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Thread: How you do music?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy How you do music?

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    I'm trying to do music for 1 year but I still can't do anything.
    I spend days on YouTube watching tutorials like "How to make an EDM song" but when I open my DAW I feel lost, I really don't know where to start.
    I made some beats but they're all so bad.
    Can you help me? How did you learned to produce music?
    Matt

  2. #2
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    First I would ask why do you do music?

    I produce / create / write because I have some rhythms or melodies in my head and I start with that. So learning a DAW was about translating that to something digital inside the DAW. During my learning phase if I had a drum pattern in my head or was tapping out on my fingers I would try to figure out how to get those 'notes' into MIDI to trigger a drum sampler. If I had a bass melody / chord sequence I would decide whether I would record me playing it as audio or try to draw it in MIDI and trigger a bass sample. Etc Etc.

    Since your genre is EDM, you must have some idea of what you're wanting to get out of you and into the DAW. A good starting point would be a big thick kick on the 1 and the 3 and maybe a clap on the 2 and the 4. Or if you have a 16 step pattern sequencer that same nomenclature would be on the 1 and the 9 and the clap / snare on 5 and the 13. It's all math and numbers. My guess is I've lost you there already.

    So, maybe figure out one instrument you want to hear, figure out how your specific DAW might create that sound and then get some notes in that trigger the synth relative to the tempo of the song file. Then move those notes up and down on the scale and see if you can create a melody. There are many ways to start, we just have to figure out what yours is.

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    I'm new to this as well. I find this book Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers | Making Music book by Ableton really easy to follow and helpful! (Have a look at the samples in the website). It's written in the form of "here's a problem -> here's a strategy to overcome it" and mentions your exact problem.

    I personally just try to spend some time practicing everyday. Some days I end up just playing with a synth or some loop, other days I make failed attempts at producing a song (I just finished one today wohooo!). In between practice I also watch tutorials, but the best advice I ever received was to spend more time "trying" than watching tutorials.

    I hope that helps somehow. I suspect all your feelings are normal, but I wouldn't know yet

    EDIT: I forgot to mention something important. Following some transcription tutorials and trying to transcribe tracks I find interesting has been very very helpful!

    Also this forum
    Last edited by KosmiCKhaoz; 08-26-2019 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Forgot an important point

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    Just practice and take it one thing at a time. My first song was a mess, but it had multiple parts and melodies and they did work together. My second song was all about figuring out chords, but really didn't do much else (it literally didn't even have drums). My third song I figured out how to use automation, fourth I did sound design. Those four songs took me a year, but together they gave me the skills I was looking for. It was still years before I figured out some stuff like song structure, mixing, or mastering. But I made some cool, if flawed, stuff on my way to making the stuff I wanted to. I think if anyone's being honest, nobody has an idea in their head and then just immediately figures out how to actually make that into a song. That's the dream for me and a lot of the people I work with too, but it's not what we do. Instead, we usually sit down with an idea, start work on it, and then we find it doesn't work, or it would actually sound better if we do this other thing instead. What you make (for me at least) is rarely what you set out to make, but that's OK, you just have to start experimenting with an open mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt-03 View Post
    I'm trying to do music for 1 year but I still can't do anything.
    I spend days on YouTube watching tutorials like "How to make an EDM song" but when I open my DAW I feel lost, I really don't know where to start.
    I made some beats but they're all so bad.
    Can you help me? How did you learned to produce music?
    It depends on if you are creating your music the Deadmous5 way or actually playing it in from a midi keyboard?
    In both cases you need to have worked out how your desired genre of music (edm in this case) is constructed.
    Its not my forte but I'll assume you are playing notes in from a keyboard.
    If I were approaching this myself and not being my genre I'd listen to a few tracks in that genre and work out how the basic beat is constructed.
    Id then lay a 8 bar no frills drum track find my best TB303 or moog bass and literally start trying out bass notes until I got a groove that I like.
    I'd record that and listen back and fix anything that didn't sound right.
    I'd then copy and loop that over say 32bars and get a Lead sound and try playing over it while recording in an overwrite mode until I do something that sounds good. I'd then mute that open another track and repeat until I've got maybe 5 or 6 ideas.
    I would then throw the bass sound back up and try playing varied versions of the original bass line over the new lead parts until I had 3 or 4 variations. I now have enough material to constuct verse, chorus, hook. At this point id go back to the drums and add the skip beats build ups until I've got 3 or 4 minutes worth that flows nicely then go back and write an intro based around the hook and an ending based around the chorus part.
    cheezy yes but it'll get you started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt-03 View Post
    I'm trying to do music for 1 year but I still can't do anything.
    Start by defining one thing that you want to do.

    I spend days on YouTube watching tutorials like "How to make an EDM song" but when I open my DAW I feel lost, I really don't know where to start.
    I find it hard to believe that you you've been actually doing this for 1 year. Maybe you started the off and on thing a year ago because a year of continuous practice should yield process that you can see.

    I made some beats but they're all so bad.
    Stop judging what you thing is good and bad and put your music online so that people can give you some direction.

    Can you help me? How did you learned to produce music?
    This depends on if you really want help or are just trolling.

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    There are some really good tutorials that lead you step by step through creating a song in whatever DAW you use. You could either follow one of these note for note, or you could create your own variations along the way (eg same percussion, arrangement, but different chord sequence and melodies). Once you've practised that you could then follow the same steps to build a track of your own from scratch.
    The other thing is practise every day, even for a short while. Then you're not wasting time trying to remember how to do simple things all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRR View Post
    There are some really good tutorials that lead you step by step through creating a song in whatever DAW you use. You could either follow one of these note for note, or you could create your own variations along the way (eg same percussion, arrangement, but different chord sequence and melodies). Once you've practised that you could then follow the same steps to build a track of your own from scratch.
    The other thing is practise every day, even for a short while. Then you're not wasting time trying to remember how to do simple things all the time.
    I have a friend who has been making Dance /Trance music for a number of years.
    He kind of admits to being a "Failed" keyboard player and struggles to input in real time.
    He purchased a couple of books that basically explain all the beats how sounds work together how to use effects and so on.
    His musical output is low but each track he does is very well written recorded and produced.
    I generally like all of his music which is more than I can say for my own.
    When I started playing there was no Youtube or Internet so you had to experiment to find out what worked.
    People no longer need to do that.
    There is an accepted way to make music ( as well as a ton of unaccepted ones) that works.
    No sense in reinventing the wheel best to save that energy for creating.

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    Just want to add one thing that really helped me understand music production/composition on a totally new level, maybe not on your level just yet. But that is to copy. For almost a year, I went through a phase of just making precise copies of songs that I liked. DIY Karaoke versions one could say. Anyway, the results weren't very good, actually, they were terrible, but it taught me to listen to *every* little detail in a song. I started to hear elements I had never heard before, I also started to get an understanding of how a song should be arranged amongst other things. I can't recomend it enough to newer producers, it doesn't matter what the final product sounds like, as long as you try your very best and try new things every time, you're gonna improve.

  11. #10
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    Couldn't agree more. One thing you can do, and it's pretty standard: Import a track you want to emulate into your DAW. Just appears as another track. Then what I do is work out the bpm and make sure the project matches it. What I then do is use a marker track (that's what it's called in Cubase anyway), and mark out the sections of the track, intro, verse, breakdown, drop etc, then listen to hear how the instruments are being used.
    A great side effect I found is that however hard I tried to copy the original, I generally came out with something that sounded quite different! In fact almost my own track:-)

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