Long loops and samples. Write your own damn production music.

A soul loop library from Sony. As Sony says, the loops rely heavily on the compositional talent of John Hobart at Scorpio Music Productions in Los Angeles, an actual composer. But please, feel free to use this almost 1GB loop library to make something unoriginal.
A soul loop library from Sony. As Sony says, the loops rely heavily on the compositional talent of John Hobart at Scorpio Music Productions in Los Angeles, an actual composer. But please, feel free to use this almost 1GB loop library to make something unoriginal.

A disturbing trend has been taking place in the production music business. Composers are getting lazier… and lazier… and lazier… So lazy, I don’t know if you can even call them composers anymore.

Sound design and sample libraries have been churning out so many loops and “construction kits” and the length of these samples keeps getting longer and longer. Some of these samples are minutes long. Minutes. And, as good as these kits sound, they’re sucking the creativity out of composition and music production.

How?

Composers (heck, let’s call them Mashers from now on, because they didn’t compose a note) are taking these long loops, adding another loop, and calling it a song, giving it some emo name, and then posting all over the internet as production music. You see thousands upon thousands of DJ’s and electronic music “mashers” calling themselves artists, with their adoring fans marveling at their creations like gold. At the same time, they couldn’t do it again if they tried. Need a live group to play it? Impossible, because they don’t have the faintest idea of the orchestration or sounds actually used in their construction kit.

It would be like giving me a fully constructed toilet to flush, and then calling me a master plumber because I flushed the hell out of that toilet, when in fact, I know nothing about the inner workings of that toilet. If I tried to build a toilet, you’d probably have to pee elsewhere.

So is this type of mashposition creative? It’s about as creative as throwing paint at a wall and calling it art.

Real production music composers have mastery of their sonic arsenal, and the musical craft. They know how to combine sounds and textures in ways that aren’t prepackaged. They take a flute sound and some string sounds and create concertos. They use loops and samples as textures or beds for departure into other sonic territory. They invent new melodies and build new harmonic progressions. Mashers, in contrast, use existing melodies and existing harmonies and put them one right after the other. There’s no skill in that. It’s more of a paint by numbers skill, really, which is why most of these “composers” turn out to be useless when you need something in another style, or heaven forbid, custom composed.

Call a mashup “creator” what you will. Their songs might be fun to dance to, but they’re not new, and they’re not original.

End of rant.