Which production concepts/techniques have improved your production the most?

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
446 posts since 28 Oct, 2014

Post Thu May 25, 2023 12:26 am

For me:

Many years ago:

Buying a set of proper (but cheap) monitors, so I didn't have to use my headphones. Just using decent speakers in general, made me hear dynamics and level balance in a different way.
Ironically though, most people listen on headphones now

Using an IR verb bus to give colour to most aspects of my mix (set too short to be called a reverb, and too quiet to be noticed, until you take it away)
This just helps different elements sound like they belong together.

Distributing my working time between different tracks. Having 4 or 5 under construction at the same time.
When you spend too long on a single track, you start to develop emotional attachments and your perception warps somewhat, compared to when someone hears it for the first time.
Also... when you spend too long on a single project, you will become tired of certain elements and will no longer hear the impact they have on a casual listener.
By switching every week or so, I am able to keep an idea of how something sounds to a new listener.

More recently:

Buying Realphones! This has enabled me to be more confident in my decisions, and my work is translating a lot better now, on other systems

28 posts since 2 Jul, 2016

Post Sun May 28, 2023 2:07 am

learning on analog consoles and mixing to tape. the limitations, im very very thankful for. having a million vst options for everything under the sun isnt a blessing, its a curse.

also, checking in mono, mixing in mono.

pink noise mixing. but limitations have helped me the most. even today i just use the DAW as a tape machine, basically. i use VSTs for surgical eq work , and sometimes for sequencing, but thats it.

4 posts since 21 May, 2023

Post Fri Jun 09, 2023 12:54 am

Ear training has helped me the most to then improve my EQ-ing and compressing skills. This along with the correct dose of saturation has brought my prods to the next level!

10 posts since 9 May, 2022

Post Fri Jun 09, 2023 1:13 pm

Everything from Ian Kirkpatrick's livestreams.

Topic Starter
64 posts since 11 Mar, 2022

Post Fri Jun 30, 2023 10:24 am

Hi folks,

Thanks for all your input! Its really inspiring and I hope not just for me. Keep it up!

Best regards

1634 posts since 9 Jul, 2014 from UK

Post Sun Jul 02, 2023 4:16 am

Ignoring all the so called experts on youtube and internet in general who make ‘beatz’ 🤦‍♂️
I wonder what happens if I press this button...

3921 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Post Sun Jul 02, 2023 6:23 pm

Spending far less time tweaking individual elements while writing music. Basically going back to the Writing, arranging, filling out, mixing/ tweaking method that was necessary when I had a finite number of tracks and sounds available. It lets you focus just on what's important at any given moment. It's far easier to do when working to a specific schedule, but I try and do things that way even when I'm not on a job now.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

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942 posts since 27 Apr, 2016

Post Mon Jul 03, 2023 6:27 am

Being trained for many years to be a pro sound engineer, by other pro sound engineers who did it for a living as well.

Timid Dreams
2 posts since 28 Jun, 2023

Post Mon Jul 03, 2023 6:56 am

One thing that improved my production game was sampling. I found that adding melodic samples on top of my tracks really helped to bring the track to life and to bring about new potential ideas. I have been using a piece of software called "song surgeon" for awhile to find the key and change the tempo quickly. What does everyone else use to find the key?

12 posts since 12 Jun, 2023

Post Mon Jul 03, 2023 2:40 pm

For me, it's been leaving holes and space in the arrangement, and then filling that space with another instrument or sound. It creates a nice push/pull and makes sure nothing is stepping on other stuff too much or clashing - because things are happening at different times.

12 posts since 12 Jun, 2023

Post Mon Jul 03, 2023 2:41 pm

Oh - I should also add: Focusing on making sure the song is actually being written, as opposed to endlessly mixing and tweaking a half-baked idea. We're all guilty of it but me especially. Gregory Scott has a good video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImV7_-96tKk

3469 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Post Mon Jul 03, 2023 3:00 pm

Getting things printed to audio as quickly as possible so I stop tweaking. I'd almost always find that something I thought was only 80% there was actually fine in context.

I used to be super hardcore with it and I'd use one DAW instance exclusively for sound design and audio export - typically messing around live while constantly recording, a wave editor for chopping those huge chunks of audio into individual files, and a second DAW instance exclusively for arranging those audio files and doing basic mix processing. It sounds cumbersome, but I worked significantly faster this way because I kind of thrive on restriction. It got me to focus more on arrangement and making the material I already had work in context, rather than endlessly revising the raw material and getting nowhere with the track.

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9538 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Somewhere near the Morgul Vale.

Post Wed Aug 02, 2023 1:57 pm

Subtractive EQ.
"Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?"
-Pink Floyd.

46 posts since 1 Jul, 2023

Post Wed Aug 02, 2023 2:14 pm

Using a synths presets is totally fine.

490 posts since 3 Feb, 2018

Post Thu Aug 03, 2023 11:04 am

Incorporating more hardware (elektron workflow) and dropping the safety of non destructive editing ITB allows. Record, make mistakes and make the tracks about them. Commit and go.

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