Family, work and elektron


A mother here, of a 21 month old. My advice (and this is coming from a mother): don’t sell. Hang on to what you have, unless you need to sell it for financial reasons. From what I’ve seen, you’ll be able to come back to it at some point, and you may be able to get your children involved.

Learn to value the music time that you have and think about investing in something small, portable and battery operated so that when you DO have even 20 minutes, you can either sit down and make a sound or a song (depending on what you prefer). After being involved with this stuff for over 20 years, I realized that I like sound designing way more than making songs. So I spend the previous little time I have accordingly. Learn that about yourself and you’ll be able to maximize what little time you have (and will have).

And congrats. We’re thinking about adding another module to the mix too. :smile:


no no no no noooo … there is ONE thing I did not experience when I was growing up :slight_smile:

my parents being HAPPY and loving what they do

the more I think about that … there is either : overworked mom and dad who tell their offspring how hard they work so they can have a happy life , but there is no NO time for being in a good mood, and spending happy time with the family.

because all the energy available goes into working

bad examples to see when you are a child.

I d rather have my mom and dad be creative and happy what they do and have time for me.

was not the case…


keep the boxes, strive after what makes you happy AND BE happy around your children… this will influence them their entire adulthood and shape their look on life … probably more than money can buy them …

see daddy happy with his boxes , look at him with a smile, see him smile = priceless

daddy bring home money, dont disturb daddy, daddy is tired from working. why does daddy never smile? daddy thinks of making music all the time but in a bad mood because all he does is working …

get the picture?

I dont have chldren, I know about financial responsibility … but lets ask another question:

would you rather grow up poor(er) with parents who lived loving what they do and have time and interest for you, or nobody around for your emotional needs but money, food, good clothes, proper housing ?

darn hard question. …

for me : I wish I had seen more of my parents.



In my opinion it’s all about striking the right balance. I believe time and money can only be mutually substituted in a certain interval. For me it’s important to have enough money to not have to worry about it, now or in the future. At the same time, I want plenty of time with my family. It’s hard to pull off, but for me it’s the ultimate goal in life. Unfortunately, the influencing factors are interdependent and more often than not beyond our control. Fortunately, I know for a fact there are ways to make it happen.


@t sad but true


That’s what’s happening here. Ton of fun jamming with the kids.


God knows I love me some silence. But maybe you could carve out some time to make ambient music? Maybe making some simple drones or meditation soundtracks would scratch the itch to create while at the same time giving you something to listen to while relaxing from a tough week keeping up with work, kids, etc.


Great shout. I did this last week. Found some “music time” but the kids had been driving me potty that day. Sat down and decided to grab my digital radio, plug that into the OT, record anything then dropped the BPM and what not to make weird drone, ambient shit. Not a fan of the genre generally but 2 hours later I felt chilled and happy.


Yeah, I find making ambient can be a great way to relax. Depending on sub-genre of course, it can be as easy as making a nice chord progression, stretching it, adding fx, and then I can usually listen to it for hours afterwards on loop.

Kind of fun to do at work in the morning and then listen on loop for several hours, jumping back into Ableton occasionally to tweak this or that. Once in a blue moon I’ll even come back to my desk, throw on my headphones and think, oh this is pretty nice. Look at Spotify to see who the artist is, and realize it’s some simple ambient loop I made in Ableton. But I don’t think I’m supposed to say that out loud, hehe. :blush:

Anyways, I imagine the same could be done while looking after kids, or relaxing after a long day of looking after kids. Get something going and then just jumping back on the gear to tweak a loop, EQ something, adjust the filters, etc. In between you could meditate, do yoga, clean, cook dinner, etc. Now I’m wondering if some of my favorite ambient artist’s albums have been made while simultaneously doing laundry or changing diapers.




Another thing to consider is lending your gear to someone you know and trust. I lent my Polar to @dubathonic – has felt good to know that he’s enjoying it (instead of it just sitting in our storage closet!).


I just had a moment of anxiety about this very subject and almost traded my Octa for an MPC (easier to use I guess?)

Now I am just trying to dedicate an hour a day to my OT or the other end of my project (making OT food loops with my iPad daw and synths) and I think it’s all working out.


@Gaia.Tree Ive had both, I returned the MPC, and later I bought a second OT. The MPC live is cool but missing some important stuff for me. I really think that OT is the best mpc that was never made. Try simple stuff like sampling some records then using LFO to modulate between slices, or assigning start point to the cross fader. It’s great man. Then set up 4 tracks as a drumkit and play with different swing settings on each track, conditional trigs for variation, resample it, chop it up. Use another track for a different sample and fade between tracks with the cross fader assigned to volume. It takes a little set up but it feels so dynamic to me compared to MPC workflow. Still love MPCs though don’t get me wrong, I just recommending sticking it out with OT longer

On topic though I understand trying to balance family/responsibilities and music. Best results for me are just making sure everyone gets time including yourself, no good selling all your gear and being miserable. At the same time don’t feel guilty for not using your gear if other things take priority for a couple of weeks


This is the challenge I am up against. Learning these deep machines at times feels like work, when what I want to is to relax and let go.


You’ve put into words how I often feel. It does take a lot of energy after a hard day at work to sit down at a desk again and dive into a complex machine. Sometimes it’s just nice to do something easier, like get a sequence going on an SQ-1 or make a beat on a TR-8, or… just take a nap, or stare at the clouds. Nothing wrong with that.

I have to get better at assessing my mood and energy level and rolling with that.

Another technique is to set a timer for 30 minutes or 1 hour and tell yourself you only have to focus and learn for that long. If it’s a concentrated time period, usually even after a long day at work I can muster enough energy to be productive for that short while.


this is an awesome thread.

I’m 50+ with 7yr old twins. about this time last year, I started dusting off my music making corner and have been working through many of the things people have been discussing. It took the better part of a year to actually get back into the swing.

I’ve been focused on streamlining workflow so that when I have 30 min I can be most creative and not troubleshooting crap. fortunately, the tech has improved so much in the years since I was last really creating that it’s much more possible to just create. (relevant to this forum, I’m coming to the conclusion that I should probably sell my orig version MD and just focus on using the A4 and AR because of OB for this reason. I’m sad about that in a strange way).

I spent seemingly 100s of hrs on YT in the last year learning anew. seemed silly to my wife, but now a year later, I see that it was worth it. I traded TV time for music making time at all turns. I have to travel a lot for work, and I used to spend hours watched TV shows/movies on my tablet. Now I watch YT tutorials on the tablet (thank you for YT Red) or jot down ideas on a stripped down Live set up on a laptop. I also set up a PC at work with decent monitors. I spend 20 minutes here and there on Live and sometimes with an Elektron machine.

I have also been trying to introduce the kiddos to making music. I set up a push 2 and let them loop record. going to try a MD or AR with them soon.

It’s really, really hard to find time. I have family, work, health pursuits, music. and I’ve been trying to learn spanish… my dance card is full, but the music making can be so soul fulfilling so I cannot just sell everything and pack it in


awesome story.
I try to use my travel time from home to work to learn stuff as well.
Care to share your favourite YT channels?


I love this idea and have done so in the past. Don’t sell if you don’t need the money, lend out to a trusted friend that you know will take care of and enjoy the gear, whether it be for a few months or a few years.


I recommend that you start out with a very simple approach then. Load up a bunch of 1 hit samples in the audio pool and lay down some XOX sequences. All of this can be set up very quickly and you can just turn on your OT, start a new pattern and enjoy within minutes. From there, when you have the time, begin working with plocks and then move into scenes. Start small and easy, continue to refer to the manual and make it a point to learn something new every week or two. This can be a perfectly fun and intuitive device, but perhaps less so if you’re overwhelmed by trying to learn it all at once. :grinning:


This is great advice, and how I have learned most everything in the past. Start small, learn the base needed and build on it later to grow complexity. I just need to keep that in mind when I sit down to play.



for Elektron stuff I found the Elektron official channel (and mr. dataline) to be helpful. then Cuckoo and Carl Michael. I’m Patreon supporters of both of those guys.

Late Night Tips on HalutioN is pretty good.

for Live and production generally, I have learned from

Mr. Bill.
Fab Filter tutorials

there are others, lots actually. you have to try different ones. For learning Live, I found that I got the most from artists doing entirely different styles of music.

and I subscribed/subscribe to MacProVideo and Sonic Academy. Can’t download for free from those sites, but the yearly membership is reasonable and you can stream all you can eat. and there are lots of series that are pretty darn good.

then - I have to confess - I have watched a fair amount of Deadmau5 TV clips on YT. It’s very interested to get that insight directly in the process of a successful artist. someone posted a start to finish set of work sessions for Imaginary Friends, which was cool to watch. Makes you realize it takes hours of grinding - no matter how “talented” you are - to make good music.

One thing that I read in a book - and I now believe is true - is that you retain little from watching tutorials unless you put it into practice within a short period of watching. So I’m much more selective on tutorials and try to follow that principle more.

but there’s still stuff I can absorb music making philosophy and the music industry that you don’t really put into immediate practice. Matt Lange’s new podcast is pretty good, as is the EDMProdcast.The latter is focused on music that is more mainstream than is my interest, but it sort of doesn’t matter.

There’s a book called “the mental game of electronic music production” that has some really good ideas in it around efficient workflow. It’s a quick read, and it’s in Kindle Unlimited.

but if I have the choice of sitting at my music station or consuming any of the above, I try to play.