[Music] Maker's Thread.

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  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular


    Still plugging away trying to create a track here and there. Thanks to everyone who previously offered advice on mixing, I am now trying to mess with EQ to give each instrument a little more of its own space. I still have a long way to go. If anyone would like to give further feedback I'm all ears.

    One of the things I love about digital production is that I can create a massive effects chain that I'd never be able to manage with an analogue instrument, in terms of the amount of gear I'd require. But I don't know, how much reverb and delay is too much? I like the way this sounds, but that's not to say anyone else would. But I've been in a real shoegazey-post-rocky kind of phase the last few years and unless I have a weird take on it, that's kind of a hallmark of the genre, yes?

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
    Marty81
  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    No amount of reverb is too much.

  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    Consider me subscribed to your newsletter.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Reverb is one of the fundamental building blocks of sound. Its one of the first things we try to determine about any sound in real life (where is it coming from?) so its as essential to some genres as distortion is to rock. The trick is not distributing it so that every element sounds like its coming from the same place so to speak. Also the decay of a reverb trail has a way of killing immediacy in elements that you may want to be percussive, busy or forward. It pushes everything back into the haze.

    If I have any comments on the mix its on the drums. As the song builds they get buried, so when it sounds like its 'kicking in' the drums kinda don't. Either volume automation or layering more might help this.

    Jeedan on
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    I was listening to the noise rock band Whores the other day so I tried to rip them off

    Jeedan on
    Marty81Rothgarr
  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    Jeedan wrote: »
    Reverb is one of the fundamental building blocks of sound. Its one of the first things we try to determine about any sound in real life (where is it coming from?) so its as essential to some genres as distortion is to rock. The trick is not distributing it so that every element sounds like its coming from the same place so to speak. Also the decay of a reverb trail has a way of killing immediacy in elements that you may want to be percussive, busy or forward. It pushes everything back into the haze.

    If I have any comments on the mix its on the drums. As the song builds they get buried, so when it sounds like its 'kicking in' the drums kinda don't. Either volume automation or layering more might help this.

    I agree with the drums getting lost as the song goes on. It feels like more and more parts just keep getting stacked onto each other in the song with no volume differences or anything. I have two suggestions. One is a mixing suggestion and the other is a composition suggestion.

    Mixing: Start with the densest part of the song, which is usually the climax/final chorus, and get a really good static mix there. Once you've got that the other parts will probably already sound decent. Go back to them and fine tune them with volume automation. Make sure the climax still stands out.

    Composition: Instead of adding one part, then adding another, then adding another, etc, let parts also drop out of the arrangement from section to section. It'll make it more interesting for your listener and it will also be easier to mix, there being fewer parts fighting for space. I read somewhere that a listener can really only maintain focus on three different parts at once. It's ok if you have more than three things happening at once but those other things need to be background material or ornaments. Your three things should probably generally be drums, lead melody, and rhythm instrument (bass or guitar or synth or something).

  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    Jeedan wrote: »
    I was listening to the noise rock band Whores the other day so I tried to rip them off


    I don't know the Whores but this sounds good to me!

  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback. I also got a few tips from a feedback thread in a music maker sub on reddit. I've been trying to apply some of these suggestions but I think I ended up mangling it so I went back and now trying again...

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Ah... the music maker thread, I have found you... I will return!

    Also, you’re all great, keep it up!

  • evocurioevocurio Registered User regular
    edited January 2019
    It's been a while, everyone. Glad to see the thread is still alive!

    I recently prepared a track for a charity album, with all proceeds going towards Child's Play. If you have a minute, swing by and give it a listen :)
    https://rgm-sam.bandcamp.com/album/snowstorm
    (Soundcloud excerpt included below, for convenience)

    evocurio on
    Solvent
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    Another brief demo

    RothgarrDisruptedCapitalistSolvent
  • RothgarrRothgarr Registered User regular
    That was cool, Jeedan. You going to add some vocals to that? I liked the background wailing guitar that comes in.

    Get 1000 free miles of charging at 13,000+ Tesla Superchargers using my code! https://ts.la/peter74761

    http://www.prwmusic.com | PSN: TurgidWilly
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    Thanks. I might add vocals depending on what I do with it. The background guitar is an eBow rattling close to the string

    Rothgarr
  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    Cool. The end was super solid.

  • hemmelighthemmelight Registered User regular
    Hey duders, been a while since I made anything.
    I woke up today with an Animal Crossing-esque tune in my head, so I tried to emulate that style here.
    I noticed that there's almost zero reverb in most of those tracks, so I held back a bit. All save for the Rhodes part - it felt too sterile without any reverb whatsoever!

    EndaroSublimus
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited February 2019
    More ambient noise than 'music' but the line 6 helix lets you put sine waves in your signal chain so I tried to see what i could do by automating the intervals + ebow guitar.

    Jeedan on
    RothgarrEndaroSublimusProspicience
  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    Hey hey, music thread, I've got a mostly finished song to share:



    This is part of a much larger work I've been working on for who knows, slowly chipping away at this or that. A friend asked for some music to incorporate in his podcast, so I decided to take the most finished piece and and wrap it up for him. I think I feel good about it.

    (@Radiation)

    Bandcamp (I make weird rap music) / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
    EndaroMarty81hemmelight
  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    My band has released an EP and Im pretty proud of it. Warning its punk and the vocals can get screamy at times.

    https://open.spotify.com/album/4vDEdY8iJdVDVzCtqS9Enp?si=fhBALbDMTI67SJJlURvZrQ

    Quire.jpg
  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    Do you have a non-Spotify source to share?

    Bandcamp (I make weird rap music) / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    It’s on most streaming services by now but looks like nowhere for free as far as I can tail. Something to fix later today.

    Quire.jpg
  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    edited April 2019
    Alright lets see if this works

    EDIT

    Alright that didn't work how about this?



    nightmarenny on
    Quire.jpg
  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    Hey, well done. I'll give it a listen tomorrow.

    Speaking of which one of my bands made a live recording of a recent gig...it wasn't intended to be a live album but we ended up doing it that way.

    https://thegetband.bandcamp.com/album/get-pist-live-at-the-piston

  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    Does anyone here have experience selling music as stand-alone assets for game developers?

    I've been wondering about the possibilities of writing some music for games, but as a professional with a job and not a lot of time for composition, it's not realistic for me to actually try to collaborate with anyone that would need me to deliver on a timeline. If it were a matter of uploading some stuff I do in my spare time for someone to peruse, and use if they like it, that I could do.

    Also, I released an EP-length music thing a while back, to try to keep the self-promotion low-key I linked it in my sig. If anyone wants to have a listen I'd appreciate it.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    @Solvent - If @evocurio pops back in, maybe they can help point you in the right direction.

    And I took a listen to your EP. The title track is the standout for me and overall there's a nice balance of melodic and textural composition that reminded me a bit of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez' early solo work (e.g. A Manual Dexterity). For whatever reason my brain was hoping "Last Glass" would break into some drum & bass after a bit, but it never did happen.

    Bandcamp (I make weird rap music) / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
  • evocurioevocurio Registered User regular
    My spidey senses must've been tingling. The first time I logged in a few months and lo, a ping!

    I haven't personally worked towards selling stand-alone assets, but I know of composers who've packaged their pieces into packs to sell on Unity / UE. But if you're considering that route, you may as well look into Pond5, Audio Jungle, or other distributor services to reach a larger client base (outside of game devs purposes; movies, interactive arts, etc).

    As a professional with a full-time job outside of composition and sound design, I understand the time limitation may be daunting. That said, I account for scheduling as part of my project proposals to ensure that my involvement is beneficial to both parties. The timelines are rarely an issue.

    One thing I do recommend is to charge properly. Don't sell yourself short and never do work for free (can always bargain for trade in-kind). This kind of stuff is a plague on the artistic community and makes it so much harder for those trying to carve a living out of their craft.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions otherwise, and good luck!

    hemmelight
  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the input. I think just knowing that it's not a silly idea is reassuring. I'm looking at some of the stuff available on Audiojungle and I think I can make stuff approximately as good as this, or I could with a bit more practice. I'm aware that the market is saturated and it would require a ton of work to make it anything like a proper income stream, but that's not necessarily what I'm looking for. I definitely wouldn't put stuff out there for free - I think one of the things I'm actually looking for is validation that what I'm making has some value to someone besides just me. Finding someone to pay a few dollars for my work would provide that in a way that a bunch of free downloads would not.

    To metaghost: the comparison to Rodriguez-Lopez is too flattering. I don't know much of his work outside The Mars Volta's first three albums, but I'm a huge fan of those. I found and am listening to A Manual Dexterity now.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
    metaghostevocurio
  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular


    I was messing around with a few different techniques and instruments and decided to try for an elevator music/hotel lobby/waiting to renew your driver's licence kind of vibe.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
    Marty81
  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    Im trying to put together a set of demos for the album my band is gonna start recording. We're bringing in a Sax for the recording but I wanna use a synth sax in my demo to give everyone as complete a picture of what the music will sound like in total. All the Sax synths I have are really bad. Anybody know some good cheap sax synths? Im working in garage band and logic right now.

    Quire.jpg
  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    AFIAK nothing cheap is going to sound realistic or good unfortunately. Quality samples are expensive.

  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Since these are for a demo they don’t need to sound realistic or even really that good. What I really need is something that doesn’t sound really tepid. If it sounds like it has bite Ill take it.

    But yea I get your point. Thanks for the expectation adjustment.

    nightmarenny on
    Quire.jpg
  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    Sorry, I didn't mean for that to come off as harsh. It's a bit of a drag, I was really into the Vienna Symphonic Library until I saw the price haha. I've bought drum loops off of Loop Loft but I don't know of a similar service for winds (although you never know, Loop Loft might have something). Honestly if you don't mind spending a little money you might be able to find somebody on Craigslist or Fiverr who can do a quick recording for you to plug into the tunes, or maybe the sax guy who is on the recording would do it.

    nightmarenny
  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    Im trying to put together a set of demos for the album my band is gonna start recording. We're bringing in a Sax for the recording but I wanna use a synth sax in my demo to give everyone as complete a picture of what the music will sound like in total. All the Sax synths I have are really bad. Anybody know some good cheap sax synths? Im working in garage band and logic right now.

    I assume you're already aware of the free Iowa Sax samples?

    http://bigcatinstruments.blogspot.com/2014/03/bigcat-saxophone-collection.html

    nightmarenny
  • hemmelighthemmelight Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    If you've got Logic 10.4 or newer, they added the new 'Studio Strings' and 'Studio Horns' instruments.
    They're not at the level of Spitfire or VSL, but if you just want a solo sax / trumpet then it's much better than the legacy stuff in EXS24!

    hemmelight on
    nightmarenny
  • HalibutHalibut Registered User regular
    I've been making electronic music off and on in my spare time for the past 6 years or so. I've learned a ton in that time, but I feel like I'm fumbling in the dark a lot. I suspect that my lack of a music background/education probably has a lot to do with it.

    I rarely have an idea for a song that actually makes its way into the final product. Which isn't to say I'm unhappy with the end result, but it always feels incidental... like the song that comes out the other end of the process is a fluke somehow.

    I've been making music for long enough that I don't question this process as much anymore, but I feel like there's probably a more intentional way to make music. Anyone ever feel this way?

  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    Halibut wrote: »
    I've been making electronic music off and on in my spare time for the past 6 years or so. I've learned a ton in that time, but I feel like I'm fumbling in the dark a lot. I suspect that my lack of a music background/education probably has a lot to do with it.

    I rarely have an idea for a song that actually makes its way into the final product. Which isn't to say I'm unhappy with the end result, but it always feels incidental... like the song that comes out the other end of the process is a fluke somehow.

    I've been making music for long enough that I don't question this process as much anymore, but I feel like there's probably a more intentional way to make music. Anyone ever feel this way?

    The first thing I'll say is that are absolutely "intentional" methods for composing, though those methods don't necessarily hinge upon musical education & theoretical foundations.

    Moving from an "unintentional" methodology to an intentional one can simply be a consequence of acknowledging (as you're doing in your post) the steps by which you tend to compose, and then more rigorously defining those steps into a repeatable process. To wit, my process can be expressed like so:

    1. Identify musical inspiration, typically multiple artists or songs, to emulate and synthesize
    2. Develop non-musical concept, often loosely narrative idea that guides initial stages of composition
    3. Create base instrumental palette — choose synths, build sample libraries, etc...
    4. Improvise melodic ideas on a single instrument
    5. Identify the three strongest ideas from step 4 and flesh them out with additional instrumentation
    6. Expand instrumental palette & revise tonal balance
    7. Continue improvising and iterating

    Ultimately, what I've described above probably isn't that different from your own approach — I too often end up with a result that has very little to show of the initial sketches — but just having that process defined can help keep me focused and confident that the final product is as it should be.

    Tangent to the above, I can also empathize with the anxieties about not having that "music background/education" and how that can inform doubts about the validity of the music you write. My suggestion is to just do whatever you can to educate yourself; whether you take a course on Beginner's Theory, or you just pop in here and ask questions about this or that, do whatever you can to not let that nagging doubt hinder you.

    Bandcamp (I make weird rap music) / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
    Solvent
  • HalibutHalibut Registered User regular
    Yeah, that's good advice. My process is indeed similar to yours, and seeing it "formalized" like this is pretty helpful. I seem to get bogged down in steps 3, 4, and 5 a lot. Those steps aren't very distinct for me, and they are where I usually deviate from the inspiring idea.

    It wasn't really a huge concern until I was asked to produce some tracks in a professional context, and suddenly I was like... okay I have a deadline... how do I make sure I don't get stuck? Fortunately, it was all low-stakes stuff and I was able to deliver, but that precarious feeling from not having a reproducible process never really went away.

  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    I got the korg volca keys and modular and went for a cyberpunk vibe



    e: then added a granular synth

    Jeedan on
  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    @Jeedan — Teledildonicss is my shit. Really great riff executed at a pleasing tempo to just zone out with. Reminds me a lot of Boris' Flood, but less "sludgey" I guess. The added synth accoutrement at the end has me imagining this transitioning into something like a spacey post-hardcore elaboration of that same riff, kinda similar to what Gloe have been trying to do for a few years:


    I have another piece in my giant tapestry of cursed ambient "jazz":

    This track is the starting point, hence the initial invocation, which was my attempt at taking inspiration from the classic Dolby theatrical opening, as well as doing my best to reference the opening to Coltrane's Ascension. One of the curious aspects of working in a pure digital environment is how you sometimes have to make compositional adjustments to accommodate unforeseen behaviors of the DWS. In this case, every attempt at exporting this track kept coming out broken because some aspect of the exporter required a bit of "start-up" in order to recognize various automation tracks; as such, the track fades in on some reverse reverb in order to properly trigger all the automation present in the track.
    The actual body of the song isn't quite finished, as I'm constantly fiddling with how the songs intersect, but I thought I'd post this to try and get some feedback. Previous listeners have described it as "too slow", "fucking awful", and "why is the piano out of tune?".
    As with the previously posted track (Edge of an Ocean), a lot of this music I've been working on for 2+ years is developing out of experiments with treated piano and learning how to use some of the fancy vocal synths introduced in Reason 10. That said, it is "conceptually" grounded in recurring dreams I had after my dad died, all of which offered some variation of walking along a beach and watching him drown; so much of it is mournful, melancholic, dirgelike and the structural ebb & flow and slightly chaotic harmonic expression are reflections of those dreams.

    Bandcamp (I make weird rap music) / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    First off, I really like it! Good work.

    I think the subtle opening sax could be humanized a bit, it sounds a little too 'straight' for me.

    The arrangement of the choir is fine but I'd keep tweaking the way it sounds. It's pretty hard-edged, if you could find a more natural sound it would suit the track.

    It does sound like the track is an intro to a larger piece - from your post I wasn't 100% sure if this was your intention or not. I think there's room to move on the track, I definitely wasn't bored with it, I think it'd be fine to extend it with more ideas. I like the way the drum swells at 2:53 and imparts momentum, this makes me think it will build to a larger climax (or longer track).

    Is the piano out of tune? I couldn't hear it, but I've always had wooden ears.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback, @Solvent

    With regards to the "big picture" question, you have the right idea; where it currently fades out there had been a substantial transition to that "climax", which has since been cut off and put in its own file. The intent is for the ebb and flow within this track (and "Edge of an Ocean" before it) to be expressed at the macro and micro levels; however, that does mean that each song in isolation can sound even more unfinished than they actually are.

    As to the saxophone (and choir for that matter), as they are predominantly synth-based solution, finding a satisfying "human" expression is a challenge I routinely fail. Mostly I try to hide them in dense foliage, or just pretend they're something they are not. Here, the sax (especially) is naked and exposed, so it'll take a bit more work to get it "right". For both instruments, changing the character of their amplitude envelopes would likely help a great deal, but that can wreak havoc on rhythmic expression.

    And the piano is set adrift; not strictly "out of tune", but it wanders.

    Bandcamp (I make weird rap music) / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
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