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Listening to your own music


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Definitely. I make my stuff to please myself, sometimes I imagine an audience.

While making it I love it, by the end it's 50/50 whether I still love it or I'm just done with it.

 

I always come back to it at some point and am generally happy with it, impressed with some parts and cringing at others. Every song has at least 2 parts I'm proud of, the rest seems amateur depending on my mood. I like my own stuff more when I'm drunk, for sure.

 

In short doses people say it's good, and I've worked a few tracks into mixes I've made for parties with success.

That's about all I want from the act of doing it.

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By candlelight, wearing a loincloth made of cheetah hide, while rubbing my body with assorted aromatic oils and musks,

Sure! It's the only way to know if your stuff is as good as you remember it being. Plus, I've made a couple of tunes I'm pretty proud of

I usually get burned out and annoyed at my tracks, which is why they usually get ripe and half forgotten at the 1 year mark and thats when I can really feel which ones are shit or which ones are okay

Lots of good wisdom in this thread.Yes, I create the music I want to hear, so I enjoy listening to it. I also like listening to with others to gauge their reactions to bits and tracks I'm unsure about. It is embarrassing sometimes, but super useful. I think it was Squee that turned me onto doing that a few years ago.

 

My albums and WIP albums (which I listen to the most) get their own folders on my phone, and recent A and B roll tracks get another folder that I sift through now and then. Stuff that didn't seem as ripe at the time, sketches, and forgotten tracks get gone through a few times a year on my computer for things with potential that I can put on my phone. If I'm not deliberately making an album all in one go, my WIP albums come together from making playlists of my A and B roll folder.

 

If you're making too many tracks to listen through them and pick the best ones, you're putting the burden on your audience to do the quality control for you. I lose patience going through others' mediocre tracks. Then again, this is coming from someone who is a perfectionist, and who's process is at least 70:30 listening to composing.

So if your hobby is more centered on banging out tracks, good for you. Just maybe have your friends do some quality control before you throw it up on Bandcamp. That's not a weakness; isn't that how ICBYD and others were put together?

 

I've been applying this idea too. I'll have a bunch of tracks, cull them to 10 or 12 of which I think are listenable, and I'll ask a number of friends to say which third of the tracks (3 or 4 tracks) they find the weakest. Compare their opinions, my own opinions and cut out the crap. I end up making more EPs this way and an album once in a while instead of releasing a bunch of repetitive drivel. A lot of people will still think it's drivel anyway, but that doesn't really matter since I'm only releasing for myself, friends, to make merch to sell at shows, and to apply for grants.

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Get what you mean dude but some of us just like to jam out tracks :)

I think that's awesome, and I love your Bandcamp, so don't take it as a dig. I doubt you put out your stuff completely without a filter however.

 

Paranerd, your tracks are great!

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I like what Limpy said about taking a week or 2 off from a track then returning to it as a 'listener'; much easier to hear mixing flubs, problem frequencies and generally approach editing in a less biased fashion.

 

I like listening back to my tracks, but generally enjoy it more if I can hear that I was putting my *all* into the music at the time it was made. Where possible I'll avoid the easy route when it comes to production/arrangement for reasons of a sort of personal posterity; I get much more enjoyment from hearing something I know I laboured over. There's so much art in the world that it doesn't make sense to me that I would put out anything less than the best thing I could put together at the time... This approach can be stiffling though, as evidenced by the fact that I have yet to get an album out :p

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Thanks, ganus!

 

There's so much art in the world that it doesn't make sense to me that I would put out anything less than the best thing I could put together at the time... This approach can be stiffling though, as evidenced by the fact that I have yet to get an album out :p


What's the worst thing that would happen if you did release an album compared to the best thing to happen if you didn't? There's no risk involved other than being ignored and that's going to happen anyway if you don't share anything.

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Thanks, ganus!

 

 

There's so much art in the world that it doesn't make sense to me that I would put out anything less than the best thing I could put together at the time... This approach can be stiffling though, as evidenced by the fact that I have yet to get an album out :p

 

What's the worst thing that would happen if you did release an album compared to the best thing to happen if you didn't? There's no risk involved other than being ignored and that's going to happen anyway if you don't share anything.

Well the worst outcome would be that I put something out that I am fundamentally unhappy with due to a deadline or feeling I had to placate a certain audience other than myself. To the extent that I know myself I would be worried about ending up in an existensial quandry and questioning why I had done any it at all.

 

Deadlines have helped me to write some cool stuff in a short span fairly recently so there is obviously value in setting a deadline. So yeah, gotta get Sweguno LP out next year!

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Be kind to yourselves, fellow music makers.  The beauty of music is in sincere expression.

 

You don't need new gear, because you are the tech.

 

Yah- I listen to my own music pretty regularly.  It's weird to think that it's the sonic equivalent of looking into the mirror for extended periods, but there you go.

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 Unlike the mirror you can make your ideal. But to humour your mirror analogy whilst adding my point, perhaps it's like looking in to a mirror and putting your make up on and getting your hair did.

 

 watmm making music

 

 Herbert+Gehr+Rockettes+Dressing+Room+194

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 Unlike the mirror you can make your ideal. 

 

What's in the mirror is what's in the mirror- always- but the perception of self changes depending on emotional content.  When looking at oneself with love, though- true self-acceptance- there is no judgement or perception of self other than "that is who I am".  This goes for music and other arts, as well.  You can "try" to craft your sound all you want (or craft your body, put on makeup, etc.), but at the end of the day, if on the path of sincerity, you're just refining and finding yourself.  Being a good person or being good at music takes a lot of practice and hard work, but when it comes to sincerely expressing one's purest self, it's much like EQ-- there is some accentuation, but it's mostly shedding of the unnecessary.

 

Aphex Twin expresses himself in even one bar of music, because he is every track's hook.

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I do find myself listening to my own tracks in the same way I would someone else's after they're completed. I also find the more memorable melodies bouncing around in my head.  Rough takes I can luckily listen to throughout my work day and mentally fine-tune before returning and making composition adjustments. Older tracks can definitely encapsulate emotions and can be journalistic in that sense. The difference between looking in the mirror and listening back to your tracks is that you didn't create you. You're kind of still creating the picture as you go, like in painting. Feelings about a track are always shifting but I can appreciate seeing my growth trajectory over time. 

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I don't like listening to the music I make because I know it sucks and I don't invest enough time in honing my skills.

 

I do however listen back to DJ mixes I've put together. Mainly because I like the tunes, but also because I can critique the mixing and get better.

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It shouldn't be seen as a vain, self indulgent thing. Hopefully most people are making music that they really want to make, or at least try so it's stuff you want to hear. If you're going through the motions and making music for other people and for kudos then I can understand why you'd not be into listening to it, especially when the trend you followed is done.

I stopped listening to my last release because I was bummed out on the process of releasing something to thin air and it blowing away like a tumbleweed but recently I listened to it with a new head and enjoyed it and became proud of it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with liking your own music, it makes total sense if you pull it off in your own mind.

 

I wish people would stop projecting the cool attitude of not caring but also on the other hand, being cool enough to be critical and strive harder to gain quality control.

 

I think i'm talking rubbish though ha.

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 no. no. Of course you should like your own music. Like it and be critical of it and make it better. And then get a better understanding of what you're doing so you make even better music and like that. Having a persistent and positive attitude towards what you are doing will probably garner better results than being bummed out about how shit something is. You need to be able to see even in the most shit thing that there is contained within a little gleam of treasure that you can work with and so shape to something better, and then better and then better_er. You need to project forward to what it can be, not dwell on what it currently is, block out the static and tune in to the path forward. A sculptor can start with clay or a lump of rock . We start with a mess of unformed sound which we've gotten from mucking around, which we channel and refine, coming up with novel little sketches here and there, which we bolt on, slip in or infuse through, then perhaps scrap the lot because something that happened half way through sounds betterer_er. hahah.

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I like the idea of capturing ideas or emotions quickly and whilst they are there which might be why I like making live tracks or recording something there and then and not putting it off for another day. 

 

I enjoy listening back to my melodies, noodles or improvs that other people would perceive as a 'nothing' track or a waste of time 1) because it reminds me of that day/feeling and 2) because listening back to the things that I have created makes me happy. 

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I listen back to my music pretty often- alternating between hating it all and really loving it. 

 

This.

 

On a related note, just got a tune back from mastering (as a teaser to the whole release... full session booked in 2 weeks), and it's strange how it almost sounds now as a new tune... written by someone else, just because of that new subtle sheen and polish. And I've been working on those tracks for ages... 

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I usually listen a lot to my tracks right after I made them but it's probably because I don't spend that much time working on them I guess :shrug:

 

Not that long ago tho I stumbled across dozens of unfinished tracks, some being just one bar looping over itself, most I forgot and it almost brought me to tears because I really wasn't expecting this.

 

So now I just put my Soundcloud playlist on when I do the dishes, it goes from very recent stuff to what could potentially be my first finished tracks and it's a nice trip down memory lane :) (the good thing being that I never made huge amounts of tracks so I can go through years of work really quick !)

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I have some cooledit recordings I did with my friends circa age 12 and they're pretty absurd but it's great having recordings from so far back, hearing our weird little pre-adolescent voices. Listening to your oldest shit is like reading a diary. Sweet nostalgia.

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