Hey, I'm Piers the Pig, and my challenge falls under the Discovery topic!
Usually this topic will provide you with reading material about certain aspects of music/production, then quiz you at the end - but for this week we are going to keep it fun and interactive to kick things off!
The challenge is fairly simple - show me (and the rest of the community) something YOU have learnt since you began your musical journey.
It can be on anything at all! Synthesis, Progression, Musical History, A cool sound you found by hitting a slinky with a can opener... just as long as it's something that you consider other people might find interesting or helpful.
If you're quite new at producing, don't worry about whether people would already know it or not, it's the point that you are actively trying to help others with new ideas that earns the little trophy of me!
And if you really don't think you can come up with something, you've got until Tuesday to come up with something. Open up a synth and twiddle things, even if you don't know what they are ... find a cool result and let us all know.
If you really really really don't manage to come up with something this time, make a list of 10 things on any topic that could help people. Perhaps a list of 10 places to find free samples, or a top 10 of external instruments you use (and why). I'll accept anything, as long as you try!
If you are REALLY REALLY REALLY stuck, send me a tune and a description of what it's about :)
Here's a few ideas
- A simple yet effective technique of speeding up some aspect of workflow.
- A way to fatten up a drum sample.
- Some sort of instrument/effect/MIDI effect rack that makes life easier.
- The way you save your projects and folders so that things are neat.
- How to create music to a video.
- Interesting ways you can route channels to each other.
- A list of 10 online blogs/forums where you can always learn new tricks (with descriptions).
- 10 shortcuts that people may not know about but really should.
- A list of 10 producers that you really think are great (and why!).
- A short article on how to not let music production ruin your relationship with your partner.
Again I have to stress, don't YOU stress if you find yourself stuck with this one - this exersize is to give you the feeling of giving and sharing, something that Tom believes is contagious and has massive rewards.
Any questions? Head over to the Challenge Forum and ask away.
If you are going to write something down, please do this in a .TXT file and zip it up with anything else you need to send. Bonus points for making a video.
P.s. Tom is going to put his here tomorrow as he's had a very busy week :)
Gidday, I'm Trish the Turtle and my challenge falls under the "shoe swapping" category, challenges that put you in a situation where you need to work in ways to achieve something that you wouldn't usually need to.
Here's the deal, you work for the worlds leading advertising agency as a composer for television ads. You've just spent a month working on a huge project creating the sound track for the worlds first ... er.. something really big.
Anyway, your boss has just run into the room saying that he's just realised the soundtrack you wrote somehow err... religiously offends the err... CEO of that amazing company that is really big, but they are already in the building and heading up to the board room for the first screening of the ad.
You've got to come up with a short piece of music, even a loop, that can be played over the footage of people enjoying this fantastic product - BUT - they are already pulling into the parking lot and can only be stalled for 10 minutes.
TL;DR - You have 10 minutes to get a tune/jingle/interesting loop made or you loose your job (and throw in your girlfriend/boyfriend in there for too).
Here's some tips!
- You can try as many times as you like, but please be honest and send a final project that you've only spent 10 minutes max on!
- Ableton live effects / devices only... you can use whatever you can with Ableton Live Suite (and the library)
- Samples are fine, but please don't get Tom in trouble by using anything that is copyrighted as these projects do get redistributed.
- Bonus points if you record yourself making it and sending me a link (not necessary, but would be fun!)
- The product could be anything, so any genre is accepted. If you find yourself stuck, make up a product and write the music accordingly.
Any questions? Head over to the Challenge Forum and ask away.
So there you go! Good luck :)
p.s. Here's a video Tom made of his submission
Hello, I'm Paul the Panda, and my challenge this week falls under the Practical category.
My challenge to you is to create a lush super pad, using nothing but Ableton instruments and effects, that will constantly evolve for at least 30 seconds.
You can use no Automation or Modulation, as soon as you play a note or a chord, the synthesizers and effects have to work themselves to keep the pad moving.
It can be a little fluffy beautiful pad, or a dark evil drone from hell, just make sure it keeps changing and moving!
A few tips:
- Envelopes and LFOs are going to be one of your best friends with this challenge.
- Remember in most synthesizers, you can use an Envelope to gradually change the way an LFO works.
- You are welcome to use Send/Return tracks (Just no automation on the SEND value!)
- Adding things to Return tracks like long delays with 100% dry/wet will delay what they are fed for that amount.
- You can rack up as many items as you want, putting something like an Autopan (with phase set to 0%) can slowly bring volume in and out.
- MIDI effects could be really helpful if done correctly
- Samplers can be used, but try to use them creatively rather than throw in a long sample that moves around itself!
- Feel free to add other elements into the project to compliment what you are doing, but remember, it's all about the pad.
Have fun and good luck!
p.s. Here's a video Tom made of himself completing this challenge.
Hello there! I'm Keith the Koala, and I'm here to challenge you. If you succeed, I'll be yours to keep in your digital achievements case to show everyone how awesome you are.
My challenge falls under the Bizarre category, and it goes like this.
Using arrangement view, create a tune with only 1 MIDI track, containing a Simpler with just one kick sample.
How the dingo dong dangled shitballs do I do that?
Send / Return tracks and Ableton Effects, remember you've got up to 12 Send / Return tracks available, and with the right effects you could create almost anything out of that kick drum.
Here's an example, you've got your kick doof doof doof doofing along, but we need a high hat on the off beat.
- After 32 bars send that doof to Return Track A.
- Add a Simple Delay, sync the delays together and set them to  (2 16th notes)
- Turn the Dry / Wet up to 100% and leave the Feedback at 0
- This will create a single delay, 2 16th notes after the kick plays, or exactly in between the two original kicks.
- Now you have a double kick happening, try adding a Frequency Shifter to it and turning up the frequency, the delayed kick will pitch up and sound nothing like the original.
- Throw an EQ8 after it all and bring out everything in the lows and mids
- Try giving it a short Reverb?
- Try bit crushing it with a Redux?
- What else can you think of that might help turn this sound into something that resembles a hi hat?
See how far you can get with your 12 Send / Return tracks ... Snares, Basslines, Pads, Chords, even a Melody if you dare! You can use as much automation and modulation as you like, just remember, I only want to see ONE MIDI track in the entire project.
All genres are accepted except power noise and related genres that sound like a knife caught in a garbage disposal.
Best of luck, and if you have any questions, head over to the Challenge forums.
p.s. Here's a video Tom's made of how he went about it.
Hi! Welcome to the Weekly Challenge! Each week, a new challenge will be posted aimed at helping you think outside the square, learn new techniques and prevent you from falling into the dreaded creative rut.
Being involved in the challenges are completely optional, you can miss as many weeks as you like, but I highly encourage you to have a go, even if it's something you feel you would absolutely suck at!
There are 3 types of challenges and every 4 weeks we will cycle through them. They are as follows :
- Bizarre - designed to make you think outside the square and try something you've never done before. The purpose? to get you thinking about your tools in ways you never have, discovering new tricks to add to your usual production toolkit.
- Practical - designed to both help you build your own archive of original content, and (optionally) add to the Pro Members pool of patches, presets, samples, racks and processes.
- Shoe Swapping - designed to put you in the mind-set of someone else for a while, problem solving a task that you probably wouldn't be used to.
Each challenge you complete will get you a reward (in the form of an 8 bit animal) that will be displayed on your public profile in your achievements area. Over time, these achievements will be used for various perks and give you access to special content.
There is also a forum with a topic for each challenge, for people to swap ideas and discuss what's going on.
Want to try? Click here to be taken to the challenges
Are you interested in Producing or Live Performance? Most people who are, don't do anything about it. And that hurts.
You've got the ideas, you just need the theory. Pull your finger out and let me teach you.
No bullshit, no condescending tone... just quick, straight to the point tools for you to get making blips and bleeps as soon as possible.
The Pro Member archive has many gigabytes of HD Videos and Ableton Live packs. Like this one