Music production can be somewhat of a minefield at times, one false step and your fragile confidence is blown to kingdom come in a maelstrom of flimsy kicks, rigid groove and uninspiring samples. But like anything creative, i.e. creating something from nothing, you’ve got to press on despite the demoralising carnage surrounding you. Admittedly finding the determination to pick up the pieces and try again is often much easier said than done. So what keeps us going after 5 years of writing and not a single discography credit to our name?

Music Production - Groove, 808 Emulation, Stardust Deconstruction

Simple, finding inspiration. Finding inspiration is in our opinion the fundamental foundation of creating anything worthwhile. Lets be honest if your not inspired by what you’re creating, then why waste the time, its not as though you’re enjoying the process anyway and if you’re not enjoying what you’ve created its a fairly safe bet that no one else is either.

For us inspiration generally comes from 3 sources. 1) New Music – hence why we write this blog. 2) Encouraging Stories, such as: Jimmy Napes the songwriter behind Sam Smiths ‘Stay With Me’ and Disclosure’s cross over hit ‘Latch’ was quoted in an interview with The Fader saying “I wrote a thousand rubbish songs, and then eventually five good ones.“. Admittedly you may think his songs are still rubbish, but taste aside it shows that hard-work can lead to success. And finally three, and the focus of this post – Learning new music production techniques.

Ableton Live Tutorial – Adding Swing and Groove

 

In the following video Australian producer Swindail covers three simple and highly affective methods for adding the essential component to any piece of danced based music – groove. Without groove the Jackson 5 would have never got past their ABC’s, Groove Armada would have just been Armada, and Double 99’s RIP Groove would have just been R.I.P.

Pointblank Music Production School – Stardust ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ (Deconstruction with Ableton Push 2)

 

As with previous Pointblank deconstructions Ski Oakenfull has produced another highly informative and inspiring video. Not only does the video highlight the power of finding that one killer sample, but it also illustrates that writing great music need not be overly complicated. In addition to this the tutorial demonstrates the creative power of Ableton’s Push 2, an instrument we would recommend to all Ableton users. However if Ableton is not your preferred DAW there is still plenty to learn in terms of arrangement and creating additional parts.

Legowelt – 808 Ableton Simulator [Free Download]

 

In Legowelts own words – “Tired of all those modern Roland 808 drum kits and emulations that sound like an old soggy biscuited sock? Weak claps and small sized snares? Your worries are over…behold the SMACKOS 808 SIMULATOR”.

Roland 808 Ableton Emulation

Sounds good to us, especially as all the samples have been directly lifted from his own classic tr808. And if that’s not enough to convince you, check the accompanying samples, they sound pretty legit to us. To preview and download head to Legowelts website.

So there we have it, three sources of inspiration that should get the juices following whilst also pushing your music production skills to the next level.