Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Sound-Design music-production Let-It-Go Decision-Making Creativity

Let it Go: Embracing Creativity and Making Decisions in Music Production

Tutorial | Jun 17, 2019

In this video, I discuss the idea of letting go when it comes to music production. I talk about how some people are obsessed with recreating sounds and plugins in order to achieve accuracy, but in my opinion, it doesn't matter in the real world. Bitwig Studio already offers a wide range of options for creating complex and interesting sounds, so being stuck on recreating other plugins can be limiting. I also touch on the topic of plugins that emulate real devices, and how it's more for your own satisfaction rather than something others can recognize or distinguish. I emphasize the importance of trying new things and being playful in your music production process, rather than sticking to what is known. I also talk about a workflow I've been using for years called iterative refinement, which involves creating drafts or loops and coming back to them later to refine and finish. I encourage musicians to not feel bad about having multiple unfinished tracks, as they can serve as a starting point for future projects. Overall, I believe that music production is about making decisions, being open to new ideas, and letting go of unnecessary attachments.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

1. What is the main message of this video?

The main message of this video is to encourage viewers to let go of the obsession with sound accuracy and recreate plugins in their music production process. The creator believes that the focus should be on creativity and experimentation rather than trying to replicate the sound of specific devices or plugins. They argue that within Bitwig Studio, for example, there are already a wide range of oscillator possibilities and creative options that can be explored without being limited by the constraints of wave table synthesis. Ultimately, the video emphasizes the importance of focusing on the result and achieving the desired sound, rather than getting caught up in the technical details.

2. How does the creator encourage experimentation in music production?

The creator encourages experimentation in music production by advocating for a mindset of "letting it go." They suggest trying new things, being playful, and throwing different elements together to create interesting and complex sounds. The video emphasizes the versatility and possibilities within Bitwig Studio's polygrid and encourages users to explore the multiple oscillators and routing options available. The message is to not be limited by a specific synthesis form or the need to recreate plugins, but rather to embrace experimentation and discover new sonic possibilities.

3. How does the video address the use of plugins and emulations in music production?

The video suggests that the use of plugins and emulations in music production is often driven by personal preference and the desire to have a certain feel or aesthetic in the creative process. The creator acknowledges that while there may be differences in sound between emulations and real devices, the majority of listeners would not be able to distinguish these nuances. They argue that using emulations or plugins to recreate a specific device can simply be a way for producers to feel good and have a familiar interface in their workflow. The video encourages viewers to not get overly fixated on the choice of plugins, but rather focus on achieving the desired sound and making decisions that work within their own creative process.

4. What approach does the video suggest for completing music tracks?

The video suggests an approach called "iterative refinement" for completing music tracks. This involves creating drafts or starting tracks, saving them as audio, and then revisiting them weeks later to refine and finish them. The creator mentions the practice of creating multiple small loops or drafts in different genres and styles to have a starting point for future projects. This approach allows for a continuous flow of ideas and avoids the pressure of always starting with a blank page. The video emphasizes the importance of finishing tracks at some point, but also highlights the value of creating a library of ideas and samples that can be revisited and developed over time.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] Hey, welcome back to another video here on this channel.
[00:00:03] And I think I call this one, "Let it go."
[00:00:06] What I mean by that is,
[00:00:10] actually with my last video about wave table synthesis,
[00:00:14] a lot of people jumped into this discussion.
[00:00:20] Not, it's not because my video,
[00:00:22] it's people really wanted to recreate serum,
[00:00:28] the sound of serum inside Bitwig Studio to 100%.
[00:00:32] So we can compare it and face flip to sound,
[00:00:37] and then they completely cancel each other out and so on.
[00:00:40] And inside the polygrid you have oversampling
[00:00:45] and outside don't and so on.
[00:00:48] So a lot of people are pretty obsessed
[00:00:51] with sound accuracy to other things and so on.
[00:00:56] And that's perfectly fine.
[00:00:58] I have no problem with that.
[00:00:59] Sometimes it's pretty interesting to actually feature compare
[00:01:05] certain devices and the plugins and so on.
[00:01:09] But my topic of this video is "Let it go."
[00:01:15] And these things don't matter in the real world
[00:01:20] when you create music, in my opinion.
[00:01:26] So for instance, wave table synthesis was,
[00:01:31] I think invented, I just made this, make this up.
[00:01:36] I think it was invented to create complex wave,
[00:01:40] oscillator shapes, basically complex oscillator shapes.
[00:01:47] And if you think about this, you have a wave table,
[00:01:49] which is like a wave sound and you scan through it.
[00:01:53] And you have a starting wave shape
[00:01:56] and you have an ending oscillator shape
[00:01:59] and then you scan or morph through different states
[00:02:03] of this shape.
[00:02:05] And sometimes you have multiple oscillator shapes
[00:02:09] inside this wave table and so on.
[00:02:11] So we have more, you have a broader range
[00:02:15] of oscillator shapes you can choose from.
[00:02:20] And this is perfectly fine when you basically,
[00:02:25] or maybe in inside Cubase or some other VST host
[00:02:29] where you have no other instruments
[00:02:32] or other possibilities to create interesting sounds.
[00:02:37] But inside Bitukea of the Polygrid, for instance,
[00:02:41] you can use different multiple oscillators,
[00:02:45] route them into each other and morph and twist oscillators.
[00:02:50] And you can create different oscillator shapes
[00:02:52] in all kinds of infinite possible directions.
[00:02:57] And you can create so interesting and so complex shapes
[00:03:05] already without wave table.
[00:03:08] Wave table synthesis actually is pretty constraining
[00:03:13] compared to what you have inside Bitukea
[00:03:18] of the oscillator possibilities.
[00:03:20] So I think you imprison yourself
[00:03:24] by stuck with the all our synthesis form.
[00:03:29] And it's actually not a good,
[00:03:33] it's not good to say what I said anyway.
[00:03:37] Yeah, nobody outside of your working environment
[00:03:43] would say, "Oh, well, you made this with zero.
[00:03:46] Please make it with the grid."
[00:03:48] Or vice versa, "You made this with the grid.
[00:03:51] I can hear it.
[00:03:52] Please use Serum.
[00:03:54] It sounds so much better
[00:03:55] when you actually use this completely distorted base sound
[00:04:00] inside Serum.
[00:04:01] It would sound so much better."
[00:04:02] Nobody would say that.
[00:04:05] It all comes down to how you want to sound
[00:04:11] and how you can achieve that sound.
[00:04:12] And for instance, I know a lot of people
[00:04:16] that switches gear all the time
[00:04:19] or use different work environments,
[00:04:21] use different samples and so on,
[00:04:23] but they are always sound the same.
[00:04:25] I can always say, "Yes, this is this producer.
[00:04:28] This is this artist and so on."
[00:04:31] It's astounding that they always come up with the same sound
[00:04:37] in different tools, in different samples.
[00:04:40] And yeah, they have basically all that matters
[00:04:45] is the result, what you hear
[00:04:47] and how you tweak it to fit that sound.
[00:04:50] For instance, when you have the sampler
[00:04:52] and use a wave table inside the sampler of Bitwig
[00:04:55] outside the grid,
[00:04:57] and you have this anti-aliasing that sounds horrible.
[00:05:00] Maybe, but if you make an acid track
[00:05:05] and you need distortion anyway at the end,
[00:05:09] it doesn't matter, right?
[00:05:11] So it depends on the context you use stuff, right?
[00:05:16] So yeah, that's what I want to say.
[00:05:20] Let it go.
[00:05:21] Don't be so obsessed with recreating
[00:05:24] different plugins inside Bitwig.
[00:05:27] It actually limits you
[00:05:29] because Bitwig itself is an instrument for me.
[00:05:33] It creates interesting stuff, try new stuff.
[00:05:39] If we have now a lot of people recreating stuff
[00:05:44] that we already know, it's good.
[00:05:48] I don't want to stop anyone from doing that.
[00:05:51] That's not my point.
[00:05:52] But when you are a musician and try something,
[00:05:55] try something new, just be playful
[00:05:57] and throw things together.
[00:06:00] This is basically like illegal.
[00:06:02] I don't know how to, an analogy for that.
[00:06:07] It's like, yeah, having a box of legal stones, bricks,
[00:06:15] legal bricks, and then building always the same car
[00:06:22] or the same stuff you already know.
[00:06:25] That's so limiting.
[00:06:26] Just try new stuff.
[00:06:29] So this was my intention, I think,
[00:06:34] for this video, let it go.
[00:06:37] The other thing would let it go is also with plugins.
[00:06:44] There are some plugins that try to recreate a real device.
[00:06:51] But I would say the majority of people
[00:06:54] don't know how the real device would sound.
[00:06:58] So like I creating a sound inside Bitwig.
[00:07:03] And then I use a compressor emulation,
[00:07:06] often real device compressor.
[00:07:08] But I don't know how this real compressor sound
[00:07:12] with this sound in this context.
[00:07:15] I don't know because I have,
[00:07:17] it doesn't have this real device in my studio.
[00:07:21] So I have to trust this emulation
[00:07:26] that it sounds correct, right?
[00:07:29] And you can say there's a difference
[00:07:34] when you use the same sound with the plugin
[00:07:38] and with the analog device,
[00:07:40] you can compare it and say,
[00:07:41] oh, well, this one sounds better than the other.
[00:07:44] But in the real world, you have such a comparison.
[00:07:47] You don't, you don't have it.
[00:07:49] It's basically just a made up example.
[00:07:53] That's not gonna happen.
[00:07:58] So nobody knows what you use in your working environment,
[00:08:02] only yourself.
[00:08:03] It's just for you to feel good,
[00:08:06] to have actually these,
[00:08:08] these real haptic interface here.
[00:08:13] And it looks like it turning a real knob
[00:08:16] and you have these analog meters here
[00:08:18] and it looks good, so it has to sound good.
[00:08:21] So it's more like for your brain that your brain feels good.
[00:08:25] But when I sent you a track and use this plug in here
[00:08:30] or this compressor, you couldn't,
[00:08:34] you can't distinguish what I used to where and why and how.
[00:08:39] So you can't say it.
[00:08:42] It's basically only for you, for you as a producer
[00:08:45] to feel good to have such a device inside your track.
[00:08:52] And I don't have to tell you about plug in here,
[00:08:56] where you go to different deals all the time,
[00:09:00] buying certain plugins, use it one or two times
[00:09:04] and then never again.
[00:09:06] And you basically collect a stockpile
[00:09:09] of thousands of plugins and you always say,
[00:09:12] "Wow, this sounds good."
[00:09:13] And I have to use this one this time.
[00:09:16] And this is nice for drums.
[00:09:19] Oh, this is great for distortion.
[00:09:21] This is not so great, but this sounds good on that.
[00:09:24] I think that's only in your brain.
[00:09:26] That's not really a real world.
[00:09:31] Yeah, it happens only in your brain for you to feel good.
[00:09:40] And sometimes that's good enough.
[00:09:43] It's okay.
[00:09:44] If you need something to feel good
[00:09:46] inside your working process, then do it.
[00:09:50] And what I want to make a point with this video
[00:09:54] about let it go sometimes, it's just in your brain
[00:09:58] and you can still use stuff inside Bitwig for instance
[00:10:03] and create pretty interesting complex sounds
[00:10:06] just by letting it go and play around with the stuff
[00:10:09] and be happy with the result.
[00:10:13] So that's my point about that.
[00:10:16] And yesterday I watched a video
[00:10:19] from someone who said,
[00:10:23] put a name on a workflow I did, I do for years now.
[00:10:28] And he called it iterative refinement.
[00:10:34] And by that he basically mean that you create drafts
[00:10:40] or start a track and you make a one hour
[00:10:43] or two hour session.
[00:10:44] And then you bounce it down to audio,
[00:10:48] save the project and then you go on with the live
[00:10:51] and maybe start a new draft and start a new draft,
[00:10:54] new song, new track, new sample session and so on.
[00:10:58] And weeks later you come back to that project
[00:11:02] and you hear your rendering and say,
[00:11:05] that was not so, it's a nice idea I had there.
[00:11:09] And what the drum sounds a bit not so right.
[00:11:14] So I have to correct the drums
[00:11:15] and then it will be maybe a nice track to finish, right?
[00:11:20] And I'm doing that for now for years
[00:11:24] that I basically on the week I pump out different drafts,
[00:11:29] small loops, completely, sometimes completely random.
[00:11:35] I go basically through all the genres,
[00:11:40] all styles of music and create stuff
[00:11:44] and save it in my rendering folder here.
[00:11:46] And weeks later I come back,
[00:11:51] listen to it and maybe I finish it.
[00:11:54] And this tracks for example,
[00:12:06] I put a lot of different patterns.
[00:12:10] Like you know, when you create a song,
[00:12:12] you have an intro and you have a little part
[00:12:14] and end part and something more.
[00:12:17] So I have put all these different stuff
[00:12:22] into a small space.
[00:12:24] So it's more like sometimes what I create
[00:12:28] is more like a sample library for a track.
[00:12:31] So I can go in, scrap out all the parts I really like,
[00:12:36] build something new or just polish some sounds
[00:12:42] and just stretch out the arrangement or something like that.
[00:12:45] And you always have something you can start
[00:12:50] or you can advance from.
[00:12:52] So you never have a blank page.
[00:12:54] But sometimes you feel like,
[00:12:57] oh, I need a blank page and I create something,
[00:13:00] but I have already two tracks, I have to finish them.
[00:13:03] So you go completely against your mood basically
[00:13:08] and push yourself to finish something
[00:13:13] you don't want to finish at the moment.
[00:13:16] So don't feel bad about having much, much started tracks.
[00:13:21] For me, I kind of started to appreciate that
[00:13:27] and create multiple small, small drafts and loops
[00:13:32] I can advance from someday later.
[00:13:37] It's not a bad thing, I think.
[00:13:40] What you have to do at least is to finish something
[00:13:45] at some point, it doesn't matter how long it takes,
[00:13:48] but that's another thing I want to talk about now
[00:13:52] is it's also about let it go.
[00:13:56] This is also about let it go, just make what your mood says
[00:14:01] it's right at the moment.
[00:14:02] So if you want to make a loop, do a loop and so on.
[00:14:07] Another thing about let it go is with sounds,
[00:14:14] make decisions, I see a lot of people that want to have
[00:14:17] the VST and the MIDI file as long as possible
[00:14:23] till the end of a project in their project
[00:14:26] because they want to tweak it later on.
[00:14:28] So you'll start like tweaking all the stuff,
[00:14:32] but music happens in a contextual way.
[00:14:37] So when you change the bass, the drums doesn't sound right.
[00:14:43] So you tweak the drums, then the bass is wrong again.
[00:14:46] You tweak again the bass
[00:14:47] and you can do this for weeks, right?
[00:14:50] So you have to make a decision.
[00:14:51] These are now my drums.
[00:14:53] Now I tweak the bass and that's it.
[00:14:56] So a lot of these things are also about making decisions.
[00:15:01] And that's also about let it go.
[00:15:07] Make sounds as good as possible for you,
[00:15:12] then let it go, bounce it down, delete the MIDI file,
[00:15:17] the VST file just for the learning process
[00:15:21] and then try to create stuff with that, but you have.
[00:15:27] And if you don't like a baseline or something,
[00:15:29] then delete it and make another baseline
[00:15:32] just from scratch, make just a better one, right?
[00:15:36] So if something sounds bad,
[00:15:37] delete it and make just a better one.
[00:15:40] And it's also a training to create something.
[00:15:43] And it's a process to learn, to let go certain stuff,
[00:15:47] make decisions.
[00:15:49] And that's basically 90% of working
[00:15:55] or creating tracks is these brain things
[00:15:59] like making decisions and letting stuff go.
[00:16:03] And all the rest is basically just,
[00:16:08] it doesn't matter so much what you use.
[00:16:11] You can make use with an Casio keyboard
[00:16:14] or you can take a guitar and make a complete track
[00:16:18] out of it, you can play drums on the guitar,
[00:16:20] you can make music with everything.
[00:16:23] The device doesn't matter, it's just all in your head.
[00:16:27] Use what you have, make decisions and let it go.
[00:16:33] And I think I'm closing this video here
[00:16:35] because I can talk about that for hours
[00:16:38] because it's like a bit like philosophy.
[00:16:42] And I would say I'm not always right
[00:16:47] with all my points I made,
[00:16:49] but I want to give some ideas for thoughts.
[00:16:54] So thanks for watching
[00:16:57] and I'll see you again in the next video, bye.
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