10 essential tips… 20 mistakes… 30 production secrets and so on, such lists seem to be really popular these days. Although many of them are just full of crap. Especially forget about the longer checklists – even if you could find some good advices there, most tips are just nonsense, like “don’t mix bass with headphones”.
Anyway, to you aspiring producer, here’s a few things I think you should care about:
Limiting yourself can help drive creativity. Don’t use all of your instrumental arsenal at once, don’t try to cover all music styles in one track.
Listen to different styles of music and try to identify what you like and what you dislike.
Analyze your favorite artists’ work in great detail. Theorize with both feet on the ground.
Go ahead and copy other artists, but don’t settle there – tweak and add your own style and flavor.
Cover, remix and remake your favorite tracks, it’s a good and fun way to learn about music.
Use reference tracks, compare your shit to others, but don’t get paralyzed when your track doesn’t bang as loud as them.
Learn about synthesis and learn how to sound design different kind of instruments, e.g. strings, plucks, percussion (make synthetic drums using waveforms, a noise generator, filters, envelopes and such).
Check your music productions on several systems; from high-end studio monitor speakers to iPhone earbuds.
Sleep on it. Let your track mature over night and return to it with fresh ears.
Go hardware, get tactile if you are growing tired of a software-based environment. To actually play an instrument or to turn a real knob is really something else.
Get inspiration from collaborations with other artists. Just reach out to people you admire – this is globalization, this is the time of teh internetz.
Try to keep passionate about creating music, but don’t be afraid to make some demands of yourself, just to push things forward.
Scanlan had always been a people person. If the time he had spent alone after his mother’s death had taught him anything, it was that anything was preferable to loneliness. Loneliness was crushing, an oppressive silenced that even his loudest tune couldn’t seem to penetrate.
He joined Dr. Dranzel’s troupe and things were better. They got along well. The feeling of creating music with someone, the perfect harmony that came with playing with a master musician, was one of the best things he had ever experienced. Those days were the best fun he’d ever had in his life, yet something was still missing. Not even the thrill of a good performance or the presence of a beautiful girl in his bed could seem to take it’s place. He spent those years in a state maddeningly close to fulfillment.
It hadn’t been enough in the end. He said his goodbyes to Dr. Dranzel’s troupe and began searching for more.
He found himself a group of misfits, each more fucked up than the next. He liked them. They pushed away the loneliness better than even Dr. Dranzel’s troupe did, better than anyone since his mother. Every interaction was genuine, every action done whole-heartedly. For the first time in his life, he had a purpose. He would care for for these people with everything he had, would do his best to lift their spirits as the world dragged them down. As long as he had them, that would be enough.
It was enough until he met her, anyway. She was radiant as she glared at him, He could see himself in her, himself at his best, without all of the fuck ups and flaws. She was fierce, her words as sharp as her daggers. She wielded both expertly. Scanlan was determined to make sure she didn’t have to anymore, that she didn’t have to use them to fend off the dangers of the world, the loneliness. At least not without her father at her side.
Kaylie is in his arms, her short, dirty hair pressed against his nose, safe for the moment from the dangers of the world when he realizes it. Things are better now.