This is a subject with a bottomless pit of answers and possible solutions but you will find a way to push past this elusive buron if you have a series of tools prepared and ready for the time when it eventually comes knocking. Below are 5 ways to kick-start a project and possible ways to get motivation in the studio.
- Take a break: If you are listening to the same loop over and over and it’s been some time since you have been away from the computer then follow your nose, a step back and time to relax or go for a walk might just be what you need. Ear fatigue is very common and the brain needs time away from the same sounds and the studio environment. If you have a studio in a small space try taking regular intervals away from the room, familiarise yourself with another space you can go to and spend at least 20 minutes out of the studio space without listening to music and let the mind wander.
- It’s true to say the internet takes a lot of our time these days and has become a part of our online presence when it comes to music production and DJ-ing. Switch your phone off and disconnect from the internet when making music and stick to it, we are easily swayed by social media and it is very alluring when sat on your own on a computer when you should be making music. I try and switch my phone off for at least the time I work on music and recently on nights out refraining from the need to constantly use the phone and stare at a screen.
- As platforms such as Beatport and Spotify have emerged and the charts have set precedence over genres, I see many tutorials online jump to the latest trends and the charts are full of new music sounding almost identical in production and content. Try making your own samples using found sounds, field recordings. Go out and use your phone to capture your environment and try sound design techniques rather than use the latest software or hardware synth. Stand out by using effect chains and working in serial and parallel in your workflow.
- A great way to get out of the block is to make a track using just one synth and for this, the best has just been released with Live 10. Wavetable has the potential to make just about any sound and has scope to make some new and crazy loops to add to any production. Try making drums first and then move onto bass and lead, don’t forget to have fun just another great way to beat the block, remember it’s fun we are supposed to be having with this equipment. Never take yourself to serious!
- Following on from no. 4 try and make the track in a few hours and no more, use the session view to get your ideas down and then jam into the arrangement view and make the track adding more automation, effects and new incidental sounds, prepare for the mix and get all the levels correct. This method can be used anytime with any synth you have in Ableton to make something unique and original changing strategy.
This is the first part of a series of possible solutions for the creative block! If you have any great methods I would love to hear them and post in future editions.