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Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: GaijinPayne on September 05, 2007, 01:00:16

Title: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: GaijinPayne on September 05, 2007, 01:00:16
Greetings, everyone.

....*drops the professional front* Who am I kidding... I'm going through yet another tracker dilemma...

1) Other than some of my old tunes, I can't get good inspiration for the life of me, lately.
I tried everything: Theme, Mood, Surroundings, even listening to other trackers. *blasts Elwood's music with others*

2) As my artist page screams daily, my tunes are..well... 90% some of them are...pretty lousy.  :-\ I barely use the effects at times, and I can't shake that "Video Game MIDI" mindset when I try out instruments. Yeah, I could try chiptunes, but that strains my creativity drive even harder.

I really have no idea where to go from here.

So, any tips/feedback/comments? After dealing with Trackers, I just can't go back to MIDI, period.

Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: Eagle on September 07, 2007, 09:05:52
(Eagle's mind: Going from MIDI to tracking? Feels like a downgrade, ah well.)

Hey, why's my secret thoughts being written in brackets above me?

*Cough!* In any case, you do seem to have tried quite a few things, but they all appeared to be advanced topics. Theme, mood, ambience and so on are what you get from using the basics, in other words: keys, chords, rhythm and dynamics.

Try out scales for example (full keys) and build your chords and melodies on them. If you have some experience, you will probably recognise them by ear. Also, try some rhythms that you like or think sounds cool and then make your melody around it, making sure you stay in key.

Basicly, practice a little of western musical theory. It helps when you are in a pinch and creativity is not enough. Of course, remember to never limit your creativity in the process. (You will just end up as me, otherwise...)
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: Ceekayed on September 07, 2007, 17:53:46
Midi->trackers is definitely not a downgrade. Just a different approach.

Now, what comes to block killing, I may have a few good advices (I've been there, done that, many times).

1) Get to know new genres of music you've never been fond of. Just force yourself to go through all the crap in the said disliked genre until you find something that you love. This helps alot in widening your own mind. If you stick to only "your" stuff you'll be stuck with "your" stuff without ever getting anywhere.

2) Take some time off from computers, meet some new people, forget about the whole composing.

3) Experiment. Do something that you never could imagine yourself doing. If you're a fan of melodic, and clean music, make noise. If you like ambient, make dnb. Et cetera.

4) try to get someone to *tell* you to do stuff. A game or a movie composition job works well here (girlfriend can work too). If you have a producer that tells you what you need to make before *when*, things just start rolling alot easier. Or at least that's my case.

And what comes to getting rid of the game-like sound; listen to commercial music and try to achieve the same sound. If you stick to tracked stuff, your definition of "perfect" will be really biased. People've said to me numerous times that I can make professional stuff with IT (though I'm far from perfection IMO); the trick behind this is to listen to really well mixed commercial songs and not to give up until you can achieve the same sound without ever touching a single synth or a sequencer. Study, study, study and learn. It's not about the usage of effects or anything; it's the usage of your own ear. 90% of the "professional" sound comes from simple stereo & frequency balancing.
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: Eagle on September 10, 2007, 11:33:14
True that. The more experience, the more tools in your box you have. Well said, Ceekayed. :)
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: Aquanaut on October 25, 2007, 08:48:32
join a OHC you'll be surprised what you spew out
also just come hang out in #modarchive and chat about music

[edit: there is no _ in #modarchive :)]
my bad, I always forget
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: diizy on October 25, 2007, 18:05:33
my ways to destroying any block.

1) smoke a fat joint
2) play some openarena
3) work with a non tracking based music program
4) go through my record collection and record samples to use in future tracks
5) just hunt for samples in general
6) if you have an ancient video game system (or a wii with some VC games) play some oldschool games and listen to music for inspiration.

the key here is to get your mind off the music, but keep the music in your mind.
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: yozfitz on December 07, 2007, 18:53:14
Hi there, GaijinPayne
My humble advice is

Now I dare say, with all due respect, you might use a girl (they're good source of inspiration to start with; it's my guess.)  ;)
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: Ribby on March 22, 2008, 19:27:25
try to take pause and go off to play with other tunes from your previous songs/project

you can also ignore the song overall and just focus on little notes (which have potential to be combined)

at any time can be "the song", make sure that if you get the waves, quickly get that pencil and paper to write down which possible before/after (if any, which doesn't matter at the moment) effect, instrument, style, speed (if measured), and play strength is needed.

Messing around with instruments can bring havoc of ideas too.

* I am currently an tracker noobie, though I could have just dived in about 3 years ago. I hear some songs are pretty good, but didn't consider on my own chance to swing the pick-ax. Right now, I'm having trouble of the song review cuz my noty songs isn't long enough and are really consisted of notes so yeah. I thought I could shared my thoughts for certain experienced trackers to give me some ideas to my notes, but that means disclosing my future songs to them o.o
so it sure risky
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: usrfriendly on July 09, 2008, 09:08:46
i'm new to tracking, don't have anything to offer, really, that hasn't been said.  what I'll do is make a challenge.  Since i use a FT2 style tracker, i'll decide, some time, to simulate a GameBoy, using 2 square channels, a noise channel, and a DPCM (or whatever) channel.  or i'll go NES (two squares, a triangle, a noise, and a DPCM).  I take these ideas off of trackers I have, if not used, and it adds some fun, at least (haven't completed one of these "challenges" yet, but, there it is)
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: null1024 on August 15, 2008, 18:22:38
Usually, when I have trackers block, I'll just start laying notes down that kinda sound good, and I'll keep going (usually making 1-4 crappy songs in the process), until I find something good.

Also, I listen to some chiptunes. LOTS OF THEM.
Title: Re: How to destroy Tracker's Block (and other things)
Post by: mynes on September 02, 2008, 00:25:16
Listen to other Tracks, both Tracked Tracks ??? and some good old mp3's (different genres).. watch some 'Joy of Painting' (yay Bob Ross :D), then I'm good to go xD