Progression as an artist/producer and your goals for the future

LostLegend

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Dec 5, 2020
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Liverpool, UK
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www.beatport.com
This forum has been far too quiet lately, so time to sir up some discussion, maybe provoke some camaraderie, helpful advice, facetious trolling, that sort of thing... 🤪

So how do you feel about where you are as an artist and a producer now?
What do you think you have really improved on over the past few years/months?
What aspects would you like to focus on in the near future?
And what are your goals moving forward as an artist?
 

LostLegend

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2020
907 Posts
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Liverpool, UK
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www.beatport.com
So jumping straight in...

When I jumped back into writing/producing music about 3 1/2 years ago my plans were simple. I just wanted to have that creative outlet again and make some music, maybe get a release or 2, get some of it heard - you know, a nice bit of validation for your work.

Aside from the obvious need to get myself up-to-date and refreshed on how to actually go about making music nearly a decade after quitting, I knew I needed to work on my overall production/mixing skills.
I've gone in hard on that and think it has paid off, but still feel there's still a fair bit to tidy up on.

My goals of getting a few releases and what-not kind of took on a life of its own over the past 12 months so am happy with that.
I've also given up on trying to find 'my sound' - I've found that I am much happier just making any music that I feel like, be it more full on sounding trance or the deeper more progressive stuff. I'm not trying to build a brand or music empire here, I just want to enjoy my hobby and share my music with people. Whatever form that takes.

Looking forward I'd like to work on my sound design skills. I'm pretty adept at making bog-standard sounds on synths and messing with audio in general, but still feel like I get a bit lost on the finer details of making unique and interesting sounds.

As for my goals as an artist?
I'd like to keep getting my music out to people. The buzz of working on a track you know is gonna turn out good, getting positive feedback and seeing people raving it to one of your tracks is a serotonin kick like no other! :D

I'd also love to get in on some collabs as well. Too many people on here are Cubase users though. I already have Ableton and Studio One taking up my time (The latter is to help a friend with a project) so damned if I have to pay full price for yet another DAW. I'm half tempted to source a 'jolly rogered' 🏴‍☠️ version just to get some TF collabs going, but that means learning yet another DAW ffs :ROFLMAO:
 

erickUO

Senior Member
Jul 13, 2020
988 Posts
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I still play with the DAW every weekend, but my days as producer are gone, I'm just a hobbyist now and prefer to keep it that way. No pressure to release tracks or meeting remix deadlines. I think in my last remixes I became known as the guy who always late to submit.

My workflow is still messy, my mixing is still muddy, my beats/drumwork is still a hit and miss effort. Years of upgrading my tools and I'm not as excited or challenged as when I'm just using my old PC and crappy speakers.

What has improved, I think is my creative process. I used to be a purist, I want to make everything on my own, using loops or preset as minimum as it could be, and that leads to boring production process. Today I embrace happy accidents. I let myself be flexible with any resources available. Presets, loops, etc... my current fav plugin is actually a radio streaming vst lol, but this what makes producing exciting again. Dealing with surprises and unknowns is where the fun is. I don't see perfection as something worth to pursue anymore. Perfection is boring, the moment I have vision for the track, it become predictable. For me, producing should be an adventure.

What's next is... to keep doodling on the DAW and maybe release it when I have something finished. Maybe as free or pay-what-you-want release on Bandcamp. Or on a label (if they want to do the mastering).
 
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Magdelayna

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Jul 13, 2020
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West Yorkshire,England
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soundcloud.com
I never had goals when i started making music,but i feel i have achieved many now - major DJ support,tracks signed to labels,a good following.

My future goal would be possibly to have some sort of 'live show' where i can play my music to fans in a live setting. Im still figuring out how i can do this,and where it would be.
 
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Archon

Gagi
TranceFix Crew
Jun 27, 2020
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Unfortunately, I don't consider myself that anymore. For the past couple of years my output has slowed down and I lost all the inspiration and motivation I once had. Even if I open up my DAW, I can't spend more than 15 minutes browsing through synths and seeing if something sticks - now it doesn't anymore and I just turn it off quickly. Sometimes I open my old projects but I feel like I can't actually add anything, just listen.

I'm just completely out of it.

It's a shame, really, because I feel I have some good works with great potential. But I have to be honest and say that I'm not talented as much as I would like to be. For me it's simple: I'm nowhere near my idols such as Airwave or Junkie XL, and if I'm not, there's no point in putting out what I consider average work - the scene is already full of it. I don't really have my own style either, so I'm not exactly bringing anything new to the scene. I have high expectations which I cannot reach. In addition, my interest in trance is not what it was when I started out either.

There's a couple of conflicting and slightly irrational statements in there, but I guess with my lack of activity anyways, I can only say that what I made will stay with me, and it was made for me. I tried creating music, I succeeded to a point, it doesn't interest me enough anymore and that's that.

Next step will probably occur when I change the laptop - I think I won't install FL Studio on it.
 
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Jetflag

Elite Member
Jul 17, 2020
2,852 Posts
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So how do you feel about where you are as an artist and a producer now?

1690456370458.jpeg

What do you think you have really improved on over the past few years/months?


What aspects would you like to focus on in the near future?


And what are your goals moving forward as an artist?

8-4Qm0OLyfpygk5gU.png
 

Julian Del Agranda

Elite Member
Jul 3, 2020
1,652 Posts
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Interesting topic.

I had a similar break from producing for years and years, and got back into it late 2019. Like Archon above here, I see myself as not-so-talented. So sometimes it's difficult staring at the screen feeling empty and stupid. But sometimes I get into a flow and something comes out of it.

My dream was always to have a release on High Contrast. But that label has... well... they aren't interesting at all anymore. Maybe Pure Trance is the 'biggest' label to release music on now. So that would be cool. A release pressed on vinyl would be awesome too. With great artwork on it of course.

I don't have many goals really. Everything is a bonus. There is little to win in the small world of trance. So take it easy ;)
 

facade1984

Member
Apr 27, 2021
210 Posts
287 Thanked
London, UK
I don't do goals. only thing I care about is whether or not I still get joy from it and for now we're good. hopefully I can keep that up until I'm about 90. I'm happy in that I think I'm always improving and doing something different. in the last 12 months I've done a bit of everything including an industrial techno ep and a funky house track so I'm happy that I'm always learning
 

Recharge

Elite Member
Sep 26, 2020
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38
I would say in my last post on my song I said pretty much what my goal is - mostly to share my music and get more listeners, release some songs.

I am starting to figure things out finally, but the thing I struggle the most is bringing variety and I like my songs around 7 min long so I can see how some people might find my music a bit boring.

A few years ago I heard the term minimalist producer and I knew that is where I am most comfortable. In some of my songs I prefer making very slow and gradual changes building up 5/6th min with more chill vibe. I always bring a change every 8 bars so I started thinking it migh be the very subtle changes where most people can't pick the difference. Definitely something to work on since very sudden changes bug me a lot on my own songs, not so much in others people music.

Anyways I have a playlist with about 25 songs that I think are worth releasing. I am go through them and work on small improvements where they lack - mostly structure and automation stuff. Enhance the drums and I am going to try to enhance the overall mix too. Then I am going to try real hard to pitch the whole album to some labels or if they like any song I can exclude them from the album if the label is interested just in a particular song and release it separately. If everything fails I will just self release the album.

What has improved, I think is my creative process. I used to be a purist, I want to make everything on my own, using loops or preset as minimum as it could be, and that leads to boring production process. Today I embrace happy accidents. I let myself be flexible with any resources available. Presets, loops, etc... my current fav plugin is actually a radio streaming vst lol, but this what makes producing exciting again. Dealing with surprises and unknowns is where the fun is. I don't see perfection as something worth to pursue anymore. Perfection is boring, the moment I have vision for the track, it become predictable. For me, producing should be an adventure.
I have to agree I went from using only a few samples here and there to up to 5+. I actually love the whole happy accident philosophy, there is so many freak sounds and mistakes that I heard after and I was like 'Oh I like this, I am definitely keeping it'. Favourite mistake - drawing a random note, how/why - who knows...

Like Simon says:


It's a shame, really, because I feel I have some good works with great potential. But I have to be honest and say that I'm not talented as much as I would like to be. For me it's simple: I'm nowhere near my idols such as Airwave or Junkie XL, and if I'm not, there's no point in putting out what I consider average work - the scene is already full of it. I don't really have my own style either, so I'm not exactly bringing anything new to the scene. I have high expectations which I cannot reach. In addition, my interest in trance is not what it was when I started out either.
I am going to be honest I live and breath music, I've been listening to 50-60 hours of music a week for probably 20+ years now. At this point I can't even function in public without my headphones/music. I travelled once a few years ago without music, honestly I had the worst time ever.

I never ever thought of myself of talented actually. I definitely have some affinity to music and I do believe in music you have two types of artists
1. Some mega talented people that just amaze me
2. And people like me who can work hard and can put 100's of hours in a song they know its a fail from the first few hours, but keep working until it comes decent or just as working experiment figuring where things got wrong. Happened twice already and was a really good lesson - the last one I uploaded last week after completely redoing it for the sake of finishing it. I HATE THAT SONG and atm in 4 fucking days it made almost 300 listens on Soundcloud making it my most listened song, I have so much mixed feelings about it.

Most of the times I put myself down thinking I am a shitty producer and a fraud and not good at all, but deep inside I know its not true. In 4 years I've put basically almost every moment of my time not sleeping into music - listening, djing, producing. I actually took 4 months this year where I made only a song a month, still listening a lot of music while I travel/work, but for me this is just business as usual my whole life.

Sometimes (MOST TIMES) I really wonder if I enjoy it all, but I know there is nothing else in this world I rather do.

What I actually wanted to say its up to you to enjoy it or not and to put in the work or not. Think of the 10000hours rule. Put that much time into something and you will be a master of that trade.

Sometimes its about the journey getting to somewhere, not just the end goal.

I have to say for the four years of just doing this on the side I've managed to impress myself, mostly because I expected to get bored and quit, because that's my thing. I've tried so many things in my life, but ultimately I always got bored and quit and I was actually good in most of them. I always had my expectations low and when I saw I can do this or that and there was no more excitement in it.

So my advise is just DO IT and see where it goes. If a tone deaf person like me can start in his mid 30s with no prior music experience then anyone can do it with putting hard work in it.
 
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SleepyBuddah

Member
Jun 27, 2023
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Leiden, the Netherlands
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I myself started making music again in 2020 in an attempt to get myself out of a major burn out and depression (with the help of additional therapy ofcourse). This because music is such an important thing in my life and back when I was younger I already made my own music which I must have on a CD somewhere. I can proudly say it would because I've been a full member of society again for over a year now and I'm doing well.So in terms of goals I've nailed the first one, lol.

Other than that I've learned a whole lot in the somewhat over 2 years I've been making music again and I've switched DAW's recently to try and take my productions to another level.

In terms of other goals I have to say I don't really have them. I just want to have fun making music and learn along the way in my journey. Of course if any of my music was to be signed by an established label that would be awesome, but if it doesn't it wouldn't be the end of the world.
For now I've already got my first collaboration with Lukas from EDMSoundware. He has started some tracks and I'm doing my best to make something spectacular out of it.

So yeah that's it for now I guess 😂
 

IXM

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2021
397 Posts
218 Thanked
POLAND
HEY.
After many difficult choices, challenges, and moments of reflection, I decided to take a step towards a healthy, new life. My alcohol addiction had dominated me for many years, destroying relationships, passions, and dreams that once defined my identity. However, through intensive therapy and the support of my loved ones, I managed to find my way and regain control over my life.

The process of regaining my health was a challenge but also a journey of rediscovering myself. Therapy allowed me to understand the roots of my problems and learn how to cope with difficulties in a constructive manner. The support of a therapist and a support group was invaluable during tough times when the old habits tried to resurface.

One of the most important aspects of my journey back to health was reclaiming the passion that had once brought me immense joy – creating trance music. It was in this realm of sounds, rhythms, and emotions that I always found a unique way to express myself. However, returning to music production wasn't easy. I had to learn concentration, perseverance, and finding joy in the creative process anew, without resorting to alcohol as a source of inspiration.

Creating trance music became not only a form of therapy but also a way to maintain motivation and focus on a healthy lifestyle. The sounds I create reflect my emotions, experiences, and the transformation I've undergone. With each composition, I experience both joy and humility – joy in expressing myself in a new, constructive way, and humility in the face of the power that comes from conveying my experiences through art.

This journey was tough, but it also taught me valuable lessons and strengthened me as an individual. Addiction therapy gave me a chance for a fresh start, and trance music production became a bridge connecting my past with my future. It's a story of transformation, determination, and the strength of the human spirit, showing that even the most challenging obstacles can be overcome when we find the will to change within ourselves.

My future is intricately connected to my passion for producing trance music. The musical journey I've embarked upon holds immense significance for me, not only as an artist but also as an individual constantly evolving and striving to perfect my skills.

My plans are clear and ambitious. First and foremost, I aim to continually evolve as a creator. I want to deepen my understanding of sound production, experiment with new sounds and techniques, and seek inspiration from various sources. I believe that the constant pursuit of uncovering new facets of the musical world will aid me in crafting compositions that are increasingly unique and profound.

I have no intention of confining myself to a single type of sound or trance style. My plans also involve exploring various sub-genres of trance music, from more classic to more experimental. I aspire to craft tracks that evoke emotions, transport listeners to altered states of mind, and allow them to experience a musical journey.

However, my ambitions extend beyond production alone. I also wish to connect with fellow artists, producers, and enthusiasts of trance music. Collaborations and the exchange of experiences with others in the industry can bring about not only new skills but also inspiration and fresh perspectives on creativity.

In pursuit of my goals, I'm aware that growth is a process demanding patience and perseverance. Not everything will always go smoothly, but I know that my passion for creating trance music will propel me to overcome obstacles and strive for excellence.

In summary, my future plans are filled with passion, challenges, and continuous growth in the realm of trance music production. I'm determined to consistently refine my skills, craft music that resonates with people and leaves a mark, and build bridges between emotions and sounds. This journey is not just an artistic mission for me, but also a way to express myself and share my inner world with the rest of the world.
 

Bobby Summa

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Sep 7, 2022
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First of all I feel (hope) recently my structure or arrangement is improving. Somehow I am genuinely finding it a fun and fascinating element of dance music. Especially trance.
I can look back at old unfinished tracks and see where I could definitely improve them. I really hope my daw doesn’t have an issue loading old tracks as sometimes I get a strange message indicating misplaced sounds. Sometimes DAW’s can be very rude don’t you think. 😄.
—-
I have found that by applying certain types of reverb you can really alter the character of a sound. Previously there are reverbs id rarely use because they aren’t typically floaty enough on the plugin. Sometimes I actually use 2 or 3 reverbs on a sound to give it a certain character.

In 1 month I build my new studio. I am very excited about this as will have space to play my hardware synths properly. I’ve been using a 65 cm (24 inch) wide cupboard for these last few years. ‘The cupboard of creativity’ fondly referred to as this by me and my family & friends.

I will soon have half of the up and coming spare room. A nice big desk can sit there with my equipment neatly placed. I feel this will definitely help access to it in such a way as to me really diving into sound design etc.
Big difference is also I can start using speakers for the first time in 2 years. My studio monitors by Presonus. Eris 3.5 BT.
——
The thing that surprises me in my music is the difference in how it has been this time round. I produced in the 90’s and quit in 96/97. I then re started 22/23 years later at the end of 2019.

I just can’t believe how much easier it is producing music now and am fairly pleased with the results in general. Even if I don’t ‘yet’ finish many tracks. (Not finishing tracks is hugely disappointing if I’m honest)

Overall I’m really feeling positive about the future, music wise (and indeed much else in life too)

🙂
🫶
 
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Archon

Gagi
TranceFix Crew
Jun 27, 2020
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Overall I’m really feeling positive about the future, music wise (and indeed much else in life too)
Great to hear, keep it up man!

I myself was listening to good old trance this morning during my commute. Out of nowhere I started thinking about the technical aspects of the song and how the artists did it. And then I read your enthusiastic post about producing. Brought me back immediately to when I was learning it. I do miss making music, I enjoyed it very much.
 
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Bobby Summa

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Sep 7, 2022
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Great to hear, keep it up man!

I myself was listening to good old trance this morning during my commute. Out of nowhere I started thinking about the technical aspects of the song and how the artists did it. And then I read your enthusiastic post about producing. Brought me back immediately to when I was learning it. I do miss making music, I enjoyed it very much.
Cheers!
I heard a little music you made dude. It was real good. If ever you get the time, could always try a bit again. (although I understand it’s yet more time infront of a screen)
 
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Altair

Member
Dec 24, 2022
166 Posts
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Canada
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altairsjh.bandcamp.com
I both appreciate and regret where I am. I regret never pursuing the attitude of consistently finishing and putting out tracks no matter how bad they may have sounded - if it wasn’t for my perfectionism I could have had a lot more releases, maybe even albums under my belt by now. As it is, I’ve spent the past 11 years noodling around with unfinished projects (many of which I’ve abandoned), dropping unnecessarily large amounts of money on gear, and only finishing a few really good tracks out of fear of them not living up to the vision in my head.

But that being said: what I have made I am proud of, and I think my perfectionism has led me to a point where I could call sound “pro” with reasonable confidence. I’ve learned a LOT of skills, and I think I have a great sense of what makes good sound design, atmospheres, and moods in a track. I have a studio with four powerful synths that I did lots of research on before buying, and I know how to design sounds on them at least decently well. The thing I always need to be doing is applying myself better, but at least I know now that the result of that will sound a lot better than it may have once.

Still - if I could do it all over again, I would emulate the career of someone like Patricia Taxxon. She made basically whatever music interested her from age 15 and didn’t care how bad it sounded (which even she would admit it was for a long time), and as a result has released literally 50+ albums in the last eight years. And IMO, in the last three years those albums have hit real greatness (though her music is definitely not for everyone). That kind of confident abandon is the success I wish I could have emulated in the past, but at least it’s an attitude I know I can carry forward into the future.

Also….I really should find the patience to actually learn how to play the keyboard and guitars that I own 😂
 
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Bobby Summa

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Sep 7, 2022
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I both appreciate and regret where I am. I regret never pursuing the attitude of consistently finishing and putting out tracks no matter how bad they may have sounded - if it wasn’t for my perfectionism I could have had a lot more releases, maybe even albums under my belt by now. As it is, I’ve spent the past 11 years noodling around with unfinished projects (many of which I’ve abandoned), dropping unnecessarily large amounts of money on gear, and only finishing a few really good tracks out of fear of them not living up to the vision in my head.

But that being said: what I have made I am proud of, and I think my perfectionism has led me to a point where I could call sound “pro” with reasonable confidence. I’ve learned a LOT of skills, and I think I have a great sense of what makes good sound design, atmospheres, and moods in a track. I have a studio with four powerful synths that I did lots of research on before buying, and I know how to design sounds on them at least decently well. The thing I always need to be doing is applying myself better, but at least I know now that the result of that will sound a lot better than it may have once.

Still - if I could do it all over again, I would emulate the career of someone like Patricia Taxxon. She made basically whatever music interested her from age 15 and didn’t care how bad it sounded (which even she would admit it was for a long time), and as a result has released literally 50+ albums in the last eight years. And IMO, in the last three years those albums have hit real greatness (though her music is definitely not for everyone). That kind of confident abandon is the success I wish I could have emulated in the past, but at least it’s an attitude I know I can carry forward into the future.

Also….I really should find the patience to actually learn how to play the keyboard and guitars that I own 😂
Really interesting. I totally share these kind of thoughts. Sometimes I so wish I was not a 100% perfectionist when it comes to music, but deep down I’m actually proud that I am a little. Because although I have no releases at present. Some part of me believes, when or if I release solo work. Itl be worth my relentless drive for perfection. But it’s fkn hard isn’t it, putting up with that want, and vision. Luckily some fool has collaborated with me recently and it looks like a release is imminent. Bless that fool. For the fool (in the traditional Shakespearean sense , like in king Lear - never looses and in king Lear saves the day infact)
 
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Recharge

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Sep 26, 2020
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Well today officially I just finished my first album. Now the hard part pursuing labels or a self release (most likely), I worked hard on mostly songs from my first and second year while i was still learning. But a lot of the songs in question turned out to be one of my favourite own songs. I also recently broke the 100th song in about 3.5 years of producing. Even with going slow I am sometimes amazed how far I reached.

A lot of self-doubt and confusion, but that's normal. I decided to release 3 albums and a few EP's in the next 6 to 12 months. Mostly to get some of my best songs on other platforms and hopefully finally been able to share my music with more people.
 

Bobby Summa

Senior Member
Sep 7, 2022
979 Posts
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Age
47
Brighton UK
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Well today officially I just finished my first album. Now the hard part pursuing labels or a self release (most likely), I worked hard on mostly songs from my first and second year while i was still learning. But a lot of the songs in question turned out to be one of my favourite own songs. I also recently broke the 100th song in about 3.5 years of producing. Even with going slow I am sometimes amazed how far I reached.

A lot of self-doubt and confusion, but that's normal. I decided to release 3 albums and a few EP's in the next 6 to 12 months. Mostly to get some of my best songs on other platforms and hopefully finally been able to share my music with more people.
That sounds great. Any links you can provide grouped together somewhere for us to hear the songs your putting on them. Be good to gather the flow of the album and vibe. Nice work on finishing so many songs. Thats just phenomenal given the quality of ones I’ve heard. How do you do it?
 
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Recharge

Elite Member
Sep 26, 2020
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That sounds great. Any links you can provide grouped together somewhere for us to hear the songs your putting on them. Be good to gather the flow of the album and vibe. Nice work on finishing so many songs. Thats just phenomenal given the quality of ones I’ve heard. How do you do it?
To be fair e lot of them are kind of unfinished or boring, I mean they are songs, but for a lot of times I was focused on quick projects and i am still struggling out of the 4/8 bar loops.

https://soundcloud.com/lq5vxcb1rzbn%2Fsets%2Fmy-songs
This is one of the songs in the album and the difference is not big and yet it sounds like a 1000 times better

https://soundcloud.com/lq5vxcb1rzbn%2Fdj-recharge-the-love-theme
https://soundcloud.com/lq5vxcb1rzbn%2Fdj-recharge-the-love-theme-remastered-teaser
 
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