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Have You Found Your Sound?

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  • #31
    I have a current sound, at best. But I try not to stay in the comfort zone.
    I see it like this, my music ain't worth shit if I don't try to push myself and evolve.

    So, if I have found my sound or not, I don't know. You guys tell me! :biggrin:
    Last edited by IOK-1; 12-11-2013, 06:23 AM.
    http://www.soundcloud.com/tarmskrap

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    • #32
      For me "my sound" is not a place, it is a route ;)
      SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
      Get exposure for your electronic music through WEATNU.COM independent promotion network.
      "Shortwave" - collaboration album with Ager Sonus

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      • #33
        I used to play piano when I was young, my teacher lived next door and was pretty proud of me at the time. Sadly when I moved away I never picked that back up again or expanded on that.

        So at the moment, now I've been creating music for the past few years, I've been re-connecting with that all those years ago, now with the added influence I gained from dance culture and media I grew up with in the 90's, and modern technology. Searching for my sound at the very moment.
        Last edited by Loose-Link; 12-22-2013, 02:36 PM.

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        • #34
          I think learning how to play an instrument would help this. When i was younger, i HATED listening to all of that soulful 60s-70s,jazz and r&B bullshit my family played but now i can’t get enough of it.
          good cheap vacuum

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          • #35
            Even though I understand people asking this question..the answer has always been a bit of an existential one in my mind. Just like genre, I believe your sound is largely defined in the end by those who listen to your work. Sure, we all..as artists..might have a general idea of what our music should sound like, the kind of track we want to produce..and the genre it will more than likely fit into..but these things for me are just templates to help with the production process.

            An example of what I'm trying to say here is once I produced a track that, to me anyway, was this mellow dream-like ambient affair..that was what I was going for at the time of production and I was pretty happy with the end result, believing I had hit the nail on the head. But then I shared it on Sound Cloud and the general feedback on it was that it was very "dark" and "creepy". Now, you would think I, as the artist and producer of the track, would know exactly what kind of music I am making..but it seems in that case I didn't.

            I guess it's a case of "one man's meat is another man's poison", as the old saying says..that my understanding of what I do or make is not really as important as the feelings and reactions it causes in those who listen to the finished piece..for it's those people who the work is for in the first place, if I am to be totally honest..and what they think should also factor into the workflow / production process I follow or apply.

            But, having said all that, I can pin-point a few things in my work that seem to keep popping up..audio watermarks of sorts..and there are 3 of them that stand out to me..

            a) Most of my tracks tend to be a bit on the long side..on average, about 7 minuted long..but some as long as 20 minutes.
            b) Nearly everything I've produced has some sort of vocal element in it, such as a vox or choir.
            c) The tracks I've composed to date..for the most part..have a slight cinematic feel to them..a lushness of sound that, to my mind, isn't really "there" yet..but getting very close to where I would like it to be.

            In short, I guess you could say I think it is more a case of your sound finds you, rather than you finding your sound. It's carved out through trial and error on your part as an artist..and chipped into being by those who listen to your work. It's a kind of unspoken and maybe even unconscious symbiotic relationship between the two, that results in "that" sound we take as being our own.

            In the end, all I can honestly say is I am happy making music..and there are people out there who like to listen to it..and as long as these two things remain the same, then I'll continue to do what I do; sure that some things will change along the way on this musical journey we're both taking together. :listening:

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Ambient Mechanics View Post
              An example of what I'm trying to say here is once I produced a track that, to me anyway, was this mellow dream-like ambient affair..that was what I was going for at the time of production and I was pretty happy with the end result, believing I had hit the nail on the head. But then I shared it on Sound Cloud and the general feedback on it was that it was very "dark" and "creepy". Now, you would think I, as the artist and producer of the track, would know exactly what kind of music I am making..but it seems in that case I didn't.
              This reminds me of something I read that Eno had said about his music. Paraphrased, he basically said that he did not consider his work music until he had released it and other people heard it. That their perception of his work completed it. I have experienced the same thing you described, people have commented on a piece and their perception of it was certainly not what mine was.

              As far as finding my sound...I don't feel that I am anywhere close to that. But what do I know? Maybe the aggregate listeners have already decided that I have! :D

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              • #37
                I spend a lot of time trying to lose my sound. I want everything I do to be unique. It is an impossible goal, but the challenge helps to move my work forward.

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                • #38
                  I think that I "strive" to not have a "sound", but rather a "state of being" when making music. Moving away from the intellectual idea of personal sound, or trying to define the music I make as "mine" I rather try to find a inner peace and a "blank" mindset before embarking on a sonic exploration. This way, whatever sounds and music I transcribe will undoubtedly have a piece of me in it, although the sound may vary a great deal from time to time. Generally music made in short, focused periods of time will have a similar sound. This being said, I make music in a pretty different fashion than any other producer I have ever met, and I sometimes really envy people that are able to direct their focus and attention on a intent and work through it without being distracted and/or sidetracked... I am, you see, as far as I can tell, unable to make music with any form of intent. Music just seem to happen to me and I try my best to capture it on my "canvas" before I loose it.. this is both a blessing and a curse.. the curse being that I spent the better part of the last 10 years in utter frustration and self-doubt because I did not seem to be able to make even the easiest of tracks/ideas into something cohesive or good.. lots of struggle went in, and the awards where far apart and few. The blessing is that when I finally admitted myself defeated and let go of all illusions I had been carrying with me for all those years, Magic happened, and since I had worked hard at perfecting the tools for so very long, the methods and "tech" was flowing through my blood and came as natural as writing on a piece of paper. So I am now aware that I will never be a "successful musician" and instead I am in perfect harmony being just me and painting my sonic pictures on the canvas of imagination.

                  .. this is perhaps a bit more than you asked for :P
                  Sonic connoisseur and explorer of aural dimensions

                  www.introspectral.com
                  https://www.facebook.com/IntroSpectral

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ambient Mechanics View Post
                    An example of what I'm trying to say here is once I produced a track that, to me anyway, was this mellow dream-like ambient affair..that was what I was going for at the time of production and I was pretty happy with the end result, believing I had hit the nail on the head. But then I shared it on Sound Cloud and the general feedback on it was that it was very "dark" and "creepy". Now, you would think I, as the artist and producer of the track, would know exactly what kind of music I am making..but it seems in that case I didn't.
                    I have had the same experience, but I don't worry too much about this. When I'm putting tracks together, I'm in a "zone" of some vague description, and as such, am seeing the piece of music under construction from an individually, uniquely involved perspective. This is almost certainly the same for anybody composing or improvising music. What makes my perspective unique? Me. I might hear a sound or sequence of notes as being suggestive of some particular scene or idea. Another composer might hear the same thing in a completely different context, and that's ok. We're all individuals, after all. If everybody were to be affected identically by an external stimulus, this little world we live on would certainly be a less interesting, and possibly more dangerous place.

                    Infrequently I may construct a piece from a basic storyboard (e.g.; Mirror), but usually not. I tend to write my tracks off the cuff, with little idea of my destination. When I posted Mirror, people seemed to like it, but not necessarily for the reasons I expected. This was a little surprising initially, but once I had factored in a certain eccentricity on my part, became completely understandable.

                    One other point worth considering is the fact that the majority of the comments made on Soundcloud are coming from fellow musicians, and as such, are not what may be considered to be representative of the general populace, whose general membership might be more inclined to say something like "Where's the singer?" or "I can't dance to that!"

                    I do agree with the statement "I think it is more a case of your sound finds you", although I think it tends to find me in the unlikeliest of places.
                    Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                    • #40
                      Ambient Mechanics pretty much nailed it, in my opinion.

                      My experience has been much the same, where I will make a track with one intent only to find that the listeners often respond with a very different feeling. This dichotomy is probably magnified by the fact that I "know too much" about how the sounds were made and which notes/effects were actually used, whereas the listener doesn't have any such preconceived notions and therefore reacts purely from their perception of what they hear. If you want to get philosophical about it, one could ask whether the creator or the listener hears the "true" result...

                      Beyond that, my experience has also been that I generally fail when trying to produce a very particular sound or result. I have found that it's much easier and more productive to instead perform some experimentation and let the sound reveal itself to me. (And sometimes, a completely separate track will spawn itself from the one I'm trying to make.) I usually start with a core idea or premise--but once I dig into it, I try not to force it in any particular direction and find inspiration through "happy accidents" and let the interim results spark the next idea to explore. In fact, I'll often use LFOs to automate effects parameters in an attempt to create something new and unexpected to even me.

                      It was a struggle for me to arrive at this place, because I tend to be a deeply analytical thinker when left to my own devices. I love planning ahead and achieving exactly the intended result. That rarely happens when I try to make music. In fact, it was a struggle for me to even consider myself a "musician" because I rarely wound up making the sounds I intended (and they weren't always "musical" in the traditional sense). Over time, I learned to embrace this workflow, and consider myself an "experimental musician" because of the method, rather than the results (though I'm sure many would judge the results as "experimental", too).

                      Most of the stuff I make these days is an attempt to discover something new that sounds cool to me. So if I have a "sound", it's the result of some consistency in my preferences for what I like to hear, rather than an intentional effort to create a "signature".
                      remst8 - remst8.com

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                      • #41
                        I think I've found my own individual sound, but a lot of it comes from the synthetic style and the effects chain.
                        Idk I feel that it helps a lot when you have your own unique style of creating synthetic pieces. kinda like your own compositional style, but the technical side instead of the musical one.

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                        • #42
                          Hmmph, well, yes and no.

                          I have a sound in my head, a tune, a snippet, and they all share similar characteristics. So in the sense of "I know what I'm shooting for" - yeah.

                          BUT (you knew there was a but, right?) I don't yet have the skill and experience to make it manifest. And it bugs the heck out of me!!

                          The only cure is create, create, create, learn my tools and push closer and closer to that thing I hear in my head day and night.

                          I'm not sure I'll reach it, but it's a blast going for it!
                          Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                          Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                          Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                          • #43
                            i love to vary my work, keeps me keen on learning new things, new sounds and techniques :-)

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                            • #44
                              Definitely taken me a long time to understand what I like about sound . More than anything its about balance within tone . It doesnt matter what the sound is , as long as the components in the sound are all in the 'right' place , then all is good . Kinda hard to put that into words really .
                              Funny what resonates with each of us . I just want to keep on discovering new places via sound , thats where the real joy is for me .

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                              • #45
                                I have found my sound, but I am never satisfied with my work, if that makes any sense. I've always pushed my work on my friends and have gleaned a lot of information from their more "mainstream" opinions. As such, my un-listenable experimental work developed into time-stretching of established instruments and harmonies.

                                So, to go back to the question, I have found what I like, and what I don't, but I try to make the theme of each project a little different.
                                https://soundcloud.com/jacobmichaelpeterwelch/on-the-other-side

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