How Do You Describe To People What You Do (produce Music)

You all probably know the scenario… You are talking to an acquaintance, usually an older person, and they might ask you something like “Do you play an instrument?”.

Your response is something like “Ehh, well, not exactly… I uh, make music with my computer”.
(Look of disinterest on their face. They’re probably thinking in their head 8-bit sounding music or 2-unlimited sounding crap or something)

Usually my response is “I produce electronic music with my computer”, which apparently is horribly uninteresting to most people. I was wondering if anybody had any more creative way to describe it to people who have no idea what you are talking about? :D

music for mind expansion?

that sounds too psychadelic (druggie)

hehe, this happens to me constantly. and yes, i usually mumble something about computers and samples, or electronic music. at which point they are either go blank or ask me if i like kraftwerk. “i play abit of guitar too”, at which point their face lights up. then i say “im planning to integrate that into a live improvisational scenario using a real-time max/msp patch rewired to ableton live”. “im interested in using flashcore aesthetics to reflect what timothy leary describes as the ‘atomic electronic level of consciousness’ elicited by hallucingenics such as DMT”, i add, waving my copy of “The Politics Of Ecstacy”. By this point they have already walked off though, or they ask my why I am not in a band. So i sit alone with my pint and my book, a lone tear gently rolling down my face :D

i say “i make electronic music”. i refrain from calling myself a composer because people seem to take it as masturbatory. i usually get a small pat on the back, but they never even remotely relate.

Yes, I think this is a large part of the “problem”, is that people have no frame of reference to relate it to. They’ve seen people play guitar on stage, but they’ve never seen someone sit down behind a mixing board or tracking software. Maybe they don’t consider it as active or valid a form of music creation as playing an instrument. Little do they know that probably 90% of what they hear on the radio is producer music these days. Come on, tell me that Jojo sang all the notes on “too little too late”……dEJ2mrALYh_XlAQ

(Listen to the high notes near the end) f****in yea right!

almost all pop music now is just melodyne or autotune abuse, and ironically i’ve heard the software used incorrectly on more than one occasion! people with very little experience get a copy of autotune and a “protools for dummies” pamphlet, then suddenly than you have a hit. (u.s.) pop music is in its most unconscious and immature state in history.

it’s not considered real music. where’s the words? at best, it’s considered shitty music.

I just tell people I really like music but I don’t make it. And I used to play guitar. I’m simply tired of explaining myself :P

In the back of my head I fantasize that somehow, amidst a rotting corpse of a music industry, I become known and successful (at least locally) and people are like, “Is that you?” To which I sheepishly respond, “Yeah, it’s just kind of a hobby. Just something I do on the weekends.”

It’s note even about the fame. It’s about not having to explain every aspect of my life every day, every other thing I do, to all the confused people that make me feel like a transexual gay alien rocket scientist. It’s not like I’m weird ON PURPOSE…

How does one use software “incorrectly?”
Do you just mean they were sloppy?

it’s better than having to explain pics of old parties i guess. “why are all those ppl dressed like robots and aliens?” “what are all those beads?” “why is that girl strapped to a cross being seduced by female vampires?” “why is that guy fing a chicken?" “what’s with the swastika flag?” "why is that chick fing a sake bottle?” “why does everyone hold glow sticks?” “what’s with the gas masks?” “why is that guy wearing a diaper while he swims in that plastic swimming pool, and why is it on the dance floor?” “why is he dressed like jesus?” blah blah


That’s beautiful.

Yea, when I try to tell people what I do, like “make electronic music on my computer”, people usually get a sarcastic expression on their faces, and go on humouring me as if they ARE interested.

And if i DO tell someone who ARE genuinely interested, 'cause they “make (electronic) music themselves on a PC”, they usually turn into the sarcastics when I tell them “Well, I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of Renoise, it’s not that known yet, because it’s a tracker”.

“dance music”

I produce beats.

Then, if the conversation continues, i go “You know how how landscape paintings with religious themes was all the rage during the dark ages? Or like, how they didn’t have television? Ya, my music is the opposite of that.”

yah, sloppy. the one time i played with autotune, i got some randomly fluctuating pitch that was trying to “correct” itself without setting any of the parameters, just turn it on and go: a couple weeks later i heard this “effect” of sorts (really, the artist doing nothing, or i suppose to lend them credit, choosing to do nothing?) in some shit-hop, and felt pissed that an artist would use an effect without even changing one parameter, and get f****ing paid.

If you say ‘I make beatz’…people understand that even though I loathe the term ‘making beatz’.

examples of something i might or could say:

skinny puppy use to make music to fight animal cruelty.

-so i make music for dead animals.

rage against the machine used their music to profit off of teenage angst, the system, the fear of not knowing fear and disappeared like Exxon.

-so… i use my music to promote passive indignation.

in the ancient times, music was used for communication.
in these modern times, music is being used for disinformation.
-i’m good though, cuz i don’t listen to it!

Luke Skywalker joined the darkside too… -

-yeah, Darth Vader was one bad mother-_ Yoda Please…

Personally I have found that the most lucrative response to this common question (“Do you play any instrument?” etc) is just to say:

“Yeah, I am a sound designer, so I have to know how to control quite a few instruments and how to play them. You know, when you watch a movie and you hear all this music and sound effects that creates certain moods? Well, I am the guy who creates those moods – it’s a very difficult and important task, you know. I hope to get an Oscar award for best sound when I grow up!”

Don’t go into the specific means of production, that’s not relevant. The key to make people interested is to anchor your productions into a wider context that people can relate to themselves (such as movies, flash applications, video- and computer games, etc). But the crucial thing is to answer in a way that makes it clear from the outset that you are on top of things and that you’re proud over what you do.

Entirely autotuned. Right from the beginning you can hear the notes jumping instead of sliding. (Listen with headphones)
Either she had a bad day or her new producer is less experianced. Because in “Get out” it worked better.
Mushen is right, you can hear that slappy used autotune-effect in many pop songs by now.
But it’s not entirely bad though. These pop songs are good compositions IMO. I actually liked ‘a little too late’ now that I heard it. And I honestly prefer an too strictly wellformed voice instead of intonations.
I’m getting offtopic. Back on topic:
I feel you! And if I really want to act more important than I am, I say: “I make jazz music with the computer.” Then the computer isn’t as important as the genre. And I go with Bantai’s A. They should actually hear your music instead of judging your say. So be part of the current generation and turn your cell phone up loud to let everyone hear your music squeaking through the ear-raping speaker :)
Nah…but tracking is a good filter though. Not everyone has to know our music. If someone is really interested, then plan A will work out. Otherwise let them do their thing and we do ours.

I just tell 'em that I make digital music on my computer. I used to say that I make electronic music on the computer, but these days I call a spade a spade.

The cheapest line is simply:I’m a producer, which is some person who puts a band together and let them record the music that i wrote.

Nobody needs to know that your band is inside a computer.