The Motivation/Creativity/Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

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wub
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The Motivation/Creativity/Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by wub » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:10 am

Lots of threads on here recently about folk losing the love, not finding their mojo, having trouble finishing tunes, lacking inspiration etc etc, so thought could do with a repository style thread of stuff relating to it.

Basically, going to update this first post on a rolling basis and need suggestions for;

- Suggestions to try when you've got writers block

- Activities to do when you need inspiration

- Threads/article links to read that you have found useful.


So yeah, post suggestions (with links where applicable) and we'll update this OP to collate them together...

Production Motivation - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=233117
How do I keep my motivation up? - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=205192
Motivation in production - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=191213
Top 10 Motivation Boosters and Procrastination Killers - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=142354
Inspiration and Motivation - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=124581
motivation, pot, and production - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=119661
Motivation... - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopi.php?f=8&t=5288
[MOTIVATION] S.M.A.R.T. Resource Planning - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=278718
[MOTIVATION ] Music & Life - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=278715
[MOTIVATION] Success according to Steve & Will & Arnold - http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=278603
never been here before - dry spell - http://www.dubstepforum.com/forum/viewt ... 8&t=282511
Help in getting creativity back into my composition - http://www.dubstepforum.com/forum/viewt ... 8&t=282633

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Disco Nutter
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by Disco Nutter » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:13 am

A favorite quote that gets cited quite often is that inspiration is not something that suddenly strikes you while you're doing something else entirely. It should find you working.

Here are a TON of articles on inspiration though: 1 TON OF ARTICLES.

Disco Nutter & Roka - Only Things (Bonkerz Audio)
Free download from here!


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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by Augment » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:49 am

If u have spotify, download the sounddrop app and put on a random station. Helps me sometimes, just listening to new music n stuff
aka blinkesko
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by JTMMusicuk » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:35 am

If you get writers block sit and make some new patches, i tend to find my writes block normally comes from using too much of the left side of my brain when first opening up a new project so if i have a boat load of interesting patches i can quickly get some nice loops going without worrying about any of the technical side.

Weed and alcohol block my creativity alot of the time, i can produce on them but at a much slower speed and i get distracted easily under the influence.

Cluttered room cluttered mind, clean up your work space and you'll notice a difference in your writing.

Disable the internet

Change of environment, time off producing, good/bad days all help but ultimately you will know when your in the mood to crack something out.

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Gurnumsbug
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by Gurnumsbug » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:25 am

- Suggestions to try when you've got writers block
*Dig through old unfinished tunes that you forgot about. Sometimes you'll strike gold and finally know what to put at the end of that track.

- Activities to do when you need inspiration
*Clean your room/studio space, while either listening to one of your favorite artists or even interviews of your favorite actors.(at times some of them have the best things to say when dealing with blocks and gaining creativity)
*Read lots of quotes on subjects you're dealing with.
*Spend time with your loved ones. (girlfriend/boyfriend/family/friends/best friends etc etc..)
*Turn off your mind for a bit and just relax. Take some time to regain your energy and creativity.

- Threads/article links to read that you have found useful.
*Everywhere

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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by sunny_b_uk » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:55 am

put random LFOs/envelopes on everything and pick out the best sounding parts, bam instant inspiration.


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bkwsk
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by bkwsk » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:45 pm

sunny_b_uk wrote:put random LFOs/envelopes on everything
Best advice ever.

twilitez
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by twilitez » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:06 am

Last night i spent half an hour resampling the blandest closed hihat into a dubtechno chord. It was pointless, but fun, and then i actually did something productive afterwards.

ljk32
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Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by ljk32 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:10 am

Hey guys, so I know there was a topic similar to this, and there was some great advice, but I'm still struggling. I've been producing for 2.5 years, and the quality of my stuff has definitely improved, and I am very happy with that. However, there's this issue I have had for a VERY long time now, I'm not sure if I had it around the time I started, though I probably did. Basically, I think I have no creativity at all, literally. Like, I never get spontaneous ideas, I can never listen to my WIP's and picture how it should/will progress, nor do I ever have any ideas of what to add to sections. I'm serious, I always have 0 ideas, and it's so frustrating. I don't know how clear I can make it haha, but it is pretty bad, I can't picture anything at all. So, everytime I make something that works, I never pictured something similar(or anything at all for that matter) beforehand - I just played around with notes or made a sound, and luckily it sometimes fits in. By now, I'm confident I could make some half decent tracks, but because of this issue, I find myself getting stuck - ALL THE TIME...

For example, this is one of my most recent things, and as usual, I get a small section done, then I get lost, nothing comes to mind(please don't judge it on taste, it's just an example). Also, if you listen to all my stuff, you'll see that it's just a damn section every time. Anyway, here it is:

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Maybe someone has ideas on how to help. I wish I could just somehow unlock the creative side of my brain. Sorry about the long post, and I'll appreciate any help. Thanks in advanced.

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Eat Bass
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Re: Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by Eat Bass » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:13 am

try mowing the lawn while listening to music. seriously while landscaping in the summer and listening to tunes i get so many ideas for tracks. like you i only create small loops and then get stuck a lot. but mowing lawns helped me a bit lol.

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Re: Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by NinjaEdit » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:14 am

You should basically be able to research "creativity" generally, not just specfic to music. A library should have some kind of books.

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Re: Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by Electric_Head » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:44 am

Research creativity? really?
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Ficticious
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Re: Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by Ficticious » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:55 am

Collab with people. Open your mind. Especially if you know how to master for sound or such. or even if you don't know how, find someone who does.

Plenty of great hidden talent in DSF that don't show face often. just surf around as see for the ones who are willing.

Or find someone on the same level so you can grow together.
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NinjaEdit
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Re: Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by NinjaEdit » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:24 am

Electric_Head wrote:Research creativity? really?
Yeah?

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Re: Creativity Problem - nothing to with sound design

Post by Electric_Head » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:31 am

That's the most random statement I've heard.
Sorry.
I don't create creativity by reading about creativity.
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ljk32
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by ljk32 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:53 am

But yeah, just to clarify one more time, it isn't like a writer's block thing, this has been going on for a very long time.

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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by Maxxan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:58 am

Damn you wub, I wrote a long reply and got "the requested topic doesn't exist"

Anyway, lkj32, what you need to do isn't look for inspiration or something like that. I think you need to get the basics first. Learn music theory. Not super advanced jazz chords and stuff, but learn the minor/major scale and maybe even the modals if you're up to it. Then buy a midi keyboard and jam out. A lot of people forget this but when you first start out you can't do shit. You gotta train your ears and muscles to remember the scales, which intervals sound good etc. Then you can start hearing ideas in your head and realizing them. I come from a guitar playing background so I already know how to improvise, but that takes a lot longer to learn than production, so most likely you have a big gap between your production skills and your musician skills.

Just jam. It'll sound like shit for a long while, maybe many years. But you'll get better and better and remember, each good melody follows a million shitty, scrapped melodies even for the most talented musician. So don't get discouraged. It also gets a lot more fun the better you get at it.
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ljk32
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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by ljk32 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:23 am

Thanks a lot Maxxan, I really appreciate you taking your time to respond. But yeah, I do have a MIDI keyboard and can play a lot melodies on them and stuff. My music theory isn't too good, but a lot of the time I understand what works. Though, I just mess around and sometimes get a start of a melody, then add in/edit notes myself with the mouse. But, I guess it's more than just the melody side of things. I never thing of a creative thing to do to a section, or cool things/relevant sounds to add(which I'm sure you understand by now). I understand that remembering the scales would be very helpful and might even give me ideas to add, but for sounds to add, and thinking ahead of the track, I'm not too sure. But yeah, with the WIP I posted(I'm honestly not looking for attention, or more plays), that's basically as far as I always get, just one decently made section. But yeah, I've repeated myself a lot, and it's not as if you don't understand, it's just finding a solution to all of this is really difficult to pin point. Though, I'm so grateful for all your help so far man, and sorry if this is a nuisance.

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Re: The Inspiration/Writers Block Thread™

Post by Maxxan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:33 am

Oh, I see, I thought your problem was more composition-wise.

This is what I do, try this for your next track. first, get all your sounds down. Select drum samples (dont have to be top notch just sound decent so you can get the idea of the track going), and then sort out all your patches. Make some synths and decide on a couple to use. Then you start with the track layout, start with a section that comes easy, could be intro, bridge, drop, whatever. Add one or two instruments, maybe just a chord progression and perhaps a lead with a melody. No fx, no sweeps, no automation, no hat grooves, no fancy shit that takes time. Just very very very rough. Then move on to the next section. Force yourself to work as fast as you can, never dig into details. Then just move on until you have most of the track done.

Then listen to it in one go and get the feel of it. At this point I'll usually feel that "some strings might work good here, fix this transition, I need another harmony here, this lead might sound cool here" or whatever as I listen. Write it down, or fix it on the go (writing it down can be good so you don't stop and the lose the flow of the track, this is important and depends on what works for you) and then you can start getting detailed. At this point you have a rough skeleton of a track so it's not as easy to lose track of it if you spend too much time on synthesis or whatever. Add more and more instruments to each section, pads, more leads, some arpeggios, get working on your drums etc. Just do whatever feels good at this point.

Then listen again, add more stuff. Some vengeance sweeps, automate some filters, do some resampling and chopping if you're into that. This is also where you wanna start shaping the sounsd with effects, EQ, delay, reverb, etc. Don't touch this stuff while you're composing. At all, it's details that have nothing to do with the tracks character and the process is the same for every track. It CAN wait till you're nearly done.

Just try different stuff, but the first thing I wrote works wonders for me. Getting the whole (or nearly) track layout done before I do anything else. Otherwise I always get stuck, just like you. If at all possible, don't even touch the FX slots until the whole track layout is finished.

Edit: Btw, no worries man, glad to help. I'm at work anyway so I might as well do something useful right? Haha.
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