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Thread: Tips and techniques for beginners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Tips and techniques for beginners

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    Hey guys, I wanted to share a few techniques and tips with you that I've learned over the last few years of producing music.

    By no means am I an expert, and some of you guys may already be familiar with these techniques. If so, please feel free to suggest your ideas and comment on what you think.

    Here they are:

    1. Working with WAV Files:

    I have found that bouncing your Midi instrument tracks into Stems or WAV files, is better than working strictly with Midi Data in some cases.

    You can get a purer sound with WAV's then with Midi data. It is also less stressful on CPU, as your DAW's instruments can use a lot of processing power whilst playing them.

    Also, it is good for creative purposes; you can chop and edit copies of them to create completely different sounds, and make your music even more interesting.

    Additionally, if you're going to be providing a music service, in some cases you may need to send Stem files to your client anyway.

    2. Midi Note Control:

    If you compose your own Midi Patterns, you may wish to try and emulate certain instrument characteristics, such as Strum or a Drumming technique called 'Flam'.

    Playing with the Midi note Parameters such as; Velocity, Quantize and even Note Length, can have an affect on how your instrument parts sound.

    For example, you can create really nice Piano pieces just by altering different Velocity values, and create Movement in your drum patterns, especially Hi-Hats. Panning notes can create interesting compositions too.

    3. Sample Envelope Settings

    Most DAW's should have a Sampler Plugin that programms your data into Midi note Piano Roll pattens, like 'One Hit' Samples for example.

    When I started I never paid much attention to the Envelope settings (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release).

    It wasn't until later that I discovered it was also having an affect on how my music sounded.

    When programming Midi Patterns with One Hit Samples, the Hits can sometimes all sound the same length, regardless of the actual Midi Note Length.

    By modifying the Envelope A,S,D,R Parameters, it will affect how the note will be played, and will give you more control over each Hit, allowing for more dynamic control over your Patterns and your Mix.

    4. Mixer Bus Routing

    It wasn't until later that I learned how effective using Bus Sends on your Mixer could be. The process involves sending the audio from one Mixer Channel or Strip to another, thus 'Routing the signal to a Bus.

    Now there are multiple advantages to doing this, First being for CPU reasons.

    Using effects on each individual track can use a lot of CPU, so if you have a Reverb that you are using on several different instruments, you can put Reverb on one Mixer Track, and send every instrument that you want it on, to the 'Reverb Send'.

    Next reason being for mixing purposes. Grouping particular instruments onto one Bus can be very effective. One technique that I use is to Send all of my percussion into one Bus Group (Submix).

    This is particularly good for controlling the overall level, and Compression reasons, (NY Compression especially) and you can still edit the individual tracks with in the Group from their individual faders.

    5. Keep Learning, Make Music

    This one is probably a given, and more than likely you've heard this before. Just keep on doing what you enjoy, Making Music.

    At first, things can be daunting, such as learning how to operate your DAW, and general music theory. As you begin to Master your craft, you will see steady improvements in your sound. If you can, I would also highly suggest going to a Music School or College, where you will learn some fundamental things that will be the foundation of your music growth. But even then, the learning never stops.

    I hope these tips and techniques will be helpful if you are just starting out, and Best of Luck with your projects!

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Kritical MeSh For This Useful Post:

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Austin TX
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Thanks for the tips here much appreciated. Iím a longtime pro musician but only recently built my first home recording studio. At first a bit overwhelmed but now Iím very comfortable with all the hardware and daw.
    Last edited by LoughlinB; 12-16-2017 at 08:15 PM.
    Playing guitar in a blues/rock band. Recording music in my home studio. Family. Jesus. My dogs. My truck.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    very helpful. thx bro!
    Free beats EVERY thursday. Check out! We wanna collaborate with you. Hit me up!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Southern California
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
    Wonderful tricks and tips Kritical MeSh. I will definitely try and free up my CPU with your first tip.

    One technique I might add here is to consider using real instruments and sounds into your tracks. Whether it be guitars, bass, flute, or even simple foley (banging on the desk or tapping glasses), having something organic can really make your song shine and also gives it a more personal touch.
    Networking with young composers!
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Nice, will definitely use these

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