Defining The Box You Can Play In.

June 25, 2017

Goodness. Ever have those days where words just come out of you in an utter random order? Like, not even an actual sentence?

And no, I don’t have a hangover!
It’s just old age people. Just old age.

Kidding. Not THAT old.

Let’s just blame the humidity here in Singapore instead (this works for any problem in fact).


What I had INTENDED to share with you in today’s video, and which didn’t quite come out, is that I’m working with a set of intentional “limitations” this month to create my new song.

I’ve done this before and it’s a really fun way to both challenge myself, as well as be creative within a specific set of boundaries.

The way I’ve done this is by working with a song template from Abletunes.

At Abletunes they create fully arranged, mixed and mastered songs that you can open in Ableton to learn exactly how they were made. You can see how the instruments were layered, what parts they’re playing, which FX were used, which automation was applied and so on.

And then, you can tear the whole thing apart and use the sounds for your own projects in any way you like. Super cool.

And nope, me no worky for them 🙂 I’m just happy that there are so many cool resources out there to learn from.

In the past week, I spent a lot of time analyzing one of the projects I bought and had a ton of tiny and capslock “AHA’s” about how I can make things sound better in the future. Really fun!

After analyzing the project, I removed all the programming (all the midi parts) and created my own song within the template. Or in other words, I used the sounds that were already in the project but created an entirely new tune WITH those sounds.

I love doing little challenges like this because 1) you learn a shit ton from it and 2) it gives you a framework in which you can be creative.

It gives you a starting point that allows you to CREATE quickly without getting lost in a sea of options.

It’s kinda like when someone says, “hey, go make a drawing but you can only use this tiny sheet of paper and these 5 colors.”

Or when someone says, “hey (or hi or wooot), go write a story but it can only have 500 words and has to be about humidity in Singapore.”

Or, when someone says, “yo, go make some photos but they have to be selfies of you holding a cockroach.”

That last one is probably not a thing (my flatmate just kindly removed one out of my curtains as I was spraying poison at it voraciously 😱)

Drifting off again…. But you get my point!

My point is that working with limitations actually makes you more creative.

And no, I didn’t come up with that concept of course, but whenever I apply it, I am reminded of how powerful it is 🙂

What are your thoughts on that? Any similar experiences?

Let me know here on my Facebook page!

Anja Kicken

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Anja Kicken