My buddy Francis Arevalo started #BADproject a couple of weeks ago:
His words resonated with me. I've managed to get to a place where I have some competency in making music, but I'm still a long ways away from where I want to be. Every step, no matter how small, is a step forward. It takes commitment and discipline to show up every day. I've forgotten or haven't practised enough to retain knowledge around reading music and theory, but I have figured out other ways to utilize core concepts. Francis hits the nail on the head in recognizing the time investment required to develop skills. if you want to make good shit, you have to be willing to make a lot of shit to get there.
There are zero excuses for me not to participate in this venture. I even have multiple apps on my mobile devices for making beats on the go, This is one of those things I need to dive in head-first and see what I'm capable of.
At the risk of making this sound like a workout testimonial: after 10+ days I've seen results. I've felt happier overall. It's as though everything has shifted upward by 1/3rd. That's not to say I still don't get tired or stressed. I still have bad days, but working on music this consistently has felt rewarding and nurturing. My goal of producing a 60 second clip is manageable. Admittedly, I've been a little ambitious with some of the works I've produced. I spend extra time compressing and setting the EQ for all my drum elements. I probably spend more of my time picking out and designing sounds than programming, jamming, or arranging. It can be difficult to resist getting bogged down in picking the right sounds. Scrolling endlessly through my sound libraries is a time sink. I've been pushing myself to work faster and more loosely, but it's easier said than done. I can easily lose a few hours working on something so small. There are elements I can probably streamline. Adjustments can be made to my default Ableton Live template that would probably save me some considerable time. I've been keeping the genres varied day-to-day. It helps keep things fresh and novel. There's a great challenge in asking myself "Okay, I haven't made a Drum 'n' Bass in a long time. how quickly can I whip something up?" It's also a great way to practice a new trick or technique I have come across in another blog or video online.
Until I can reduce the overall daily time I commit to this daily project, I worry I won't be able to make time for more DJing and writing. There's a balance I want to strike between the different mediums I want to play with. Perhaps I can dial it down to a few submissions a week rather than every day. That said, I'm having a lot of fun and I'd like to see how long of a streak I can maintain.