ARKAIK Tutorial Q&A / hang out

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    • #66732
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      Hi Guys,

      The latest tutorials from Arkaik are now live in the ‘your videos’ area. Pete has a done a great job once again and some interesting things are covered. Take your time to digest them, and if you have any questions about them you can leave them here and Pete will get back to personally with a reply.

      Have a great month on the studio!
      (hope your demo’s for the send out next month are coming on well 🙂

    • #67212
      ,INVASION
      Participant

      Yooo

      Just want to say a big thanks Arkaik for all of these tutorials. I love your approach to teaching, its concise, full of extremely important information and you make it super easy to follow. Your raw striped back sound is also something I thrive for in drum and bass and we need more of it in the community in my opinion.

      The one question I have for you is this.. When you find yourself in a writers block, or stuck for writing new tunes.. what do you do to get the creative juces flowing again? Do you have a certain approach for things like this?

      I constantly find myself getting halfway through a tune and then I’m f*cking useless at getting them finished because I loose the creative flow for that particular track. I often finding myself starting a new one and not even finishing that off either haha! It’s a bad habit that I need to try and get out of!

      Also just want to say your rundown through Special Places was a real treat. Its one of my all time favourite tracks and I was stoked that you shared it with us! Thank you.

      Cheers
      Sam

      INVASION //: MONSTER DUB CLUB

      • #67361
        ,GENIE HQ
        Keymaster

        Good question Sam, maybe good producers are mostly good ‘finishers’ ?

      • #67619
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Sam,

        Thanks for the kind words, im glad the tutorials have been helpful. I have this same problem tbh, i have 100’s of unfinished tracks, or sketches that i spent too long on and then decided they were shit. I try to not force myself to write now as this just made me less inspired. I think the key to finishing a track is going in with an idea and sticking to it, and not forcing yourself to write a track if your not in the mood or if the ideas arn’t coming naturally/easily. To get myself out of writers block or to get inspiration for tracks i find i need to get out the studio, go for a walk, go to a rave, i dont think there is a formula to getting out of writers block and sometimes i cant write for a few weeks then within a week ive wrote 3 or 4 tracks im really happy with. I find inspiration comes from life experiences, so if im doing nothing/ nothings happeneing il probably have more writers block. Also having a few tunes on the go i find helps, so that if you do get inspired by something but it isnt something that fits in the track your currently working on you can still capture the idea in another track. Also after i finish a tune (or get it almost there) i wont listen to it for a while and try n forget about it, then go back after a week or so and i have new ideas and work out all the flaws in it and then get a better outcome in the end, without getting frustrated listening to it too much

      • #67623
        ,INVASION
        Participant

        Hi Pete,

        Thanks for getting back to me about this. That’s some really good advise that I am going to definitely take on board. I really do find myself trying to force a track quite a lot of the time and it never gets me anywhere. It’s frustrating as hell but it happens. I understand what you mean by developing the idea before going into it. I’m going to start drawing up plans in my notebook, maybe even stories or something like that because I think that will definitely help me get my point across for what the track I’m working on is about. That’s sort of what I have done to get this EP I’m working on finished. (trying to get it ready for the sample genie submission date) ?

        Thanks again for this, it really means a lot!

        Bless

        INVASION //: MONSTER DUB CLUB

      • #67417
        ,Mind Zero
        Participant

        Same here bro, I have like 15 unfinished tracks, some of them started years ago, and still can’t finish them

      • #67424
        ,Anubis___
        Participant

        I think maybe change the way you work on your music? Do you have designated sessions for making patches/basses/breaks etc etc. And another session for writing your music. Then another for mixing. Is your sample library sorted in a way that makes it easy to find certain sounds so you can whack shit in on the go.

        Also, not necessarily about music. But still an interesting perspective on “writers block”. Something to think about 😉

        Philip Pullman: On Writer’s Block

        Nothing of interest here.

      • #67430
        ,GENIE HQ
        Keymaster

        Some Tough love from Mr Pullman. This is great btw – the more influence and inspiration from outside D&B the better – when it comes to this kind of mindset discussion. 😀

      • #67449
        ,INVASION
        Participant

        Cheers for getting back everyone. To answer that question this is kind of… Some days when I’m really stuck and can’t write for shit I end up just making different chains to save into Ableton so I have them ready, some days I find myself focusing on drum breaks and save them also. It’s the arrangement I seem to get stuck with most of the time. I also have a bad habit of building a track at the same time as sitting there for hours making a bass patch let’s say. I need to be a lot more organised with how I produce because I’m messy as hell and this probably plays a big part in ruining my creative process. I will take what you said on board and try to organise myself more and hopefully that will help me out a lot more for when I’m next ready to make a track.

        Cheers! ?

        INVASION //: MONSTER DUB CLUB

    • #67418
      ,Mind Zero
      Participant

      Hi Pete, thanks again for the videos, really useful material here. My question is something I asked you in the 1st Q&A session, probably too late.
      I’m really impressed about how you glue your kicks and bass together, as they feel pretty loud even considering they sometimes hit at the same time, what’s your take on this? If sidechain is one of the keys for this, which settings are working good for you in order to achieve the reduction you need without creating clicks or distortion??

      As you said before, you are currently working as a graphic designer. So, considering that music it’s not a full time job for you, another question would be: how do you manage to be productive in the studio?

      Thank you!!

    • #67609
      ,Harry
      Participant

      Hey Pete,

      Thanks for doing a second Q&A! I got some great ideas out of the latest videos, will be trying some new things out. This time around I wanted to ask about arrangements and structure, and also a question about intros.

      – Do you typically follow a similar arrangement, as this is usually club & DJ oriented music? A 32-bar intro, drop & 64-bar section, a breakdown (16/32/48 bars?), then a second drop & final 64-bars? Do you tweak this structure, say if you are writing something that is more of a set opener, so a longer intro? Asking because lately I feel like I’m writing most of my music in the same two or three arrangements, and I shouldn’t get hung up on that.

      – Do you do anything special with the mixdown and/or volume level of your intros? With a lot of my own stuff lately, my intros have sounded quiet, and then once the track drops it’s sounded like a huge smack, and not in a cohesive way. Any advice regarding intros?


      Here are a few quick fire questions from me, if you have time:

      – Where and how did you learn to produce? What was your path to where you are currently?

      – What is something new you have learned in the past year that has been a big change to your production work?

      – Is there anything new you are exploring or learning about currently in production?

      Thanks!

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

      • #67622
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Mind Zero,

        having the bass and the kicks hit at the same point is difficult to get the sidechain settings right but you just have to tweek untill it works tbh. i find i cut my kicks at 50/60/70htz (depending on the note) so the kicks are already sitting above the sub. Then il side chain the sub, with an attack or 6-10ms and a release of around 60+MS depending on the effect i want and the length of the kick sound. i will solo the sub and check that it is not clicking, then solo the kick and sub and check they sit well (and not distorting), tweek the EQs on both, and then add in the other bass mid layers and work out if they need sidechaining or not (and change the release on the mid layers sidechain if the kick needs some extra mid) and then after adding in more layer you just build it up as one sound rather than seperate sounds, sometimes i add in a tonal kick sound (with no sub), that sits ontop of the kick, and that helps the bass sound like it comes from the kick, hope that helps.

        As i work full time doing graphics, when i get the chance to get in the studio i need to make it productive, so il try and plan the time im going in, and be thinking about the ideas i want to work on prior to getting in there, and already know the structure and style of track il be working on. il do a sample hunt prior to getting in there. Most the time im working its late at night as i find i have better ideas.

      • #67835
        ,Mind Zero
        Participant

        Thanks for the answer and happy birthday, enjoy your day!!

      • #67631
        ,Arkaik
        Participant

        Hi Harry,

        Cheers for the questions il try n do my best to answer them

        – I try not to have a certain structure to tracks but feel i do also slip into comfy arrangements , if making a track for an intro to a set then i will extend the intro of the track or strip out most the drums in the intro, if when writing a track sometimes it will need more progression so i will extend the first drop by 32 bars adding in more elements, or make the break down 48 bars to exaggerate the next drop. i find i write in a structure but then when listening back later on i will decide to cut out a 16 here or add in a 16 there where apropriate.

        – i find i leave the intros as they are volume wise, i may reduce the volume of the drums so that they have more impact on the drop but try not to do this if i can, as i want to know the levels when mixing in a club to make sure they hit right. i find il have elements that arn’t on the drop and these elements may be lowder in the mix on the intro to cover the extra space. I will have a riser (sometimes before a gap) before the track drops and this should be at a similar level to the drop so then you will be expecting the the volume of the drop.

        – i learnt to produce in my bedroom at uni and am very much still learning now, youtube videos, meeting producers at raves, asking mates and was on AIM chatting all the time trying to work out the best plugins and techniques. i then met people at different music (10 years ago), learnt alot from guys like Hunchbak, Jekyll, Shaded, Bredren, Quartz, Coma, Amoss, hyroglifics we were all mates making similar tracks at the time, then collaborating with people on music really helped me work out other peoples processes and made me think about how i can make similar sounds or do similar techniques. Sharing ideas is key and thats partly why i wanted to do this so i can help other people. Still learning now and will be for a while me thinks

        – Changing to Logic X and losing my old hard drive changed the way i worked considerably, i lost alot of plugins and changed the way i process alot of my projects. but this made me do things my own way and made me look at my work differently without relying on certain techniques.

        – i want to learn more about synthesis, so taking time to really home in on creating bass patches and making more interesting atmos. i think creating tracks is very different from learning synths and how to make sounds so taking time to delve in to that more.

      • #67850
        ,Harry
        Participant

        Thanks Pete, appreciate you taking the time answering these for everyone! Two more things, if it’s cool:

        – Any particular synth that you are focusing on, while trying to learn more about synthesis? Do you have any particular types of synths you find you enjoy working with more than others, e.g. subtractive vs. FM vs. wave table?

        – This is just for my own curiosity/nosiness. Saw on IG a mention about leaving. Are you moving? Just curious, as I’m about to make a major move in less than two weeks. I’ve never lived outside of my home area, and while not an international move, I’m moving about 450 miles (725 km). Luckily my wife has a lot of family where we are going, and I landed a new job, but there is some anxiety.

        "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #67662
      ,harley
      Participant

      When it comes to the final product how powerful do you want your sub to be, are you balancing the rms of the kick and sub or pushing the sub past it? This confuses me as i use mefjus tracks for a lot of analysis and it seems as if his tracks reach crazy short term rms levels but still feel completely balanced. i would love more advice on levels.

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