5 Tips for Music production beginners : Monolog

Danish artist mads lindgren aka monolog is a traveller in sound both figuratively and across the European continent, working intensely in the studio and on stage and taking care of various jobs in the audio industry. The musical activities started as a guitar player in various metal bands in the 90’s, but with distinct reference to the jazz guitar he grew up with. this combination resulted in an aggressive sound with complex harmonic structures, continuing into experiments in modern jazz with the vestbirk noiz ensemble playing kitchen utensils, power drills, ping pong balls and Akai samplers.

In 1999 he gave birth to monolog, a solo project coloured by the sound of his prior sonic endeavours, but adding an distinct experimental angle to his music production. At the same time gaining experience as a drum’n’bass dj he drew references to this in his musical scapes and structures through a series of clashes with extreme noise, idm, metal and jazz.

Later he moved to berlin where he still resides, performing numerous live shows both in Berlin and as far away as China, Russia and most of the European continent.

Mads lindgren’s monolog project is constantly changing, aiming for extremities and seeking them musically, technically and emotionally. whether it is hammering the drums or creating soothing harmonies, these musical poles are given life by intense binding of contrasts. Recent albums can be summed up as steps towards a harder, more dense and direct form that is new and yet unheard to the monolog alias. a staggering combination of ferocious intensity and atmospheric moments built on a flashing kaleidoscope of sonic facets between slow, steamrolling dub attacks and razor sharp drum’n’bass blasts. Signified by being brilliantly produced and carefully composed offering dense overwhelming walls of forging beats, thundering bass drones, majestic keyboard lines and well-integrated samples.

Q.How to choose the DAW that suits me?

The main goal of choosing a DAW or any type of technical equipment that supports your creativity is to find gear that is as transparent as possible. By that I mean equipment that is not a conscious element between your imagination and how the sound comes out and how the track sounds. Find a DAW where do you not think about the concepts of the daw but simply sit down and act creatively without thinking about how the DAW works. That said, there will be a learning curve from starting a new DAW and being able to create music intuitively. Find a DAW where the learning curve is the shortest, this is probably the DAW that supports your way of thinking the best,

I have used many different DAWS, Fast tracker, Cubase, and Ableton Live and I stuck with Ableton Live. Since I use a lot of external hardware (both effects and synthesizers) both setting up and syncing to external devices is very easy. Once the material is recorded I do like the plasticity and the flexibility of wiring am manipulating both audio and midi material that is one of the key points when you wish to design new sounds and also define your niche as an artist.

Download demo versions of all daws, try them out and see what suits you the best.

Q.What should I get next after buying a DAW?

A strong computer (lots of memory and CPU), Sound card and speakers if you have a space where you can use volume or headphones if you can’t be loud. That is the order of purchase. 

Q.What is the practice method of making songs?

Start with making a lot of mistakes, and allow yourself to make mistakes. Most importantly, learn from your mistakes as you go along. And make sure you dont repeat your successes but force yourself to always cover new ground and find new processes of working. Be just as constructive as your are reconstructive. Love the journey and the process, not the realist of your work.

Spend time exploring, like pick a VST you wish to learn, try all the buttons in the interface and try to understand what it does. Plece the VST in a DAW, try as many options in the daw and try to figure out what it does. This way your build an understanding of how to make sound instead of mechanically mapping of how to obtain certain results.

At this point you have learned your tools, and now you can start to dream. Imagine all the music that isn’t made, listen to your inner ear and what kind of music you would like to hear right now. Since you now know the tools a bit to sculpt this imagination sit down and try to give your vision a shape and realise your dream as it sounds. With time, you know your tools better, you capacity for imagination will increase and the difference between what you imagine and how it sounds will become be more that same. 

Q.What is your recommended Sample Pack (commercially available) or FREE material?

Dont use other peoples samples or presets. Spend the time creating your own stuff as described above. If you create your own material the sound will be yours and nobody else’s. If you understand how you created these things you will also own the process of redefining your own sound. Then you are not relying on other people to deliver samples or preset that sparks your creativity. This way you are in control of your sound, your process and your creativity, which is in my opinion something all musicians should strive for.

Q.How to keep enjoy music production?

Find out why you are doing it.. Is it because you wish to become famous or rich, and you like performing in front of people?, Is it because there is something inside of you that wants to find a way out?, is it a way of dealing with emotions and situations you can’t process with words and in conversation?, Is it because you have ideas of music that is unheard of and you wish to make music that is not yet made?.

Dare asking yourself such questions and the more honest you answer the better you can find a way to enjoy what you are doing. If you want to be rich, maybe you should find something else to do. If it is because you have visions of music, be happy for your contribution. If it is because of a means of communication, be proud of your will to communicate in your own defined language conveying emotions that can’t be talked about.

I think that is the first part of being happy being a musician.

Secondly I find happiness in being frustrated with a technical problem for instance, and when I manage to solve this problem and learn something new. So a pendulum between frustration and success is also very much a part of my happiness. 

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