https://cymatics.fm/blogs/productionIf you’re looking for production tips from big name producers you came to the right place! In the first part I'll explain how to use Reddit effectively and smartly. In the second part of this article there will be an ultimate list of Reddit AMAs done by influential producers, including production tips!
I will regularly update the list so bookmark this page so you don’t miss out. If I missed any amazing AMA’s done by a producer please comment and let me know!
Continue reading to learn how and why you should be using Reddit as a production resource + exclusive interview w/ Electric Mantis talking about Reddit and his career!
(AMA LIST IS AT THE END OF THE BLOG!)
How To Use Reddit?
How can I become an amazing producer in little time?
Firstly, there is no way you can wake up an amazing producer. You have to put in the hours. But it’s not just about the sheer number of hours in the studio, but rather the quality of those hours.
You have to use your time and resources efficiently. Key-word efficiently.
Reddit is a site where you can find the information you’re looking for, but it’s also a place where you can interact and grow yourself as an artist by being involved with the online community. Think of it like the Cymatics’ Facebook group which offers an amazing pool of knowledge.
The artists that you look up to have been producing for YEARS. What does that mean? It means that they’ve put time and effort into becoming a great producer. Where do producers share their knowledge? Places like Reddit.
Bigger name producers will do AMAs (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit talking about their workflow, how they made a track, how they process certain sounds, etc.
Learn from the guys with years of experience on their belt, this is crucial for gaining experience faster because learning from them is faster than learning strictly by yourself. Growth hacks aren’t just for marketing; it applies to production as well.
That doesn’t mean copy EXACTLY what the pros do. If X Producer says he used a Sausage Fattener on his synth channel and cranked up the gain by 20%, you shouldn’t assume that a 20% gain should be applied to your channels as well. Your mix is different from the next producer. Read about techniques that big name producers use and apply that with your own sounds, but always trust your ears and make sure what you’re doing sounds good.
Electric Mantis And His Career
So you’re probably making tracks in your bedroom and spending countless hours honing your craft everyday. Electric Mantis was in the same position two years ago and now he’s on tour playing shows in NY, CA, etc. I got in touch with him and here’s what he said:
Around two years ago, one of my songs took off through a frontpage post and I've been pursuing music professionally ever since. Before I had a following, I remember posting all of my songs to various subreddits, often times just for insight and critique.
I posted Flips and Flops, Drips and Drops to r/futurebeats, claiming that I pulled inspiration from Djemba Djemba. I had no intention of catching his eye or reaching out to him, but I can only assume that he was browsing r/futurebeats or searched his name on Reddit and found my post. He then reposted the song onto his Soundcloud which was the first recognition I had really gotten up until that point, so I was absolutely pumped. I then made a post on a bigger subreddit r/music about how this artist, who was a massive inspiration, discovered and reposted me through a small Reddit post. This was the post that hit the frontpage and changed my life.
Reddit gets around six million page views per day. With that many people, it's entirely possible that your favorite musicians browse it, electronic music producers more than anyone since they're glued to their computers all day. Hell, I remember stumbling across old posts by Harley Streten a.k.a. Flume where he was asking for advice and posting updates on his songs before he blew up. He clearly browsed these smaller music subreddits just like many bigger artists do in search of new music.
“My advice is to post your songs, but also be a part of the community. Offer constructive criticism to others if they ask and take part part in discussion. There's A LOT to learn from other like minded producers and on top of that, you just might hit the right ears one day”
Subreddits are basically categories of threads where you can narrow down what kind of content you are looking for! A pro tip is to use the “search” bar in a subreddit to find specific information.
Let’s say you want to know about a plug-in or tips on how to use a certain effect. Go to the subreddit for EDM Production.
Then, go to the search bar and make sure the “limit my search to” box is checked, so you will be looking for info that’s only been posted in the EDM production subreddit!
Your journey towards success awaits! All the knowledge is out there! Read, learn, apply, put in the hard work and you’ll be finding yourself a better producer day by day!
If you’re looking for music production and marketing tips from all the big music producers like Diplo, Borgore, Dillon Francis or NGHTMRE, then you should check out this article. Below there is huge list of AMAs (Ask Me Anything) of popular music producers, and we took the most useful tips and wrote them down for you.
If you’ve come across AMAs that you’d like to see on this list, let us know in the comments below!
Ultimate list of Reddit AMAs
- Let yourself go if your being too technical, and get technical if you’re too out there.
- Good vocal chopping comes down to a lot of copy and paste, and finding the right syllables.
- When you/re stuck in the studio, nothing beats playing a show to get unstuck.
- Things I do to come up with ideas for new songs always changes. It can come from a phone recording, or humming something, playing a melody, on guitar or piano, a weird iPhone or iPad app or just messing with a sample or a synth.
- I've cut every single distraction from my life other than music/my girlfriend. I don't go to parties or social events that fill time.
- Advice for starters: Start within the box. Only take advice until you know you're onto something. Understand that there are hundreds of thousands of people trying to do exactly what you are so you need to be a needle in the haystack to stand out
- If you're starting out: do NOT download Massive or anything like that. Learn the plugins that come with your DAW, they sound great, not CPU intensive, and you learn the basics of synthesis.
Armin Van Buuren
- I always try to find my own sound in the studio but I never want to repeat myself. I'm always working on new music and new ideas.
- It's pretty easy to track what kind of genres are popping up right now, I would consider them as easiest (like future or bass house). But this isn't the way that I would think. Music should go from the heart first, so just make something you love and be honest with yourself and people will feel it.
- Just gather as much information as you can, learn about everything - mixing, mastering, watch tutorials, always refer your favorite tracks to your ideas, so this way you have a good example where you want to move with your sound to. I want to explore as many new genres as possible.
- I have always been one for creative freedom, and just exploring ideas even if they go nowhere and it’s a lot easier to do that when it’s just you at 2am making squeaks.
- How I make kicks: I start with a raw drum machine kick drum. I start with Tremor, but I have used Drumazon and Hydra in the past. Most people use Drumazon or 909 samples because the 909 is possibly the most legendary drum machine of all time. From there I EQ, add distortion and add another EQ and repeat until I get a distorted sound that I can put into a track.
- Stay in school. Don’t commit to making a living from music unless you are already making a living from it. Learn as much as you can while you still have proper time for it.
- For starters: start with the basics, listen to a lot of stuff, and decide what you like and what you don’t. Then start remixing or tweaking/customizing songs, and exchange notes with your friends.
- Read “Hannah Arendt”. She writes about ways that an individual can ‘expand their influence’ (or their “Space of Appearance”) so as to make a larger/deeper impact on society, culture, current events, other people etc.
- I think with the freedom that we have as producers, with literally every sound at our fingertips; we will continue to build and mix different sounds. Music is moving incredibly fast which means there's always something fresh out there, something inspiring.
- Find out what makes you and stick with it.
- Work hard! You got to work harder than the guy next to you and with a little luck you can breakthrough!
Blu Mar Ten
- With almost all our sounds, they go into a group channel with an EQ knocking out anything below 200-300Hz (or 400, etc!). Then a light compressor and a limiter.
- It’s not what they say about you it’s how much they say about you.
- Take life easy.
- It’s all about the balance of elements. No need to have a thousand plugins on every track in the session.
- Make the music that you are passionate about. Trying to fit in a cookie cutter mold only restricts your creativity.
- Spend an obscene amount of time in your DAW.
- No music production or marketing tips, but just a good AMA.
- It’s not hard to make it in the music industry. It’s all about timing and good music!
- Most of the time it’s about the connection you have with labels to get your music to them, but also it’s about having a great manager who can connect with label directors.
- Hypem is a great way to build a fanbase and that’s what we did and we love it. It’s also a great place to indicate really big songs of the future.
- A music background helps of course, but it’s not absolutely essential. You can always teach yourself chords and start small.
- You can learn almost everything about being a producer from the internet and talking to other producers about their techniques.
- Spend all your free time on music and never give up. Try to find your own style. I always say “if you go to bed before midnight, you’ll never make it”.
- To get booked you have to keep working really hard and make your own luck, build your own scene. That's the most fun anyway.
- Diplo’s AMA was mainly about random things. There are no actual music production tips in there, but it might be informative to you!
- I start every project from scratch. I do have certain drum sounds that I use a lot, which is a big part of my sound. Mostly I think a signature sound comes from your personality.
- Whole tracks can be built out of the smallest idea.
- Groove & melody are 90% of a song.
- My mastering chain: just multiband compression and bringing them up like 9 db and then EQing and then sausage fattener, with settings set to 0 so it acts as a limiter.
- To get your music heard: Blogs blogs and blogs. Soundcloud can only go so far, but blogs 100%.
- Honestly, when I make my 808s, I take a top kick from a sample pack, cut around 90Hz and then boost a little hard Q at 100Hz, just a little.
- To make a powerful kick, pick a kick drum that sounds big from the start. Then make room for it in the mix.
- Mixing records is very similar to making music. Finding elements that work together and compliment each other.
- I'll either not master at all and make my mix loud and use that as my final bounce, or in some cases, and when I master for others, I'll work mostly with a solid multiband compressor. Try to stay away from cranking limiters as much as possible. It's a quick way to destroy your transients.
- My 808's are usually split into 4 tracks and frequency isolated. One lpf'd at 200Hz in mono uneffected, and then the others highpassed at different frequencies, saturated, bitcrushed, chorused, verbed, panned, imaged.
- I’ts better to be able to ask questions and learn from someone in person than to listen to dudes with weird accents yell at you on Youtube all day.
- The key to a dope song is a good structure.
Emperor (Part 1) (Part 2)
- It all comes out of sound-design sessions; you'll save your best sounds for later. You'll have times where you'll make a break, or a bass, and then remember you have a sound that would work perfectly with it, and so on. It's a massive trial and error process, sometimes you have an idea in your head but it just won't seem to work when you try to make it, but then sometimes the idea works perfectly.
- Producing is like cooking, you create amazing ingredients and each can be delicious on it's own, but if you don't know how to put those ingredients together then it's going to taste like shit.
- EQ, EQ, EQ. I don't really compress that much, just limiting and EQ are the two most important things for my mixdowns, especially as I love slamming things into the red!
- Creating sounds and saving them for later use. The majority of my finished tracks are inspired from individual noises that I've made previously. I think it's a great way to work, and it also helps with you coming up with your own identity and sound.
- Keep a clean workspace. A clean workspace is a clean mind! It's good to produce when you aren't thinking about other things, and if you make your set up look nice, it can reflect in your mood too.
- Invest in good monitors - self-explanatory!
- I think just learning how to properly fix any muddy EQ clashing by sidechaining or channel EQ'ing was my biggest jump from sounding shitty to sounding pretty decent and giving me confidence to expand and try out some new sounds.
- Want to make MIDI? Take the whichever part you want midi for, run it through Melodyne, or the Cubase Variaudio thing, or any other similar programs and 'export midi'. It's not ever perfect but it's pretty close.
- If you make 1 dope effects chain, save it, then apply it to every other dope sound you make.
- The main thing to remember is that you are trying to tell a story with every song you make. Make the most important part of your story first.
- Bass is meant to be felt. That's why I have it so loud.
Fanu (Par 1) (Part 2)
- I always think people seem to use compression for the wrong things – I mean, they always talk about it, and compression definitely is a bit of a vogue thing. IMHO it's not the tool to improve the transients. I usually try to go for a quite natural drumsound that (hopefully) works in the mix, and it comes to developing the skill to listen for what's good and what's not. EQing goes a long way.
- The thing is, you should separate sound-making sessions from song-writing ones. It's hard to work on a song if you don't have ideas and food for it. If you sit down and decide "I'm going to make a song" and have no fresh ideas and/or sounds that'll excite you, it'll be hard, and soon you'll be feeling "I suck at making songs" and you get frustrated.
- Reference tracks are well-produced-and-mastered tracks from other producers (I have some of mine, too) that I quickly listen to while mixing and mastering (you just have to bring them down to the level of your song when mixing to get a realistic picture). They tell me if my song is muffled, for example. I'm simply comparing my song (or others' songs in mastering) to a few really good commercial ones.
- Starting on a new song varies from track to track. It’s necessary to mix it up in order to be re-inspired.
- Learn what software and tools you have, rather than depending on what you think you need.
- Make your music free! Lock that shit so people need to like your Facebook to download. Build your online presence. So important right now!
Flosstradamus (Part 1) (Part 2)
- Breakthrough skills we’ve learned to improve our music production exponentially are sampling and audio to MIDI.
Flux Pavilion (Part 1) (Part 2)
- When starting out I think it’s easier just to concentrate on making sounds and experimenting with different modules and seeing what happens.
- The best things in my career have been accidents and you are in an amazing position to just potter around and discover these accidents!
- I suppose I tend to start my tracks just using saw waves and work on the sounds as the track progresses.
- Every track is different, but as a standard I just keep a reverb and a delay handy on my sends. Keeping a reverb as a send is especially handy for cutting down on CPU raping, and it’s a nice way of bringing a mix together quite naturally.
- When someone told me i didn't always have to use it to add frequencies but to also take them away, it blew my mind.
- Check your mix in mono as well so that you're sure it's still solid in mono. Then use reverbs, delays and panning for your width.
- Sidechain is important if you want the kick to stand out. We use sidechain on the bass and synths so that it doesn't struggle with the kick. Have to say that mixing the low end is that hardest part. We use parallel compression as well sometimes.
- It's important to cut frequencies instead of pushing everything you want to hear. When you cut some stuff you can push the volume afterwards so that you don't get a muddy mix.
- Sometimes we have the kick way harder then the synths, but if we want more attention on the synths we tend to mix the synth more upfront by EQ'ing a lot of the lower mids out of the kick (180-300 Hz).
- Galantis’s AMA was mainly about other topics, no real music production tips. Though it might be informative to read this AMA!
- The rules of producing do not matter, if it sounds good, if it feels good, then it is good.
- If you’re stuck on a track, start a new one and come back to it.
- The louder the better.
- Mostly small talk in this AMA. No real production or marketing tips, but worth reading.
- I think the important thing is to move away from worrying about the longevity of a genre and think about the longevity of an artist. Genres don't have the flexibility of just becoming something else like an artist can. Given the right tools and the right interest you can make anything you want so why wouldn't you?
- Pan every track to slightly different sides so that your track is well rounded.
The Glitch Mob
- The best thing you can do is focus on making music. Keep churning out tracks and hone your craft. Once you build up a fan base, it will be easier to get gigs.
- We do tune our drums a lot of the time. It's a personal preference - it's not necessary, but we just like the effect it has. Mainly the kicks, especially if they're really sub heavy.
- If you're starting out, it's important to just get your music out there. Give it out for free AND sell it. Just finish stuff and get it out to the world, get your name out there!
- We get our crazy samples from random places really. We just try and download the most random sample packs or just cut up acapellas and make them all weird.
- Don't worry about any major labels. Just put your stuff out there where people can listen and keep going. Eventually people will hear it.
- I am VERY involved in the song writing on my albums. Typically I write or co-write a song then go and find someone to sing it. This is why my albums sound so different from what is out there in the EDM world. Albums are my stories and each song represents a chapter.
- I tend to sidechain my kick drums to my sub-bass. I always make sure that the dip in volume on the sub is as fast and as small as possible - just enough to make the kick come through. This does help a bit, but the key is just making sure the two are nice and balanced in general. If you're finding that the kick is always too quite - it's probably the wrong sample.
- If it's a sound like a hi-hat or a violin - I just use the parametric EQ in Cubase (comes as standard). If it's something like cutting the lows of a snare drum, a kick or something with a lot of low end in it already: I always use a linear phase EQ plugin (Voxengo make a decent one which is free!). The "linear phase" part is important as sometimes with a parametric EQ, as a result of the way the EQ works, when you cut the low end the overall volume actually increases. Linear Phase EQ works in a different away and is more effective at removing low end.
- I keep my kicks very simple. I just find a nice sample and EQ it to my liking. Sometimes I layer 2 or 3 together - but very rarely. I find it makes the kick sound worse quite a lot of the time.
Keys N Krates
- Just make as much shit as you can, try and form your own style and take influences from people you dig, and be a nice person and don't be a weeny.
- When we meet artists who are weenies we are shocked cause why wouldn't just you just want to be nice and have good energy around you?
- No promoter or fan is every going to be like "oh I especially loved SO AND SO cause he's such a fuckin’ dick head." Be a good human and you'll be a way better off.
Kill The Noise
- Hanging out with some new friends in the studio has helped me ‘hear’ things differently. Getting philosophical with your friends about why you make music and how it makes you feel makes you better. Learning your tools makes you better.
- Making music shouldn’t be a formula. Making a synth patch or mixing a song shouldn’t be like putting together an Ikea table or completing a video game.
- Watching tutorials is awesome but they should always be a starting point. All of the cool stuff comes from stepping outside of the boundaries and discovering ideas that may be unconventional, stuff that people might consider wrong.
- Once you have a song in a good place where you are feeling it but start getting stuck; bounce it out! Listen to it in the car or listen to it on your phone. Bring the .wav into your sequencer and play with different arrangements, chopping the song into pieces. Try looping different sections and put stuff in different orders.
- This AMA is more about touring and other topics.
- Getting tracks out there is pretty much all me promoting it, emailing blogs etc.
- My mastering chain/process is very light. I usually have the track sounding how I want before I master. Then I just do a touch of limiting/compression with ozone, but I sort of master in groups - group all my drums together, synths, basses etc. It’s a strange process but it works for me.
- To get your music out to a larger audience you should develop your crew of producers. People that want to work together and support each other's tunes and grow together. Not just to help get your music out but to develop friendships in an industry that can feel full of opportunists. I’m lucky for my internet buddies.
- To make tracks quickly, have your go to samples/patches in racks/presets so you can just drop stuff in. Have an idea of what you want to make before you hop in. but also let go and when the track takes a diff turn run with it. Make deadlines for yourself.
- Make a beat every single fucking day. You will get better.
- Cutting under 200Hz on sounds that don’t need it. Sometimes you don’t even hear this tiny little rumble or low frequency in a sample that can muddy up your mix. You want the bass sounds that matter to smack super hard so you don’t want that super low end in, say, a stomp or floor tom. Also, making certain sounds mono or panning other sounds super wide can make an enormous difference.
- Don't try to be EXACTLY like anyone else.
- I’d like to think people crave a certain degree of novelty within music, and I also think everyone has something unique and interesting to say when it comes to music - and to make music that’s truly captivating you have to let go of the notion that your music has to fit into a box or sound like anyone other than yourself.
- Good sample selection is key. I usually take a character kick from old hiphop / breaks / wherever, and layer that with a synthesized kick (either via Bazzism or Nicky Romero's Kick). Mono the low kick, Hi pass that character kick, add a bit of stereo width to it via an imager / stereo delay. Bus both of them together and add a bit of light compression (3:1 ratio, adjust the attack to the let the transient snap through slightly), then saturate a tad. Oh and then save it for when you're feeling inspired and want to crank out the bulk of a tune instead of nerding out on mixing.
The M Machine
- We master everything ourselves - the final sound of a song is so related to mixing, and mastering is really almost an extension of that process.
- For the most part, if a song is mixed right, mastering is mainly a loudness maximizing process. We've found that it's better to fix "mix issues", too much bass, too sharp drums, etc. in the mix when they present a problem during mastering, rather than attack the whole track with EQ or other processing.
- Music theory is much less important than music hearing... meaning, it doesn't really matter how much you know about why the music works so long as you have a great sense of rhythm, harmony, and melody.
- I mix my snares quite oddly in anticipation of my mastering. I'll always test my drums with a mastering chain on to make sure they still feel punchy and snappy.
- Avoid redundancy - There's no need to have two simultaneous chorded instruments with loud highs. Dynamic is also a huge asset, having snappy, fast decaying highs on rhythmical elements can go a long way.
- Keeping faith in a track. After being exposed to a song constantly for weeks, it's easy to start questioning it.
- A little bit of controlled clipping sounds better than a bad limiter.
- We always start with simple chords. Sound design might take 1 year even if the song writing only takes an hour.
Mayhem x Antiserum
- I think good mixes come with time, patience and a lot of hard work. A nice monitoring rig and solid acoustics help too. The more references the better!
- We layer a lot. For the 808 subs we usually combine sources (a synth bass & a sample of a bass hit) and EQ them accordingly to make it sound bigger.
- Getting badass sub takes a lot of time. It’s delicate. I feel like its one of the hardest frequency ranges to truly tame. Low cut stuff that doesn't need the low end and take time with the kick drum too. Use a spectral analyzer and check RMS levels to make sure it’s hitting hard.
- In my opinion, by using good gain staging and not recording everything super loud and clipping all your plugins. I like to record everything peaking at -6dB or below, which leaves lots of room for EQ and other processing. I pump it up much louder on the other side of the fader.
- Sonically I think it's often best to go full spectrum within one synth (i.e. multiple octaves). It's a good technique to transpose chords in a few different soft synths, pan them to unique positions, filter out their key frequency ranges, compress them to glue, then sidechain.
- I'll group several tracks into one bus, and apply a very modest amount of compression maybe 2 dBs of GR, with slow attack fast release. Usually an SSL comp, followed by a very fast limiter to avoid clipping.
- For my top kick I use a sample or Bazzism. I could use a tuned bottom kick with Bazzism, depends on key of song. I always sidechain with a fast attack, release set by ear to tempo, guide "ghost" kick something short and punchy. This is the most important step. Then compress your kicks together, but don't add much processing.
- Start with yourself. Read, get into uncomfortable relationships, be open to shit jobs and long hours, respect everything and everyone that crosses your path. When you feel you got a handle on that, then pick up your laptop and write about it.
- In order to mix your kick and sub, try to saturate/maximize then limit hard. It'll give you a bigger sound!
- How I create synths: Take a nice saw chord patch, something easy on the ears for you. Now take any reverb effect plugin and turn the dry wet all the way to 100%. You'll get a muddy sound, but if you turn the space/size/delay/room knobs to a minimal level then you should get a very airy and spacious modeling of your chord synth. The rest is all EQ-ing and compressing.
- There are no real in-depth music production tips in this AMA, but it’s definitely worth a read.
- Being selfish in the studio is the one thing we wish we knew when we started. Make music only for yourself. Make music that you personally love. Don't start a track thinking I want to make a song that everyone else likes. That sets you up for failure right away. If you start a track thinking "I want to make something that only I like and it doesn’t matter what other people think of it". You will create something unique.
- During a creative block we either just stand up and take a break or dig through random sample packs for sounds and ideas.
- Any easy way to get your name out there and start to build a following is by doing Premiere's or Exclusive downloads with blogs, Youtube channels, or Soundcloud pages that already have built-in following.
- We often duplicate bass sounds and process one just for sub purposes and another(s) for texture. Not often a plain sine but a full copy because the sub has to have the same movement as the layer.
- If we do frequency splitting, we do usually leave the frequency splits on a steady frequency, often based on the key of the track. We find that the changes in sound across the notes aren’t dramatic, and maybe even welcome.
- Sometimes we do automate EQ’s because distortion on a reese will usually react completely differently to an onctave (alinear distortion). In that case we also sometimes duplicate the instruments and split the notes between the two different pitches.
- Try to invest in some good studio monitors, or if that's out of your price range, good studio headphones. It's worth bearing in mind though that good ideas are always going to shine through.
- Practice makes perfect!
- The more you write, the more you finish, the better you will get. Don’t expect immediate results and try to find your own voice.
- There are so many online tutorials out there that you might find helpful. Try to avoid ones that show you how to make one very specific sound, without explaining what’s going on. Instead, look for the tutorials that focus on individual technical aspects. Also, a bit of music theory never goes amiss.
- Ookay’s AMA was mainly about other topics, no real music production tips. Though it might be informative to read this AMA!
- Pure sinewave bass in boring. It has no character, it eats up level in your song badly...it only plays back well on big sound systems and it doesn’t have any harmonics to play with. Yes you are big and clever when u get a clear sinewave in a track (actually hard to do well) but for most people it will not be played back well enough to get that floorshaking bass you want.
- The most simple bass wave that is just above a pure sinewave is a sawtooth wave with a LP filter removing the harmonics down to say 200-300Hz.
- I would always advice to take breaks from tracks and work on them for a while. It’s amazing how fresh ears hear things after a week! Personally it’s not untypical to work 3-12 months on a track.
- Tips for any upcoming producer: don't sound like everyone else. Every A&R is looking for something original and it's so much easier to stand out from the crowd when you have something unique in your sound. Cherish your own sound and don't be afraid to be different.
- Workflow tips: focus on strong core idea which you can demonstrate in 5 seconds or with MIDI piano and voice. Take breaks from production. Listen from various speakers. Have references of for mix down comparison. Too few elements is mostly better than too many. Master at least one synth inside out so that you don't rely on presets. And don't destroy your ears with too loud volumes :)
- Really detailed explanation about how Pegboard Nerds mixes (Check the AMA).
- To get crispy synths, get a good basic sound and then add some multiband compression and EQ.
- Once our tracks hit the master, we don’t really do that much – just subtle EQ’ing (highpass the side signal at 150-ish), maybe a slight dip at 300Hz, slight high end boost etc.
- The best way to get your name out there is to start making amazing music and by putting it out there! Find blogs that want to support you and build slowly.
- Speak your truth. Express yourself! What do YOU want to say? So many people come into this scene wanting to be famous so they just repeat what someone else is doing, but it’s rarely better than what they are copying. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so be prepared.
- Do everything you can to be different. I know it's so generic and overused but I really mean it. When I first started producing, I always tried to replicate what I liked in the context of my own melodies (synth sound, drum patterns etc). I really started to be proud of my work when I was writing things that didn't sound like someone else.
- Just try it! If you have the desire, go for it. Anyone can try it out, who knows what you will make!
- This AMA isn’t really music production related. It’s more about different types of songs and current trends in the music industry. It’s still a good read!
- I mix while making the track. My first drafts usually dictate the mixdown's feeling. Usually mix to 0db. I mix the drums/synths/padsfx in 3 different groups and those 3 channels meet in the master bus, which I sometimes EQ on, or multiband compress when I feel special.
- Make a lot of stuff and use your ears. I make a lot of stuff and less than 1% off it I actually finalize and release.
- Writers block: I stop working on it for a week, then re-open the project, works wonders.
- Also this AMA isn’t marketing or music production related. The topics in this thread are interesting, so if you’d like to read something else, you should go for this one.
- Blogs are amazing. Send out your music to blogs!
- Snares: I always make them loud as possible giving them enough compression with some reverb. I sometimes like to search through percussion sample packs and make my snare hits from them.
- 808s: I use samples and heavily EQ them!! Heaps of overdrive - not distortion - overdrive - and some compression gives them the kick it needs.
- Make sure you look at the EQ of your kick and 808. They should never collide but sit next to each other perfectly. I like to start with the kick, make sure it's compressed a bit, got a little bit of overdrive on it, then EQ the frequency that I want and don’t want. For the 808 it's almost the same process but I focus more time EQing the 808.
- Leads: Go through preset sounds on VSTs and listen out for ideas. That way when you hear the idea you can edit and tweak the sound to your liking.
- Giving up so quickly is an easy mistake, it's a skill that requires patience so if you stick with it long enough you can enjoy making music much more fluently.
- I find that the snare is one of the most important elements in a track since it plays throughout the track. I spend a lot of time layering my snare so i can achieve the sound I'm going for. If you boost around 200Hz it gives it more body, boost around 10kHz for sizzle.
- Use good quality samples. Good samples just sound good off the bat and you have to do less work on them.
- Run your hats into the same group/bus with the rest of your drums and use compression/reverb/other fx on that bus to put everything in the same "world".
- "Julia" is a sound a sampled in that record. It’s on this list of unexplained sounds that I found on Wikipedia. It’s basically the sound of an enormous iceberg moving.
- Work your ass off! Really, I’ve been making music for over 11 years. When all my friends were going out and going on holiday I was in my little room working ALL DAY to create stuff!
- It takes years to find your sound! First when you start producing, something sounds good when it sounds like something else you know... But in time you'll realize that something sounds good when it doesn’t sound like anything else!
- To achieve clarity in your mixes is always a struggle. Following a few basic rules though helps. Use high and lowpass filters. Be aware of where your main sounds are in the mix (Kick, Snare, Bass, Lead) and then fill in stuff around those main sounds. Don't have sounds competing for space. Chop your reverb tails when they are not needed. Don't use a shit ton of reverb in general.
- Just be you. There is so much pressure to change and adapt to the music world, play the social media game, make friends with the cool musicians who are on the way up and stay away from those who aren't. Fuck all that. That’s what I would say.
- When I think of writing music and creating pads and sounds I often think of colors and textures, I think this is where those things become similar.
- My advice is to never write with a limiter on. I fell into that for a while and when I wanted to get my tracks mastered I would realize how shit the mix was once I took the limiter off! Basic stuff, but really important.
- I think success has to come with being open about your personality. Do YOU and don’t give a FUCK what people have to say.
- Top of Form
- If you surround yourself with creative, hungry, and productive people, it will make you have to step up your game. If you’re around lazy people who complain then you'll never grow as a person. Keep good people close!
- Creating drums tip 1: Creating new samples, a variety of ways - usually sample layering, using frequency-splitting (HP one, LP the other) or time-splitting (transient/tail or transient/body).
- Creating drums tip 2: Bussing related sounds together (e.g. hats and cymbals, snares and claps etc) and treating (processing) them as a group to give a bit of 'unity'.
- Creating drums tip 3: bussing busses together (usually sans-kick) mostly for compression, occasionally EQ, and level control over all drums.
- Definitely not making my subs too loud, and EQ's are you best friend.
- Inspiration comes from everywhere! Also I sometimes just goof around with a synth and then all of a sudden an epic sound comes up! Goofing around always is a winner!
- I think there is a lot of confusion about gates kicks, because I’ve seen people call very distorted harcore-ish kicks gated kicks, while it’s actually a kick with loads of power without any distortion, but with lots of compression and reverb. Delete’s secret? I bet it is compression!
- Best value tip: Keep in mind that your kick needs the low EQ spectrum, so any sound on top of the kick that also has a lot of low EQ will completely mess up your mixdown. It might sound very logical, but I see/hear this happen way more than you’d expect.
- Tiga’s AMA was mainly about other topics, no real music production tips. Though it might be informative to read this AMA!
- Fat sample/synth to start with get the groove going over drums add distortion/FX on a send for texture compress low end (I use multiband compressor, just compressing 65hz and below).
- with a Mackie desk you can use the desk gains and overdrive the channel so it distorts in a really nice way, it usually rolls off the sub and adds low mid, with a top end fizzle.
- Just keep on trying and never give up.
- To make your tracks sound full you can use compression, mixdown and mastering. It’s a combination of all the factors. There aren’t really specific tricks. I do use a lot of very low volume / subliminal hi-hat / percussive noises to fill up the treble space organically though. Maybe that’s a tip.
- Writers block – I finally realized that there is absolutely no cure for writers block, aside from heavy narcotics, which are a temporary cure that later create more harm than good. So now I just accept it and stop trying. I’ll just take time off.
- Mixdown tip: Good room, good monitors, good musical references, and less is more on the mastering tip if you master your own music.
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