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When You Have Too Many Musical Production Styles



A GIFT AND A CURSE

WHEN YOU PRODUCE TOO MANY STYLES OF MUSIC

Having been a producer for over 25 years, I have been through many different fads and genres. I came up by learning my craft as a young teenager using tape to tape decks and pausing tracks and remixing them on the spot. I took great pleasure in this. I then progressed on to a Fostex four track tape recorder and a Casio SK1 sampler keyboard. This then jolted forward to an Akai s900 sampler and an Atari 520ST. I was by this point in the MIDI world and had the wonderful joy of floppy disc sampling to contend with.



These were after all the early to mid 1990's where I could produce whatever I felt that day. I was in no way restricted to being a certain type of artist because I had no record label to answer to. I wasn't even a record producer. I was just a DJ that made demo tracks by sampling the hell out of other peoples work to the best of my ability, using whatever resources I had. I was my own free spirit, and therefore I could please myself. I was a big Hip Hop fan in terms of DJing, so I was always producing demos in that. I had after all acquired the whole set of the Ultimate breaks and Beats albums. This was two copies of each so I could DJ with them like the DMC DJ's did. So I had an abundance of samples to choose from to whack into my sampler. I also had an extensive collection of Hip Hop 12" singles to take parts from so my choices were unlimited.

The next day I would probably have bought the new Masters at Work record, or the latest Todd Terry project release and so would end up going home and trying to produce a raw House recording. Then even more oddly I would hear the latest LTJ Bukem single at my then place of work BPM Records in Derby. This was a style of D&B that I loved for its Ambient styled atmospherics, and so as you can guess I would go home and attempt to produce a Drum & Bass track. 



You can tell by now where I am going with this. I am a person who loves many different styles of music. I love Pop, Classical, Ambient, Trance and even some Punk music. There are no limits to my tastes as a consumer and not many really in terms of a producer also. Over the years I have released many different tracks so far apart from each other with varying degrees of success and failures.

But this can be a curse as well as a gift, because how do you maintain for example two or more different artistic projects which are worlds apart?. I have wrestled with this dilemma for at least the last 18 years. When I succeeded in the commercial national charts as a House producer, I was on that trail for two years from 1999-2001. I solidly just produced or attempted to produce dance music only. This was due to record company pressure and me trying to maintain that momentum. You can listen to the track I am referring to HERE

I temporarily gave this up after a legal wrangle and also the fact that I had just burnt myself out, I reverted back to producing a Funk & Chill Out album with a few other musicians. This was a well deserved break as I had lost interest in House music for a period, and the new album project was a welcome change. You can hear that album by clicking HERE. and listen to how far apart my House music track is to this album, to understand how I enjoy and need to produce different genres.


So fast forward to the now and if you are like me who currently has an Ambient project, an Acid Techno project, a Disco House project that has been ticking over for years and I also produce tutorial videos delivering various techniques and genres. So not a great deal has changed in my time as a producer, I have always had different projects on the go and I guess I also will have now. I have no longer come to accept these as bad habits, just a lack of consistency within one genre as I do get bored easily and jump from one style to another. Thats just me, but I am sure other producers have these traits too.

So after all of the above, how do we manage to set out a time management plan and find the enthusiasm to produce, promote and perform two different genres. Here are five tips to try and balance the two distant genres. But also to keep them apart from each other.



1. Keep Your Distance. 

Having two styles, you really need to keep them separate. So its not good practice to put a Techno track and a Funky House vocal track on the same Sound-cloud page, or post it to your individual artist Facebook page etc. Keep your two styles totally apart from each other. Nobody who follows a Techno artist would really care too much for their side project unless of course it is of a similar style. Make sure both projects have their own identity.

So different artist names or an alter ego or alias would be suitable and more sustainable for the long distance of keeping your different projects apart. So if one project folded or you simply lose your desire for that style, then you can be safe in the knowledge that the other one is not connected and therefore you can focus on that one project.

2. Set Out Your Weekly Production Plan

Make sure that you are setting out when you are going to focus on each project. Give yourself plenty of time for music production. Turn that phone on silent and set out your time table for producing which ever style you want to on that particular day. Then on the other day you set out only focus on that project.

If you feel that one day you are not in the mood for your Deep House project but you want to do something, then simply instead of arranging the track or avoiding the work altogether try and focus on getting the right kick drum sound, or just focus on learning a new EQ skill or learn how to do a certain technique if laying out your track isnt what you want to do today. At least focus on one thing which is related to your style in that particular genre. Watch a tutorial on how to create a certain sound effect or a type of bass pattern for example. But stick with it and keep the consistency going.

3. Limiting Your Social Media

These day we are completely controlled by some form of social media, You may not want to admit that but we are. But we can use it for so many good outcomes as opposed to it being a distraction. So the important thing here is to limit yourself to only a handful of artist pages and profiles for each one, So I have three different Twitter accounts and three Facebook pages for example. But only two Instagram pages. For me that is more than enough,

However I obviously have three Sound-Cloud pages for each project too. But you must keep your posts similar and stick to the topic at that moment in time. So if you are promoting a new single dont ramble on about past projects, just keep it directed on the new music. Using the correct hashtags are highly important also but again do not over do it on the key words. There is nothing worse than reading a post that has keywords unrelated to the topic.


So in short only post stuff related to each project on their separate pages. Do not over use social media and become a spammer, its not healthy nor is it wanted by your fans. Do not post stuff for the sake of it. Things that are in in your private life are unwanted. Keep every post you send totally committed to the music and that alone, but most importantly dont use one social media account to promote your side project.

4. Connecting With The Right People


Lets just imagine you are a Disco House producer and you also have a Trance project on the side. Two completely different genres and very rarely if ever have they connected. So already we have a divide. The key to making a good name for yourself is to connect with the right people on the same side of the fence as you. So if you are Disco then begin by adding DJ's and producers who create and play the same style as you do. Start to develop relationships with those people and send your tracks to them for potential signing. Basically do not send stuff to your Disco label if its not related.

I run my own label and mostly release all my work through that label. But I found that I got an even larger number of listeners and fans by sending my tracks to other labels for them to release. Yes you get a lesser amount of royalties but this is regained by the larger exposure that you receive through the label. So it works out well for you in the end. Then for your other project which is Trance for example, try the same approach, but with a genre like Trance it has a larger fan base and the producers at the top of that tree are generally superstar names so it will be tough to reach those guys.

So for example set your sights on a few names lesser than the mega stars. Then work your way up from there. So in short send some tracks to labels and the influential DJ's and stick with it as it only takes for one big name to hear a track you have produced for it to catch on. But connecting to the right people without harassing them is the key. A polite private tweet or an Instagram message usually can work. If not them continue to focus on getting your music sent to labels accepting demos.

5. Ignore The Snobs

As I have stated over the years I have produced Trance, Banging House, Disco, D&B, Ambient, Soul, Pop etc etc. There is no limit to what I have tried and I have always made each genre with true passion and enthusiasm. I have never jumped on a band wagon or the hottest flavour of the month. It has always been because I have heard something that I love the sound of and therefore I have wanted to try that style.

Whether this lasted for one release or a simple studio demo exercise or there has been some longevity in that project. I have always made music with conviction to my listeners and to my friends. But whatever style of music you want to produce, then just do it and put it out there, because in the grander scheme of life, its only music and not world politics.

It should be enjoyed and not frowned upon if a musician or producer wants to go in a different direction either temporarily or permanently. Its only fun at the end of the day, and you must not be afraid of the snobbish attitudes that often haunt the creative worlds, ignore those negative voices. But again the important thing is to keep your projects separate and not release everything under one name.

As the old saying goes, those who can, do. Those who cant, criticise. So let those people just have their say and carry on with your direction. Your real friends will always support you no matter what you try. But the basic of this point is to just enjoy your different styles and flourish as bright as you can.

We only have one life and why would you want to spend it doing the same style over and over. There is the argument that if you keep doing something over and over you get to become an expert on that. Yes in some ways but I disagree in the creative worlds. If you keep doing the same thing you can become stale. So always try new styles, and new genres and who knows, you could find new passions. Go and do what you feel is right. No matter how many styles of music you produce.

Finally

Trying a new genre can be difficult at first but unless you try you will never expand your knowledge. Even if you dont take the genre any further than a few attempts, you will always guarantee that you will come away from it with brand new insight and knowledge on how to do something new. You can benefit in many ways by taking a look at the some of the courses that Waxadisc have available by clicking the images below for all of our courses for only £10. A small investment for around 12 hours of content and resources not to mention an entire galaxy of Ableton knowledge and techniques.



Anyone who wishes to chat to me about their music or any thing related to my blog then please do get in touch via this email link HERE.







When You Have Too Many Musical Production Styles When You Have Too Many Musical Production Styles Reviewed by Waxadisc Music on 02:31 Rating: 5

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