What recent discovery or technique took your production to the next level?

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

There is always something new to learn for everyone; and the world is full of knowledge, tutorials and tips and tricks. Sometimes we even forget the most basic things. But what technique, strategy, or trick of the trade do you find yourself using constantly recently? What is it you'll never wanna go without anymore?

May it be sidechaining, the discovery of LFOs, another DAW, a plugin, a certain drum kit, highpassing instruments... you name it!

For me it's microtimings, groove and shuffle. And, uh, gating. Nothing cleans up the mix like properly gated signals. It's the first thing I do these days as opposed to a year ago (and there's a good reason it's near the very top of the channel strip :) )
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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MrFigg
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Post 03 Dec 2019

diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
But what technique, strategy, or trick of the trade do you find yourself using constantly recently? What is it you'll never wanna go without anymore?

Being able to send my songs to you and get them
mixed properly :).

xboix
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Joined: 22 Oct 2019

Post 03 Dec 2019

Depends what you mean by recently. In the last five years my mixes have improved considerably due to learning to cut frequencies. Specifically, almost every track has a fairly severe high-pass filter on it. I move the cut-off up until I hear a significant difference then I back it off "a bit". Removing as much low frequency energy as possible leaves space for the stuff you need down there, usually bass and kick, but not always.

More recently I have had significant improvements to my output quality by "discovering" Ozone and also, sadly, by using another DAW. Reason is good for lots of stuff but the more "normal" workflow of a traditional DAW helps me finish a song. I tend to export stems from Reason and mix and master in Cubase or Studio One. Exporting stems means you have to lock -in your sounds and it focuses your mind.

I've also moved away from my over-reliance on the bit-crusher type treatments. They are very easy to overdo and they become tiresome to the ear. Those effects have their place but need to be used in moderation. (Don't get me started again on the whole cassette thing. No-one ever really wants to hear wow and flutter. Really, they don't.)

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Oquasec
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Post 03 Dec 2019

Been at this since 2010 so don't really know at this point.
Maybe composing class.
Producer/Sound Designer.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 03 Dec 2019

Using less stuff! I tend to be a bit kitchen sink about it sometimes. But when I listen to music I like objectively, 9/10 it’s just 3 or 4 really well mixed things. So I guess being more economical and clean with my writing and arranging and mixing has been a big thing. Time saver too!
Enjoy!

http://www.paulortizmusic.com

2017 MBP | 16GB | Steinberg UR44 | Reason 10.4 | Cubase Pro 10.5

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Loque
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Post 03 Dec 2019

A good sound just needs a saw and proper filtering. Job done.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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Proboscis
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Post 03 Dec 2019

diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
There is always something new to learn for everyone
It is this very statement that answers the thread question. Realizing that there's always some new approach with Reason

But one of the greatest discoveries for me was that a few years ago, realizing that the OctoRex slots could be added in the sequencer, and they do not have the same 'start point' ie; I can add 3/4 of slot 1, then the last 1/4 of slot 2 etc.

It makes for creating some pretty unique drum/percussion tracks that better suit any given piece of music, and break out of feeling like 'stock loops'.

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guitfnky
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Post 03 Dec 2019

sub-mixing. I listen to a lot of very dense music, and I write a lot of very dense music. it’s *really difficult* (at least for me) to mix large numbers of layers when they’re all doing different things simultaneously.

then one day I realized I can treat things in groups to carve out space for the groups to fit together on a larger scale, while I simultaneously treat the individual instruments within a group separately to create separation of the instruments within the group, on a smaller scale.

that, and a lot of high-pass filtering. xboix said it best. get as aggressive with it as you can, without going so high you start altering the character of the instrument. such a simple trick, and enormously powerful. the only instrument I don’t high-pass is either the kick, or bass, depending on which one is responsible for the critical “oomph” frequency range. 😆

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

Proboscis wrote:
03 Dec 2019
diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
There is always something new to learn for everyone
It is this very statement that answers the thread question. Realizing that there's always some new approach with Reason

But one of the greatest discoveries for me was that a few years ago, realizing that the OctoRex slots could be added in the sequencer, and they do not have the same 'start point' ie; I can add 3/4 of slot 1, then the last 1/4 of slot 2 etc.

It makes for creating some pretty unique drum/percussion tracks that better suit any given piece of music, and break out of feeling like 'stock loops'.
Hold up. Do you mean this?
rexxx.JPG
Because I know that one, copying each loop's "slice sequence" into the seuqencer, but it always uses the sound of the selected loop in the device - unless you combine it with pattern automation. Is there another way?
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:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

guitfnky wrote:
03 Dec 2019
that, and a lot of high-pass filtering. xboix said it best. get as aggressive with it as you can, without going so high you start altering the character of the instrument. such a simple trick, and enormously powerful. the only instrument I don’t high-pass is either the kick, or bass, depending on which one is responsible for the critical “oomph” frequency range. 😆
ikr? I even highpass bass and kick to an extent (30-80 Hz depending on the sound) - adds a subtle bump near the crossover frequency too :)

I definitely underuse buses. I mean I use them a lot, but rarely for grouping a larger number of instruments.

One little thing I like to do is add a "pump" bus with Pump RE as an insert, where I route all the instruments to that ought to get the pseudo sidechain treatment. And nowadays I always have one pre-master bus, from which I grab a highpassed copy and feed it into the SSL Comp.
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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motuscott
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Location: the new york

Post 03 Dec 2019

krokodil
Sometimes a cigar is just a synth that's on fire

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

chimp_spanner wrote:
03 Dec 2019
Using less stuff! I tend to be a bit kitchen sink about it sometimes. But when I listen to music I like objectively, 9/10 it’s just 3 or 4 really well mixed things. So I guess being more economical and clean with my writing and arranging and mixing has been a big thing. Time saver too!
I often used many different instruments playing many different little bits (still do), but with layering, the sounds are just fuller, sound less cheesy and can stand on their own way better. Which then leads to a cleaner and less confusing/convoluted arrangement. Definitely something I have to force myself to do more :)
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

MrFigg wrote:
03 Dec 2019
diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
But what technique, strategy, or trick of the trade do you find yourself using constantly recently? What is it you'll never wanna go without anymore?

Being able to send my songs to you and get them
mixed properly :).
I feel used! :x
Got something for you to jam over, mate.
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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Djstarski
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Post 03 Dec 2019

I now know you have to EQ each instrument to fit into the mix , not EQing the instrument to sound great by itself . When you solo some tracks they may not sound pleasing to your ears but in the mix they fit just right .

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Proboscis
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Post 03 Dec 2019

diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
Hold up. Do you mean this?
No I mean this:
octopattern.png
By hovering over the slot area and choosing 'edit automation', it brings up a 'pattern select' lane in the sequencer. Then you draw a clip into that lane, and the default will be slot 1. That clip has it's own drop down menu where you can then change it to any of the slots 1-8. Furthermore, if you were to drag the start point to the right by (let's say for example) 50%, that will only play the second half of the chosen slot clip.
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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

Djstarski wrote:
03 Dec 2019
I now know you have to EQ each instrument to fit into the mix , not EQing the instrument to sound great by itself . When you solo some tracks they may not sound pleasing to your ears but in the mix they fit just right .
:thumbs_up: yes, always in context, even if it's just the rhythm guitar while you're eqing the solo for an example.
However I find that the first instrument you have in your track can still get that "special treatment" and you can go nuts with sound design. Just make everything added afterwards obey to that sound.
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

Proboscis wrote:
03 Dec 2019
diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
Hold up. Do you mean this?
No I mean this:

octopattern.png

By hovering over the slot area and choosing 'edit automation', it brings up a 'pattern select' lane in the sequencer. Then you draw a clip into that lane, and the default will be slot 1. That clip has it's own drop down menu where you can then change it to any of the slots 1-8. Furthermore, if you were to drag the start point to the right by (let's say for example) 50%, that will only play the second half of the chosen slot clip.
Cool. I knew the first part, but not that you can switch between loops within the measure of a bar. Thanks!! Great, another new trick learned :)
What I showed you allows you to get the "groove" of one loop and use it to play another.
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

TritoneAddiction
Posts: 2034
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Location: Sweden

Post 03 Dec 2019

Plugin wise: Carve EQ Ducker and Disperser. Still can't believe no one else is talking about these REs. Both super useful. Honestly I almost rely on these tools as much as EQ and compression. The only rule for both is to not overdue the settings on them. A little goes a long way.

Another more broader philosophy of mine is try to finish tracks as often as possible. You do that often enough over a long time you'll get better at everything regarding creating music. Song writing, arranging, mixing/mastering, sound design. I'm throwing self discipline in there as well. Who cares about if you have 100 unfinished tracks/8 bar loops? No one. People want to hear finished tunes.

Another one I try to do is listen carefully to what melody lines come up naturally in my head. Trust your musical intuition. Let's be honest, if you can't somewhat hum/sing the melodies/riffs/drum patterns you write they're most likely not very memorable. This is why I have such strong negative feelings about players. Sure you might stumble upon something cool occasionally, but most of what I hear from players is just random scale notes sounding "ok". In my view they probably work fine for making background stuff in the arrangement more interesting, but they won't help you write that line/hook that will make a track really stand out and stand the test of time.

TritoneAddiction
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Location: Sweden

Post 03 Dec 2019

Nice idea for a thread btw :thumbs_up:

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aeox
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Post 03 Dec 2019

Saturation

Edit: oh and learning how to synthesize kicks and snares
Last edited by aeox on 03 Dec 2019, edited 1 time in total.
Random songs/ideas go here:
https://soundcloud.com/ae-ox/polar/s-Ocxtj

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Proboscis
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Post 03 Dec 2019

TritoneAddiction wrote:
03 Dec 2019
Another one I try to do is listen carefully to what melody lines come up naturally in my head.
That reminds me of an unusual occurrence - oftentimes when I have a 16 bar loop thats on repeat, I'll go have a shower or something, and from another room, I can hear entirely different melody ideas in the phrase. :lol:

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EnochLight
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Location: your mom

Post 03 Dec 2019

diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
There is always something new to learn for everyone; and the world is full of knowledge, tutorials and tips and tricks. Sometimes we even forget the most basic things. But what technique, strategy, or trick of the trade do you find yourself using constantly recently? What is it you'll never wanna go without anymore?

May it be sidechaining, the discovery of LFOs, another DAW, a plugin, a certain drum kit, highpassing instruments... you name it!

For me it's microtimings, groove and shuffle. And, uh, gating. Nothing cleans up the mix like properly gated signals. It's the first thing I do these days as opposed to a year ago (and there's a good reason it's near the very top of the channel strip :)
One of my favorite tricks was learning how to do a classic reverse reverb fade-in that was popular in the 80's. Selig's tutorial for it is something I still reference today, as I love using the effect on vocals (this was done in 6.0 but is still relevant in every version since):

Win 10 | Reason 11 |  Studio One 4.5 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 and System 1 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion | Roland TB-3 | Roland VT-4 | Roland MX-1

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Djstarski
Posts: 295
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Post 03 Dec 2019

diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
Djstarski wrote:
03 Dec 2019
I now know you have to EQ each instrument to fit into the mix , not EQing the instrument to sound great by itself . When you solo some tracks they may not sound pleasing to your ears but in the mix they fit just right .
:thumbs_up: yes, always in context, even if it's just the rhythm guitar while you're eqing the solo for an example.
However I find that the first instrument you have in your track can still get that "special treatment" and you can go nuts with sound design. Just make everything added afterwards obey to that sound.

Yes your right .

TritoneAddiction
Posts: 2034
Joined: 29 Aug 2015
Location: Sweden

Post 03 Dec 2019

Proboscis wrote:
03 Dec 2019
TritoneAddiction wrote:
03 Dec 2019
Another one I try to do is listen carefully to what melody lines come up naturally in my head.
That reminds me of an unusual occurrence - oftentimes when I have a 16 bar loop thats on repeat, I'll go have a shower or something, and from another room, I can hear entirely different melody ideas in the phrase. :lol:
I hear you. The shower is where I come up with at least 30% of all my musical ideas. A shower installed should be the standard in every studio. :lol:

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diminished
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Post 03 Dec 2019

EnochLight wrote:
03 Dec 2019


fantastic, thank you. (and selig of course)
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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