Author Topic: Coming back to producing after 2 years and I'm confused  (Read 3520 times)


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Coming back to producing after 2 years and I'm confused
« on: February 05, 2017, 04:37:40 pm »
Hello, first time poster here, and this seems like a great place.

I am a college student and a graphic designer. When I started graphic designing in my teenage years, I watched some tutorial videos and joined communities to get the basics. The next was practice, practice, and practice. My artistic abilities gradually developed and I'm quite proud of my graphic designing career right now.

But when it comes to music, it's totally different for me. When I first tried producing music, I was terrified. I didn't know what to try out and how I should practice. I tried implementing the "algorithm" I used when I started graphic designing, college life, and a new language, but I simply got lost in the flood of information and my own knowledge gaps that held me back from going further. I studied the basics of almost every core aspect of music producing, but it didn't take me anywhere. This worked with everything else I tried out throughout my life!

So I'm starting producing again after I quit about two years ago. I know music theory and I am already familiar enough with the DAW I am using/used (Ableton). I already studied the basics of enginnering and music composition but I don't know where to go.

And this is the question: where should I start, and what should I do as somebody that is starting over?

P.S. I'm a long time music listener in general. I have tried listening to tracks as I break them down into layers but I lost motivation and stopped.


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Re: Coming back to producing after 2 years and I'm confused
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 05:16:25 pm »
You should make music.

Layers of a track in my opinion look like this.

Bass Instruments
Mid Instruments
High Instruments.

Then their functions in my opinion are...


For drums it's like this...

Kick drum = low instrument
Snare/clap = mid instrument
Hi-hats/shakers = high instrument

For instruments it's the same concept except you can use whatever you want cause it's electronic music and there aren't any physical limitations in regards of what can be played.

If that's too much for you then just recreate songs and steal your favorite artists sounds. Then save them as patches and use them in your own music.
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Re: Coming back to producing after 2 years and I'm confused
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 06:14:30 pm »
i'd echo what lydian said!

something that helped me improve in terms of songwriting and harmony is to try intentionally limiting yourself. think of how valuable sketching ideas w/ pen and paper is in graphic design, it's like that. computers are extremely powerful for getting our ideas out, but the abundance of choices can be paralyzing. the simple act of starting a project on computer vs. "traditional" mediums has an effect on your process, which isn't good or bad, just something to keep in mind. try sketching lots of song ideas out with simple pre-made templates (ask mussar about his methods for that), and worrying about production details later.

if that doesn't work, try limiting yourself to one instrument at a time, especially playing one physically if you're able to! i started learning piano this past year, and have spent a lot of time learning beginner pieces that only use two voices, like Bach minuets. from there, i tried writing a few pieces on piano with that same two-voiced rule, and i feel like those strict limitations really helped my sense of harmony and composition.

those "the clouds parted and this song idea came to me fully formed" definitely do happen, but they're pretty rare. a lot of it is starting with a small idea and stumbling into happy accidents. try to just have fun and mess around with sounds and melodies, let it take you where it wants. you can do it!!
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Re: Coming back to producing after 2 years and I'm confused
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 06:29:31 pm »
My best advice is to study what's out there - find songs that you're drawn to, and dissect them. Figure out why they do what they do, and find what you can steal from them to do yourself. Do as many song recreations as your mind and willpower can stand, and write down as many details that you learn along the way. Combine that with all your theoretical knowledge, and you have answers to almost every question you could ever ask.


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Re: Coming back to producing after 2 years and I'm confused
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 09:13:31 am »
theres so many aspects
id split up the days of the week with differnt avenues

such as for monday for sound design, tuesday for drum patterns, wednesday for chords and melody, etc, then learning mixing, mastering, then after you can change up
just sharpen the blade each day man, try talk and get closer with other producers who achieved something, some of them give great advice and can help out and read/watch lots of tutorials, try find out your strengths and weaknesses

its took me nearly 5/6 years to get my first release