Start something

Every music maker struggles with this from time to time. So we asked some friends what they do.

  • Novation
  • August - September 2015
The Team
  • Simon Peacock – Creative Director
  • Christien Michaels – Lead designer
  • Tim Harbour – Director & Videographer
  • Chris Mayes-Wright – Director & Videographer
  • Alex Green – Videographer
  • Jimmy Reynolds – Videographer
  • Ed Gamester – Words

The project

We’ve all experienced some form of writers block, it’s frustrating and seemingly endless. I’ve always found it’s better to share that ‘block’ with friends and soon enough you’ll have found a new approach. Well, this is a common issue for musicians, and manufacturers try to create new hardware and software to make getting over these hurdles faster. Novation’s solution was a groovebox called Circuit, a drum machine and synth all rolled in to one portable box.

Start Something was a campaign planned ahead of Circuit’s launch, to plant that question in the minds of our customers, but not leave them without answers or crassly present Circuit as the solution. Rather, to show we understand the modern music maker and emphasise with their challenges, all musicians experience this rut but we wanted to present ideas that could help.

Thoughts from Goldie

Who better to speak to than a man who has been making music for over 30 years. What I was particularly chuffed about with this piece was how open, honest and insightful Goldie was on the day. Discussing how he looks at recordings as a way of capturing a moment in time just reminds us that we should always be capturing what’s going on around us. I watch this video back a lot, for personal reasons it resonates with me. What’s crazy is that he spoke for an hour and that edit won’t see the light of day but was packed full of more ‘gold’. We had to boil that down to a one minute cut, so this is it. Enjoy.

Wait! Don’t turn the page

Magazine advertising has over the years been a large part of campaign plans, not only does it buy you sway with the magazine reviewers covering your latest product(!) but it was a sure fire way of casting your net wide and hitting a group of music makers. I never wanted our adverts to follow the normal formulaic heading, product shot and text routine but I had to accept that I wasn’t going to be allowed to go too far from the beaten track. So, where we could, we had fun. Not always showing the product, playing around with conventional typography, challenging the ‘standard’ layout approach, anything that I felt would stop someone on the page long enough to get a message through to them. I didn’t want a page turner, what would be the point.

The next steps

Alongside the Start Something campaign in the run up to the launch of Circuit we started to run the Make Music Differently campaign. This was aimed at those who had shown engagement with Start Something, we now offered Circuit as a solution, providing you a new perspective or approach to your next composition.

How does it end?

Ask any electronic musician to count up how many unfinished tracks they have on their computer and you’ll be stood there for a long time. Closing out a masterpiece is tricky, signing off on the mix before it gets mastered is a commitment many won’t take. Why? Maybe because it’s too final. Maybe it’s because it actually means you might have to let people hear it finally. Whatever the reason it is a burden on every music makers hard drive, so we wanted to see if we could, again, ask our friends to offer some advice to get you over the line.