Hello. This is one of those long-winded and hopefully not quite as self-indulgent "I don't like making music" posts that pop up on here every so often. I'll try to distill some more concrete questions but a fair chunk of it is probably just me feeling bad. That being said,
I've been making music on and off (mostly on) for seven years now. I downloaded my cracked copy of Ableton 8 at age 21 in the hopes of one day making something like Aphex Twin. Or Feed Me. Or Venetian Snares. Or any of the other many artists I respected immensely. I've had a deep love of what I'll call "non-vocal electronic music" since age 14 and that term encompasses 99% of what I listen to.
Over the next 5 years I spent a good deal of time researching everything I could about synthesis, drum patterns, mixing/mastering, theory, and the usual stuff you're told to if you want to be a decent musician. For the last two years I ended up getting "more serious". I put that in quotes because while I definitely started finishing more tracks in that period of time, it also involved buying a lot of hardware which previously eluded my financial grasp. I would be lying if I said I didn't buy the hardware in hopes of it somehow mystically improving my abilities and of course, if that's been true at all, it's come mostly from the factor of cost justification increasing my time spent producing.
But despite all of this, there are a few problems which have remained consistent throughout the entirely of my "career". Namely:
- I very, very rarely enjoy actually making music. The few times I have derived enjoyment from it were due to throwing my cares out the window and just making weird shit or from the tactile nature of the hardware I obtained later. But these times of enjoyment over the last 7 years can be counted on two hands.
- Actually enjoying my end product is somehow an even rarer occasion. And I'm not talking about being wholly or even mostly satisfied with a track (this has never happened), but any enjoyment whatsoever.
- I don't seem to really get "ideas" for making tracks very often. The things I end up finishing are usually due to winging it throughout the entire track or hitting "record" in Ableton and just defaulting to making some 2-pattern acid techno track while I tweak knobs and mute drums, sweep filters, etc.
The final problem, a natural result of the above three, is that I feel like my time for really being as good as I'd like to be is rapidly coming to a close; talent shows itself quickly and musically it appears I was passed over for that. Internally, I have a very difficult time justifying making shit music. Because really, what is the fun in that? I want to make good music, and not for any reason reflated to pulling big crowds (though that's always welcome), but so I can make cool shit for me and my friends to enjoy, and because I just love the art behind making those genres I love so much (IDM/glitch/breakcore/acid mostly).
So if I were to pose a few questions I suppose they would be:
- What would you suggest I do to make creating music a more enjoyable activity, while still enjoying the end result? The conjoined nature of those two is critical; I really do think making bizarre noise music is pretty fun (because it allows me to fuck around on my equipment like a moron) but I don't actually enjoy the product too much. Likewise, I would really enjoy making a killer IDM or breakcore track but (what I understand as) the process behind those genres is very difficult for me to wrap my brain around in an enjoyable fashion.
Actually I suppose that's just one question. I feel like my problems related to buying more gear in order to get that "false sense of hope" dopamine hit would be greatly reduced if I could solve the problem of genuinely enjoying both my process and my product. I'm not looking for overnight heroin-hit euphoria here, but some enjoyment being gained as skills accrue seems to me to be a natural thing to expect if everything is going correctly.
Anyway, I look forward to any responses I might get. Thanks a lot.