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Thread: The Idea Book

  1. #1
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    Default The Idea Book

    Hey all, hope everything is well and the tunes are good.

    So I was talking to a few "writer" friends of mine and the concept of an "Idea Book" came up. Personally, outside of music I write recreationally and sometimes draw. That being said I have a little book, with a pen holster that I take with me almost everywhere...school, work, beach, galavanting around town. Mostly anywhere except the Bar. This book is essential to my creative process as I can write down a great idea, write down a song name, artist name, whatever. It works as a reference sheet to inspiration and creation.

    Now, this isn't a new concept but I think in the world of digital music it's somewhat overlooked. So I'll try to outline how the concept can be carried over into the music realm...

    1) The Riff-Tape
    anybody who's familiar with bands, or has played in one may be familiar with this. Essential it's exactly what it sounds like a tape, with a bunch of new riffs and melodies. Why it helps? well for one if you forget it it's there on tape. Two, if you're like me and no longer pen out songs on manuscripts at least you can reverse engineer it and figure it when/if you do forget. You can mix-match or re-work an existing riff for a new track.

    2) Loop Library
    I'm a huge advocate for this. When I started producing there were days when I had NOTHING. So, I would sit in front of my computer, and for hours work out drum patterns. Find something I like, make a few variations. This is a great way to be creative, without the pressures of finishing that song, or trying to isolate that "missing" thing. I experimented with different perc sounds, fx, and just simply weird patterns. When I found something I liked. I made sure to save it as an acid loop. Note, if you do this, give the file a descriptive name and a tempo. Back in the day integrated beat detection wasn't as great as now, but i found if I just labeled "Loop001" I'd spend HOURS looking through the THOUSANDS of loops for something, which is the opposite of having these pre-made loops. Another great thing about this is that if you do come across a melody, sample or idea you like, you can go back and pick out a loop that fits the tone of the track.

    3)iMaschine
    Entering the world of apps and mobile technology...iMaschine is awesome, as a Maschine user the integration is great. I know there are a tonne of these "sketch" pad apps out there this is just an example. It's a great way to bang out the "bones" of a track a i call them and then flesh them out later especially if you're not in or near your studio.

    4)NeverMind
    This app isn't necessarily a music based app, but damn is it helpful. You can take pics, websites, voice memos etc and tag them to your appropriate projects. The details of it are vast, but you can set deadlines, reminders, and store relevant info to folders for future reference

    Well, those are my thoughts and advice. For those of you that already subscribe to the concept of the "Idea Book" maybe this has some info you can take and implicate into your routine. For those who don't, give it a try and see what comes of it. Trust me, this proved to be a WAY more organized method of articulating and gathering my thoughts as opposed to the millions of sticky notes I had posted around my workspace

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Coldfuzion's Avatar
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    Default

    Loved the tips! I don't have an idea book per say, but I definitely have a notepad thats always by me when i'm producing or working on anything where I can jot down quick ideas and what not. I'd be completely screwed without it!

    Definitely going to try out a few of your tips though like grabbing the NeverMind app!

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Tech Convert
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    Default

    I recently started using an Idea Book for music and it has been a pretty good tool, although I need to practice better habits of keeping it on me. I usually just sit at work and listen to music all day and write down techniques that I want to remember, synths I want to learn, drum loops of interests, weird usage of FX, or any random ideas that pop into my mind. More often than not I would think of something and at the end of the day fail to recall what it was. Even if you don't use the ideas at least you have them on paper somewhere.

    Thanks for the other tips, you reminded me I need to re-download iMaschine.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I recently started using an Idea Book for music and it has been a pretty good tool, although I need to practice better habits of keeping it on me. I usually just sit at work and listen to music all day and write down techniques that I want to remember, synths I want to learn, drum loops of interests, weird usage of FX, or any random ideas that pop into my mind. More often than not I would think of something and at the end of the day fail to recall what it was. Even if you don't use the ideas at least you have them on paper somewhere.

    Thanks for the other tips, you reminded me I need to re-download iMaschine.
    Yeah, man, especially with iMaschine. You can just tap out that drum pattern you thought off while waiting in line at SBX or on the train and then really get into it once your'e back at your workspace. And don't worry about the "better habits" part. That all comes with time and is unique to each individual. Like I said, my "idea book" stemmed from colour-coded sticky notes posted in certain places of my office (each place representing a certain project, each colour representing a "type" of idea). You'll eventually find something that works for you, and it'll probably make NO SENSE to anybody else lol.

    Good, to see these tips proved helpful for some.

    Glad to see

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