I never thought I would make it this early. How did I make this track? How you can make a similar track and what tools other than LMMS I used is what I will be blogging about. On second thought, I won’t be disclosing my tools this early since I have to yet prove their usefulness.
I have no prior background knowledge about Music Theory nor I have taken any formal training in music. What I have was some knowledge of music. Way back in school I was learning how to play the keyboard, I had to give that up because of higher secondary studies. That was in the past, I am making most of the present by using whatever I have.
Here’s what I did, don’t hold on to perfection the first time. Let it go. Your music will never sound the best the first time. It takes ample of practice, patience, perseverance and of course mistakes!
I would encourage you to make mistakes and learn from them. Then you get to a point where you have learnt enough to avoid mistakes. This is the best part of the learning process. The more you learn – you grow.
What you would also need to understand is learning takes time. Case in point, many current musicians have started with the same process as you and I have. They practice and perfect themselves. They do that in-time.
Learnings along the way:
I must say, I am not perfect and my music mostly sounds amateurish at best. When you start, yours will too. You may even start scratching your head thinking about what instruments you should use. This gets particularly difficult when using a DAW like LMMS, FL Studio, etc.
I first started taking out refresher tutorials on how to use LMMS. then I started out watching many videos on YouTube. I practised making loops and somewhat perfected it. That ‘somewhat’ perfection resulted in my first song – Troubling Tumbleweed.
I am sorry to say, I am not able to make it live since I have ample work to be done. The song isn’t finished as I am yet to learn about mastering.
For starters- I created it on my often-used headsets and not on studio monitors – I plan to buy it in the course of the next few months. I then plan on buying a 66-key MIDI keyboard. This is when I can seriously pursue music. I may even take professional help if need be. But that is a decision best left for later.
The Technique I adopted:
Loops. Yes, I based the entire 4.5 minutes of the song in loops. Breaking it with beats and introducing some musical instruments intermittently. Ultimately it sounded like new music embedded with refurbished music! That’s how I recycled the loops with different instruments adding effects like reverb. Reverb is the only effect I made heavy use of and side-chaining the beats to give it that thumping sound.
Melody making is hard work and you have to spend long hours of combining what may work and what may not. It gets particularly difficult when you lack any background in music. The chord progression, scales, notes, melody, harmonization, etc. are new terms that will sound as if you are learning some scientific terms!
But, the idea is to keep trying. I want to reach that point where I can walk in the footsteps of Michael Cretu, Michael Vermy and many more.
Initially, the change that I experienced during music-making changes your mindset about music. For example, you listen to songs maybe because you like the tone, the songs, lyrics, etc. When I listen to songs, I have to figure out the arrangement of the music. I have to try to identify the tones, chords and the different transitions the artist used. I bet most music artists go through the same thing. Listen to songs to get some inspiration to make the ultimate original.
Speaking of original, when you make music you need to decide on what kind of music you want to make. I am not talking about genres, that comes much later according to me. What I am trying to say is the music you are trying is make, is it a remix, cover or an original.
My focus is on creating original music first.
Creating music isn’t easy. Just because you love music does not give you the skill to make music. It is similar to what I say all the time: just because you can write does not make you a writer. Am I being a pessimistic here? No, just practical.
Am I creating bad music? Not bad. Because the feedback I received from hardcore music listeners are – I can do better. My take – I have a lot to learn.
If you are a first-timer in these things, understand – it won’t be easy. It will difficult if you make yourself feel that way. Take the learning and move forward. If something does not work, try something new and watch a lot of YouTube videos regarding the subject. Follow a few artists – their journey. If it boils down to taking professional help in learning music – take it.
I plan to gauge my progress and learn as much as I can until I can buy the MIDI keyboard. If I don’t see any progress towards the last few months of the year – I will then seek professional help in making music.
I am sure it will be worth it.
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