Apply what youve learned?

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evilmoonmoose
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Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Hows it going?
My name is Jeff, and I've got to say, that I enjoy producing. The problem with my producing abilities (and in fact abilities of making anything) is applying the things I learn. It doesn't matter how many times I actually go and make something, I just am not able to make it into a sensible, audible, song. It normally sounds like someone took a microphone and shoved it down their pants. In example, Ill give a link to one of my more recent songs. It was made 4 months ago, yet in the four months following, I haven't been able to piece together a single track. It all comes out as drivel. Anyway, before I derail myself (I can feel my attention span wandering-Thanks internet) here is the link: www.soundcloud.com/locustlab/im-eerie
Now tell me the levels in that are correct. You cant right? That would be because no matter how many times I learn something about Mastering, I just cant apply it.

My main point of this is, I wanted to ask a question. That question being: "How do you apply the things you learn about music production and design?"

heres a few more I have, to keep down on my post count:

"What is a bassline, and how do I achieve this type of sound?"
"How to do FM synthesis, or subtractive synthesis?"
"How do I give each of my sounds a 'place' in my music (I.E. the bass is only felt in the low end, the hi hats felt in the top of the ears, so on and so forth)"
"What constitutes a full breakdown?"
"Should I stick in this 4 bar 8 bar even bar rut, or can I do 5 bars, or 7?"

Well that does it for now, if I think of any more, Ill place them here, however, this isnt just for me. Its for all those that find they have trouble applying themselves as well. I would love to hear your suggestions, as well as any answers to my questions
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
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Harkat
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by Harkat » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:48 pm

this is the best one of these so far

"the top of the ears"
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evilmoonmoose
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:50 pm

Harkat wrote:this is the best one of these so far

"the top of the ears"
in all technicality, wouldnt you feel like the sound is coming from that direction?
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
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Harkat
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by Harkat » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:50 pm

Banging tune mate. Kinda Zomboy vibe. I'd try sending to him on twitter, he's always looking for new talents:

https://twitter.com/zombymusic
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:00 pm

well thank you for that, hopefully you not just pulling my leg. I still have the problem of applying myself though :P
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
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Terpit
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by Terpit » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:17 pm

You'll be better off asking in Production (search first though, I've seen similar threads before)
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evilmoonmoose
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:53 pm

thanks for that, appreciated. and duly noted. ill do a search on some similar threads.
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
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fragments
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by fragments » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:42 pm

Maybe you arent actually learning anything. There is a difference between reading information/watching tutorials and actually learning.

Take things one step at a time. Apply one new lesson to each song you make. Say you learn some new things about EQ. Apply that to the next song you make. Then the next week you learn something about Reverb. In your next tune keep doing that EQ stuff, but also apply your new knowledge about reverb.

To be honest, the basic concepts of music theory, sound design and audio engineering arent that difficult. Its more about practice and training your ear. Also consider that many people spend a lifetime becoming an expert in just one of those fields. So how is it you expect to become even mediocre at all of them in a short amount of time?

Half your questions have common sense answers IMO.

Ill have a listen to your tune when I get home from class.
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zosomagik
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by zosomagik » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:04 pm

The tune was alright IMO, and as for getting your levels right, that's just gain staging not mastering. One thing I had trouble with when I first started was realizing I'm not writing the big hit. Relax, don't overthink it. And one thing that helped me is knowing that every time you open your daw you don't have to produce a track necessarily. I mean, watch a tutorial or read an article, then open up your daw and make a loop and duplicate all the tracks and A/B them with the new technique on one and tweak until you get it right. Now you're learning! Good luck man

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Sharmaji
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by Sharmaji » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:31 pm

practice, make mistakes. practice more. more mistakes. etc.

the other Q's are googlable.
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123kidd
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by 123kidd » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:35 pm

Just had a listen to the track.
Mix wise I noticed that your bass is panned slightly to the right. Also the levels are jumping. Try balancing the drums first. Get the low end sounding tight, i.e. sub,Kick, mid-bass. Then start balancing out other instruments. Also the snare in the intro is too loud/ harsh on the top end. The panning does tend to be extreme with some of the stabs. But it could be just on headphones. I would tell you to learn compression but start with just basic level adjustments.
Sound design wise, try to look at sound (hear?) in terms of frequencys, such as is there enough low. Im talking specifically at the very high sounding synth that sounds thin.
Take fragments advice about practice and ear training as it really all comes down to that at the end. Try honing in on sounds that actually appeal to you. Use reference tracks.
Many producers have been going at this for 5-10+ years give or take.

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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:10 pm

thanks for the reply's
Ive googled subtractive synthesis before and this is what I got from it:
Subtractive synthesis is the process of subtracting elements from your sound using the waveform on opposing ends to cut sound frequencies. Im unsure how I would go about this. The most I've achieved is to use a sine wave on the filter track in NI massive, and then add another sine to the same filter part I am "subtracting" i then move the wave slightly left or right, and in the first LFO on it I put it as 8, and the second I use 4, or 12, or any other number than 8, thus subtracting from my sound.

as for the low end sounding tight, would I use the EQ to cut the higher ends? within the track there is a sidechain compressor bouncing the track every time the bass hits. for snares cut a little of the high end to filter out that too bright snare? ive noticed the hi sounding synth, and I thought it would be possible to add low end underneath (there isnt any right now, other than bass hit, kick, and snare) unsure how to do this while keeping the melody from interacting improperly (ie. melody should end with the beginning note if you plan to end the melody, or end with a similar but different note if meant to continue)

thank you fragments for your input, ill give it a go, i havent tried to just work on one thing in a song. Actually i take many videos in, and then give them all a go at once. maybe im trying to hard, or putting too much in at once, while expecting more output if I put more in. Ill take it slower, and give myself some breathing room.

I have given myself a schedule a while back that goes like this:
7 am applications to better jobs than mine (who knows they might call back :])

8 am Production practice

10 am Codecademy training for java developement (needed for school)

12 pm game development for 3 hrs (needed for school)

ive been keeping myself on this schedule so far, but it feels as if its not paying off. any other suggestions are still welcome :)
thanks all who replied so far!
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
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NinjaEdit
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by NinjaEdit » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:27 pm

Grab a free book called How to Make a Noise for the fundamentals of synthesis.

Open Massive
Play a saw wave
Run it through low-pass 4
???
Subtractive synthesis

fragments
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by fragments » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:18 am

Had a listen to your track OP. It has a solid foundation, but it isnt there yet. Basically the advice given above on fixing that track seem fairly sound. They levels didnt sound horrible to me. Honestly when you are using all, digital sounds inside the box gain staging is the least of your worries, it is a pretty straightforward matter and something that you can really do along the way and nail before you even get to EQ and all that.

I agree with Jonahmann, get a digital copy of that How to Make a Noise. Also, Groove3 is a subscription based tutorial site...the Massive tutorials are pretty darn good. 15 bucks a month gets you streaming access to all their content. For an absolute beginner there are a ton of great tutorials. You can pay to download them but they are NOT worth the price to download IMO.

You gotta just keep working it at man...I have been at this for 6 or 7 years now...and I still feel like most of my work is straight poo...but I love the process and love mangling sound and turning knobs ;p
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outbound
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by outbound » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:30 am

Had a listen. I would start from the ground up, forget about mixing for now and focus purely on arrangement and getting your songwriting tight.

Get a few tracks and listen to them like realllllly listen to them. Grab a pen and paper and count out how long the intro is, how long the drop goes on for, where the variations happen, when different elements come in and out etc. Listen to how the groove is working and how it effects the track, is the pace hinting at a half time or a more regular time feel? Which instruments are the prime focus? is it fast drums or fast bass or both?

Once you've done that quite a few times you should be able to make some conscious decisions in taking your track in certain ways.

The mix should reflect this track in the best possible way. Once you have locked down arrangement then listen to a few tracks for reference. Get a decent pair of speakers or better yet a decent set of headphones if you're acoustic environment isn't great.

Good luck!
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:45 pm

wow, really good replies.

half time and whole time...

after a few hours of researching into the styles of dubstep (half times, third times, using minors)
I found something really cool with a lot of explanation.
They said that when your trying to keep the movement in your song, keeping the bass fast, you should loosen your drums to allow more room for the bass. Keeping the drums fast you should loosen your bass a bit. They explained if you want a fast bass, you should wait til points where the bass is almost non existent to speed up your drums. Also I realize I was trying to hard, really focusing on each element, and trying to play it like I would a guitar, or a bass guitar, and actually acting as a band, instead of just one person. I admit that maybe thats just too much, and I probably shouldnt focus on trying so hard, but having fun and liking the sounds I produce,

Alot of people here have told me I should slow down and focus on 1 thing at a time, which from now on, I will do (today Im working on my basslines!!!)

Now one more question: "Say you guys make something up in your head, and you decide to make it, what is the best way you have found to take it from brain to paper (DAW)?"

Also "I've heard that its much easier to produce, when your live set allows you to work seamlessly, instead of heckticly. How do you guys organize your sets to be more production worthy?"
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
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fragments
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by fragments » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:22 pm

I am not very good at getting down what's in my head. I prefer to sit down with no ideas and play with sound until I come up with something to be the focus of a track. As for your second question I honestly have no idea what you are talking about, sorry. I guess I don't know what you mean by live set or set.
SunkLo wrote: If ragging on the 'shortcut to the top' mentality makes me a hater then shower me in haterade.

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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:58 pm

in your DAW your set is your main starting file. basically organization (so ive heard) is kkey to allowing your creative juices to flow. Ive heard tell its best to automate the functions you do most often, that way you can just drag and drop
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
Newest track
Soundcloud

fragments
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by fragments » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:12 pm

evilmoonmoose wrote:in your DAW your set is your main starting file. basically organization (so ive heard) is kkey to allowing your creative juices to flow. Ive heard tell its best to automate the functions you do most often, that way you can just drag and drop
Oh. Templates. Yea. Use 'em.
SunkLo wrote: If ragging on the 'shortcut to the top' mentality makes me a hater then shower me in haterade.

evilmoonmoose
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Re: Apply what youve learned?

Post by evilmoonmoose » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:58 pm

i was asking more along the lines of what people normally put into their templates, and how they organize it, not whether i should use them, thanks for the advice though
I run Ableton 8.3 LEGIT
and Massive by Native Instruments on a Toshiba with 2 ghz 3 GB Ram and 300 Gigs of space ;)
Newest track
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