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Old 06-17-2017, 09:31 PM   #1
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Audio Content What do you listen to while writing?

So, some of you may know this but I had a PC malfunction a month or so ago.

tl;dr my water cooling leaked onto a hdd and it fried the sata power connector.

Long story short it had all my music on there, including my writing playlist. Of which, I can only remember a fraction of the songs.

So, what do you guys listen to when writing? I'm in the process of rebuilding and am looking for inspiration.

My previous list includes a dozen tracks from the following with notable examples:

Final Fantasy Crisis Core: The Price of Freedom
Final Fantasy Crisis Core: The Burden of Truth
Final Fantasy Crisis Core: The Burdened

Final Fantasy VII: Descendant of Shinobi

Final Fantasy VIII: Fisherman's Horizon (Piano Collection)
Final Fantasy VIII: Eyes on Me (Piano Collection)

Final Fantasy IX: The Hermit's Library (Piano Collection)
Final Fantasy IX: The Place I'll Return to Someday (Piano Collection)
Final Fantasy IX: Melodies of Life (Piano Collection)
Final Fantasy IX: Village of Dali (Piano Collection)
Final Fantasy IX: You're Not Alone (Piano Collection)

Final Fantasy X: To Zanarkand (Piano Collection)

Florence + The Machine: Stand by Me
Florence + The Machine: Too Much is Never Enough

Bravely Default: The Day the Wind Blew
Bravely Default: World of Scattering Flowers
Bravely Default: Ballad Moving Toward Hope

Fate/Stay Night: Madder Red Town
Fate/Stay Night: Night of Fate
Fate/Stay Night: Kishi Ou no Hokori

Tsukihime: 'Track 07'

I'll keep adding as I recall tracks.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:59 PM   #2
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First qualifier for writing music is that it can't have lyrics, or at least distinctive lyrics. Lyrics distract me, I'll be listening to the music instead of writing. So I'll often just put on HP movie soundtracks, something like Blue by Eiffel 65 (fuck you, I like it) where lyrics repeat a lot and become good background noise. I've been on a Daft Punk kick lately (Veridis Quo is the perfect kind of writing music for me). I'm wont to just search "gothic/fantasy music" on YT and put on a 2hr compilation. Or 2hrs of rain. Or not play music at all. I do fine with just silence.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:14 PM   #3
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I'll keep adding as I recall tracks.
To be honest, I highly doubt that you'd like my taste in music. It's not really something that people tend to listen to when writing. For me though, I find that it becomes good background sound once it gets me in the right frame of mind for writing. Here goes:

Every song from The Marshall Mathers LP [Eminem].
Every song from The Marshall Mathers LP 2 [Eminem].
Every song from The Eminem Show [Eminem].
Every song from Recovery [Eminem].
Every song from When It's Dark Out [G-Eazy].
Every song from 4 Your Eyez Only [J. Cole].
Every song from Hybrid Theory [Linkin Park].

These are really my go-to albums when writing. So as you can see, I'm a huge Eminem fan. I like Linkin Park, J. Cole and G-Eazy too. You might think rap isn't really good background sound for writing but it certainly works for me.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:22 PM   #4
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If I'm looking for inspiration, I'll play some folky witchy music.

Delain - Sleepwalker's Dream
Blackmore's Night - Locked Within the Crystal Ball
Blackmore's Night - Fires at Midnight
Omnia - Witches Brew
Korpiklaani - God of Wind

If I'm looking for something supernatural, I'll listen to something heavier like these:

Powerwolf - Army of the Night
Revamp - the Trial of Monsters

If I'm writing a battle, I'll listen to something like these:

Tyr - By the Sword in my Hand
Sabaton - Attero Dominatus

If I'm writing sexy times, well, all I can say is that I have written an actual story using the title of this song.
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:27 AM   #5
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I don't listen to music while writing. I generally find it too distracting, even without lyrics.

What I do instead is whenever I take a pause to think I put a song on - usually something with a 'feel' similar to whatever I'm writing - and run around my house singing and jumping and imagining and thinking. Like a crazy person.

No, seriously. I broke a toe doing this once. My pinky toe, but still. And I've pulled muscles and fallen down and bruised myself.

Slow song, fast song, catchy pop song, old ballad song, music with no lyrics, whatever. So it's essentially my regular playlist. Only when I do this while writing I always pick the song I listen to manually instead of using shuffle like I would if I just had music playing in the background while doing something else.

Following your theme of game soundtracks though... I do sometimes find myself listening to the "Irish Jig" from Final Fantasy VIII, the Majora's Mask theme song (all three days!), and the Lost Woods theme (Ocarina of Time). There's also Dire, Dire Docks from Mario 64... and yeah, I could go on for a while with various game soundtracks. They're familiar and comforting, especially ones from the days when I played console games as a teenager. Nostalgic but not in a way that makes me pay attention to it because I never paid that much attention to it to begin with, way back when.
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:58 AM   #6
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Metal most of the time, though I find it helps to listen to game/movie/tvshow soundtracks if you're writing a fanfic for that game.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:15 AM   #7
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I'll come back when I have time to provide links but when I'm writing OF I listen to a lot of Florence and the Machine and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

FF though is a different story. I'll often hear music that inspires me to write but it never really lasts.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:15 AM   #8
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The interesting thing about Vidja soundtracks is that they're designed to help you focus whilst minimizing distraction for the most part.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:51 AM   #9
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The interesting thing about Vidja soundtracks is that they're designed to help you focus whilst minimizing distraction for the most part.
Assuming they're well designed.
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:02 AM   #10
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Assuming they're well designed.
If water is wet, it is water. If it is not wet it is ice.
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:09 AM   #11
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If water is wet, it is water. If it is not wet it is ice.
If its not wet and is burning you, it's probably steam.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:43 AM   #12
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PLASMA WATER!

Edited to actually add a music file of some kind... on a whim I just wrote a drabble sized Star Trek fanfiction while listening to this. The song is an orchestrial piece based on a song from a TNG episode (The Inner Light). Because that link (about the plasma water) made me want to write about space, the final frontier.
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Last edited by CheddarTrek; 06-18-2017 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:03 PM   #13
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I listen to dark ambient while writing. There are a few YT channels (namely jonnie13black and Cryo Chamber) that I follow and usually just listen to the first track that feels right. Occasionally I choose classical music but it's harder for me to find something not distracting out of that.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:26 PM   #14
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I mostly stick Archer on as background noise, but sometimes when I'm writing action scenes I stick on a few bits of music.

He's A Pirate (Pirates of the Caribbean main theme).
I am the Doctor (Doctor Who, Eleventh Doctor/Matt Smith theme).
Duel of the Fates (Star Wars The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul vs Qui-Con and Obi-Wan)
Mind Heist (Inception)
Heart of Courage (Two Steps From Hell, various trailers).
Halo theme.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:43 PM   #15
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For quite a long time it was Florence and the Machine on end and end and end for me. I have a quirk where I can listen to the same song or Album for weeks, sometimes even months.

There's something special to hearing that woman's voice - sometimes soothing, sometimes powerful - while I sit down to create carnage.

Not everyone here has read my T7A stories, but for those who know of it, it might come as a surprise that the most harrowing passages of Ike (and some of the earlier torture parts as well) exist in my mind to the lovely backdrop of Spectrum.

I find that it changes my rhythm though. Without music I hear myself more clearly, while with a song in the background I feel more emotionally attached to the scene, if that makes sense.

Then there's of course music without lyrics. I had quite some fun searching for arabic-themed music when I sat down to write scenes in the desert - which were rather a lot I suspect.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:01 PM   #16
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My playlists closely mirror @Jon's. Those video game soundtracks, particularly the ones I grew up with (and I was a big Final Fantasy fan), swing my writing into the fast lane.

I primarily use the FFX one - To Zanarkand just gets me in the mood.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:08 AM   #17
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For quite a long time it was Florence and the Machine on end and end and end for me.
Are you mixing 'on end' with 'on and on'?
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:17 AM   #18
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Usually it tends to be whatever playlist I started for the day, but judging by frequency of plays, I listen to a lot of Cash when I'm writing. Especially some of the later, more solemn stuff.

I've got two separate playlists of choral music (gregorian chant, lord of the rings soundtrack bits of elvish singing, some stuff by Thomas Tallis) and instrumental pieces. All of them are pretty relaxing and meditative. They tend to flow in the background.

If I've got a particular scene in mind, I'll pull a Quentin Tarantino and look for a song that fits it before I write.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:28 AM   #19
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Are you mixing 'on end' with 'on and on'?
I am, yes.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:04 PM   #20
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These days I just listen to Human Music. Good for the soul.
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