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Questions about creative process.
Old 5th July 2016
Gear Maniac

Questions about creative process.

Hey richard,

When you sit down to compose a song, what is the first thing you typically do? Drums first? a chord progression or pads to set a mood? I'm sure you do something different every time, but if you had to lay out a process and stick with it, what would you do?

Also, are you super concious about tuning/music theory when writing a track? I run into an issue with granular stuff. If I'm writing a track in a certain key, it's often times pretty tough to get the more experimental sound generators to fit into my more musical compositions. Some say to just throw music theory away.

Thanks. Also, do you have an email that's open to the public?
Old 7th July 2016
Gear Head
RichardDevine's Avatar
Hi thanks for the message, I never approach writing a song the same way. Lately I have been just using the modular alone to write and compose music. So I always start out with a new patch. The patch might start with the drums first and sometimes it might begin with a simple sequence of melodic notes. Other times it might be something that happens by accident that becomes a springboard for a new song. If I had to lay out a process I would say I always go to my sequencers first, and think about how fast I want the global tempo to be. Then I like to try different things from that point. I often try controlling sequencers with other sequencers, and experiment with shifting clock times and stuff. From there I patch out to different voices, and see what is working. I sort of build layer upon layer from that point, and tweak as I go along. With my modular tracks I am very conscious about time, and the melodic structures. I usually make some patch notes, that sort of keep me within a rough timeline, since you have no global transport telling you how many bars or minutes you have played into a patch. I often use my iphone and set a timer then practice playing/performing through a patch in realtime. Its more based on how I am feeling, and making the changes flow more naturally rather then programming each bar in the computer like I have done in the past. If I am creating a musical modular piece, I often use quantizers and work to a specific scale or key. Its easy to get carried away with using the modular so I always try and practice these approaches. I have also been trying to scale down my setups, and seeing what I can do with just a smaller system. I am also trying to write more minimal music these days, just trying to work a few elements and craft them into something that can work over a longer period of time. So you could say I am trying to practice minimalism not only in my process, but in my performances and music. :-)
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