Happy New Year’s, everyone. It’s been a lazy, rainy day here in New York opening up 2007, but I’m contentedly looking forward to what for me, at least, promises to be a good year for making music. Sure, forming New Year’s Resolutions is a pretty arbitrary activity, but I say any excuse that lets you add to your resolve is a good one. Here are a few resolutions that come to mind:

  1. Play out more: I’ve been in a cycle, personally, of going back to develop material and ideas and get out of the playing-out mode, and I’m ready to cycle back and go play some more. How about you?
  2. Practice: It’s all too easy as an electronic musician to let your chops go to slush. Fortunately, I have the staff of Keyboard Magazine to intimidate me, and the fact that they’re such brilliant players is easily enough to drive me back to running some scales and finger exercises and getting back in shape. For added inspiration, you can fire up GarageBand or another easy looping program to build some interactive accompaniments (or go to the old-fashioned method and put on a Jamey Aebersold CD). Trust me: scales are a lot more fun when there’s a rhythm section behind you, even as a classically-trained player.
  3. Build some software patches: I’ve been spending time teaching tools like Max/MSP and haven’t gotten to build my own performance patches. Fortunately, it’s possible to keep your projects on a manageable scale, something I’ve learned from my students. Find a simple solution and solve that is usually the advice I give, and now I’ll go take it myself. With tools like Ableton Live, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to performance: it’s easy enough to add custom tools built in Reaktor or Max/MSP to Live.

I’ll be checking my own progress against some of these goals. But I’m curious what our readers have as resolutions for 2007. What are your goals for the year?

  • 1. Same as you, play out more, as DJ and one-man-band as well.

    2. Send out demos and DJ sets, specially to Canada – I'll move there by the end of the year if everything works out. Brazil (and Rio in particular) is a nice place to visit, but I don't recomment living here to anyone. Really, stay out. Don't ruin your life.

    3. Start to blog a series of articles about music production and Ableton Live in particular.

    4. Make some of my Synthedit patches available for download. They're all small and stupid VSTs, but each one of them is incredibly useful (for me, at least). They just need a good cleanup.

    5. Release more stuff, more often. CD is officially dead and the concept of "album" is going down too.

    6. Make most of my unfinished and hopeless tracks (you know, those that you'll never actually finish, try as you might) available for download under Creative Commons licenses. This way someone, somewhere will hopefully finish them. Let the internets figure them out… I'll stick with the ones I can handle.

  • practice

    learn the bass

    perform live

  • Re-learn how to play the keyboard (just got a Micron!)

    Build at least 3 interactive A/V instruments and produce a short performance to utilize them.

    Write more for VJ Kung Fu!

  • 1. Release 2 new "albums". One in May, one in November. (I was lucky enough to have "Deeper Space" released before Christmas.)

    2. Perform live. Which I've never "really' done as a solo artist.

    3. Find out why everything piece of music kit that I order is always backordered.

    4. Quit smoking "crack-style" cocaine.

  • Nice post there, Peter!

    My projects for 2007:

    1. Finish up my tracks as layout to send out – aiming to get theater work in 2007

    2. Play out more often, both with my duo Aroma-Magnet, four-piece Parasit and solo, with just guitar and electronics.

    3. Become better as a bass player, particularly for my first gig as a bass player with the magnificient Fouxi (fouxi.com)

  • radialson

    My musical resolution is to get a macbook or better and a decent audio interface….hurry up tax returns!!!!

  • Peter, you have some good ones there! Mine are below, I think there's a lot here other solo electronic musician types can relate to.

    1. Balance work and music.

    I'm taking a "real" full-time Web gig this year, so it's going to be a challenge to keep Emulsion going at the level I did in 2006.

    2. Stop buying/thinking about gear so much!

    Basically every electronic musician I know faces this to a greater or lesser extent.

    3. Don't rely on last years sounds/production tricks

    I'm intending to put in some quality time with Live, FM8 (which is really inspiring btw) and Reaktor, getting out of my usual Reason-based habits.

    4. Stop programming drums using ReDrum (X0X style)

    It's so easy but can end up so robotic! I intend to write more drum parts using the Live piano roll and Battery.

    5. Rework my live set to be both more improvisational and more club friendly.

    I saw Apparat live at Mutek 2005, and he's what I have in mind when I think about reworking my set. A ton of energy, synced atari-ish visuals, and a sense that he was completely in control of his output.

    6. Practice more.

    See above. It makes a huge difference in writing music as well as performing, no doubt.

  • GaryG

    1. Have confidence in the plugs I've got; kick this habit of downloading every two-bit vst that comes along and spend quality time with the few that i know, deep down, make the sounds I need. Avoiding KVR may help here… 🙂

    2. Learn Usine.

    3. Plug my guitar back in and get my chops (ha…) back in shape.

    4. Build a physical bit of kit.

  • WarpedEye

    1. Stop creating new conceptual projects and actually finish the ones I've started. As it is, I have one highly conceptual dark ambient album, one musical project based on the sci-fi books of Alastair Reynolds, and some sort of orchestral-like fairy tale project in the works. And, of course, all those projects I haven't touched in months.

    2. Force myself to learn new ways of using software, mainly Live. At the moment, I'm just using it as a traditional, loop-based sequencer, without really taking advantage of all the glorious things the program has to offer.

    3. Collaborate with others! I've been longing for this for a while, but it never gets put in to action, and it's mainly my own fault. Just some simple collab over the 'net would be most excellent.

  • 1- dj more mashup parties – outside of my house.

    2- stop buying stupid gear on ebay.

    3- actually learn how to play my keyboard.

  • maz

    I'm in the same boat as a lot of people on here. I feel that this is a good year for me to actually accomplish the things I've wanted to for a long time.

    The first thing is to learn more about sound design. Getting the base sounds that are in my head has been difficult. I don't really have too much in the way of software so I'm just trying to learn with what I have.

    The second is to complete at least four remixes this year of various genres/artists.

    Third is to have an album of my own original work and remixes out and mixed in a DJ fashion.

    Fourth is to join and complete various remix contests over the net.

  • 1. play live more

    2. make more music more often

    3. promote, promote, promote.

  • rockridge98

    Besides what everyone else has said:

    Learn (ideally memorize) more jazz and pop tunes.

  • Adrian Anders

    1. Learn Live

    2. Learn Max/MSP

    3. Master Absynth 4

    4. Master Kontakt

    5. Master FLStudio 7 (coming very soon)

    6. Master Sonar Producer

    7. Organize/tweak my samples

    8. Digitize my record collection in 16-Bit .wav (finally)

    9. Save up enough to move and start my life anew.

    10. Stop bullshitting and finally release some goddamn music!

  • Rozling

    1. Stop buying/lusting after gear and start using what I have creatively to get ideas out of my head and shaped into completed songs.

    2. Get more engaged in learning the craft of composition by showing my work to friends/family, getting involved in competitions, uploading songs for collaboration/constructive criticism etc…

    3. Compile a book of sheet music for songs I’ve learned, want to learn and plan to transcribe.

    4. Get a job in the music/audio industry.

    5. Start a blog.

    6. Sleep well and regularly.

    7. Practise imagining parts & reproducing them with the DAW.

    On those last two: I’ve spent the last few months without access to my instruments & recording gear, and towards the end I found tunes coming into my head randomly, or as soundtracks to dreams. I realised that this used to happen all the time when I first started buying gear about five years ago. I believe the reasons for it subsiding are a combination of preset-surfing – finding a nice shiny preset and trying to build a song/riff around it – and bad sleeping habits.

    Great topic – really got me thinking!

  • maximegb

    1. Learn acoustic guitar

    2. Learn keyboard on my yamaha PSR-310

    3. Learn gmorgan

  • velocipede

    have fun

    finish stuff

    share it with others

    post fewer nonsense forum comments

    become a billionare rock star with a ruby-studded keytar

    (in order of decreasing likelihood)

  • 1. More bicycle musicmaking devices! Melody! Rhythm! Take it to the streets! Traveling concerts!

    2. Finish the album I've started and get distribution.

    3. Get in shape and exercise more. And meditate. Too much time spent in front of the computer.

    4. Have fun and be happy.

  • Good Times

    1. Start doing live hybrid shows

    2. Schedule my time in the studio so I am more often focused and not get stuck on youtube. btw: artist interviews on youtube are nice.

    3. Start producing more club oriented synth patterns and arps.

    4. Focus less on adding more elements to my tracks and focus on automating parameters of the existing elements.

  • As opposed to everyone else's resolutions so far, I plan to:

    1. BUY MORE MUSIC GEAR. As a software/sequencing kind of guy, I want to externalize some of my setup and learn to play something decent enough to jam live w/ people. I've been having fun borrowing a friend's electronic drum set (Dauz pads) and I'm seriously eyeballing the Zendrum.

    2. Get more samples. Get more offbeat synths (e.g. the new Native Instruments FM). Find more percussion samples. It feels like I've totally exahusted the aesthetic possibilities of vanilla analog synths and the typical array of electronic percussion samples.

  • Dan

    1. Learn up on tubes and re-tube my amps. Start putting a mic on them instead of sims.

    2. Get some custom outboard stuff built. I'm tired of having all the bells and whistles while the stuff that counts suffers. I want the premium stuff for what I need and nothing else.

    3. Learn to write lyrics (perhaps impossible)

  • Stop being as wishful, become proactive in promoting myself. Get some balls, and actually share some of the music I've been making over the last 10 or so years.

  • 1. push/watch Ardour go huge!

    2. promote JACK more

    3. clean up the desktop linux audio mess

    4. actually use the tools i've worked on for the last 6-7 years to make music.

  • These are some terrific resolutions, everyone! I may print this post out and tack it up in my studio. 🙂

    Paul, I'm happy to help any way we can with your resolutions, as I can sympathize on all four of yours.

  • 2398

    eat more junk food-inspiration

    make more bread

    go to the gym


    play music louder

    dream more music (i hope)

    practise piano

    practise quietness

    record 2 good songs a day (wether it takes me more time with art)

    speak to god more(within)

    write letters to an ex and get the return to sender thing but ignore the return part. and wish the girl best cause thats what you girls are.

  • It's great to read something that's both enjoyable and provides pragmatisdc soluitnos.