Getting Better

jetflag

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People making their own kickdrum is pointless...why waste so much time doing that instead of actually concentrating on the important things to create a decent track...
because a good track is a bit like a good building (speaking from experience). you need a solid foundation and part of that is a good kick that works well with the other elements, particularly the bass.
 

Gagi

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Was chatting to a newer producer on discord recently about production and in particular how to effectively make the ideas for songs you have in your head a reality.
I very nearly created a new topic on this, channeling my inner Billy Ocean and calling it "Get out of my head, get into my DAW" - so you can all be thankful that I posted it in here instead, sparing you all that pun... 😏

So if you struggle with getting the ideas out, one way I like to approach this is to come up with a concept or theme for your track. So imagine you are trying to describe the track to someone or write a promotional blurb for it. "Dark, atmospheric & cinematic" or "Bittersweet melodies with a groovy beat/bass"

Try and use them as a starting point for the various elements of your track. Sound choices, sound design BPM. Let the core concepts of the track guide your decision making and keep everything in context and have continuity.

In terms of melody/chords; try to think of another song (in any genre) you may have heard that has similar themes or a similar sound melodically to what you are trying to create. Find out what key it is in (A simple google search should help you here if you cant work it out) and use that key as your starting point.
For example; if you are going with the first one "Dark, atmospheric & cinematic", you might think of the track 'Rachels Song' by Vangelis (RIP) as that definitely fits the description. So starting your track in D Minor could help you work out your own darker, moody chord sequence.

✌️
This was actually productive for me but in a wild way - I usually got excited at producing a track like that that I was motivated enough to sit through the usual sample/preset digging. I'd usually end up with something completely different than I initially set out for, but still enjoyed the end results.
 

Magdelayna

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because a good track is a bit like a good building (speaking from experience). you need a solid foundation and part of that is a good kick that works well with the other elements, particularly the bass.

Yeah we all know that,you dont need to waste valuable time creating a kickdrum though. No wonder people can never finish full tracks.
 

jetflag

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Yeah we all know that,you dont need to waste valuable time creating a kickdrum though. No wonder people can never finish full tracks.
They also don't need to waste hours sifting through thousands of samples to find the right one, when they could just opt for an approximate preset and a few tweaks.
 

Gagi

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Yea if you can get a better result, why not? And why would you think that their time spent was valuable and lost? Is anyone in a hurry? Does everyone need to push out tracks all the time?

There's a balance between being unproductively obsessive and plain lazy.

Pros/cons for both approaches of course, at different stages as well.

For this context though, I would always say focus on developing musical ideas first and learn anything that can be of benefit for that. So experimenting, trying out different things etc... Fine-tuning and learning details should always come later.

The kick is important in dance music, yes, but if a track is good, it's never because of the kick.

So in essence, we agree, but for different reasons.
 

LostLegend

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It's the same as anything else in music production, there is not right way to do it.
I'm always of the opinion of 'whatever works for you' is the right choice.

I tend to just browse samples rather than make kicks from scratch myself. I always find my home made kicks to sound a little 'off' some times. Maybe that's just me though? :LOL:

I actually had a discussion with someone on the Pure Trance discord recently who was trying to say that "all elite level producers make all their own percussion samples from scratch" - Yeah, I hate to break this to you, but they really don't :p

I do have that 'Big Kick 2' plugin lying around which is supposed to be great for creating kicks, maybe I'll have a deep dive into that at some point.
 

Recharge

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Ha ha for real. Just the stock stuff I have in Serato Studio I have more enough kicks for years and years worth of music. I don't think I used more than 10/15 different kicks in all my muisc. The thing is you can edit existing samples, remove the sub part to make them punchier or whatever you need.
 
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LostLegend

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Also some very wise words in this one.

I don't strictly agree with him on everything as everyone has their own way of working, but his points about learning to make good music and experimenting for yourself are on the money!