Mixing Electronic Music? Don’t Make These 2 Vital Compression Mistakes

I was chatting with Rob Mayzes the other day about compression. Rob is a freelance mixer, musician, and educator. He has helped thousands of home studio owners produce better music and mixes through his website Musician on a Mission. After chatting a while I asked him to write a guest article on Compression techniques for Electronic Music. Here is his article. Love some of the ideas and reframing he shares:


If you find yourself applying compression because you feel you should, stop what you are doing. It took me a long time to truly understand compression. At first, I didn’t quite understand how it worked. But it didn’t take long to get to grips with the various parameters… Yet once I understood how compression worked, a new question came up.

Why do I need compression, and when should I use it?

I have spent 12 years mastering the use of compression and taught over half a million people about mixing in the process. Along the way, I have noticed one vital mistake pop up time and time again…

The assumption that the use of compression is the same in all genres.

It simply isn’t.

You’re about to learn why compression can make your electronic music sound far worse if used incorrectly… and what you should be doing instead.

Using Compression in Electronic Music

For most genres, compression is vital. After the volume fader and EQ, it’s one of your most useful tools.But most genres doesn’t mean ALL genres. In electronic music, this isn’t the case. You may have been misled by mixing tutorials that refer to genres with more acoustic elements, like rock music. In genres that contain a lot of acoustic instrument, compression is an absolute necessity. (more…)

By | 2017-09-15T09:15:52+00:00 September 14th, 2017|Music Theory, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Makaya McCraven – Beat Science

I was stoked to host the Ableton Live User Group in Portland last month. We had the rare opportunity of having the guest speaker Makaya McCraven. Makaya is a world-renowned jazz drummer. Pop Matters’ put him in the top jazz albums of 2015. In this Video Makaya MacCraven walks us through his creative process with editing, chopping, and working off the grid. Lots of gems in here, so enjoy.

Check out Makaya’s music at: https://www.makayamccraven.com/

By | 2017-09-06T18:42:25+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Sound Design Tech|0 Comments

Fast Songwriting with Odesi and Ableton Live

Sometimes I want to sit down and just hash out an idea. I might not have a keyboard with me or just feel like exploring unknown territory. Odesi has been a magic tool for me to do this. It’s fast, intuitive, and helps me discover new ideas in minutes.

Odesi is a stand alone program made by the people at Mixed in Key. In this video, I walk you through how to use Odesi and give you a deeper idea of what you can do with the program.

After I made that video I realized I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to show the ease of which you can create a song and then take the parts into Ableton Live. Once there, you can start putting sound design to it and build out your track. I have started sketches for a track in 10min or less using this program. Granted this is just a seed. You need to extend it out, build the composition, modulate, and all that stuff. Basically, think of Odesi as a fast idea generator, but you have to go build out those ideas.

I will also say I don’t generally use Odesi for melody creation. It just never “gets me” as a listener or producer. Seems a little flat, but some good ideas come out of it. As far as chord movement and beat… this program is rad!

Here is my video walkthrough of using Odesi and Ableton Live. Check out Odesi by Mixed in Key.

By | 2017-08-29T19:02:26+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Vst Review|0 Comments

Rock Drum MIDI Library

I have been stoked on Rock of late… It’s a new thing for me, but I am digging classic rock again. All the sudden I found a little of its influence sneaking into my music. Lots of rhythmic inspiration.  I decided to dive deep and make a library of Rock Drum MIDI. This collection has 56 MIDI Drum Patterns organized and ready to be used in any DAW.

 

Here is the video walk through:

Grab the rack for free / by donation. Consider throwing a few bucks to help the creative wheel go round 😉

If you want to see other MIDI Libraries, please comment below.


Download the MIDI Library

DOWNLOAD THEM ALL

Download the full collection of Free Live packs with the Download Archive. This collection includes all the Free Live Packs on Subaqueousmusic.com.  Instead of crawling through the site and other online sites that have featured Subaqueous Packs, you can grab all of them with one convenient download. This includes all the past MIDI Libraries.

Download The Full Archive


 

Check out these other MIDI Libraries:

Hip Hop MIDI Library

Carrabiean and Reggae Drum MIDI Library

Glitch Hop MIDI Library

Trap MIDI Library

Latin Percussion MIDI Library

By | 2017-08-23T17:21:53+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Ableton, Free Music Tools|0 Comments

Indonesian Gamelan Instrument Rack

I falling further down the rabbit hole with my new Gamelan Instrument Rack. Since my new music has been very inspired by instruments and cultures across the world, I decided to dive into Gamelan again. I polished up some samples and made this free / by donation Instrument Rack of the Bonang Gamelan.

 

Here is the walkthrough video and download below:


Download the Instrument Rack

By | 2017-08-14T17:44:59+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Recording Multi-track with Ipad and Zoom H6

While working on my new Subaqueous Album, I came up with an idea. I wanted to record vocals with Marya Stark  but not in the studio. I wanted to trek out to a remote place in the woods and dive deep into the music. After much experimenting, I found out a way to use the Zoom H6 and the Ipad to record. We were able to do full multitracking, layering, and even editing out in the woods and it all fit in a backpack.

Here is the video walk through. Below that, I have some links to the app and gear used.

Here is a list of some of the things you might need. (more…)

Sitar Instrument Rack – Ableton Live

I love the unique quality of the Sitar. It has such rich harmonic strings and overtones. Over the years I have made a few instrument racks in my production of the Sitar and decided to share them. I packed up five Sitar instrument racks for free / by donation download. Check out the video below for a walk through.

 

Download Below:


Download Instrument Rack

 

If you make a track from this, please comment below with a link. Love to check it out. Enjoy 😉

By | 2017-07-21T11:56:38+00:00 July 21st, 2017|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|10 Comments

How to escape the 8 bar loop and finish more tracks

Written by Daniel Dixon, content writer for Outro.io

We’ve all been there before—you’re writing a track, the separate elements are falling into place, and a steady groove has emerged. But when it comes time to arrange the loop into a full track, things start to fall apart. You’ve become too entrenched in the loop to take it somewhere new, and you’re left feeling stuck.

Not knowing where to take your track is a common crux for many producers, leaving us with folders full of incomplete projects. There are, however, many ways to avoid this from happening—check out these seven tricks to help you escape the 8 bar loop and finish more tracks.

1. Use a reference track

Listen to a great track within the style you’re trying to create—how did the producer structure it? Drag and drop the track into your DAW, and use locators to make note of where it changes (intro, drop, breakdown etc.), using them as guidelines for your own music. After doing this a few times, you’ll stop needing the reference, and start adding in unique twists and developing a signature style.

Create a reference track, change it’s output to ext. out 1/2 (your master output) so the reference track doesn’t run through the mastering chain. Then mute the track—you don’t want it to play while yours does.

Add Locator:

 

Adding a Reference Track:

 

2. Make Loop Variations

(more…)

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