Are 138/140/Steroid/Generic Uplfiting styles the most popular sub-genre of Trance in the scene right now?

Daysleeper

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Well of course. I really believe the steroid-problem exists because it's the easiest subgenre to create.

Some popular steroid producers have their own sample packs and preset-packs: sean tyas, darren porter... and also guys like Temple One and Activa. Those latter ones might seem 'non-steroid', but they include those sounds as well. I personally have the Activa sample pack to inject some modernness in my own hobby projects. It contains ready to use modern perc loops, modern steroid kicks etc. If you want, there's even fully completed beat loops that contain everything: kick, hats, percs, everything in 1 loop. Insert in project > done.

The preset-packs contain ready to use rolling bass settings, so just pick one of the dozens available and you already have beats + bass.

The thing about the songwriting.... you know, a melody like Marcel Woods - Advanced is actually very difficult to pull off. While something like Andy Blueman would make, is much easier. Eventhough it may seem more complex. But since it's just chords played in a certain arpeggio rhythm, it's not that remarkable. Those arp-rhythms are available too in preset-packs. So then all you have to do is put some chords after one another. And guess what, software like Cubase has functions for that too. Click on a button and you'll hear a chord. You want chords that go nicely with that one? No problem, it's all here ready to implement in your track.

Not everyone is a GREAT songwriter, so not everybody delivers "good steroid music" like Andy Blueman did. He was good at "picking the chords", so to speak. (Plus, yes, his orchestral elements were always solid!). While most amateur producers are happy when it's in key.

The next problem is: labels. Just like everyone wants to be a succesful producer, everyone also wants to run a label. There's way too many of them. So all those average tracks get signed.

And since it's so easy: lots of producers just change the notes from A to B, make a different chord progression. A few elements changed, and hurray, another track ready. And that one will also get signed, no problem. For me it seems impossible to release > 30 (!) singles in a year. Specially since these are all people with full time jobs. Just realize: back in the past, Rank 1 just released 1 single (and some remixes) in a whole year. And that's Benno de Goeij we're talking about. A mastermind who makes music for a living.

Next problem: Listeners. Those tracks, average as they are, get PRAAAISSSEEDDDD as if it was the Trance Energy Theme 2002. Everyone is too kind to each other. I'm assuming a good portion of "listeners" are actually fellow producers who are friendly because of the "please follow me back" principle. Act nice, only because you hope to gain something from it. "thanks sooooo much for supporting my track on your podcast with 10 plays".

In the end it all comes to this: The desire of getting clicks, comments, plays, followers, likes, attention.... its wayyy too big.
Good summary. The most frustrating part is there seems to be nothing you or anyone could do about it. And it just go on and on and on. As long as producers are silent its gonna continue.

And trancefix is seen as a hate-community :LOL:
 
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Gagi

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Yeah we're a clear minority. And if we voice a negative opinion, we're just conveniently labeled as haters and cancerous to the scene, which allows everyone who doesn't agree to automatically dismiss the entire forum (including constructive criticism, and yes, sometimes overt negativity). It suits the producers, it suits the labels.

Instead of it being all about music, it's about PR, politics and profits - maybe not profits for the small producers, but for the big fish who own most of the labels, radio shows etc. People who dare speak up are just not a part of the industry at all and have no (business) interests there.

Truth be told, artists do need to live. I don't know about living standards in the West, but I'd say they need an upward of 2000 Euros to be able to just live, which doesn't cover all the costs regarding production equipment. So either you find a job, which can drain you of creativity, or you try to earn the money by doing gigs and churning out tracks to stay relevant - which can drain you of creativity. Or you live off welfare if you can, but once you start a family you probably need a real job. Rare are the producers who work in creative fields, like Coredata who teaches music, Eco who is an architect etc.

The only solution is to have an independent critic panel which decides if a track is amazing or not, and pays the producer like 10000 Euros if it is. If we can't do that, I don't see how this situation can improve FOR US AND THIS GENRE - the majority of people (who enjoy generic trance) are the major source of profits right now.
 
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jetflag

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Good summary. The most frustrating part is there seems to be nothing you or anyone could do about it. And it just go on and on and on. As long as producers are silent its gonna continue.

And trancefix is seen as a hate-community :LOL:
nicest hate community ever. Even in contentious topics everyone is polite :ROFLMAO:
 

Motion

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And trancefix is seen as a hate-community

Well I found this forum because I was tired of the lack of quality control on places like reddit and on youtube the algorithm always takes me down the blackhole/armada route eventually, even if I start with something older or more unknown. I saw all the comments of praise but I just didnt 'get it'. it's nice to find people that do here.

I have the same feelings that the 138/140 fast paced genres are the most popular currently. I don't care for it, but some is ok, maybe Will Atkinson's music which to me doesn't feel as much like a template or something that I have heard many times before, it is different, although a little kooky. I think that's the core of the problem, things have remained the same for too long. Genres have to keep changing, but actually the format for so many of these artists remains exactly the same over the last 10 years. There was a lot of change from 99 to 05, just a 5 year period. 2010 onwards we get the same thing. It's not the BPM its the structure.
 
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Menelik JW

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I used to hear that when you go crate digging on digital stores, "don't judge the track by its waveform." But when it comes to modern mainstream trance music, I can assume what I'm going to hear almost entirely based on the wave form, track length, and what label it's released on. And that's before i even click the preview! I found trance back in 2010 or so back when producers like Breakfast were at the front. They really don't make em like that anymore. (Though I recognize everyone has a different favorite time period for trance)

The truth is I do still listen to the roid trance but my ear has been developing and evolving since I started and my standards have only gotten more strict. Even as someone who enjoys some of today's nonsense trance, it's only been getting harder and harder to find an interesting tune just in that particular area.

I think someone has said already before, one piece of the problem I believe is that tracks are being made for festivals and big shows and not just to make a track. Producers don't seem to be making music anymore, just an attempt at a "big hit single." If records were being made not just for some headlining set, and instead to be listened in AND out the club, maybe it'd all feel like a breath of fresh air again.
 

dmgtz96

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The truth is I do still listen to the roid trance but my ear has been developing and evolving since I started and my standards have only gotten more strict. Even as someone who enjoys some of today's nonsense trance, it's only been getting harder and harder to find an interesting tune just in that particular area.
I used to enjoy listening to steroid trance circa 2014-2015 back when it still had a couple of fresh ideas and you had tracks like John Askew - Shine that stood out. Now as soon as I hear the 'roid kick I pretty much just stop listening and immediately judge it. If a producer can't be bothered to use a different kick, then chances are the track is severely missing something, whether that is production value, a good melody, good structure (that isn't just predictable cookie-cutter), and so on. This is true even for some of the more celebrated steroid producers like The Noble Six. It's just not music I enjoy hearing, and I would much rather prefer listening to an entirely different genre with fresh ideas and better artistry instead of sitting through a boring steroid track.
 
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Menelik JW

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It's hard to say the creativity will come one day with the accessibility of production tools. I'm assuming back then people had to figure it out themselves and that's how signature sounds would appear. It wasn't easy and it took prior musical knowledge. I started getting into producing recently and was disgusted to find the hard evidence telling me that tracks being released these days had the possibility of (or actually were) being created entirely through drag and drop from a single Activa sample pack. Lazy producers can essentially ghost produce tracks themselves from samples and templates they can download for several dollars on the internet so long as they add effects here and there. Heartbreaking.
 

Hoplite

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My opinion will echo some statements here, in the way that generic steroid Uplifting, and I'd dare even say Uplifting as a subgenre is unlistenable for me. I used to be okay with it 7-8 years ago, but even then, it often felt a bit samey. Now it just feels like uninspired and lazy filler. And I know it's probably a controversial opinion, but hell, Anjuna, for all the hate they get, put out faaaar more exciting material (imo), especially the Trance Wax album of yesteryear.

A part of me wonders if 10 years on the same production templates will keep getting reused and abused like they are now.
 
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IZE

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i wonder who the hell created that roid kick.. was that sean tyas back in 2004?
 

dmgtz96

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i wonder who the hell created that roid kick.. was that sean tyas back in 2004?
Depends on how far back you go and how much you stretch the definition of the "roid kick." I would argue that it has existed since ~2001 when Flutlicht - Icarus was released. Some early Above & Beyond and John Askew productions from this time also featured modern-sounding, loud kicks, but they're not strictly "steroid kicks," and they along with Icarus don't have the same steroid kick that you hear today. Still, the concept of a loud, harsh kick overtaking the rest of the track started popping up here.

@Daysleeper and a couple members of this forum would agree that Selu Vibra - Divine [2006] is an early example of the steroid kick. By 2006, Tyas, John O'Callaghan, John Askew were already making 'steroid trance,' and that includes classics such as John O'Callaghan & Bryan Kearney - Exactly (but of course, calling Exactly "steroid trance" rubs people the wrong way).
 
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Gagi

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@Daysleeper and a couple members of this forum would agree that Selu Vibra - Divine [2006] is an early example of the steroid kick. By 2006, Tyas, John O'Callaghan, John Askew were already making 'steroid trance,' and that includes classics such as John O'Callaghan & Bryan Kearney - Exactly (but of course, calling Exactly "steroid trance" rubs people the wrong way).
Maybe not as steroid, but definitely shaped the entire uplifting scene even up until now. They sort of became a template. And they are, of course, very loud. But still two great trance tracks.
 
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Magdelayna

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It's hard to say the creativity will come one day with the accessibility of production tools. I'm assuming back then people had to figure it out themselves and that's how signature sounds would appear. It wasn't easy and it took prior musical knowledge. I started getting into producing recently and was disgusted to find the hard evidence telling me that tracks being released these days had the possibility of (or actually were) being created entirely through drag and drop from a single Activa sample pack. Lazy producers can essentially ghost produce tracks themselves from samples and templates they can download for several dollars on the internet so long as they add effects here and there. Heartbreaking.

You still have to create a melody to go with it! Ghost producing your own track...that made me chuckle haha.
 
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Bruno

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I've been scrolling through beatport and some lists/charts sounds like one big samey track. No diversity or creativity at all!
I love faster and harder sounds but it's become a hard task to find really good tracks...
Most of them are just average.
 

Daysleeper

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You guys sound like you are on a forum from 7-8 years ago,even 10 years ago. Its much worse than you put it. But its nice to see some more users acknowledging the fact of the matter.

I cant even listen to one steroid kick beat, cant even look at the FSOE logo, Armins smug face in the background on every new trance snippet on youtube etc .Im sooo sick of the established guys that have monopoly over the word "trance". Stop releasing on the established labels please. If a track is good it will be noticed.! Release it on bandcamp instead. I would pay for it ! (if its good) .WTF happened with scouting young new talents, like A&B did in 2003-2006 for example. I'm being surrealistic here. It will never happen :D
 

Hensmon

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But is the steroid and generic styles the most popular, that's what i'm asking guys. If so, how much compared to the others? Do we see this style because actually the majority loves it and we are miserable forum folk?
 

Gagi

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Do we see this style because actually the majority loves it and we are miserable forum folk?
I think it's one of those self-perpetuating things: Market emerges and creates demand, demand drives the market, market influences demand, demand influences the market...and so on.

Maybe the fact uplifting is big is because there's just so much of it and you basically don't have much choice if you like (superficial) trance music. It's easy to discover, very accessible and relatively easy to make and publish. It's often the introduction to trance as a genre, played by most of the big guys and is often labeled as "the trance". And because of that, it has a lot of listens/plays, and then the big heads look at analytics and see that, and decide they want more of it. And so it goes...
 

Progrez

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So they call it steroid trance now. I thought they were calling this degga degga trance
 

TRANCEBLASTER

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If anything else, for me, the most of the uplifting stuff, sound like a vacuum cleaner, no joking, I don't have this issue with other electronic music styles.
 
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