Sometimes it just doesn’t have to work

It’s just a thought. But I tried sequencing a couple things on Syntakt tonight. And it sucked. I tried a funk break. Meanwhile, I went with a fast DnB style break, and it also sucked.

Did I waste my time? Absolutely not. I’m no virtuoso. And way too old to be a prodigy.

There’s always tomorrow.


Some days it works and others…


I deliberately make good stuff only occasionally. :rofl:


I’m actually addicted to the highs and the lows. Makes it feel important.


there’s also no way most virtuosos don’t also have a hard drive with a bunch of proto-rubbish on it. Pretty sure failing more is vital to success.



I don’t think you need to be a virtuoso to fill your hard drive with rubbish.


absolutely, but I suspect if you played everyone’s worst efforts back to back it would really level the playing field :wink:


Making a banger takes a lot of work, if it’s a hobby and you can’t put in the hours needed it’s always gonna suck. That’s how it is, we just gotta embrace it.

Yea those sessions can be a drain but they happen!

2mello, a beatmaker and composer I like, has said that for every song he shows publicly, he has 50-100 started that didn’t make the cut. Curation is also a skill


This past year I tried to work on a new idea every morning. I usually felt completely “meh” about each piece in the moment. I’ve now gone back and started listening to them and there’s lots of great stuff in there.

We’re our own worst critic and our music will sound worse and worse to us as we listen on repeat. You have to step away from a piece for a while in order to be able to go back hear it with a fresh perspective.


That’s true. But sometimes I am also really flashed by something I have played and am still when listening back to the recording immediately afterwards. But a few days/weeks later it sounds less good, as the interesting novelty has worn off and you hear all of the shortcomings. Still a few months later you might be less critical and find good in it :slight_smile:.


I’m less productive than you, it seems, so take this with a pinch of salt.

I had a good run for a couple of months last year. I had a deadline for a live show at a friend’s house party and I wanted “about an hour’s music”. I used a strategy of making a sketch every night for a month, without any pressure to curate or polish: just core ideas and some sounds. Then in the 2nd month I picked a handful of those sketches and worked just on those: mixing, refining the sound design, fleshing out arrangements and/or performance tactics. It was really effective (although in the end I messed up the show: the material was ok).

I’ve seen in blogs and such, several times, the idea that creating is separate from editing. A designer friend of mine would call the creation phase “vomiting” - she’d spew out lots of material very quickly… and then refine a subset later. I try to do this myself now, and have taught my kid the pattern too. Use a creation phase to “diverge”, to seed a lot of ideas and material: don’t judge if it’s good or bad, just make. Then have separate phase to “converge”, to edit, refine and polish. The two phases could happen close to one another, but have a short break to clear your mind. It’s better if they’re on different days. Keep cycling making-editing 'til you’re satisfied. Do the cycle for both individual tracks and sets/releases.


Often what you think is junk one day becomes material for the next session, too.

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Being productive is overhyped, if you don’t do this for a living. I’m already productive in my day job.

Last couple of years I decided not to make tracks anymore, but just enjoy making sounds and f*ck about with my gear.

How productive are people that read a book, solve a puzzle, play a game? For me making music/sounds is just pass time, and I enjoy every minute of it. Also the hours spent on absolute garbage :grin:


Yeah, I think it’s important to give some thoughts to what your goals are. If its about having fun and relaxing, then if you find yourself getting frustrated or not having fun then try to figure out what’s getting in the way. I enjoy coming up with tracks and sharing them with people, so if I find myself at a roadblock I try to figure out what is hampering my flow. But I don’t stress with it too much, its just a hobby of mine. I enjoy the process just as much.


Embrace the total garbage. It’s possibly the only original stuff you’ll ever do.

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