Inspirational Module: Should I buy more stuff?
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Posted 10/23/2006 11:14:40 PM

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Inspirational Module: Should I buy more stuff?
Drew Spence

Maybe you’re at the point where a change of direction is needed. Let’s see, you’ve got crates of records against the wall, a drawer full of floppy discs and a few folders full of sample sounds. What now? A new module? A digging spree? Perhaps you want to start over at the beginning and define a new signature sound for yourself. It could be you need a whole new work flow or method. Maybe I need to try a new drum machine or sequencer to get me back in the game.

Many producers pick up on the trends in commercial radio- the types of snares and claps to even the sound of another producer who mines the same genre of music for his main sample work. That could be the answer. Maybe it’s time to inject a little ‘producer whose popular’ into my own chemistry. I might be inspired to create if my tracks sounded more radio friendly.

Going against this entire chain of thought is the ear. It’s not the golden ear engineers claim to have- it’s the ear that decides for you – that almost intangible, inaudible Producer’s Edge.
You may buy many sound modules during your career, but certainly a guiding force will tell you what sounds to use and what presets can be twisted into the textures in your head. You will fall into a workflow that is comfortable whether it’s staring at a screen and visually shaping your tunes or by smashing pads and twisting knobs.

The best source of inspiration is not the current catalogue or clearance sale sticker, but instead the lost art of actually listening, listening to the works that brought you into the music game to begin with. Music and musicians you actually enjoy listening to- not just the commercially successful fodder on the radio. Inspiration may not even arrive from the genre you produce in since excellence stands as excellence no matter the source. There is an inner voice that is combining your favorite music and sounds with a sense of self.

You ask the question ‘What will I add to this culture and what is my unique gift to the listener?’ The gear and equipment we use are simply the tools that enable us to bring about an artistic vision. Sound modules and sequencers should inspire us to release our artistic visions- not define them.

In Pages.

Post #11
Posted 10/24/2006 12:56:09 PM



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Inspiration is an all or nothing proposition for me. Either I cannot get a track off the ground (deleting parts as fast as I write/sample them) or I get a flood of ideas that I almost can’t keep up with. I have found that those hypercritical times (where I kill ideas before they are even realized) often come about when I have been listening to too many people comment on my music (positively or negatively). I just cant get those voices out of my head and it really messes with me. I start to think how a given production choice will be received and it all goes down hill from there. The times when I am most productive are when I have been paying ZERO attention to what is being said ABOUT music and complete attention to sound itself. I will literally find sample/melodic ideas everywhere (from the sound a machine makes to a rhythm I failed to notice in a familiar song. I have learned to not really ask for feedback from message boards, etc. (either they will not like my music and it will discourage me or they will like my music and I will feel “pressure”) it is a lose-lose for me.  I would rather ask a few people that I trust for honest feedback and take it for what it is, an opinion.  


As for what I bring. That has changed over time. Early on I brought imitation of the music I loved (DMC, LL, Dela, etc) A little later I brought abstraction for  the sake of abstraction. Doing weird beats just to be different. Nowadays, I try really hard to NOT TRY TOO hard. I just make what makes me happy and hope that there are a few other oddballs that have similar enough DNA to appreciate my music.


…sorry what was the question?




Sean Maru

Post #19
Posted 10/27/2006 10:35:55 PM

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I don't have alot of stuff myself so I use whatever. I feel like if I walk in a studio and see a Triton, I know it's got some sounds Ima freak. The VST thing is cool, but you have to own one for a while to figure it out. Half the time you can't figure out how to get the damn sounds open. So it's like 'Yo, get a hot bassline for me please.' then I can concentrate on making the music. I respect dudes with all that know-how and gear, but i just want one keyboard I know well and inspiration would be learning something new.
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