In my last blog, I talked about my ongoing journey as a music producer; from my early beginnings emulating reputable producers, to becoming comfortable with my self and my own production style. In this entry, I hope to introduce you to my personal approach to making music.
My approach to music is scientific, almost methodical. For example, with a project I worked on last year, I went through 3 phase’s. In which I would name my tracks with this format;
MPC vol 1 ph 1
MPC vol 2 ph 1
MPC vol 3 ph 1
MPC vol 1 ph 2
MPC vol 2 ph 2
MPC vol 3 ph 2
MPC vol 1 ph 3
MPC vol 2 ph 3
Until I had a beat for everyday of the year!!!!!!
This was how I felt too, like a scientist working away on his masterplan. In my mind at the start of this period I wanted to conduct an experiment, out of 10 tracks for example, how many of these tracks where really special, were really something incredible, and were worth spending precious time and resource’s further developing with live instruments, vocals etc.....
In the first phase which consisted of 18 tracks, if I remember rightly I think 1 out of every 5 tracks, I considered to be really special, and these one’s where used on Black Sheep vol 1 (http://snd.sc/t67nZV) which was released last year, tracks like Senorita, Yesterdays, Sunrise, Backyard Jam was MPC vol 15 ph 1 once :). We called musicians in to the studio, drummers, keyboard players, vocalists to help us take the tracks from a raw form to a full commercial production, this was the process!
I also found I went through phase’s of consistency where I would seem to be on a roll with it, each time I sat down to produce, the music was great. The explanation for this I can’t give you, possibly the mysterious thing called being in the zone.
But back to the clarity, once I got to a certain stage after my long period with little purpose or clarity, I got serious. I took some time to reflect on what I had achieved with the last 6 months, musically amongst everything else. I sat back at the studio, flickered through all of my sessions and rough draft bounce’s, as nothing was ever getting finished, just drafts, un-mixed un-mastered, un-produced really. I also noticed that the tracks were all so chaotic, in comparison to one another, there was no consistency in the sound.
The reason for this was because I had little consistency within myself, this was being projected in the music, and this massively opened my eyes. At this point, staring at an itunes playlist with 40 plus tracks infront of me, I scaled them down to about 15 strong tracks. One by one I went through them and finished the productions on each of them, around a month and half later I completed an 11 track project called Build Destroy Rebuild, a soundtrack for a well suited recycling and creative re-use project www.build-destroy-rebuild.co.uk (which you can hear on this site or this link (http://snd.sc/t67nZV)
After this stage I knew my skills had stepped up, after lots of hard hours, late nights working on the craft, I felt I was ready for a masterpiece, I had gained alot more confidence and clarity, through hard work an graft. Since then that is what I’ve been working on, trying to make sure each brick that is laid is a precise as possible in order to build that beautiful building I envision at the end. (HappiGoLucki)
To conclude, having little clarity isn’t always a bad thing it can help you to see a larger stone or a larger potential which you can then chisel and mould into a beautiful sculpture. I believe as long as you stay true to yourself, your value’s, your principles and beliefs then you will find that clarity. The stronger these sense’s are the more obvious what you should be doing or should not doing will become. Simple Mathematics!!!!
Peace and Love
Article by Tom (Music) / 10th January 2012