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Reaching the next level

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dragon-teenager
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Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:30 AM Reply

I don't know if it's artists' block or whatever, but I'm having some trouble improving my musical abilities (reaching the "next level"). I'd been improving my work steadily for the last several years and now I'm finally getting paid jobs, which is great, but now I'm competing with true professionals. I want to be able to match and exceed the competition and I feel like I'm ALMOST THERE... but just not quite. :/

So I'm wondering what you people do to seriously drill your skills. I'm considering taking a music theory class and watching some mixing tutorials. Is that standard procedure?

Sequenced
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:34 AM Reply

listen to a professionally mastered song and try and replicate how it sounds.


lel

dragon-teenager
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:36 AM Reply

At 5/7/13 12:34 AM, Sequenced wrote: listen to a professionally mastered song and try and replicate how it sounds.

Definitely, and that's been my go-to for many years, but it's the "replicate how it sounds" part that complicates things.

Envy
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 01:19 AM Reply

At 5/7/13 12:36 AM, dragon-teenager wrote:
At 5/7/13 12:34 AM, Sequenced wrote: listen to a professionally mastered song and try and replicate how it sounds.
Definitely, and that's been my go-to for many years, but it's the "replicate how it sounds" part that complicates things.

I'd stay away from replicating sounds. I tried that for a while, and it literally killed my "music mojo." Try a new genre, something that challenges you as a musician. Eventually you'll figure out what you're really good at that way.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

Breed
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 01:31 AM Reply

Research is daily thing regardless of status.

I'm stuck in the same spot. I think as long as you keep interest and work hard you will slowly get there. The exciting part where one song can easily be regarded as having higher quality anything over a previous is gone. Now maybe only very small details see improvement, and smaller ones spawn from that, and so on.

A slow tidious grind.

Or you may luck out somewhere along the way.

Who knows.

Its a fuckin mystery to me mate.

Chemich
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 02:36 AM Reply

At 5/7/13 01:19 AM, Envy wrote:
At 5/7/13 12:36 AM, dragon-teenager wrote:
At 5/7/13 12:34 AM, Sequenced wrote: listen to a professionally mastered song and try and replicate how it sounds.
Definitely, and that's been my go-to for many years, but it's the "replicate how it sounds" part that complicates things.
I'd stay away from replicating sounds. I tried that for a while, and it literally killed my "music mojo." Try a new genre, something that challenges you as a musician. Eventually you'll figure out what you're really good at that way.

This, try making professional sounding Darkpsy. Lot of people think that's a walk in the park, honestly making it constantly interesting good takes a lot of effort and thought.

And utmost-

Creativity.


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MetalRenard
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 04:12 AM Reply

At 5/7/13 02:36 AM, Chemich wrote: And utmost-
Creativity.

Yes, like Chemich said. Lots of mixing is objective - it's technique applied to circumstance to achieve a result. So where does creativity come in?
If you feel like you've reached the limit of what technique can provide you need to change your perspective. What's the difference between a "good" mix and an "amazing" mix? You. The person who mixes it.
You have to find what makes a song special, accentuate it, find where the heart and soul of the song is then do everything to make it shine, show it to the world.

That is the next step. :)


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NikeTheSword
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 04:15 AM Reply

Ups and downs, every artist has them. I find it best not to directly compare my own works to other professionals.
Rather listen to your latest tracks that qualify as your "top-work" and try to figure out what it is that you're missing.

Theory is always a good thing but it alone won't explain if your tracks are missing "it".
I constantly check for these things in a track:
-is it interesting (can you listen to it repeatedly without skipping ahead to the "good part")
-does it sound good (noise/clarity and the other mixing stuff)
-is the structure as I want it to be (again theory helps here, but also many "theory-out-of-the-window" tracks can be genious)

After this I usually find the area I want to improve in, THEN I go and listen to other pro's tracks and start learning more of that area.
Just remember that no one can reach that level where you repeatedly score perfect, we're not robots.

I think most important checklist is always: does your music get accepted and used. :)


: What? No I won't level up, I like my watergun.

Cross666
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 11:40 AM Reply

Wow mate I'm surprised no one suggested Compressing. If you're trying to reach the next level you gotta compress mate. Soundgoodizer every mixer channel to th' max mate.


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la-yinn
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:00 PM Reply

At 5/7/13 11:40 AM, Cross666 wrote: Soundgoodizer every mixer channel to th' max mate.

Ahh, those were the days.


Latest tracks:
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Troisnyx
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:04 PM Reply

At 5/7/13 11:40 AM, Cross666 wrote: Wow mate I'm surprised no one suggested Compressing. If you're trying to reach the next level you gotta compress mate. Soundgoodizer every mixer channel to th' max mate.

Huh? No one suggested boring old Fruity Limiter because that's what's causing all the compression in my pieces? O_O

Oh well. :P


AMDG ✝

Troisnyx [TWRA-nix]: Someone from whom you can find wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff.

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frootza
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:14 PM Reply

Well, it seems like you are writing a lot, but don't forget to play every day. I think that when you test the boundaries of your technical ability, your brain starts to hear the music you are writing differently.


Check it! :) //// Never stop making music. Play MOTORJOUST!!!Check it! :)

Envy
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:19 PM Reply

At 5/7/13 11:40 AM, Cross666 wrote: Wow mate I'm surprised no one suggested Compressing. If you're trying to reach the next level you gotta compress mate. Soundgoodizer every mixer channel to th' max mate.

Soundgoodizer and bass boost are the two things every song should be overflowing with.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

Cross666
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 12:45 PM Reply

At 5/7/13 12:19 PM, Envy wrote:
At 5/7/13 11:40 AM, Cross666 wrote: Wow mate I'm surprised no one suggested Compressing. If you're trying to reach the next level you gotta compress mate. Soundgoodizer every mixer channel to th' max mate.
Soundgoodizer and bass boost are the two things every song should be overflowing with.

F'real. Hasn't anyone read Tricks o' da trade by flosstradamus? It's in chapter one


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skyood
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 01:16 PM Reply

At 5/7/13 12:30 AM, dragon-teenager wrote:
So I'm wondering what you people do to seriously drill your skills. I'm considering taking a music theory class and watching some mixing tutorials. Is that standard procedure?

If we're talking writing music (as opposed to say, mixing or producing, some role where the melody etc is already there and you're just making it sound awesome), then I can't believe no one has already encouraged you in the theory class direction. I know that with the available possibilities with technology it is possible to do more than ever before without much formal education ... But I believe if you haven't had any (or very little) formal education you're seriously limiting yourself. Western music as we know it has been around now for what, at least 1000 years? Do you really think there's nothing to learn from studying what has been successful for centuries?

Disclaimer: your mileage will vary depending on the genre you're working in, etc, and no class will teach you the formula for good music. But I'm sorry, any musician who hasn't formally studied music is, in the overwhelming majority of cases, a fraction of the musician (s)he could be.


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HyperTrough
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 01:24 PM Reply

At 5/7/13 12:30 AM, dragon-teenager wrote: I'm considering...watching some mixing tutorials

lol?

To improve your mixing, I've found the best way is to experiment and see how your tracks sound when played alongside your favourite artists. Reading up on a few articles here and there will also point in the right direction, check Sound on Sound and more specifically for mixing: Reverb Delay


lol fuk u

dragon-teenager
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 7th, 2013 @ 01:39 PM Reply

So I'm wondering what you people do to seriously drill your skills. I'm considering taking a music theory class and watching some mixing tutorials. Is that standard procedure?
If we're talking writing music (as opposed to say, mixing or producing, some role where the melody etc is already there and you're just making it sound awesome), then I can't believe no one has already encouraged you in the theory class direction. I know that with the available possibilities with technology it is possible to do more than ever before without much formal education ... But I believe if you haven't had any (or very little) formal education you're seriously limiting yourself. Western music as we know it has been around now for what, at least 1000 years? Do you really think there's nothing to learn from studying what has been successful for centuries?

I know a fair share of musical theory, but I'm just trying to find that edge that takes your music over the top. I would like to learn more though - heaven knows there's always more!

NikeTheSword
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Response to Reaching the next level May. 8th, 2013 @ 05:02 AM Reply

At 5/7/13 01:39 PM, dragon-teenager wrote: I know a fair share of musical theory, but I'm just trying to find that edge that takes your music over the top. I would like to learn more though - heaven knows there's always more!

I repeat myself, that level where you continuously produce "over the top quality" is not attainable by any person. Everyone, even the pro'est of pros, makes awesome and "just good" tracks. It's how creativity and inspiration work :)

+personal preference of the audience, some like this some like that.

And no artist should ever understate their own work, that's the worse that can happen. Telling yourself "I'm not good enough" DON'T DO THAT, MAN!

: What? No I won't level up, I like my watergun.