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Im confused and frustrated :(

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by Simzilla, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Simzilla

    Simzilla Forum Member

    Hey everyone,

    I'm getting really frustrated lately because I just can't make the music I want to! I have maschine 1.7 with elements and ableton with a mpk61 so it's not due to a lack of equipment it's just that I don't know how to go about it and I'm ****. I can make a decent beat every time but when I start adding more drum sounds or symbols or a bass line it just turns to ****.

    The type of Music I want to make are beats like Lunice, Hudson mohawke, Girl unit.

    Is there any particular way I can go about learning how to make beats like this because its not really a genre other than electronic. I feel like I need to buy more stuff like an OP-1 but buying more **** doesn't improve skill.
  2. jiggle

    jiggle Forum Member

    My tracks turn out **** to, I just like the flashy lights on everything.

    If you listen to the beat long enough, a tune just ruins it anyway.
  3. SuperKonquer

    SuperKonquer NI Product Owner

    Try getting the idea in your head before making it. To me it sounds like you are trying to make the equipment create "YOUR" rhythm instead of you using the equipment to create "YOUR" rhythm.

    Beat box, tap your toes, slap your knees,clap your hands, bob your head, hum your melody, sing your hooks, find your groove until it sticks in your bones until you know you have the greatest melody that has ever been imagined in the history of everything known and unknown.

    If you can hear it in your head and you can hear it clear and you can feel it You can recreate it

    and thats how you make the music you want instead of the music you can...
  4. alien_brain

    alien_brain Account Suspended

    youve answered your own question
  5. flux302

    flux302 NI Product Owner

    well, do you have any musical knowledge? by that I mean do you actually know any music theory or how to play anything or are you a complete noobie to making music? no shame in it, just this information would help us help you.
  6. Simzilla

    Simzilla Forum Member

    Thanks superkonqure - that's a good idea bruv...

    Flux302 - I can play the drums and guitar but it's mainly self Taught and very limited theory hey. I've been making sample based beats for about a year now but making originals is where i just suck arse
  7. alien_brain

    alien_brain Account Suspended

    so yer not givin up are ya mate?
  8. djadonis206

    djadonis206 NI Product Owner

    It's okay to sample, use loops, and try and replicate your favorite tracks.

    Try going down that road and see what comes out. Your own style will come through and you'll learn things along the way.
  9. Rymf

    Rymf NI Product Owner


    Do not pass go, do not spend one thousand dollars.

    The fact that you would even bring up the OP-1 indicates that you're thinking about this all wrong. It's cool and all, but it's overpriced, and even if the solution was to spend more money, it wouldn't be at all appropriate in your workflow. You're doing everything in the box, and the OP-1 has no MIDI and a stereo mini jack. Do you have an audio interface forgot to mention? If not, you'll be exporting flat audio files from the OP-1, and dragging them into Ableton where you already feel overwhelmed. I fail to see how adding more sound to the equation is going to resolve anything.

    First, watch this video from Ira Glass about making **** (not making things, literally making ****. Making bad art.):

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI23U7U2aUY"]Ira Glass on Storytelling, part 3 of 4 - YouTube[/ame]

    If his voice or fabulousness annoys you, just ignore it.

    tl;dr? (or in this case, tl;dw?): If you care enough about a creative endeavor to try it yourself, you're going to suck at it for quite a while. Not only that, but the passion that got you involved in the first place often results in a comprehensive knowledge of the work of others (the very thing that made you specifically list HudMo, Lunice and Girl Unit rather than FlyLo, Daedelus and Ras G, or Bibio, Sumsun and Balam Acab, or whatever), which means you're going to be painfully aware of exactly how much worse your work is. Don't stop. Keep working.

    Next, let's take HudMo as an example. I hope you've heard his new EP, and assume you've at least heard Butter. But it's hard to understand where he's at without knowing how he got there. Do you have his first mixtape, Hudson's Heeters? If not, PM me your email address. If you have heard it, you know that they're more or less standard hip hop beats, with a handful of consistently used synth sounds, and some repitched/chopped vocals. There's a little something extra there (I'll get back to that "something" in a moment) but it's a useful starting point. If you want to make things that sound like that, you need to familiarize yourself with mainstream hip hop production techniques, even if what you want to make is far from standard hip hop fare, or not hip hop at all. But it's going to be a combination of elements and experience, not a series of notes or the right bass preset, that gets you there.

    Now, HudMo's a tough example, because he has what I would describe as a signature sound, or a sound with some signature elements. You just don't have the familiarity with your tools do do anything like that yet. But that's fine. Keep making things.

    Lunice is a very interesting case, as his stuff draws even more on mainstream rap production than HudMo's, even though I think HudMo's stuff (until this most recent EP) sounds much more like hip hop. Lunice's music doesn't really sound like anything. It sounds sort of weird. I like to call it Minimal Crunk or Minimal Slap, because sonically it has a lot in common with (surprise surprise) Southern and Bay Area hip hop beats. The arrangement is where he goes off the deep end. Once again, you haven't made enough songs to be able to execute with an "economy of sound" like Lunice does, but again, you have a great trail of breadcrumbs to follow. Have you listened to every Yay Area mixtape to come out in the last 5-8 years or chopped and screwed versions of everything? Familiar with the canons of Mac Dre and UGK? Can you remember the last time you went dumb ghostridin the whip or sat sideways leanin on that drank? If the answer to any of those questions is "no," then it's time to get listening.

    Not because that's what you want to make, or even necessarily because that's what those other guys listened to, but because you'll start to recognize patterns. You'll begin to understand why Lunice picks a particular kick drum sound, why HudMo or Girl Unit flip a vocal sample just so. And it'll help you better understand how to make similar decisions in your own work, rather than feeling like you're groping around in the dark each time you're adding a new sonic element to a song.

    Last thing: I know this can be embarrassing, but maybe upload something for us to critique? Create a dummy soundcloud account that can't be traced back to you? I can't guarantee that other people won't make fun of you, but I pledge to give only positive feedback, even if it's about the things you positively need to stop doing, immediately. ;)
  10. alien_brain

    alien_brain Account Suspended

    stand by while this fuckin guy gives you a reach around
  11. Rymf

    Rymf NI Product Owner

    And down comes the banhammer.
  12. alien_brain

    alien_brain Account Suspended

    im not worried by you boy.
  13. h4ndcrafted

    h4ndcrafted Forum Member

    MAking good music isn't easy at all.

    Things I have learnt are..

    You need a clear idea of the song you want to make

    Stick to it, experiment, but do not deviate!

    Even if you start to hate a track, finish the dam thing, you will learn a thing or two anyway, plus in a few weeks time you might love it. I often go back to track and think wow I should of finished that, or I'll take the hook and use it in something new.

    Don't own loads of equipment, your just running from learning. Get to know each bit inside out b4 u move on.

    What you put in is what you get out, there is a crossover point from just cocking about and not really learning what everything does, to suddenly 'getting it' and the learning curve becomes smoother as you understand music.

    Don't be affraid to scrap bits that don't work evn if you spent ages programming it, you can't polish a poo :)

    Enjoy it, if you are not enjoying it stop, go listen to some music to inspire you.
  14. Thomas @ NI

    Thomas @ NI Administrator NI Team

    One week cooldown time because of repeated abusive tone towards other members.
  15. teutonist

    teutonist Account Suspended

    just put your time in like all the people before you did and figure something out without resorting to plagiarism
  16. sowari

    sowari Moderator Moderator

    i have just come across soundslogical's Youtube channel, he uses Logic, but the ideas can be transfered to other DAWs and Maschine.


    quite a lot of different genres are covered and the videos i have watched so far look very good.

    he is into Mount Kimbie and Fourtet, so i think these videos might be appropriate for the op and other post Dubstep fans

  17. pobblepop

    pobblepop New Member

    I have some golden rules to making music, which I've followed for over 20 years and they've served me well.

    1. Fiddle around.

    Nothing is set in stone, don't think in terms of genres, if it sounds good to you then it's alright. I've composed endlessly fiddly tunes on my beat up acoustic guitar, and pretty much all of them came from noodling around till something popped out, diamonds in the dust.

    2. Take inspiration from everywhere, everyone and everything. We live in an ocean of sound, listen to it and then edit it to where you want to be.

    3. If you're not in the groove go and do something else. 5 minutes playing when you have your groove on is worth 5 hours when you haven't.

    I've found the Maschine to be such an excellent noodling instrument. I can just sit and play with the sounds, have fun, get some nice nuances (very important) and real-time record just in case I hit something I like and I've got it for further playing. I've made 20 minute long pieces from a few seconds of noodling that just hit the sweet spot.
  18. jpeg

    jpeg Forum Member

    I say if something is too far off your desired sound better to scrap it rather then finnish something u dont like.

    also if u dont like something it should not need to grow on u, u either like it or u dont

    D'MOSPHREE New Member

    I think one of the best ways to improve is to emulate your favorite artist. It's similar to learning guitar by ear. You can start by copying your favorite artist to learn there techniques, and eventually you'll use those techniques to make your on tracks.

    Also study the sound of the artist that you named, for instance, do you notice that there is a certain drum sound you like or is there a certain synth sound that you like. After discovering the sounds that you like, look to the internet to find out how to make these sounds.

    And the most important thing is to keep at it, you are gonna suck to a certain degree when you start something new. Personally I kinda suck at making beats on the maschine right now, because Im so use to using FL Studios. But if I keep at it, I will be just as good at making beats with Maschine, if not better, as I am with FL Studios.
  20. VinnieTreux

    VinnieTreux NI Product Owner

    Definitely agree with D'mosphree, Keep at it, keep honing your craft, keep learning, keep trying news things.

    Awhile back I was having a lot of anxiety about music as I couldn't seem to complete anything I started, and the one thing that helped me get over that hump was to go completely "work flow free", so now every time I start a new project I rarely use the same procedure of creation...sure I've got an ableton template with Limiters and Dynamics and what not, but if I started a track with the drum part yesterday, today I'll start one with the melody.

    Also, listen to a lot of music, even music that is of a different genre than the artists you want to emulate...this will give you a whole new host of ideas and inspiration.