2000F – Strøm Førende

[Editor: There are gear geeks, and there are gear freaks…. AND THEN there is the artist 2000F aka. Frederik Birket-Smith, who has got to have one of the most extraordinary collection of vintage synths, drum machines and outboard gear in all of Denmark… and this is just one of several locations where he has his gear. He is also the CEO of Strøm Festival – which is pretty much the biggest yearly electronic music festival in Denmark. So enjoy!
Also, if you’re wondering about the title, it’s danish for… ‘electric conductor’
]

1. Favourite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why?

My fave has got to be the Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e.

Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e

This is a low and high cut filter from Burbank, California, made in the 50’s, early 60’s. Originally made for, what you would call the telephone effect for film. It’s quite an extreme low and high cut and this unit in particular, has been modified by a local danish tech called Fairman, with a resonance control filter Q knob.

Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e front panel

So you can make it very aggressive and brittle sounding, and I use it for dub music, to get those extreme cuts. Most filter units of this type only have a low cut. Which is nice, but this one has high cut as well.

Lots of delay and reverb outboard

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

The Fender Rhodes 88 suitcase. Gotta be the suitcase version, not the stage. Has to be the one with the speakers. And I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Fender Rhodes 88

I have one from 1980 here in this studio and another one at home, from 1976. At one point I had both together in the living room, the kids and the wife were a little bit “Okay we need two?”. But my wife is really big fan of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea as well, so she loved it. Still… it takes up a lot of room.

’80s Fender Rhodes 88 suitcase

But the interesting part of having two was that, while the sound of the one I have here is really good, the other ’76 Rhodes, the body and the weight is much deeper compared to this one. The ’76 almost feels like a proper grand piano. It’s really nice.

Solina String Ensemble

3. What setup do you bring on holiday or tour or commute etc.?

Smartphone… one with Koala Sampler.

And then just the built-in Memo app on the phone, that’s the only things I would bring.

I especially like the Memo app. Actually I just use it to record stuff… Sometimes it’s ideas and melodies or basslines or rhythms. Sometimes it’s just something I need to explain to myself, like an idea that I need to remember. Sometimes it is sampling something.

Quite recently I recorded a sound while they were rebuilding Fisketovet [Editor: a shopping mall in Copenhagen]. And there was this crazy huge drilling machine that was so loud. I’ve never heard anything like it, but I had to record it. It was just banging a huge pile-driver into the ground. The reverb tail was intense.

Oberheim DMX

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I’m not sure I can answer that, to be honest. Because I like both worlds. If I HAD to say something that could be an answer, I think it would be, that in the last couple of years, the integration between outboard hardware and the digital audio workstation is getting pretty good. Life is getting so much easier with the new analog patch bays that can be digitally controlled.

I mean, it’s so easy to intermix it now. And I actually like both analog and digital because they’re both very different, so it is great that they can now be integrated.

They’re merging and I think that’s really interesting. I come from an old school hardware kind of workflow, but the funny thing is, a few years ago, I tried to force myself to use only stock Ableton plugins, just to to see what I can do… and boy, it sounded pretty, I still prefer hardware and all that, but I did two 12-inch releases that way.

Roland JD800

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

Regrets selling? Nah… but there’s some stuff I regret NOT buying.

There was an Arp 2600 that was for sale in a shop near where I used to live. I think the shop was called ELSound. It was just in the display winder. Still haunts me that I couldn’t buy it at the time.

I’ve had quite a lot of gear, as you can tell, so I haven’t sold that much, actually. I’ve sold a Jupiter-4 and a Polysix and I don’t miss them. I also had the very, very big Yamaha SK50D. Which is the huge poly synth they made, just a big as the CS-80 and just about as heavy, but a cheaper version. Even though it certainly wasn’t cheap. But I don’t miss that either.

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

Samplers. And the Emu Emax.

Emu Emax

That’s the one I grew up with. It opened up the world of music production for me. Actually, I can tell you a funny story. Particularly that unit over there, which my father bought in ’86. I remember so clearly, because when I was young, my mom used to be a DJ and my dad collected records and all that studio stuff. So I listened to a lot of music.

Akai S950 and S1000

I listened to stuff like Kraftwerk and especially Art Of Noise. Early Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel… you know, with all those Synclavier sounds. But I never really understood how they did it. I understood the music and I loved it, but especially the Music Nonstop album, Electric Cafe album from Kraftwerk, where they used samples heavily, people don’t rate it. But I loved it because it was so digital.

When my father bought home the Emax. I can tell you where exactly in the living room I was standing and where my mom stood, when my dad used it for the first time. He set it up and plugged in a microphone, and my mom came into the living room and said, “Dinner’s ready!”.
And it was recorded. When my Dad started to mess with that sample… Then suddenly I was like, ‘That’s how they do it!’ … My whole mind was just blown away.

Emu Emax

So I was like… ‘Gimme that!’ and I borrowed an Atari ST2 computer, the Emax and Pro-One and the PPG and made lot of music. From then on I started buying stuff, so since I was 14 years old, I was just hooked. Spent all my money, I bought my 303 and right after that the 909 and all that.

But the sampler, that was the start.

Classic Korg Rack synths

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

The computer.

The thing is that nowadays you’ll be able to go online and find answers to absolutely everything. And at that time around ’86 you couldn’t find any answers to anything except if you knew somebody. So a computer would, whether it was an ’86 or 2023, open your world in any direction you wanted to go.

So then I think inspiration comes from other stuff. I mean, gear can inspire me and anybody else, but I’m not sure that’s the main thing, to be honest. I think the computer will just be the door that opens the world.

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

Oh, that’s everything. Everything! Just keeping and maintaining a synth mausoleum like this one. That’s grief…. and a lot of money. I would say being a collector, it’s just a major headache.

Classic Drum Machines and Synths

Cabling and setting up wires is a huge headache, but refurbishments and service on this stuff, that’s just a downwards spiral of agony and pain. And money out the window.

The most expensive restoration I have, which is still ongoing, is the EMT-250 reverb, which is at a repair workshop in Germany right now, and has been for the past five years. Kinda crazy.

The EMT250 is the only thing my father never got to hear or see working, before he passed away. He was an avid gear collector and once even managed to find a Fairchild 670 on Den Blå Avis [danish version of Craigslist], but the 250 we found at Sweet Silence Studios, and it’s super rare. Gotta be less than 200 in the world.

It even came in the original flight crate from Germany. So this wooden box came through Kastrup Airport, and then through the distributor up in the north of Copenhagen, then finally to Sweet Silence Studio, where we discovered that it had some water damage.
So it was sent to the US to repair at Studio Electronics and they said “we can’t fix it”. It had some humidity things that happened to it.

But eventually I found this guy Stefan Hübner in Hamburg. Who I was recommended by an old PPG factory tech. Who said, I have this young apprentice called Stefan, who is willing to take a look at repairing your EMT.

But the problem with the EMT was that, they never and still haven’t ever released any schematics or diagrams for it. At the time of production, they were so afraid that the Japanese would copy it, so they even sandblasted the tops of all the chips. So it doesn’t say anything on them.
There’s no traces, or anything. It’s all point-to-point soldered in the back. It’s just one huge board of chips, which no one knows what is. So Stefan has two EMT250’s on his workshop table, and he is trying to trace and test the electronics, and build up his own diagrams to figure out what happens inside of it and what each component is.

It’s just a never ending story.

So that’s the longest and possibly the most expensive restoration that I’ve ever attempted. I have never even heard it working. I just bought it and shipped it around.

Lexicon 122-s
Echoplex Tape Delay

9. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

I spent a lot of time listening to and trying to figure out all the old mysteries of dub music. I like Prince Jammy and King Tubby, but I especially like The Scientist, who was the apprentice of King Tubby.

Stack of delays

I loved his way of mixing dub and I always liked that sharp filter cuts he had. And that was the knob that King Tubby built from a unit like the one I told you about before. [Editor: Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e]

Those filters, I mean, you don’t find them. You have to build them… And I’m sure that King Tubby’s version was also modified, because he just needed it to be more aggressive.

Unknown Dub Machine

Artist or Band name?

2000F

Genre?

Bass music

Selfie?

2000F aka. Frederik Birket-Smith

Where are you from?

Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.

How did you get into music?

Mom was a DJ. Father was musician and studio owner. Guess it’s in the blood.

What still drives you to make music?

Exploration of bass and sounds, I think.

Novation Bass Station mk1 keyboard
PPG Wave 2
PPG Wave 2 Close up

How do you most often start a new track?

A beat or some sort of rhythm.

Roland CR-78

I’m not sure I’ve got a methodology or something. I least I can’t explain it. I don’t think about it really, but I just bang it out real fast. The rhythm.
I think the rhythm shows for me where the track goes. Also, I build a lot of my songs as a DJ. Which is a bit like putting music together like how I would build with Lego bricks. And I actually like it when it’s almost mechanically switching from one part to the other.

Roland TR727

Even though I mix dub stuff, I grew up listening to a lot of jungle drum-and-bass, especially grime music from the UK, and most of that is so cheaply made and is so swiftly made, that you get, a part A and a part B, and they just switch. Just so rough and so simple.

Roland CR8000

Before grime was called grime, it was called 8-bar, because the rappers just had 8 bars to rap on top of, before the song just switched sound, and I love that very, very simple almost mechanical way of building music. So I always tend to think of this as a DJ.

Roland MC-202
Roland JP8080

How do you know when a track is finished?

I test it out quite a lot… DJ’ing. I feel that it’s essential.

In bass music, people make dub plates. I used to cut a lot of plates. But I test tracks and I play them out a lot of times and then I listen. I’m listening to gauge audience reaction.

DJ decks and rack mixer

It’s actually mainly the response of people, if they appreciate or not. And what I do is even though it’s bass music, and it’s really aggressive, really dark. I like to make people almost implode.

2000F vinyl collection and decks on the back wall

I do BassUnderBuen, which is huge rave with 10,000 people here in Copenhagen under a motorway. I’ll play two or three new tracks and I can just tell… ‘okay, this track really works, this one needs work’.

I gotta test it out on a proper dance club sound system. And then I come back to the studio and rework it a little bit.

Show us your current studio

2000F Studio left side wall
2000F Studio right side wall
Unknown Prototype Valve Microphone from the ’50s
Danish DISA tube mic pre

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

This is for producers working specifically on computers, try to close your eyes as often as possible. You’ll listen differently.

Like when I have my analog mixer setup here in front of me, after I have built up the basic structure, all the stems, patterns, parts of the rhythm and the bass and so on…
Then I switch off the screen. Because I came to realize when I was in the studios, that the more I look while I mix, the more I know what is going to drop and what is going to happen. So I don’t listen as a person on the dance floor would.

The other thing I haven’t quite learned yet, but I’m trying to tell me myself all the time… is that if you’re doing edits or changes during the song structure that people need to notice in a club or in a rave situation.
It has to be very, very particular. I mean, keep it simple and obvious.

Another thing, don’t do social media. Do music.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

2000F on Spotify


Isobutane – Martin Krajčír

1. Favourite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why?

Polyend Tracker

That would most certainly be the latest reinforced jog wheel on the Polyend
Tracker
. It’s just a top-tier pleasure experience. Nice to touch, satisfying to control things with it.

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

Yamaha RM1X

Yes! Yamaha RM1X! For me it’s the closest anybody in this world got to
perfection in a hardware box. I just wish that the synth engine was a bit deeper
and the internal sounds would have 64 voice polyphony instead of 32. I know
there’s this RS7000 and all but that’s just too big. You know, now that I think of
this, the best machine in this world (at least for me) would be a combo of RM1X
and the MC-505. But then I wouldn’t leave my room. Ever.

Roland MC-505

3. What setup do you bring on holiday or tour or commute etc.?

The Polyend Tracker Mini comes to mind immediately. For live shows I usually
play with the Tracker, Play and Elektron Syntakt or the Roland MC-505, depends
on the set. For holiday I would definitely bring the Mini as it is battery powered
and tiny.

Polyend Play, Tracker and Elektron Syntakt with various other music boxes

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I left the software realm some time in 2005 and I don’t know absolutely nothing
about this branch of noise making goodies so answering this question would
probably be unfair both to software and hardware.

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

Yamaha DX7 and EX5R

I regret selling absolutely everything!!! Also I don’t regret buying anything. I love
gear and if I don’t have the place for it, I trade it or give it to a friend. I sell stuff
very rarely because… all these online marketplaces and dealing with people can
be mega annoying sometimes. But yeah I did sell some things and I totally want
them back:)
If I must pick one, it would be the Roland MKS-30 Planet S with a PG200.

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

Computer-less desktop

I know it’s a bit boring but I must say it’s definitely the Yamaha RM1X. Believe it
or not, I’ve made over 700 tracks on this thing, still have them on the floppies
somewhere. The quality is all over the place, but that’s ok since the old floppy
drive won’t load them anymore.

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

You can guess.
(Yes it’s the RM1X again)

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

Roland Fantom 06

Oh I will definitely talk about Roland MC-505 and even the newest Roland Fantom 06
here. I absolutely love both of these machines but I hate how Roland did their
workflow back in the 90s and never “fixed” it till this day.

See in Roland gear you need to save the pattern (or a whole scene) separately to all the sounds it contains. So imagine this, you make a synth patch, you save it, you built a pattern around this synth patch. All is good. Now you have a new pattern or a song and you want to use this patch again but with a slightly more open filter. So you
resave it with the new settings. But now its loaded with all the changes in the old
pattern too.
So in the end you’ll end up with gazzilion saves of the same patch with slight variations because the patch settings are not saved with your song or pattern. I hate this. It makes all patch lists messy as hell. Its the same in both the old 505 and in the new Fantom 06. I truly hate it with all my heart, but I just can’t live without this gear.

Roland Juno-1

9. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

I’ve discovered this on the Elektron Digitakt, but you can do it with anything that has a HP filter. You basically don’t need EQ for your drums that much. Software guys
are rolling their eyes now but on hardware it’s not too common to have a EQ per
channel which is sometimes pretty annoying especially with the drum samples. If
you crank up the resonance all the way up and roll the cutoff you can find a
resonant peak of any drum sample. This will be super effective especially with the
kick and snare samples and will beefen up the kick or snare in certain frequency
range. Then by rolling down the resonance you can dial up a healthy amount of
that frequency boost. If you don’t have a peaking filter this is a pretty nice way of
transforming a bunch of dead dry samples into a pumping beat.

Sequential Prophet 6 Desktop

Artist or Band name?

Isobutane

Genre?

Whatever I feel like when I turn on the machines.

Selfie?

Where are you from?

Bratislava / Slovakia

How did you get into music?

I was too poor to buy full versions of PS1 games so I stumbled upon this demo called
Music on one of the PlayStation Magazine demo discs. I made gazillions of tracks with Music and the following Music 2000 and then moved on.

What still drives you to make music?

Knowledge. And an inner passion for both hearing the sounds of the instruments and touching them. Also, actually playing the instrument, thats a big part for me too.

How do you most often start a new track?

By cursing a lot when swimming through tons of cables and On/Off switches.

How do you know when a track is finished?

Hah, this is a good one. I’m definitely not a perfectionist and count solely on my personal taste that usually guides me through the whole process.

Show us your current studio

Rack of keyboards
Studio corner
Shelf of synth

Also 3 slides here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CuRklS_tCt4/?img_index=1

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Patience. (Although I must admit it can be complicated at times)

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

Album – Future Cake

EP – 1998


Daniel Nayberg – Blip of Blop

1. Favourite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why?

I love knobs and switches, so that’s a tough question. Maybe the volume knob on my Coleman monitor controller. It has these delicious steps (every one of the 47 steps is a separate set of matched resistors), and when you have proper monitoring, it’s such a powerful feeling to fire up the volume.

Coleman monitor controller

An honorable mention (and shameless plug) would be the EAO switches on the M/S insert processor ‘VARMS’ that I designed with Elberg-ELT. They’re the same swiss-made switches used on SSL desks, they feel/look awesome, and they last for two million presses.

‘VARMS’ Elberg-Nayberg

Another favorite (functionally speaking) would be the cutoff knob on my AJH MiniMod Transistor Ladder Filter (vintage Moog Model D filter clone) – that sweep never gets old.

AJH MiniMod Transistor Ladder Filter

I also have an old Urei-designed JBL 6-channel rack-mixer (Model 5306) that I modded with direct outs myself. It has some very cool and chunky aluminium knobs. Still very much a sleeper I think – get one if you can! Sorry that was four. I did my best.

Urei-designed JBL 6-channel rack-mixer Model 5306

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

Well, depends on the context. If anything, my eurorack modular, since it’s a very flexible instrument – it just sounds incredible, and nothing beats that workflow for me (so far). I also really like improvising with it live. It’s not the easiest thing to improvise on, but it sort of makes you work to solve problems with the relatively basic and limited components that you have available, which often lead to new ideas.

Eurorack Improvisation

It’s always changing. At the moment I want to add a quad lowpass gate because I really bought into the whole Buchla thing recently, but I ran out of rack-space and promised myself I wouldn’t get more cases. It’s so easy to just get more gear, but I often find that I make better stuff when I’m more limited.

Daniels Eurorack

Another answer would be my U47 clone. That mic sounds crazy good. It’s based on the (sadly no longer available) Max Kircher (ioaudio) diy kit with handwound custom transformer and only top shelf components. It has a BeesNeez M7 capsule. I also got the equivalent U67 with a Heiserman HK67 in it.

U47 clone

My only gripe is that it’s really difficult to find high quality Neumann-style mic body housings, so they feel much cheaper than real Neumanns. I would change that if I could, but I’m not ready to shell out for the insanely-priced Neumann replacement parts.

3. What setup do you bring on holiday or tour or commute etc.?

If anything, I bring a laptop with Ableton Live and a controller – I love my Push 2. If I’m going away with my family, we mostly just bring a cheap ukulele. I really want to be that cool Zoom-recorder-found-sound kinda guy, but I’m really not (yet!).

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I recently made a dynamic multiband clipper with a few cool features with stock Ableton Live devices, that I’m pretty excited about. That would be really cool as a hardware unit, but it’s probably going to be pretty expensive to build, and it would also be a different beast. I put the effect rack up for free download at our studio’s website if anyone wants to try it out:

https://www.blipblopstudio.dk/abletonracks

Nayberg CrosscOMPressionEQ

I guess I also wish someone would emulate the Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water in software (and make it stereo!). That pedal is an instant vibe machine and nothing else does what it does. I love it to death. It’s also one of the only places I have ever encountered a lowpass gate outside of the synth-world.

I actually tried approximating it with Ableton Live devices myself, but I really just wish for a stereo hardware version.

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

Yes a lot of things. I often buy and sell stuff when some idea hit me or I get caught up in the GAS hype. I once had a really cool japanese Fender Jaguar that I refinished and modded myself. I really regret selling that. It sounded amazing.

Fender Jaguar

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

My eurorack modular for sure! I rarely get anything done in the DAW if I’m making my own music. I love how the process feels way more “iterative” on the modular. You patch something, and the machine responds. Then you are inspired to do something else, and the machine reacts again etc. It feels more like a conversation than executing an idea, especially If you experiment a lot. Building the modular (choosing/arranging modules etc.) is a way of setting the scene of what can happen. This is an approach to writing music that really resonates with the gear-enthusiast in me.

Something else that was really important for me was to build my studio away from home. We built it during Covid lockdown. I simply don’t get squat done at home, I’m not disciplined enough and there are too many distractions. I need a place to go to work, where everything is always set up and ready to roll.

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

I do everything from production to mastering, so it depends. First of all a laptop with Ableton Live Suite. Probably then a decently treated room and some good monitors. Being able to hear properly and feel awesome is everything. I still want to upgrade my setup to something better. From there I guess a good interface, a versatile mic (maybe a Sennheiser MD441) and a dual preamp like the Gyraf GIX. I love that thing, I got two of them. Just running tracks through them makes everything sound better.

Gyraf Gear

Then I would start getting into hardware instruments – maybe some semi modular synth like a Make Noise 0-coast or Strega, a Pittsburgh Taiga, or a Arturia Minibrute. Modular for the rest…

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

I kind of want to say my laptop. I hate lugging it around, needing it, and being forced to rely on it, especially for playing live. But Ableton Live is just so amazingly flexible and powerful, it would require a truckload of gear to replace the functionality, if even possible. I’ve been eyeing the new standalone Push 3, but it has some major limitations.

9. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

I’m not sure if it’s surprising, but I really like one particular idea that I had for my live setup for my band. I have an amazing MIDI controller called Touché by Expressive E. It’s a very sensitive touch controller that translates gestures into MIDI – it has three “dimensions” or axes that can be mapped to control basically anything. It’s mainly made for organic control of softsynths, but I use it to control effect sends in Ableton from the lead vocal channel out to different guitar pedal chains.
It allows me to “play” the vocal effects in real time (one hand on Touché, one hand tweaking the pedals), and it creates this very dynamic underlying effect-layer supporting and “following” the lead singer. I cannot recommend that thing enough. For our kind of music, it really adds something, and I think doing this live is pretty unique.

Also just generally running anything through guitar pedals. Pedals are awesome.

Artist or Band name?

Solo: Daniel Nayberg
Band: Meejah

Genre?

I always feel weird about putting genre labels on what I do, but probably ambient, electro, techno, and “weird stuff” would suffice.

Selfie?

Daniel Nayberg and electronic buddy

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Roskilde and still very involved in the music scene there, but I live in Copenhagen now.

How did you get into music?

I started playing electric guitar when I was 18, and quickly got fascinated by pedals. Pedals are a total gateway drug to synths, so here we are… A bit later I built and started a small underground venue and planned a few festivals with some friends, and someone had to take care of sound, so that ended up being me. Those years was a flaming crash course in live sound and mixing for me, but I learned a lot by trial and error this way! Nothing teaches you to mix quick like live sound. Sorry to those who suffered underway…

What still drives you to make music?

It’s simply a ton of fun. Moreover, what I’m really passionate about is creating physical and social platforms for young producers to learn about music tech, so we don’t all have YouTube and other online spaces as our only way of learning. It has a tendency to lead to a quick-fixy and superficial understanding of and approach to music creation, especially for beginners. This is why we host a lot of free community events/masterclasses/workshops at my studio. To bring people out of the bedroom studios, to meet others, and to have access to experimenting with pro facilities.

We are also working on (and have secured funding to) opening Denmark’s first inclusive electronic music/tech hub in central Roskilde with studios, venue, and educational facilities. You can read about it here:

https://www.inspsound.dk/kedelcentralen

How do you most often start a new track?

I typically sit in front of the modular with no plan whatsoever – or with an intention of trying to mimic someone’s style/sound or way of working.

How do you know when a track is finished?

I really don’t. What has worked the best for me so far is setting very specific boundaries or simple challenges for myself. For instance, I challenged myself to do one piece of music every week for half a year. It had to be released every Friday, so I set up a YouTube account to feel like I would let others down if I didn’t deliver. Some weeks were better than others, but I always finished something.

I also really subscribe to the idea that you should leave stuff you’re working on a few weeks and then return to it. If it’s still good, it’s probably pretty done. If not, you will often hear what it needs with fresh ears.

Show us your current studio

Blip Blop Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Try to maintain a playful approach to music making. Don’t do it because you have to, but also force yourself to at least try, even when the motivation isn’t really there, just for a short while.
Get off of YouTube and get going.

Also, creativity isn’t a “skill”. In my experience it has way more to do with creating the right framework, mindset and prerequisites (physical or otherwise) for you to thrive creatively and to make you WANT to do something. That can be hooking all the gear up, so that it’s ready to go, as much as setting rules for yourself on how/when to work.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

My band Meejah released our debut album in 2021 and it got nominated for a Steppeulv (danish music critics award). I’m really proud of it:

https://meejah.bandcamp.com/album/queen-of-spring