While the end seems to be in sight for many of us, a significant portion of the world is still under different levels of Covid restrictions. Night clubs are closed and social interactions are limited, and while being locked inside can seem like a dream for most producers, it does come with its downsides. Being in the same environment for an extended period of time with little change can have a detrimental effect on your creativity, so it’s vital to do as many things as you can to stay inspired. We’ve put together some tips on ways for you to stay creative.
GET A NEW SYNTH/PLUGIN
A great way to spark creativity is to get a cool new synth or plugin. It can be a new piece of hardware, a digital synth, reverb plugin, compressor, funky delay plugin…anything really. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it can even be free, just as long as it’s something new! We all know getting something new is exciting, and while you’re exploring your new plugin, you’ll start thinking of clever ways to use it, and automatically creative ideas will start popping into your head!
SWITCH UP YOUR APPROACH
We all have our own unique approach to creating ideas. Some of us start by laying down a groovy drum beat, while others prefer to get down some lush chords first. There’s also producers who like to get down the lead melody first and build the track around that. There is no right or wrong approach, however if you feel your creative juices slowly depleting it’s worth trying to switch up your approach. If you like to put down the chords first, try to start by getting a cool drumbeat going instead. By doing this you will be more focused on the different elements in a drum kit, as there is nothing else in the track yet, and this will almost certainly spark creativity. As a bonus it’ll improve your production abilities too!
WRITE TO ACAPELLAS
Vocals are the ultimate catalyst for creativity. There are just so many things you can do with vocals. Download a nice acapella, maybe the acapella from one of your favorite songs, or just something random. Import the vocals into a new project file, match the tempo, figure out the right key, and start jamming. Lay down some chords and add a beat and you’re already on your way. You can even adjust the tempo to speed up the vocal or chop it up and create some dazzling vocal chops. If you’ve picked the right vocal, your creativity will be running over time!
Watching tutorials, live production streams, or even listening to podcasts can be a good way to take a short break from producing and gain some new production knowledge. Not only does it help you become better at producing, you’ll also be learning new techniques and new little tips and tricks that you didn’t know about before. And off course the natural response to learning a neat new technique is to want to try it out yourself! Implementing these new tricks into your own productions will surely elevate your creativity!
TRY NEW TECHNIQUES
This one kind of ties in with the previous one, but it’s important, and doesn’t necessarily have to stem from watching tutorials. Whichever DAW or plugins you use to create your music, there’s a million…maybe even more than a billion different ways to create and alter the sounds coming through the speakers. If you’re in a creative slum, spend an hour or so just trying out random things, adding distortion, reverbs, delays to tracks that shouldn’t even have those plugins, using the craziest most extreme settings you can imagine. While this is extremely fun to do, you’ll also get some really interesting results and might discover unique techniques or tricks that you can implement into your productions.
TAKE A BREAK
Sometimes the best way to stay creative is to take a break from producing to recharge your creativity. Close your laptop and do something completely unrelated to music! Read a nice book, watch your favourite TV show, go for a walk around the block, or a fun bike ride. Anything that helps you clear your head and take your mind off of music for a couple of hours. Then when you get back to your studio you’ll be ready to smash it!