My 30 day video producing Journal

For those of you who are following me on Twitter over the last 30 days, you may have seen me tweet about an experiment I started on the 1st of August.  This idea has been running through my head all year and I kept putting it off because I was honestly a bit afraid of embarrassing myself publicly by agreeing to let you watch my songwriting process for 30 days straight.

One major hurdle was the fact that I have never produced music everyday for this length of time and wasn’t sure what the outcome would be if I forced myself to create when I wasn’t particularly inspired. Would inspiration show up or would I be left showing you 30 days worth of “go nowhere” ideas? That can’t be good for anyone’s ego.  🙂

Another fear was that you might not learn much from this process. I don’t purposely do complex things just for the sake of it, so most of my process is experimenting with layers of simple ideas until I find something that works. I didn’t want you watching me use the same techniques over and over and thinking “I thought he was gonna show me some crazy stuff” and being disappointed.

Then I had a thought…..

These excuses were the exact reason nobody else has done something like this before and if that’s the case, this must be common with most everyone that creates. Maybe by showing my strengths and weaknesses I might be able to pull others outside of their comfort zone. Maybe this will show you some of the essential things to learn instead of you feeling like you have to know everything before allowing yourself to start.

Through this process I’ve been motivated, unmotivated, grumpy, anxious, unorganized, inspired, bored, confused and slightly embarrassed at times. Despite all that I was able to complete 2 songs & a DJ mix I am pretty happy with. That has got to count for something. I’ve also become that much better at fighting through resistance and getting to the other side. I may talk more specifically about my struggles as I share this 30 day process. If I can create in the state of mind I was in on some days, you definitely can too!

So here’s how this is going to work…

At some point soon I will be posting 1 video on my blog a day for 30 days. Almost all the videos are 30 minutes of longer, while some are well over an hour. Each day 1 video will be up to watch for free for 24 hours (or until the next video takes it’s place). So for 30 days you will have a new video to watch. I’ve edited the videos a bit to keep them more focused so you don’t watch me go off on tangents that are unnecessary. You will however see me do some things that don’t get used at all in the final process. I figured it was important to include that so you can pretty much watch the whole creative process.

For those who find value in this collection, I will later make it available if you want to purchase it. It will include all the samples used and all the Ableton song files from each day as well as the 2 completed songs and DJ mix (obviously seperated tracks from my DJ mix will not be included).

Don’t call this a tutorial

Although there is alot to learn from this collection of videos, it was put together without any planning and therefore is not like any other collection I have made. This isn’t a “how to make a (choose your style) song” but rather an relatively honest approach to some ways I approach making music.  I do however limit myself to just Ableton’s internal effects and instruments. These limitations take me outside my comfort zone which I thought was a good challenge. I wanted to be working with tools that all Ableton users have access to so everyone can not only follow along but stop thinking they need more stuff before they can start creating professional sounding music. In another track I built the song just using samples and internal effects. I also go through the process of preparing a song to play live in Ableton and build a DJ mix.  Do to the 20ish hours of footage, I haven’t done the type of editing I usually do. Sometimes you’ll find me in the “zone” and I stop talking about what I’m doing and I just DO, although I try my best to fill you in or why I’m doing what I’m doing and what I am thinking at the time.

I hope this lets some of you inside my head creatively and shows you some building blocks, techniques and tools that you can apply to your work. I certainly didn’t invent any of the techniques, so it’s only fair that I pass along what I know so you can take it and figure out a way to do it better. … Then I can learn from you  🙂

Keep your eye on this blog and make sure to follow me on Twitter if you want up to the moment updates.

Til then,

Happy Music Making,

Jason

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