That terrible moment

When you just don’t know anymore if the gear you possess is not the one for your needs, or if you just suck whatever the gear you have…

I’m right in the middle of it and that’s not a nice feel at all.

Anyone fighting thru this as well?

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Make a two week break from that stuff. It helps.
And bananas.

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Yes, if you play the bananas, you will realize that you aren’t that bad at all.

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I would also suggest a break, put it away, and come back with a fresh mind. And it could definitely be the gear as well. When you find the right gear you will know.

Also, bananas are easy to read. Either they are green, yellow, or somewhere in between.

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turn the reverb up full. always works for me.

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I’ve been there. Put it this way, Ableton is really all anyone needs to produce quality beat based music.

If I can’t write a beat with Ableton, no amount of hardware is going to help.

Hardware is fun and inspiring for sure. But Ableton is kind of my baseline. The Suite comes with literally every sound and bit of software you need to make house, techno, hip hop, dub, jungle, DnB, etc. If I can’t make a track with all that, a random synthesizer or hardware sequencer isn’t going to get me any further.

That’s what I’ve learned from my own experience. Other experiences are obviously different and respected.

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I’ve sold up and restarted 3 times so far, we’re talking room fulls of gear and so it’s cost me a fortune.
I go through phases. Music listening, video games, music production. and around it goes.
I didn’t sell up this time and I’m just coming to the end of the video game bit and buying more hardware in the hope I start getting back into writing again.

I think I just like the buzz of buying new gear and seeing how it works. Most times I just switch off without even saving, even after hours of work. I guess I’m more of a gear fiddler rather than a music producer.

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I felt a bit like this a couple nights ago after a really unproductive session on my Machinedrum.

But last night I was back at it and my efforts were much more fruitful. I think sometimes it’s best to take a little break and maybe come back a few days later with a clear head and see if you feel the same way.

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I can’t take a break like others have suggested–though maybe I should try. If I go a day without playing some kind of instrument I feel my day was a waste. Even if I otherwise worked or did “productive” things. If I were to go a couple weeks like some suggested I’d basically be depressed lol. Even when I go on vacation and I’m away from music making I can’t stand it. Last vacation I went on was to a friend’s house who had an acoustic piano and guitars and I played my heart out.

If you’re really, really not feeling your hardware stuff then try playing a guitar or piano or something. If you’re really not feeling any of that stuff then go listen to some music…It’s good to listen to new music and get inspired, then maybe learn those songs. Then at the very least you can say “I learned a song today.” Which to me, these days, is still not very “productive” even though I understand it’s value.

I have a tendency to productively procrastinate…Oh I need to mix vocals for my friend’s song? I’ll practice piano instead. Oh I need to practice piano? I’ll play around with my Octatrack. Oh I should invest time into my Octatrack? I think I’ll play some blues guitar. etc, etc.

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Happened me with the digitakt.

Took two years.

So I’m not annoyed. Glad I owned one

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I started out on my current musical path about 3 years ago on volcas and a few simple, affordable bits of kit.
I got pretty acceptable with the kit I had and made a couple of tracks with it that people liked.
Then the upgrade bug hit me and sold up most of my kit to enter the Elektron world.
I’ve been pretty solidly shit for the last year and a half and am only just starting to produce passable tracks with kit I’ve been using longer than the stuff I started with…
Whenever I get like this about my music making I have a day off and try something else instead, like painting or something.
I then realize that I’m much shitter at painting than I am at music…which kind of helps.

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my more serious answer to the void that electronic instruments can sometimes bring are two things …
(i) acoustic instruments. (ii) go for a walk and listen to a few of your favourite artists on a good pair of headphones.

Nothing gets my mood corrected better than either sitting down at a piano or with my guitar and noodling around for a while. I’m no genius on either, but they always lift my spirits, and particularly when it comes to wanting to then get busy with some electronics … or even stick with guitar/keyboard and my effort at vocals. Or regardless of that, they are just great mood changers when general sh1t is weighing on my mind.

Secondly, listening to some gifted producer/musician/band whilst going for a relatively long walk is a brilliant head-changer; even nicer on a dark late autumn evening. I just had an hour out on the streets with some vintage DJ Food. Even just listening to the drums and the soundstage he creates, oh so many years ago, makes you want to sit down in front of your gear afresh and get started trying to find that for yourself. The walk was to the off licence and I’m now back in front of my machines with a few interesting bottles of Grevensteiner and Lagunitas.

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I’ve made electronic music for 30 years this summer, and I still suck! :blush:

However, I’m compelled to continue and get better. Always improving and facing your fears, that’s the way of the warrior.

All the best of wishes for you.

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The struggle is real.

For me, the antidote is to keep practicing.

The times when it is the most painful to create are the ones where you are making the most progress.

Keep learning. Keep challenging yourself.

Enjoy the journey.

If you like messing with new gear, who cares. It keeps you connected.

Eventually, something will happen. Or not.

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We all fight through this, don’t feel alone in this battle. Like others have said, take a break from the music production and focus on other things. Guaranteed you will be drawn back to it with a clear mind. I like to listen to my old music and then compare it to my more recent work, to get an idea of my improvement / progression over time. This gives me the energy and confidence to continue this crazy hobby of mine.

Also know that not everything you make will be good, take it in stride and move on. You will make more good music the more time you devote to your craft.

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Sometimes it can be gear related, sometimes a person just needs a break. Or sometimes immersing yourself in a new genre of music for a bit can trigger inspiration for your creative juices.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling a little “stuck” in terms of my Digitone/Digitakt songwriting workflow, so I took a break, listened to some jazz and rock. Then when I came back, I “flipped the script” in my songwriting process and banged out a couple dozen new Digitakt song groove foundations over the course of a weekend. Then over the next few days, I refined those and added Digitone basses, chords and melodic ideas (with a focus on melodies) to what I had already created on the 'takt.

Doing MANY patterns quickly instead of getting fixated on one meant that I had a lot of material to go back and forth refining and improving without having to get “stuck” on any one song.

And by first stepping away from electronic music for a bit, then coming back fresh and trying a different workflow order, the end result was that I had so much new material that I really liked because of its freshness, and was able to debut it live at a couple of recent shows.

Your mileage may vary, but it’s worth it to try changing things up a bit, then come back to your gear with a fresh perspective and maybe some new music in your recent mental playlist instead of replacing gear as your first choice.

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What I always do when this happens: I’m searching for a song that I really like or just find interesting and then I’ll try to do a cover version of it. Sounds simple but this way you kind of have a blueprint and it’s more like a game that isn’t frustrating at all. Many ideas sparked from this method for me and it’s just fun to do a bit of detective work on how this song was built up.

Don’t give up guys! We’re in this together :smiley:

Bonus: Stop watching youtube or instagram videos of other people with their perfect desks and cool music.

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Definitely take a break. Search for inspiration. Maybe take the chance to try some approaches you haven’t used yet due to the constraints of your old workflow… (?)

http://stoney.sb.org/eno/oblique.html

I don’t often use these, but they are cool just check out once in a while. They just remind you of how many approaches there are: filter it, pitch it up/pitch it down, base everything around a simple concept, 1 hour limit, etc.

Good luck!

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Thank God I’m not the only one! Although I tend not to sell just accumulate.

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There’s no shame in getting rid of 90% of your stuff when you feel in a pretty deep funk. Only you’ll know how deep this runs though.

A wee break might work wonders but if you’ve got that feeling in your bones then maybe pick out what you’re most productive on (you’ll know what) and to box away the rest for a while. Simplifying and reducing options can work wonders for creativity.

I’ve had one mass meltdown over the years where I ended up selling all OTB stuff. Felt a bit daft at the time and reached out here - turns out many of go through this. I learned a bit about myself as much as what I wanted to focus on. Still not got it 100% but I’ve realised that I don’t think i ever will!

Good luck in working things out!

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