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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:59 PM
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Default Music Production Tips

Music Production Tips

Are you stuck in a rut trying to get a particular sound to sit well in the mix? Take a step back, take a walk, get something to eat, come back later and try to listen to the music objectively - maybe the sound you've been going for isn't even necessary.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:28 PM
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Do you have trouble while EQ’ing? Try cutting frequencies to make more headroom for the sounds you’re trying to boost before boosting them. For example, if you want your Snare to have more mid-range frequencies, make sure other instruments aren’t already choking those frequencies.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:28 PM
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Here’s a tip for compressing - Turn the Threshold all the way down and the ratio all the way up. Then, to get a feel for what part of the sound you want to be affected, adjust the attack and release until you’re only affecting parts of the sound you want to compress. Now, pull the Threshold back up to hear how loud the sounds are that you’re affecting. All that is left is adjusting the ratio to a more subtle amount.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:29 PM
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Try putting reverb and delay effects on your sends instead of inserting them into your main effect channels - this way you can share these effects with other channels, and adjust the EQs on those effects without affecting the Dry signal.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:30 PM
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When starting out, make sure you have everything as high-quality as possible. You don’t want to spend too much time trying to tweak a particular sample to sound great when you could just use a better sample in the first place. Like the saying goes - you can’t polish a turd.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:47 PM
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With cheap or free plugins so readily available these days, it's easy to download dozens of them and never really get to know any of them. Try to pick just a few plugins and tools that suit your style and learn them inside and out. This will make your workflow faster, give you a more unified and unique sound, and it's a better way to learn.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:53 PM
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Conversely, if you find your sessions to be stagnant, try switching to a radically different DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and see if that gets your creative gears moving. If you're used to ProTools, try Ableton. If you've only used FLStudio, try something like Cubase. If you're accustomed to a fully-featured DAW, try using something more limited like a tracker, or a web-based DAW.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:03 PM
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Sometimes you can't just sit down at your workstation and pump out a tune from scratch. If you're not feeling creative, you can always get some tasks done that will help you out later. Program some synth patches, Set up a template with all your favorite busses and signal routing, sample your record collection, or organize your project folders. You'll thank yourself later when the creative juices start flowing and all the busy work is out of the way.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:10 PM
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When applying effects on a channel insert, it's almost instinctual to solo that channel - but think about it - you want this effect to sound good on that channel, but it's even more important that it sounds good in relation to everything else in the mix. Make sure the effect sounds great especially when that channel isn't soloed!
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:17 PM
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When you're spending hours (or days!) on one track, in your mind it lives only in your studio. When you release a track, it's going to live out in the world, so it makes sense to experience the tune in a different context. Burn the unfinished mix to CD and take it out for a spin in different places. Play it in your den, on the road, while hanging out with friends, on a mix-tape with other musicians and producers before and after your tune - you'll see how the mix sounds on other systems, but even more importantly, you'll contextualize the music in new ways and breathe life into it when you work on it further.
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