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Hello

Im soon beginning a free year of school which I want to spend on my hobbies, which includes music production. Over the last 3-4 years, I have spent a lot of time with Fruity Loops or FL Studio making music, but I have ended up with a trancy music style that doesnt quite fit too well with everyone listening... So I though maybe, if some of you professionals have the time, you could give some tips on how you create your music, and what your musical background is? It will really mean a lot to me, and Im sure everyone else reading that is on my level will have good use of your suggestions!

If I may, I have some personal questions too.

Is it normal for you people to use programs like FL Studio or Cubase etc to make music, or do you actually record from live instruments?? And if you use such programs, do you have any tips on VSTs that is worth buying? What I would love to learn from this thread is how to make a more neutral and natural style than what I have now. I have uploaded a few Nintendo game remixes on my YouTube channel, but as I mentioned earlier, its a bit too trancy for most people - and I have really no idea on how to start. Any tips at all will be received with great appreciation! :)

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Check out the 'Music Composition & Production' forum here: http://ocremix.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=12

There are several tutorials and whatnot. Also check out the 'Music Software Deals' sticky.

As far as the VST vs Live Recording are concerned, as long as it sounds good enough, the judges won't care. My personal preference is to only use VSTs for electronic sounds and use real instruments whenever possible. The best thing to do is listen to the recently posted remixes and read the judges' decision thread.

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FL Studio is an absolutely wonderful, flexible workstation. Don't listen to the guys who hate on it, if you encounter any, because it's most likely because they couldn't figure it out.

As far as musical background goes, you don't need anything to be a great musician. What I mean by that is, if you come to OCReMix to start your musical ventures, that's totally fine. There are professional musicians who have a strong background in this community.

As far as your style, don't let anyone hate on it and discourage you from writing in it. Style is, for lack of a better and less redundant term, stylistic preference. What matters is if YOU like it.

I listened to your stuff and I like it too, it's very pop dance/trance, and there are remixes on this site in that style. :P

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Thanks, SubNormal J3, Ill take a look at those :)

.. And thanks, neblix :) We share the same view on music :) The thing is, I fail miserable when Im trying to make something that is not my style :P I could never make anything classical sound great from my skills.. But I did learn a lot yesterday from googling stuff - and Ill probably spend a few years on some kind of music school. I hope they use FL Studio there (: In a few years, Ill get a song through the judges of OC :D

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Listen to all kinds of music , it will definitely help if you want to broaden your range. It helps incorporating elements from different genres. Or you can focus on one specific style at a time. If you want to learn how to make classical music then there should be plenty of resources :razz:

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Ill probably spend a few years on some kind of music school. I hope they use FL Studio there (: In a few years, Ill get a song through the judges of OC :D

They probably don't, no one believes in the power of FL Studio because so many people pirate it and use it for bad hip hop and sad attempts at real music. Professionals stray away from it, which is why a lot of Music Production courses don't offer FL Studio as a learning option. But don't be fooled, there ARE professionals that use it. Watch on YouTube: "Making Music: From Hobby to Profession". You probably don't want to become a professional, but the advice applies also for semi-pro jobs (so you could do music for people as a side job). Those guys use FL Studio. :P

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FL Studio is an absolutely wonderful, flexible workstation. Don't listen to the guys who hate on it, if you encounter any, because it's most likely because they couldn't figure it out.

As far as musical background goes, you don't need anything to be a great musician. What I mean by that is, if you come to OCReMix to start your musical ventures, that's totally fine. There are professional musicians who have a strong background in this community.

As far as your style, don't let anyone hate on it and discourage you from writing in it. Style is, for lack of a better and less redundant term, stylistic preference. What matters is if YOU like it.

I listened to your stuff and I like it too, it's very pop dance/trance, and there are remixes on this site in that style. :P

I can vouch for this post for real. My musical background was at an alpha setting of 20/255 before this site. And it was a pretty boring background, too. It was like a grey gradient. Many people comment on how much I've improved since I've went here, and it's still getting better every time. You don't need to have some insane background of piano/violin since you were 2 to be able to make music. Just keep at it, and have fun with it!

Thanks, SubNormal J3, Ill take a look at those :)

.. And thanks, neblix :) We share the same view on music :) The thing is, I fail miserable when Im trying to make something that is not my style :P I could never make anything classical sound great from my skills.. But I did learn a lot yesterday from googling stuff - and Ill probably spend a few years on some kind of music school. I hope they use FL Studio there (: In a few years, Ill get a song through the judges of OC :D

Good luck to you on that! Just keep doing what you're doing, and you'll get better. There are haters everywhere, for reals, there was this dude on Newgrounds who deliberately targetted and 0/5'd everything I submitted. I know it's the same dude every time, too, because the numbers were awfully suspicious and not in sync with the general consensus of voters. It's just what happens. Keep prospering and evolving, and you'll move past those who try to keep you down. If you stay back to fight them, you're only slowing down your forward momentum.

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Hi there friend. You dont need any schooling to be a musician. I started music for the first time 8 years ago when I went into college. I took theory class for 4 years and managed to graduate with a B.A in electronic music Composition. I use Protool , FL studio, and Learning how to use cubase. I used to compose with finale and I'm also learning sibelius 6.2. The key to composing music not of your style is to go on youtube and listen to other artists and try to get a feel for that particular style. Don't be afraid of trying new things. New things can lead to unexpected results. Composing can be thought of as drawing. You have your initial pencil sketch ( tempo and time signature), Then thickness of your lines or brush...(( The sound level for each instrument (mp- FFF).. )), Palette of colors to use (Instuments) ,and finally the application of the colors (mixing down your instruments).

Mastering usually comes at very end of the tether of composing in any format.

Acoustic (live or real instrument recorded live) vs (vst) again depends on what you can get for each sound. I person love Vsts, but I always prefer the real deal when it comes to orchestral instruments. Its important to remember that this is art and its not objective when it comes to the execution of making sound.

If you want to venture out of trance, you could maybe pick up a book on Western Music Theory and any historical book on the creation of it. There are other systems and forums of composing music as well to consider.

Its a good Idea to study up on this evolution and history of western music. A good starting point would be from the Gregorian chant from the middle ages. Dies Irae (gregorian chant version) is a good composition to look at. Some historical composer you could youtube are

Johannes Ockeghem (1420-1497)

Josquin des Prez (1450s-1520s)

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Thomas Luis De Victoria (1548-1611) (O magnum Mysterium is a favorite of mine)

Jacopo Peri (1566-1633) (early operas... Euridice comes to mind)

Henry Purcell (1659- 1695)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Probably the best composer to study when it comes to Westernized Music. If you're looking to understand counterpoint or Tonal functionality, Bach is the man to study. I recommend all of his inventions to start off with.) Prelude and Fugue in A minor is another really good piece to study, especially for fugal writing. Bach's work great helped establish our common tonal system today in which most popular music and works are organized in. There is also serialism, A-tonality, Iching, Cell thoery etc... the list goes on. For example Serialism was pretty popular in hollywood back in the 60s, You may know the movie called planet of the apes. The lat e Jerry Goldsmith scored that movie using a technique called twelve tone. Its another new form of composing music mostly different from the tonal system used and solidified by Bach.

Haydn & Mozart - Nothing needs to be said. listen to there works.

Mr. Beethoven - Everybody knows him. Whats interesting is that around the time period of when he was composing, thats the transition from classical era music to early romantic era music. The music theory at the time Increases in using Augmented chords, Unsual Cadences, neopolition 6ths and alternate movement to different tonal keys.

One of the main principles of Romantic era music was that Instruments could convey emotion without the use of Vocals . So if your into trance that be a good historical part to begin studying music and understanding its functions today.

If your looking for Grandiose-inspiration I recommend studying form the german school of though under the practices of Richard Wagner. Everybody knows his Ride of Valkyries music, but whats less common is the Operas of Tannhuaser and Tristan Und Isolde ( Tristan and Isolde). Studying the Theory from those two operas should give you more than enough ideas on how to represent your music thematically. Richard Wagner is a good point for understanding the idea of a re-ocurring musical theme within a music piece. Now you may ask yourself what does he have to do with today's music? Well if you've been to the movies and heard you favorite scores by John Williams or the Pulsating music of Hanz zimmer, you'll notice throughout a movie you'll hear a batman or Anikin theme come up again. Well that was labeled and coined by Wagner as the Leitmotif (re-ocurring theme) and it was implemented in much of his works.

I could go on but I think i'll stop there for now as i dont have the time to write about American music history, the rise of rage-time, Jazz, big band era music, Rock and roll, Disco - electronic, heavy metal- techno and other modern forms of Pop-cult- music.

Its important to know the history of what you write so that you can better understand how to execute your own works.

As for DAWs. Pretty much anything will work if you like it and feel good about it. FL studio is a wonder DAW for my in terms of Work Flow. I have an Idea I get it out on FL studio much quicker and fast than having to play mr.audio engineer on cubase or Protools 8. The key is finding the balance between engineer and artist with these programs.

I usually compose all my work in fl and move it to protools for Final Mastering. I'd like to have the Waves programs, but money doesn't grow out of my butt. If it did, i'd be eating a lot of stuff. i personally dont like the sound coming of fl studio compared to reason or cubase. If the learning curve on cubase and reason was easier for me, i'd hop over real quick. Now if you're running a 32bit system You're limited on memory and that means the amount of plugins you can use. If you can try to get ona 64bit Os system and hope/find a daw that you like that is 64 bit compatibile. I can tell you right now that memory can be a hindrance to the amount of color you can use in your work. Not all programs right now can function stable wise on a 64 bit system. I know that my Protools 9 does not support 64bit plugins nor does it have the capacity to go about 3gbs of memory. It becomes quite a problem when your using HQ samples and are trying to organize your instruments for a particular composition.

Anyways good luck to you.

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Learning to use a DAW is just like learning to use an instrument. It takes practice, and a lot of it. Don't get discouraged if your mix doesn't sound amazing right away. Chances are your first couple of songs will turn out mediocre at best, not because they're bad songs or arrangements but because you're still learning how to use a DAW. Just stick with it and keep learning, your mixes will improve with time AND effort.

Getting a good mix is about 50% technique and 50% creativity. You have to know how to do what you're wanting to do, but you also have to be creative enough to know what you want to do and what would sound good in an overall mix.

There are always diehard fans of specific DAWs, some swear allegiance to ProTools and only ProTools, but the smaller, cheaper DAWs can be just as powerful. FL Studio can be just as strong as ProTools or Logic or Cubase or any other DAW out there. The point behind that is it's the engineer behind the DAW that makes the mix come alive, not the DAW itself.

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There are some amazing books on different subjects, like counterpoint http://www.amazon.com/Study-Counterpoint-Johann-Joseph-Parnassum/dp/0393002772

and composing http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0226732169/ref=pd_luc_sim_02_02

it might make learning a bit faster and easier. Especially if you are feeling stuck. Just throwing it out there :)

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Learning to use a DAW is just like learning to use an instrument. It takes practice, and a lot of it. Don't get discouraged if your mix doesn't sound amazing right away. Chances are your first couple of songs will turn out mediocre at best, not because they're bad songs or arrangements but because you're still learning how to use a DAW. Just stick with it and keep learning, your mixes will improve with time AND effort.

Getting a good mix is about 50% technique and 50% creativity. You have to know how to do what you're wanting to do, but you also have to be creative enough to know what you want to do and what would sound good in an overall mix.

There are always diehard fans of specific DAWs, some swear allegiance to ProTools and only ProTools, but the smaller, cheaper DAWs can be just as powerful. FL Studio can be just as strong as ProTools or Logic or Cubase or any other DAW out there. The point behind that is it's the engineer behind the DAW that makes the mix come alive, not the DAW itself.

pretty much this.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry about my late response, I have had a rough month!

Wow, this is actually really intresting! I had no idea that it existed DAWs (I also learned what DAW is) with better sound output than FL Studio. This will be one of the first things Im gonna look into in the Summer. I have calculated some money stuff and my solution is that I will spend about 5000$-ish on a new PC and on a DAW (which was FL Studio until just now...) and on some VSTs. I currently have ReFX Nexus2 on target, if its familiar to someone - a lot of artists I listen to have given great feedback to it. And I guess I'll also spend a few years in college or highschool learning more. All I know about this is what I have learned myself over the last 5 years.

Also, thanks a lot for the great tips on how to become more classical. Im very familiar to most of those people, as I have 5 years of classical piano experience in the past and a dad that works in a professional orchestra. Im gonna look into each and every response I got from all of you, and hopefully I will find my style in not too long! Thanks a lot for taking the time to write everything, and sorry again for my late response - I don't mean to sound like I somewhat don't care :)

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Wow, this is actually really intresting! I had no idea that it existed DAWs (I also learned what DAW is) with better sound output than FL Studio. This will be one of the first things Im gonna look into in the Summer. I have calculated some money stuff and my solution is that I will spend about 5000$-ish on a new PC and on a DAW (which was FL Studio until just now...) and on some VSTs. I currently have ReFX Nexus2 on target, if its familiar to someone - a lot of artists I listen to have given great feedback to it. And I guess I'll also spend a few years in college or highschool learning more. All I know about this is what I have learned myself over the last 5 years.

Better output? Wrong idea. Short of arguing dithering and stuff on a mastering engineer-level, there's no discernible difference in output quality between most DAWs. The quality of the mix comes from the instruments and effects you use, and how you use them, and finally how you output the track (anything will sound like crap in 56 kbps). Spending money on something doesn't mean your music will get better, you still gotta learn to use whatever tools you get.

Learning is something you can do anywhere. I've taken one class of basic audio production (geared towards talk, not music), and an audio workshop one short weekend. I still have stuff to learn but apparently I'm good enough to get on ocr. I've learned through doing, through reading up, through experimenting, through comparing, and through spending some more on better tools. I'm still running on a $300 DAW budget plus $1000 for instruments and effects. No college classes, just practice and research. (not saying you shouldn't make use of any music/audio classes you can get into, they're useful, probably)

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Sorry about my late response, I have had a rough month!

Wow, this is actually really intresting! I had no idea that it existed DAWs (I also learned what DAW is) with better sound output than FL Studio. This will be one of the first things Im gonna look into in the Summer. I have calculated some money stuff and my solution is that I will spend about 5000$-ish on a new PC and on a DAW (which was FL Studio until just now...) and on some VSTs. I currently have ReFX Nexus2 on target, if its familiar to someone - a lot of artists I listen to have given great feedback to it. And I guess I'll also spend a few years in college or highschool learning more. All I know about this is what I have learned myself over the last 5 years.

Also, thanks a lot for the great tips on how to become more classical. Im very familiar to most of those people, as I have 5 years of classical piano experience in the past and a dad that works in a professional orchestra. Im gonna look into each and every response I got from all of you, and hopefully I will find my style in not too long! Thanks a lot for taking the time to write everything, and sorry again for my late response - I don't mean to sound like I somewhat don't care :)

If it's not italics then lets have our paragraph with a healthy helping of bold (unless it's in brackets).

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Sorry about my late response, I have had a rough month!

Wow, this is actually really intresting! I had no idea that it existed DAWs (I also learned what DAW is) with better sound output than FL Studio. This will be one of the first things Im gonna look into in the Summer. I have calculated some money stuff and my solution is that I will spend about 5000$-ish on a new PC and on a DAW (which was FL Studio until just now...) and on some VSTs. I currently have ReFX Nexus2 on target, if its familiar to someone - a lot of artists I listen to have given great feedback to it. And I guess I'll also spend a few years in college or highschool learning more. All I know about this is what I have learned myself over the last 5 years.

You will be sorely disappointed when you switch to another DAW and find out the sound quality is exactly the same. :P DAW's have absolutely no bearing on sound output. The tools you use do. And FL Studio has tools that are fine for high quality professional work.

Please, if you want better sound quality, don't switch your DAW, get better at production. There is no DAW with better sound output than FL Studio, and there is no DAW that FL Studio has better sound output than. They're all the same.

The only difference is the way you use them, and if you've been using FL Studio for 5 years, it's what you're used to. If you're gonna switch, don't expect it to be easy and then have your sound output sound better. At most, you will just change your music making method to something different and your music will still sound the same. :/

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