4) Sample Stuff
Talk to any producer and they’ll tell you they sample all their sounds. Why, just yesterday they were scrambling through a junkyard, unearthing an oil drum to use as an industrial tom. Bullsh*t! It came from the latest collection advertised in the Sample-O-Phonix newsletter. That’s where. Nobody samples stuff anymore. So break the trend. Grab your Zoom H4 and a set of cans.
Using bespoke sounds that you have sampled gives you a whole new investment in a track. You begin to cherish the sounds that you have so lovingly collected and edited. And this love will spread through the entire composition.
Yep, go on a ‘found sound’ sampling expedition.
But do it at night (it’s more fun and there’s no birdsong in the decay!)
3) Copy a Track Note for Note
Take a classic or even a brand new song. Copy the pitch, the tempo, the chord structure, the bassline. Don’t hold back. Rip it off. Because somewhere along the way, your own character & personality will kick in. A certain essence that suddenly drives this nasty wanton plagiarism in a totally new direction. By the end of the day, you’ll find you have the beginnings of something completely new. And you can return the song to the rightful owner. As Cocteau once said, “Imitate and what is personal will eventually come despite yourself” At least, I think that’s what he said. And probably in French.
2) Go for a Walk
Not kidding. Most of us are very fond of the ‘great indoors’. Never venturing further than our longest jack cable. It takes a real man to power down & walk to the nearest park. Or woods. Or beach. Mother Nature has all the answers and she’ll be the most inspirational woman you’re ever likely to meet. Go outside. Stretch your legs. Tell me it doesn’t help.
1) Remember the Good Ol’ Days
Was it the first time you heard Love Will Tear Us Apart? Was it Thom Yorke singing Pyramid Song? Was it The Chems headlining the Other Stage? Try to remember what gave you that spark of inspiration that lit the fire that once raged so brightly. The fire that so badly needs rekindling. If you can find that, you may just be able to find your way back. For what it’s worth, I hope so. This Creative Blackhole sure is a dark & lonely place, Kimosabe. And we need you back. Real bad.
Some more ways back from the Creative Blackhole
What are your tips?
Simon Power produces stock music for TV, films, games & videos as Dream Valley Music.
Where in Heaven's name did you get that picture?
12-Jun-14 11:22 AM
Thanks for posting these tips. All of them look they are worth trying. This morning I spent a happy few hours sampling a toy xylophone I have. I then racked up two versions in exs24 and detuned one of them. It sounds great. My music is still shite but I enjoyed the experience. I often feel swamped by the plethora of sampled sounds out there - gigabytes of pianos, strings, synths etc etc etc, thousands of presets x thousands of presets - it feels really wholesome to make your own instrument. I didn't do it at night, so there is some birdsong, as well as a motorbike but I kinda like that too. Thanks for posting!
12-Jun-14 11:42 AM
Still sticking up for the little guy after 15 years