How do you get to know your libraries?


Senior Member
This is a loaded but perhaps a simple question. On one hand we all learn a little bit differently, for example, some of us are more visual, some like to read manuals, and others just like to dig in and tinker. Despite those differences I do think there is actually a formula that works and I learned it from a book I read recently called "The Talent Code" (I have no affiliation by the way). Essentially this author traveled for 2 years I think visiting people and places where some of the best Talents were brought up or taught etc... and what he found was actually pretty cool. I think it's well worth a read but I'll break it down into a few important things that I found the most useful. It's not rocket science, it's basically how we all learned as children.

1. Observe - find a walk through and/or tutorial (even a paid one if available) and study it closely.
2. copy (he actually calls it "steal" in his book) the techniques you see. I think this is where the Mockup suggestions are great advice. If you want to be the best then copy/steal techniques from the best. The author found that some of the best Athletes would copy/steal the techniques from their favorite Idols until they got it perfect. They wouldn't try and do their own thing but rather try to mimic as closely as possible, the person they were trying to learn from.
3. Break it down into chunks. It's better to practice one technique really well in a short period over and over than to practice all the steps at once. Focused practice is far more effective than a long practice. For example, there is one prestigious music school that would cut up the sheet music into bars for the students and stick it in their bag. The student would then pick out the cut piece of music at random and that was what they played and practiced that day until they got it perfect, then they would pick out another, at random and so on and so forth. They never just played through the entire piece and didn't really even know the beginning from the end. Once they got back to class, they would go through the whole thing and they found the students knew the music much more intimately. Each bar/chunk of the music was treated as if it was its own song and forced the student to play it as such allowing them to focus more on each note in the bar. Most great Talent, perhaps all, spend most of their time perfecting certain tasks over and over as opposed to working on the whole action. That eventually must be done as well but when you break it up into chunks you get a chance to hyper focus on each task with precision which then makes it easier to combine everything into one large sum.
4. Push yourself and be willing to fail. Don't make excuses to not work on music or skip out on your practice time. Stick to it and keep it regular. As you push yourself to try new things (in this case with your newly purchased VST's) you are going to mess it up but that's how you learn. A toddlers first steps don't last very long and yet he/she keeps getting up til he or she gets it right. A famous hockey player was known to constantly fall and make a fool of himself during practice because he was always pushing himself to try new things but did he care? No, and neither did anyone else because he was known to be a the best at what he did.

After these steps you rinse rather and repeat. Repetition is the key. There are a lot more steps (actually 15 I think) that I didn't explain here and like I said it's worth reading, and believe me I'm one to be skeptical about these best seller, self help, Ted Talk type of books but this one actually struck me as something truly valid.

I think we all will notice that anytime we perfected something we kind of did these steps anyways but it helps to spell them out and organize the process a bit in our minds or on paper so that we can repeat them again and again.
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Active Member
I go through every patch, and then save the best into the relevant template where I imagine to use it. If there is an option, I also save some sounds as faves. From there on I guess it has to stand the test of (use) time.