Author Topic: Dealing with the music originality issue  (Read 569 times)

Offline REDrangeDal

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Dealing with the music originality issue
« on: November 10, 2018, 12:22:33 »
In this topic, I want to talk about dealing with this common issue that new artists are facing with this problem, including me, because I believe that my songs might be bit similar with other songs.

What I want to say is that I want to prevent such issue, and I would like to hear suggestions before I will start to make more songs.

I already know some useful suggestions by searching on the Internet about how to deal with music plagiarism and there are some solutions that I know, and those are making a chord progression with more notes, changing the tempo, using samples that does sound uncommon to others and sharing with other people my songs/musical creations.

But I think that there might be other options to prevent this issue by searching some websites that are specialized in finding songs with similar chord progressions and other similar musical aspects.

The reason I make this topic is because I have an uneasy felling regarding this issue, and also I'm still beginner at music making, and I would like to hear some suggestions, advices and other things that does solve this issue.
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Offline LPChip

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 12:52:14 »
The first suggestions I can think of is this:

1. Don't care for other music when you start making music. Just make music so you get experience. If it sounds similar to other people's music, that's totally fine. Your goal here is to understand the program fully so you can work quicker.

2. Once you know your way around the music program, make music in other styles too. Don't limit yourself to just one genre. Make music in different genres and even if it is just one song in a genre you really don't like that much, make it your own and find at least 3 genres you feel comfortable in making music in.

3. Try combining a few genres into one song, possibly at the same time to get weird new sounds. You certainly will sound unique and may become your sound.

4. Experiment with things you normally don't hear often in music.

5. Listen to other music than the few you normally listen to, and find out by your own research why this sounds so good, then adapt that in your own music.

6. Every once in a while, repeat this cycle and grow.
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Offline REDrangeDal

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 13:28:11 »
Thanks for these suggestions LPChip!  :)

I will try to apply these suggestions for my songs. Also I would like to add that using algorithmic music generators like Fractmus helps when dealing with lack of creativity, even if my samples might not sound really good with certain given procedural generated rhythms, depending on my mood I feel, but I will give more tries and tweaks until I am satisfied with the rhythms.

If there are other suggestions, I would like to hear them, because I like to get advices. The more advices/suggestions, the better will be, not only for me but for everyone.

Also I want to add that images can be helpful when making musical ideas. For making unique images, I use Aphophysis, a special program for making images using fractals, with the help of more options that are simple. The results are really amazing when working more with this program.
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Offline arseniiv

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 15:25:03 »
A few trivial advices from someone unexperienced:

We create things basing on what we have already seen, so to make something unique, one needs to introduce themselves to a wide gamut of things, possibly a bit less popular. Okay that was obvious. Also, remember that uniqueness is somewhat relative, it depends on what your intended audience knows and what it craves. They may wish for a revival of something. It means uniqueness isn’t a goal in itself, or it is a goal, but it’s hard to determine uniqueness in what, specifically, is desired. So don’t worry too much.

I personally think, today there’s a possibility to find an audience for almost everything, it maybe just takes a bit of luck? And even your first attempts could find a liking of many.

Also maybe there’s use to randomize your process to some measure. It would disturb your habits and could show you strange new stuff. Some people are fond of an Oblique strategies-like deck, personally I don’t know, but it seems it could equally apply to writing, drawing etc.; a Tarot deck may be funny to apply. Someone throws dice, someone asks friends or reads a random word from a book.
Feel free to correct my English.
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Offline REDrangeDal

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 17:14:59 »
We create things basing on what we have already seen, so to make something unique, one needs to introduce themselves to a wide gamut of things, possibly a bit less popular. Okay that was obvious. Also, remember that uniqueness is somewhat relative, it depends on what your intended audience knows and what it craves. They may wish for a revival of something. It means uniqueness isn’t a goal in itself, or it is a goal, but it’s hard to determine uniqueness in what, specifically, is desired. So don’t worry too much.

In these days it's really hard to make a completely unique song, but not hard to make different songs with different samples. What I know for sure is that every artist has it's influences, so making a truly original song is not really that possible, because there are millions of songs in this world, or even more, and also there are many genres of music, like rock, dance, vaporware, hip-hop and others, as well as unknown genres like Danger Music, NintendoCore and others that I haven't heard of them, and everyone has it's own tastes, but up to some limit.


I personally think, today there’s a possibility to find an audience for almost everything, it maybe just takes a bit of luck? And even your first attempts could find a liking of many.

Also maybe there’s use to randomize your process to some measure. It would disturb your habits and could show you strange new stuff. Some people are fond of an Oblique strategies-like deck, personally I don’t know, but it seems it could equally apply to writing, drawing etc.; a Tarot deck may be funny to apply. Someone throws dice, someone asks friends or reads a random word from a book.

Making music with the help of a randomized harmonic rhythm or drum rhythm is something valuable when the artists need some inspiration or some musical direction, at last that's what I think of when I don't have a good idea, because every artist has it's musical roots, that were taken from more different songs or some sound sources, so taking some musical aspects from a random musical source and improving it with other ideas is what I call a original song, but it still might not be fully original, but at least that musical piece wasn't taken from already known rhythms, and it makes me feel better.

What I should note is that there are many softwares that were made for generating music with procedural algorithms and these can be very useful for both experimenting with the combination of sounds and making some new ideas, even if they are bizzare, and also I like and procedural generated rhythms and songs.  :D

Thanks for your advices arseniiv, I appreciate your view regarding of making songs. Next time when I make songs I will not have worries, because each genre has its rules, but I think that rules should not matter that much, because everyone needs more musical variety.  :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 17:22:52 by REDrangeDal »
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Offline ASIKWUSpulse

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 17:20:18 »
A few advices from someone experienced ;):

The first thing arseniiv said in his reply is the best expression

If you want to be unique, the best is to learn the not unique. Then you can branch out with trying something "that breaks the norms of music".
And trust me, it's not often it will sound good. But if you come up with something that has the right rhythm, with the right unique note progression, that both you and your audience likes, it can be a pontetial new hit-tune.

Another problem that I'm facing in periods is that you'll set too hard limits on yourself, mostly not allowing anything that isn't unique.
Most will think "but stop being so hard on yourself" about that, but I can say it's easier said than done.
Not all people will develop that behavior, but there is a fraction.
I have some tips dealing with the issue:

1. Playing an instrument can free up your mind. The "originallity mind" is often like a distinct border when you're all wrapped up with thoughts about "not that chord-progression, that artist is using that" and etc. When you start playing instrument, the mind changes in thoughts, and starts thinking about what sounds right. If you don't know how to play an instrument, a big tip is to sing or hum, it's also a kind of instrument.

2. Change notes of already made melody-lines. This is a good example of coming up with something original out of something unoriginal

3. This will kind of follow up tip 1. Have patience. Good progressions can come when you least expect it.

4. Have fun. Joy can have more impact than you may think.

5. Inspiration. A thing I heard about inspiration somewhere that I think is absolutely true: "Sometime you get inspiration from the weirdest things". Have you as example seen the videos of noisy washing machines that makes drum-like sounds, only then for a backing comp-track to kick in? That's their inspiration

These can also be good tips for learning the process of creating music from ground as well.

Hope I was to any help. I may have repeated some info
All the best, ASIKWUSpulse
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 17:23:32 by ASIKWUSpulse »

Offline REDrangeDal

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 18:28:02 »
Every time when I do before making music is playing around with instruments/samples, and the instruments that I choose gives me different inspirations, depending of how it sounds, and also I tried that before and it worked great. There are times when I can't make a good rhythm with the instruments I like, but I will try to put more effort.

I like some samples, for example Beautiful Fifths, which is made by Saga Musix and I really like it because it shows it's beautiful harmonics and I used it in some of my personal(unreleased) songs with the help of cut-off frequency setting.

I will try to play with other instruments, as much as possible and also I made many samples using the VST Plugin Synth1 and Modern Exciter and I will make more sounds with it, because I like to learn how to make sounds, obviously with fewer parameters.   ;)

The second tip is really interesting, and I like it. I will try it. Actually I remember that I saw this tip on a webpage regarding how to make songs faster by making either remixes from some songs or a different song, by tweaking the existing rhythm.


3. This will kind of follow up tip 1. Have patience. Good progressions can come when you least expect it.

4. Have fun. Joy can have more impact than you may think.

5. Inspiration. A thing I heard about inspiration somewhere that I think is absolutely true: "Sometime you get inspiration from the weirdest things". Have you as example seen the videos of noisy washing machines that makes drum-like sounds, only then for a backing comp-track to kick in? That's their inspiration

These can also be good tips for learning the process of creating music from ground as well.

I will apply these tips with enjoyment, practice, patience and with respect, because making music is after all my best hobby I have and it makes me really happy.

Thanks ASIKWUSpulse for giving me these tips. These tips will definitely help me when I am stuck with the issue of lack of creativity or with the "songs sounding really close with other songs" problem.  :)

Also I would like to hear even more different tips from everyone who has some different approachs for making songs, because I'm finding that using more different tips will definitely open more areas, even unexplored ones for both enjoyment and creativity and everyone will be more better at music making.
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Offline Saga Musix

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 19:41:25 »
Quote
I like some samples, for example Beautiful Fifths, which is made by Saga Musix and I really like it because it shows it's beautiful harmonics and I used it in some of my personal(unreleased) songs with the help of cut-off frequency setting.
One very important advice if you want to be original: Don't use the OpenMPT example song samples. I start getting tired of hearing all the beginner modules on ModArchive using my own samples. ;)

I can only stress what has already been said before: To be original, you need to diversify your knowledge: Copying other people is okay, but don't just copy one artist or one track, but take influences from many sources. We don't live in a vacuum so influences cannot be avoided (and why should they?), so the more reference material you have to get inspired from, the harder it will to pinpoint what exactly you are copying or quoting.
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Offline LPChip

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 23:19:55 »
Another thing I can advise in getting better...

Often when you start, you are like: Okay, I have no idea what to do... I'll listen to some sounds I have and let an idea flow in from there..

So you start playing sounds you have, or VSTi's and tweak them and get a general idea from them. You program that in, then... you have to expand... So again, you go in your sounds to find something nice that maybe or maybe not matches, then get an idea with that in your pattern and the process repeats again.

Eventually you have a song with some sounds, but you are like... meh... its not too great.

The problem is that you spend so much time in finding the sounds that you disconnect from the song itself.

My remedy for this problem is quite simple.

You do the process as stated above until you have your song done in the meh state. You then press the sequences menu and add a sequence.

This new sequence with no patterns is going to be your actual song. The other song was your test/inspiration song.

You start by listening to the sounds you have gathered and let ideas flow from there and your song will be twice as good. You do not even have to do it the same day. You can make your test song on one day, and then on another day, go for the actual song.

I often do this when I work with projects for games etc. I make very short sections with sounds that I am pulling together to get some ideas flowing. I sometimes even communicate those ideas with the game developer to see if they like it. Once I have a general sense of what I or they want, I start my actual song. 9 out of 10 times, its a killer song, and so much better than my initial testing.
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Offline REDrangeDal

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2018, 09:49:06 »

One very important advice if you want to be original: Don't use the OpenMPT example song samples.

I will try to make even more sounds with the help of Synth1 and other VSTi synths, even if I might not get desired sounds and also making sounds is a really must do thing for me, because making sounds helps me to understand better how the parameters work in VSTi synths.

Currently I made over 110 of sounds in my Synth1 sound bank and I will try to make even more sounds in order to make my songs more unique.

There is also a special program called PureData and it has interesting interface, but I haven't used it much, but what I like to this program is that you can make complex sounds with it, by using variables and other stuff.

Another thing I can advise in getting better...

Often when you start, you are like: Okay, I have no idea what to do... I'll listen to some sounds I have and let an idea flow in from there..

So you start playing sounds you have, or VSTi's and tweak them and get a general idea from them. You program that in, then... you have to expand... So again, you go in your sounds to find something nice that maybe or maybe not matches, then get an idea with that in your pattern and the process repeats again.

Eventually you have a song with some sounds, but you are like... meh... its not too great.

The problem is that you spend so much time in finding the sounds that you disconnect from the song itself.

My remedy for this problem is quite simple.

You do the process as stated above until you have your song done in the meh state. You then press the sequences menu and add a sequence.

This new sequence with no patterns is going to be your actual song. The other song was your test/inspiration song.

You start by listening to the sounds you have gathered and let ideas flow from there and your song will be twice as good. You do not even have to do it the same day. You can make your test song on one day, and then on another day, go for the actual song.

I often do this when I work with projects for games etc. I make very short sections with sounds that I am pulling together to get some ideas flowing. I sometimes even communicate those ideas with the game developer to see if they like it. Once I have a general sense of what I or they want, I start my actual song. 9 out of 10 times, its a killer song, and so much better than my initial testing.

I like this idea. I will try it to see what I can improve by using same samples I used in earlier songs. I will try to replace some samples with new ones and I will tweak the existing rhythm with different ones and with some command effects.

Doing this every day will definitely help me greatly to improve my musical skills in a shorter time, and also I can discover with this idea new kind of rhythms too.  :D

Thanks for giving me these advices Saga Musix and LPChip, with these tips I can work faster, better and I can make my songs to sound more original and more interesting.   :)
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Offline ASIKWUSpulse

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Re: Dealing with the music originality issue
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 13:16:30 »

So you start playing sounds you have, or VSTi's and tweak them and get a general idea from them. You program that in, then... you have to expand... So again, you go in your sounds to find something nice that maybe or maybe not matches, then get an idea with that in your pattern and the process repeats again.

Eventually you have a song with some sounds, but you are like... meh... its not too great.

The problem is that you spend so much time in finding the sounds that you disconnect from the song itself.

My remedy for this problem is quite simple.

You do the process as stated above until you have your song done in the meh state. You then press the sequences menu and add a sequence.

This new sequence with no patterns is going to be your actual song. The other song was your test/inspiration song.

You start by listening to the sounds you have gathered and let ideas flow from there and your song will be twice as good. You do not even have to do it the same day. You can make your test song on one day, and then on another day, go for the actual song.

I often do this when I work with projects for games etc. I make very short sections with sounds that I am pulling together to get some ideas flowing. I sometimes even communicate those ideas with the game developer to see if they like it. Once I have a general sense of what I or they want, I start my actual song. 9 out of 10 times, its a killer song, and so much better than my initial testing.
That's funny. This is kind of the process I used when I composed an yet unreleased song, The Jumping Music Box.

I literally started off with throwing a bunch of samples into a blank module, then played around with a lead, bass, chords and kindof a snare/clap. It resulted in two song parts, which as LPChip above said, sounded "meh, it's ok, it can sound better". Then, I was out of ideas and tired, thats when I did point 3 in my tip list, I waited (in my case through sleeping, because the "sketch" song was made in the evening - hence being tired).

The next morning I got back, and decided to create a new blank module, with a larger set of samples, while listening to the song again. Then I copy&pasted the melody into the new module, and just like that, the creation process began: new ideas, writing out those ideas, trying with copy&pasting in the bassline and chords, new ideas was born out of that, branching out the snare/clap into a groovy drum-beat, etc.
After this, I've kind of built up a tree of music elements. That was when the module was completed.