Get Creative With Limitations

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midierror
KVRist
276 posts since 9 Jan, 2013 from UK

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:26 am

Hi

Here's a Sonicstate article on using production constraints to boost creativity.

Image

https://sonicstate.com/news/2021/11/27/ ... imitations

Do you use limitations when making music?

Chris

Greenstorm33
KVRian
958 posts since 27 Apr, 2012

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:28 am

Never heard of limitations, is it a new plugin? :-P
Softsynth addict and electronic music enthusiast.
"Destruction is the work of an afternoon. Creation is the work of a lifetime."

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Googly Smythe
KVRAF
3261 posts since 12 May, 2011 from Everywhere and nowhere, baby

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:25 am

I started recording back in the 70s bouncing between 2 cassette recorders. Bugger limitations, I want it all!
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What is life without a little whimsy?

midierror
KVRist

Topic Starter

276 posts since 9 Jan, 2013 from UK

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:08 pm

Googly Smythe wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:25 am
I started recording back in the 70s bouncing between 2 cassette recorders. Bugger limitations, I want it all!
Haha sounds like you've done your time! Now you can run freeeeeeeeeee!

midierror
KVRist

Topic Starter

276 posts since 9 Jan, 2013 from UK

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:09 pm

Greenstorm33 wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:28 am
Never heard of limitations, is it a new plugin? :-P
Yes! 90% off in the Cyber Monday sales if you ACT NOW!

enroe
KVRAF
1714 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:46 pm

Googly Smythe wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:25 am
I started recording back in the 70s bouncing between 2 cassette recorders.
Hasn't everyone started like this? And weren't the songs much better
at the time? Because of the limitations? :?:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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Googly Smythe
KVRAF
3261 posts since 12 May, 2011 from Everywhere and nowhere, baby

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:42 pm

enroe wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:46 pm
Googly Smythe wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:25 am
I started recording back in the 70s bouncing between 2 cassette recorders.
Hasn't everyone started like this? And weren't the songs much better
at the time? Because of the limitations? :?:
In my case, they weren't. I just don't see the point of abstention in the creative process. Then, I had no choice. Today, I, and all of us, do. Professional musicians of yesteryear would have sold their souls for what the amateur bedroom producer has today. Use it, says I! :tu: :party:
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What is life without a little whimsy?

sircuit
KVRian
817 posts since 15 Jul, 2016

Post Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:31 pm

Limit your time on a song - see what‘s the fastest time you ever made a song and never spend more on your future songs.

This will force you to limit everything involved in making a song tools-wise and force you to make and commit to decisions + getting used to churn musical ideas

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
12756 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:17 pm

It will also ensure that all your songs are shit. Time is the absolute last thing you should limit. It's finished when it's finished, putting a time limit on it only ensures it is never properly finished at all.

I always work hard to minimise everything - the number of instruments and particularly the number of effects we use. I don't do it for the creative benefits but because I have found that it allows me to do my best work. If you think about it, you are far less likely to throw away a part you've added 8 effects to and spent hours getting to where it is than you are with a part with no effects, even if you've spent a similar amount of time on it. If you've done all the work in the instrument, you can always save it as a preset and use it somewhere else, so that time doesn't feel wasted. OTOH, if all your work is very specific to the piece you are working on, you'll just keep adding more and more to it in an attempt to make it work, when you should probably just ditch it and try something else.

Since moving to this new minimalistic approach, I think my production work has improved noticeably in quality and I am getting to the final result much, much quicker than I used to. Honestly, it's been a real revelation.
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antic604
KVRAF
11215 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:50 am

midierror wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:26 am
Do you use limitations when making music?
Yes. They're called lack of time, lack of focus, lack of skill, lack of talent :D

But seriously, I'd like to have the guts to stick to one DAW + few plugins. Otherwise knowing that I can do everything, I do (almost) nothing :dog:
Music tech enthusiast
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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antic604
KVRAF
11215 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:53 am

BONES wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:17 pm
I always work hard to minimise everything...
Yup, 100% agree! Not that I do that, but I definitely agree :)
Music tech enthusiast
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
4389 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:18 am

I can limit synths, effects, sample packs, particular techniques... but I cannot limit my boundless creativity...
...which resulted in quite some abberations of a track :help:

How many times do I repeat: "If you have 100 ideas for a track, make 100 different tracks."
...then don't follow this rule.
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Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

midierror
KVRist

Topic Starter

276 posts since 9 Jan, 2013 from UK

Post Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:48 am

antic604 wrote:
Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:50 am
midierror wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:26 am
Do you use limitations when making music?
Yes. They're called lack of time, lack of focus, lack of skill, lack of talent :D
PMSL great response.....I feel this way too!

lwj
KVRist
441 posts since 3 Feb, 2018

Post Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:46 am

Pretty good article and valid point. But there's a larger reason why this works: it forces you to think, consciously about the tools you pick and how you handle them... which then becomes thinking about who you are as an artist and what you have to say. If you hate art, think of it as 'brand story' or 'customer journey' or something. There's a lot of really skilled producers out there that'll never make anything worth shit because they can't, or refuse to do that. Loopitis isn't a skill problem, it's a lack of creativity and vision problem.

Another way to put it: a lot of people only think about their process when they sit down to make a track. Or they just do whatever, and don't really think. Or, they mistake process for the art so it's all process.. super interesting ways to make really dull, shitty sounds.

Limitations can work inspiring. Getting access to an endless library of sound can be too. As long as there's some thought behind it, you're good. The opposite of this effect is that people will mindlessly scale up once they get some success and/or money, without thinking and their music gets less creative and worse as they get 'better' gear.

Bulbizarre
KVRist
220 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Thu Dec 30, 2021 3:41 am

It could be mentioned in the article that limitations are great to even out the sound on an album or EP. Using different sounds all the time, even following the same musical taste and arrangment techniques afterward, can lead to bits of displaced result. In that case it is not just about being creative, but also making something cohesive. Just like when cooking a dish you don't throw in everything that could fit, you choose some kind of dominant flavor(s) first.

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