Production Tips

Throughout our social accounts, we post all sorts of different production tips, advice and discussions. Here's a compilation of all of them for you to learn and share.


Beat writer's block

Writer’s block can be a real pain.

There are definitely a few ways to beat it but I find this method to be the best one. If it doesn’t work the first time it always works the second or third time for me.

If you know any other good trick to beat writer’s block, let me know in the comments!

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Try to be innovative

If you just started producing recently and are still learning the basics of music production, this advice is not for you.

If you know what you’re doing when it comes to music production and you are able to create solid tracks, definitely try this.

A unique idea is going to help you stand out in today’s music world. For example, if someone wants to listen to a Brooks style track, he’s going to listen to Brooks and not your track that kinda sounds like Brooks. However, if you hit the listener with something new and different and it’s actually good, he’ll want more from you.

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Discussion #5

Lately we have been seeing a lot of new artist reaching the top with their unique sound. Is there any artist out there that inspired you lately to produce something new and fresh?

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Chord Sounds

Here's one easy way to spice up your typical saw chords and make them sound a bit more unique.

Taking a vocal shot sample drowned in reverb is going to give your chords a unique tonality while still sounding synthetic enough to provide the energy your chords need. You can be very experimental with this trick by adding different effects like distortion or by sampling other instruments like a violin or piano, for example.

Pro tip: You can also ditch your typical saw chords entirely and use just the vocal shot chords on their own.

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Outsource Producer Friends

Here’s some quick advice for when you struggle during production.

I feel like not enough producers do this. What do you think? Do you ever outsource producer friends? Let me know in the comments!

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Discussion #4

Do you prefer to use a MIDI keyboard and beat pad while producing or do you rather draw everything in manually?

Let me know what your workflow looks like in the comments, even if you use a mixture of both!

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Stronger Pianos

f you are struggling to make your pianos sound big and full, try this trick!

Just layering pianos on top of each other may not give you the result you’re looking for. Instead try to take another piano, crush it with saturation, make it as wide as possible, compress the hell out of it and layer it on top of your clean piano.

Pro tip: If two layers aren’t enough for you, try three layers. Keep the clean layer in the middle and hard-pan the two processed layers to the left and right of your mix.

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Discussion #3

If you come up with an idea, do you already know which sounds you want and simply create them yourself? Or do you prefer to browse through presets and maybe even get inspired by the presets themselves?

Would love to hear what you think about this. Comment below!

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More Presence

How to add more presence to an element.

A unique method to help make an element stand out in the mix is to layer a percussion over it that follows the same rhythm as the main element. With this method, you can use any percussion. Anything from simple congo hits to a recording of you hitting a table would work.

Pro tip: Usually all types of percussion are very punchy and will add a very clicky feel to your main element once you layer them. If you don't want your main element to sound that clicky, you can fade the percussion in to get rid of the punchy click. In most cases, it should still add a tremendous amount of presence to the element.

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Discussion #2

Is it the hard hitting drums that get your creative juices flowing or is it the epic melodies?

Which one do you like to start with? Let us know in the comments.

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Soundscape

Using soundscape samples or other ambience effects (like rain or vinyl foley) in the background can help make your track sound a lot fuller.

Especially soundscape samples that are in the same key as your track work extremely well and can give your mix that last bit of richness it may need.

Pro tip: In our example we purposely made the soundscape effect loud. Usually you want these effects to sit very low in the mix so they don’t distract the listener.

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Discussion #1

Which synth plugin have you been using the most lately?
If there are any secret weapons out there, let us know!

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Smoother Filtering

Quick production tip for smoother transitions!

Using a simple low-pass or high-pass filter on your synths or drums can sound a bit dry and harsh.
To smooth out the filter, drown your synths or drums in reverb and slowly fade out the reverb as you fade out the filter. This works the other way around as well. So if you have a filter fading in, you can fade in the reverb as well.

Pro tip: You can add even more effects like a delay, distortion or phaser, for example, to make it even more exciting.

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Ear Candy

Every production needs ear candy.

Using small fills and creating fx modulation are just a few methods to create ear candy. Ear candy is the perfect tool to not only keep your production always moving but also help the listener stay interested in your track.

In this video, we are showing you just a couple of methods on how you can keep your productions interesting as well.

Tip: Don't over-do it. Having too much ear candy can make your production feel too random and too complicated.

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Time Stretching

A simple but very effective trick to avoid the downsides of time-stretching is to simply cut up a loop into pieces and rearrange them.

It's usually easier if you first put the loop in its original BPM into your session and then cut it into pieces using the grid. Once it's cut up, you can simply pull the BPM up or down and the individual cuts should still be perfectly aligned.

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