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AngelCityOutlaw

What you don't like about music

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Let me elaborate further

"What don't you like about making music and what do you think you aren't very good at."

Is there any step in the music makin' process you just flat out hate? Something you find boring, tedious or frustrating? Also, is there something other people think you're good at, but you think you suck at?

I'm just curious to know your thoughts. I hate recording and I'm fairly shit at guitar. That's my thing.

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My biggest hate?

Trying to decide if this track I did would sound good to the listener or not.

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I'm not good at recreating soundscapes that are in my head. I don't like dealing with equalization or balancing out a track.

Kind of a negative thread. Maybe we should add something we think we're good at.. like how I.. uhhhh.. sometimes make tracks longer than 3 minutes?

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Balance and instrumentation. I have a smallish set of instruments that I've become comfortable with, and I struggle to realize the ideas in my head when I venture beyond them. On the flip side, when I experiment with new sounds, I always produce my best tunes.

Level balance, though, is a battle I'll just never win :/

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Wrestling with freaking Sonar and its borked automation curves.

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I tend to get a pretty massive block right after I get the meat of the idea out of my head or once I complete a section I thought was perfect for what I was going for.

But to better answer your question i think I hate rewriting the most. Which is something I have been doing alot over the past few weeks. Trying to get older projects listenable but not quite getting there since i tend to delete everything that's new within 15 minutes...

You know what I also really hate?! Having a great idea for the perfect remix, then after working on it for 20 min. realizing that i can't get the tone/sound/instrument etc. that I need to make it all work! Then I trash it, throw my monitors at my neighbors dog, then cry myself to sleep. This is proving to be an expensive hobby/lifestyle.

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What I think I'm ok at: arrangement, chord progressions, writing in general, drums

What I think I suck at: levels, balancing low end, picking good instrumentation (primarily, getting good lead sounds), mixing/getting room for things in the mix

What I'm improving at: effects - learning what they are, and how/when to use them

What I think I'm GREAT at: well, nothing, yet!

A wise friend said "we are all works in progress."

(wise friend, you know who you are)

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What I'm bad at: Lead instruments and melodies...

I can arrange notes but getting my lead instrument to sound 1) good and 2) soulfull is just beyond me. I'm a percussionist, I like noises... I get chords - their just an advancement of the rhythm, but actual melody...

Bah :tomatoface:

What I'm good at: Cooking myself the kind of feel good meal that makes it all better :-D

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What I'm bad at: Lead instruments and melodies...

I can arrange notes but getting my lead instrument to sound 1) good and 2) soulfull is just beyond me. I'm a percussionist, I like noises... I get chords - their just an advancement of the rhythm, but actual melody...

Bah :tomatoface:

What I'm good at: Cooking myself the kind of feel good meal that makes it all better :-D

I'm not much of a percussionist but the key difference is shaping the note while it's being played. I assisted teaching a bass methods class in college and I always thought it was funny that when I was helping a percussionist play something melodic he/she would hit the note then move on immediately. To get more expression, try imagining an image or event that the music seems to describe to you and think of that while you play.

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Excellent, an emo bitchfest thread. :)

One of the things I remind my students often about composing music is this:

Composing music or more specifically, mastering music composition is a life-long pursuit.

Acknowledging that point of fact is really important in engaging the learning process and maintaining a positive and constructive outlook throughout the journey that is mastering music composition.

What don't I like about making music?

The impediments and obstacles I face in the music making process are usually related to what I feel are the limitations of my tools and the legwork required to wrestle with those tools to get the product I imagine.

What do I think I am not very good at?

My foils are related to discipline. I am not very good at maintaining focus and discipline in general, this is not unique to music making, but is a problem I have with every aspect of my life.

(In order to remedy this, I need to balance discipline appropriately with a playful creative outlet, but it's not something that happens over night, it requires a lot of hard work.)

Is there a specific step in the music making process I flat out hate?

I really dislike instrument programming. It's like going to the dentist, it's good to go, you have to do it, but it's painful almost the entire way through.

Boring, tedious, or frustrating?

Along with instrument programming, I would have to say mixing. I'm never happy with my mixes. And if I ever find myself happy with my mixes, it never lasts.

I would also like to add that I am constantly frustrated with what I feel is a lack of harmonic diversity in my music making. At some point mastering conventional harmony is boring and you feel the need to push outside of the box more and more.

But music composition, as a life-long journey, does have its breakthroughs, it's moments of revelation. Much like Chess or Go, a beginning player wouldn't understand the movements of an advanced player, but then you have these breakthrough moments that free you from the box, but then you realize that you have to meet that breakthrough with an advancement in your skill because that box you broke through was providing structure.

The most important and embarrassing music revelation I had was last year when I realized that key signatures were meaningless and I have been struggling to advance my skill level to meet that revelation. Sometimes it's quite frustrating.

I'm also struggling with a completely satisfying control over orchestral timbre through orchestration and instrumentation.

Something other people think I'm good at that I suck at?

Music composition, orchestration, and production.

Often times we look at someone on top of a hill, and see them as being at the summit, but from our angle, we can't see the mountain behind them--they can--in hiking we call this a false summit.

There is still so much more to learn, so much more mountain to climb, and yeah, it can be exhausting, and it can be frustrating when you look over and someone younger than you is higher up that mountain, or someone who used to be behind you is ahead, but you gotta focus on your climbing at all times.

There is no final summit, they are all false summits, it's the climbing that's the point of the journey.

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I dislike a lot of the mundane things that aren't actually composition, for instance I recently converted all of my .sf2's and .dwp's to .xrni, or just going through samples in general. you can download thousands and thousands of sounds these days but it's also kind of a distraction when you have to decide which are worth using

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Excellent, an emo bitchfest thread. :)

One of the things I remind my students often about composing music is this:

Composing music or more specifically, mastering music composition is a life-long pursuit.

Acknowledging that point of fact is really important in engaging the learning process and maintaining a positive and constructive outlook throughout the journey that is mastering music composition.

What don't I like about making music?

The impediments and obstacles I face in the music making process are usually related to what I feel are the limitations of my tools and the legwork required to wrestle with those tools to get the product I imagine.

What do I think I am not very good at?

My foils are related to discipline. I am not very good at maintaining focus and discipline in general, this is not unique to music making, but is a problem I have with every aspect of my life.

(In order to remedy this, I need to balance discipline appropriately with a playful creative outlet, but it's not something that happens over night, it requires a lot of hard work.)

Is there a specific step in the music making process I flat out hate?

I really dislike instrument programming. It's like going to the dentist, it's good to go, you have to do it, but it's painful almost the entire way through.

Boring, tedious, or frustrating?

Along with instrument programming, I would have to say mixing. I'm never happy with my mixes. And if I ever find myself happy with my mixes, it never lasts.

I would also like to add that I am constantly frustrated with what I feel is a lack of harmonic diversity in my music making. At some point mastering conventional harmony is boring and you feel the need to push outside of the box more and more.

But music composition, as a life-long journey, does have its breakthroughs, it's moments of revelation. Much like Chess or Go, a beginning player wouldn't understand the movements of an advanced player, but then you have these breakthrough moments that free you from the box, but then you realize that you have to meet that breakthrough with an advancement in your skill because that box you broke through was providing structure.

The most important and embarrassing music revelation I had was last year when I realized that key signatures were meaningless and I have been struggling to advance my skill level to meet that revelation. Sometimes it's quite frustrating.

I'm also struggling with a completely satisfying control over orchestral timbre through orchestration and instrumentation.

Something other people think I'm good at that I suck at?

Music composition, orchestration, and production.

Often times we look at someone on top of a hill, and see them as being at the summit, but from our angle, we can't see the mountain behind them--they can--in hiking we call this a false summit.

There is still so much more to learn, so much more mountain to climb, and yeah, it can be exhausting, and it can be frustrating when you look over and someone younger than you is higher up that mountain, or someone who used to be behind you is ahead, but you gotta focus on your climbing at all times.

There is no final summit, they are all false summits, it's the climbing that's the point of the journey.

As a composer that hasn't done jack-all since I graduated last year, this speaks to me deeply.

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@dannthr: sir, you've worded this better than I ever could (at my modest level of course).

Composing melodies is what gives (gave) me the most enjoyment. Mixing/nitpicking, not so much.

Many ideas and inspiration were lost to me in the quest of improving production values.

Balancing all these elements while keeping sight of the objective is truly a daunting task.

Everyone pretty much has their own journey to experience and summits to climb.

There's always gonna be someone who can do better in less time and with less effort.

The most important/hardest thing imho is to avoid getting discouraged and loose your passion.

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I hate writer's block. I almost never have a full plan for a piece in my head. Most of my composition comes 100% from improvisation, not realizing ideas in my head.

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I hate writer's block. I almost never have a full plan for a piece in my head. Most of my composition comes 100% from improvisation, not realizing ideas in my head.

Hah, weird. I do the same thing. I usually come up with a seed idea, flesh out a phrase of music completely with percussion, pads, melody, harmony, etc., then build ad lib on either side of it.

Because I'm a creepy-ass stalker, I thought I remembered reading somewhere that you said you create most of your pieces sequentially; beginning to end. Do you really just kinda wing it all straight from nothing and develop a piece from the intro to the outro all by improv? I can't even imagine doing that... that's pretty impressive. Intros are usually how I finish writing a tune :P

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Yep, that's what I do about 98% of the time.

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Interesting. I like to try my best to realize the songs in my head. I've tried just jammin' to find something that I like and use it, but rarely can I write a full song that way. At least, I can rarely write a song I like that way.

I like the challenge of being able to transcribe the songs I imagine and hear in my head. It's an awesome feeling when you have this great melody or riff in your mind and then you hear it for real. Helps with learning other songs by ear too.

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If I do have an idea, transcribing it is pretty easy. After studying theory/ear training I can do that fairly readily. But I believe ideas are actually very hard to come by, and you sort of either have them or you don't.

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Kind of a negative thread

No sadness, no joy.

What don't you like about making music

Hm. If I'm being honest, there's nothing I don't like. Granted, I haven't had the experience yet to deal with a band with an ego or an untalented singer insisting that their recording that sounds like a burlap sack of rats on fire can be autotuned to something palatable, so perhaps that would sway my opinion.

I think most of the stuff is not about not liking it - it's frustration at me being not good enough.

and what do you think you aren't very good at.

I wish I was more proficient with chord progressions, though wishing is useless; practice and studying theory would be useful. I'm also not very good at resisting the siren's call of forums ;-)

Is there any step in the music makin' process you just flat out hate?

Nope.

Something you find boring, tedious or frustrating?

There is lots of boring and tedious stuff thanks to software (and it's equally boring or even moreso in hardware).

Sampling. In theory a great idea, in practice there's lots of tedious crap you have to deal with.

DAWs. All interfaces are 2 decades old and there's still so much to innovate but it doesn't happen.

MIDI. The only way to deal with older equipment and nobody can do this right.

Also, is there something other people think you're good at, but you think you suck at?

Playing keyboard. Well, saying I suck is perhaps false modesty, but I feel I don't deserve the compliment.

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I never get inspiration, I can never finish my works, I'm terrible at synth sound choice, and I can't write any good original works.

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the bad:

Getting more than 8 bars done without simply stretching and thinning them out arrangement wise - a really bad habit

and

eating the bread of idleness when it comes to polishing the final product - the certainty it will rock when pushed to eleven - the resentment you didn't overcome

the good:

turning a bad mix into an joyful experience

Misses K helping me to getting that polish thing done ;)

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I can't write lyrics. I'd probably be rich if I could... Got the riffs, not the words.

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If I do have an idea, transcribing it is pretty easy. After studying theory/ear training I can do that fairly readily. But I believe ideas are actually very hard to come by, and you sort of either have them or you don't.

Agreed. I'd write a ton less music if I forced myself to write only preconceived ideas, and for a few months, this is what I did. It was unpleasant, unproductive,and nothing else. Nowadays, I usually have a tone or mood I aim to set, then I go from there. Occasionally, particularly fun keyboard improvs will serve as the seed bit around which I'll write the rest of the tune, but yeah, it's generally just writing by feel.

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I hate writer's block. I almost never have a full plan for a piece in my head. Most of my composition comes 100% from improvisation, not realizing ideas in my head.

I have that same exact problem! Sometimes I have a general idea of the track's direction, but it always splits off to improv land. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not, but it frankly makes me feel insecure about my ability as a musician.

A couple times I made some great discoveries by letting myself improvise without restraint though. Still, I'd rather have a clear vision from the get-go.

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I have that same exact problem! Sometimes I have a general idea of the track's direction, but it always splits off to improv land. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not, but it frankly makes me feel insecure about my ability as a musician.

A couple times I made some great discoveries by letting myself improvise without restraint though. Still, I'd rather have a clear vision from the get-go.

I don't think it matters really how you write the music. As long as your method works.

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