Terrific or Turd?
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Music Theory & Composition Questions & comments about composition, arrangement, and music theory. Music rules and how to follow or break them.

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Old 19-11-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
alphx
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Terrific or Turd?

I have about 12 WIP's currently. some as old as a few months, and some a week/day old. I am having the exact same problem with all of them. I get about a minute in (Introduction basically) and then once I am done the intro I either get stuck and don't know where to go with it. or I make a buildup, and then I don't know where to go with it. All these projects have made me pretty good at making intros in my opinion... but I just have no idea what to do with them afterward.

So my question is, are they unprogressable? are they all bad projects? or am i just not creative enough to think of something (creativity is not an issue for me normally). or maybe im not making intros right?

by the way my method of making intros is getting a melody, and then building it with drums, and harmonic accompaniment/bass over 32-64 bars. then i break it down for the buildup... or in tracks that dont really have buildups i just stop there.


Would be great if someone could help me out.
MAX

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Old 19-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

usually starting with an intro is not the way to do things.

write the body, then figure out how to open it.


as for what to do with them... anything. change them. keep them the same. change the style. progress them; destroy them. Just do something.

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Old 19-11-2012, 10:53 PM   #3
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

I have one wip that is just a dubstep drop (I wanted to learn how to make them lol) but its not really melodic so would i just have to do trial and error to see what fits in?

I think my problem is just making multiple sections of a song sound as one (when I switch instruments and drums in a transition it ends up sounding like a very inorganic/sudden change rather than a smooth one)

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Old 19-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

you'd probably be surprised how much of making things fit is just having the confidence to smash things together and mix things cleanly.

Hell, breakcore is literally a genre based around inorganic sudden changes and things being forced together.

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Old 19-11-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

Very true indeed guess il just start with some really rough transitions and then try to smoothen them out as i get better.

It kind of surprised me when you said you dont build a track from the beginning though. so do you start by writing the main melody, and then just deconstruct it or add on to it depending where abouts in the track you are working?

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Old 19-11-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

I start by making something and then adding on to it and then determining whether that's how it'll start or if it needs an intro or what.

I mean you CAN write a song starting anywhere, you could literally build it from teh ending backwards if you want, but usually it's better to start off with the meat of the track and build from that - say you know what you want for a verse-chorus pair, get that done and then determine structure, what other parts you need etc. then create those parts once you know you need them.

if you have a very clear vision of something - "this track needs a slow buildup ending in a dramatic pause with a long reverb tail before falling into a heavy groove which leads to a breakdown, then a slow build up tot he final climax" - go for it, but if you're just messing around or your idea isn't that specific, don't start on a weaker part of the song. you don't normally start with an intro or a bridge or solo section, you start with the main theme and design the rest to work with that.

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Old 19-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #7
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

Thanks so much for the help! I'm going to try working on that right now since i just listened to 2 hours of daft punk in flac im really pumped haha.

MAX

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Old 20-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #8
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

One new method I've had success with as of late is I'll multi track like 4 min of the same thing and try via micro edits, chops, and making new sounds out of what I already have, to get a track out of it. You have to bounce all your tracks to audio to be able to do this though. Also bounce your drums to one track as well, makes for easier chopping and moving about of things on the grid.

Don't be afraid to chop your synths either. I used to always sit there and spin my wheels trying to add shit that I didn't need so I find using what already exists to be a useful challenge.

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Old 28-11-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphx View Post
I have about 12 WIP's currently. some as old as a few months, and some a week/day old. I am having the exact same problem with all of them. I get about a minute in (Introduction basically) and then once I am done the intro I either get stuck and don't know where to go with it. or I make a buildup, and then I don't know where to go with it. All these projects have made me pretty good at making intros in my opinion... but I just have no idea what to do with them afterward.

So my question is, are they unprogressable? are they all bad projects? or am i just not creative enough to think of something (creativity is not an issue for me normally). or maybe im not making intros right?

by the way my method of making intros is getting a melody, and then building it with drums, and harmonic accompaniment/bass over 32-64 bars. then i break it down for the buildup... or in tracks that dont really have buildups i just stop there.


Would be great if someone could help me out.
MAX
My Logic folder is divided up into various bands I'm in, client work, and my own music. The latter is then subdivided into 18 more folders, of which only 3 are completed/released EPs/albums. These 15 folders of unreleased material contain anywhere between 1 and 40 separate projects, which vary between fully realised tracks, rough demos, single track 4-bar ideas and, in one or two instances, blank projects. Some of these projects are so old I was using Garageband when I started them. My first album contained material I'd abandoned, then revived again years later, alongside tracks I had put together in a single night. The point is that even if you feel stuck with a track now, it doesn't mean it's "unprogressable" or a bad project.

I totally echo what ghyt says - "just do something". I often get this sense of trepidation when looking at a track I've started, where I don't want to start editing and adding and composing because it might not be any good. He's right, you have to "just do something". Perhaps it'll be crap, perhaps it'll be genius.

You should definitely try writing tracks in different ways, even if it feels unnatural to you. Start in a different place. Start with a different instrument (e.g. drums instead of synths, or vice versa). If you always work to a click, turn it off. If you always use loops, then play it out in full. Always writing in 4/4? Try 3/4, or 12/8, or something more unusual like 7/4. Always doing phrases in 4 bar multiples (you said you always do 32/64 bars)? Try a 5 bar phrase, or a 3 bar phrase.

The point is not that this will necessarily lead to a great track, but that it will force you to be creative, to stretch yourself and your abilities. You'll learn a lot by doing this.

I'd also recommend Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards (free app versions are available). They are a set of cards with oblique tips on them that force you to think laterally and come up with novel ideas when you're in a creative rut.
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Old 28-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

Try to generate as much material as possible before going into the compositional stage, I very often found that going back into the sound design phase is a really good creativity killer since you have to think in two different ways....


Depends if your good at multitasking

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Old 28-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #11
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Re: Terrific or Turd?

Thanks again all the replies im gonna work on that whole "just do something" thing. and DJreject, the problem is that the music im trying to recreate is all about sound design thats basically what makes the music sound awesome. that is the one thing im concentrating on my most because i feel that i cant make music if im not using the right instruments. its not like a piano where i can just sit down and write music (which i try to do more now). but thats a whole other issue i guess.

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