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Music Producer Tips & Tricks

8 Kick Drum Mixing Tips For Music Producers

mixdown & mastering Feb 21, 2019

1 - Finish More Songs With Good Kick Drum Samples

This might be unpopular, but I don’t recommend that you use kick drum synth plugins. Too many producers waste time trying to synthesize a good kick drum when they should be focusing on writing a good song.

You see, the top sound designers that make all the samples for Splice, Loop Master, Vengeace etc have some very nice analog drum machines, very nice analog outboard gear, and many years of experience.

It would be extremely unlikely that you could achieve a better result with a single digital plugin. Even more unlikely that you could do it quickly.

Pianists don’t build their own pianos. They just write music.

At the time of writing, there are 185,575 kick drum samples available on Splice alone. So there is plenty of unique and high quality kick drum samples out there for everyone.

Let your songs define you first. We can look at custom kick drums later.

In fact, here’s a free kick drum sample pack from me that you...

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20 Sound Design Tricks For Serum & Massive Beginners

sound design Feb 15, 2019

This is a post for people who have been using presets in Serum/Massive and are want to take that next step into making your own sounds. These two synths have a lot of similarities so they are good to explain together.

I'll go over the following things:

  • The main sections of serum and massive
  • My top sound design tips for Serum and massive
  • How to make them sound big

Serum & Massive Synthesizer Sound Design

Serum and Massive are what we call subtractive synthesizers. Subtractive synths start with a lot of tone/noise. We then chip away and remove parts of it until it sounds the way you want.

Kinda like carving a sculpture. You start with a big block of stone, then remove some stone until you get the final shape. Keep this in mind as we explain more. 

 

Oscillators And Wave Tables

The oscillators generate the initial sound that you will later shape and move. Kinda like that big stone you are about to carve. Choose a wavetable, then choose the "position" of the wavetable.

...
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Audio Compression Explained For Music Producers

mixdown & mastering Feb 13, 2019

I remember a time when compression felt like some kind of music production voodoo that was far out of my reach.

People would say that... "A compressor makes things fat, or warm" but when I was first using them, I wasn’t sure what was actually happening.

These days, compressors are an integral effect for me. I couldn’t imagine working without them.

If I hadn’t learned how to use them, I would be miles behind with my mixing and mastering. Aside from that, once you know how to use an audio compressor, it's fun! :)

Here are a few tips that will help you along to the way to understanding audio compression.

 

Do I Need To Use Compression On Everything?

No. Follow my golden rule. Listen first, then only apply something if it needs it.

How do I know if it needs it? Well, you need to know what it does, how it works, and what it’s good for. Let’s explain.

 

Audio Compression Definition

This is the process of reducing an instrument's dynamic range....

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Fix A Muddy Mix And Make It Clean And Bright

mixdown & mastering Feb 04, 2019

The two main types of bad mixes I hear are muddy mixes and thin mixes.

Muddy mixes sound quiet, and kinda like they are foggy, or distant. The sounds and instruments are hard to hear. They have good low end but they not present or as loud as professional mixes.

Thin mixes are the opposite. They sound too loud/harsh, and kinda like they lack impact, power, and size.

Now...The best way to fix these problems is with the individual tracks in your mixdown. Not with your master chain, but sometimes you have no choice.

So, to clear things up here's a video I recorded with my top tips for how to fix a muddy mix and make it clean and bright.

Recently I received a question From Chris W, on my site asking about mastering and how to fix a muddy mix.

He says...

"hi I'm a new producer, and I'm fantastic at creating chords and leads but I suck at mastering. I can't afford your studio help but are there any quick tips on what I should be doing if my mix sounds too muddy? There are too many sounds...

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Make Your Music Sound Better In 2 Minutes

mixdown & mastering Feb 01, 2019

There are a lot of things you can do to make your music sound better and that is exactly what I teach.

A good way to introduce you to this is by telling what you should avoid, and my one and only golden rule that you must do.

Our story starts with the internet. It's an amazing way to share information, but the information is not always correct.

While teaching, my students all tell me the same thing...

They tell me it is too hard to sift through the noise on the internet, youtube, and popular audio magazines. These places offer lots of advice, but it's difficult to know who to trust.

One BAD piece of "amateur" advice I've noticed is to “Always do X".

e.g.

  • "Always high pass filter all your tracks except your kick and bass."
  • "Always share one reverb across all instruments".
  • "Always EQ a certain frequency on your kick/bass".
  • "Always use a multi-band compressor on your master bus.”

In my many years of being a touring DJ, Record Producer, and Mix Engineer, I have found the...

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How To Become A Successful Music Producer

Everyone has their own definition of success, and there are many ways to get there.

I suppose the best way for me to start this post would be to tell you the story of...

How I Became A Successful Dj And Producer

Hopefully, my story will inspire you, and you will choose to attack your music goals with more enthusiasm than you've felt in a while…

...because while the music industry is more competitive than ever, I'm living proof that it IS possible to make it work, and to succeed on an international level… and I want to help you do the same.

So let's get into this story...

As some of you may know, I’ve been doing this since 2001.

In that time, I’ve been lucky enough to tour and perform in over 33 countries! Including USA, UK, Australia, Germany, China, and even some lesser visited places like South Africa, India, & Kazakhstan!

I’ve had two #1 records on the front page of Beatport (the biggest dance music store in the world at the time) & one of...
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Analog Sol & Travis Emmons Collaborate for Mobilee EP!

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2018

I am very excited to announce that I have just released two new Analog Sol tracks on one of my favorite record labels! MOBILEE RECORDS 

This famous German tech label has released artists such as Anja Schneider, Rodriguez Jr, Pan-Pot, Maya Jane Coles, Miss Kittin and many more!

The EP features two songs.

1 - Chase The Sun

2 - Rhymes & Rhythms (a collaboration with my good friend Travis Emmons)

There is already support from Karlos, Rodriguez Jr., Mathias, Sascha Funke, Steve Bug, Riva Star, Lee Burridge, Matt Joe, and more!

Have a listen and let me know what you think!

DOWNLOAD HERE

Keep an ear out for lots more Analog Sol tracks to come!

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My New Project - Analog Sol

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2018

I'm very excited to announce my new project Analog Sol!

The style is Melodic Tech House, and the first single Trinidad Dreams is out now on Armada (Subjekt)

It has already had support from Solomun, Pete Tong, Armin Van Buuren, Dirty South, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Benny Benassi, Kryder, and more!

Check out this video of Solomun playing it!

 Or stream it on Spotify

or, DOWNLOAD IT ON BEATPORT

Lots more tune to come! To follow along check out www.analogsol.com and join the mailing list!

 

 

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Why HAAS and other bad stereo tips are ruining your mix, and what to do instead.

 

Stereo is a huge part of every modern song/mixdown. We all use it and listen to it every day.

However, not many people know that using the wrong kind of stereo widening techniques can severely damage your song.

Techniques such as HAAS, Mid Side, Frequency Shifter, and even chorus (if used incorrectly) can cause huge problems in your mixdown. There are even some expensive 3rd party plugins that cause problems right out of the box.


The problem is that these stereo widening techniques don't fold back down to mono properly. This can make your song sound soft, mushy, distant, lose punch and lose bass.

This could be happening right now and if so, it's not your fault. You've just been taught the wrong techniques.

That's why I made this free video lesson, and why I made the plugin i demonstrate in the video.

Get Easy Stereo NOW

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My Thoughts On The Subpac Subwoofer For Music Producers

mixdown & mastering news Nov 06, 2017

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love my Subpac. I use it for every song and even travel with it. So it was an honor to be asked by the team at Subpac to do a video for them and be featured on their website as a Subpac artist. Check out the video below, or learn more about Subpac here.

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