Author Topic: How do you "begin" production? The starting point of composition...  (Read 1897 times)

DissidentMusic

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First post here, this place is a goldmine of information!

So, I use Ableton, and know my way around it (as in you can give me some instructions and most times I could be able to do a specific task). I've taken some classes and everything, know music theory (but can learn even more, and looking forward to it) but there's something that has bothered me and I suppose I'm not the only one: where do you start with the track?

I haven't had a single track done midway, only some projects of practice and experimentation, and obviously creation of some personal synth patches. I'd imagine that composition is obviously the first step, yet after that? I just "sit" in front of my DAW which has nothing but an instrument and empty audio tracks, with some melodies recorded. Then what?

I don't know if this is "producer's block" or something else! Thanks in advance, much love.

Aerithos

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Re: How do you "begin" production? The starting point of composition...
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 06:42:18 pm »
I have a lot of those kinds of projects saved. I don't try to force the song out of it, I just open the projects and fiddle with them. Sometimes, a new instrument will make sense. Sometimes I get on a roll and add quite a bit to the song. Sometimes the project just gets closed after listening to it. Eventually, a full song will bubble up from one of those projects. But it's a hobby for me, so I don't have any deadlines to make...

Mussar

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Re: How do you "begin" production? The starting point of composition...
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 06:44:39 pm »
The best place to start your track is on a notepad. Think about words and emotions that you want to connect with it. "Melodic dubstep, sad, rainstorms, male vocals." Anything that comes to mind. Then write down what you want the focus of your track to be: Drums, Melody, Chords, Bass, Vocals (doesn't have to be these, but this is always a good starting point). The thing that you want people to remember your track for. If you can, start describing how you want those different elements to feel or any ideas for them that sprout from your word cloud - "dark drums, pure saw bass, huge chord swells, glitchy vox effects".

Now when you open your DAW, you'll have a perfect reference point for what sounds to grab, how to design your synths, etc.

DissidentMusic

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Re: How do you "begin" production? The starting point of composition...
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 06:49:23 pm »
I was thinking of doing an album and I used some of the previously  written melodies I had whilst making new ones... It's all about "attempting the sounds" and yes, have that pre-thought structure. I only had the ideas of themes and samples and the album itself to be a bit multigenre with a similar sound... But on those grounds, yeah, I should be more specific with each track. Thankssssssss!

Kareem

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Re: How do you "begin" production? The starting point of composition...
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 06:50:18 pm »
Getting behind your DAW can be very confusing at the times. You are clueless and don't know where to start. I know that feel, I've had it too.

The biggest thing that helped is dividing music production into different parts. Music production is dividable into three parts:
  • Creative: The process of coming up with ideas (e.g. chords, melodies, rythm and etc.).
  • Composition: Arranging the track, filling it up and spicing it up.
  • Mixing/Mastering: Mixing your track, doing the sound design and at the end mastering your track.
As you can see, each step follows each other chronologically and logically. A very important thing is not to mix different parts with each other. Multitasking will kill your creativity and inspiration. When you're making melodies and chords, use presets, and focus on sound design at a later moment. One step/process at a time.

I hope this gives you basic idea of how you can begin.

If you're interested in more detailed information, don't hesitate having a look at http://getworkflowbook.com/. It's a more detailed guide created by Sam Matla, founder of EDMProd.
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Joseph

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Re: How do you "begin" production? The starting point of composition...
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 06:52:44 pm »
I usually make a few projects with a basic chord/melody/arrangement before I create something I want to work on.
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