These are five mistakes I made when starting with synthesizer music production. I hope this list will help you to avoid some problems.
Buying too much hardware
After fiddling with VCV rack for a while I thought it was time for the real deal. And so I started with my newly bought Doepfer A-100 modular system. Was it fun playing? Yes, of course! Would I buy it again? Not so sure.
My problem was, that I bought so much more hardware right after the A-100: The Mother 32, a Digitone, the Digitakt, the OP-1, the Minilogue XD, and lots of beautiful modules.
I bought so many modules that there is almost none of the original A-100 modules left in my rack. That is why I wouldn’t buy the A-100 again.
Problem: I bought new hardware without thoroughly learning any of the pieces I had purchased before. That left me with many hardware synths I barely know how to use.
Solution: Buy one by one. Learn one Synth first then move on to the next (if you really need one more).
Expecting early results
In my inexperienced hands, the Doepfer A-100 was nothing more but an expensive fart sound generator. I had no clue but a lot of fun.
Anyways I started recording my work, uploading it to Soundcloud and Youtube. And I didn’t get much response. Why? Because it wasn’t that good.
Problem: I thought I was good and I wanted some appreciation.
Solution: Next time I take more time to learn before putting out my music.
Always wanting to create a full song
I always feel the urge to record jams and songs and publish them. Maybe it is because I paid a lot of money for the hardware and I want to justify these expenses. Or maybe it is because I’m always in publishing mode? (This is why I have this blog 😉 ).
Problem: Feeling the urge to create and upload each jam and song.
Solution: Just jam and play for fun. This is a bit tough for me.
Not taking time to play and learn
This problem kind of relates to the first three mistakes. I was too busy buying synths and putting out music that I forgot actually to learn how to play the instruments.
Problem: I didn’t take time to really learn to play my synths.
Solution: Buy only a new synth when you really know the synths you already use.
Caring about listeners
This sounds cynical. But I actually do not care about listeners anymore. When starting out with synths this is counterproductive.
Problem: Making music for an audience kills the learning experience and the creativity while learning.
Solution: Create music for yourself only when starting with synths. Don’t listen to critics and set your inner critic on mute. You can change that later on your synth journey. Of course constructive criticism is good – but for me personally not at an early stage of learning new stuff.