Feeling a bit discouraged :c

Stamper

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#1
Hey guys, I've currently been producing for about 4 months now and I've made a lot of progress with music theory, composition and production. My problem is I still feel uncomfortable making full length tracks. I love the drum programming and find it fun to mess around with beats, and understand all the terminology; but other than that, I struggle making progress in a track. I normally have a little melody in my head, play it out, but can't decide if it should be my bassline or melody, most of the times it's too complex for a bassline but when I make it a melody, it doesn't sit well with my drums. I have a problem harmonizing my bassline, melody, lead and drums. I haven't got a real workflow yet, although I usually start with a drum pattern first then try to create a bassline, and go from there. I'm just hoping this comes with experience, I don't produce a lot, I'm still reading up on theory but I'm adamant to learn. I just hope improvement is inevitable, and this becomes second nature c:

If anyone could give me any tips, advice, or references on harmonizing and getting elements to sit well in a mix, I'd be greatful.
 

dar kist

KYRO
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#2
well it takes a while to get the basics under your belt, in the early days i found just being super creative with my tunes was most important to me, production skills were second. i guess what i'm saying is if you are happy with a fews sounds you have made, you like the drums but you think it sounds crap, who cares just finish it any way. ive been at it for almost 5 years now and i still have trouble finishing my tracks, i maybe finish 1 out of every 10 that i start. i don't know if this really helps you at all?

as for tips. go though forums as you already are, read as much as you can about production Pacific to d n b or d step, watch all the tutorials on you tube that you can, if a tune that you were happy with starts to sound shit, leave it for the day ( or a few hours at least ) start a new one and come back to it. as for getting things to sit in the mix..... the way that i arrange as an example is. drums - get them sounding big and phat from the get go, hitting no louder than -8 then build bass sounds around my drums, hitting around - 10 -8 but truly depends on the sound. then i get my sub bass in there about -10 keeping every thing low will give you heaps of head room and a all round good sounding mix. once you have drums mid bass and sub bass sorted then you can add melodies and the likes to fit. THATS JUST HOW I DO IT, hope this helps.
 
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Phat_Sam

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#3
Most dnb/dubstep is written in a modal scale which is different to your average joe key signature.

Read up on modal keys/interchanges and that should help you get a better understanding of the kind of keys used in dnb which in turn should help you harmonise your basslines and such an ting...
 

miszt

BASSFACE Royale
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#4
agree with DarKist, be experimental and creative, dont worry to much about the standards in dnb, the most important thing is to experiment lots and lots, learn how to manipulate sound and create new things, you cant expect to make a proper track after 4 months, so dont worry about that, allot of us have been at it for years and we are all still learning, i've been producing since 2005 (my 1st trance releases), and its taken me since the end of 2009 to really figure out the dnb sound, partly because i am very experimental, that slowed me down in some ways, but it also ment that i learnt a huge amount about how things work and how to get the sound i wanted, now i've focused more on the dnb structure i find putting tracks together pretty fluid, but only coz i have the experience of sound design to put to good use, i'm still learning tho, and i expect i will be till the day i die! dont give up, 4months isnt long at all, just keep at it and have fun :D get involved with the new talent section, listen to tracks, give your feedback and read what other people say, theres loads of good info in the new talent section that u can apply to your own music
 

Mr Fletch

aka KRONIX
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#5
Completely agree with what the other guys have said.

I've been producing now for around 2 years, and still I find myself learning new stuff on a daily basis, and reckon as long as I produce, I will continue to learn. When I 1st started out I was in the same boat as you, not really knowing what to do or where to go, but I just continued to be creative and enjoy what I was doing, not worrying too much on structure, or mixdowns etc.....these things will all fall into place over time. I never bothered learning music thory, scales, or progressions, and I still dont really understand that stuff, everything I do I just trust my ears, if it sounds right to me, chances are it is right, and if it's not...meh....who cares!

I've been pretty lucky this year, landing a double release on UKDNB. Two tracks released on digital format in big sites such as HMV Digital, Juno, Beatport, iTunes etc etc. And if someone had told me back when I 1st started out that I would get a release at some point, I probably would have laughed in their face! I guess what I'm trying to say is, dont be discouraged......ever.....Take this period in your productions to just enjoy yourself and have fun, dont take it too seriously, the time for that will come later in your journey. If you feel passionate about production, like most of us here, you will find yourself learning more and more every day, and who knows, one day you may get a release too. Just stay focused, dont rush anything.....and like I've already said.....just enjoy it.
 

T:M

Dusty Techno Workout
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#6
I say don't worry about getting a full track done and out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with only making a short 1-2 minute concept track, trying new ideas and such, getting the feel for new techniques and learning about your DAW (in fact just this week after having Logic for about a year I'm just now learning with what the "Latch" mode is all about.) Producing/DJing is a continual learning process. If you want to get some nice pointers I suggest buying a copy of MusicTech and popping in the disc and checking out the Beginners folder (think that's what it's called) it has a ton of nice .pdf files that explain everything from synthesis techniques to mixing and more! Also I think poking around on forums like this one can help a lot too, watching tutorials, and practicing what you've learned! Also here is a nice site that might be useful: http://audio.tutsplus.com/

And here is a nice interactive frequency chart that is regularly reposted on this site: http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

Hope it helps!
 

Stamper

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#8
well it takes a while to get the basics under your belt, in the early days i found just being super creative with my tunes was most important to me, production skills were second. i guess what i'm saying is if you are happy with a fews sounds you have made, you like the drums but you think it sounds crap, who cares just finish it any way. ive been at it for almost 5 years now and i still have trouble finishing my tracks, i maybe finish 1 out of every 10 that i start. i don't know if this really helps you at all?

as for tips. go though forums as you already are, read as much as you can about production Pacific to d n b or d step, watch all the tutorials on you tube that you can, if a tune that you were happy with starts to sound shit, leave it for the day ( or a few hours at least ) start a new one and come back to it. as for getting things to sit in the mix..... the way that i arrange as an example is. drums - get them sounding big and phat from the get go, hitting no louder than -8 then build bass sounds around my drums, hitting around - 10 -8 but truly depends on the sound. then i get my sub bass in there about -10 keeping every thing low will give you heaps of head room and a all round good sounding mix. once you have drums mid bass and sub bass sorted then you can add melodies and the likes to fit. THATS JUST HOW I DO IT, hope this helps.
Cheers for the write up, guys. I haven't even begn to get super creative with my tracks yet, I'm still just getting a firm understanding of the basics, structure and composition. It's not all too confusing, but I'm still finding it especially hard for my melodies to sit comfortably with the bassline and gel with the drums -- the drums aren't too much of a problem as I make them standard at first, then apply for elements and cosmetic changes. I'm mostly inspired by the work of Pendulum, Netsky, Sub Focus, B Complex, Original Sin, and SnakeUltimate, whose work are very melody and riff driven, yet their basslines play a completely different role, in adding support, but not simply copying the original melody. I find that sort of supporting bassline pretty boring, and would like it to play a separate part than the riff. I tend to make the melody and lead first, just play out the notes on a MIDI keyboard, then try to figure out a fitting bassline. It's not working out to well, I might attempt a few bass driven tracks and apply a melody. Thanks again, fellas. Oh, and I know a bassline can be both melodic and a substitute for a main riff, but I'm more referring to the higher frequency that play as melodies.
too long didnt read
Cool story, bro.
 
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Sweaty Teddy

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#9
I'm mostly inspired by the work of Pendulum, Netsky, Sub Focus, B Complex, Original Sin, and SnakeUltimate, whose work are very melody and riff driven, yet their basslines play a completely different role, in adding support, but not simply copying the original melody.

I'd try just doing your own thing for now, don't try and emulate what those guys are doing.
Although many people on here dislike some of their more recent output (me included) Sub Focus & Pendulum have got their sound down and there production skills are tight, the've got that glossed over sound and that isn't easy to do.
I rate B Complex for beautiful lies but haven't heard much else by him. Don't rate the others you've listed and never heard of Snake Ultimate.

I'm assuming you're fairly new to drum and bass? Perhaps you should pop over to general section and check out some of the artists that get mentioned there, could potentially be a new source of inspiration
 

MARKLAR

International Tracksuit Salesman
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#10
it really was i think we all had a good time
i wasnt actually just reffering to your post either!lol
but seriously just practise practise practise
you'll eventually get it
also dont make complex basslines to begin with just go with the base notes from your melodys and stretch em out and work from there
 
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#12
I feel that improvement IS inevitable, you just gotta keep making tracks and one day you will realize that you have actually started to make pretty cool tracks, I got stuck in a gotta gete better mind set for ages and then when I actually did slow down and look at what I was producing I noticed the huge leaps and strides in quality :p

Keep producing bro, I feel your pain haha
 

atticuh

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#13
Cheers for the write up, guys. I haven't even begn to get super creative with my tracks yet, I'm still just getting a firm understanding of the basics, structure and composition. It's not all too confusing, but I'm still finding it especially hard for my melodies to sit comfortably with the bassline and gel with the drums.
Sounds like there are two areas under composition you need to work on:

1) Understand more advanced rhythm techniques such syncopation, rhythm fills, and driving
2) Learn all about tonics and tonic scales.

One good resource for both of those issues (especially if you have no background in music theory at all) is RavenSpiral's Guide to Music Theory. It explains some tougher topics in a manner which is easily digestable, but the best part is that its free. 8)
Google away, my friend. 8)
 
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#14
My best advice to anyone starting out is to try remixes. google remix contests. Having other peoples loops to work off of helps to build basics without starting from the ground up. In my experience (which is only about a years worth, on and off) I found that the samples provided can give a really easy starting point instead of having to mentally visuallize multiple parts.
 
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