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A useful good video re: producing in Ableton Session and Arrangment mode.

I figure I should post particularly good videos up here. If this site ever does become useful to anyone, then links to other’s videos is a good resource!

 

Good video. Really what I’m looking for at the moment – production workflow type tutorials.

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Lol my attempt at a new method to produce a track failed spectacularly.


The plan was – to write out before hand everything that I would do.

Here’s what I wrote:

Select kick, snare, 2 hats, ride, clap, bass.

Create a 4? bar loop with drums and bass.

Create another seperate one.

Select from patch library a lead synth.

Program in meldoy, simple one chord each bar.

Copy this loop out four? Times, automate a parameter.

White noise build up at thye end of it.

Create a chattery sound

creata third (downbeat) drum loop.

Create a second melody sound.

Melody for break down.

Delay effect, take drums out before second part comes in

atmospheric bass for intro.

At this point there was still more stuff I could have added, but I figured that this was enough for now.

How it went:

From the start it was real go slow.
Note that I hadn’t really specified any kind of style, or feel for the song. But I was going for an uplifting progressive trance kind of sound.

Like I spent probably ½ to one hour just playing around with kicks. Layering two kicks etc. Looking for this kind of quite intense, but not too ‘clicky’ kick.

Then I put in the rest of the drums. Played around with that.

I didn’t like it. It was boring? (I haven’t had a listen since).

So I ended up just starting a new set, and playing around with what I wanted. And I found that a lot more gripping.

So what can I say about this?

Perhaps I just shouldn’t have quit at that point. Writing this, I realise that I didn’t quite follow my intstructions correctly – I didn’t come up with a bass at the same time that I was getting the drums.

But yeah – what if I had just been like ‘Ok, done that, now add a bass’, just made myself power through it.

But on the other hand – it seems to make me feel a lot better about how I have been doing it – just come up with the sounds that I’m feeling at the time, and plug them in.

Certainly – as I’ve written this – I’m glad I gave this a go. I’m actually feeling a bit ‘writer’s blocked’ . I’m sure this has been written about many times before.

I could try make myself get into it – but what I’m thinking is just focusing on some other stuff for a week instead. I haven’t written any of this book for ages, or done any of my programming project, so I’m thinkingI might just focus on those for the week.
The problem here is – there’s this competition due in mid august- to produce a live set. So like, if I want to enter this, I really do need to get my A into G and come up with some sounds!
Well – we’ll see, no point in making myself unhappy over it. BUT PERHAPS I JUST NEED TO MAN UP AND DO THE WORK. Haha, let’s leave it here. 🙂

Playing MIDI clips in session view Ableton.

I’ve created a separate post for this video, as I figure it’s a topic in itself.

What do I have to say about this? I look forward to playing around with this more in the future.
There is a competition to produce a one hour set, that was my inspiration for looking at this. I only have about 20 minutes of music so far, I figured loading up some loops in session view might be a good ‘cheaty’ (read: quick) way to be able to create a one hour set.

But I’ve just come across this post – it looks like I’ll try playing around with session view a lot more for creating tracks.

I’ve started creating tutorial videos.

I’ve found this to be a really good way to be creative and productive, and make use of the the things I’ve learned about music, when I’m feeling unable to actually make music.

 


This is the very first one I made. Took about five attempts or something.

The sound is obviously screwy.  I was outputting the sound through my monitor speakers, and the laptops obviously picked it up and it sounds crap.
The solution I’ve found to this is to listen to the sound through headphones. The problem here is in if I’m wanting to create bass sounds, my headphones aren’t very good for hearing bass.

I’m happy with the subject of this tutorial. I like that it’s nice and short.
I actually did do several takes to create it – because I’d create that initial sound, and not be happy with it, and it would take forever to make! So I’d start again – wanting to make that sound really quickly. (I think it’s cool to show the creation of the sound, rather than have it pre-setup, it’s another little bit of tutorial goodness for the viewer).

 

My review of how the tutorials are so far: 

I’m glad that I’m doing them.

They’re a bit ‘clunky’. But I figure with practise I’ll get better at them.

I shouldn’t do so many retakes- it’s a waste of time and I get wound up. Just be relaxed and get it right from the start.

Have it written down what things I’m going to cover. (Coz in the heat of the moment I forget).

 

 

Some honesty about this blog.

I’ve alluded to it a little in the past. Not all is cheery in my life – I have some issues that prevent me from being this productive superstar, that I’m working through. I have a couple of anonymous blogs dedicated to discussing this.

 

What I’ve found is that the context of anonymity, and that with these other blogs, I’m writing for myself, rather than for my audience, gives me an amount of freedom with blogging – I write what I want, whatever I’m feeling at the time.

 

It’s not the same with this blog:

  • I plan to share this with friends, contacts, and potential employers.
  • I write this as a way to produce value for myself. That is – to create a blog that other people find valuable – they find use in it’s posts.

 

It actually is counter to this second goal, to be producing a blog that details me failing!

It really wouldn’t look good to an employer, them reading my blog that shows me as a bit of a flake.

 

The original inception of this blog was that it would be a collection of tutorial, videos, and useful tips for being productive and creative.

 

I think what I’m going to do, is just keep posting content here. I have found that this ‘not wanting to make posts that make me look bad’ has me a bit paralysed with this blog, I don’t make any posts at all. For now, I think I will just not show any employers the blog, until it looks a bit better. I figure I can ‘bury’ these older failing posts with lots of new material.
But also – I think the confessional style of writing, where I just write honestly about what’s going on, works. It gives a human touch, and realism and thus crediablity.

For example – I can be writing posts about sleeping in, documenting what processes happen when I sleep in. And also – I feel like I’ve got to a level where I’m being productive as well. I’ve got plenty of things I can write about.

I may try format this blog, so posts are in different sections, and the confessional ‘bloggy’ posts, are in a seperate section to tutorials and such.

Current goals.


Time frame: Let’s say one month, we’ll see in a month how I think I’ve done on these fronts.

 

  • Establish habit of getting up early. I’ve been getting up too often at 10 or 11 oclock. I should be getting up at like 9 at the latest, but I’d prefer to head toward 6.
  • Now that all these assignments are out of the way – I’d like to keep on top of my school work.
  • Do this optional math assignment. It looks fun and might improve my mark.
  • Regularly (ie everynight) make music OR do some writing, OR do some personal programming. I reckon two hours is a pretty reasonable amount, but it could be just 15 minutes if I’m super busy.
  • Attend social events, get involved with other people/groups/clubs.
  • Fill out life metrics*. It’ll be interesting to see what one month of metrics looks like.

 

  • The life metrics is like a spreadsheet of values, which I plan to fill out each nights. Contains things like ‘How happy I feel’, ‘How motivated I feel’, ‘What time I got up’, ‘What time I went to bed’, ‘How many coffees I’ve drunk today’.
    Over a long period, I might be able to collate the data as to identify some trends, and find what might be working. Plus it would look intersting.

 

I’ve tried this before, I didn’t stick with it. I found that I’d be like ‘Ok, time for bed’ and then turn of my computer, forgetting to fill it out. Then I wouldn’t want to turn my computer back on and wait for it to boot. Now that I’ve got a laptop, it might be that little bit easier to do (as I can just unsleep the laptop).

Operation make a bunch of short track ideas review.

Strike Commander.

I didn’t do this one as I couldnt’ find a version of the game that had the voices.

Eric Cartman – Hippies
I got the sound for this, but didn’t do anything with it. I’m not worried. We’ll do it another time.

Doom

I’m not that happy with what I’ve got here.

I like that it has a steady bass line. That does seem to work.

I think I was wanting more atmospheric monster sounds.

This is definitely an idea  I would try again though.

Syndicate

I love the dub sound at the start! Sounds really nice, and to think it’s from computer game sounds. Perhaps I’ll pick this track up again and make somethingo of it.

That second part… I guess the drums are kind of interesting. But yeah, I don’t like it. I really stressed out when I was writing that part. I got frustrated that it didn’t seem to be working. I should have just cut my loses and done something else (some programming or something).

Wolfenstein (Wondering about my loved ones).

The most full length track of the three. It made it a lot easier that I was using a pre composed midi clips.
That intro goes for a touch too long, and then it doesn’t drop into something banging enough. No kick drum.

That lead sounds too reverby.

That drum break is weird, but it’s actually kinda interesting and punchy.

Yeah, I quite like the bits I did at the end, made me laugh. And some of the bits in there actually sound like the punchyness that I like. I could possible take bits of this out, and use them.

Overall:

Good project for sure.

The scope expanded on me a bit, and I tried making Wolfenstien into a full track. The whole idea of this was just to get some ideas down on paper, and try get some kind of sound working.

I need to be more focused on getting things down. Getting that one loop going. And then add some other ideas.

I think I will try doing a similar project again.