Keep it simple
In terms of instrumentation/ composition/ arrangement I used to listen to songs thinking to myself; “god there’s a lot of shit thrown into this track”.
This led to my earlier works being over complicated and way too busy, making the track lose direction and also make it very hard to mix (sorry Klaus).
I’ve now learnt you can start a track by throwing as many ideas into the pot as you like, but then start to refine them by asking the question; “does this part/ sound contribute to the song?” If it doesn’t, or has no effect at all, get rid of it!
By the time you’ve come to the mixing stage of your track, only tracks that truly make the song better will be left in there. This will allow your intended message to shine through and will also make it much easier to give the track plenty of clarity and punch in the mix/ mastering stage.
You don’t need that plugin/ controller/ synth/ sample pack
Following up on rule number one, I used to always find myself saying “I need that plugin to finish this track or I need that controller to improve my workflow”.
You really don’t. While it’s definitely good to have a core set of plugins, controllers and samples, I’ve found it more beneficial to limit my options when it comes to the tools I use. By limiting your options you not only get to know the tools you use very well, but it will also save you heaps of time when it comes to the decision process during production.
I find I’m very unorganised when it comes to my sample library so I keep a small (in relation to other sample libraries I’ve seen) rotation of packs in a folder that I know very well. Once I think one has been used enough, I’ll retire it to a dusty old hard drive and find a replacement. Also, if a sample pack isn’t that great or I think I have similar sounds already once I’ve downloaded it, its straight to the trash. RUTHLESS.
I’m not saying never download packs or buy plugins or gear, just keep that shit under control, it’s addictive (as we all very well know).
Make a coffee, then turn your wifi off
When you’re on, you’re on. Inspiration to write great music isn’t always there, so when it is you wanna get that idea down and not be distracted. Get a coffee (or red bull if thats more your thing), water (stay hydrated) and some nibblies (like this fruit plate in front of me rn). Then turn your wifi off and phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’.
The you can write yourself a hit, homie.
I know these tips aren’t revolutionary, you’ve probably all read them a million times before. They apply well to my working style and I’m having to constantly remind myself of them too, so I hope you found them helpful smile emoticon.
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