5 Tips To Add Creativity To Your Music

As music producers who continually work on song after song, we can easily fall into habits. We may find a certain sample that we always use in our productions, use the same synth for our basslines, or create songs in the same key. These habits can end up hurting your music in the long run if you do not evolve as a producer. To help you break out of your comfort zone as a producer, I have listed five ways for you to add creativity to your music below.

Use a new instrument

When we find an instrument that we enjoy using, we often stick with it. While this isn’t necessarily an issue, we often just become too accustomed to how the instrument sounds. If we continually produce with the same sound over and over, we can begin to lose our creative inspiration. By using a new instrument we give our ears something fresh and exciting which can help generate new ideas that would not have been possible unless this switch was made. This does not mean you have to pick out a completely new instrument and learn how to play it from scratch. If you are a guitar player, you can simply look for a guitar that has a different sound than your current one. The guitar player doesn’t have to go out, buy a drum set, and take drum lessons in order to gain this inspiration.

The crazy delay

Delays are one of the most basic mixing effects. No matter what type of song you are working on, you are most likely going to be adding a delay effect on at least one of your tracks. Most producers just put the delay on a particular sound or sounds in the mix, dial in the settings of the delay and call it done. While this is an effective way to use a delay, it limits your creativity. Open a send/return track in your DAW and place a delay on this channel. Next place a modulation plugin after the delay. Any modulation effect will work here. You can add a chorus, phaser, flanger, another delay, or any combination of modulation plugins. Doing this will add another layer of sonic interest to the delay and allow you to create unique delay effects. Experimentation is key here.

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Resample

Resampling is the process of taking your MIDI track or your already existing audio track and bouncing the track down to a single audio file. By doing this, all the processing that you have done on your audio and MIDI track will be visually shown in that single audio file and you can manipulate it even further. Resampling opens up new creative ways for you to manipulate your sounds. To accomplish this resampling, open up a new audio track and route the track that you want resampled into it. Make sure the new audio track that you created is armed and ready to record. Solo just the track you want to resample and the empty audio track and hit record. This will print out the audio of the track you want resampled in the new audio track that you created. Once you have this new audio file, you can start to experiment with audio processing to create new unexplored sounds. Here are a few ways you can be creative with your newly resampled audio.

  1. Reverse certain parts of the audio.
  2. Chop up and rearrange the audio.
  3. Pitch around the entire audio or certain parts of the audio.
  4. Add more effect plugins on the audio and resample it out again.

Produce in a new environment

The production environment that you are in has a direct influence on your creativity. The bulk of your production sessions will be in the same room where your studio monitors are, but not every session has to be in this room. When you are in the creative stages of your track, you don’t necessarily need to have your studio setup with you. The goal of the creative session is to get your ideas out into the DAW in the form of a rough draft. This rough draft will not require you to have the optimal listening environment. When finding a new location, look for a place that you think may inspire you. Anywhere from a coffee shop, to your friend’s house, or your local park can be a place that fosters creativity.  

Be patient

One of the best ways to bring a creative mindset to your music is to take a break from the track that you are working on. When we work on a particular song, we are listening to the track over and over. Our brains get used to this sound and it becomes harder for us to implement new ideas. After you have run into a wall when producing a particular track, take between one and three weeks off from working on that particular track. When you finally open the track that you were stuck on, your ears will be fresh and you will be able to generate new ideas much easier.

Creativity is about breaking free from the normal and repetitive. As humans, we are creatures of habit and our habitual nature can hinder our creativity as artists. By applying one or any combination of the five tips above, you will be able to break free from your daily music production habits and bring creativity back into your music.

Daniel is a caffeine-dependent entrepreneur, music producer, sound design junkie, and world traveler crazy about teaching modern electronic music production through his site SoundShock.

Agni5 Tips To Add Creativity To Your Music

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  • Ricardo Gautreau - June 12, 2019 reply

    How about these tips:
    1- Practice your instrument
    2-Learn to read music
    3-study harmony

  • Berna Kinoc - June 12, 2019 reply

    Excelent ideas. Thanks for sharing them. Finally music Is all about creativity, producing is a important part of it and if we musicians think in that part of the process se Will make and deliver a more original sound.

  • Jim Edwards - June 12, 2019 reply

    That’s good advice man. Thanks!

  • Wale Baggis - June 13, 2019 reply

    Great tips. ‘Really appreciate this.

  • Jim Hutter - June 13, 2019 reply

    My creativity revolves around making exciting and passionate music that can be reproduced on stage without electronic gimmickry or additional musicians. It is all about songwriting. Keep melodies strong, structures tight, lyrics evocative, and make the hooks irresistible.

  • Keith Burchnall - June 13, 2019 reply

    I enjoyed your article. One thing I enjoy is setting some structure as a canvas, e.g Suppose you do a mariachi tune in alternating sections of 7/4 and 3/4 time in C, about a guy’s chihuahua getting all the girls with his burrito.
    And yes I actually did do this song.

  • pound drinking - June 14, 2019 reply

    First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a
    quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before
    writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting
    my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to
    15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

  • Frank Goddam - June 15, 2019 reply

    The studio, the software are themselves musical instruments at the mercy of the musician as creator

  • Toby DeGard - June 16, 2019 reply

    I have been flipping my midi tracks to audio and starting to see a lot of benefits to doing so.

  • Sam - June 18, 2019 reply

    These are great tips, man, thank you! I find changing up the instruments an effective way of adding in some creativity, particularly using an instrument that wouldn’t normally be used. It can really spice things up sometimes.

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