Music Producer Tips & Tricks
Layering is pretty much the opposite of our recent subject Separation.
In this case, you are trying to combine sounds and make them feel like they all come from the one instrument (most of the time). However, just like separation, you also don’t want the sounds to fight with each other.
I generally use a combination of Instruments, Transposing, EQ, Overdrive, Compression, Stereo processing, and space. Here’s how.
Firstly, the choice of instrument is fundamental. It might even be the most crucial part of it.
When I’m about to layer, I’ll usually already have my core sound. e.g., a Synth. It probably sounds mostly the way I want, like 80% perfect, but is likely missing something.
I will rarely layer that synth, with another sound from the same synth. I try to use different ones or even better, use samplers.
The fact that the sounds are coming from different sources naturally helps them to sit well right from the start. Also, it’s a good excuse to remind...
I’ve been doing mixdowns (and masters) for myself and others since 2002, and I’m often asked for mixdown tips.
One of the most popular ones is dealing with layering and separation. These two things are opposites.
When layering you are trying to glue sounds together. When working on separation, you are trying to give them space from each other.
Layering can help make parts sound more full and robust. By contrast, separation can give your mix clarity, punch, depth, and power.
When I am going for separation, I try to achieve this through EQ, Space, Pan, and Colour.
EQ separation is the most important so I do that first.
If I want two sounds separated, I’ll make sure they don’t have a lot of frequency content in the same frequency. e.g., Kick & Bass.
If the kick has a lot of 100hz, I’ll cut the bass a bit at 100hz. Some EQs like DMG Equilibrium will even let you overlay the analyzer waveform from one track onto another. So you can see the two different...
If you are on my email list, you may have noticed me mentioning there was a new Bass Kleph track coming out soon! :) The song is called Damn Fucking Right and I’m excited to say that it will be released October 14th on Hysteria Records! Home of the Bingo Players. Not only that, but I designed the entire song from the ground up to be playable on Maschine with pad drumming. So, like my other Maschine Kits on my site, there will soon be a new one, along with an instructional video, and a sample pack.
How did I design my song to be playable on Maschine? The secret is to start with a pattern. This pattern has no sound initially. It’s just something that is easy and fun to play on the pads. e.g. My right hand could be playing the drums like usual in my songs, and my left hand could be playing a few stabs etc Once I have decided on my imaginary pattern, I record it into the sequencer (there are still no sounds assigned at this point), and afterward I start assigning sounds....
Big news today! Native Instruments launched a new Maschine unit called JAM. Does this mean we should ditch our old ones? Turns out, maybe not.
The new Maschine resembles something like the Ableton Push but designed for the Maschine software. Its 8x8 grid appears to give you a tactile hardware version of Step Sequencing, Mixer, Keyboard/Chord performance, and Scene/Pattern switching.
but, my favorite things are...
1- NO SCREEN
This may seem counterintuitive but it actually speeds things up. Well, as long as it's functions/lighting are well designed. and yes, they do indeed appear to be. Things are just put in the right place, and the light up pads tell you all you need to know. Systems like this are faster, and more like a real instrument.
2- SMART STRIP CONTROLLERS
They control the new performance FX well, and the led meters easily indicate their status at all times. Notes feature means that it's even possible to use the strips to play melodies and chords.
3- BACK LIT COLOR PADS TO...
I know a few of you have been asking me about this for a while, and I love to give you guys what you want.
So, here's a pack of 125 of my favorite Massive patches that I've made for Bass Kleph and TAISUN.
You may recognize a few of them from my records. There are loads of Bass sounds, some Leads, FX, Synths, Pads, and many more!
Check out the audio previews below now!
Massive Sounds includes 125 Sounds! Here's the breakdown:
64 Bass Sounds, 22 Lead Sounds, 17 EFX Sounds, 15 Synth Sounds, 4 Pluck Sounds, 1 Pad Sound, 1 Chord Sound, 1 Brass Sound.
If you don't know, I started a new alias back in December 2015 called TAISUN. It's been off to an amazing start! One of the tracks is already up to 250k plays!!! Better yet, It's a Free Download too. (link at the bottom)
It is an unofficial remix I did of Justin Timberlake's "Señorita". I got the idea from DJing. There's a cool part in the break of the song that I used to mix over techno records back in 2008. It says "It feels like something's heating up" etc (you know the original song I'm sure). Perfect Driver Records had just signed my first EP (which you can get here) and they asked if I could do some pre-promotion by making a bootleg for a giveaway. I thought it was about time I made that Señorita loop into a full bootleg/remix.
It had to sound like TAISUN. The TAISUN sound is Jackin Bass House. So I pulled out Maschine and started cutting up samples from the original left and right. The drums and bass sounds are actually taken from another TAISUN song called "Get...
I've just uploaded a collection of 14 of my favorite and most useful custom Ableton Live Macro plugins that make my life so much easier! They make common tasks faster, and some previously impossible tasks, now possible! There are video demos in there too. Check them out!
About two months ago I decided to start a new side project. I'd been writing a bit of jackin' bass house and really enjoyed the whole process of it. It didn't really fit with the sound of Bass Kleph, so I started an alias called TAISUN. I'm excited to announce that today, the first official release came out on Perfect Driver Records! It's a three track EP called "My name is TAISUN" and it features a collab I did with my good friend Travis Emmons. Listen to the tracks below.
Avast!! This track was originally sketched out on my phone! I used the iMaschine app while traveling and put down the basic idea. I then imported it to my full-size Maschine and started finishing it off. The main melody got stuck in my head and I was singing it to my self unconsciously. I decided to re-record it with my voice. The same silly way I was singing it in my head. Hahaha. It kinda sounded pirate ish after that, so I then when on the hunt for some good pirate samples and wrote some more...
A little while back I did a live Maschine demo and Q&A at Icon Collective Production School in Los Angeles. In case you missed it, here's the video that shows the Maschine Performances and Q&A session with the ICON production students. Topics covered included Maschine, live performance, how I do my thing, genres today, studio tips, and music production in general. Hope you enjoy!
Make buildups in 5 seconds! This Ableton macro plugin will do all your build up automation with one simple knob.
WHAT IS IT?
This is a plugin to simplify buildups in music production. It has one knob. You turn it, and it does many things at once. Mainly, it washes things out. It gradually applies a high pass filter, reverb, grain delay, filter delay, compression, and a few other things. On top of this, when you have the knob on zero, it bypasses all these effects to keep your signal path clean and CPU light. As soon as you start to turn it, it engages the plugins. This thing is an Ableton macro plugin, made from standard built-in, Ableton Live plugins. It only works in Ableton Live. Anyone could have made this. I am not a coder. It's just a very handy FX preset, but......very handy.
WHY DID I MAKE THIS?
I found I was often doing these same things over and over again each time I was programming a build up. So to save time, I built a macro...