Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

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Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by lem » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:48 pm

So its the end of 2012, another year of obsessively staring at a screen, tweaking knobs and drooling over gear you can't afford....

I thought it might be an idea to share a prominent production trick, skill, or lesson you have learned this year.
I know it can be hard to pinpoint just one thing you have learned, so maybe just pick what springs to mind when you first think about it... there is no reason you can't pick several. It's just better if we don't get a load of pointless lists that nobody else can gain anything from.

For me, it has to be Ableton Racks and Max4live.

There are so many things you can do with racks in Ableton. When producing a track I don't think I have used a Send/Return for some time now. On Cubase I was used to copying tracks then grouping them and I brought this with me to Ableton. It has taken a while, but now every channel has racks, also racks within racks and if I actually spend time setting up Macro's its not at all confusing. This paired with a Midi remote script that can control those 8 macro's and navigate devices can make laying out an arrangement really good fun..

Max4live, is something I never thought I would get into. I bought it because the 3rd party devices looked more useful than most of Suite. After having it for a year I started modifying devices to the point where I am pretty much building my own now. I'm not doing anything that complex and mostly involving Midi. But it certainly makes production feel more... modular.

Max for Live will probably keep me using Ableton...forever. I can't see a more supported of flexible package out there.

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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by hydrogen » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:28 pm

For me its been to keep up on my game. I practiced more this year, did lots of recordings and actually finished tunes. Its been a good year. Really looking forward to the next one.

Other thing is that hardware is the bomb but software is pretty good too. For me its the blend of both that makes things work with the modern sound of this music.

Streamlining my workflow is the biggest thing though. Ableton, Hardware, Effects, all dialed in for a specific sound I'm working on. I'm now able to do tracks within 4 - 6 hours which makes the whole thing much more enjoyable.

Also really inspired by some of the people here lem, opuswerk, steevio, livecollective, nakordamies, miro, BLM, kristofason... more of you i know (sorry..) ... Your music and all the discussion to be inspired about music has been a blessing.

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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by oblioblioblio » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:52 am

for me I always push myself, and my music world is quite internal so I never really know what's changed really.

In a way I'm making the music I've always been making but I guess I'm slowly refining my craft and making my idea more visable and solid.

I've had a handful of people make really nice comments about my music over this year, so that part is really significant for me. It's easy to believe what other people say when they treat you like a freak and to take the whole situation to heart. But just enough people saying that they were really feeling it takes that load off.

I've been able to expand my set up more and it was already a really special place to work, and I would say don't waste your time dreaming about what you don't have, it's how you use what's there that defines the art.

My biggest changes in my modular system have come from simple mixing modules, I've hardly added any more oscillators, filters etc. But I've added a lot of mixing, switchable matrix mixing, and VC mixing, and something so simple has brought about some big changes.

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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by Opuswerk » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:09 pm

2012 was a year of mysteries and unfolding mysteries for me. Many many things happened that were kind of life changing, but at the same time, i'm not sure i really managed to make the most of those changes yet.

I've been refining my music making and my way of life to something that's almost what i have wanted it to be for a long time. Learned a few lessons though that i need to remind myself of for 2013 and that i need to put into practice.

I'll take this thread as an excuse to write some of this down :
  • Never wait to get things done,
    Never use the excuse of waiting for something to happen to not do what you really want to do. It's better to have too much to do than not enough,
    Setting priorities right will get you were you want, just follow them and stick to your plan,
    Hardware is the don,
    Tape does proper magical things to sound,
    A mixer need a lot of auxes,
    Techno is meant to be played, not written, record jams and more jams, until you get that one right. I think this one goes back to the electronic soul thread. I believe the answer really lies in playing your music,
    Stare less at the screen and use your ears, it's music we're doing, not art,
    It's not the tools, it's really what you do with it,
    Playing records and buying them is much more fun than mp3s. I mean how are you gonna hand your MP3 collection to your kids when you grow old?
All in all, 2012 was about streamlining and setting things up, now i hope 2013 will be about putting the lessons of 2012 to good use, so this list will not be the same next year :)

@hydrogen: being in the same list as those same artists i really look up too as well makes me blush :-flower
Opuswerk is now Hendrik van Boetzelaer
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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by steevio » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:20 pm

its been a good year for me, but havent spent enough time in the studio as ive been building a house. havent touched my gear for three months now.
nevertheless, got lots of tracks recorded, and imminent releases, but most satisfyingly, sorted my set up so that making tracks is a total breeze. Ive never been more productive and happy with the outcome. Now ive got to strip my whole studio down and move it to the new place, a daunting task but very exciting.
what have i learned ? well i learn something about music and production every day, always have, its incremental and accumulative, a slow absorbtion process through experimentation and talking to other musicians.

one specific thing ? - envelopes ! - i use them to control everything, this year i really worked out how to use them to control my entire rig. Its totally changed how my music is made and sounds.
the only kit i bought in the last 18 months has been envelopes. i'm not sure how it would translate to the non-modular environment, and i would find it really difficult to explain here how i use them, it probably wouldnt make much sense to anyone using traditional hardware synths, or software users sequencing in the regular way. I tried to explain it in a previous post, but didnt seem to connect with anyone on it, its probably just an individual quirk.

all the best to everyone and good luck with your projects in 2013 !

ps thanks for the kind words Hydrogen, and thank you for your positivity.

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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by thomasa » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:45 pm

That at the end of the day it's not about the tool. But if you can find a tool that does it better, that could either mean that the new tool is a bit more innovative, or you're just getting lazier and prefer to update your tools instead of your brain.

Quid pro quo of course.

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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by ::BLM:: » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:28 pm

Opuswerk wrote: Playing records and buying them is much more fun than mp3s. I mean how are you gonna hand your MP3 collection to your kids when you grow old?[/list]

ha yeah, that's if you ever let go of them! my old man absolutely refuses to let go of his LARGE collection of records. has them all stored in the garage and never plays them, but still wont let me have them.

anyhow happy new year to you lot.

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Re: Then end of 2012 - What have you learned?

Post by Phase Ghost » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:49 pm

I learn something every time I sit down to work on music. I'd say the main thing I learned is: The second I feel like I'm trying to force a track, put it on the shelf for a month or more. It takes discipline to do, but after you haven't listened to something for a while, you know what it needs immediately.

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