A while back I did a colab with my longtime friend Tommy Trash (under my alias TAISUN). It was a fun experience writing it. Tommy and I had been meaning to do a colab for years. Way back since we used to live together in Australia. We had remixed each other, but never a colab. So, we finally put some time in in the studio. It is always extra fun writing when it is with one of your best mates. I can’t recommend it enough. There were plenty of good times, laughs, and whiskeys. However, there was also lots of hard work and even some learning. Some of the main things that I picked up from working with Tommy were….
#1 Less Is More
I was already aware of this and am a strong advocate, but he took it to the next level and really emphasized it. Especially towards the end of the process. Once the track was basically done, we would go through, and mute/delete absolutely anything we could. If we could cut it, and it didn’t make much difference, then it was outta there. Sometimes this referred to a full part, other times just some notes in a part. What this achieved was plenty of space in the mix for the really important bits to shine. It would also stop too many things unnecessarily hitting at the same time. As I said, I was aware of this before, but he really reminded me how much it should be a step in my process for every song, and how it should be pushed to the limit.
#2 Always question everything
Tommy would often listen to the track a day or two after a session, reference against other tracks, and really question if each part was up to scratch. Sometimes, we talk it through and decide what we had was good other times, we would totally scrap, or re-work a part. Every time though, it came out better. So as much as I like and encourage getting in a creative flow and just going with the vibe, I also think it’s a good idea to listen to your song a few days later, reference it against other tracks, and make some tough decisions. e.g. Are those drums you programmed really the right vibe for the song? Is the song too aggressive/soft? Is the hook really catchy enough? Is this song memorable enough? etc.
p.s. Check out the track for yourself