How often do you hear a song on the radio and recognise who it’s by? We’re sure you’d like your fans to be able to do the same thing with your music, right?
Whether you’re a singer, an instrumentalist, or a producer, having your own signature sound is the best way to separate yourself from the crowd. In fact, if you don’t have a signature sound then your career as an artist or producer may well be short-lived.
When we talk about signature sounds, we’re not talking about something that you can create here and now. It’s about utilising what makes you unique as a person, an artist, and your unique creative process.
Should you take the time to craft a creative process that sits apart from others will you begin to see your signature sound emerge. To do that, you need to understand what inspires you and build from there.
Acknowledge What You Love About Music
If your signature sound is what makes your music unique, then at its very foundation is what you love about music.
To find what you love about music, you need to listen to a lot of music. A lot. And you can implement this into your creative process.
To make music, you need to create a mood. You need to inspire yourself. So, why not engage in active listening to other music before you begin your production session? While you’re there, search for new music too! You’ll amaze yourself how quickly new ideas just fall in your lap by applying this process to your creative process.
We’d also recommend making a playlist of your favourite songs. Don’t go too exessive with it, but add songs that really inspire you. Then make a habit of playing them before you begin any music production sessions and revel in the inspiration.
Remember that you’re not trying to copy other artists. You’re looking for what inspires you and the only way to do that is to actively listen to songs that you love. Identify what’s common among the tracks, how these make you feel, and think about how you can put your own twist on them.
On top of listening to songs that you love, why not listen to songs and even genres that you’re not a fan of? Understanding what you’re not a huge fan of is equally as important as identifying what you do like.
Utilise What You Enjoy and Go Beyond
Both what you’re good at and what you enjoy about music almost dictate what your signature sound is.
Are you a guitar player? Or maybe you prefer the sound of synths. Are you into both jazz and dubstep? Well, why not blend these things together?
You could mess around with Kontakt 6 players as well as Serum. Create some funky melodies and rhythms and then through your audio files into a sampler. To go even further, you could granulate your samples and get some weird and wonderful combinations.
After sampling and resampling, you’ll have a host of sounds that, when thrown together, are unique to your taste and style.
By tampering with conventional instruments and genres in this way, you’re exploring the world outside of the box and getting down and dirty with it.
Have Faith in Yourself
Your signature sound is not about what others enjoy. It’s about what makes you enjoy what you do.
So, with that said, trust yourself and don’t make something for the sake of someone else. Trusting your preferences in this way will be your guiding light in the right direction towards your signature sound.
Have you ever made something that you really love, but weren’t too sure how others would perceive it? If you love it then do not change it. By editing what you have done, you’re only removing what’s truly authentic about it.
In this same way, trust your taste to find the missing piece of the track you’re working on that’ll bring it to life. That 8 bar loop that you don’t know where to take? Trust yourself and in time you will.
Create, Create, and Create Some More!
Now take all of these processes and make as much music as you can. You’re not going to find your signature sound overnight. But if you apply yourself every day and continue to inspire yourself, push yourself, and not conform to trends, you’ll be immersing yourself and others in your signature sound before you know it.
Before long, you’ll see patterns in your music that are only in your music. It could be specific sounds or sequences that no one pulls off quite like you.
It could take a while, sure, but it will happen. It’s just a question of how patient you’re prepared to be.
By sampling and resampling, electronic musicians find themselves with a plethora of samples to use in their music. But it’s not just your own samples that you can resample and manipulate. You can manipulate any sample. Ever.
The sampling revolution has risen in popularity and shaped music since the early 1970s. Sample culture continues to transform how millions of artists and producers do their thing in DAWs.
You too can break conventional norms, challenge the status quo, and open Pandora’s box of sound design.
Mixxed works with a growing number of sample labels and contributors to provide you with a premium sample subscription service that’s more accessible than any before.
You’ll have access to our growing catalogue of loops, one-shots and sound effects that you can browse, download and keep forever for less than $3 a month.
Sign up today to find your sound!