One Minute Syndrome (OMS)

Does anyone else experience this?

I find I get one minute into a tune and then don’t know where to go.

Any tips?

1 BigUp

Mean your music, and you will fight to get it under 5.

Yes, I’m Mr. Minute Man.

I’m at that skill level, where I can make any musical idea, no matter how small a minute long.

But to develop new variations on that in a cohessive whole, not so much.

But, when you really mean the piece, like there is something behind it, a real idea, the minutes will fly.

If you’re stuck at the minute mark, I think it just means you’re not invested in the song.

Close it and open up an older one minute song, see if there is anything there that needs doing.

And also of note, and this is the subtle part. If you listen to protracks, you’ll be at a minute thirty before anything really happens, you’ll look at the time and be like, wtf? Now that is a bitch. They so casual, so relaxed, BECAUSE their sound design and rhythm and all the rest, is so on point, it can stand alone and be stark, it is that captivating. The song doesn’t need to progress as you are decoding the simple elements that are there.

Contrast that with something a chump makes, and it is like 3 movements in a minute with all kinds of shit happening, and still it is kinda stale.

Figure that out, and I think you graduate to the next level.


47 second songs are the best.

yeah but i think the best thing to do it lay out your tune structure as soon as you have a complete loop you are happy with, if you try and build up a tune from a 1 minute idea its near impossible most of the time.

Might be a pain with a lot of massive re-writes later on but at least you have a kinda canvas to start putting in ideas at different points than some conceptual ideas in your head you cant quite get down

put in an intro and loop your minute idea twice


just use loads of air horns over your intro for another 32 bars and be done with it.

Tho zombys intros are good enough to get away with it tbf


yeah i’d rather have a sick 2 minute song than a boring 6 minute one with standard dj structure

would it help to think in terms of verses and choruses ninjaedit, i saw once ikonika says she does that

i’d assume the minute you have is a fleshed out bit that could serve as the chorus, with all your good ideas for the tune in it,
so have that, then strip stuff away stuff for a kind of verse bit then back into your chorus with all the elements?

Was going to come back and mention, that yeah, can’t stand songs that are over long. Almost every song I hear is overlong imo.

Songs that go somewhere, have whole new sections and what not are the exception. Odysseys.

Which to Nin-G, I’d say, just use all those instruments, and drums, and write a second song, right there after the first, whack a silly transition, and do that one or two more times. Keep the fucker mooving. Can’t stand boring stale shit.


I don’t produce myself, but here’s a few examples of great, short trax.

Myth’s Glimpses and Plata’s UTHINKIMSOMEONE

1 BigUp

I agree, when you’ve got a loop sketch out a quick arrangement then work on changes, transitions, spicing thing sup etc. A lot of times you can get away with the same melody for quite a while if you change up the instrument(s) that are playing it. Likewise, change up your chords by having a few synths playing one note each to form the chords. All kinds of things you can do.

Also, there are tons of great songs that are in the 2-3 minute range. Christ, look at Geogaddi…half those choons are under a minute lol.

1 BigUp

I often prefer shorter tunes. Especially in the hip hop beats camp. A 2m tune that you really like is better than a 4 minute one where u turn it off before its finished

Yeah, that is what I’m talking about with over long songs. That is the kiss of death, when you’re listening to a choon, and you’re like again, as it goes back into the same section or repeats a theme.

But it is all so relative, isn’t it? Like sometimes, I can roll with an 9 minute tune, like I’m with it, and sometimes at the 3 minute mark, I’m like skip.

A lot of times with protracks, they seem more confident to just let it ride. If any of y’all have heard my music, I’m constantly like under pressure to switch it up. I swear, after two bars, I’m like new shit… I don’t know. This OMS is really a very central issue, a major barrier.

This is a great thread.

Yeah, I was thinking that the solution might be a B-theme.

Not to by “that hardware guy” but I feel like when one is playing music rather than copy and pasting patterns you turn out with lots of subtle variation you wouldn’t otherwise come up with unless you are really mindful about it.

Like much do you guys play with automation? Automate the fuck out of things. You’ll get so much more mileage out of a single sound and melody.

1 BigUp

I automate less these days. But make automations have a clear purpose rather than just befause its something I feel needs to be done.

auto filter on bandpass is a lot of fun to automate though. Stick it on a dubby hit and switch on the lfo and then a delay plugin like watkat and you have basic channel vibes going on.

1 BigUp

Yea. I mean…obviously don’t just automate shit for the hell of it…IMO automation should be “leading somewhere”…should be doing something that is part of the progression of the elements.

I like to point out obvious shit, for the imaginary young producers that read these threads, as there used to be, but now I guess they aren’t really there anymore.

But, imo, there are two types of automation, like sound design automation, when you’re designing a specific sound and movement within the elements of the sound, and then there is automation that is at the phrase/song level, where the automation is a component of the song, it is an element of what makes the vibe of the song develop.

I have to say I’m getting more into automation, finally making my peace with fl’s event data, which has annoyed me for decades. I like simpler arrangements, and for most tracks, I use constant elements playing actual musical lines, so those elements have to do more, they have to move more than the kind of music that uses more discrete sound events, where different sounds come in and out of the beat with greater frequency, where the movement comes from new sounds or elements, rather than the same elements changing over time.

Hope that is confusing enough.


it might also involve keeping it transparent (speaking of crystal clear), as in if we see that it is just this one idea that isnt developing but sounds great, then leave it as a minute-long

Geogaddi, la beatmakers etc probably do these short tracks because its only natural to the way they make music