sometimes they can provide inspiration but usually my most rote music comes from starting that way. Taking more of a sample collage approach and peppering with analog **** for flavour has been working out a lot better for me lately. Things end up a lot more dynamic and a lot less predictable.
Old 5th March 2014
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphs View Post
It really depends. My best material usually starts with samples, be it a drum break/loop, vocal snippet or whatever. I find it's easiest to start with the element that dictates the tempo and tuning rather than trying to force the samples to fit a track already in progress. Then I try to find drum machine samples that jive with the vinyl samples. Then I try and find synth patches that fit in the appropriate register and go from there. If the sounds are right it makes writing licks a lot easier.

What I've tried to get away from is starting by creating drum machine patterns or programming synth patches. Sometimes they can provide inspiration but usually my most rote music comes from starting that way. Taking more of a sample collage approach and peppering with analog **** for flavour has been working out a lot better for me lately. Things end up a lot more dynamic and a lot less predictable.
This is interesting. I've read a few people here saying they start with a sample. I've never tried that approach but am always up for learning something new. How do you choose? Just looking through samples you already have or you hear something in a song, a sound, a chord stab, or drum fill, and then go and sample it?
Old 5th March 2014
  #74
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graphs's Avatar
Pretty much along those lines, yeah. I still dig for records quite a bit and still keep my eyes peeled for records that might have some cool **** on it even if it's not something I'd want to sit and listen to. I usually have a small stack of LP's that I know have some cool samples and I go there first and if I don't find something that grabs me I'll just root around in my collection and see what I find. Sometimes it's a total bust, sometimes I'll spend 4 or 5 hours tweaking an edit only to realize it sucks. And sometimes you end up with cool stuff that sounds nothing like the source sample. I love sampling like orchestral sounds or strings to loop and then you have this ethereal string or voice section that nobody else has. The S950 is great for that kind of stuff. And if you just sample and tweak and layer and re-sample and tweak you can get really wild drums that would be tough to create any other way.
Old 5th March 2014
  #75
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graphs's Avatar
I will say it's a much slower process working that way though.
Old 5th March 2014
  #76
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pinkerton's Avatar
 

Yes it's slower but hell, Its a labor of love. It should take time. It's like slow food vs fast food.
Old 6th March 2014
  #77
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Raleigh's Avatar
Good posts on this thread.

I'm stuck in a rut right now. I've been working on a track for about two days now, and, only now I'm realizing its either crap, or needs more work, or both. Its funny but this morning it sounded good to me..... What changed?

Music making isn't necessarily easy! But it can be at times.
Old 6th March 2014
  #78
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pinkerton's Avatar
 

the longer you tweak, the more bad decisions you make. It's just a part of ear fatigue. It you arent feeling something, It's beneficial to put something down and come back to it later, generally speaking.
Old 6th March 2014
  #79
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

There is an art to timing breaks. Same in mixing. The trick is to let go as soon as you have done something that made you truly feel a buzz and it seemed to climb up a level. LET GO. Immediately!

That way, when you come back after your break you will find a guaranteed goodness to continue weaving on WITHOUT doing that wrong move that makes you fall off the cliff and ruin everything good.
Old 6th March 2014
  #80
Gear Addict
 
Maxadax's Avatar
 

Make a drum pattern in Live, spend wayyyy too long designing drum sounds, then do whatever, either make a strong hook that goes with the drums or make a melody that compliments the rhythm.

Then
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
4) cry myself to sleep since i'm never going to achieve or make anything
Old 7th March 2014
  #81
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blank synth patch, Ill decide on bass/brass/pad depending on how Im feeling and start designing that sound first, then a melody. Ill duplicate that patch and work on a melody that layers with the other, will pan it slightly and adjust the envelopes slightly. then more of the same. if theres bass Ill work on some aggressive beats, pads will get soft crunchy beats at a slower tempo. main reverb is decided close to the beginning of the process

its like a painting, theres no plan really, just use whatever colors you feel and then start making it grow to something more structured
Old 7th March 2014
  #82
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
There is an art to timing breaks. Same in mixing. The trick is to let go as soon as you have done something that made you truly feel a buzz and it seemed to climb up a level. LET GO. Immediately!

That way, when you come back after your break you will find a guaranteed goodness to continue weaving on WITHOUT doing that wrong move that makes you fall off the cliff and ruin everything good.
Could you expand on this? I believe you've identified my kryptonite. It's more than just overworking things.
Old 7th March 2014
  #83
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bh9090 View Post
Could you expand on this? I believe you've identified my kryptonite. It's more than just overworking things.
It's simple. When building tracks as when mixing you come to a place when you do soemthing and suddenly the music elevates to a higher plane as something 'clicks' into place and makes sense. This is the point where the urge is to go "AWESOME!!" and to "just do another couple of things and tweaks to make it even better".......only those are the ones that will push you over the cliff and ruin the magic that just came to be!

So basically as soon as that magical momeny happens do NOT touch another thing, just walk out. Don't walk back in the room until you can't stop yourself. THEN when you hear it again fresh 15 minutes later, those next two moves will be completely obvious and the RIGHT ones, say a couple of levels in a mix to pull into place a bit or knocking out a note or two in a part and hearing the next one, and so you can safely move on to the next 'plateu' without pulling down your house of cards of magic.
Old 7th March 2014
  #84
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1. Neglect my other more important responsibilities.
2. Argue with my girlfriend.
3. Make hit.

But seriously, I start with a melody or chords first either by making a patch or by finding one that inspires me. Then I add drums and bass. Pretty simple.
Old 7th March 2014
  #85
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stallone View Post
1. Neglect my other more important responsibilities.
2. Argue with my girlfriend.
3. Make hit.

But seriously, I start with a melody or chords first either by making a patch or by finding one that inspires me. Then I add drums and bass. Pretty simple.

AND WE HAVE A WINNER!!

couldn't have said it better myself.


Dennis Ferrer
Old 7th March 2014
  #86
Would be nice to hear examples of finished (or even semifinished) products that happened by certain process.

For example it's difficult for me to imagine what kind of song comes out when starting from a sample. Might get inspired.
Old 7th March 2014
  #87
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djshire's Avatar
 

I have no real "process" as of yet, its mostly just...I hear something in my head, and I try to replicate that. I typically design sounds on the fly as I need them. Most of the time, I start off with drums, just to get the beat down, but many times I've started off writing the breakdown and building around that.
Old 7th March 2014
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymondwave View Post
For example it's difficult for me to imagine what kind of song comes out when starting from a sample. Might get inspired.
Damn.
Old 7th March 2014
  #89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raleigh View Post
Good posts on this thread.

I'm stuck in a rut right now. I've been working on a track for about two days now, and, only now I'm realizing its either crap, or needs more work, or both. Its funny but this morning it sounded good to me..... What changed?

Music making isn't necessarily easy! But it can be at times.
Put it away. If you have time to work on something else, do it. Make a sticky note for yourself so you don't forget about it. Wait 48-72 hours. Then go back and have a listen.

I have created a new, but good habit, of working on about three projects at a time. I try to rotate daily, but if I'm not feeling something and getting frustrated, I'll just move on to the next one. This keeps my ears fresh, and keeps things from getting stale or stagnant. Of course if you are shooting the lights out and having one of those uber creative moments where everything is working and you can't be stopped, by all means just keep going.

And of course, if you suddenly realize that something sux, make a sh!t folder and drop it in there. Then one day when you are bored and don't have any ideas, start rifling through said sh!t folder and I guarantee you'll hear something that will hit you like a ton of bricks and what was once a lost cause suddenly turns in to a nice piece of work. Timing is everything.

As my skills are still very much developing, I'm finding that I seem to be able to find a solution on a project from a while back where I couldn't find my way out of a corner.
Old 7th March 2014
  #90
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graphs's Avatar
Pretty much all my folders are **** folders. Just have a couple here and there that stand out

Last edited by graphs; 8th March 2014 at 01:50 PM.. Reason: kinda goofy post that needed to go
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