Hey👋. I was scrolling down my tracks list on soundcloud and I noticed something perculiar. All my tracks sound hella generic. So that arose the question. How do you make your songs sound unique? For example, the jaw dropping intro that is @Southborne or the nearly 890 wubs that is @Produk Singularity. And all the other artists that when you hear their tracks, instantly, you know who wrote them. This is what I whant to achieve. The instant recognition and appreciation of people knowing who this song belongs to when your only a few seconds in. All my tracks sound just as same as the others. And I want to change that.
So I ask you again, how do you make your songs unique?
This is called finding your voice, and it could take a long, long time to do it. You’re gonna write a lot of tracks, you’re probably going to write a few different styles until you finally click into your sound. There’s a few people around here who are recognizable immediately (Goxenar comes to mind, Xavior).
Thinking about more well known groups, I can always pick out an Odesza track. They always use this shimmery arp sound. Ratatat is another one I know from a mile away - that overdriven synth/guitar sound in almost every track. Lymbyc Systym always uses what to me sound like 7th chords. The Album Leaf makes heavy heavy use of a Rhodes.
Part of it is having a signature sound, be it an actual sound, or just a motif - the other part is having consistent composition. Trying to stick to one genre helps too, or at least having an overarching theme. If one day you release a future bass track and then the next you do drum and bass it’s going to be a little confusing and you’re not giving yourself the chance to hone your craft really (not that experimenting in different genres isn’t valuable, but I feel you’re better served taking the elements you like from a genre and owning them rather than trying to emulate “awesome EDM song 49”).
That’s pretty much how production works. Nothing’s technically “Original”. It’s all inspired by someone/something else, But if you take it and put your own spin on it (essentially remix their style), then that’s when you make something new, not generic, and unique like what George Lucas did with Star Wars
Im still trying to find where i sit there myself in terms of my music (i feel like i change my style ever 2 tracks i release other than them all being around 4mins long lol), but i know where i should be headed and am trying to direct myself there.
They’ve always been one of my favorites! Memories that you Call is still one of my favorite songs I have on repeat. I saw them play in San Diego a couple years ago. Chet Porter opened for them who is also another one of my favorites. He’s been working hard on a lot of new stuff for a while and I am really excited for it. I always make sure to go to shows where he plays. I saw him play in Philadelphia with San Holo for album 1 your, and I’ll see him this summer at Red Rocks for San Holos Red Rocks 1. Another favorite of mine is also playing there, Shallou. I saw him in Toronto and Japanese Wallpaper opened for him. My song “i stay up too late” is inspired from Shallou’s style a little bit.
I’ll also add here, you know you’ve found your voice when no matter what software you use, what apps, what instruments, the overall VIBE is the same. It took me a long, long time to get to that point, maybe about six or seven years. No matter what name I choose, no matter what software I use, the overall feeling is always the same. And it’s not good or bad, some people will like it, some people won’t. And that’s ok it’s about self discovery and just enjoying what you do.
I’ve struggled to find my musical voice for a while. I’d say that sometimes I struggle to keep it… But it’s really all about continuing to make songs sound like you want them to sound. Sure, you can mimic a sound that you like, but eventually add new ideas that you came up with yourself, and you’ll bring everything in a new direction.
if you really want to stand out, try using concepts that you like and make them a key component to your song. if your songs are recognizable enough, people will go “that’s the guy with the same drums every song” or “that guy has the same chord progression every song”. think of alan walker, for example. he uses the same instrument and drums but is famous enough that that’s what he’s known for. take hyper potions; their drums are pretty much the same in every song. point is, find something that stands out to you and make it stand out further. make your songs follow similar formulas.