Stuck in a track?

Solace

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#1
So, I'm guessing more people than just me have this problem, so I'm just trowing this out there and see how you guys react to it and deal with it.

When I'm writing a track, alot of times I get stuck.
I got the most of the bassline down, drums down, some extra bits like fx, voice samples maybe, extra hats, maybe have an idea for a second drop, that stuff...
But then I just don't know what else I can do. My intro sounds empty, breakdown is as good as non-existant, the main drop is not even close to sounding full enough and I haven't got a clue what to add more to the track.

At that point I just start fumbling around (is that a verb?), I do some tiny eqing, add small effects and stuff, but the track isn't really progressing anymore...
And at the moment I have 3 or 4 tracks at that stage.
So when I get back to a project I haven't worked on in a while, I think: 'now it will work!', but it doesn't...


So, anyone has had the same problem before? What did you do, any tips?
 
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#2
I think we have all the same problem.
I personally think it's a question of implementing the workflow and to do what the track requires.. try to add more elements that work great with the other one, try to add new things and experiment until the track sound full. Then exports, and make a comparison, if it sounds better you are in the right way, if not you need to restart from the previous point.
Making music is an uphill process..

p.s. Sorry for my english!
 

Trpt

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#3
Write lots of parts in one go and save arrangement and mixing for later.

A lot of people will spend hours tweaking something but only minutes writing it. Now while it can be good practice to perfect a loop, when you're writing a song you need to WRITE and make more content than you'll need. It's important to get this done and out of the way because chances are you won't want to later on. Once you hit the arrangement stage it becomes a lot of fun seeing what goes together instead of trying to force a few ideas into something good.

Interesting contrast between different sections and even individual instruments is extremely important so keep that in mind when writing.

The vibe is the goal and you should have one in mind before you start a track.


It's a great idea to have an organized sound library and "go-to" presets for any sounds you'll end up using.
 

DYSRUPT

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#4
Sometime you just have to bounce out everything and save them for later. If a track just isn't firing, adding MORE isn't always better. But I know what you mean!

What I always do is mute everything and start with drums again. ill play them solo, if i have a groove there, my heads bobbing and all is good I'll add another element
Just the sub. . . . if the drums and the sub sound good by themselves, you're still good.
Ill do this with all my elements until i find the lacking track or tracks.

Most of the time, muddiness in the mix down can cause a track to not fire. Cleaning everything up as much as possible can help it pop off and let sounds shine. when your notch eqing to fit elements together, don't listen to the track your eqing, listen to the rest of the track to hear what brightens and cleans up (some people know this, some people don't).

Another thing that can help is, making sure all of your elements are in key. DRUMS TOO. getting everything in key is. . . . . . well its key.

Find your weakness. . . . .you say intro is empty. . . . . . . breakdown is non existent. . . . open a new project and work on those elements alone until your hair stands up. Work on the weird stuff that fills it out, like fx and ambience with a granular synth.

Your problem might be in the intro and breakdown sections. . . . . .if those aren't building anticipation and grabbing the attention of the listener and YOU, then the drop will sound forced. I hear this a lot in new dnb and especially dubstep. its like all they care about is the "drop" and slept on the rest (I'm not saying you did, I'm just ranting). maybe upload the tracks in WIP?
 
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#5
Sometime you just have to bounce out everything and save them for later. If a track just isn't firing, adding MORE isn't always better. But I know what you mean!

What I always do is mute everything and start with drums again. ill play them solo, if i have a groove there, my heads bobbing and all is good I'll add another element
Just the sub. . . . if the drums and the sub sound good by themselves, you're still good.
Ill do this with all my elements until i find the lacking track or tracks.

Most of the time, muddiness in the mix down can cause a track to not fire. Cleaning everything up as much as possible can help it pop off and let sounds shine. when your notch eqing to fit elements together, don't listen to the track your eqing, listen to the rest of the track to hear what brightens and cleans up (some people know this, some people don't).

Another thing that can help is, making sure all of your elements are in key. DRUMS TOO. getting everything in key is. . . . . . well its key.

Find your weakness. . . . .you say intro is empty. . . . . . . breakdown is non existent. . . . open a new project and work on those elements alone until your hair stands up. Work on the weird stuff that fills it out, like fx and ambience with a granular synth.

Your problem might be in the intro and breakdown sections. . . . . .if those aren't building anticipation and grabbing the attention of the listener and YOU, then the drop will sound forced. I hear this a lot in new dnb and especially dubstep. its like all they care about is the "drop" and slept on the rest (I'm not saying you did, I'm just ranting). maybe upload the tracks in WIP?
Ok in key! But how to find the key of percussive elements? With a spectrum i can't, gTune doesn't work properly..
Other trick?
 

smoothassilk

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#6
There was big thread about whether tuning drums is necessary while ago....

Was it called 'Tuning everything to the root of your track'
You may wish to consult that...
 
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#7
I always have that stage in production where it just sounds like corny garbage. I usually just focus on making one new sound and being ok with being wrong. Just experimenting and seeing what happens. Usually then I find something that I can build on and sometimes the track takes a whole new direction. Or I just watch some tutorials and see what others are doing. I really like using those for inspiration without following the directions note for note so I don't end up with the same thing they made. Just never lose hope!
 
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#8
Write lots of parts in one go and save arrangement and mixing for later.

A lot of people will spend hours tweaking something but only minutes writing it. Now while it can be good practice to perfect a loop, when you're writing a song you need to WRITE and make more content than you'll need. It's important to get this done and out of the way because chances are you won't want to later on. Once you hit the arrangement stage it becomes a lot of fun seeing what goes together instead of trying to force a few ideas into something good.

Interesting contrast between different sections and even individual instruments is extremely important so keep that in mind when writing.

The vibe is the goal and you should have one in mind before you start a track.


It's a great idea to have an organized sound library and "go-to" presets for any sounds you'll end up using.
This sounds so right
 

Wafi

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#9
that happens to me all the time...like when I used to make hip hop it didn't...but now that I'm learning dnb it always happens to every single track...specially in the mixing and mastering process...my mixing sucks ahahahh
 

Saftstein

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#10
I also had that problem many times. I think the breakdown and the build up are way easier if you have your mainpart finished.
For the mainpart it always depends on what genre you produce. Either it's liquid i think it's most important to have the right chord progressions and melodies.
For heavier dnb stuff it's often enough if you just have hard hitting drums and a tight bassline. If the mixdown is well done it sounds full enough. Don't forget that a compressor at the end can make your track way fatter. I personally want my tracks to sound fat even before putting something on the master track.

Referencing with other tunes is also helpful. Don't steal their ideas but just get used to the sound you want to make :)
 

Zeal

Ohm/C2D/Dark Asylum/Ennex
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#11
If we get stuck on a track it usually means the track isnt working as well as it should be, so it gets put into the vault, saved, resampled, bits taken from it etc

- - - Updated - - -

You shouldnt feel like you need to force a tune imo
 
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