Automate. Automate, Automate – It will give your arrangement dynamics and movement
Add volume automation to the quiet sections and builds of a track, 1 or 2db will be enough. It will make those drops even bigger
Automate your reverb busses/delays so that they cut out in builds/breaks
Invest in some bass traps and deal with your room’s acoustics. You will not believe the difference it will make – John Sayers forum is the place to go for acoustics
Invest in good monitors – You’ll only buy a set once
A builders breezeblock makes for a wicked, cheap desk top monitor stand. Your tracks bottom end will tighten up instantly
Parallel Compression will change your life
Try compressing your delays and reverb busses
Sidechain anything and everything. Don’t be afraid to experiment. All the rules went out the window!
Everyone knows about sidechaining the bass to the kick, but how about the kick to the bass? Or both at the same time! In fact try sidechain on everything, It can get crazy but you’ll end up with something unique
Don’t forget about sidechain filters
Learn about modulation.
Use it creatively
FM synthesis is really good fun you know
Try some guitar stomp boxes on your synths/samples
Use markers on your favorite songs inside your DAW. Take notes on the arrangement, it will help you develop as an artist
Try to make your sounds sound good dry. Only add EFX if its really needed
Have you tried convolution plugins? It’s not just reverbs you know. There’s EQ’s, saturation effects
Reverse reverb = win
Reverse kicks/snares = more win
Layering is wicked, especially for percussive hits. Try using different envelopes on each hit, get creative with the EQ and filter. Don’t just whack them in
Have you tried Meloydne yet? Give it a go, tweak some samples/vocals. It will blow your mind!
Kontakt sounds better than any other software sampler
Sonalksis TBK1 or PSP Nitro are beasts!
Use Absynth’s ‘audio in’ function – it allows you to use its complex envelopes on any piece of audio you like!