Dead Trials

Hey friends, we have a bit silence here since a few days. So I try to start a little discussion.

If I start a new music project it often ends with a dead trial. I have something in my mind, but I’m not able to get it finished in a music project. So I would say, that I have a rate of 50/50 with dead tracks and finished tracks.

  • Do you guys have the same experience?
  • If you start a new music project, do you have the entire track in your head (more then a less)?
  • do you have or make a plan for the song structure and instrumentation?

or is it like me: Mostly a self running project - no plan, only lead by the actual feelings and mood.

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Well. Might sound like a cliche, but ’ welcome to the club’. I have 2 external HDD of 4G capacity full of dead tracks. Psychologically speaking, your brain is not on the same wavelength with that specific track, or vibe, or mood. It doesn’t mean the track is dead. When I stumble upon a writer’s block I usually archive it as it is, and render a portion of it in a dedicated drafts folder. Once in a while I come back and listen to all the drafts I have. Depending on the DAW you’re working with, Cubase has an amazing tool named arrangement track. You are able to mark specific In/Out markers and play them in any order you want, repeat parts of it, and after you are in the ballpark you may export the entire song in a new project with the structure you created. The worst enemy is the real instruments mock-up on VST libraries. It doesn’t matter how great and expensive a library is, it cannot reproduce the authenticity of a real one. And most of the time this is the moment where I feel the urge to throw the computer out the window. My brain is hearing something that the VST cannot reproduce. I am a piano player and playing basic bass and guitar. Dealing with strings and brass and other real instruments in VST is hilarious. And that is mood-killing.

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Regarding to your method to use a drafts folder… that happens only on time to me, that I found a draft worth to be saved and working at a later time on it after a longer time. I the most cases I feel after a few hours if I am able to get this track finished or not. If not, I radically delete this attempt from my HDD and from my brain. I have a work folder and a folder for finalized projects. Sometimes I start a new song in the evening and save it for tomorrorw to work on it. Next day I open the project and think:“Oh my god, no.” - that’s also a moment, where I get the feeling, this track will never be finished.

Dealing with real instruments as a VST is really hard and time consuming. By example the strings and brasses. Most of the VST’s have different articulations and it is necessary to use them. I spend lots of hours to get the expression and modulation curves in the right time and values. But is is needed because without it all the instruments are sounding static an dead. What doesn’t work for me (I don’t know why) is to set the articulations via keyswitches. I create a separate track for every articulation. And yes, you’re right. All that technical stuff is mood killing.
Fortunately Cubase is now able to draw bezier curves on modulation and expression params since version 11 - which should be really a basic function.

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Yes, but even with all the keyswitches it doesn’t work as intended. There are some physical principles involved. A friend of mine who is a viola player in the Philarmonic and also a good mix engineer told me straight. The strings, violins, violas, cellos, etc, require a motion, the up and down bow movement in order to feel authentic. But I think it will do the job for stock music :slight_smile: Let aside the lack of sympathetic resonance which one cannot obtain without recording all the players in the same room. Back to the topic. Quality tracks cannot be done in the rush. As you said. Listening to the track the next morning you got the ’ hell no ’ moment. That’s why I am quite amazed by the people who managed to upload 30 tracks in a month :). Maybe they are fast workers. Or geniuses. There are other possibilities but I will stop here.

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You’re absolutely right. the best VST cannot replace a real player. And that’s the reason, why soundtracks for movies are still recorded with real orchestras. No one can imitate that with a keyboard and binary scripted and created sounds.
And yes, I also do not understand, how people are able to create a track in a few hours.

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As i said in another post, here on board, my real fight is the mix. I have a neurological hearing issue which gave me permanent tinnitus and ear pain at low frequencies even on really low volumes. That’s why all the mixes i am working on are made partially as a guess. Trial & error and referencing. That is the real ’ hell no’ moment when i am listening to the mix the next day. :))

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Sorry to hear that @Soundtrickz . I imagine it must be horrible to have a hobby/job and talent and an illness avoids me to to that. It must be reallly hard for you to do good sounding mixes also for the low frequencies. But no worry about the trial and error mixes. I guess the most of the players here do not have any education or professional training to do professional mixes - me included. It’s always trial and error. I do the best as I can. And no one is forced to buy my music, if he doesn’t like the sound or the mix.

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Thank you, I got used to it. But the frustration is killing me :). As many authors said, lately, we need to improve the quality of our products. If you listen to the top competitors, and I am sure you did, there is a notable difference both in songwriting, producing, and mixing. Of course, they do have a dedicated mix and master engineer for their tracks, but we do not. And one or another we have to stay in the game. The market is flooded at this moment with mediocre tracks. The traffic is gone, and I feel good seeing that there are some authors who worry about the quality of their products. At least all we have to do is show goodwill and try to improve our work. Otherwise, this market, with or without elements and dumping prices, will die.

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I bought this last month to integrate with Cubase - Buy Cubase Expression Maps - Babylonwaves Art Conductor - 7000 Templates for your entire orchestra
I know what you mean with regards to VST instruments but this is a must. IMHO.

“It is what it is.”

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Here! Another with tinnitus.

Oh. That’s great. I found the way around with the logical editor but this seems to more ’ logical’ . Thanks a lot.

If i’d press like ’ heart’ i might look like a moron. ( which i already am ) Sorry to hear that.

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I never would think that. It would be like “a hug,
Bro”.

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