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Messages - Final Kindgom

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Composition/Arrangement/Theory / Re: 4 or 8 bar loops
« on: May 28, 2016, 01:56:13 am »
I enjoyed both of your outlooks. I was afraid that I would find myself stuck on a loop, but these actually help me explore a bit outside them will still having that main idea repeat. Thanks a bunch!

Eb major is favorite. I improvised on Dearly Beloved on my piano for years, so I got used to to playing in that key. Whenever I noodle around I also way end up making shapes of the chords that belong to Eb major. I'm also starting to like F# major solely due to its I chord lol

A good amount of professional hip hop producers use either FL and/or Reason. FL is probably the easier of the two to learn imo, but again it really doesn't matter. It just comes down to workflow in the respective DAWs.

Composition/Arrangement/Theory / 4 or 8 bar loops
« on: May 26, 2016, 08:06:56 pm »
I hear a lot of songs (popular or otherwise) that have the same 4 or 8 bar loops throughout the entire song, and the only parts of the composition that changes are the components that are layered within the song (percussion, arps, leads, countermelodies, you name it). When it comes production or composing in any way, everyone tends to say the same thing: get out of that loop. There are so many articles/videos that tell us how to get out of it but don't give a good reason as to why other than your song will be boring. But considering the amount of songs out there in the world that have stuck with their loop that are successful, is that a good enough reason to get out of it?

My question here is why do most people agree that we should get out of the loop when it's clear that a song, with enough elements to switch it up, can still do well if we stuck with it? Is it a matter of what we think the non-producers/musicians want to hear? Does genre dictate whether we should stay in a loop or not? (I ask this particular question because I listen to a lot of hip hop-influenced music, so I wonder if that has something to do with it).

I'm honestly curious and would like to know what you guys think about this.

you have to fight for what you want

It's kind of hard, near impossible, to have that mentality when you're a teenager pre-college. If this was a different kind of scenario (like Lunatic was in college or living life post-grad), that advice would be inspiring, but telling him to fight sounds like you're telling him to be disobedient to his parents, which is awful advice.

Look, Lunatic, I understand that you want to put time into music, but you need to do what you have to do now in order to have the freedom you desire. Just graduate high school and you'll be able to do what you want during and after college (assuming you go that route). If you can produce for an hour now, isn't that better than having that time taken away from you for being disobedient? Then you'll just be even more upset.

tl;dr: just finish school and you get to create as much as you want.

On the other hand, sometimes it's just damn hard to find yourself. Especially when you put your whole damn heart to something that turns out to be "objectively" bad. ...and you realize it after you've let it out to other people. That just crushes you. That whole "I made it for myself" thing doesn't work out of a sudden because you know you could have done better. ...or even should have, so people could have enjoyed your track more. So you start searching where the "mistake" might have happened and the only logical outcome of that is: Your taste. That's how doubts are born. ...and doubts are what lies between you and the good feeling about your stuff.

You're definitely not wrong about that. I've definitely felt that after sharing songs. I knew I was bad but didn't realize how bad lol at first I was down on myself about it but realized that I just have to keep pushing, fixing the mistakes, and practicing new concepts in order to be decent. The key to liking your own music imo is doing away with the doubts, which is obviously easier said than done. The way I see it is that it's not that my taste that made the song bad, it's just that I haven't bridged the gap between my taste and the skill needed to make the song good (basically Ira Glass's motivational speech). I think if more artists/creatives understood that, they would find it easier to like their own stuff.

Inspiration/Creativity/Motivation / Re: Why you start producing?
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:05:41 pm »
I grew up with music. My sister listened to great music when we were growing up, almost my entire mother's side of the family can sing, and we went to a church that had amazing singers and one of the best gospel bands I've ever heard. I knew I liked the arts as a kid so I went through distinct phases of music, creative writing, and drawing. Music was the only thing that stuck and I felt like I was good at it.

I agree with Mussar. Don't worry about making good music, just make it.

However, I'm assuming part of your problem is that you want to use the knowledge you've gained, you but don't know how to apply it. In that case, I would say that you should use the things you've learned but don't overthink it. If you know music theory, instead of trying to figure out a masterpiece with all of the theory you know, why not just make a small track with a I-IV-V progression? Then move on to a track with a ii-V-I progression? Then try including secondary dominant chords, and then pivot chords to modulate to a new key, etc. There's so much that we learn in theory that when we try to manifest the concepts in our tracks, we tend to freeze up because we don't know how to cohesively put it together. We can analyze sheet music for days, but actually making something that puts our theory to use can be a daunting task. Maybe if you break it down, you won't have to think about theory the better you get.

You have to practice and listen to the concepts you know before diving headfirst into the more complicated stuff. Listening to and recognizing the concepts you learn in is a critical part of unlocking the creativity you're reaching for. If you don't know what they sound like, of course it's going to take forever to make a track -- you don't have a strong foundation for the song in your head because all you can think about is the theory! Add that with not practicing each concept (putting your theory knowledge to use through sound), and you'll feel like you can't make anything.

(I'm saying this assuming you know theory since you said you go to a music academy.)

I've liked my songs from day 1. I knew I sucked when I started and didn't even bother comparing myself to professionals or hobbyists that are good. It would just bring me down and I wanted to have fun, so I didn't sabotage myself with those thoughts. I've improved a lot in the past year, but I know I could be better. Even so, I love each track more and more cuz I can hear the improvement, whether it's in the mixing, the arrangement, or the sound design.

Don't compare yourself to others, you're competing against yourself. Let the process be about you and the music and not you, the music, and someone else.

Inspiration/Creativity/Motivation / Re: Producing Under the Influence
« on: April 20, 2016, 06:35:50 am »
I don't get drunk often so I don't produce in that state, but I've produced high a couple of times. I can't be too high because then I get lazy/tired and all I want to do is play video games (I don't consider it a brainless activity, but I can play without thinking too much of it); I also can't start from scratch that way. I usually force out a chord progression or make a drum groove that I don't like once I hear it sober.

When I'm at the right level, I like continuing a process I've already started. Mixing is my favorite part of the process so I go HAM once I'm in the zone. I also use that time listening to how far I've come in production. Whether it's going back to old songs or just admiring my sound design, I remember that I've progressed more than I think. Like the others have said, there's a change in perspective.

Piano for 8 years, guitar on and off for 5 or 6, flute on and off for 6 years, and I was a drummer for 4 years.

Playing an instrument is more challenging in that you'd be combining a physical process with a mental one. With producing at a fundamental level, you're not engaging your hands (and legs in the case of drumming) and brain at the same time in real time. You're just clicking and moving the mouse, periodically adding musical ideas. On an intermediate level when you have equipment that enables you to play instruments, you're only engaging in that hand-eye-brain coordination maybe 20 minutes out of your entire session, if that. The rest of the time, you're "problem solving" at the mixing stage because you're trying to achieve a certain sound and bring all those ideas together into one cohesive track.

With playing an instrument, the goal is to play something in real time. Doing that requires a lot of practice because the brain is trying to register the notes on the sheet music or remember which note to play next while your hands are trying to respond with the appropriate action at the right time. Not only that but you have to keep time yourself, so that's another process your brain has to handle (this is assuming you're not using a metronome, but even then you have to be paying attention to the click while playing).

Truthfully I'm probably biased because I was a musician before I got into producing, and the production process is definitely easier when you've played an instrument.

Sound Design / Re: How did you learn sound design?
« on: February 18, 2016, 07:10:30 am »
Youtube tutorials. I'm a visual person, so it's hard for me to sit and read somewhat boring manuals. Videos are (sometimes) straight to the point and I can hear the changes. From there I just applied what I learned and experimented further.

Inspiration/Creativity/Motivation / Re: Your inspiration for your name
« on: February 18, 2016, 06:52:28 am »
I like the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series, so that's where my name came from. However, its meaning has become more personal once I started producing more seriously.

Inspiration/Creativity/Motivation / Re: Lyrics/Melody
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:18:27 am »
Write poetry often. Sometimes you can pull lines from your existing works and use them in your songs. I personally don't write poetry as much as I used to, but two things I like to do are use slant rhyme and rhyme a word at the end of a line with a word in the middle of the next. It gives you the ability to get out of the "trap" of strict rhyming schemes and to play with the rhythm of the words. Lastly, try writing things cryptically/ambiguously. Maybe on the surface, the lyrics sound like a love song, but underneath them is a completely different meaning.

I think separating sound design and composition is a very good practice if you can keep a strict timetable.

I usually mix the two together to keep things interesting for myself, but the other night I focused on composition first in order to get all my ideas out before going to work, then sound design came after. I completed a rough draft in an hour (felt like it went by faster than that though). Splitting the two helped me focus a lot more, but chances are I'll keep mixing them since I'm so used to it lol

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