Where do you draw the line?

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DonovanCorl
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Where do you draw the line?

Post by DonovanCorl » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:57 pm

What do you think is having your own style but not having every song sound the same?

I usually use the same drum kits, (a custom made kit and my 808 kit, depending on the genre) but I EQ, compress, and do any other kind of processing differently. I also write a lot of stuff in F minor. I even use similar techniques for producing basses but I never recycle presets, (unless a song is in multiple parts or I'm releasing two songs together.)

But what techniques for having your own style could make all of your songs sound the same if you over-used them?
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by wub » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:02 pm

I try not to reuse samples if they're overly obvious. I will sometimes use similar drum libraries or signal chains for certain effects. It's something I know works, and gives the tracks some character, like if someone were to listen to them in a row they could tell they were from the same artist.

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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by fragments » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:58 pm

Why not recycle presets? Just for an example, why reinvent the wheel every time you need a reese bass or a hoover or whatever...I mean...you are at least going to start with very same-ish basics. I think having a tool box of "base sound" presets (and I do mean base and ot bass here) is a great time saver.

Not that I dont add to my sample library or delete things or archieve them...but as far as drum sounds I have been rinsing the same kits for quite a while. No one that listens to my tunes has noticed or if they have Ive not heard a complaint.

I think picking on or two things between EPs/songs/LPs whatever to change drastically will help things stay fresh. Over using anything will result in same-ness.

One thing I like about hardware is that generally speaking for each project I will decided on a static arrangement of my gear (for that project) and then change things up for the next one. You can do a similar thing in software. Make a template that preloads some things with some predetermined signal flows and just work within that for the duration of the project. I like working this way because it forces me to work within a set of limitations.
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outbound
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by outbound » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:38 pm

Yeah I try to avoid the using the same samples over and over (obviously the big ones get a pass :- 909,808,amen break etc)
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by _ronzlo_ » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:49 pm

This is why I love drum synthesis: it's so easy to get a wide variety of colors, tones, and textures that you're almost always getting a different sounds just by merit of firing it up and tweaking a bit. Drumsynths with randomizing settings are like fucking crack for me.

But honestly, I think it's tempting to try and come up with a hard and fast, black-and-white rule for this - but there isn't any. Some shit gets reused (if it's elemental enough, or ubiquitous enough, or mostly unnoticeable enough) and other shit doesn't. Some people have built paid careers out of using the same 5 sounds, others by never repeating themselves to the point of self-conscious affectation.

Where do I draw the line?

Somewhere near "hmm, I like where this is going..." and before "I'm bored. What else is loaded in this sample bank?"

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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by fragments » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:27 pm


But honestly, I think it's tempting to try and come up with a hard and fast, black-and-white rule for this - but there isn't any. Some shit gets reused (if it's elemental enough, or ubiquitous enough, or mostly unnoticeable enough) and other shit doesn't. Some people have built paid careers out of using the same 5 sounds, others by never repeating themselves to the point of self-conscious affectation.

Where do I draw the line?

Somewhere near "hmm, I like where this is going..." and before "I'm bored. What else is loaded in this sample bank?"

:goonies:
Pretty much all of this. Trying to boil down creative pursuits to much more than general guidelines seems counter productive. Also consider unless your audience are 100% audio nerds the likelyhood of them listening that closely is unlikely.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by NinjaEdit » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:56 pm

I think personal style is the similarities you can't help while creating different works, so I wouldn't be too conscious of it. An artist will visit similar themes throughout their work, even over different media.

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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by legend4ry » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:00 am

A sound is where no matter what you make it 'sounds' like you, no?

Reusing samples or patches to define your sound is more of a gimmick than anything else.

I would look towards artists such as Flying Lotus when I talk about artists with a defined sound. Sometimes his tracks can be 160bpm but still sound fly-lo. Its how he has that "Programmed but sounds live" vibe while having crazy percussion where it on makes sense when its all stacked together. If you REALLY listen to his music a lot of the sounds layered low in the mix are so off beat some times not even in the same time signature but he makes it work.

Headhunter was the same too, no matter what he made you knew it was made by him - from the way it was mixed, to the sounds his used and the general rhythm of it.

I know I have a sound, it just isn't as mature as the two listed above but I couldn't define how I got it or keep it, its just what naturally comes out and it thankfully connects quite well with eachother.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by erratech » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:47 pm

Focus on the track and ask yourself what it needs and do that. I think you get a feeling after a while when tracks turn from an idea into A Thing, that is what your style is - how you take nothing and turn it into something with its own identity. Make something that speaks clearly and it doesnt really matter what elements you choose because people wont just hear individual elements anymore, and it will naturally reflect you and 'your sound'.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by leaflet » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:50 pm

In my opinion you will get bored if you do the following:

- use same samples
- use same techniques
- use same soft synths


So try and change these every so often and after you have tired them out. Just my opinion but I reckon the best music is made when your really excited about it whilst you are making it.

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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by leaflet » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:58 pm

Sorry I confused the question. I think its important to have a set up that you cannot get bored of. If your getting bored making the track chances are others will as well when they listen.

A synth can have endless possibilities tbh, as can a sequencer. It's just what you do with it...

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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Post by bouncingfish » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:45 pm

Yeah I write all my tunes in C minor just cause I'm lazy and I know C minor best. But most of my tunes just "come out" differently, I don't think about what lines to draw and where to draw them. Just make tunes when I feel inspired and, when you actually feel inspired the tunes won't sound exactly the same, at least for me! (that doesn't mean my tunes are any good though but at least they aren't the same)
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