Often I find myself stuck in a situation where I don't know how to proceed. Doesn't really matter if in a DAW or eg. LSDj.

For example: I have a loop that I like, but then… what? I often struggle with getting out of that loop. Maybe I've heard that loop so often that everything I try, sounds "wrong". What are your tricks and go-to methods if you find yourself in such a situation to get out of a block, arrangement issues etc.

Just the slightest modulation of Wav or pulse width mod can spice up the next loop your looking to make . Try and make the next loop more Spicy. Try an F command in the wave channel for a quick synth frame change

Break down. Cry. Seriously though,  remove elements. Make space. Delete notes to let some silence peek through the curtain. Sometimes a breakdown to just a kick and a snare roll nudges me in a mew direction.
Leave everything the same, but change instruments slightly. Like a bass line that sustains less each cycle.
Arpeggiate the stuff that sustains. 
Stay on one note and just rhythmically beat the crap out of it.
Variations of the loop. Instead of dun dun dun, give it a touch of dundun duh dun, and go back to the loop.
Stop. Do something else totally. Sleep on it. Let some time pass. Then one day you'll rediscover it and you'll be in a different phase of your own cycle. Then maybe you'll see it from a different perspective. A fresh, mew take on it.

Invert chord progressions. Cover a song you hate. Do the loop at half tempo.

Make another loop with  the same sounds. Or, how about this: don't loop it. Construct each new pattern by ear. Don't copy/paste any patterns. And don't sit there listening to it forever.

Last edited by breakphase (Apr 13, 2017 8:33 pm)

Make up a few verses of goofy lyrics, add a new tune to the second verse and then forget all the lyrics. Maybe that will mix it up a bit.

Learn music composition

Jazzmarazz wrote:

Make up a few verses of goofy lyrics, add a new tune to the second verse and then forget all the lyrics. Maybe that will mix it up a bit.

That's pretty creative!

Minimal tech advice: Embrace it. Don't be afraid of making slowly evolving loop based music. Slightly iterate on each repetition. Remove/add/mutate an element one note at a time.

Prog advice: Smash cut to a completely different key, time signature, tempo, or all of the above. Even to something that sounds like it should be a totally different song. Then, figure out how you would go about getting back to the original loop, or a variation thereof. I do this all the time in my prog stuff and it helps me every time.

Other: Eno's Oblique Strategies are good for times like this:
Often it gives seemingly unrelated advice but I've always been able to take something from it.

breakphase wrote:

don't sit there listening to it forever.

This is also good advice!

Thanks everyone! That's been really good and helpful advice so far!

I've started putting some blank bars at the end of the loop, so that I can imagine what it leads into instead of getting used to it repeating.

Don't try to have the perfect loop with too many structure.
If you find the perfect loop, and I think you find it many times, you won't be able to move from this perfect one.

So make a simple loop with not too many stuff, go to the next one, the next one, again and again. Then try to solve moving previous to the next. There will be trash loop, and you will not use them, no problem.
Stop working only on "one loop", you overthink...

one strategy i tried with great results was to start an entirely new section before the loop. then, try to work on ways to build a bridge from that section to the loop. sometimes an abrupt change is a really cool way to take things in an unexpected new direction

SketchMan3 wrote:

Learn music composition



also filters

Last edited by Alpine (Apr 15, 2017 10:53 am)

My experienced advice: Save the loop, leave it alone for a while and start something new. You may come back to it months or years later or you may not. I've got plenty of loops that have never seen the light of day and some still may one day... That's not to say you haven't learnt something or been inspired somehow by creating that loop - just because the loop isn't a finish track yet doesn't mean it was a waste of time. Not everything you create has to become a released track.

I shift the bass around when I'm stuck, which works especially well for differentiating new sections and melodies tend to write themselves over an interesting bassline, or progression in the least (ex: I always try to start on a new note from the previous section). From there, I change up the drums which helps with melodies since you'll be working with different rythmns, plus it'll pull you out of the mindset of a previous loop.