Craft = Perfecting technique. Understanding the tools. Practicing skills. Learning laws. Making rules. Experimenting with the variables. Knowing limits. Physical process.
Art = Receiving and acting on inspiration. Being receptive to higher energies and ideas. Breaking known laws and rules to make way for undeniable resonance. Pushing limits. Using craft to exercise an irresistible idea. Putting a leash on experimentation in order to achieve inspired goals. Soul language.
It seems you guys are still just doing craft. You need to consider your position with the concept of ‘art’. This begins with receptivity. If you are not receptive to higher ideas then that is that. In other words, if you’re not truly inspired, then don’t complain that you’re only engaged in the craft. Craft is a means, not an end. This is probably why you’re frustrated.
Everyone is different in how they achieve higher-idea-receptivity and inspiration. What in your life is blocking this? Job? Drugs? Partners? Emotional crutches? Environment? Diet? Fear? Laboring under false perspectives or poor ideology? Not looking in the right places? - Whatever is blocking you isn’t laziness: it’s something deeper causing that laziness. It could be incurable. In which case accept who you are and continue with the craft for craft’s sake. But if you’ve ever tasted inspiration, you’ll eventually do anything to have that feeling back again, no matter how long it takes.
I’ve never considered the seperation of what you call “craft” from “art”. While I feel I understand your point, I would like to pose a simple question: isn’t it conceivable that the “craft” itself is an artistic endeavour?
“Perfecting technique. Understanding the tools. Practicing skills. Learning laws. Making rules. Experimenting with the variables. Knowing limits. Physical process.” … I see much opportunity to engage in “art” while experimenting with “craft”. In other words, I feel that one can be artistic in experimentation with various techniques, methodologies, rules, and variables. In fact, isn’t the very creating of NEW techniques, rules, etc. “art” in of itself?
I suppose I don’t feel the distinction between craft and art is as clear as you make it out to be. You make it seem that “craft” is a means toward “art” …
Anyway, I actually don’t feel that any of this is truly applicable to the problem that milkshake described. He seems to much rather jam than create songs.
Which is more artful - to spontaneously create music on the fly, or to constrict yourself to the bounds of “craft” and create an actual arranged song?
The act of jamming seems to be more in line with what you describe as “art”.
Just do it.
Let your girlfriend lock yourself behind the door in your room for at least 8 hours and not unlock it any earlier.
Get yourself going, duplicate patterns and make changes, changes in bass-line chord structures and duplicate the blocks then do some melodies.
There is no real thing than just doing it. The story gets different if you have no inspiration to go.
But if the inspiration and time are not against you, then just start moving.
You’re right, I see it differently. Very certainly craft as a means of achieving art. Art does not happen without craft, but craft happens all the time without substantial art. Both aspects are prime elements in process, but their significance can become irrelevant.
Being part of many jams over the years I’d say art only opens up rarely, and even less so when the jam has been ritualized or done out of loyal compulsion.
If songs are not being finished, then usually they are not worthy of being finished. Inspiration hasn’t arrived, or there is no receptivity for that inspiration. If a true higher idea arrives and the person is open to it, then there will be absolutely no choice for that person to finish the idea, it will consume them.
But maybe you’re right, my line here is too esoteric? Maybe what he needs is some crafty information on basic song structures. Stuff like:
I don’t believe there’s any such thing as inspiration, and most certainly not in the way the romantics understood it. I mean, “true”?; “higher”?; “idea”?
To me, what happy_milkshake_man is describing sounds more like “enthousiasmos”; this strange sensation of being-out-of-yourself, or beside yourself - while actually still being yourself (well, obviously, assuming that we accept the modern sense of “self”).
Like Foo? said, “art only opens up rarely”, and sadly so. However, I don’t regard the “jamming” of Coltrane as being less valid, as being or containing less art than the highly detailed “planning” of , say, Joyce or Philip Glass. Experience and consideration increases the probability of “achieving” art in this enthousiasmic state, of course, but doesnt guarantee it in anyway, just like being drunk or in some other way being more or less absorbed in what yer doing doesnt hold any promises.
All this aside, I agree with kaneel; art (sans craft) is often hard work, while in the combination of art and craft, there’s no way around getting your hands real dirty.
I have the same problem, I have 100’s of renoise loops…that I do mute etc and check them out. But I hardly finish any. Most of them, anyway I couldn’t make money with, at least for now…so I don’t see the use.
But in all that, I do have a trick. You write down ( I do on a piece of paper) all instruments that go together or are of the same type. Ex = All synths, then all snare types, all hat types…
So then I start song with one of each, then add instruments from that…2 pattern’s later I had a part of the second hit-hat type, one pattern latter a part of the synth melody, but not completly and so on!
Place your instruments in categories, make a plan, then copy your original pattern for how long you want the song and erase parts you want to use later. When all looks kinda like a song, then you polish, change 2-3 times the chord progression, make neat transitions etc.
Well that’s my trick, I hope you get it
About that art stuff, man your harsh…art is anything that you create that comes from your feelings or whatever. Art is unjugable, freedom of speech. Quality and experience can’t define what is artistic, it just is.
Inspiration is one thing, but you can’t force that. And seriously, making a song in renoise is always crafting…it takes so much time to put your inspiration in data that you lose all spontaneous inspiration you started with.
Yes milkshake, your problem is laziness …not all that stuff about inspiration. Anyway I seriously hate how Foo got into the subject has if he was more advanced and artistical then other artist’s here lol.
This caught my interest, because I’m going through the same bout of ‘laziness’ myself. It’s gradually taken me longer & longer to finish a track normally because I’m sick of hearing it by the time it’s got anywhere. I find myself layering far too many beats, not being settled with the ‘sound’ of it, and generally losing motivation as I progress. I also hate to have unfinished projects too, which is another big problem of mine. The one thing that does keep me going is the feedback I get from close friends, and occasionally here on the forums. I quite often think I’m ‘onto something’ when I start a track and do get quite positively worked up about it, but then the need for a progression in a tune is quite often stunted by the time it takes me to get the ideas down.
I guess now that I’m ‘on my todd’ so to speak, I will have a lot more time in hand to get a bit handier at using Renoise
It-Alien: I’ve considered getting my internet disconnected - I’m far too addicted and easily distracted by this and waste oodles of time reading about crap that’s completely irrelevant to what I went on there for in the first place! (But how would I get the oh-so frequent updates?!)
Anyway, there’s some good points made in this thread, and I’ve got a night alone, I’m ridden with emotion due to the end of a 5-year-almost-married relationship, and I’ve jst read this thread! So, it seems like the ideal time to take heed to these comments, and try to get something down…
We also have the power of co-ops in this situation.If you are capable of replacing your non-free VST plugs and effects with native or free ones and pass the idea to someone else, this is where most miracles can happen.
Don?t stop until you are content with what you hear, or at least feel that it expresses something you had in mind (even though only you understand it). Then make another song with the same intentions. Then a new on, etc.
Eventually you wil become more in touch with your inspirations and your own taste, making it more clear what tricks to use/not use. As I see it, music is just another language that one must practice before being able to speak from the heart. It may take years, maybe only a couple of songs before you realize that you have developed.
Nothing is uncurable, I believe that. Even the greatest composers have to practice their talent before becoming great.
EDIT: Yeah turn off your browser, and run Renoise in full-screen so you don´t see the clock. That helps me.
I keep the net off my studio computer, completely. I’ve got a seperate room in my flat with an old 98SE 850mhz PC - just for internet/business stuff. It’s good to have a different locality/machine because I don’t want to have to share mentalities (musical versus communicative) in the same crampt space, although it used to be that way.
Could be an option for some of you, go pick up an old computer for $100 and that’s your internet machine.
I really recognize myself in this thread - I have loads of those 1-pattern-long-renoise-tracks that are just built on a little inspiration and are then left over. It might be lazyness, but it’s also a ‘mental barrier’ which I often don’t pass. To me, it’s hard to create a full length track based on 1 pattern because I can ‘hear’ how it should sound (with build-ups etc) but it’s still a hard task for me to do it on my own.
I think one way to override this problem is to ‘arrange’ the track using control-assigned parameters and muting/demuting channels as I have no problems arranging the song ‘on the fly’. This needs some groundwork first (putting gain-controllers to every channel and then assigning them to my bcr2000-controller) but it’s a doable way.
hoohoo!!! this was totally me 1 year ago! I had a ton of ideas, beats unfinished stash and so on. Now, on the other hand, im cured. I have completed (the composition at least, i dont do fancy mastering shit) the last 4 tunes i started and have only a marginal amount of unfinished crap in my song folder.
How is that possible you ask.
Well the cure was like this: 1.computer crashed in may 2006, wiped out 70% of my songs. 2. august 2006 changed to mac, songs with vst useless. 3. october 2006 mac stolen in breakin, no backup.
What did those things do to me? Well for one they thaught me that starting completely from scratch (means only Renoise+ samples from demosongs) forces you out of old patterns of behaviour forces you to do things other ways than you are used to, a bit like participating in a compo, maybe, the difference being that without 2 million 4track songs in your harddisk to distract you. This does wonders for both concentration and inspiration! A year ago, when i got stuck on a track, i actually used to go trough all my old modules one by one for “inspiration”. my experience is that 90% of the time it gives you as much inspiration as surfing random youtube videos.
Secondly I was surprised how few of my lost unfinished tracks i actually missed, all the songs that i once swore i would finish someday were like a burden of bad concience lifted off my shoulders.
I guess this is not the recommended way to do it for most but maybe a “vacation” from your usual working environment could be healthy for your inspiration, for xample put all your stuff on an external hd and put it in a closet for a week. At least i feel like i was reborn (even though it was a quite painful birth)
the quantity of my unfinished rns/xrns is about the quintuple of those, that are finished.
on the one hand, it’s of course due to the alleviated amount of time available compared to times when i still was a young, jaunty and handsome boy.
on the other, i think the root for all demise lies in the ability to use plugins.
the VST & VSTi interfaces are boon and bane at the same time to me.
sure, they extend the possiblities and improve the outcome of your tracking sessions, but then again, they tempt you to just fool around with’em and experiment a lot, which consumes precious time and hinders productivity.
every single new synth or effect plugin out there is a software on its own and incorporates its own, partially pretty steep learning curve, even though they’re all similar and familiar.
without a doubt one could say “just stick with your 3-4 synths and fx and you are set”, but the human is unfortunately a very snoopy being, always throwing a glance at something, that potentially might improve his intention however not knowing that the bottom line looks crucially different.
so on a related note, i am one of those who think that a customizable VSTi list, for both - FX & VSTi, which enables the user to individually sort and create favourites on its own, would probably be a greater addition and enrichment than anything else plannend for future versions at the current point of time.
and manually renaming the respective .DLLs in the file system of the OS can’t be the workaround, since renoise songs are deep-rooted to the exactly filename, which is a circumstance that makes any system re-installation a pain in the ass in order to get everything up & running again.
distinct “practicing” from “making music”. maz once told me he does track around for a few hours each week without saving or having the force to “accomplish anything”. just fiddle around and learn. at the most you can get a few sounds out that you can use later.
In the past two days I spent hours doing some tech/house drumline, it’s nothing more at the moment and I will probably not even use this ever, but I just tried alot of things because I concentrated on this drumline. next time I need a good drumline for a real track I do have this knowledge I gathered in the past two days.
ofcourse I just could add boring bass and some boring pads and … I would end up with a boring track that has a nice drumline. Not my idea of good music.
I was one of those guys years ago that made his tracks in 48 hours, when they were not finished by then it was all lost.
the first track I really consider good (linking worlds) was the first track that I spent a half year on (after making 48-hours beats for 7 years !) and meanwhile I learned how to work slowly and carefully on my music. I have tracks on my harddrive that are two years old and that I keep coming back to from time to time because they have a great idea deep within and I will finish them sometime, but I don’t have to rush this. There is something missing in those tracks, and often, months later I can figure out what it is and work on it.
as soon as you leave the basic levels of making music and can do the technical stuff of it without looking you will you will get some kind of deeper meaning and have no problem leaving music to “grow” even while you are not working on it.
also, always go for 110% percent, never wrap stuff up. If you don’t feel it’s finished or if there are small things you dont like, either change those or leave the track to come back later.
Render the loops to wav, making a note of the BPM in the filename. Then load them up in a fresh project, cut them into bits and blend. That’s what I do when I’ve got good loops that are going nowhere.
If you want you could separate the loop into drums, bass and noise/synths/vocals etc. but part of the joy of this method is mangling a rendered loop. And you’ve always got the original to go back to and tweak or start again from.