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How do YOU write?

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  • How do YOU write?

    Fellow synthesists and musicians, when you write and compose music and songs, what is your preferred method? How are you most productive? Do you write lyrics first and then music? Or do you put your words to music you've already written? It's a slow day at work, and I can't think of much else to talk about...



    Usually (read: almost always) the music bits come first, for me. Most often, I'll come up with short hooks or riffs while noodling on the keys or futzing around on the guitar, and then try to flesh out those ideas into something more structured. Nine times out of ten, I write lyrics last, and usually phonetically, as odd as that may sound. As I'm putting together music, I can already hear syllables form in my head, and I try to write lyrics that accommodate that. That probably doesn't make much sense, but it's what I do.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">A dead astronaut in space...</div>

  • #2
    I write similar to the way you do. I'm usually fooling around practicing and run across a riff or motif that I think might be "development worthy" so I record it (usually into Cubase) so I can work on it later. Sometimes it will start with a drum track, or a cool funky bass riff, or I'm playing around with guitar and something clicks. Sometimes I'm playing around in Omnisphere (I still don't think I've ever made it through all the presets) and I'll kick in an arpeggio and I'll record that. Rarely ever do I write lyrics. When I was yound and in my teens and twenties, all my songs had lyrics - and I sang most of them. These days I pretty much focus in instrumentals. If I feel it's calling for a lyric I'll try to write one. When I was young I wrote most of my stuff on guitar so maybe that had something to do with it?



    I wish I heard syllables and melodies in my head. I'd probably be more inclined to write some lyrics. As it is, I'm just the king of 8-16 bars snippets! lol

    The only thing I hear in my head are voices ...
    Korg Kronos 61 :: Korg M3-73 Xpanded (w/Radias board) :: Behringer B212A Powered Speaker :: Variax 300 Sunburst :: PODx3 Live! :: Epiphone Acoustic Guitar :: Mandolin :: Steinberg Cubase 7.5 :: Omnisphere :: Trilian :: V-Collection :: Korg Legacy Collection :: SampleTank 2 XL :: Sonik Synth 2 :: Ravenscroft Piano :: Komplete 9 Ultimate :: VB3 :: Just Way Too Many VST's

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    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by midinut
      View Post

      As it is, I'm just the king of 8-16 bars snippets! lol




      Hey, that's MY title! It's funny, though, because I just pulled a really old PC out of the closet the other day because I have an old Cubase "lite" version on it along with TONS of projects that I never developed. I'm actually glad I did this, because there are some really good (well, I think so) snippets there. Now I have some stuff I can go back to for inspiration when the music stops flowing.



      I am REALLY trying to find someone in my area with similar musical interests and tastes to do some collaborating with. I just feel like if I had one other source of some really good input, we might could come up with something awesome. It's hard trying to do everything yourself, honestly, especially with as little time to devote to music as I have. But it's still my greatest passion, even if I'm the only one that'll ever hear it. I've got a "spooky" song in the works right now, and I'm hoping to get it posted to the "Let's Hear It!" thread before halloween. I am going to attempt vocals. How embarrassing! :P
      <div class="signaturecontainer">A dead astronaut in space...</div>

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      • #4
        Double Post.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">A dead astronaut in space...</div>

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        • #5
          there is no method just inspiration,i usually sit down and play with the keys testing sounds.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Member of Performing Rights Society/UK<br />
          <br />
          My music at<br />
          <br />
          <a href="http://www.reverbnation.com/panoschatzigeorgiadisopenoceanstudios" target="_blank">http://www.reverbnation.com/panoscha...enoceanstudios</a></div>

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          • #6
            Music first, then arrangement, and at the end, lyrics. Sometimes lyrics come along with the music, but not very often.



            I plan everything out before I start recording, but during the recording process, details always change.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="verdana"><a href="http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze" target="_blank">http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze</a></font></div>

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            • #7
              All sorts of ways:

              1. Chord progressions in Sonar's piano roll.

              2. Guitar chords transcribed to piano roll or staff music.

              3. Bass lines laid in, then chords over - usually for dance music.

              4. Traditional staff paper in Anvil Studio. I do this when working in specific modes.

              5. Noodling on the keyboard while recording the midi notes in Sonar. Then play it back and see what I like.

              6. Noodling on the guitar while recording. Then play it back and see what I like.
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables</font></div>

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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by midinut
                View Post

                As it is, I'm just the king of 8-16 bars snippets! lol




                I'm sorry, but you can't be the king while I'm still wearing the crown. I have a TON noodles in Sonar that are nothing more than just 8-bar loops.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><div align="right">Hurrr. Derp, derp, derp.</div></div>

                Comment


                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by midinut
                  View Post

                  As it is, I'm just the king of 8-16 bars snippets! lol




                  I'm sorry, but you can't be the king while I'm still wearing the crown. I have a TON noodles in Sonar that are nothing more than just 8-bar loops.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><div align="right">Hurrr. Derp, derp, derp.</div></div>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great topic...unfortunately I'm currently in the midst of the WORST ****************ing writer's block I've ever had, it's been going on for like a year now, it ****************ing sucks, but I just can't seem to do anything creative or original to save my life, and it's killing me, it's like somehow when I hit 30 all of the sudden my brain just changed and the musical part of it was just gone...I've been using the time to REALLY get a good handle on how all diff types of synthesis work (i.e. wavetable, FM, subtractive, etc. etc, and REALLY understanding oscillators, filters, envelopes, etc. etc.) AND really getting a good grasp on mixing and mastering and understanding how EQ, compression, multiband compression, busses, things like that really work and stuff, aeven though I had a pretty good grasp of all of the aforementioned before, and I've also been using the time to lean classical pieces and do solo piano arrangements of various pop tunes, but still it sucks..



                    Anyways back when I was writing I would usually just loop a beat that I liked, then pick a key or scale or mode and then either lay down a bassline or progression, then go over it keys or pads, then shred over it, unfortunately I'd say that describes the vast majoriy of my music LOL I had also composed all kinds of other ways, the second most picking a sound or preset I really dug and going from there ( I know, using presets is heresy!!! LOL) but that was by afar the most....it sucks cuz I'd literally come up with hundreds of ideas since I started playing and writing and recording, and even though a lot of them are me just screwing around, there is some solid music in there (IMO anyways)...
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><div class="bbcode_container">
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                    <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>co&amp;cafan808</strong>
                    <a href="showthread.php?p=37036417#post37036417" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
                    </div>
                    <div class="message">chevybusa ****************in delivers the lulz!!!</div>

                    </div>
                    </div>
                    </div> <font color="Blue"><font face="Palatino Linotype">Using and abusing Reason 4.0 (with tons of ReFills) and Logic 9 (with tons of soft synths, VSTi's and plug-ins) <br />
                    via <br />
                    a Yamaha S80 (with 2 FC7's, an FC5, an FC3, and a BC3a) and a Behringer BCR2000 <br />
                    on <br />
                    a 4GB 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo Mac Mini <br />
                    with <br />
                    AKG K77 headphones or M-Audio BX5a Deluxe monitors.</font></font><br />
                    <br />
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                    <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>OldGuitarPlayer</strong>
                    <a href="showthread.php?p=46704841#post46704841" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
                    </div>
                    <div class="message">Ahhh...John Cage. The ultimate troll.</div>

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                    <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Anderton</strong>
                    <a href="showthread.php?p=45501382#post45501382" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
                    </div>
                    <div class="message">Just remember...machines don't kill music, people do.</div>

                    </div>
                    </div>
                    </div> </div>

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                    • #11
                      That sucks you're having a tough time with writer's block. I know it happens to me too, and for extended periods sometimes, and I'm sure everyone gets to experience that thrill at some point. But, I think what you're doing in the meantime is using your time wisely. I do pretty much the same thing when the musical well dries up. I'll mostly noodle around on a synth and work on sound design. But for now, I'm basically a fount of new musical ideas and songs, even to the point that sometimes here lately, I feel like I can't get it all out fast enough before I forget it or before my brain moves on to something else.



                      I'm really enjoying hearing about how everyone else creates. It's nice to get a different perspective sometimes. :thumbsup:
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">A dead astronaut in space...</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll play around and if I play a hooky riff, I'll record it real quick and try to add a few things with it. At the same time I'll usually get some little melody going in my head or maybe some phrases and I'll hum it on tape too. I've had songs come together in ten or fifteen minutes before, then all I have to do is grab a theme and write lyrics around it.



                        My last CD had a few of my ramblings that I've done on the songwriting forum come together and form the base of a song, so I'll wrap a tune around that, but usually it comes together better if I have the tune in place first.

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                        • #13
                          My discipline for this year is to produce one 3+ minute track per month - every freakin' month(even if I get no sleep)



                          I have been starting lately with a drum section, then adding changes, adding an A section melody, B section, finally adding a vocal(if it works), then work-out the middle break & outro



                          see my SC page below for examples
                          an expert on what it feels like to be me
                          & you are who you google
                          http://soundcloud.com/mrnatural-1

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                          • #14
                            I also keep multiple methods of recording nearby and generally "ready to record". In addition to Cubase 5 and Ableton on my PC, I have 3 workstations with built-in sequencers (2 are leaving soon), a Zoom R24 which I'm using as an audio interface but is ready to record anytime, and a Zoom H4 sitting around if needed as well. If an idea strikes I have no excuse to not capture it.



                            And for the record ... just because I record it doesn't neccessarily mean it's worth a ****************.
                            Korg Kronos 61 :: Korg M3-73 Xpanded (w/Radias board) :: Behringer B212A Powered Speaker :: Variax 300 Sunburst :: PODx3 Live! :: Epiphone Acoustic Guitar :: Mandolin :: Steinberg Cubase 7.5 :: Omnisphere :: Trilian :: V-Collection :: Korg Legacy Collection :: SampleTank 2 XL :: Sonik Synth 2 :: Ravenscroft Piano :: Komplete 9 Ultimate :: VB3 :: Just Way Too Many VST's

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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by midinut
                              View Post

                              And for the record ... just because I record it doesn't neccessarily mean it's worth a ****************.




                              True that!



                              It's funny that you mention always having a recording device at the ready because I do the same thing: I never go anywhere without my iPhone, and it's got a handy dandy "Voice Memo" recorder that comes standard and I have, on several occasions, loaded up the memo recorder and hummed a melody or whatever into it when inspiration hits. At the very least, that allows me to NOT forget the ****************ty ideas that breeze through my brain and save them for later.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">A dead astronaut in space...</div>

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