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General Tips and Tricks for making Electronic Music Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 11th September 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

General Tips and Tricks for making Electronic Music

Hi, Im fairly new to this forum and am finding it really useful for helping me in tight spots or expanding my knowledge. Im sure, many of you are the same as me in that you're self taught in most of your production, maybe having the chance to work with someone thats better than you sometimes but more often that not learning how to do some pretty cool things from people that also learning because everyone's approach is different. So, with this in mind, I thought perhaps it would be appropriate to pass on some of the basic little titbits and techniques I use alot in my music. If others did the same Im sure we could all learn something (however small) new.
Cheers
CT

1. Cut the bass below 50hz on most channels barr the kick and sub (sometimes even the kick)

2. If you pan a hat hard left and apply a very short delay (3-7ms or so) panned to the right you can create a much wider stereo image, Automating the delay time slightly can create some interesting effects too.

3. Arps are great for helping to find musical inspiration when you might be lacking. Playing a chord sequence and then putting an arp over it and recording the arps midi output to a different channel while you mess with the timing/pattern etc will gve you alot of source material you can then use as basslines/ leads/ fills etc.

4. Double tracking vocals, panning them left and right (say between 15 & 30 each way) then slightly detuning one of them and moving the start point by a few ms can really help to add presence to a vocal part. Also opens up the doors to alot more experimentation with pitch and harmony without needing backing vox or the overdubs.

5. Heavily gating percussive loops and running them through effects units (distortions, overdrives etc) makes for great glitch loops.
Old 11th September 2011
  #2
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sftd's Avatar
 

I've somehow seen this before..

a technique I'll often use to really put the finishing touches of glue and balance to a mix is a UAD plug by the name of being perceptive.
Old 11th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

dive into a synth instead of a new track.
go make yourself a library full of own made presets.
Just with one synth, so it'll force you to understand the synth to make different sounds with.

Starting a new track, you already got your presets for basic sounds like fade in/out noise, rise/fall fx, percy noises, etc.
Old 11th September 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdgh View Post
dive into a synth instead of a new track.
go make yourself a library full of own made presets.
Just with one synth, so it'll force you to understand the synth to make different sounds with.

Starting a new track, you already got your presets for basic sounds like fade in/out noise, rise/fall fx, percy noises, etc.
I like this, may spend the day doin this today, last week I recorded loads of live perc, so nice having it there ready rather than recording as and when i need it
Old 11th September 2011
  #5
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountingToes View Post
So, with this in mind, I thought perhaps it would be appropriate to pass on some of the basic little titbits
The big danger in this is that you write a one-liner that sounds neat but omit the explanation behind it that spans 3 pages and lists all kinds of caveats where it is applicable or not.

Following these without thinking only leads to cargo-cult mixing and not trusting your own ears.
Old 11th September 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Following these without thinking only leads to cargo-cult mixing and not trusting your own ears.
Agreed. There should be a big "*" next to this thread. But as long as people keep this in mind it should be fine. Part of the initial learning process is imitating others and then once confident enough you can start coloring outside the lines so to speak.
Old 11th September 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

we don't have to exactly copy what others do. Just try a certain workflow/method to get ourselves out of the inspireless days. Make sounds, read some books, listen to some other music, go fish, go watch some television, field record, etc.

A pointer as : i put my compressor on 1:2 and -15db treshold is nothing we can work with as we all should know.
Old 11th September 2011
  #8
Deleted User #106149
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I really don't like the cutting @50k approach. I don't care what anyone says, something is definitely lost. Shelving maybe but cutting No way. Especially for modern club music.

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Old 11th September 2011
  #9
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Dudley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Concept View Post
I really don't like the cutting @50k approach. I don't care what anyone says, something is definitely lost. Shelving maybe but cutting No way. Especially for modern club music.

Well, i have to tell you that you it's actually a very useful thing to do. it DOES depend on having the right HPF, they are all different. But, it will tighten up your sub bass and make it sound deeper, even though that is counter-inuitive.
When you have lots of frequencies swmming around at 20 - 40hz, they are not audible and they just make the systems woofers respond less clearly. remove some of this ( not all - we're talking about a HPF rolloff here) and the speaker can do it's job and push out 60hz cleanly, which is where your low smooth subs are.

cutting below 40hz is my preference, 50 can be a bit high, it just depends.
then boosting 50-70 really gives you a nice sub.

you also need decent, accurate monitoring to do this.
Old 11th September 2011
  #10
Gear Addict
 

yer i agree its pretty subjective, on hi hats say, I would cut even more, just because I dont need those frequencies for my hats to cut through. However a rhodes or other organ sound, I might not even touch or maybe i'd sidechain the bottom end against my bass so they didnt clash
Old 11th September 2011
  #11
The more I learn and the longer I've been mixing the more it all comes down to "less is more".

Less processing, less compression, less eq'ing. Get your sounds right at source and the track mixes itself. In edm this is especially easy, as you get to choose your sounds. **** in **** out and all that. So many noobs struggle to make sounds work together when they obviously don't go together to begin with. If your having to process the hell out of something then it obviously ain't working.


.
Old 11th September 2011
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msl View Post
The more I learn and the longer I've been mixing the more it all comes down to "less is more".

Less processing, less compression, less eq'ing. Get your sounds right at source and the track mixes itself. In edm this is especially easy, as you get to choose your sounds. **** in **** out and all that. So many noobs struggle to make sounds work together when they obviously don't go together to begin with. If your having to process the hell out of something then it obviously ain't working.


.
... don't play a ****load of noodly notes either........simple and to the point. It gets complicated between things anyway, so keep it clean within each sound.....And be utterly ruthless. When you first hear back yesterdays new featus track mercylessly kill ANYTHING in it that doesn't excite you on first listen. Even those sounds you spent a couple of hours on trying to make them work....and kind of did too.....only they're not 'the real, unstruggling deal'....kill them! Make space for beauty. Basically don't let any sounds slip through that are trying to do something, only ones that are doing it. Easy to tell apart if you're honest.....I'll stop rambling here.....
Old 11th September 2011
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Concept View Post
I really don't like the cutting @50k approach. I don't care what anyone says, something is definitely lost. Shelving maybe but cutting No way. Especially for modern club music.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Gearslutz.com App
hmmm.......a good one is to flatten a shelf and tilt the entire bottom or top half of a sound.....
Old 11th September 2011
  #14
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Schwarzwald's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
... don't play a ****load of noodly notes either........simple and to the point. It gets complicated between things anyway, so keep it clean within each sound.....And be utterly ruthless. When you first hear back yesterdays new featus track mercylessly kill ANYTHING in it that doesn't excite you on first listen. Even those sounds you spent a couple of hours on trying to make them work....and kind of did too.....only they're not 'the real, unstruggling deal'....kill them! Make space for beauty. Basically don't let any sounds slip through that are trying to do something, only ones that are doing it. Easy to tell apart if you're honest.....I'll stop rambling here.....
I can't tell you how much realizing this has helped me make better mixes. This is the greatest advice anyone can tell anyone about anything ever ever forever.
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
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wakestyle's Avatar
this practically reads like a win and fail recipe for writing music!

I guess it depends on who's point of view though
/p
Old 12th September 2011
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

also a good advice imo is : have lots of fun. don't take music making too seriously cause you'll try to force a direction of your track. Don't bother and just let it happen. Then you'll be able to make classics.
Old 12th September 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdgh View Post
also a good advice imo is : have lots of fun. don't take music making too seriously cause you'll try to force a direction of your track. Don't bother and just let it happen. Then you'll be able to make classics.
No offense, but how do you know this? Experience, or just a guess?
Old 12th September 2011
  #18
Gear Addict
 

I understand that statement, no one ever formulated a true classic, because to be truly a classic piece of music it has to contain that certain something extra, that little bit of magic that none of us can control and just tends to turn up from time to time. From my experience this only happens when i'm totally in it, not thinking about what im doing and more flowing, also the most fun times.
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