Tip of the day

For those who want to get straight to the tips, or for those who aren’t interested in my 2010 wrap up blog, I’ll get right to my Ableton tip! This trick will show you have to use Ableton’s (or any) sidechain compression as a mixing tool. It’s a great way to solve issues with conflicting parts.

Here is the Video below:

2010 Wrap up

Wow, It’s hard to believe that it’s that time again. Time to reflect on the year that has past and also time to set new predictions, goals and habits for the future. For me, this has been a tough year and a rewarding year. I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to accomplish but then again, I took on some unexpected tasks that were quite a growth experience.

Band Reunion put back into limbo:

Last year ALOT of hard work was put into programming, recording, sampling and rehearsing for what was due to be a big reunion of a band I was in called Negative Image. We were a popular LA based New Wave/Goth 80’s band & were due to start kicking off shows in October but some internal stuggles with 1 of our 5 members lead to a hard drive full of painstaking work that may never see the light of day. On a positive note, 4 out of the 5 of us are quite motivated to make good on our time and effort, so you may be hearing more about that as it unfolds.

I’m sure everyone has dealt with letdowns and incomplete goals. The bigger the idea, the greater the letdown. However, what I have learned is that even if something you put alot of energy into falls flat, you’ve still stirred up alot of energy & that will never go to waste. It can always be redirected and refocused. Some of the greatest ideas were ones that failed their original purpose.

Sometimes you just have to trust that life has better plans for your time and effort. For me, I am able to take many of the ideas for my band reunion and funnel it into my live electronic shows I am gearing up for in 2011. When I really look at things, my band reunion was just meant to be a couple special shows to relive some great moments with old friends. On the other hand, electronic music is my future. It’s what continues to excite me and challenge me.

Perhaps there will be some marriage between the 2 in the future. I leave myself more open to what comes my way while keeping a strong work ethic.

Productivity

I’ve learned quite a bit about productivity in 2010. Although I didn’t accomplish my goal of completing 1 song or remix a month, I definitely accomplished more than I have a recent years.

In August I took on my biggest musical challenge to date. I produced everyday for at least 30 minutes for 30 days straight. I made good on 29 of those 30 days and I ended up with 20 + hours of video footage documenting the whole process. I ended up completing 2 songs, & a DJ mix. You can find all the videos, song files, completed songs, the DJ mix and samples in my 30 day Ableton Production Journal. I’ve also got over an hour of free videos from this collection on my blog.

What I didn’t realize at the time I started this project was that this was going to be a very tough month even if I weren’t taking on this challenge. As this is a music blog, I won’t go into too much depth except to say that I suffer pretty severely at times from anxiety and panic attacks which can cause pain, fatigue, nausea, confusion, dizziness and a complete feeling of disconnectedness and non-reality. Quite simply terrifying. During my 30 day video series I was going through all of that. So much so that I tried going on zoloft (huge mistake) and then had to deal with days worth of withdrawals coming off the meds that are even worse than the original anxiety.

The reason I tell you all this personal stuff is simply this.. If I could commit to and accomplish what I did in 1 month with so much stacked against me and have the guts to share this with the world, you can certainly accomplish your creative goals as well. If you are driven to share your creativity with the world, there may be things that can slow you down, but there is nothing that can stop you.

Forming new habits

My experience in August has changed me for the better in alot of ways. I don’t make the same excuses I’ve made before. I find my way around roadblocks and just keep working. Although I have no desire to force myself to work every single day on music. I do find that itch to create more often and I act on that impulse much more.

In 2010 I’ve completed about 7 original tracks and remixes, several good grooves that may become songs and the motivation to keep up the pace. For those who are familiar with Pogo’s work, I am currently doing my own tribute video with a seldom seen movie that I love (the 5000 fingers of Dr T). I’ll certainly share my experience and the finished video. I’ll posts some walkthroughs for those who would like to do something similar. It’s a huge challenge but also alot of fun.

Live in 2011

As I mentioned previously, I am preparing songs and video for Live performances in 2011. All my released and unreleased songs as well as grooves and unfinished ideas are being separated into individual or group sounds and made into bite sized loops to be deconstructed, mangled and mixed into new arrangments. At the center will have 2 Macbooks running Ableton Live audio and video as well as sending midi to external synths and syncing to groove boxes. I’ll also have controllers that will trigger loops, samples drums and video. How exactly this setup will come together is anyone’s guess and it will likely keep evolving. My goal is to keep the show as interesting as the music.

I’ll likely create 2 setups for performance. 1 simple and 1 complex. Depending on where I am performing, what the budget is, setup times and if I am working with my production partner or individually, I’d like things to be flexible. I may do more extravagant performances for live or recorded video broadcasts, local shows or shows that I headline and have the time to get in a proper soundcheck. A smaller setup will work better when performing with a DJ lineup, radio shows or small shows out of town or country.

There should be some cool promo performance vids up in the next couple months. For those of you living outside the US or outside my local area (now near Los Angeles, soon to be Denver), I welcome any opportunities to perform or suggestions on places with a great openminded vibe/sound.  Just please spare me the places with poor sound, poor promotion or closeminded crowds. I’m sure many of you DJ’s out there have been invited to some club to do “your thing” only to be mobbed by people 15 minutes into your set and demanded to play top 40 and nothing but. Not fun!

Other Stuff

As always, there is plenty of stuff in the works, but alot of it isn’t ironed out enough to make any announcements, but once things are more solidified, I’ll be happy to tell you more. Look out for a big collaboration coming up as well as an announcement on my Free iPhone ap coming soon.

I hope 2010 has been a good year for all of you and that you have plans for a fantastic 2011!

Merry christmas and a happy new year to everybody!

Jason

 



If you are benefiting from these posts, you will absolutely love my 2 bestselling books:

The Mental Game of Music Production
The Process for Electronic Music Producers

To level up your Ableton Production Skills: Ableton Courses & Instruments

If you are looking for personal guidance with your music production or Ableton, you can set up a free chat with me to go over exactly what your best next steps are to create the best music of your life. If it seems like a good fit, we can move forward from there.  https://musicsoftwaretraining.com/private-coaching

Happy music making!
Jason

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