My first post is about vibes. I guess everybody makes music to tell something, like i don't know shit they've been through or how much they love their dog. Anyway, vibe is like the fundamental thing that makes your music work. Forget about all that shit about mix downs sound selection etc etc (will talk about that also) and think about the vibe you wanna portrait with your beat (i guess you make electronic music). Still confused ?
Let's say i'm writing a score for a horror movie or some kind of trappy midi arpeggio. It make no fuckin sense to use a super bright supersaw (if you don't know what a supersaw is you're a n00b) as the main sound cause 99% of the time supersaws sound cheesy and happy. It also make no fuckin sense to use the classic I-V-VI-V chord progression, cause 99% of the time such progressions are used to communicate how much you hate masturbating thinking at your ex girlfriend.
So here we're, blank page, 2 audio channels and 2 midi channels. What can i do to get a scary vibe ?
DONT MAKE UN-SCARY MUSIC!
Like, it's sooooo easy! Don't fall into the trap of thinking "okay so now i will do this and that etc etc etc". Be determinate and be committed to delete ANYTHING that doesn't follow that vibe. You can do as much creative shit as you like as long as you follow the path you want. The second you get into that mindset you will find that producing will be much more easy, because you will be satisfying your gut instinct at maximum, you will not get any weird fills or stupid arrangement decisions because all your energy will be canalized into making what you've planned to make.
Now, the thing with this approach is that it allows you to build your story (yeah music to me is like a story) with much more impact: if all the parts work with each other it's super easy to get a biiiiiig track with a lot less effort. On the other hand, if you start to wonder about this and that ("i don't like how the build connects to the drop" ", " i feel there's no connection between bridge and hook") shit will be falling to pieces as soon as somebody else start hearing it. And you don't want that. You wanna give the listeners the most engaging 3.20 minutes of their lives. So scrap the shit that doesn't work and build your track reminding yourself what kind of vibe you wanna create.
Now, to me vibe is essentially crafted with few elements:
- right sound (is this the envelope i want? is this the tone i want? is this the timbre i want? does this sounds feel "scary" overall?)
- right midi (i'm i playing the right notes? is the rhythm right for the kind of vibe?)
- right space (does this sound moar scary in a hall or in a cavern?)
- right arrangement placement (does the hook lead really need to be present in the intro?)
And that's really it. Don't overcomplicate yourself and move on to the next sound, or the next part of the arrangement. If you get the vibe right, everything will have sense.