• I need some real help with producing.
    37 replies, posted
Some of you may have heard the stuff I make, check my threads made and look for stuff I've posted here. I need someone to run me by how I can improve the following: Repetetivity - Every song I make someone tells me that it gets a little or too repetetive and it's the same over and over once it's done Mastering - Everyone tells me how my low/high end is fucked up and how I need to sort it out, yet it never helps Adding more creativity - whenever I make a song it's just 3 synths with a beat, but I literally have no idea how else I can make a song. So help will be HUGELY appreciated. PM me if you're really interested in helping me. Thank you.
Well, you write electronic music, and I don't know much about the songwriting in that genre, but the easiest ways to avoid repetetivity are solos, changing melodies and changing instruments. And for creativity, go nuts. Start messing around with different noises, listen to different music than you usually do and then combine all that with what you have been doing before.
I think that the main problem is, I feel very limited when making music, I only use a few cheap plugins, making me feel VERY limited. I know I'm not talented at producing, but I'm trying to get better, and I just can't. I've been doing this for nearly a year now, and I just can't get anything right. I don't want to say producing isn't for me, because it's something I REALLY want to do.
Just keep experimenting and you'll improve over time. You could also try to reproduce a neat effect from a song you like or something? [editline]30th November 2011[/editline] [QUOTE=Dead Madman;33509734]I think that the main problem is, I feel very limited when making music, I only use a few cheap plugins, making me feel VERY limited. I know I'm not talented at producing, but I'm trying to get better, and I just can't. I've been doing this for nearly a year now, and I just can't get anything right. I don't want to say producing isn't for me, because it's something I REALLY want to do.[/QUOTE] If you really want to produce then it's your thing. Just have to stick with it. Check out [url]http://www.kvraudio.com/[/url] they have a whole lot of free VSTs listed there.
[QUOTE=Dead Madman;33509734]I think that the main problem is, I feel very limited when making music, I only use a few cheap plugins, making me feel VERY limited. I know I'm not talented at producing, but I'm trying to get better, and I just can't. I've been doing this for nearly a year now, and I just can't get anything right. I don't want to say producing isn't for me, because it's something I REALLY want to do.[/QUOTE] Producing is for everyone, except for [U]most[/U] deaf people and most people with attention disorders. And the only way you can get talented is by continuing and learning about music. Listening to different genres has really helped me.
[b]How to learn how to not be repetive.[/b] This one is probably the hardest to learn, since being able to weave different melodies is something that usually comes with lots and lots of experience. You can always speed up the process however, by listening to a LOT of different music. And by a lot I mean, like, listening through every possible musical genre there is. Don't restrict yourself, don't say "oh but I don't like rap" or something like that, because you're doing yourself a huge, huge disfavour by not trying to experience the complete soundscape that is music. You may ask yourself now, "but why should I listen to crap rap when I'm going to do electronic music?", the answer is simple ; Music is a way of expressing emotions, and every genre does that, but in different ways. It could be a fat beat, a kicking drum, octane-filled guitar riffs or just blazing vocals. The thing they all share, is melodies. There's a reason why pop music is so damn catchy, and that is because they usually have some really, really good melodies. This is the first step for you as you became a more experienced musician. Take influences from what you hear, borrow melodies, cut and paste, don't be afraid of doing some borrowing ; Led Zeppelin for instance built a pretty big repetoaire by just taking some classic blues beats and making them their own for instance. [b]Mastering.[/b] I'm glad you mentioned this, because a beatifully crafted track can carry itself even if the melodies are boring, and a great melody can be ruined by bad mastering. Actually, what you're referring to is mixing, the tweaking and fixing of individual tracks in a song. But, it's a common mistake (I know I've done that mistake a couple of times!). I think the simplest way to explain low, mids and highs is by imagining a drumkit. You have a bass drum, a snare, one or two toms, a hi-hat and a cymbal in your everyday basic kit. The bass drum provides the low end, with a sound that sounds almost like pounding. This happens because on the frequency chart, it produces the lowest hz. Sound is transmitted through air by vibrations, and the lower the frequency, the wider the vibration is. This creates a bassy sound, whereas on the higher frequencies, it gets more narrow (which is why distortion usually sounds so 'light', in contrast to bass). So, the bass drum (booming low tones) occupies the low section of the frequency chart. The snare, which usually gives of a much sharper sound, is occupying the lower mid/mid sections of the frequency chart, and as such, it has a sharp sound, but still sort of rounded. Obviously, they also take up some of the higher frequencies, but they are usually boosted in the mid section so that they do not clash with other instruments of the higher frequencies (guitar, most synths, cymbals etc). Up next is the toms, depending on the size of the toms (the bigger the fatter, more bassy sound) they can occupy the low mids to the higher mids, but are usually somewhere in the middle too with the snare. Because of their size however, they have a more booming sound. Last, but definietly not least, are hi-hats and cymbals. These are the higher registers, with a almost cutting tone that pierces the ears, they produce a very sharp sound, in contrast with snares who sound more popping. You can look more at what frequencies the various instruments occupy and where their sweet tones are [url=http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm]here[/url], a really good site that helped me mix a lot better. A rather simplified version of how to mix a track is by letting the rhythm section occupy the lower / mid section, with a leading instrument take care of the highs. For instance, the drumkit usually occupies every space due to how the instrument is built, with the bass guitar keeping the low section, rhythm guitars keeping the mid section and vocals / solo guitar takes care of the high frequencies. There's a reason why so many rock bands have singers who have loud shrieking voices, and that is because having someone with a voice of the higher frequencies leaves a lot of space to have chugging guitars in the middle. So in essence, when you are mixing a song, look at the instruments you have. First, determine what parts sound good. After that, determine what the instrument is for. Rhythm? Lead? Place them accordingly, and boost/lower volumes as needed. Another thing that is equally important when mixing is to take breaks, don't sit and twiddle with your song in five hours straight, your ear will get fatigued and you'll get used to the mix, and the result will be worse than if you took your time, took breaks and come back with a fresh ear. ' [b]Adding creativity A.K.A making the song interesting.[/b] This also comes with experience, both in making music, and listening to music. I don't know how you work when you make songs, but a pretty common practice is to first find a good melody, something that can drive the song. Build that melody, make a verse melody, and a chorus melody. When you're finished with that, try to make variations on the melodies you've just made. Experiment! But most importantly, ask yourself "what do I want to convey with this song?". It can be tough finding melodies when you're not sure what you're looking for. Melodies create a meaning to the song, and it is the most important part in conveying that message.
Wow that was a fast fuggen write. I don't feel like contributing too much since Dick pretty much wrote literally everything ever, but I can tell that when i make electro house and shit, it goes like this: - Start with idea in head, maybe an idea for a synth - Make some quick drums - Start working on said synth - Play synth with drums. Sounds good? Keep it. Sounds bad? Ditch it(but save it so you can work with elements of it later) - Start slightly arranging, make quick intro. - Start mixing a little, make sure stuff goes together, make a good sub. General EQing. - Finish arranging and mixing - Listen through a few times while doing something else. If it's good, I master it and declare myself finished. Otherwise I keep working. That is roughly how I do it. Sometimes I just switch it up and throw some weird ass percussive sounds together and start working just so I wont get stuck in a routine. I'm not saying you should do it this way, or have to do it this way. This is just to give some insight into the basic way I personally work on music, maybe you can get some ideas out of it. And try really hard to not get too stuck in a routine, it's easy to make yourself a mental template, like having the intro the same length and everything the same all the time. Throw yourself some mental curveballs, try to do something different every time. Well, I guess I wrote more than i thought. [editline]30th November 2011[/editline] Oh and make lots of music.
[QUOTE=Dead Madman;33509734]I think that the main problem is, I feel very limited when making music, I only use a few cheap plugins, making me feel VERY limited. I know I'm not talented at producing, but I'm trying to get better, and I just can't. I've been doing this for nearly a year now, and I just can't get anything right. I don't want to say producing isn't for me, because it's something I REALLY want to do.[/QUOTE] I've found that trying to help the good people of facepunch with constructive criticism in the "creative music"-thread has helped me tremendeously in both terms of producing my own songs, and mixing in general. The music is perhaps not the most varied (mostly electronic music), but they all are rather unique and got a great blend of kicking rhythms and funky melodies. You should do what I did ; Spend a couple of days, listening and trying to articulate how you would've done the track better, listen to the track a few times (I usually spent three times just listening to the song I was about to critique, then the fourth and fifth time I would actively try and find flaws and errors) and write down things you like / don't like on a piece of paper or in notepad. Giving constructive criticism helps you find things that works in songs, and also helps your brain articulate and really analyze what works, and what doesn't. If you're interested in mixing other peoples track, you can either ask people here on facepunch (I've mixed a track of Hakita's and Pepins, although the Pepin one is still sort of WIP, waiting for some better guitars before I rehaul it all over again) or by checking [url=http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-mtk.htm]this link out.[/url] The site got some really good quality recordings, all ready to pop into your favourite DAW and start mixing away. [editline]30th November 2011[/editline] [QUOTE=Croix;33510579]Wow that was a fast fuggen write. I don't feel like contributing too much since Dick pretty much wrote literally everything ever, but I can tell that when i make electro house and shit, it goes like this: -text- Oh and make lots of music.[/QUOTE] Nah I got only the bare fundamentals there really, and I'm certain more skilled people can contribute much more articulate and intricate than I could. =) The last tip is also a really good one, never stop making music, only by doing can you find out what works and what doesn't.
Wow you guys are fucking bro's for helping me out. Especially Dick with his mixing part.
You're very much welcome, I learn a lot myself every time I try and help others ; It sort of give you time to really reflect on your own progress, and your own musicianmanship. I also remember I made a thread that sort of touches on all of this some time ago, a lot of good advice throughout the thread that I think could help spur you. =) [url=http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1110227]Read thread here.[/url]
to be honest, i never followed any tutorials or looked at any threads based on production when i decided that i wanted to make music, i just did it out of the pride of making my own stuff and enjoyed experimenting with different sounds. if you are interested at learning to a professional level, then there are various tutorials everywhere on youtube on how to master, how to get the sounds your looking for and finding out what all those shiny controllers do on your DAW, but at the end of the day the only thing that will improve your skills is you and you alone, and if you truly are that interested in making some productions then i'd advise you just spend every moment you can attempting to learn your DAW and coming to grips with the vsts you might be using. if you have anything specific you need answering, then you can pm me any time you want or ask in one of the few threads on fp that offer help (theres already so much here, im surprised!) and see what happens there. 2 years ago i was in your position, staring at massive's interface and frequently having fits of rage at whatever i couldn't do, but now making new sounds and experimenting with stuff isnt as frightening and its a generally more enjoyable experience. just practice and go outside your comfort zone, and make some music! :D`
May I ask what kind of genre you want to produce??
[QUOTE=despo;33569789]May I ask what kind of genre you want to produce??[/QUOTE] Mostly dubstep, electro house, aggresive genres.
well i make that kind of stuff too. If you want you can watch me produce over teamviewer, I can stream the audio over steam to you (in really good quality). Hell, we could even produce together over teamviewer. It's what i always like to do with a friend of mine who also produces a lot.
[QUOTE=despo;33613916]well i make that kind of stuff too. If you want you can watch me produce over teamviewer, I can stream the audio over steam to you (in really good quality). Hell, we could even produce together over teamviewer. It's what i always like to do with a friend of mine who also produces a lot.[/QUOTE] Sure that'd be fucking brilliant
send me yer steam name so i can add you then :)
Man, this is gonna sound greedy lol, but I'd like to do a similar thing too. Oh man, I sound dumb for asking that haha.
If you're interested in new VSTs, "Massive" by Native Instruments is extremely powerful; you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, and it'd be good for the genres you're interested in. For getting better in general, and for mastering, sometimes I'll just sit down and go through a bunch of different tutorials on websites and YouTube. It helps quite a bit since the more you know, the better you can be.
[QUOTE=MingeCrab;33617970]Man, this is gonna sound greedy lol, but I'd like to do a similar thing too. Oh man, I sound dumb for asking that haha.[/QUOTE] hmm maybe I should stream audio and video on some website so anyone can watch. But if you want to produce with me over teamviewer, we can do that sometime, but dead madman is first in line lol. edit: brb, creating a producing school steam group, lol. edit: WHOOP WHOOP, it's up! [url]http://steamcommunity.com/groups/EPUniversity[/url]
[QUOTE=Shikraa;33618922]If you're interested in new VSTs, "Massive" by Native Instruments is extremely powerful; you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, and it'd be good for the genres you're interested in. For getting better in general, and for mastering, sometimes I'll just sit down and go through a bunch of different tutorials on websites and YouTube. It helps quite a bit since the more you know, the better you can be.[/QUOTE] I use it in pretty much ALL of my dubstep songs ; already have it :v:
it REALLY helps when you just play around with shit.. like just moving knobs around and shit but learning music theory or how to play the piano would also help a lot too
[QUOTE=xsion;33647093]it REALLY helps when you just play around with shit.. like just moving knobs around and shit [/QUOTE]Thats how I learned everything :v:. It's not really the best way to be honest. Doing collabs is also a good way to learn. It's fun to see how the other person does things and works.
[QUOTE=CLungcancer;33648776]Thats how I learned everything :v:. It's not really the best way to be honest. [b]Doing collabs is also a good way to learn.[/b] It's fun to see how the other person does things and works.[/QUOTE] Strongly agree with this point, I've been producing with FP user "Despo" and have learned many awesome techniques from him. He's a very experienced producer that is easy to understand, and takes notice whether you're fully understanding it or not.
Anyone who wants "The Wall of Sound" treatment on their music, drop me a line.
[QUOTE=AK'z;33653187]Anyone who wants "The Wall of Sound" treatment on their music, drop me a line.[/QUOTE] That's rather kind of you, I'll keep note of it if I ever need to, thanks [editline]10th December 2011[/editline] Also, I just purchased this midi keyboard : [img]http://p.playserver1.com/ProductImages/8/2/6/8/9/6/5/1/15698628_500x500_1.jpg[/img] The Akai LPK25 USB-MIDI controller it looks awesome and is incredibly cheap at £40. Good idea buying it?
[QUOTE=Dead Madman;33653267]That's rather kind of you, I'll keep note of it if I ever need to, thanks [editline]10th December 2011[/editline] Also, I just purchased this midi keyboard : [img]http://p.playserver1.com/ProductImages/8/2/6/8/9/6/5/1/15698628_500x500_1.jpg[/img] The Akai LPK25 USB-MIDI controller it looks awesome and is incredibly cheap at £40. Good idea buying it?[/QUOTE] Nothing wrong with it, but it's pretty limited with only two octaves on the keyboard. Still, it's useful for a lot of things I imagine!
[QUOTE=chaz13;33653382]Nothing wrong with it, but it's pretty limited with only two octaves on the keyboard. Still, it's useful for a lot of things I imagine![/QUOTE] I thought that, but I could just edit the starting note in the program so I don't see it as that much of a problem
[QUOTE=Dead Madman;33653594]I thought that, but I could just edit the starting note in the program so I don't see it as that much of a problem[/QUOTE] It's decent, somewhat shitty keys. It's good for 40 pounds, the velocity sensitivity is pretty nice. Don't expect to play more than simple chords and melodies though, and yes, you will need to know music theory to have use of a keyboard probably?
I have that keyboard. Mainly use it as a controller and to experiment with chords.
I have that keyboard. I never use it since I have a 62 key.
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