Be a Supporter!

Best way of getting better ?

  • 603 Views
  • 14 Replies
New Topic Respond to this Topic
MatrixGravity
MatrixGravity
  • Member since: Dec. 4, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 02:14:32 Reply

I feel like after 3 years of producing, I still am not quite as good as I'd like to be. I don't even have a sense of direction with my tracks. I never know how to really arrange them and how to really do everything. I feel like I still lack quite a lot of knowledge and I wish I knew more.. How can I continue to improve?

Yoshiii343
Yoshiii343
  • Member since: Mar. 8, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 17
Audiophile
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 02:55:31 Reply

At 12/2/12 02:14 AM, MatrixGravity wrote: I feel like after 3 years of producing, I still am not quite as good as I'd like to be. I don't even have a sense of direction with my tracks. I never know how to really arrange them and how to really do everything. I feel like I still lack quite a lot of knowledge and I wish I knew more.. How can I continue to improve?

Practice, practice, even more practice, and learning a bit about music theory.

MetalRenard
MetalRenard
  • Member since: Sep. 19, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Musician
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 03:34:03 Reply

Practice, practice, read, apply what you learn, adapt it to your taste, practice practice, read, apply what you learn, practice...


Rocker, Composer and World Ambassador for Foxes! I'm on Youtube. Come check me out! Veteran REAPER user.

BBS Signature
Sequenced
Sequenced
  • Member since: Feb. 6, 2006
  • Online!
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 20
Gamer
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 03:48:10 Reply

trial & error


lel

Step
Step
  • Member since: Nov. 4, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 25
Musician
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 04:05:05 Reply

Here's your problem.

I've listened to your tracks and I actually think that practice isn't the first thing you should go for, contrary to what was said above. You've actually got some impressive production value in some of your tracks. Practise more and you'll just get better production value, without necessarily getting better the way you want to get better. Practice will still help, mind you, but you need something else.

Most of your tracks, while sounding great, are very similar. They're all progressive house that ironically enough isn't very progressive since you often just post loops or songs without a progressive intro. You overuse certain techniques that you're comfortable with rather than going for new stuff. Or at least that's the impression I got from listening to your latest six or so audio submissions.

So, my advice is to venture away from what you're comfortable with. One problem that electronic producers often say that they face is that when they just start on music, their music is really creative but sounds bad and has crappy production, and as they get more experienced, production value increases but creativity and motivation decreases. This is because if you want to keep your music sounding interesting and keeping yourself motivated to make music, you've got to get out of your comfort zone once in a while and try new stuff. And I'm not just saying try a new VST or a new drum pack. I'm saying try totally new genres or take entirely different approaches to your genre.

Also regarding your songs not having that much of a direction, you need to work more on your structure. Like I said, your music isn't very progressive. You've got to plan stuff out more. Instead of throwing in the general beat and all of your song's elements right away in the intro, try introducing them gradually. In the intro you'll want to catch the listener's attention but at the same time keep the prospect that there's a lot more to come. This, I think, should apply to all genres, unless you're just making loops for a flash game or something, in which case one would generally keep roughly the same pace and intensity throughout.

Oh and make your songs longer. Most of them are well under 2 minutes long, to the point that it feels less like you're making full songs and more like you're submitting the results of messing around in your DAW or unfinished ideas. Making them more progressive and structured will probably automatically result in longer music though.

Lastly, try remixing stuff. Delving into the composition of other people helps expand your horizons (or at least that's what it does with me). Try remixing music that isn't in the genre you make too. You'll then have to challenge yourself to interpret something in an entirely different way and giving yourself that challenge will force you to take new approaches and try different things.

That's my long-winded advice. Hope it helps.


Review Request Club | CHECK THIS OUT | Formerly Supersteph54 | I'm an Audio Moderator. PM me for Audio Portal help.

BBS Signature
Buoy
Buoy
  • Member since: May. 18, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 40
Musician
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 08:45:52 Reply

Listen to music that's good, figure out why that is, learn from it.

dem0lecule
dem0lecule
  • Member since: Feb. 17, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Blank Slate
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 13:19:16 Reply

At 12/2/12 03:48 AM, Sequenced wrote: trial & error

Definitely this. And practice more. Also see Step and Buoy advices.


What comes around goes around...

BBS Signature
JJM121
JJM121
  • Member since: Dec. 19, 2011
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 08
Audiophile
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 14:21:56 Reply

Keep trying new things. It keeps you from falling into a rut and getting bored.

I also should do it sometime...
jpbear
jpbear
  • Member since: Apr. 24, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Blank Slate
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 14:48:33 Reply

Went through your alst six or seven submissions,

learn to mix better, your mixes work but dont shine. Especially in prog house a sexy mix is 65% of the track.

Also have better role models, avicii's cookie cutter house is too small of an aspiration xD

Also remember to have low mids in your big synths (supersaws, lead pianos)

Mixwise, id accuse you of using soundgoodizers on your masters. Whether this is true or not doesnt really matter, your tracks sound clogged and thin (trebley), for now I'd reccomend you dont even touch your master tracks (albeit a limiter). Examine the climaxes of tracks you like, replicate the db levels of all the frequencies in your tracks to get a sense of what a mix SHOULD sound like.

And make sure to leave room for your kick drums tails! they take up way more headroom than your are giving them.

KiddGimmickMusic
KiddGimmickMusic
  • Member since: Nov. 26, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Audiophile
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-02 16:33:30 Reply

I'm no expert, but this is my opinion.

I think your music will get better with the more music you create. For every mixdown, you notice something you like and dislike about that track. After repeating this process, more and more of the good things about your tracks start to mesh together, until you reach a state where you are ultimately happy with your sound.

Therefore, dawdling on what you aren't happy about is inhibiting your ability to get better.

Some things I feel are important, to me:

You can polish a turd, but its still a piece of shit. If I create a shit sound, I toss it out and start over.

Dynamics - mixing your tunes at a lower, reasonable volume will definitely (after proper mastering) make your tracks pop and have the thump you are after. You drums can't thump if they don't have headroom.

Humanization - Play elements of you track by hand and limit the velocities as you see fit, or emphasize groove.

Low Mid Frequencies - 200-500Hz - These eat up headroom and clog your mix like a hairy shower drain.

Techniques I found notable : Subtractive EQ (remove harsh frequencies), Side-chain compression ( You may use a little too much of this for the ducking effect, causing too much breathing), Parallel Compression (tighten low end), Drum Phattening and General Synth and Bass Processing for killer sounds. The initial sound production makes a big difference.

Stay in the Loop!

Good luck on your music! :)

Tanadrine-Studios
Tanadrine-Studios
  • Member since: Dec. 31, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 16
Animator
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-03 01:45:08 Reply

Music isn't my area of specialty, but I can tell you a simple way to improve in a general sense (IE: becoming a more versatile artist, whatever the medium, sound or otherwise) is to always include something new and different in every single project you do. Explore that one new tool... or that feature you never looked at, or just something that you've never tried before. You may surprise yourself in what you learn through this process.

And, there's no reason why you can't make this exploratory work in the form of short side-projects or 20-30 second tunes just to test the waters.

Never burn yourself out... that is the worst thing you can do to yourself and the lack of motivation will show in your work eventually.

johnfn
johnfn
  • Member since: Aug. 16, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 20
Blank Slate
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-03 03:04:20 Reply

A lot of people on here are saying to practice more, but not saying *what* to practice more.

One good way to continue to improve is to imitate other genres. I notice that you've pretty much kept to progressive house. Why not try to write some techno, trance, psychelidic rock, experimental hipster core, you know, whatever piques your interest. Your music will be less pro, but you'll learn so much.

At 12/2/12 02:14 AM, MatrixGravity wrote: I feel like after 3 years of producing, I still am not quite as good as I'd like to be. I don't even have a sense of direction with my tracks. I never know how to really arrange them and how to really do everything. I feel like I still lack quite a lot of knowledge and I wish I knew more.. How can I continue to improve?

[6,11,4,10,2,10,-68,5,15,-68,16,4 ,1,-68,-2,1,15,16,-67].map(function(v){ return String.fromCharCode(v + 100) }).join(""); // updated for web 2.0!

BBS Signature
The-iMortal
The-iMortal
  • Member since: Aug. 30, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 04
Musician
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-03 04:49:47 Reply

Learn from your mistakes. The more projects you work on, the more mistakes you make. If you come to terms with yourself and assess the mistakes you made, the more mistakes you will not make in the future.

Zero1996
Zero1996
  • Member since: Dec. 3, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Musician
Response to Best way of getting better ? 2012-12-03 19:38:51 Reply

At 12/2/12 02:14 AM, MatrixGravity wrote: I feel like after 3 years of producing, I still am not quite as good as I'd like to be. I don't even have a sense of direction with my tracks. I never know how to really arrange them and how to really do everything. I feel like I still lack quite a lot of knowledge and I wish I knew more.. How can I continue to improve?

If you mean about the quality sound-wise on your tracks I can't help you there... However if you mean learning to play a instrument I can tell you this from personal experience. Try to learn a incredibly difficult song, and don't become upset if you can't do it. I have been playing guitar for 8 years and there is a by the name of Micheal Romeo. He is my favorite, and his music is waaaaayyyy out of my league however I have been trying to learn one of his songs for over a month now, and its going to take me a lot longer to get the solo even to the "OK" point.

I have been drumming for 2 years and I try to drum along to Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy, now, that is just ridiculous I could never imagine to try to play with that well.

My point is try to play above your league and you will learn a lot, it doesn't mean you have to attain the level of greatness as your favorite musician, that thinking only leads to disappointment.

In the past couple week just from learning one hard song has help me dramatically.

Don't forget too, everybody goes through musical stages where it feels like your getting nowhere, it may last awhile... But one day, when you break through that wall, (And you will.) it feels awesome.

Watch Youtube videos of great musicians, that helps too.

Also, has boring as it is to do, look up some scales and learn them, its very tedious, but its quite fun and rewarding once you get some of them down.

I hope I help you in someway... Don't give up.... Keep on rockin'! :D


The game....