What's your process? Or are you still trying a lot of different processes and finding out which works for you best?
I've got a few different ways of getting started
- Sometimes I'll do a similar thing as your templates and just play around programming synths and effect chains, then save that track with some kinda descriptive name so I can look it up later if I'm like "hmm I want a dark italo disco bass here"
- I have a couple music theory/composition books that I read from time to time, and I'll often feel like playing around with techniques after I read about them. Same with tutorials on Youtube or whatever.
- Sometimes I'll just pick a scale at random and play with diferent progressions, see if anything sounds cool
- I hear a particular percussion pattern or synth sound that I really like, and try to replicate it. Like you said though, I'm not that good at copying other people, and it ends up becoming its own thing.
I feel like my process is pretty inefficient, but it's what comes naturally. I do exactly what you say not to do, which is to make the whole thing at the same time. Well, not the whole thing from start to finish, but the entire cross-sections of the whole thing. I find it really hard to connect with the musical substance if the aesthetics aren't at least fleshed out a bit. This has its advantages, especially for me, the kind of person who fixates on small details. But the main disadvantage is it makes it hard for me to zoom out for the big picture, and I often have trouble with the feeling of a natural flow.
Because of that I've realized that I tend to work on different songs in chunks. My biggest "breakthroughs" often come when I return to a track I hit a wall with a couple of months earlier. Taking a break from it gives me distance from the minutiae that I was focusing on before and I can look at it as a whole again. So yeah, I can be productive, but doesn't that whole thing just seem inefficient? Thing is, I don't know if that's something I should work to change, or if that's just the way my mind works about this stuff. I think that at the least, I would be a lot better off if I had a more solid grounding in music theory and if I was a more competent keyboard player.
One of the reasons I asked about process is that I feel like sitting in front of the computer stifles my creativity a bit. I have ideas pop into my head all the time, but when I sit down and look at the screen, my mind blanks. Problem is, at the moment that's the only place I can extract the ideas from my head.
ALSO what torrent sites do you use for VSTs? I have found kickass torrents and the pirate bay to be less useful for VSTs. specifically i have been looking for a VST called "neo-soul keys"
I've only ever grabbed stuff off of WhatCD before. I'd grab that VST for you if they had it, no dice tho