Here are some new electronic music production tips and tricks for budding and veteran producers alike. To kick it off, I'd like to share Laidback Luke's six golden rules for getting into producing, originally posted on InTheMix.
Remember to take these in with a grain of salt, because some rules might not work best for you. Don't add 5 compressors on your master chain because Luke does it- that works for him. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to throw a maximizer in so that your track is loud enough to compared with the best! (That works well for me!)
#1 START WITH MAKING EDITS
This is re-arranging your favorite tracks and switching up the order of the song structure. Maybe try to cut a few notes and beats to make it sound crazier. Move into making mash-ups. This is basically putting two tracks together. Take the beats of one track and put the melody of another track over it. Most common mash-ups are putting an acappella over a track. Mash-ups will make you more aware of EQ-ing and compressing as well as blending elements together.
#2 SAMPLE A KICK-DRUM FROM A PROFESSIONAL TRACK
A well-mixed, loud dance track stands or falls with the kick-drum. To ensure you use the right one, and it sounds heavy enough, just sample one from an existing track. This way, you know it has already been mixed and mastered. Any element you layer on it will kick ass.
#3 TIME TO MASTERCHAIN
I always start my productions with my full masterchain on. Masterchain are the plug-ins you have on your master output to make your track sound fat and at a decent professional-sounding volume. I always advise to have at least a compressor and a limiter on there. My masterchain has at least five compressors in there now! Whatever works for you to get the fattest sound is fine. Just make sure your track doesn’t distort and you still have dynamics in there.
#4 DON’T GET STUCK IN A LOOP
Take a half-hour break every two hours. Like, really push yourself to do so! I can tell you most of my ideas and inspiration came from taking a pee after those two hours, or while nibbling on a sandwich. That break clears your brain out from the strain and freshens up the ears. When you get back in studio mode, you’ll instantly hear what needs to be tweaked or what you need to do to take the track to a higher level.
#5 REFERENCE YOUR TRACKS
It’s very important to mirror your tracks with professional tracks. I often have three or more references to compare my tracks with. When you switch back and forth to your track and the professional tracks, you will hear where your track is lacking.
Think about it: these professional tracks sound good everywhere. So if your track sounds similar in the overall EQ and loudness, your track will sound good everywhere as well. After that, it’s good to try and hear your track on any type of system, whether it’s your car, TV or crappy earplugs.
#6 ONTO THE NEXT…
Make an effort to actually finish your tracks. Snippets don’t count. It’s a true producer’s skill to be able to actually finish a track. Although you’ve spent a ton of time on a track, and it feels like your baby, leave it and start working on a new track.
You might get people who aren’t into your track, or say this and that needs improving. Take that feedback and work on a new project. Only then will you keep evolving. It protects your artist ego, as the best is yet to come, always.