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CREATING YOUR OWN SOUND...or nah?


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#1 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:59 AM

So I'm sitting here like I do on the daily...flipping samples...and I notice that I'm doing the same shit to pretty much every sample... Is that finding your own sound or lacking creativity?

I came across a technique or way of flipping a sample and all I want to do now is make my shit sound like that, but. I feel like I'm being lazy or something because all my tracks are kind of sounding the same..even though the samples are different.

I'm on some real lord finesse shit right now...

#2 Bliss

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:56 AM

 

Same here, kind of feels good to have a routine and get shit done, but makes me also wonder if I'm wasting potential...

Am I on the wrong track?



#3 Grifty-Rodriguez

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:46 PM

i wonder about this sometimes..  i'm like: "shit i need to do some shit in a different genre"  so i'm like "ok i'm gonna make a garage track or something".  it ends up just being super basic garage shit, and i'm like "fuuuu i can't do anything progressive or new everything i do is derivative and contrived".  i'm always.... searching.....for.....that....perfect......beat..............


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#4 EdTheYounger

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 01:47 PM

I struggle with that still sometimes. I think everyone does... Luckily my wifey's always like 'this sounds like all your other shit' or 'the drums are like all your other drums' haha second set of ears helps me a lot. I often go back and re-work shit when she says that.

What helped me is to just try new techniques that you're not familiar with. Do you usually do sample chops first or drums first? Mix it up... Do you usually do basslines before or after you've done your drums? Mix it up... Do you usually only make beats in 80-95 tempo range? Try some 60-75 tempos or 95-120... Breaks or sample packs? You get the idea. I also found really thinking about the sample first and letting it dictate your direction will help. For all of hip hops talk about "music appreciation" half the producers these days don't appreciate shit! Spend a solid 15 minutes with the sample selection track on loop. Plan an attack. Instead of pushing every sample into a cookie cutter mold, let it tell you what it wants you to do.

And finally listen and study more music. Swing jazz or African jazz... Study the percussion. Listen to drum rhythms from dudes like knxwledge, find all the intricacies. Ghost snares and bongo/Tom hits.

Peace.

Edit: there's a BIG difference between you're signature sound and just doing the same shit with every track... Most dudes never find their real signature sound. Don't let the thought of a "signature sound" be a cop out for laziness. People will see through that shit. There's plenty of beat makers who's beats don't all sound the same but you know it's come from that producer... That has nothing to do with them using the same drum patterns and sample chops but more to do with their individual ear and micro-techniques. Most of them will probably tell you they never even thought about their own "sound" it just becomes a natural thing when you're on that level.
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#5 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 02:51 PM


Edit: there's a BIG difference between you're signature sound and just doing the same shit with every track... Most dudes never find their real signature sound. Don't let the thought of a "signature sound" be a cop out for laziness. People will see through that shit. There's plenty of beat makers who's beats don't all sound the same but you know it's come from that producer... That has nothing to do with them using the same drum patterns and sample chops but more to do with their individual ear and micro-techniques. Most of them will probably tell you they never even thought about their own "sound" it just becomes a natural thing when you're on that level.

 

 

I hear you... I was just wondering if that was the case for everyone else here..... like I have no problem..making a beat, but after awhile it's like... ehhh, i'm doing the same shit over and over... that last track I posted in my thread.. I kind of was listening to a lot of older shit and it was a track I heard before..knew it could be flipped, but didn't really feel like I had what it took to make it sing... so finally I had a revelation when it came to using effects and was like.. ok, i'm gonna go do some shit like that... and it was the first thing that came to mind.

 

now i'm really feeling the sound of that track and kind of learned a few things from making that...and I want to make more shit with that feeling, but everytime I go to chop something...it just reminds me of that one track I made.. and i'm like... ahhh, i'm about to make the same damn track again..just with different sounds lmao

 

maybe I do need to chill out and just loop the sample and see where it wants to take me... let myself get tired of it and see where i'd like it to go.

 

 

THE OTHER THING IS.... I feel like all this experimenting is kind of putting a pause on my tapes I was making, cause now I'm like.. screw my old shit...this needs to be what I put out there lol



#6 EdTheYounger

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 03:03 PM

Maybe have a break man. Sounds like you're overthinking things... A week or two away from beat making will probably give you some fresh ears and perspective.

#7 James Frank.

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 03:08 PM

 

 

I hear you... I was just wondering if that was the case for everyone else here..... like I have no problem..making a beat, but after awhile it's like... ehhh, i'm doing the same shit over and over... that last track I posted in my thread.. I kind of was listening to a lot of older shit and it was a track I heard before..knew it could be flipped, but didn't really feel like I had what it took to make it sing... so finally I had a revelation when it came to using effects and was like.. ok, i'm gonna go do some shit like that... and it was the first thing that came to mind.

 

now i'm really feeling the sound of that track and kind of learned a few things from making that...and I want to make more shit with that feeling, but everytime I go to chop something...it just reminds me of that one track I made.. and i'm like... ahhh, i'm about to make the same damn track again..just with different sounds lmao

 

maybe I do need to chill out and just loop the sample and see where it wants to take me... let myself get tired of it and see where i'd like it to go.

 

 

THE OTHER THING IS.... I feel like all this experimenting is kind of putting a pause on my tapes I was making, cause now I'm like.. screw my old shit...this needs to be what I put out there lol

 

if you're second-guessing yourself and criticizing your old shit harshly, then you're moving in the right direction.  i mean, definitely hold onto that stuff because you'll get sentimental about it eventually -- and some day, your old ears will give your beats the benefit of the doubt and appreciate the journey you went through -- but if you know what's good for you, then you will definitely hack apart your entire style several times over as you slowly glean new techniques that eventually become your style...

 

i just mentioned this in the KNX thread, but i'll just say again in this context that it took me a very long time to get to a point where my sound started becoming cohesive...and it's an on-going process, that'll continue even once i stop rapping/producing beats later this year.  but all i can say is absorb as much as you can skill-wise, and have the ambition to seek out things that people didn't know they wanted so bad.  i mean, i hate to give a specific example and risk having my ideas co-opted by other, less talented cats here -- but we can all pretty much agree that genres like country/western and punk have almost never been utilized by beatmakers on a large scale.

 

most dudes/ladies are too wrapped up in trends and emulating another style that they just end up flipping the same tired, fucking boring drum breaks we've all heard a million times...or some hacky fucking jazz riff that any soundcloud-level producer could spot from a mile away.  be patient in your sample selections; i hear people sample the stupidest parts of songs all the time, and it sucks because the little flourish two bars later could've been made into a crazily sick sounding track.  in the end, the best advice is to just be fucking creative and don't be afraid to be influenced by other people...i'm not afraid to say that my "style" is essentially just all my favorite artists mashed up in a weird enough way to warrant re-labeling it, but there's also like 2-3 specific things i do that i haven't really heard any of my influences experiment with ever -- so that makes me feel like i've moved in the right direction.


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#8 EdTheYounger

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 03:14 PM

Haha touching on what JF said I remember when I got in to beat making my mom tried to hook me up with all her old Rock records and I was like 'mom... Ain't no body making hip hop out of rock music' she said 'well maybe you could be the one to change that' lol. Then Madlib dropped rock konducta. Had me looking like a fool.

#9 1stN3rd

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 03:35 PM

Not if you want to make any money...................



#10 EdTheYounger

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 03:39 PM

If you're doing music with the intention of making money then good luck with that...
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#11 GPBear

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 04:05 PM

I'm kinda iffy on this thread, I think this is one of those things that defines an artist. Only advice I can give, is move diagonally instead of linerally. Work on 2 projects at once (at least), and instead of moving straight along on one project's path, drift toward one of the projects while you work on another. Pull a madlib, come up with 100 different names and compartmentalize each one into fulfilling some of your artistic goals.

 

I work on Project A (beats) Project B (indie rock) and Project C (drawing)

 

so I'll work on my main Project A but keep Project B in the back of my mind, trying to keep an eye out for things to learn from Project A to use in Project B, once I get around to it. Then, when the refinements to Project A get tedious, because I've already fixed most of the obvious mistakes, I'll start to work on Project B and already have a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

 

edit: this is why J Dilla is the best. Come out with a style equally as sophisticated as the last. He was able to aim at a moving target, or maybe make the target others aimed at.



#12 GPBear

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 04:14 PM

"If you can't pull from 3000 years of history, you're living hand to mouth" ~ Van Goethe



#13 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 05:17 PM

If you're doing music with the intention of making money then good luck with that...


Facts....I hate money...don't know why that way brought up.


But you dudes are right...I'm not trying to find my style...it was more of me just sayng. I felt like I was doing the same shit over.

#14 EdTheYounger

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:52 PM

I love money only in the way it allows me to live the life I live. But I'm realistic about art and creativity and I don't think money should ever be a factor in someone's mind when they're creating. The only thing I think about when I make music is how I feel... I mean shit, I have samples stashed away in my 'to flip' folder that I'll only touch when I'm in the right mindset emotionally. Money's a means to create but creating shouldn't be viewed as a means to money, in my opinion. And yes you're correct, I dunno why 1st even mentioned it.

#15 1stN3rd

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 07:19 PM

Oh my bad I forgot jokes were not part of the new STMB.


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#16 EdTheYounger

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 08:46 PM

Sarcasm was not evident enough.

#17 Low Hiss

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Posted Yesterday, 07:16 AM

'mom... Ain't no body making hip hop out of rock music'

Run DMC, Public Enemy, Force MCs, Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill... Rock has been sampled in hip hop from day one.


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#18 LeftFoot1st

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Posted Yesterday, 10:19 AM

Sarcasm was not evident enough.

 

Ya already know i'm not good with online sarcasm unless it is straight out to the fullest....it's hard to tell when reading it online.



#19 1stN3rd

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Posted Yesterday, 10:49 AM

Sarcasm was not evident enough.

Don't worry about it, I'm just fucking around.

 

Regarding the thread topic, I sorta think GP has the right idea. Back when touring and performing was so much a part of a musician's life, they would hit the studio very infrequently, and they'd be juiced from just having gotten off tour. It's amazing to think that a classic album like Bitches Brew was done in a single day (well, except for all the editing). Nowadays, it seems everyone's a studio hermit, so you sorta have to become musically schizophrenic, otherwise you'll work shit into the ground and/or get completely sick of it. I'll do shit like pull up a session, do something, then quit it fifteen minutes later, then open it up a month later and realize it needs a bassline or something and add it to it, then quit again. Doing it that way, stuff starts to pile up, until one day I notice there's enough enough material for a new album. I always work in albums, though, just doing singles and shit doesn't do it for me.



#20 James Frank.

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Posted Yesterday, 12:54 PM

^ that's very similar to how i work as well



#21 DJ Primate

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Posted Yesterday, 01:53 PM

This crisis is basically why I've fallen off the earth for some time. I got tired of my own 90's boom-bap shtick, it feels too derivative now that I've been studying the history of art more seriously. Ezra Pound said he'd never met anyone worth a damn that wasn't "irascible", a sentiment I've become more and more familiar with as of late.

 

Unfortunately my new-found ambition is coupled with impatience so most of my production process consists of me being disappointed at myself for falling into auto-pilot halfway into a beat, followed by discouragement and eventual abandonment of whatever I was working on. It's a hellish cycle. I'm thinking of leaving music altogether but some part of me won't let me make the leap.



#22 GPBear

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Posted Yesterday, 01:58 PM

Ezra Pound's my favorite poet. He also said "The nice thing about middle-age, is seeing how right you were"

...and then denounced everything he ever did the last decade of his life because he was an anti-semite (that's how you know he's a good dude, felt bad for the bad things he did before he died)

 

 

Edited Hemingway, Eliot, Joyce.

 

sorry what

 

y'all should read some zen koans. Get buddhisty. A big part of being a buddha/zen monk, is that you can put up with whatever hardships because there's been hundreds of gurus before you that made it through. So you do it because people in the past did it, but also so people in the future can look back on you and give you a thumbs up. Link in the chain

 

I mean you guys should be motivated by socio-economics enough. We're lucky enough to get to make music, make the most of the opportunity before you get old. I don't make boom-bap beats so I can say I do, I make beats because boom-bap beats make people feel good (including myself). And making people feel good will make the world better, and hopefully less people'll get shot.

 

I bring it all back to Bush getting re-elected. Didn't understand why it happened, so I went inside and never came back out.


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#23 EdTheYounger

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Posted Yesterday, 03:58 PM

Run DMC, Public Enemy, Force MCs, Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill... Rock has been sampled in hip hop from day one.

exactly my point. At the time I got in to beats no one was anymore, besides prog of course but I'm talking stuff like Guns and roses, kiss etc. I never said they hadn't before. That area had been explored... Kind of like when dilla come out with soul beats, everyone had been doing soul but he still made something new and fresh and changed the landscape. Which is what I feel madlib did with rock Konducta... That was my point. I never said no one had ever sampled rock before....
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#24 Low Hiss

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Posted Yesterday, 04:57 PM

exactly my point. At the time I got in to beats no one was anymore, besides prog of course but I'm talking stuff like Guns and roses, kiss etc. I never said they hadn't before. That area had been explored... Kind of like when dilla come out with soul beats, everyone had been doing soul but he still made something new and fresh and changed the landscape. Which is what I feel madlib did with rock Konducta... That was my point. I never said no one had ever sampled rock before....

Yeah I completely agree, I love RK and madlib was definitely on some other shit with that one. Didn't mean to sound harsh or to take anything away from the RK releases, my bad.



#25 LeftFoot1st

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Posted Yesterday, 05:59 PM

Word...I guess I was just caught in a cycle...after shit like that you gotta just sit back for a bit and do something else...listen to somethig else and get inspired....then come back with a new idea...
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