Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Thursday, July 23, 2015

10 EDM Production Tips

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If you're into electronic music, then you know that the rules that we use when recording and mixing live musicians are sometimes bent to fit the genre. BuildYourSound.com had a great post providing 50 production tips from EDM's hottest producers, and here are 10 of them from the article. Be sure to check out the original post for the rest.

1. “I mix my snares quite oddly in anticipation of my mastering. I’ll always test my drums with a mastering chain on to make sure they still feel punchy and snappy.” – Madeon

5. “It’s all about the three pieces that make a really nice drum sound. You need a nice transient in the beginning, and then the note around the 200-hertz frequency that gives it that boof, and then a tail, which can be anything.” – Skrillex

13. “getting the relative volume levels of each instrument correct is a more important task than EQing. new producers often prefer a sound after it’s been EQed and in many cases it’s only because the levels have changed” – Porter Robinson

17. “Here’s something I like to think about concerning loudness… You have a very discrete amount of digital headroom with which to fill before you begin to clip/distort right? So as you begin to layer layer layer layer sounds, essentially you are necessarily bringing the volume of each individual noise DOWN to make room. This has a significant effect on “perceived loudness.” The easiest example to see this in action is to listen to an artist like Arojack — dude often writes tracks that are simply drums and a lead synth. As a result his music is often Noticeably “louder” then someone like ours (for example) even tho we are both filling up the same amount of digital space. The rule of thumb then… simpler is often louder.” – The M Machine

27. “Parallel compression allows you to draw out different characteristics of a sound an combine them together. For instance say you want a snare to have a very snappy attack, but you also want it to have some body to it. If you parallel compress it with one of the paths set to a 10ms attack and the other set to around 150 that enables you to blend body with attack.” – Nick Thayer

28. “Most lead sounds will have a saw or square wave as a basic as these tend to cut through in a mix as that appear to take up more space. The other oscillators are what you can use to add the colour to the sound to make it unique.” – Nick Thayer

34. “We find to get like a really, cool sort of groove, and swaying kind of effect – you pull back like the seconds here [mouses over Ableton track delay] so it makes the hats or claps or the percussion a bit lazy, rather than having everything so regimented and right on the beat” – What So Not

43. “Stop listening to the music and begin feeling it. Don’t move to it, let it move you. Fully surrender yourself to the sound and break free of the ideas you attach to genre and production” – Au5

46. “1. The lower the frequency the more power it requires in your master bus so cut out any bass not needed. 2. Try to bring out the thing that the track is saying. It might take a while to figure out what this is exactly, but once you do you can focus your whole mixing process around that as opposed to following standard rules.” – Noisia

50. “Usually 1 top main clicky sounding kick with no low end, a separate low end kick that’s relatively short (and usually pitches down sort of, so I don't worry about it being in key) so I can mix my sub bass around it. Then I sometimes have a tonal kick, like something acoustic so it doesn’t sound so digital; that can sometimes be 1 or 2 layers.” –Pierce Fulton

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