Back Into Music, Do They Still Make Music?

Like the changing of the seasons, it’s time to cycle back into music-making.  It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had any major interest in it.  I guess mostly because I haven’t felt like I’ve had any time.  Everything seems to be experienced in small doses here and there, and when I take a long time to sit down with an idea and try to expand it, I start to feel guilty, like I’m not paying attention to something that needs attention.  This sort of meshes in with prior posts about how fleeting inspiration is and how life gets in the way. 

Sometimes a real inspiration-killer is the effort it takes to set up and manage a recording session.  When your time is limited, you kind of have to have everything planned in advance.  You can find plenty of videos of musicians sitting in a studio, trying out different things until something gels.  I used to have that luxury; I don’t feel I have that now.

Like when you have a good starting riff, then you go searching for the right sound patch to express it.  Half an hour later, you’re midway through one synth’s patches and still have a few more synths to go.  I guess that’s why so many people compose on a piano or acoustic guitar – deal with the sounds later.

So, I’m upgrading my office studio again, adding a third monitor to my computer to be wall-mounted above my keyboards so I can keep the recording software in front of me (Cubase in ma face).  In past setups, I’ve had my computer to my side and to my back.  I hope that being in front will help me be more productive since I don’t have to turn around all the time.

I’ve burnt out two mixers over the last few years, so I’ve been playing through headphones.  That’s also going to be rectified with the upgrade – another mixer.

Yikes.  Looking back at previous blog posts, it looks like I’ve been musically idle for over three years.  That’s really no good.  Oh, no…  Checking my hard drive, the last thing I recorded was back in 2009.  Where does the time go?!  That is nothing like the changing of seasons, that’s more the changing of a generation.

And speaking of generations, it goes without saying that music is “done” differently now, and I have little interest in trying to do it that way or trying to sound similar.  I do wonder if the effort to create modern music is more or less than what it takes me to do it the old way.  For example, I have to write and play multiple tracks for a 4 minute song.  Newer composers have to find to find a bunch of samples that work well together, loop them in some coherent order and then spend who-knows-how-much-time applying effects.  At least that’s how I view modern music.

I listen to old-style music written in the new way and it seems to be the worst of both styles (effort-wise).  Writing and performing everything, then embellishing it with effects and post-processing.  That seems like so much effort, and it seems like so much more than I could devote in my tiny blocks of available time.

Like when you have a complete song, then you go searching for the right effects to apply.  Half an hour later, you’ve run through one effect unit’s settings and still have half a dozen different units to go.  On one track.  It feels like I’ve been there before.

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