Should I scrap this and move on? NS and Ableton project

I've been working on this track for about a month now and I've hit a wall hard while mixing. It's not working for me anymore and I don't know if it's just listening fatigue or if it's actually because the track just doesn't support its own weight. I'm worried that the central idea isn't going to work no matter how much I work on it. There are also a couple tonal issues that I haven't been able to solve but they're workable if I find the motivation to do it.

If I were to go on, I would add vocals, which is a significant undertaking because it's the hardest aspect of songwriting for me. If it's just ok, I think it's better to just move on. What do you think?

Comments

  • I really Really like the track. Something feels flat or 2d in the mix for me currently, except the certain sounds with the panning delay, I really like that. Maybe the kick and sub aren’t quite in sync in the mix, i’d also consider adding another bassline on top that’s more heard than felt, if that makes sense and blend the two. Also maybe mute the hi hat just as the bassline drops to give it more dramatic ‘movement’ like a a drop off and yank forward...if that makes sense, almost like a quick beat breakdown. I’d even freak it and drop some trap drums in there at certain parts ala DJ snake back in ‘15. I think with the right vocals u can’t loose with this track, even if u change nothing. I really like it, but I’m tryna to find what might be the issue for u.

  • @iPadBeatMaking said:
    I really Really like the track. Something feels flat or 2d in the mix for me currently, except the certain sounds with the panning delay, I really like that. Maybe the kick and sub aren’t quite in sync in the mix, i’d also consider adding another bassline on top that’s more heard than felt, if that makes sense and blend the two. Also maybe mute the hi hat just as the bassline drops to give it more dramatic ‘movement’ like a a drop off and yank forward...if that makes sense, almost like a quick beat breakdown. I’d even freak it and drop some trap drums in there at certain parts ala DJ snake back in ‘15. I think with the right vocals u can’t loose with this track, even if u change nothing. I really like it, but I’m tryna to find what might be the issue for u.

    Very good observations, the 2D flatness is definitely there and I’ve been struggling with it for a couple weeks. Thanks, I’ll definitely work on adding movement, that sounds like a good direction 👍

  • Also, I’d probably look into adding some saturation/slight distortion and placing low mix % reverb on everything (as in 1-5% wet mix) and slight pans (between 1-10 Left or Right) on various tracks. Those things should begin to ‘lift’ things up in the ‘room’

  • @iPadBeatMaking said:
    Also, I’d probably look into adding some saturation/slight distortion and placing low mix % reverb on everything (as in 1-5% wet mix) and slight pans (between 1-10 Left or Right) on various tracks. Those things should begin to ‘lift’ things up in the ‘room’

    That's also spot on, but to add reverb and saturation, I have to first create room for them to breathe. I've actually taken out a bunch of reverbs because they just didn't punch through the mix. It's way too packed right now so a bunch of it has to go. The panning was well spotted, there were a couple key sounds that were way too mono. Thanks!

    I'm also using Ozone for the first time and I'm finding it difficult to create the same depth I get from Ableton's stock effects.

  • @Stiksi said:

    @iPadBeatMaking said:
    Also, I’d probably look into adding some saturation/slight distortion and placing low mix % reverb on everything (as in 1-5% wet mix) and slight pans (between 1-10 Left or Right) on various tracks. Those things should begin to ‘lift’ things up in the ‘room’

    That's also spot on, but to add reverb and saturation, I have to first create room for them to breathe. I've actually taken out a bunch of reverbs because they just didn't punch through the mix. It's way too packed right now so a bunch of it has to go. The panning was well spotted, there were a couple key sounds that were way too mono. Thanks!

    I'm also using Ozone for the first time and I'm finding it difficult to create the same depth I get from Ableton's stock effects.

    I personally have never taken to ozone. Some people swear by it but it’s always been a party trick to me. It widens, colors, then flattens to my ears lol. It’s Exciting in headphones though

  • @iPadBeatMaking said:

    @Stiksi said:

    @iPadBeatMaking said:
    Also, I’d probably look into adding some saturation/slight distortion and placing low mix % reverb on everything (as in 1-5% wet mix) and slight pans (between 1-10 Left or Right) on various tracks. Those things should begin to ‘lift’ things up in the ‘room’

    That's also spot on, but to add reverb and saturation, I have to first create room for them to breathe. I've actually taken out a bunch of reverbs because they just didn't punch through the mix. It's way too packed right now so a bunch of it has to go. The panning was well spotted, there were a couple key sounds that were way too mono. Thanks!

    I'm also using Ozone for the first time and I'm finding it difficult to create the same depth I get from Ableton's stock effects.

    I personally have never taken to ozone. Some people swear by it but it’s always been a party trick to me. It widens, colors, then flattens to my ears lol. It’s Exciting in headphones though

    I use it to do final EQ, limiting and possibly compression. The widening’s not meant for online editing if I’ve understood correctly. The main attraction is that I can set a LUFS target and dial in a ceiling and get a streaming-ready track without the hour of trial and error it takes by hand. And I can use reference tracks for EQ. Convenience is a big factor. I still think I can get good results out of it, I just have to learn a bit more.

  • edited March 22

    just sent me NS project and i will make EDM banger from it... it has huge potential to rock the floor :-) Some motives are almost AVICII-like

  • @dendy said:
    just sent me NS project and i will make EDM banger from it... it has huge potential to rock the floor :-) Some motives are almost AVICII-like

    Yes, I was trying to consciously create an ear worm, so I simplified all the melodies as much as I could. 😀

  • @Stiksi cannot comment on dynamics as I listening it on iPhone speaker but it’s definitely banger so stick to it;) I’ll give it listen later on on speakers but I really love it;)

  • @Cray23 said:
    @Stiksi cannot comment on dynamics as I listening it on iPhone speaker but it’s definitely banger so stick to it;) I’ll give it listen later on on speakers but I really love it;)

    Thanks, much appreciated!

  • @Stiksi said:
    I was trying to consciously create an ear worm, so I simplified all the melodies as much as I could

    I think you've got one with the opening melody. Reminds me of Monophobia by Deadmau5.

    I think there might be too much going on at times, so maybe simplify it? I agree with @iPadBeatMaking about the bass, I'd start by simplifying that so that it just gives a foundation to the melodies - at times it seems to want to be the melody.

    I think you'd need to make some room for vocals anyway.

    There's some real strength in here, so it's worth working on if you have the time. Or just collab with @dendy and see where that leads to :)

  • @Trigger_the_Monkey said:
    I think there might be too much going on at times, so maybe simplify it? I agree with @iPadBeatMaking about the bass, I'd start by simplifying that so that it just gives a foundation to the melodies - at times it seems to want to be the melody.

    Yeah, that kind of confirms one of my fears. Gah, I guess it's time to go back to the original project and start fiddling with the basics :)

  • Sorry :)

    I hope it doesn't take you long, I'm keen to hear the final result! (Or even the intermediate, with vocals coming later). Keep us posted...

  • @Trigger_the_Monkey said:
    Sorry :)

    I hope it doesn't take you long, I'm keen to hear the final result! (Or even the intermediate, with vocals coming later). Keep us posted...

    Haha, my production rate is abysmal, I generally hammer out a track in NS in about a week or two and then spend 2–4 months mixing it in Ableton. Most of that time is just letting go of things and I frequently end up with a totally different track. Vocals take 2 days to write but unfortunately I never know which 2 so it generally takes up to half a year to do. I suck at self-imposed deadlines. Actual deadlines work like a charm.

  • Sounds like you need a manager to impose those deadlines for you :)

    Keep at it, I suggest you set a deadline of "before springtime" so that you can really enjoy the sunshine when it arrives!

  • @Trigger_the_Monkey said:
    Sounds like you need a manager to impose those deadlines for you :)

    Keep at it, I suggest you set a deadline of "before springtime" so that you can really enjoy the sunshine when it arrives!

    To be honest, I kind of like to keep my hobbies deadline-free because my work revolves around hard deadlines. Even a soft deadline like that would kill my enthusiasm. And before Spring would actually mean ”by next Wednesday” 😮 I’ll get it done, just not on a schedule 😀

  • Ok, here's a new version that I'm fairly satisfied with. It's got room for vocals and doesn't sound like it has 45 tracks (it does). I followed a simple maxim: if there's a problem, throw Serum at it! Worked maybe 85% of the time and I learned to use Serum a lot better.

  • Go for it!! It´s brill and it needs to get out there!!
    I have a tune I´ve been working on for weeks, but I´ve only done some intro and then my creativity just dies. Hate it!!

  • @Jeppan74 said:
    Go for it!! It´s brill and it needs to get out there!!
    I have a tune I´ve been working on for weeks, but I´ve only done some intro and then my creativity just dies. Hate it!!

    Oh man, I have dozens of those lying around! Usually I just quietly give up and move on but it stings so much when you've spent a lot of time on it.

    I made this track like I've made most tracks these days: I just aimed for 1 minute of cool stuff and then ballooned it into 3 "by accident". Anyway, I hope you get over the hump. If it's good, don't give up!

  • @Stiksi latest version is huge;) I dig those synth toms. Epic tune! How could you think of scraping it :@ Big ups!

  • @Cray23 said:
    @Stiksi latest version is huge;) I dig those synth toms. Epic tune! How could you think of scraping it :@ Big ups!

    Thanks! Yeah, it’s more of a genre thing I guess, out of my comfort zone. I’m working on vocals now, but it might take a couple months 😀

  • Nice! Well done for sticking with it :)

    We'll be here when you've added vocals!

    @Stiksi said:
    I just aimed for 1 minute of cool stuff and then ballooned it into 3 "by accident".

    It's the repetition which makes it catchy. I was just listening to Sandstorm by Darude this morning.... I think that's a good example :+1:

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