Three rising West Ranch music producers share their story

November 4, 2020

    As the novel coronavirus has forced millions of people to stay at home, it has also allowed individuals to delve further into their passions. For some, this may be cooking or a sport, but for these three West Ranch students, they have found their love in the creative world of music production. 

   The Paw Print asked three music producers —Daniel Tsan (12), Dylan Thai (12), and Isaac Bae (10)—about their journeys and challenges faced in producing music in these unusual times. 

________________________________________________________________________________

Daniel (12)

1. What inspired you to start producing music? How did you start?

   Around sophomore year, I began enjoying more genres of music beyond classical or jazz, like R&B and ballads. I was interested in creating music in these genres because I knew that the process was different compared to classical music or jazz. It was a new world to me, and my interest in music drove me to go and explore it. 

   Coincidentally, around the same time, I began watching Youtubers like Andrew Huang and Chris Punsalan, who made videos on producing music. Also, I learned that someone I knew actually was into producing music. All of this came together to inspire me to try out music production for myself, just for fun. So, I began playing around with Garageband and eventually published my first EP (mini-album), “Impression,” on SoundCloud.

2. What program do you use to create music?

   I started with Garageband, which is Apple’s basic Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). After a while, I started to feel limited by Garageband, and I wanted to work with a better program. Around December of my junior year, a year after my first release, I began using the Lite version of Ableton Live, a DAW that many professionals use, which came with the keyboard controller I bought.

3. What type of music do you produce?

   I have tried my hand at a bunch of different genres, including hip-hop, R&B, lofi, jazz, synthpop, and ballads. The genre I feel most confident in making is either lofi hip-hop or R&B because I really enjoy making music that is relaxing and easy to listen to, yet it’s musically complex.

4. What do you enjoy about producing music?

   There are a bunch of things that I have come to love about producing music. First, it’s a completely different world compared to what I have studied in music in the past. Previously, I was the interpreter of whatever someone else wrote on a sheet of music. Now, I am  in charge of the whole process. Granted, I took inspiration from my favorite artists and genres. I was making my own music, and I thought that was pretty cool. 

   However, I think the thing I love the most about music production is being able to share the things that I make with other people. My favorite feeling when making music is enjoying the things I made with the people I share it with. It feels so great when I can make someone else’s day because they listened to my music. It’s like I cooked a dish for my friends to enjoy. I put work and effort into a product, and seeing people enjoy what I made is the most satisfying thing from the whole process.

5. Have you run into any obstacles when producing music? If so, what kind and how did you overcome them?

   I have definitely run into some obstacles when producing music. There are problems where, because of my amateur knowledge in music production, I don’t know exactly how everything works, and sometimes I can’t do what I want to do because I’m not familiar with my toolset. To overcome this, I would normally go to my favorite resource, Google, and search up my questions to try and find if anyone had a tutorial on what I was having trouble with. 

   The other type of problem that I face is similar to what is known in the writing world as “writer’s block.” As expected, people who write music also experience times where they simply cannot think of any new ideas. I would sit down at my computer and try to make a new track, but nothing I like would take formation during that session. To overcome this, I normally take a break from music production and, in my free time, listen to music to get some inspiration and motivation.

6. Do you put your music out on any streaming platforms? Which platform(s), and what has your experience been using them?

   I do publish my music on the Internet. So far, I have mainly used two programs: SoundCloud and BandLab. These platforms are free to use, so it was easy to begin using. It’s also quite easy to upload your music onto here as well, so none of that process has been a huge problem. I think the only problem I had is that a lot of people don’t have access to my music. Many people listen to music on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music, so they don’t know about my music.

7. Do you plan on pursuing music in the future? Or where do you see yourself going with music production?

   I don’t have any plans on pursuing music in the future. I see music production as simply being a hobby that I can enjoy in my free time to destress. However, I want to keep publishing my work online for anyone interested in listening and for myself, as like a personal portfolio of my work. While some people enjoy doodling or writing in their journals, I enjoy producing music. It’s my creative outlet.

 

Dylan (12)

1.What inspired you to start producing music? How did you start?

   Just knowing that I could create music that I personally love to listen to myself was really exciting to me. I started off using experimenting in Garageband. 

2. What program do you use to create music?

   The program that I use to create music is Ableton.

3. What type of music do you produce?

   I like to produce R&B, hip-hop, or lofi types of songs. 

4. What do you enjoy about producing music?

   I enjoy the process of creating songs. Sometimes it’s frustrating, and I could be just sitting there for hours trying to get an idea down, but once you get the idea down, you almost get a rush of adrenaline and excitement.

5. Have you run into any obstacles when producing music? If so, what kind and how did you overcome them?

   Oh, heck yeah. Sometimes it’s hard to use some features of Abletone simply because I don’t know their function. I get over this by looking up tutorials on YouTube. A common obstacle that almost everyone faces is writer’s block. You could sometimes be sitting there for hours and still not have an idea down. The best way to get over this is to just keep writing down your ideas and testing them until you get something right.

6. Do you put your music out on any streaming platforms? Which platform(s), and what has your experience been using them?

   I haven’t put anything out on any streaming platforms yet, but I’m planning to upload on SoundCloud.

7. Do you plan on pursuing music in the future? Or where do you see yourself going with music production? 

   I don’t plan on pursuing music in the future at all. I mainly see this as a super fun hobby and passion to simply indulge myself in.

 

Isaac (10)

1.What inspired you to start producing music? How did you start?

   For me, music was always something that cheered me up if I was feeling sad, I would always just listen to music. And I was like, you know what if music is what doesn’t make me sad. You know I can create my music, and I can get other people to have the same feeling as me. I just want to have others listen to my music and have a connection. I feel like music is such a big platform that everyone uses. It’s such a great way to inspire people. I wanted to make music last year during November-ish, and I started producing frequently during February or March. I think quarantine was more of an opportunity because before quarantine, I wanted to make it, but because of quarantine I have more time.

2. What program do you use to create music?

   I use FL Studios. It’s just my preference.

 3. What type of music do you produce?

   For me, I like R&B soul, R&B trap, something that’s lowkey, and you can just vibe to it. Nothing crazy. 

4. What do you enjoy about producing music?

   It’s a journey. Although there are going to be downfalls and struggles, it’s just satisfying when you finally figure out that one chord and everything adds together. I feel like it’s definitely something else. When you make music, it’s like cause there’s just so many types of music you can make, and when you start to make your own, it’s just happy and sad at the same time. There’s a lot of things going on, but it’s definitely something that keeps me going and makes me happy.

5. Have you run into any obstacles when producing music? If so, what kind and how did you overcome them?

   The obstacle for me is thinking about the melody and what would go along with this. That was definitely an obstacle cause there’s already so much music out there, and you don’t want to copy, and for me I’m sort of like a perfectionist, so if it doesn’t sound right, I’ll just stop, so definitely just thinking of ideas, but the way I overcome it you know. Cause the excuse I would use is I’m just starting, no one’s going to be perfect at first, and I just have to wait and trust the process. Kind of go easy on myself as I make this. It’s very complicated. I didn’t expect it to be hard, but it’s a learning process, but I have definitely improved a lot from them. 

6. Do you put your music out on any streaming platforms? Which platform(s), and what has your experience been using them?

   I’m trying to definitely use SoundCloud first because I know a lot of people use SoundCloud. Maybe SoundCloud and then Spotify, then youtube, but definitely SoundCloud. 

   I definitely started on a couple songs, but for me, I make samples. I try to make some, and then I stop and make others because for me I want to explore more rather than just make one as I probably have more samples than I do songs at the moment.

7. Do you plan on pursuing music in the future? Or where do you see yourself going with music production? 

   I don’t have a backup plan because I just want to do music right now, and that’s kind of what I’m feeling. I’m just going to pursue my dreams. Maybe a producer and songwriter because for me, in the future, I want to find a producer. That’s my main goal: find a producer to work with and just start off there.

8. Do you want to be a singer?

   Definitely yeah.  I might not have the voice right now, but I pray to god that I will get one; but if not, I don’t mind being a producer, but I’m more of a songwriter type person.

______________________________________________________________________________

   Tsan, Thai, and Bae, although at different stages of their music producing careers, have one thing in common— a drive to create what they love. Over quarantine, the three have used their precious time to focus on and advance their music production skills. Undoubtedly, their time has paid off and has brought an immense amount of joy and satisfaction in this period. While Thai and Bae have not yet released their music, you can find Tsan’s EPs and albums here

The Paw Print • Copyright 2020 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in