|Originally posted by Innocence Lost |
Alright I learned to use a VCA fader for kick and bass so now they are not clipping or to loud, thanks Cubase 8. I got rid of some of the nail board screeching like effects and added more subtle ones. MY next wip will be a lot different, hopefully.
Yeah um, what is happening at 2:37? That arp doesn't fit sonically, rhythmically, or musically into the track. I really don't want to sound like a jerk here, but are you familiar with key signatures?
Your production values are top notch. Your sounds are crisp and clear, the mixing is good--everything technical is extremely well done, to the point where I'm actually rather tempted to ask you if you'd like to do the mixdown on the WIP I posted the other day.
What you're missing is... warmth. Emotion. Music. I've gone through your Soundcloud and it does sound like the same track over and over (yes, dance music is formulaic by its very nature, that's not what I'm talking about): clear and lovely production, same structure, nothing interesting to listen to.
You--and I am not judging you here; I am commenting only on what I can observe and not assuming anything--strike me as one of those people who mistakes the tools for the task. To make it not personal, let me illustrate by way of example:
My stepfather is a relatively talented amateur photographer. In the course of his work, he runs into lots and lots of other amateur photographers. Many of them are pretty affluent young people who can afford THE BEST cameras and THE BEST lenses and THE BEST bags and accessories and doodads. For comparison, he still has an oldschool (high end, admittedly) film Nikon from about 1983 and a few lenses he's picked up over the years when budget permitted. Consistently, his photos turn out better than theirs and they don't understand why--they have THE BEST gear, after all, and spend hours talking about its specs.
What he has that they don't (and I certainly don't) is an eye. He can take good photos with a crappy instant camera. They think that because they have THE BEST tools, therefore they should be taking THE BEST photos, which is a mistake.
You have a lot of gear and spend a lot of time on this forum talking about your gear, but you've missed the forest for the trees. Good gear only makes the music in your head sound better, it doesn't substitute for being able to write something interesting. Maybe you don't have the talent to do that (I don't think I do, for sure), maybe you haven't uncovered it yet.
I'd like to suggest a couple of challenges for you that may help you unlock what's hindering you. Limitations (and I find this in my professional life all the time, which is in a creative field) enhance creativity, while unlimited options can actually reduce it. So maybe try any or all of these ideas:
1) Get yourself a copy of FL studio and write a track entirely inside it. No external gear of any kind, no plugins, no nothing. Only what comes bundled with the program itself. Work out technical ideas using only what's there.
2) Write melodies using only a piano sound. This may help you decouple writing something musically interesting from what it sounds like--if it sounds good as a plain piano sound (if in fl Studio use the Sytrus Grand Piano preset--it's not bad), it'll sound good transferred into a synth.
3) Write a track using a single piece of outboard gear, using it for every sound in the track. This may help you learn the quirks and ins and outs of a bit of equipment.
4) Download some of those !!!!FREE TRANCE LOOPS MIDI SAMPLE!!!! kits and build a track out of them. Sure, it'll sound cookie-cutter, but a) trance is formulaic and has to be, and b) nobody else needs to hear it
5) Think about the notion of patterns. A big-ish name trance DJ once told me that trance really boils down to bar patterns that build: 1, 2, 4, 8, sometimes 16, in 32-bar phrases. That's it. Layering those patterns is what creates tension and progression. E.g. four 1-bar kick loops gives you four bars. Double that with a small variation at the end to get 8, then 16, and the whole song should be 5-8 32-bar loops.
6) Try some not-trance. Again, your technical skills are excellent, while your musical skills are as yet not fully developed. Try your hand at some techno. Pure rhythm, plenty of room for experimenting with sounds, without having to worry so much about melody and chord progression. (To save yourself time, write it all in A minor--all white keys, starting on A--if key signatures aren't something you're super familiar with. Also works with trance; I'd guess the majority is written in A minor, followed by D and G minor).
7) Familiarize yourself more with the notion of chord progressions and key signatures. One useful trick I use (in FL studio) is to make a blank channel with the entire scale I'm using laid out as a chord. Enable background channels, and then in whatever piano roll I'm working in (bass, lead, w/e), I can be sure not to make mistakes when laying out melodies and arps and whatnot.
8) Try starting with a chord progression. Lay out 8 bars of whatever. Those become your pads. Build an arp out of that chord progression, and split the notes of the arp apart to create bassline and melody. (Look up 'hocketing.') This won't necessarily give you a finished track but may help you build something.
Anyway, these are just suggestions that may help you.