Every producer/beatmaker is experiencing a lack of creativity and repetitiveness from time to time in his carrier. This is called a producers block or a beat-block.
If you are in this situation, don’t worry! We have tons of tips and tricks to boost your creativity.
First thing that comes to mind when thinking about a producers block (beat-block) is repetitive chord progressions. When every track starts to sound the same. We all have our go to chords that we love, but sometimes we are so stuck…..
So, let’s jump right in:
1. Recreating the hottest tracks
My number one tip for overcoming the beat-block – recreate the favorite tracks in your genre.
Study these tracks and figure out how those are put together. Learn from the tutorials on Youtube. Check the insights from the top notch producers. For example: Pursuit Of Happiness…
Try to implement other producers techniques into your production. One thing I learned form this particular video is how the foley samples were used to add some character to a track…
I am checking and recreating hot Hip-Hop and EDM tracks all the time, because it is crucial for my sound design skills also. I am analyzing new stuff every day I am thinking this helps with producers block a lot..
Of course, you need to keep in mind that this path is so time consuming (very beneficial in the long run), but what if you want results right away?
2. Music theory (Or quickest way using Cthulhu)
The sad news: you will need to learn music theory to some point anyway. Nowadays there are tons of good and easy videos on this topic…
But like i wrote earlier, what if we want something fresh right now!
The answer is Cthulhu form Xfer Records with some cool presets for your genre!
Even well known producers like Illmind use it for inspiration. You can check the full interview here.
However, without the presets this chord triggering VST is just a tool.
Luckily there are really good Cthulhu preset packs on the market. And it would be not smart miss some of the best selling packs from Red Sounds:
If you bought them already you know they are really good (i am saying that confidently because of tons of positive feedback on them)!
Yeah, a little bit of self promoting, but honestly, i am using them a lot in my own production, because it is incredibly easy to start a song and catch a vibe with these presets..
3. Collaboration with other producers and artists
It is also very healthy to unite your efforts on some projects with other producers and singers. It can be your friend producer or some guy met at a forum..
Working in collaboration will bring you some new ideas inevitably. 1+1=3 in this case.
Furthermore, when you hear other’s opinion on your music it stimulates you to improve and show your best.
4. New Sounds And VSTs
Another great way to get inspired is to grab some fresh sounds or a new piece of hardware. It can be a new VST, soundbank, MIDI controller, synth or any other new source of inspiration.
And you don’t have to spend a fortune on new sounds, there are some really good packs for free!
You can check our free pack if you didn’t already..Beaf Up Your Production
Solid drum samples form The Producers Choice.
When you are checking new unfamiliar Serum presets for example, you are getting different experience and new results, so i think it is crucial to expand your sound library often.
5. FX Plugins
I decided to separate FX Plugins. You probably heard Gross Beat by Image Line already.
But there are some other nice plugins also:
Looperator by Sugar Bytes
Glitch 2 by Illformed
Also there is ever a free (older) version of Glitch plugin. You can download it here.
This time and effect manipulation sometimes gives unexpected and very interesting variations, so try one of these..
You can put them on a master buss or on individual tracks.
6. Explore New Music Genres
Make the music in a different genre. If you are Hip-Hop producer, make some EDM or vise versa.
It sounds strange at first, because you are thinking: why i should make music i am not interested in. But, believe me, nowadays genres are so mixed and i think it is important to expand knowledge, techniques and points of view.
Slow down some Electro music and you can rap on it…
7. Take A Break
Change your environment. Hang out with your friends, eat some great food.
Take a “production holiday” for one week. During this time don’t make music at all.
The best inspirational break for me is going to a music festival or some music related conference or presentation.
Listening to a new music, meeting positive and energetic people. Get out of your listening comfort zone. It will definitely bring new ideas to your production.
When you get back form your “production holiday”, you will have fresh ears and increased motivation.
8. Feel Free To Fail
Don’t push yourself to create hits every time you touch the keyboard.
Relax, take it easy. Every producer makes a lot of crap when trying some new ideas. They just don’t show these raw projects to public. So, feel free to experiment and you will have a chance to find some gems.
9. Change Your Production Workflow Form Time To Time
Learn new techniques and implement them. Here are some you can try to deal with producers block:
Take a sample. Play around with additional instruments then delete the sample.
Slow down, speed up your old beats or unfinished projects.
Don’t use same drum patterns.
If you are programming your music try to play live or vise versa.
Record your own vocals and make music form them. Vox Engine 2 is perfectly suitable for this job.
Reverse your chords, then chop them and bring back in right order.
Try to start your song in unusual way. Drums first… Or chords first..
Try different chord patterns. For example with Future Chords For Cthulhu
Make a track with no quantization. Except kicks and snare probably..
Make Music Form The Picture. Find a picture and make a beat/track keeping that emotion in mind. Beat-block is closely related to emotions. When you are down and can’t find the inspiration, sometimes looking to a picture helps. I saw this technique in one of the Busy Works Beats Videos..
Some interesting videos on beat-block topic:
If you are experiencing the producers block… be excited about these period. It usually means your about to step up your game to the next level. Your go-to workflow isn’t stimulating creativity any more. It’s not bad. It means you are on your way to do something different and probably better than ever.