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Share your tips/secrets on producing!
Old 15th October 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Share your tips/secrets on producing!

Hey

Thought this would be a good thread to share all these small but usefull tips, that some of us never thought of or used yet.

Simply just give away a production tip, can be anything from mixdown to arrangement tips. You don't have to post a tip, the thread is also open to discuss some tips that are posted.

Keep a nice tone, peepz!

My tip: If your subbass needs to be tightened up, put a High Pass Filter on the bass channel, and set the highpass to around 30-80 hz. This will tighten up your bass.
Old 15th October 2013
  #2
Sound weird but I just watch YouTube videos with cats in they lab creating. I love watching studio set ups and even tuning in to Pensado Place hearing the engineering secrets. I make my best music when I visit guitar center and because time is limited I create with no thought process. Just my ears. Finding the best workflow in my studio which I've done time and time again is equally important.
Old 15th October 2013
  #3
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Dayl's Avatar
This is gearslutz.....take a look around
Old 15th October 2013
  #4
TMA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayl View Post
This is gearslutz.....take a look around
Old 16th October 2013
  #5
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Dayl's Avatar
haha awesome
Old 16th October 2013
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankx View Post
Share your tips/secrets on producing!
Secrets, by definition, are not meant to be shared!
Old 16th October 2013
  #7
blh
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blh's Avatar
 

I don't have any secrets but if you haven't watched ill gates "ill methodology" on youtube you should probably check it out.
Old 16th October 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
Tips:

Have a realistic goal set before you start working. It helps keep you focused, and ensures that you will get something constructive done, instead of sitting down, hitting play and finding the first thing that sounds wrong.

When you are building a building , you need to get every step correct. You don't build a foundation, then come into work and check to see if it's secure. You build it secure, by having solid plans and delivering them. Step by step.
Old 16th October 2013
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I'm not giving away my secret
Old 16th October 2013
  #10
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CocaineAudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadDub View Post
I'm not giving away my secret
what he said ^^
Old 20th October 2013
  #11
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Lando Calrissian's Avatar
The secret is that there are no secrets. 90% of the magic comes from the producer's mind. They may not even understand it. Once I learned this and started to just do my thing, I became a much better producer.
Old 20th October 2013
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Here's a tip: Go download some midi drum files and replace them on your own if you're too lazy to program it yourself. If you're suck at programming drums those midi will help you since the velocity feels great already. You can just mess around with it later. You can then add your own and take away some stuff you don't need.
Old 20th October 2013
  #13
What I find is the most important thing for any creative, is too keep the creativity flowing. Your initial inspiration might only be a step to help you get to your final product. So practically speaking, don't get so attached to the melody/sound/lyric you are first inspired with. Let it morph and change and sometimes even scratch it as the beat/song progresses!
Old 20th October 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by con_thafam View Post
What I find is the most important thing for any creative, is too keep the creativity flowing. Your initial inspiration might only be a step to help you get to your final product. So practically speaking, don't get so attached to the melody/sound/lyric you are first inspired with. Let it morph and change and sometimes even scratch it as the beat/song progresses!
I do this a lot too. Like I'll either make a drum loop and put a melody on it or vice versa, and then I get tired of hearing the same melody so I change it, or I'll change the rhythm of the kick etc. etc.
Old 20th October 2013
  #15
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goz211's Avatar
 

Last few years my paid stuff (not the please record and arrange this demo for nothing stuff) has been people asking me to actually play a piano or a keyboard - live in real time while they recorded.

I asked who's getting the electro calls these days - I was told anyone and his dog. Ableton and an up to date sample CD (or download) and zapp - instant producer.

My tips - which it appears I will no longer be needing -

(1) Read Guerilla Home Recording

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guerilla-Hom.../dp/1423454464

Inexpensive. You'll follow most of it even if you've only dabbled. Good advice on mixing and placing instruments in the stereo field.

(2) It's all about the vocal. Get a good one. Someone on a forum wrote that you should be able to capture a good vocal with an SM58 and a Soundblaster card. I know some people reading this may be too young to know what a Soundblaster card is - not important. Learn how to encourage and capture a good vocal.

(3) Get someone else to mix it (if you did all the recording).

(4) If you get the bass and the main tune right - the rest is easier to fit into place. I said this to someone and he told me that Brahms said something like this a few hundred years ago.

(5) Say yes to anything that's paid - who knows who's asking and where they may be in six months - if there's cash behind it you need in. If you're short of time knock out a basic arrangement using Band In A Box (if you've some musical know how) or current sample collections if you haven't.

(6) Have a professional attitude towards clients.

(7) Beware the temptation to do everything "in the box" other than the vocal. Use at least one live instrument. More if you can.

(8) Don't mix on headphones.

(9) Learn to play something to give you an added insight. Decks are not an instrument. "The studio" is not an instrument. Even a tin whistle will do. Play something.

(10) Don't play the instrument you've learned to play following point (9) unless the client asks you to.

(11) If you have the facility to record a live kit - and you've access to a drummer - do it. You don't have to use it but you'll have it to mix in if you choose.

(12) Listen to lots of music and magpie the ideas and the arrangements.

(13) Record something every week - even if you've nothing paid on.

(14) Be born with a natural talent for this and lots of ambition into a supportive wealthy family with lots of music industry connections and live in London, Paris, New York, LA or Nashville -

OR have a plan for paying the bills - life gets in the way of the creative process.
Old 20th October 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Pro tip ; If the possibilities of todays DAW's doesn't yield positive results. Go back to being a music consumer, and not a creator.

Oh and the secret ; Put a cloth over your monitor/display when editing drums. Your eyes will confuse your ears.
Old 20th October 2013
  #17
Gear Nut
 
goz211's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezionjd View Post
Put a cloth over your monitor/display when editing drums. Your eyes will confuse your ears.
That made me laugh - and there's a ring of truth to it.
Old 21st October 2013
  #18
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stop buying more gear

don't be hesitant to use stock stuff

learn your DAW inside out

music theory will not harm you

your favorite producers are using the same stuff as you do. don't wait till you hear a familiar preset to learn this.

always keep learning.

Talent is nonexistant.

stop spending all your time mixing.

MIXING DOES NOT MATTER, MUSIC SPEAKS TO PEOPLE NOT MUSIC
Old 21st October 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
It is perfectly fine to use your eyes.

Use any of your senses to get you in line with your muscle memory. People put their hand over the cone to feel the air form the bass. That is not using your ears, it is using senses and cognitive function. Don't let anyone tell you what that needs to mean, use your own brain. If YOU know what your meters are telling you from experience, trust yourself, just because the next guy can't doesn't mean squat for you. Don't worry about that person.
Old 21st October 2013
  #20
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankx View Post
My tip: If your subbass needs to be tightened up, put a High Pass Filter on the bass channel, and set the highpass to around 30-80 hz. This will tighten up your bass.
yo this is a great tip
Old 21st October 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by light View Post
yo this is a great tip
It is a bit loose of a tip, 30 to 80 is 50hz worth of precious and dangerous area to be guessing over.

That is miles and miles when talking about low frequencies.
I'm guessing that it is part of a larger tip, but the important part about the actual particular fundamental, and the respective harmonics of that subbass are what determine exactly where you want to be dipping or raising in the big red sea between 30 and 80.

And 80 hz is somewhat high, but that depends.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #22
If I want to make a dirty sounding track I don't bathe for days prior.

For that clean sound I take a long hot bath and scrub from head to toe.

This applies to only composing btw.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #23
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to get that soft, smooth, minor 7th production like drake, you have to get the best lotion you can find, and spread them over your midi keys.

It really gives you that smooth downtempo ambient sound
Old 22nd October 2013
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambience View Post
to get that soft, smooth, minor 7th production like drake, you have to get the best lotion you can find, and spread them over your midi keys.

It really gives you that smooth downtempo ambient sound
LOL! Jergens... only the best for my keys!
Old 22nd October 2013
  #25
Well my tip: Great vocal performance is key to great vocals. Sounds simple but youd be suprised how often this is over looked.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mequaz View Post
Well my tip: Great vocal performance is key to great vocals. Sounds simple but youd be suprised how often this is over looked.
A great performance is the key to a lot of things.

Isn't it funny how that has become portrayed as the least important aspect? No one talks about music here, we are talking about tips, tricks, and processing the pieces.

Its all good though because once you start talking actual music... imo those are the secrets that should not be given away. So you guys are getting it right
Old 27th October 2013
  #27
Grip tip: when tracking vocals(lead) 6-7 inches away with pop screen filter, have a decent mic and mic pre, stage it under 0 db, and run it into a compressor and hit it to about 5-7 gr at 4:1 ratio with fast attack med release, raise gain to just under 2 db for headroom to give some processing room for EQ if needed and then run it into your daw for tracking and further processing. Duplicate the lead track (raw) after processing the lead vocal and bring up the raw track to give it a fuller sound. If you want more width and depth duplicate the track twice and filter one for lf and the other for hf and adjust to taste. You can gets amazing leads like this.
Old 27th October 2013
  #28
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beyondat's Avatar
 

Use a hardware compressor after your mic preamp and your vocals will sit much better.
Old 27th October 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goz211 View Post
(9) Learn to play something to give you an added insight. Decks are not an instrument. "The studio" is not an instrument. Even a tin whistle will do. Play something.
Hands down the single most important thing I've done. At least 90% of my ideas now come from accidents and mindless droning on the guitar while my mind wanders off to other ****. Misplacing even one finger or striking even one extra string than intended can significantly change the mood or direction of a song, and there are 6 strings so if you suck like me this happens quite often. RZA's early work (which most fans think are his best) sounds like a dude who can't play the piano poking and prodding at random notes. Sucking at an instrument can sometimes be an advantage. I've played drums since I was a kid but when you reach a certain point your vision can easily get clouded, and level of difficulty becomes more important to you than the actual sounds you are making (e.g. "I don't wanna play fast aggressive straight 16th notes, that's poser ****, I gotta do this intricate polyrhythm stuff that nobody even notices"). Maybe that's why it's really common when bands have long careers of failing to recapture the magic of their early albums. They forget that it's okay to do some elementary wailing if it sounds good.

Anyway moral of the story of this long rant: don't be afraid to pick up an instrument because you think your skills will be embarrassing. Sucking bears its own fruits, and you can get an acoustic guitar for dirt cheap.
Old 27th October 2013
  #30
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ohsnap's Avatar
 

Your mastering problems probably are mixing problems.
Your mixing problems probably are arrangement problems.
Your arrangement problems probably are composition problems.
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