Is your music predictable?
I’ll be honest, it’s pretty much the norm nowadays to hear one song blend into another on a boring palette of sameness.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell tracks apart and elements in songs just don’t surprise us anymore.
Digital Audio Workstations like Ableton Live have made it easier for musicians to put down a track idea in no time, which is good on the one hand.
On the other hand however, this ease has given rise to a whole heap of predictable loops, grooves and melodies, that will trap your music in a boring box.
So take heed!
This articles aim is to provide you with a list of tips that will help you to break out of this box of boring predictably.
So listen up!
Crank up the Randomisation Dial
It might seem to many that creating music on a computer means it can never be human, but there are loads of ways to get random life like effects ‘in the box’.
An LFO that randomises goes a long way, basically select a random waveform shape in DAW, or make use of some free plugins with features that randomise.
We’ve come across great tools like Autochords chord randomizer & Illuminated Sound’s Random 7 MIDI note generator which are great gems for randomising elements.
It’s crucial to embrace random sounds and elements at every step of the creative process, so if there’s room for Miss Random, let her in.
Randomisation in the 18th Century
Believe it or not, one of the great classical composers used randomization as early as the 18th century.
Bach’s piece called ‘Musical Dice Game’ was actually created by him writing out 6 unique parts of music, he then assigned each part to a number on a dice and rolled that sucker to determine the arrangement order.
It’s a pretty simple idea to be honest, but definitely worth playing with.
Let Mistakes live in your music
This is one of my favourites.
Imperfection is everything when it comes to adding life to your music.
Sometimes mistakes can be the diamonds in the dirt, so it’s important not to just delete all those so called ‘bad takes’ in an attempt to capture perfection.
The top artists are aware of this and are highly tuned into knowing a bad mistake from a good one.
Mistakes are random by nature and they come from source of energy that will end limitless creativity to your work.
Nature is your friend here.
I can’t think of many more things that is more predictable than nature.
If you can muster up the drive to get out into the world there is a whole heap of random noises happening in random order that can spice up your tracks.
The process of capture ambient random noise is called field recording and they can be a great way to layer in weird and wonderful elements into your music.
You can’t predict when the wind will whistle, when the dog will bark or how the rain will trickle!
Harness the force of nature and put it in your music.
Don't Over Quantize
Quantizing can be a vital part of the production process and can be a massive time saver in certain situations. However, it is not to be overused. Try switching it off every so often to allow some organic flavour back into your music.
Listeners are suprisingly susceptible to even the most tiny of timing variations and this is one of the reasons why a live performance can be so much more exciting that overly quantized studio productions.
If you really really need to quantize then consider trying groove quantize or swing quantize as a first point of call. Try anything that will get you off the regimented grid.
So that wraps up all the tips for today.
And one last point....
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