Everything in focus
Howdy, some of you may be aware that I’ve been writing DnB for many years now. I’m not afraid to say that its been around 6 or so years since i’ve been getting down with crazy “Jungle Beats” of London. Whilst I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time producing the most highest of music forms out there, the fruits of my DnB labour are quite bare! I’ve only written a handful of tunes in 6 years! I mean, sure I like Uber -Techy/Geekiness of making beats and the endless chats with friends about the latest VST Plugins and compression methods but “Making Tunes” is ultimately what its all about! Oh dear, something was surely amiss!
Understanding the problem
You can’t understand the amount of pain and turmoil I’ve gone through trying to understand why I haven’t finished more tunes then I have! Or maybe you can? The sleepless nights, the constant evaluation of myself, the constant devaluation of myself, the hours spent pondering about life and my usefulness in it, the personal attacks from friends and loved ones about not finishing something, etc etc etc. Was I really going insane? Was there really no cure for me? Was I meant to be a producer?
Now don’t laugh at me but the answer came to me whilst I was attending a 3 day Internet marketing seminar in town. Two words were being thrown around willy-nilly at that convention and they were:
Now I love that word leverage and I will most definitely be using that word more but its that second word that I want you to look at more closely. FOCUS
I told you so
Now before everyone gets silly and starts giving me the “its so obvious” and the whole “how could you
not know” marlarky I feel I have to tell you, “I didn’t realize!” I was caught up in the little bubble that I call life and I had no idea that this life thing was affecting my beat making so much! Argh!
You see, everytime that I would start to write I would get interrupted with a phone call or do the dishes or laundry or clean up around the house or install a new plugin or check my email or burn that DVD that I just downloaded or pay the rent… you get the picture. To top the whole thing off even if i would be right in the middle of writing a tune I would start another project??? This was madness!
Advice from good friends
The best advice I got was from Phace – turn your phone off and don’t check emails etc. Then Logistics advised me to lock myself away from the world and just get down with business. Don’t let anyone disturb you when your writing beats. NOBODY! If only I would have listened to this advice years ago but alas I guess I had to find out the hard way myself and that’s okay. Lesson learnt but was that all I had to do? I mean it sounds easy in theory right? Turn off phone – check. Block out world for 4 hours – check. Was that it? Hmmm… I think not.
Trial and Error
Blocking out the world and turning my phone off did help me with getting more focused but it didn’t help me with the problems that involved me losing focus when in the middle of tune writing. This I had to solve on my own through a little trial and error. I tried a few things out, make a whole bunch of drums breaks for later use. A whole bunch of bass ideas and so forth but the best I could come up with was using another finished track as the reference, my guide if you will. Alright so drums first then yeah? Great, so I need a little funky drum break here cool, then a fat kick, hmmm… what type of snare? etc
Now I’m not trying to recreate the tune (that is NOT the purpose) but using the tune as a guide or checklist of some sort. I can and have changed things up to suit what ever I’ve been doing no problem. There is alot to this technique that i’ll be covering in a little more detail in another blog in the future.
Well hopefully a few of you might give this technique a go if your struggling with finishing tunes like me, just make sure you tell me how you went. Remember that writing beats is an artform and deserves your utmost respect and concentration. So treat your studio like its a church! ha.
Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on the dancefloor!
NoFrills Locus Crew Sydney Australia