Author Topic: Being Original vs Copying Others  (Read 5321 times)

Lydian

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Being Original vs Copying Others
« on: July 18, 2016, 06:15:04 pm »
Which one do you guys think is easier?

Usually when I try to copy my favorite artists I fail miserably.

I don't have the same samples.
I don't have the same synthesizers.
I don't have the same synth patches.
I don't have the same plugins.
I don't have the same daw.
I don't have the same sample packs.

Most importantly...

I don't have the same ears, knowledge, and experience.

When I get stuck on a section in a song for example... I'll look to other artists tracks for inspiration or advice on what to do next. (Pretty normal right?) The thing is that when I try to copy other artists I just end up with cheesy knock off versions of their songs because I don't understand what they're doing in a first place. For example maybe I hear a fill in a track and tell myself "I want to learn how to recreate that fill". I'd say the majority of the time I can never recreate that fill perfectly. Therefore it just ends up as a knock off because mixing wise and sound design wise it is just so hard to create something 100% accurately. When you stop trying to copy other peoples tracks you don't have to deal with that frustration of coming off as a knockoff.

I think being original is easier because you can be 100% you vs 80% someone else if that makes any sense.

What do you guys think? I used to think it was easier to copy others but at this stage in my journey as a producer I'm starting to change my mind. Is it easier at times to just be you?
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Marrow Machines

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 07:45:06 pm »
Your art is a reflection of yourself.
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Wontolla

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 08:32:35 pm »
Easiest is to copy and let your imperfections seep into the result. Then scrap the result and remember what you learned, of course.

manducator

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2016, 05:57:49 am »
I never tried to copy others because I know it's too hard for me.

But I like to listen to others to get ideas for my own music, some rhythms, a melodic snippet, something like that.

There's a difference between copying and being inspired by... And I like the ' being inspired by' thingy.

Mussar

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2016, 04:40:32 pm »
Originality is just undetected plagiarism. The human ear doesn't want true originality, because true originality would sound like a random mess of sounds. We follow structures and rules that are set by others or set by ourselves, and even if we aren't directly copying someone we are relying on ideas that have come as a result of what we think sounds good. What we think sounds good is based on what we listened to growing up, so what we creative will inevitably become derivative of some work that affected us in the past.

Worry less about being original and more about being yourself. If you don't have the experience to know how to be yourself, then keep trying to be someone else each time you start a new track - inevitably you'll stumble across yourself by process of elimination.

eidolon

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 01:41:42 am »
The human ear doesn't want true originality, because true originality would sound like a random mess of sounds. We follow structures and rules that are set by others or set by ourselves,
i'm p sure varien told me this in a lesson a few years back almost verbatim! its really hard to remember, and to be fair also can be used to justify ppl making boring shit, but it's honestly so so important.
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Josh

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 08:31:51 am »
Me personally I think of what elements musically do I like from the artists I listen to. When working on something I just keep those elements in mind. It could be the overall vibe of a track such as making something aggressive or melodic, or a specific sound that I want to put my twist on. I'd say copying isn't acceptable, but all of us have influences that we'd like to put our own spin on and work into our own work and I feel there's nothing wrong with that.

vinceasot

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 12:03:53 am »
study your favourite artists, their tracks, imitate the best you can while making it your own
do anything man, watch their interviews, tutorials, magazine articles

if its composition or sound design that needs work, try and develop that day by day even if its small
also in the end, try and have fun
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 12:31:12 am by vinceasot »

calramirez

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 01:39:33 am »
Great question! :D
Welp, I feel THE SAME way to you. When I really strip myself from the notion of "well, deadmau5 does it like this or that Tangerine Dream pad was like that" I make MY BEST music, because I don't have a goal or template. I just work with the tools I have pursuing a feeling that I have lived or imagine.

I think it is VERY important to have inspiration from plenty of places (and I mean ALL kinds of music, not only electronic), but not necessarily copy them. However, I find fantastic to take some of the ideas of my favorite musicians and give them my own twist.

For example, if I really like a supersaw that Tangerine Dream (I love that band) or some chords (no pun intended) that deadmau5 made on a modular synth, I try to reacreate them using my tools and stacking on effects, detuning them playing 7th major chords (iconic from jazz) listening to pianists like  Carl Perkings, before adding a brutal growl that I heard from Kill The Noise and some off grid drums from old Zedd.

There will come a time where you listen to your work and say "well shit. This is MY sound." I think the key is to surround yourself with all kinds of music that you like (and that's important, listen to stuff you dig) and slowly but surely, you will unconciously store all this ideas and influences to one day drop in a song. "Hey, I could try this".

And with the samples/plugins/knowledge issue, I really like the notion of "wotk with what you've got". If you want more, you can always save money for a new plugin, or pay extra music classes. Or browse deeply online.

I think it is far better to experiment with a lot of stuff (from your DAW and outside) instead of going into kickasstorrents (RIP btw) and torrenting the nexus and sylenth just because EVERYONE uses it. As of now, my only two tools are harmless and the 3xosc which came with my copy of Fl, tools that guys that torrented the software would never discover. I'm sure Cubase, Logic, Reaper, Reason...all have hidden perks that few people use because few people experiment. You don't have to purchase the "ULTIMATE FAT BEATZ SAMPLES VOL.3". I find in page like 33 of google an insanely large zip of free old synth drum samples and some very clean acoustic samples. The combination of both is something weird but unique, while a lot of dudes prefer to layer overcompressed 808's. Which is not bad but a lot of people have done it already, so...meh :D

Just because that sausage fattener and the izotope makes the beats very very way more thumpier doesn't mean you can't make a great mix with a stock compressor and proper EQ. But we do need practice.

Good luck :)
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attila

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 08:24:03 pm »
I never tried to copy others because I know it's too hard for me.
Works for Cymatics.

Imitation is the sincerest form of amateurism. When you start to take your music seriously and discover the message you want to get across, originality writes itself out of the dissatisfaction you feel from music that doesn't speak to you.

led

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2016, 12:34:20 pm »
To be honest, I think its okay to use the same sort of techniques your inspirations use (BUT TO SOME EXTENT). At the end of the day, no label is going to sign you if you're trying to be the next Martin Garrix or Porter Robinson or deadmau5. If I were an A&R, I'd be looking for someone unique.

When I first started making music, I tried to recreate random deadmau5 synths and basses and whatnot and I'd write my own riffs, find drum samples myself and make tracks from that. Its been 8 years since, and I've gotten quite used to virtual instruments sound design is quite easy for me and I don't feel the need to go back to my favourite artists and make similar sounds.

So yeah I think its quite helpful to someone who is just starting out with the whole making music thing. But you're gunna have to let go of that, gradually.


flashsapphire

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Re: Being Original vs Copying Others
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2016, 01:34:10 pm »
Being original is easier imo. The reason being is that you can create the kind of music that is a reflection of your life and your experiences, you use it as a platform to reveal how you feel and what you've gone through. When I create music, it is more of a spiritual experience, because I can relive the best and worst moments by creating the soundtrack of my life.

I'm more of a song writer/musician than a producer, I try to write emotional, powerful songs that move the listeners and gives them a chance to do a bit of introspection. Because I am using my life as a way to shape how I create melodies, chords, basslines, I always end up creating something that is unique, that anyone who has been listening to my music since the beginning can easily tell it is my sound. 
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