What's new

Hired to write a style you dislike/don't care about?

Denkii

Active Member
And before you know it, your next banger will be a 4 to the floor aria because of what you can take away from this job.
 

Beluga

Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean
It only works the other way around. Especially when it's dumbstep etc.
Dubstep is actually pretty friggin' cool and I'm saying that coming from a classical education. Think it's beneath your high standards? Try knocking out some razor sharp synth sounds ultra aggressive from scratch. Good luck!
 

givemenoughrope

Senior Member
Dubstep is actually pretty friggin' cool and I'm saying that coming from a classical education. Think it's beneath your high standards? Try knocking out some razor sharp synth sounds ultra aggressive from scratch. Good luck!
I mean there is no question that dubstep isn’t easy to make. (I got to the third round of rewrites for a Mountain Dew commercial...and then crickets...more like tinnitus.) But it’s more about production tricks, fm, digital saturation and extreme limiting. Oh, and making the most annoying sound you’ve ever heard. I say this as someone who also studied/studies music and listens to dub (similar in name only) everyday...and still the occasional drum and bass, jungle (they used to call it ‘jungle’ and they are again) and whatever else. I really should have collaborated with someone else on it.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Dubstep is actually pretty friggin' cool and I'm saying that coming from a classical education. Think it's beneath your high standards? Try knocking out some razor sharp synth sounds ultra aggressive from scratch. Good luck!
Don't know if it's beneath my high standards. What I do know is that it's a bunch of ridiculous sounding garbage. Besides, isn't Dubstep totally 2014, and thus ancient?
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I can't think of a single style that I would actually "hate" working on. Now listening is a different thing, I detest listening to country music and rap. But I could easily become enthralled into trying to write some, why not...its a musical challenge and its all music and at that point its all fun to work on...the word "hate" would not enter.

That being said, certain styles, I realize I will not ever be able to convincingly do without forming more of a "love" for it and spending many thousands of hours perfecting it. Dubstep is a great example. I don't love it enough to spend so much time becoming a dubstep wizard. I don't hate it. I can't listen to it all day long, but I certainly do listen to it sometimes and marvel at what they are doing with soft synths and DAW's to produce those textures. But the engineering and producing skills required to do it well, require a certain commitment that I am not interested in. If I needed to add convincing and compelling dubstep to a film or something, I would absolutely try to get the help of a real dubstep master. That particular style definitely does require a high degree of expertise to be truly convincing, though these days you could easily layer some sampled bits here or there to give a dubstepy flavor to something else. (shrug)

I could probably get away with doing a country thing if I put my mind to it, but simply put, there are country masters that would do it a lot better because they love it and breath it every day and they would nuance that I would not bring without also learning to love it more. Same goes for Rap, maybe more so.

So what is the point? Well don't hate music! There is nothing to hate about any of it. But also there is something to be said for the fact that you kind of need to love a certain style or genre in order to make something truly compelling with it, otherwise it will most likely sound contrived.
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
So if the money is right, just find some people to collaborate with. Splitting a nice sync fee to land a gig is worth it. You get to dabble in something new, you find someone else to work with for future projects, and you give the client what they want.

Why try to put in 100% effort for a mediocre result when you can put in 50% and get a great result? Sometimes you have to think like a businessperson instead of a composer/musician. The client feels no shame hiring you to do a job. So why should you feel bad by outsourcing a portion of the work? Client only wants the end product. It’s a job after all.
 
OP
EgM

EgM

Game music!
So if the money is right, just find some people to collaborate with. Splitting a nice sync fee to land a gig is worth it. You get to dabble in something new, you find someone else to work with for future projects, and you give the client what they want.

Why try to put in 100% effort for a mediocre result when you can put in 50% and get a great result? Sometimes you have to think like a businessperson instead of a composer/musician. The client feels no shame hiring you to do a job. So why should you feel bad by outsourcing a portion of the work? Client only wants the end product. It’s a job after all.
I almost did it, but the current contract and lack of time would cause too many problems. But I will definitely do it next time. :)
 

Beluga

Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean
I agree that "not hating" a general music style (but seeing it as an opportunity to grow and discover) OR collaborating are the best ways to go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EgM

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Life's to short not to hate.

Seriously - it's not as if one sits around and goes: let me pick a musical style for me to hate. It's just a natural reaction a person has. Don't you have that? Some stuff smells disgusting, some sounds drive you up a wall, etc. That's normal.

For me, it seems that when people arrange sounds in a certain way, the result can make me feel really uncomfortable, irritated or angry. Dumbstep is a good example. Actually pretty much all "electronic music". EDM and fucking synths, it all sucks. HipHop is another thing. It's disgusting.

A tongue drum on the other hand always makes me smile, for no particular reason. It's just a reaction.
 

Henu

Senior Member
I came to read this topic due to having been in this situation for most of my career- in fact, tackling this is what's making us the professionals we are, if you ask me. Of course we do our own preferred styles the best, but one of the very important aspects of the job is to be able to do whatever needed. And personally, I love to learn more new stuff every day. You don't want to eat pizza for every meal either!

However, this
Yep, EDM, Rap and modern Pop are the genres that drive me to drink. But it's my job, gotta be professional and all that crap. ;)
was something that cracked me up loud. Ironically enough, just a year ago I was in a situation I needed to make EDM, Rap and a modern Pop song for a certain project. I am in no way a "modern producer" nor I don't do any of these styles voluntarily. My skills and tendencies are more in the cinematic and quirky, cartoonish and dark orchestral/ ethnic stuff and pretty much anything that involves either vocals or loops is not really my cup of tea- especially for what it comes to so-called "modern" music.

I took it as a fun challenge for both composing and production, because they were all meant to fit a certain context and a have a lot of tongue-in-cheek with them. I just needed to make them sound believable, but in a context that is completely fucked up. The game has a lot of bad humour, so the more we could include that into the music, the better. As I'm not a lead singer per se, we had quite a blast with a co-worker doing the mumbling rap and my awesome friend (and the only hired musician for this project) providing the female vocal parts. Everything else was performed by yours truly (with a couple of adlib vocal lines from my son) with some additional percussions and background mumblings from a colleague. And I wouldn't post these here if I wasn't somehow, in a very perverted way, kind of proud of these. :D

If you're interested to hear how they came out to be, here is the result.

EDM:

RAP:

POP:
 

Beluga

Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean
Life's to short not to hate.

Seriously - it's not as if one sits around and goes: let me pick a musical style for me to hate. It's just a natural reaction a person has. Don't you have that? Some stuff smells disgusting, some sounds drive you up a wall, etc. That's normal.

For me, it seems that when people arrange sounds in a certain way, the result can make me feel really uncomfortable, irritated or angry. Dumbstep is a good example. Actually pretty much all "electronic music". EDM and fucking synths, it all sucks. HipHop is another thing. It's disgusting.

A tongue drum on the other hand always makes me smile, for no particular reason. It's just a reaction.
Well, if you hate that music so much you shouldn't indeed write it. I personally don't hate any music style. I don't care much for hip-hop but there are still some artists I enjoy very much, same goes for any other style. I had to write a hip-hop track for a trailer, the client had it requested by his producer and even he was unsure about the idea of using hip-hop. I told him it was a great idea and took it as a challenge, poked around in what I enjoyed most in hip-hop tracks, listened to some artists I enjoy and the client loved it. Sure it's not reinventing the genre but it's still a pretty cool track. So what? Blocked my career path forever now? Sold my soul for a nice budget?

I think broadening your musical horizon is beneficial if you open up to it. If you think everything is crap it's not such a great ground to learn how to appreciate a new musical style. Every style has endless variations you can navigate.

I'd be curious to know if you are making a living from music? I do and have been for quite a while and IME it is rare that you will only get hired for what you enjoy most/do best.

It's however of course and I agree with this a great solution to collaborate and I have done this as well a lot in the past with great results. It has its own challenges though. It's often not as simple as passing along a deal and getting the music back. :D
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EgM

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I'd be curious to know if you are making a living from music?
No, certainly not. If I gave up my other venture, I couldn't get by just with doing music. That's key here - it was very important to me to not have to rely on making music. I'm in a great spot I never would be in if I invested the same amount of sacrifice and energy in building a full time music thing instead. It just doesn't add up.

When I look at some of my former fellow uni classmates how they scramble to get the chance to do another one of those corporate explainer videos ... I'd be miserable. I have the feeling that if I relied on music 100%, I'd grow to hate it eventually and that thought terrifies me. My karate instructor is kinda the same. Dude is a highly ranked expert and lives and breathes the stuff. But the dojo is a non-profit association with a small member count and always will be, because in his eyes, that's the only way how you can do true karate. He's a big-time auditor by profession. Couldn't do his main gig either, but it works for him.

I guess a big part of it truly is whether your livelihood really depends on always making music. If it does, learning to appreciate all kinds of music and becoming competent in them certainly climbs the ladder as far as priorities go. My plate is full. I don't see the benefit of making myself like something I genuinely dislike. In German, there's the term "schönhören". It basically means "making yourself listen to something until you believe you like it". That kinda seems to be the vibe here, a little bit.

The next thing I got lined up, I have a solid 4 months to get done, budget is there, should be fun, and the pay is justifiable. Now we're talking. Any time it's not like that - go talk to someone who has no choice. That's how I look at it and I like to have that kind of liberty.
 

ehrenebbage

New Member
At first, I was embarrassed to try styles that weren't in my wheelhouse. Then I realized that my wheelhouse was a tiny little shack and if I was going to make a living I'd better add some new rooms. Once I started doing it I realized how much fun it is to spend a week or two digging in to something totally outside my comfort zone. I genuinely love most music and it felt liberating to get paid to learn and explore, with no real concern for how it might reflect on me as an 'artist'. I started to think of myself as more of a craftsman than an artist and decided that if someone asked me to build them a table I'd try my best, whether I'd never built one before or I'd already built hundreds of them.

I cringe when I listen to some of the work I've done. It's absolutely awful, and I sometimes wonder if I made the wrong choice to generalize instead of specialize. Ultimately, I think my willingness to try is one of the things that has kept me employed...I'm certainly not the best at anything, but the folks who hire me know that their requests will be met with genuine enthusiasm and I think that's why they keep coming back.
 

jmauz

Active Member
So why not collaborate with people who do those genres?
If there's time and budget, I do. Which means almost never (see below).

pays better in many cases.
Interesting. So far in my experience all clients I've had who ask for contemporary styles almost never have much of a budget. Well scratch that. I was involved in one project for a very prominent modern pop singer (hint: her name is a font) but there were about 10 other producers so the decent budget they had was split up too much to make it worth my time. Not to mention how difficult everyone was to work with. And of course it was a buyout.

Conversely almost all of the orchestral work I do pays very well. If I didn't know how to orchestrate my composing career would be going nowhere fast financially.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EgM

givemenoughrope

Senior Member
I came to read this topic due to having been in this situation for most of my career- in fact, tackling this is what's making us the professionals we are, if you ask me. Of course we do our own preferred styles the best, but one of the very important aspects of the job is to be able to do whatever needed. And personally, I love to learn more new stuff every day. You don't want to eat pizza for every meal either!

However, this


was something that cracked me up loud. Ironically enough, just a year ago I was in a situation I needed to make EDM, Rap and a modern Pop song for a certain project. I am in no way a "modern producer" nor I don't do any of these styles voluntarily. My skills and tendencies are more in the cinematic and quirky, cartoonish and dark orchestral/ ethnic stuff and pretty much anything that involves either vocals or loops is not really my cup of tea- especially for what it comes to so-called "modern" music.

I took it as a fun challenge for both composing and production, because they were all meant to fit a certain context and a have a lot of tongue-in-cheek with them. I just needed to make them sound believable, but in a context that is completely fucked up. The game has a lot of bad humour, so the more we could include that into the music, the better. As I'm not a lead singer per se, we had quite a blast with a co-worker doing the mumbling rap and my awesome friend (and the only hired musician for this project) providing the female vocal parts. Everything else was performed by yours truly (with a couple of adlib vocal lines from my son) with some additional percussions and background mumblings from a colleague. And I wouldn't post these here if I wasn't somehow, in a very perverted way, kind of proud of these. :D

If you're interested to hear how they came out to be, here is the result.

EDM:

RAP:

POP:
Modern music geniuzzzzz right here ^^^

You may have dethroned Ween, my friend

 
Top Bottom