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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

to compose vs. to release
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author to compose vs. to release
slumberjack
hi there!

i don't find this maybe to right subforum, if not please move the thread.

how does releasing or not releasing your music affect the studio work of you?

i had sort of a breakdown yesterday. working for two days on this composition, just recorderd the final take (which the linked file isn't) and having a long shower before attending to one of jojo mayer & nerve rare concerts around. i must have been under the water for almost 45 min, my toughts were running wild on the topic of me doing music. you know basically i'm a dj spinning to dance. having a nice collection of vinyl, i don't really have to buy new stuff, i can play out quality dance music from the last 25 years with ease and pleasure. i can play regularly if i want, i know enough people who like what i do.

but what is it with all the music i do in the studio? it's no really stuff a lot of people would consider good dance music, nor it fits into noise communitiy. its actually like living as demisexual and heteroflexibel dude: always going for girls but then still flirting with all the time, and after the initial shot is placed the interrest suddenly dissapears in an oddly sounding world of not wanting to take place in that obvious business. wanting and not wanting and not knowing what to want and wanting everything. if i would have to label it i'd call that 'neurotic dance music - NDM'. at least that's a description from a friend of mine. a proper trained musician. another one just mentioned 'neurotic', so after ten years music making non-stop i finally got genre to stick. my own one. how satisfying is that! (i'm ironic and honest at the same time).

where does this all leads? i do a lots of songs. lots of varienty. honestly i could run 5 alias. i'm working for a small dance label, i can put ep out there, which is a huge priveledge to me. sometime i put stuff out on my own label. if i find time and money to do so. then i reserved a bandcamp account to my name and i'd like to put albums of collected song out there. in fact i got a album mastered since august 2017 on my drive to load up. i'll do this later today. or maybe tomorrow. in fact i could release this every minute. i just have to drag and drop. so i'll do this next week, after work. and then you know, i working on a mix down for another album. since december i finished with post production. and yeah guess i need only one recording more tao finish the album of this wavetable project i startet a year ago. it's my affair of the heart and honestly it the best work of mine. then you know i already have enough songs to compile an ep and a following up album of the one in mixing stage (but now i think of this one that's it's not worth the effort, as well as the one already mastered is to crappy to show it to people). and with the recording i linked above it's just one more to choose from this realm of sound.

so then i wished me person to take my studio computer with to another place, sorting out what is it they want and then give it back to me with clear duties to do with which songs. unless this happens i feel totaly like drowing into all of this sounds and the interliked feeling to stories to them. or is it more like a balloon slipping out the hand of a child? there's this label 'game of life', i could send a few tracks to them, it maybe could fit. uwe schmidts / atom hearts sublabel for younger musicians followed me on twitter. but now i'm starting to think to much, this is all a coincidence, i mean after two or three people in my sourroundings are willing to talk with me about me music, who would actually care? i mean there's no feedback in the internet.
look at me i barely listen to other peoples music, rather than feel the need to exchange my toughts on it. the only comments around are for well know and famous people. and usually they go like 'OMG' 'loving' dis so much' 'ur my hero since day one' 'tripping so hanrd on this' 'lovely break' last but not least 'must have'.

now pardon me for this longer writings, these are actually only i few words compared to what i felt yesterday. and yeah you can see this also as a sign of confidence to this community. i spend time daily here and i'm amazed by friendly diversity and supportive tone here.

now my actual question would be, because i'm sure that me isn't alone with these thoughts between output and to put out somethings, the quest for relevance and how this all affects the composing / creative process at all.

you know what? now i order pizza.
thevegasnerve
Well, it’s certainly hard to create your own voice with all the product now available to us. It can feel as it’s all been done. I only listen to music from aspiring artists at this point, as I learn much more from my peers and want to support them. But yes, even when I do make music the question begs does anyone care? Well in the end, nobody does “you” better than yourself. Which means I guess to just play what you feel regardless of style. Taking out the idea of career opens this possibility up, meaning that our only chance at finding our voice is to remove as many filters (e.g., style, money, ego, admiration of gear) as we can.

Not sure if that helps or relates to your struggles.
dogoftears
i have about 7 unreleased albums of music for 4 project aliases.
but--
i think it's all brilliant stuff, and 100% plan on releasing it all. i just start to get really anal at the end, with the mix downs and mastering stuff. it's also very difficult to prioritize what should come out first.

my view is like this:
it's hard to release music-- you are competing against the entire history of recorded music, and it's daunting ("does any one really care?")
but
if you think you're stuff is really good, then please release it, so that it can hopefully inspire me and other people like me.

i would say there's another part that can be really stressful and intimidating, which is promoting the album properly after release. all that effort-- now you need to get people to listen to/buy it/download it. it's actually not that hard, but you have to put in the hours (unless your blessed to be on a label with a marketing and promotion budget of some kind, and an actual person in charge of such things-- bit rare these days for "us")

thoughts for the moment.
Hainbach
Many artists struggle with this problem, especially in the pseudo-feedback internet world we live in.

I get almost daily mails from people I have never met wanting feedback for their music. More than I can answer now, but I when I do I take the time to give honest and useful criticism. But on the internet its a toned down version of what I would say in person, because its a too difficile topic to discuss via email.

That is why I also do one one one sessions where I work with musicians on everything, from basic theory to optimizing their setup to overcoming writer's block to producing their music. An outsider you trust can help you get better.

Also, playing live and DJaying your own music is brutally honest feedback.

Regarding your own listening habits - work on them. It does no good to isolate yourself. Listen to the people in your situation and maybe even genre (I am sure you are not the only one doing neurotic dance music, even if the name is yours :-)). Find a language, get in touch with others, help each other out, collaborate.

Good luck!
slumberjack
thevegasnerve wrote:
Well, it’s certainly hard to create your own voice with all the product now available to us. It can feel as it’s all been done. I only listen to music from aspiring artists at this point, as I learn much more from my peers and want to support them. But yes, even when I do make music the question begs does anyone care? Well in the end, nobody does “you” better than yourself. Which means I guess to just play what you feel regardless of style. Taking out the idea of career opens this possibility up, meaning that our only chance at finding our voice is to remove as many filters (e.g., style, money, ego, admiration of gear) as we can.

Not sure if that helps or relates to your struggles.


your word reflect my state of mind very well. i'm over the career filter since i'd say 5 years. guess it's the kill your darling thing which often expands your conciousness because you see the bigger picture instead having focus triggered by some nice pattern/fortunate goal/good looks.
slumberjack
Hainbach wrote:
Many artists struggle with this problem, especially in the pseudo-feedback internet world we live in.

I get almost daily mails from people I have never met wanting feedback for their music. More than I can answer now, but I when I do I take the time to give honest and useful criticism. But on the internet its a toned down version of what I would say in person, because its a too difficile topic to discuss via email.

That is why I also do one one one sessions where I work with musicians on everything, from basic theory to optimizing their setup to overcoming writer's block to producing their music. An outsider you trust can help you get better.

Also, playing live and DJaying your own music is brutally honest feedback.

Regarding your own listening habits - work on them. It does no good to isolate yourself. Listen to the people in your situation and maybe even genre (I am sure you are not the only one doing neurotic dance music, even if the name is yours :-)). Find a language, get in touch with others, help each other out, collaborate.

Good luck!


sure i'm not the only one, as the people around me so quite wierd art too.
and we're not the only ones out the. all of us do only stand on the shoulders of giants - as we say where i come from.

i've been i bit unclear, i'm not isolated. there's a group of i'd say 10 people around and constant feedback, sharing work and ideas. some of them are interlinked too. and i always listen to everythings from everone i know in person that crossed my way (well...tbh some i skip. quite often.) i wanted to point out, how irrelevant most of the comments are to the discussion about music it self, most of them are only to the very subjective matter of the own experience of the listerns related. that's not a bad thing actually! it's what we all do, everday, with every piece, we relate our selfs to it. we can't hide. we can't run. the break on to the other side might be possible yes, for a short time. it's how our brain works.

seems like you're a nice guy and that you have lots of time to share for people reaching out. and this quote about playing your tracks out is so right.
that's why i feels like jumping down a dark rabbit hole, before you try.
slumberjack
you know what? a few hours later i moved my lazy ass and loaded the album up on bandcamp. it's linked in my signature now. feels good.
Panason
I remember when I started making ( more like trying to make) dance music back in the 90s. One day I walked into a record shop to check out the latest underground ( white label) releases. I left feeling severely defeated. My stuff was nowhere near. I had to take a long break to re-assess everything. Yep, being able to mix vinyl didn't mean being able to make tunes... a tough realisation.

Quote:
working for two days on this composition, just recorded the final take


Two days?? Try 4 months! You're doing fine!
Quote:

uwe schmidts / atom hearts sublabel


ooh, I used to listen to Atom Heart's stuff back then. What is the name of the label?
ZLAL
Rehearse, compose every day.

Play live at least once a month.

"Release" every year or two. Maybe with slightly more frequency if I have a lot of time on my hands.

Avoid Soundcloud, youtube, posting half finished tracks on forums, and all other instant gratification feedback generators that make one feel more accomplished than one actually is.
ZLAL
The above post sounds more proscriptive than I intended. That's just what works for me. I enjoy live performance much more than recording and also have to split my time between producing music, promoting electronic music events, a PhD program, and non-solo non-electronic music.
Lysene
I just wanted to say that the wording of the OP is so amazing. it reads like some sort of postmodern psychedelic novel SlayerBadger!

no offence meant - it's genuinely sick
Dcramer
I start with a date, a point in the future, often arbitrary, on which I want to release something.
Up until that point I’m just filling in the gaps until I’m at that point.
It’s like having a deadline, but I give myself lots of built in wiggle room. thumbs up
dubonaire
Dcramer wrote:
I start with a date, a point in the future, often arbitrary, on which I want to release something.
Up until that point I’m just filling in the gaps until I’m at that point.
It’s like having a deadline, but I give myself lots of built in wiggle room. thumbs up


I might try this approach.
slumberjack
getting back to this.

making music is such a journey or trip to me (someone mentioned a quite psychedelic text above...), constantly evolving and crashing a the same time. it seems to just be the matter of finding the right time to stop working further on a song wheter it's something to release or that it's more of a practice. as this word practice came to my mind everything cleared up immediatly.

and there's a lot of practice that has to be done.
(a proper 'writing on the wall' at he studio sentence.)
ersatzplanet
All the bands I have been in were live improvisational ones. We recorded a lot of shows, mainly for ourselves. This was back in the late 70's and early 80's. We released some cassettes in small quantities, mainly for the fans we had at the time. Fast forward to the present day. I have been contacted by four different EU record labels about the cassettes we released that somehow made there way over there. Three different bands I was in. All of them now released on vinyl (Young Scientist, Sequencer People, and K7SS) on compilations and full album releases. I still had the Reel to Reel, PortaSudio masters of some and personal CDs and master cassettes of the others (had to get the old machines up and running to play them!). I now have shiny records to play 40 years later!

What I'm saying here is that you should NEVER give up on your music. Make music you like, and there are LOTS of people out there who will like it. Release it when it feels good to you. After 40 years somebody liked the stuff we made enough to pay to have it released in a small run of vinyl. Some of that material I find hard to listen to myself (especially some vocal tracks!)! Nowadays with the internet touching millions of people, finding people who like what you are doing is easier than ever before.
sparood
Just do it. I have the same doubts but realized the difference between those that put heir work out there and us is not that they make better music, but the fact that they are willing to put their work out their in front of an audience and we are sitting here posting on a synth forum.

Time to get in action. You, me, and everybody else.
matthewjuran
slumberjack wrote:
how does releasing or not releasing your music affect the studio work of you?

Self-publishing with the Internet has let me have free recording creativity since there isn’t thousands of dollars going into physical releases that might not sell.

For artistry without considering money, lately I’ve thought about “art inflation” where any idea you can have is also in the path of others or was already released from the path of others. That new thought today was performed by a stranger last year. For happiness I think you have to just try to take turns surfing the inflation wave by having your own experiences and art consumption in parallel with making your art so that how you combine it all might be appealing, challenging, or something else different for a moment.

What’s your goal with music? Why did you start?
slumberjack
i now found a solution which i might be happy with.

thanks for all your inputs!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_3muVXfjdQ
dubonaire
matthewjuran wrote:
For artistry without considering money, lately I’ve thought about “art inflation” where any idea you can have is also in the path of others or was already released from the path of others. That new thought today was performed by a stranger last year. For happiness I think you have to just try to take turns surfing the inflation wave by having your own experiences and art consumption in parallel with making your art so that how you combine it all might be appealing, challenging, or something else different for a moment.


nanos gigantum humeris insidentes

Or as Isaac Newton wrote "if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."
boxxgrooved
Regarding composition and direction your music takes I have always thought it mainly boils down into 2 camps:

1. Those to whom music is their work and living, their sheer survival.

2. Those to whom music is a hobby and secondary to their living.

Now no.1 folks by definition had better move with the trends to survive or they may find they cannot pay their bills. This means their musical direction is partly dictated by the current trend and it will always be a slight gamble releasing something leftfield you like yourself but have doubts as to whether it will be accepted by the current era or your fans. There are always exceptions to this rule like those who are inherently wealthy with no need to work, or true artists making a mint releasing whatever the hell they want but these people are not the norm and have a rare talent. So in the end no.1 folks are not entirely free musically to compose whatever they desire because their survival depends on a certain level of following trends.

No.2 people can release a single made up of a continuous sine wave and it wouldn't matter one iota if people don't like it because it won't affect whether or not they can pay their bills or feed their children. These people have total liberty in composition styles and musical direction but because of this there may be a lack of desire or discipline to produce a focused body of work and get stuff finished...simply because they don't have to. I know there are many people that combine work and music production but I think those that still have the backup of their main job or work have more musical freedom than those that rely on it solely for their survival.

I think in the end if you love music and music production it doesn't really matter if you have made millions as an artist or just earn a modest living to be able buy and play nice instruments and make music. Daft Punk could probably buy a wall of Buchla but will they have any more fun staring at endless modules than common Joe playing with his 6U of Eurorack after work? Seeing music as a vehicle for fame and wealth is selling your soul for your passion IMO but there are many great albums out there that might have not been released without such a motive, so in the end I don't think it matters what the motive is. Make music and have fun!
slumberjack
tbh i started with ableton live around 10 years ago mainly because i was djing underground dance music. since some people stated sometime being sly i figured out, that for coming around i have to release a few dope 12" on specific labels. there was also a wish to be like them and also some degree of self-inflation as a compensation for the lack of ability to deal with emotions and/or people by seeing myself as talented but unrecognized,

so then i gave up djing for the most, playing not more than 3-4 times a year,
but still working on the idea of rising from the ranks trough a few masterful and groundbreaking tracks. illusions of grandeur! i'm working within a too artistic and experimental style, that i ever could gain any airplay in any scene.

now i had an insight yesterday - just right after i spend 500€ on discogs d'oh! - that i'm still living in the first state of mind i described above, that it's only covered with a coping strategy which is the second state.

it needs some time to deconstruct myself in a positve way and go ahead with not self-esteem compensation driven approach to music. which is hard because sounds are pure emotion and expression of those. so it might turn out to be a longer process in the end.

but for the beginning i started with deleting all of my project files. i keep every song/recording as stereo file, put them in one single file and loading it up to youtube for future preservation. i've done this yesterday with all projects i started under the last premise with reaper and i got another harddrive with the cycle before which are ableton projects.

i only keep a few which i really like too much (now it were 8 out of 36) to finish. then i will hand over four to a befriended netlabel, put a single run 20pcs dubplate with two tracks out (or maybe 2x 12", depending on the price) and place the rest of it as downloads on my bandcamp account. and now i put a rule to it: before everything is done i won't record anything new.
not even the nice patch that is waiting in my sequencer.

and maybe until then i'll find out a more fulfilling way of working for myself.
or just keep this youtube idea alive and if this happens for 10 years it will be an impressive series (and again, this wish-for-fame-demon speaks to me: then it will be perceived as lost masterpieces).

btw. i shared the link in my post above.

it's such an important place here for me, thanks everybody to make this available and keeping that helpful and understanding policy alive.
i'm happy to share my story and happy to feed other threads with inputs from my world.
matthewjuran
slumberjack wrote:
but for the beginning i started with deleting all of my project files. i keep every song/recording as stereo file, put them in one single file and loading it up to youtube for future preservation. i've done this yesterday with all projects i started under the last premise with reaper and i got another harddrive with the cycle before which are ableton projects.

Website services can go away anytime or change your files to a worse quality for a better broadcast, don’t use them for archiving.
slumberjack
matthewjuran wrote:
slumberjack wrote:
but for the beginning i started with deleting all of my project files. i keep every song/recording as stereo file, put them in one single file and loading it up to youtube for future preservation. i've done this yesterday with all projects i started under the last premise with reaper and i got another harddrive with the cycle before which are ableton projects.

Website services can go away anytime or change your files to a worse quality for a better broadcast, don’t use them for archiving.


sure i keep a copy to myself...
unexpectedbowtie
I release a whole bunch of stuff under a few different aliases, almost all under my own mini label. I don't really have any career aspirations at this point. I just enjoy playing music and making things. That perhaps changes things somewhat. I don't really feel like I'm competing against anybody, which removes a lot of pressure.
mousegarden
If you're composing/writing/recording for a market fine. You have to follow trends and guidelines, up to a point, but you have to push the envelope a bit, otherwise, even the most commercial of musics wont progress.
But this isn't me so.....I make music for myself primarily, if anyone else likes it that's a bonus. I don't agree about it being more difficult to be unique these days, it's always been the same. Some say originality is everything, I disagree, being different just for the sake of being different is a waste of time, even when working within the boundaries of a particular genre you can always do it "your way" and add your own character to it, I don't see anything wrong with that at all.
I make music that you could definitly "categorise" but I use my own sounds, and play them in my own style, it's me, and recognisable as me. I say I make music for myself, maybe that's not strictly correct, it is a two way thing, we have something to say, and we want to communicate that to someone who may identify with our feelings, it's truly wonderful when that happens, when you make a connection with another person, it's the best ever. It makes all this composing and agonising over our tools etc etc truly worth it.
Panason
Quote:
i'm working for a small dance label, i can put ep out there, which is a huge priveledge to me.


Yep, that's a lot more than what most people have...

You don't have to work like a machine pumping out music!

Finishing tracks is technical, not fun, boring, too much like work... Having to listen to your own tune over and over can really kill it!

I'm not often motivated to get a track to the point where it can be sent off for mastering because I know that the chance of it getting anywhere are near zero, regardless of how good it is. I have connections with producers, promoters and labels but I just can't be bothered to play the networking/ ass kissing game .

When I decided to get back into music making, the plan was to create a live act, ideally using only hardware. But, to get to play out I have to be able to show people examples of my work, so the need to finish tracks and put them out there isn't going away.
Then I remembered what it was like to do live sets: underpaid for the amount of effort required, and the risk to the equipment, having to deal with jealous DJs (who get paid just as much or more) and asshole promoters on coke, etc etc. Yeah I love doing this but I don't love it SO much... especially knowing that 90% of the audience doesn't care about how live a "live set" is!

So I just decided to stop worrying about any of that shit and just make the tunes that I want to make, and think about exposure later when I have more than a handful of nearly finished tracks.

I don't care for the modern-day disposable nature of dance music, the push for quantity over quality, the supposed need to be constantly posting on social media because the audience has very short attention span. They can fuck off!

Not being driven by ego needs is important for the soul and spirit, IMO, but probably won't make you famous!
slumberjack
anybody know this feeling: when you're at the studio putting together a few tracks, building the foundation of a new composition/song and you got this overwhelming feeling like 'now after years of work, finally i wrote the hit?

i mean the energy that comes with this is good, it helps finish stuff to a point where the mixdown and minor changes are the only thing to do. then you listen to the tune for a couple of weeks until it starts to fade and you feel embarassed about yourself fallen again in the hit-trap?

you know there's this modern deep (minimal) house label called 'delusions of grandeur'. so i cannot be the only one... wink

btw. the small label i'm on is really small, there are not more than 250 plays on sc for the title track of my ep, released two years ago. but no problem i feel comfortable with the guy who's running it, he's a friend to share not only music and stuff but time.
mousegarden
slumberjack wrote:
anybody know this feeling: when you're at the studio putting together a few tracks, building the foundation of a new composition/song and you got this overwhelming feeling like 'now after years of work, finally i wrote the hit?

i mean the energy that comes with this is good, it helps finish stuff to a point where the mixdown and minor changes are the only thing to do pretty good. then you listen to the tune for a couple of weeks until it starts to fade and you feel embarassed about yourself fallen again in the hit-trap?

you know there's this modern deep (minimal) house label called 'delusions of grandeur'. i cannot be the only one... wink

btw. the small label i'm on is really small, there are not more than 250 plays on sc for the title track of my ep, released two years ago. but no problem i feel comfortable with the guy who's running it, he's a friend to share not only music and stuff but time.


This feeling you talk about? I think, I've had it twice in my entire life.
The thing is, when I'm in the studio doing this supposedly brilliant track, I'm never aware that anything extraordinary is happening. It's only after the event, weeks probably, that it stands out as being a bit special.
I'm also on a very small label, and like you, just enjoy being with a like minded friend making music and spending time.
felixer
well, i just make things. sometimes alone sometimes with others. whatever is good (to my subjective mind) gets released. not thru a label but it is made public. then it is out of my hands. some like it, some don't ... that is about all there is to it. the fun comes years later when i hear something i did. 'how the hell did i do that?' and thoughts like that come up ... most of it i still like, although my taste has moved quite a bit ...
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