DAW producers block

I’m getting an idea to write this article after stumbled upon this Rack Extensionist thread and think that this is one of the most common situation we faced as a musician. This situation makes you get stucked with your songwriting or technically lack of creativity of making new beats, some experience it very often. They can’t seem to find enough inspiration to help to write a new song which considered “finished”. This could be dangerous to your motivation because this is same as no matter what Digital Audio Workstation, how many VST plugins or Rack Extension you owned or how many gigabytes of sample and preset collection on your hard drive. Tools are tools, and you can’t get an exact idea to start your music.

So, what should I do now to get back my creativity block? Well, you’re not alone. In this case, this is something that (most) every producer goes through. You don’t have to worry, as there are numerous ways that may work on you to get your ideas out and pour them into your Digital Audio Workstation software canvas.

Listen to other genres

This is usually work (at least for me). You can’t really force yourself to produce a new song if you don’t know what music that you want to make. You need to free your mind and “cross” to another genre instead of the kind of music that you usually produce. Don’t limit yourself. Try to listen other genres to take a specific element for other-worldly groove or vibe. A major example, take a catchy riff of an indie-rock guitar and transform it into a riff of digitalism’esque electro synth riff. Or take a specific dubstep groove, and alter it into a djent guitar riffs. Seemed to work? yeah, definitely.

The simplest one is to open your browser, click YouTube.com and type some genre (e.g. drum & bass, trap, whatever), and then you’ll get a relevant search under that genre’s keyword. Voila, you get a thousand songs to inspire you. Some folks take classical music or some old grooves to spark their creativity. Either the chord progressions, beats, or pick a specific part, loop them over then remix!

Change the medium

If you spend most time on arranging compositions on your Digital Audio Workstation software, then try to work them differently by using other medium, such as hardware instruments or tablet devices. There are plenty of article reviewing a bunch of articles spread across the internet reviewing mobile music making apps, such as Google Grooves, Korg Gadget, and NanoStudio. Specifically for Reason’s rack extension users, there are iOS apps made by Propellerhead: RebirthFigure, and Thor.

If you don’t want to throw a hundred to thousand bucks, try to borrow it from a friend. Also it’s worth to try to use an analog instrument (acoustic, electric guitars, piano, bass, glockenspiel, or even trumpets) to mix it with your electronic music. Can’t play the instrument? ask your fellow musician friend to play it for you.

Don’t write the same pattern

What part do you like to start out first on you DAW software? Rather than to spend countless hours to create a catchy chorus or a great verse, try to create a massive drop or build-up first then work the rest bit by bit. Ever have to try a minimalist approach? Pick a Grand Piano VST that you think best, then just put your hands on your midi keyboard then hit record (you can always quantize later), then create the rest of the beat and instruments bit by bit, or add a guitar amp simulator if you feel experimental. Another one is to try ReWire your DAW software from.. let’s say Reason to Ableton. With this feature you should be able to combine plugins between VST with Rack Extensions. On Reason Propellerhead I really like to use Combinator. It’s just as easy as combining several sound into one from pads, synth, Dr. Rex loops and even a vocoder. EnergyXT have this great plugin called “Rewire VST” to enable sync rewire between DAWs who supports VST plugins, let’s say Native Instruments Maschine and Reason.

The key is, never try to use the same method over and over again even though it worked for you before. Music is all about exploration and experimentation which guide the history of music towards progression.

Create collaboration

The most effective way for some folks. If you are used to work alone, now it’s time to go out and visit your musician friend. Ask him to contribute (or you contribute to him), because sometimes working with someone else can be an easiest way to spark new ideas. Seeing how someone else approaches something you’ve been doing the same way for years can make you rethink your methods and dig on new ideas. No matter how far the distance between you and your friend, yet, you still can do it by e-mail. Ever heard a song titled Annihilation Army by Angger Dimas & Steve Aoki? Yeah, they did the collaboration just by doing an e-mail! For inter-globe collaboration, you can try using the new collaboration platforms such as Splice, Gobbler, or Propellerhead’s Discover

Buy new plugins

One of the key factors that become a major cause of producer’s block is that they are lack of inspirative audio plugins on their Digital Audio Workstation software. To define inspirative, it’s the moment that you tried a new plugins, then set, forget, immediately start making a new tracks using it. We’d say that the most painful part is figuring out how to do this and that, then skim through many page of text inside a user manual. It’s the most ideal when you opened a new plugin, then everything on the visual interface are immediately make sense, you immediately knows what to do to achieve this or that.

Focusing on the immediate usability and inspirative visual interface, Kuassa provides you great digital guitar amplification that has been given awarded positive reviews by numbers of music publications, such as Music Radar, Computer Music UK, Audio Fanzine, AskAudio, and the likes. Our values that we prefer quality to quantity. In most cases, plugging into 100 amps, 80 FXs, and 90 cabinets won’t guarantee a great guitar track. We’ve focused all of our attention where we think it matters most; tone. If you need some reverb, delay or wah-wah effects, there are already tons of them preinstalled as a default effects on your existing Digital Audio Workstation, or on a single search on Google.

Try to think that as the first of the effects chain, if the tone are already sounded fat and superb, every effects you apply will immediately sounds great. Rather than polishing and tweaking when the source are already crappy. That’s the tone a.k.a. source that matters the most.

Until now, we have already launched 5 guitar amp simulator and one bass amp simulator, which are Amplifikation Lite, Amplifikation One, Amplifikation Crème, Amplifikation Vermilion and Cerberus Bass Amp. We also have 4 studio FXs for perfection, Basiq Equalizer, EVE-AT Series Equalizer, EVE-MP5 Equalizer and Kratos 2 Maximizer. Again, these studio FXs are made to sound as transparent as possible to preserve your already great tone.