“Some thoughts have a certain sound”

So far this Spring/Summer has been looking dim from a production standpoint.  I had goals I aimed for and set about achieving them in pretty much all of the wrong ways.

In the studio I wanted to get a steady stream of tracks releasing on a regular basis all throughout the summer.  This would be fantastic material for live performances I would be booked for.  But then reality set in and I realized that I only get about 16 hours of production time in every week, which amounts to about 1 track every month.  Until I can find more time in the studio or lessen the amount of time I spend on each track that’s not about to change.

I’d rather know I’m spending as much time as needed on each track and not rushing the process.  I’ve read a few articles that give tips on how to improve efficiency and speed in the studio, but while some have been useful I know that others are essentially asking me to turn into a preset production machine working from templates and ready-made patches.  I don’t do that and refuse to limit myself to those kinds of boundaries for the sake of getting more music out faster.

For the stage I had this grand plan of going out and networking at bay area events.  You know, making contacts and injecting myself into the dance community.  This started to happen when “The Gateway EP” was released but it wasn’t long before the cost of going out every weekend put an end to that.  Damn you money.  Damn yoooouuuu…

With little to no networking accomplished I had no way to book new shows.  To make matters worse I’ve been spending so much of my free time in the studio I haven’t kept up with old contacts as well as I should have and now I’m feeling cut off and out of the loop.

So what’s the upside?  Well for one thing I’ve learned some valuable lessons and had a lot of time to think about my situation.  At this point I’m treating this more like an ultramarathon and less like a 100 meter sprint.  I’m prepping for next year.  In the mean time I’ve got some brutal halfstep bass tracks cooking in the studio.  I can tell you now that one of them is complete and getting a mixdown and mastering treatment from Vancouver based producer/engineer Praeyr.

If 2009 was the year of Anodyne Industries inception, 2010 will be the year of strategy and positioning.  Look for a scorching breaks remix of an unreleased Toronto Is Broken track, some previews of my new forthcoming tracks, some older unreleased bits and pieces from the “vault” and more!!

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6 Responses to ““Some thoughts have a certain sound””

  1. Hey Aaron, thanks for sharing the studio ruminations and especially the tunes. Giving out the EP in lossless for free was probably a genius move in the long run. It definitely netted you at least this one appreciative listener. ;D

    Care to share any of those article links?

    • Anodyne Says:

      Hey Cliff,

      Thanks for reading! Admittedly my site doesn’t have a daily update of content (I’m working on it!) so any comments I get on here are pretty fantastic to read. I agree, giving out music is the best way to go. I had a non-existent fan-base before the EP came out and now I know at least 1000 people have downloaded it (if not more). Of those 1000 I’d say I probably caught the attention of a few hundred, maybe 50-100 of which would download something free from me again, 20 of which are looking forward to my next release and keeping tabs on me, and maybe 10 that would pay for my music. We’ll see where that leads 😉

      As for the articles I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw them. I frequent IDMforums, Glitchhop Forums and Dogs On Acid a lot so it was probably in there. The one article that stuck out for me was talking about how to maximize studio time. Take an 8 hour session, spend the first 4 writing as many basic ideas as possible. Just 4 bar loops. Take a lunch break and then for the last 4 hours pick out one track that you like the most and flesh it out. Then next time you’re in the studio do more loops, and either work on the previous song or start fleshing something else out. This way you’ll always have a repository of already laid down ideas to work from. I like this approach because it builds a library that you can easily choose from if you’re feeling writers’ block or just want to get into writing something quickly.

      What I don’t like is when people talk about creating a library of synth patches and drum hits/loops for the same purpose. Granted I have an ungodly amount of drum kits, sample packs, and loops that I work with, but I refuse to believe that I should limit myself to a standard “Anodyne Industries” percussion package. I especially hate the idea of building a library of synth patches that comprise the “Anodyne Industries” sound. What a load of crap. Then all of my music will sound the same and I’ll be bored. Sure it takes a lot more time to come up with new sounds for every single track but I learn so much in the process and it keeps me sounding fresh and inspired. That’s part of the joy of making music for me. Discovering my utmost potential in every song I produce. Why would I want to stifle that? To be more time efficient? No thanks, I’d rather finish one track a month.

  2. Hey thanks for getting back :] and pretty quick too, damn…

    The advice is well received though. I’ve generally been interested in the process-related stuff due to the fact that almost all the worthwhile tracks I’ve made have been utilizing completely different approaches. I mean, I know diversity is good, but it would be great to find a solid workflow that consistently works for me too.

    Probably the best advice is implicit in what you described, which is to structure my “studio” time like I would a job, rather than just something I do for fun like I do now. Hopefully I can conquer my ADD and incorporate the incredible new musical inspiration I’ve found with my new understanding of production/engineering to craft something thats not only good but polished enough to release…

    But anyway, Im sure the numbers must be at least a bit better than you said. And even if not, I know that stuff is QUALITY so Im very confident you’re already on a trajectory for big success. So keep it up, and I’ll definitely be looking forward to any future tunes/production tips. ;]

    • Anodyne Says:

      It’s a strange transition when you start treating your music production like a job. I fought that for a long time. I was afraid I would lose the feeling of fun and enjoyment I got from producing if I took it too seriously. I think as I’ve matured as a person though my perspective on production has matured and I’m able to appreciate it for new reasons.

      So yeah, working in the studio is a second job to me now. I try to keep as few distractions as possible around me while I work but I always have my other laptop handy and online so I can grab samples or surf youtube for inspiration. I recently got a white board (my girlfriend’s idea) to schedule out my studio time, draft new ideas and bring more structure to my creative life (HA!)

      Thanks for the praise. I can’t wait to release the new material I’ve been working on!

  3. christian Says:

    it is a very scorching remix. you should submit it for the next IDMf soundcheck or your own podcast series that you’ve started 🙂

  4. christian Says:

    it’ll be great promotion for both of us 🙂

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