|hello, requesting help from my fellow electronic artists...
||[01 Nov 2004|04:28am]
...and to be very honest right from the start, I'm not that skilled. I posted in here a long time ago back with something I was making from vocal samples...now I am glad to say first of all, I have significantly improved since then. actually, I think I may have begun writing something which is a little bit nearer...let's say...acceptable sound quality. now I don't have the best judgement for this, and I would really love the opinion of other people...especially doing and listening to the stuff I'm trying to be a little bit like. so here it goes...
rawk - this is the main thing...I really was surprised when I first started writing this, because well...it sounded so much better than anything else I've written. I mean with all my own samples, all done digitally, that kind of thing. I make samples just really...fooling around in cooledit, that's how I got all those sounds, more or less (they're all from sinewaves mostly, I think - I don't know how the hell I got some of them, but I think I've gotten better in understanding how to make samples). how do people here make effective samples? I'm still very amateur...in fact, I was only able to make two digital samples, both which were both kind of a flurry of notes...I just tried to compose with those limitations. I still have no real good bass samples though, I would love to find out more about how to make effective ones...in case you're wondering, this is all programmed into reason. does anybody else use a method similar to this?
glitch - this one I think might piss a more people off. the drums at the beginning are intentionally arhythmical - I did it with the intention of adding to the quality of the song. it's kind of messy, but I kind of like it. I'm really worried about the drum samples actually, I feel like I need samples that kick more...especially the snare. I like the current one, with it's kind of weird metallic sound (not the really metallic sounding one, the one that sounds like like rapping a metal sheet), but it doesn't seem to have enough of a kick to it. I also noticed the problem especially recently, that my bass drum samples suck. I want at least several bass drum samples that really, really kick...you know, from the really typical techno bass drums, to the download's stanley pain kind of really kicking heavy drum. I really would love advice and some really constructive critism...I really want to learn more.
shopping bag song - this was actually a couple months ago, but I like it a lot so far. it was the same idea as that vocal sample one I posted a long time ago...but I think this one's a lot better. the number of people who've reacted well to this one is SIGNIFICANTLY higher, apparently I've improved a lot when I started with this one. as said, all the samples are made from a shopping bag - I kind of cheated on the metallic melody sound, because I think I used convolution and got that really not-sounding-like-the-original-sample sound, but it's cool. I got the high-hat from some kind of heavy reverb, that when pitchshifted sounds like that. got knows how I got that weird airy melodic sample at the disco-like part. most of the samples haven't been edited at all - I did use a bit of equalizing in order to make the bass drum sound heavier though.
unfortunately, none of these tracks are even close to being finished. I understand all this stuff probably sounds really amateur, but I'd really love to learn. what do the professionals use to make...such amazing samples, such amazing techniques, distortions, productions, I don't even know what. I mean, from autechre to squarepusher, kid606 to matmos, venetian snares to boards of canada...they're all really amazing. but I don't know how the hell they do their stuff - I mean it's one thing if I just keep doing this stuff and getting better, but they're probably using a completely different method/equipment and so on, so well...it wouldn't work that linear unless I started using the same programs and techniques and so on. I am really blessed in order to actually have a, believe it or not, electronic music teacher...I know, it's kind of strange. he's this guy from princeton (I forget, a graduate or a student) that this princeton professor of electro-acoustic music (I think?) hooked me up with, when he heard my music, but said that my problem is that I need to learn sound quality (I did all my music in this midi program called melody assistant...), and he had this idea of kind of, "electronica" lessons...now my teacher is absolutely amazing, I can't even put it into words how great he is, and he's very intelligent and informed, but he's more centered around like, production, equipment and electronic music stuff more towards...I don't know what you would call it, avant-garde? he calls himself an avant-gardist I think, and by around this point, I'm really actually starting to absorb his ideals, and evolving with my own...like I think by around this point ANYTHING is music. I think to put it into simple terms, I have 3 specific beliefs which really puts me more to the extreme (even if my music isn't necessarily so):
1. belief in atonality (that music isn't necessarily good because it's tonal - I'm talking really, really dissonant as well)
2. belief in arhythmicality (this one really pisses a lot of people off, I think...the idea that music doesn't even necessarily need structure)
3. belief in chance operation (that music doesn't even necessarily be planned)
if you think about it I think, these concepts are existant to some extent in all music. but what I mean is taking them to every single limit possible...I understand that kind of reasoning pisses off a lot of people in the music community, but I really think I sincerely believe that all music is music. I remember I couldn't sleep at all the other day, because through my wall, the rain...I can't explain it, it practically sounded like a squarepusher sound. in fact the drums were very refined-sounding, the way the raindrops seemed to form a very specific rhythm...and at times random, but at the same time that in itself being rhythm...I can't explain it. but it was very wonderful to listen to, I stayed up a very long time listening to it. and even something like...for example, have you ever heard the subway song? the repetitive ta-ta, ta-ta's...the atmospheric whirrs that form various harmonies, going up and down and pitch, and some real nice screeching parts before coming to a halt, delving into an ambience of crowds talking...and starting up again...there's so much to it. and it's such great music, well at least I think so.
it's funny that I would come to that kind of belief I think, though...I mean, I'm primarily a singer. well, now it's by far my best instrument, but it's funny...I mean, stuff like playing in bands is such a like you know, opposite scene. and then electronic music has all its divisions and everything...and then there's the farthest extremes of a scene, trying to push the definition of music itself...I don't know, I love it all so much. I love singing, I love the way the vibrations flow out of your mouth, comfortably, I love hearing my voice in a nice recording, and even more the actual moment of singing, I can't explain it...and I love the live band kind of thing, trust me...but you know. I love electronic music so much too. I can't believe how musicians/listeners limit themselves to one or the other. even in electronic music. I mean, the real fucked up speedy stuff like aphex and squarepusher is really...amazing, but on the other hand the I'm-pissing-people-off kind of style that the clipped-up glitchy kid606 is amazing too...and the atmospheric futuristic stuff like autechre to the trippy ambient-ish boards of canada to making music out of anything like matmos is great...and this is JUST talking under the realms of idm. I mean, from the industrial soundscapes to dancey stuff that skinny puppy did, to just plain happy hardcore, to realllllly ambient stuff...you know, along the lines of aphex's selected ambient works 2...god, it's all so amazing. I mean, I know this sounds dumb, but I can't even put it into words. I love it all so goddamn much. and for me what hurts so much (sorry for all the drama) is that I want to write stuff like that, but I'm physically incapable...I mean I have the ideas and all in my head, but it's more literally that I can't put it out, like I don't know how to make those sounds, I don't know how to do that production, I don't know how to psyche it out like that, make the sound go everywhere, use korgs to turntables, I mean, you know all the equipment I have? I have like a $200 stage mic, a digital mixer, and a computer with some programs, mostly which I am completely incapable to use. I mean, it's pathetic!
one thing that really saddens me is that well...I would love to you know, even be like a disciple of some guy who can do all this stuff, and learn from him, but the thing is...there's no scene here. I don't even really know anyone else who likes this kind of stuff. oh, I understand that this isn't that underground or anything, it's just that there's nobody else around here that seems to share the geniune interest...or I can't find them. I mean, a lot of the advice I've been told is that get out, and go to the shows of people locally who do music like that, and get in touch with the scene to learn how they do it, use the same kind of equipment and so on...I can't find any at all. I live in princeton by the way (the new jersey one, where albert einstein lived), and...maybe you have to live in new york to find places like that or something. I'd really love to learn...I'm willing to put in as much effort as I can, I really just want to learn. maybe have the access to better equipment too, since that's kind of a physical limitation. I don't know...I guess I'm just really hoping for someone who actually might be able to help me out. I'm willing to listen...
by the way, on a side note, I'm coming across the same dilemma with band stuff. I mean, there isn't any real band scene here (I know there kind of is in new brunswick, but...), and man, band politics are hard. I've actually been writing some stuff on my own by programming all the parts in reason after my old band broke up (like this this this and this), although I ironically, haven't applied vocals to really any of them. I had some issues with song rights and stuff like that...it was really sad. I'm looking for new people although I'm still looking for a drummer actually, they're hard to find.
oh but anyway my actual point was that...a huge issue that's been killing me is sound quality. I need good quality recordings when it comes to band, or else it sounds like crap. I'm really obsessed with sound quality I think, after I realized that a lot of my old stuff was unacceptable because of it. the thing is, I really want to kind of "fight" the industry...I know that sounds really lame, but I'm serious. I want to go completely and utterly independent - I mean, if stuff I release goes under a "label", it'd be "my own label", if you know what I mean. I understand this cause might be ridiculous, but I feel that the music industry currently is terrible...there's so so many incredibly and utterly talented artists, but I mean, for the mainstream, they get screwed over by labels, you know the classic, get signed, pay a shitload for producers and studios of theirs, and then spend the rest of your life trying to pay off the dept selling cds. and for the smaller labels...well I don't know if they're any better, but seriously, I don't think the system for what stuff is heard to the general public is fair. I mean, I understand the general public isn't as open to let's say, some kinds of music, but the thing is...I still think the ratio isn't fair because the major record labels control the music world as a monopoly. the internet may have helped, but people don't even get a chance to hear a lot of this stuff out there. anyway to sum up...I really want to go independent, and despite that, make as much of a career as I can. I'm hoping to do that with band stuff and electronic music, as far as I can...even if it isn't very far. I know this is probably I don't know, rude to say it myself, but as far as I know, I don't about my talent overall but at least I think I have talent in writing "catchier" stuff...I don't know why, but just in general people seem to remember my parts very well. there was this one song I sung with my old band, and I swear to god that really was catchy...people were able to sing like the whole thing, it was really interesting. but anyway, I want to try to apply this catchiness for two things...one, in order to be able to still become pretty well known even if I'm working completely independently, and two, to bring catchiness to genres which generally are not considered to be as accessible. I think any sort of genre can be catchy, if it's just done right...I really want to bring more "accessible" idm to the public...well, maybe aphex already has done that, but I hope to do that with many other things. I don't know how possible it is...but I really do want to work for this cause.
anyway I'm kind of going off on a tangent. basically...I really would like some advice. it would really, really help. I hope I at least get some replies...this post's so long, I think a lot of people will skip over it. but for people that do reply...thank you so much for your time...it means a lot.