I'm curious as to how others make their tracks.
How much time do you spend on one track and what do you do first?
Do you create all of sounds and lay out the meat of the track then automate, or do you automate and edit as the track progresses?
I ask this because I never create a track the same way and am looking to streamline things a bit. I'm not looking to follow a specific set of rules that would interfere with the creative and spontaneous music creation process but would like to know from some of you that have created many tracks If there are things you in every track that make things more efficient.
Wow, its really hard to say, some sounds I use require automation of sorts (sometimes at multiple points in the synth and/or mixer console or IFX itself)
I do save multiple stages of a song file (sometimes if you need to revert back a bit, you have multiple restore points) that will be your biggest help right there.
Like you said, each song is different and thus built different. My current Builderz Project will eventually help make your Caustic tracks more streamlined and cram more content into your song.... but that's another thread once I get the intro video completed on that.
Of course when the main foundation of your song is laid out, you know you're gonna tweak the heck out of it anyways, but it is easy to overwrite automations or scrap it and do it over if need.
Some tracks I'll spend weeks on, others get done in a few hours (by a sheer miracle of luck sometimes mind you)
One day I may do a YT video and make a song from scratch "live"..... maybe set up a SpeedCreate challenge or something..... BUT that's another thread
Rules? What rules? Rules in engineering audio or music only hinders your full potential. Make your own rules, that's what makes your music your sound. I can't stand listening to the radio or watching mainstream tv because of "rules" in production and broadcasting (been there done that on the production side)
Best advice if you're really into a super cool song? Take Breaks! play a game, eat a snack, hug your wife or GF or your kids, work on another song. Enjoy life....
Hope this helps somewhere in there...J :)
Thanks for the advice j! Yeah I dont like rules either (spent much of my younger days breaking them hehe). It's good to know I'm not the only one spending weeks on one track. There are no shortcuts in life so I suppose that applies to music production as well!
You are not alone at all. I am so new when it comes to making music so I need a lot of time and contemplation before I feel that a track is ready. I think that I spend something like 3-4 weeks to finish a track. But hey it is fun all the time and it is no competition. Besides it allways feels at bit empty when a track is finished and then I need like a week to recharge for starting on a new one.
I do everything in a disorganized sort of way, so it never really happens the same way twice. The pattern I roughly follow is this: 1. Imagine the music & the beat for a while, tapping on my desk & beatbox-ing while I work 2. With the groove burned into my mind, I then hunt rigorously for each specific drum/ instrument/ fx or vocal sample until the perfect ones are found, just like I heard it in my head 3. Arrange the rack & BPM as necessary (# of subsynths, PCMsynths, beatboxes, etc.) Guesstimate the approximate levels for all mixer controls & set as such (Of course they get adjusted later, but I find it helps to start off with an approximation of the right settings 4. Arrange the beatbox- Now I get the demo beat patterns going one by one until it sounds like I imagined 5. (Usually) create the bassline with subsynth & get those patterns matched up w/ my demo beats 6. Tune & modify the rest of my instruments & samples, then lay down those patterns, making sure each & every little note fits the "notches" (I don't know what to call it, it's like the unseen perfect placement template to create drama & affect a certain vibe in music) left by the bass and the beats' groove. This is the most involved creative task in making music for me, it's where all the soul goes. 7. Then it's "post-production", selecting & automating effects/ mixer levels for a rough final cut (recording over and over again, once for each level/ effect) 8. Once this is all done & there's a somewhat-complete piece of music, I'll listen carefully (many times) to fix errors and filter out "the cheese" 9. repeat #7-8 several times until it sounds right, or until I get sick of it & abandon the whole thing. If it turns out OK, then I'll export, convert, upload, burn to CD. If it doesn't turn out OK, months later I'll listen again & decide to re-open the whole project
>AMP DESTROYER>>12"SUB WARRANTY VOIDER>
I use Cakewalk(at home) and now that I have the ability to be more mobile(Caustic) there is a new world of possibilities. Regardless of platform I always start the same way, which is a concept or an idea, I will randomly play notes on the keyboard while I load different sounds in whatever plug in(VST) I have loaded on the DAW then when something sounds good like a good "melody" then I will build on it and start adding other sounds the same way. So basically for me, is all about finding a starting melody to build upon.
When I have an idea for a song, I always do drums first, then make a basic subsynth patch and use it for a melody, then make a bass line, then modify the original synth patch to kind of go with my idea, then I start coming up with stuff to complement what I already have going and put it all together, then I do some mastering and blah then it's kind of done.
But usually it starts with me fiddling with some instrument (usually 303 or subsynth) to a basic beat and and when I find something that kind of works, I start molding a track out of it. Or not. Whatever lol
Paint Huffing Pit Bull Puncher
usually its disorganized here too. but i start with bassline signature preset, then play around fill up all the presets, then a note book helps putting names of your patterns down (little reminders), then its drums and the rest of the wall of sound, then ill compose it then end up reorganizing patterns fifty times having a girlfriend or a second opinion can make a huge difference in how the thing comes out, then if im not feeling it ill export it soundcloud it then delete it if i still dont like it, but sometimes its good just to take a break and play skyrim or some gta, listen to music then go through automation and mix export then to j4t to boost levels and then shared
i havent quite develed into the samples and the pcm synth its great if you have tons of samples but anytime i use samples it takes awhile and has to be planned out
play blues clues and pull out the handy dandy notepad
copy and paste can really streamline things thats probably my only helpful tip.
I think the rule here is there are no rules! :)
Paradoxically, I find a "limited" tool like Caustic to be tremendously liberating. When you have a massive, seemingly endless range of possibilities, I find I spend a lot of time in that "staring at the blank piece of paper" mode. When there is a limit to what I can do, I'm more likely to just get on with it.
Personally speaking, The Song is the thing. I'd much rather have a good melody and chord structure than wonderful sounds. But those can be inspired by a lot of different things. Sometimes, you can be listening to synth sounds, and a melody will sometimes come from it. Sometimes it comes from a groove that you are experimenting with on the beatbox or bassline.
I also would much rather get the bare bones of a complete track down, rather than keep tweaking a tiny section before moving on to another part. You can always tweak later.
I have to say, that after a year with working with the Caustic App, I can say that I enjoy working on this platform waaay more than the big Steinberg DAW's and WaveLab I used before...... no doubt about it. I will still use some of the other tools for some of my audio work for this app, but for sitting down to make a groove, it's a no brainer at this point.
It strikes me that this app has been put together by someone who has a similar attitude towards music as I do. Get the idea down quickly - we can tweak it later.
You're obviously approaching the software at a different angle to me - you're a sound guy - I'm a song guy (or that's what I aspire to be), but this app is great for both of us!
I think that's the whole beauty of it. You can easily and quickly drop down some content and have a groove going in minutes, that you can hear and see, and build it from there into something really amazing, like some of the creations I've heard here on this forum....