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Best you can hope for if you're just starting out - (5 years, 10,000 hours, and all that)
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EddieZilker
Formerly titled: Serious question (and kind of an object lesson for newbs but I am a little curious)

Post a song that has charted well and consistently with a producer having a limited amount of experience (less than five years). I don't think it's impossible. There certainly are the geniuses who can consistently plop out master-class tunes with a limited amount of time under their belt. Having a few years of actual DJ'ing experience can also give insight into the production process. One hypothesis I have is that those people are incredibly few in number.

There seems to be this expectation that some form of competence can be obtained in a short amount of time because of collective innovations (e.g. software, presets, canned drum-loops, automated arpeggiators, samplers, Melodyne, et al). Personally, I think that expectation is bollocks. I also have a hypothesis that a song which is crapped out after a year of production experience is going to have obvious qualitative short-comings - even if it's done well at Beatport.

EDIT to add:

http://www.tranceaddict.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=632429&perpage=12&forumid=48&pagenumber=2#.T5Q716uXTz8

quote:
Originally posted by Looney4Clooney
two years if you are talented


I'd love to see these phenoms in my thread.
tehlord
Ease of access is the problem.

You can download in 10 minutes what would have cost you $50k to buy 20 years ago, and even then it's infinitely easier to use now. Match that with a billion youtube tutorials showing you how to get up and running in ten minutes and you have the recipe for a million bedroom superstars.
EddieZilker
quote:
Originally posted by tehlord
Ease of access is the problem.

You can download in 10 minutes what would have cost you $50k to buy 20 years ago, and even then it's infinitely easier to use now. Match that with a billion youtube tutorials showing you how to get up and running in ten minutes and you have the recipe for a million bedroom superstars.


I completely agree. The prevalence of tutorials is another "looks easy" aspect to it. They can only really teach a technique that's largely out of context and, in the end, is sort of instruction on the order of how to make a 50,000,000 piece puzzle, but only giving the audience 50 to 100 pieces at a time. And that's when the tutorial maker has any competence, themselves. The new producer is still left to assemble those pieces into something useful and has yet to really relate that something to its totality.
Looney4Clooney
quote:
Originally posted by EddieZilker
Post a song that has charted well and consistently with a producer having a limited amount of experience (less than five years). I don't think it's impossible. There certainly are the geniuses who can consistently plop out master-class tunes with a limited amount of time under their belt. Having a few years of actual DJ'ing experience can also give insight into the production process. One hypothesis I have is that those people are incredibly few in number.

There seems to be this expectation that some form of competence can be obtained in a short amount of time because of collective innovations (e.g. software, presets, canned drum-loops, automated arpeggiators, samplers, Melodyne, et al). Personally, I think that expectation is bollocks. I also have a hypothesis that a song which is crapped out after a year of production experience is going to have obvious qualitative short-comings - even if it's done well at Beatport.


Madeon
Porter Robinson
Skrillex
EddieZilker
quote:
Originally posted by Looney4Clooney
...


Nice.

Madeon - Born in 1994, started at age 11, reached acclaim at age 16, in 2010

Porter Robinson - Born in 1992, started at age 12, "Say my Name" released in 2010

Skrillex - Born in 1988, his back-ground includes a stint at a military academy specializing in the arts and as a lead singer for a punk band in 2004. I can barely begin to stand most of his music for periods longer than three minutes but I'm beginning to admire and respect him for his accomplishments and abilities.

Wanted to give these guys a little context. Pretty much all of them fit right on that cusp of a five-year period.
tehlord
quote:
Originally posted by Looney4Clooney

Skrillex


I recall he'd been to a school for performing arts, was in a band for a few years, recorded a couple of albums with the band etc etc.

I'd say (from my own history) that experiences such as those are valid for all types of music and count towards the number of years experience it usually required to learn these things.

Can't comment on the other two you mentioned.
Looney4Clooney
well that is hard to quantify then. Because just listening to music is still training. But ya for EDM 5 years if you have the knack seems to be consistent. I would still say the 10 000 hour thing applies to be great at something. These guys are good at a very small skillset. They are repetitive, defined by the small niche they do really well and could not do anything outside that niche. NOt a bad thing but ask them to write anything but electrohouse and they just don't have the experience.
tehlord
I think the hardest part for most people (including myself when I started using a DAW a few years back) is understanding how sound fits together. I have to admit my limited study of orchestration made it click in my head quicker than it might have otherwise done, but that still didn't mean my ears had caught up with what theory expected me to understand. Apart from that, the difference between genres is mostly technique and trickery.

I've deliberately not included musicality and natural genius in there because I think that's part of the equation where somebody can just be good from day one. It's rare but it happens. They may still make tracks for a while though, and certainly mixes.
MSZ
Im sure those young kids had great teachers or some sort of mentor. Advanced sound-design requires a ton of skill, not only talent. I havent checked them out, just saying, depends what you're doing. You probably wont impress the tough crowd using presets.
zodiac9
quote:
Originally posted by tehlord
I recall he'd been to a school for performing arts, was in a band for a few years, recorded a couple of albums with the band etc etc.

I'd say (from my own history) that experiences such as those are valid for all types of music and count towards the number of years experience it usually required to learn these things.



Prior musical experience definitely gives one a head start. Especially if that experience includes songwriting for any other style of music. You can easily skip ahead by 3-4 years. Timed served counts, no matter what musical genre you are trying your hand at.

EddieZilker
quote:
Originally posted by MSZ
Im sure those young kids had great teachers or some sort of mentor. Advanced sound-design requires a ton of skill, not only talent. I havent checked them out, just saying, depends what you're doing. You probably wont impress the tough crowd using presets.


I know this is true, as well. Having physical access to someone who knows what they're doing is almost essential. It's amazing how many bad habits I've had nipped in the bud by a few different people who knew what mistakes I was making and could show me how to do it better - and that included the way I was thinking about presets.

One guy had a lot of inside information about Depeche Mode and said that one of the first things Alan Wilder would do, when he got a new synthesizer, is to delete all the user presets and start from the default sound. It's stuff like that which gets you thinking about things in a different way. Even if you don't utilize it, right off the bat, it's still a useful lesson because you will eventually get around to using it.

quote:
Originally posted by zodiac9
Prior musical experience definitely gives one a head start. Especially if that experience includes songwriting for any other style of music. You can easily skip ahead by 3-4 years. Timed served counts, no matter what musical genre you are trying your hand at.


I'll occasionally see someone pop up in Music Producer's Promotion who says they've only been doing it for less than a year but it sounds like they've been doing it for nine. They might not have the EDM tropes down but what they do have sounds finessed and musically polished. Usually it comes out that they've played in a band before they started dabbling in production. They've got prior experience with song structure, can actually play an instrument, and know what sounds good. You can almost tell that a musician has been going clubs or even just a rave, heard something he liked, and decided it would be interesting to try his hand at it.
Richard Butler
Above all for me, and I may be wrong, it seems really good producers have an ability to imagine well. They then paint a sonic picture based on this subconsciously driven imagery. It is this imaginative tool that enables them to make better decisions from one moment to the next.

So instead of just another snare roll, thier imagination dictates something better, something a little extra.

Many of us struggle to get that decent main drop, and I'd say for myself this comes down to my lack of imaginiation to imagine a better thing happening. Now and again my imagination sparks well but then soon slips away into the mists.

Many tracks in promotion sound accomplished and well mixed but they lack this special touch of imagination that sets a piece apart.

SO THE QUESTION BECOMES; is an imaginative ability innate and untrainable........
My hunch is it probably is.
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