General Tips and Tricks Thread

Phat_Sam

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#1
OK. Kinda off the back of the thread I started about posting tracks before they're finished, I decided to make this thread. I realized that a lot of things come from experience. Use this thread to share experiences to help others. If you've learned something the hard way, post it here to stop others from doing the same. This is a thread for ANYTHING related to production, creativity, ideas, tips, tricks, techniques etc. from basslines to beats, workflow to time signatures, a list of amen breaks or a quirky way of using synths. Tips for anything can be put in this thread. Even if it's just a random idea you've come up with in the last few minutes, post it here. I have a few ideas but I'll have to post a load later when I'm at my computer instead of my work one.

I suppose I can clear this one up while I'm here though:

You can NOT polish a turd.
 

RevTech

Butthole=output transduce
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#3
Exporting each channel for resampling always helps me out a lot, especially on drums and the bassline. To make a bubbling effect on the organ play on the 2 3 and 4. To make metric modulation, have two pulses going at different tempos. Use major and minor chords, balance it out, 9/8 time signiture is interesting.

Just random bits I wanted to write down
 

kama

benkama.net
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#5
If something doesnt sound right, try it through some other FX chain, like drum buss through your bass channels.
 

logikz

I Am Not The King
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#6
a good lowpass filter, get the coolest one you possibly can, it is a very important tool for creation. i been messing with the elysia one which isnt exactly a lowpass, seems more like a notch(?) but its really cool
 

djdevz

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#7
some shiz from the top of my head...

- take breaks from your music...your ears need a rest!

- whilst messing around creating sounds, if u like a sound - save it! you could always come back and develop that sound later

- dont crave creativity, it's natural and you'll know when ur feeling creative.....or smoke a spliff

- sidechaining is good imo but in moderation...i think if ur gonna have a bass synth thats sidechained, slightly sc the sub bass a lil bit to give it some movement.

- if u have an acapella, and want to match the bpm 2 your track...sometimes its better to go half of your track
i.e. ur track is 175bpm...acapella is 100bpm, drop down the bpm of the acapella to 87.5bpm and it will be in time.

- dont let ur master clip!

- organise your samples, it makes work more efficient...have a kicks, snare, percussion folder etc

- some easy variation tips:
* cut the drums for 1/2 a bar at the beginning/end of a loop
* cut everything but the drums/percussion for 1/2 a bar
* cut everything apart from the kick (n maybe a cymbal)
* drum fills, extra kicks, hi hats..etc

- the plugin order makes a difference!

:D
 
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#8
a good lowpass filter, get the coolest one you possibly can, it is a very important tool for creation. i been messing with the elysia one which isnt exactly a lowpass, seems more like a notch(?) but its really cool
While you're on the subject of lowpass filters, I've got a question... Can you achieve the same effect as a frequency filter by just using an EQ to cut out certain fequencies... I know it sounds like a simple question, but I tend not to use lowpass or highpass filters that much in my tunes, instead I just use the EQ and I was just wondering if there was any advantage to using a dedicated frequency filter over an EQ, as the only difference I can see is the resonance feature...

May as well add a tip - For ages I was wondering how to make a single held note rise (Or lower) in pitch for those pre-drop build ups and I finally figured out - it's as simple as adding an envelope with a slow rising attack to your oscillator's pitch. Pretty simple, but took me ages to find out.
Also, LFO's and envelopes are most definitely your friends when it comes to producing, I never truley realised the power behind these tools until recently. They definitely help to give your sounds texture, so try adding them to filter cutoffs, or whatever you can think of, experimenting is the key!
And if anyone's using NI's Massive, take advantage of the performer function - such a wicked little tool!
 

subprime

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#9
- whilst messing around creating sounds, if u like a sound - save it! you could always come back and develop that sound later


:D
This, and after getting a good fx chain that really brings something to life, save it, or at least save as user presets all the individual fx. Tone is as important as the basic waveform creation/shaping that you do in the synth imho and tiny changes in the fx can make a difference.
 

logikz

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#11
While you're on the subject of lowpass filters, I've got a question... Can you achieve the same effect as a frequency filter by just using an EQ to cut out certain fequencies... I know it sounds like a simple question, but I tend not to use lowpass or highpass filters that much in my tunes, instead I just use the EQ and I was just wondering if there was any advantage to using a dedicated frequency filter over an EQ, as the only difference I can see is the resonance feature...
you certainly can, its the same thing basically, just automate bandwidth (res) and freq, they are usually more transparent than the filter plugs too. for LP and HP i mean,
i wouldnt know how to acheive BP or BR or BS with an EQ. having said that though, it is the same thing, at the same time, it isnt cos certain filters have a 'sound' to them
which i suppose is a saturation algorithm in there and lots of other stuff to make the sound change in a different way compared to a shelf on an eq. morgana has an awesome lp on it.
 

Phat_Sam

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#15
fraid you can buddy (y)


but seriously, these threads are wack! who is going to read through loads of random posts to find what they want? nice idea in principle, not really a great idea in reality
its not for people to search through to find specific into. any one of the post already posted can give people ideas and inspiration. someone just starting out can read through just a few and pick up a few little tricks straight off the bat. Its not about answering questions in this thread. its just about airing opinions on technique and such.


mmmmmmkay?
 
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richie_stix

gomby plz
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#16
its not for people to search through to find specific into. any one of the post already posted can give people ideas and inspiration. someone just starting out can read through just a few and pick up a few little tricks straight off the bat. Its not about answering questions in this thread. its just about airing opinions on technique and such.


mmmmmmkay?
fair enough, i appreciate that... but i have seen many threads come and go like this.... they just dont work in my experience and opinion (y)
 

richie_stix

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#18
seen jelly been! well, instead of being a negative nancy i'll add something...

I have found there is no 'right way' to do things, (in my experience, mainly with drums) it varies from application to application! Sometimes i send them all to a compressor, sometimes i compress individually and send all, sometimes i send all minus snares... sometimes i have the final drum track sent to two compressors, one set to destroy and with the emphasis on removing transients and the other set to punchy... this way you get phantness and punchyness all in one!
 

Phat_Sam

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#19
Ok here's my two cents:

Major scales in every key:

C = C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C
D = D - E - F# - G - A - B - C# - D
E = E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D# - E
F = F - G - A - Bb - C - D - E - F
G = G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G
A = A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G# - A
B = B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B
C# = C# - D# - E# (=F) - F# - G# - A# - B# (=C) - C#
Db = Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb - C - Db
Eb = Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C - D -Eb
F# = F#= F# - G# - A# - B - C# - D# - E# (=F) - F#
Gb = Gb - Ab - Bb - Cb (=B) - Db - Eb - F - Gb
Ab = Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - G - Ab
Bb = Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G - A - Bb

Minor scales in every key:

C = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C
D = D - E - F - G - A - Bb - C - D
E = E - F# - G - A - B - C - D - E
F = F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F
G = G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G
A = A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A
B = B - C# - D - E - F# - G - A - B
C# = C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B - C#
Eb = Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb - Cb - Db - Eb
F# = F# - G# - A - B - C# - D - E - F#
G# = G# - A# - B - C# - D# - E - F# - G#
Bb = Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb

I think the problem that most people have when starting to write music is that people get very hung up on the process of production as opposed to techniques used in production.

I think the main thing that people need to realise is that making a track doesn't have to done by following a recipe. If you learn individual techniques and problem solving skills then your tracks will benefit far more than learning JUST the ins and outs of single sub genre d&b. Get to know your workflow, your DAW, your samples, your speakers etc. This takes time but once you've done it, everything becomes easier.

Learn about EVERY tool you have. Learn exactly what everything does in the latest synth you've bought. Learn how to side chain and compress things. Learn everything you can about everything you can think of. You may not use it all and the likely hood of you using it all is small BUT knowledge is power and the more you learn the greater your problem solving skills will be.

Learn about other genres. Learn how house producers eq their kicks. How hip hop producers sample from soul records. Learn how to record a guitar. Learn to PLAY a guitar. Use everything you can in your music. Inspiration is drawn from learning and in turn, learning can be drawn from inspiration.

Use your ears! They will tell you if it's sounding right. Like a good cook won't totally follow a recipe, they'll follow their taste buds instead of measureing exact amounts.

OK, I suppose my bottom line is:
Don't think of making music as a 1, 2, 3/a, b, c, process because it's not. There is no way you can become a good producer by following procedure. Break the mould, think outside the box. Whatever wanky expression you wanna use, use it!

Aaaaaanyway. Hope some of that helps. Sorry if there are spelling mistakes... cba to spell check. lollll

Keep rockin!
:gslayer:
 
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