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 Home Loaf Music Production Bible

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LukeIcardMusic

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PostSubject: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:18 am

So, here's a list of everything I can possibly think of about Music Production that could come handy to someone new. 

You may be reading this thinking I have no idea where to start! How do I make a song? Whats the best DAW to use? Should I go to school for music production? 
The answer is simple really. Its all personal preference and experience. For me, I'm the kind of guy who spends hours and hours trying to figure out something for myself by myself. While others, would prefer to watch someone do it, or be taught how to do it. While there is nothing wrong with that, you are likely to remember MORE if you figure it out for YOURSELF rather than trying to copy what someone else is doing because it worked for them. And while it may still work for you, its best that you take what you learned and apply it to what you do. You may not think that can help you much, but I have retained so much information from experimentation over the years. I'm just going to save you the trouble of trying to find all this information. 

Music Production 101. The Basics. 

1. START WITH GOOD SAMPLES! Always use 24 bit and 44.1 samples. No mp3s, and nothing that sounds like its been ripped off of youtube. 

2. I WANT MY DRUMS/SAMPLES TO SOUND LIKE XYZ ARTIST! Sample them, then layer your own sounds in. While this may not usually provide good results, its best to listen critically to them to find out what may be the source of that sound and try and re duplicate it. 

3. USE YOUR EAR! You want to know how the top guys got to where they are today? They practiced! They didnt use EQ presets either!

4. LEARN HOW TO GAINSTAGE! If your balance is still off when you go to EQ, then whats the point? Always mix to -10db. It doesnt have to always be at -10 db, (assuming that you like dynamics) but its best to usually start from the loudest point of your song and gainstage from there. 

5. LEARN WHAT PHASE IS! If I had a million dollars for every time a bass guitar was out of phase, i'd be a very rich man. Always look at the wave form of the DI track and the Microphone to make sure that they both match. Slide the DI track over until the DI's waveform matches the microphones wave form. 

6. DONT TURN IT UP! If you are producing and you want to turn up the master fader in your daw because the volume is too low, leave it alone and buy a headphone amp. A headphone amp will get you to louder volumes than most stock interfaces will. I use a rane HC6 amp. 

7. ALWAYS LEAVE HEADROOM! A mix with headroom will sound better than a mix thats been over compressed, or one that looks like a sausage after you export it. Always leave -3db to-6db of headroom. A headphone amp will help with this. You'll be hearing it loud already so you wont want to mess with the volume of the master. 

8. KEEP IT GREEN! If you are recording audio, please keep it at a low level. I have mine barely hitting yellow at loudest points. This will allow you to have a properly gain staged mix already without having to balance levels much afterwards. 

9. SIDECHAIN! Side chaining isn't always used for cheesy electro basslines. Sidechain the high frequencies of your drums, your synths, and basslines to your vocal. You'll be surprised at how much it pops! 

10. HAVE FUN! Its not always a numbers game. Do what feels right! 

11. LISTEN! Listen to constructive criticism, and learn how to take it! Also listen on flat speakers and flat headphones. Treat your room if you can afford it. 

12. MAKE MAKE MAKE — You gotta make a lot of bad music before you make good music. 

 


Now that weve got those out of the way, its time for some mixing tips.

1. After you've written a song, take a break from it and come back to it a few days later before you mix it.

2. Spend ten minutes balancing levels with no processing. Do a save as, and call it "First impression"

3. If you are just starting out, this chart will help you visualize where everything is. http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

4. Use High Pass filters and Low Pass filters. High pass removes low end, and Low pass removes high end. 

5. Mix at a low volume if you are having trouble getting a phat kick. If you can get it thumping at a low volume, then you know youve got a good kick! 

6. Each song you make is different! Your eq presets wont work everytime! 

7. Learn how to take advantage of parallel processing and parallel compression! You get the transients from the original sound, and the tightness of the compression for the parallel channel.

I will add more to this as time goes on! 


Last edited by LukeIcardMusic on Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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brandio

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:05 am

Thnx Luke this is a valuable recourse. Maybe others can post tips in this thread also? My advice:

Make make make — You gotta make a lot of bad music before you make good music (Decent music >.>) Even if you have no idea what your doing if you spend enough time with the software you'll learn. Sometimes its tempting to take the, "work smarter not harder" avenue, and get caught up in tutorials and reading/talking about music  when you should be making music. U know you get out what you put in sorta thing. Worrk all the bad tunes out!!~ its kinda like wringing nasty sweat water out of a t-shirt. gotta get it all out
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SamHammer(TheDruid)

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:06 am

This is really good stuff. I wish I had been told some of this stuff a  year or two ago when I first started XD
I am constantly learning new stuff about music production, and every time I do I realise how little I actually do know.
Also, the above comment is super true. 90% of the stuff I've written is utter crap that I have abandoned, but every time you make something (even if it is terrible) you get a little better Smile
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LukeIcardMusic

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:10 am

glad i could help Very Happy
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Phation

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:46 am

A tip for recording audio which sort of contradicts the keep it quiet rule. You want to be getting the most efficient signal/noise ratio. In order to achieve this, you actually want to record your audio as loud as possible without it peaking. You should be going through the song/track playing/singing the loudest parts, so you can get those parts to be just under 0db. This may be something like the chorus of your song for your vocalist, or maybe palm-muting your guitar in a metal track.

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:46 am

Ike plz..

Thanks for the great post man gj! Very Happy

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chiaraf

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:50 am

Thanks for those useful tips.
I don't usually make electronic music but the mixing advice can be applied to all genres and I really need to work on that!

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LukeIcardMusic

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:10 pm

Skaul wrote:
Ike plz..

Thanks for the great post man gj! Very Happy

That name will never die xD
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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:41 pm

LukeIcardMusic wrote:

3. If you are just starting out, this chart will help you visualize where everything is. http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm


...thank you so much for posting this; this is without a doubt one of the best resources I've seen in quite some time.
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LukeIcardMusic

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:01 pm

Halogen- wrote:
LukeIcardMusic wrote:

3. If you are just starting out, this chart will help you visualize where everything is. http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm


...thank you so much for posting this; this is without a doubt one of the best resources I've seen in quite some time.

Your welcome! Its helped me become better for sure!
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CantorsCantor

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:40 pm

Oh, wow. Thanks, that's a useful link. What's the difference between parallel compression and sidechain compression, by the way? I've never quite understood how parallel compression works, despite having done google-research.

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LukeIcardMusic

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PostSubject: Re: Home Loaf Music Production Bible   Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:33 pm

CantorsCantor wrote:
Oh, wow. Thanks, that's a useful link. What's the difference between parallel compression and sidechain compression, by the way? I've never quite understood how parallel compression works, despite having done google-research.

Parallel compression is taking a copy of the original channel and squashing the compression or compressing the parallel channel a bit to beef it up a bit. You get the transients from the original and the compressed feel of the other.

Side chaining isnt just those cheesy electro basslines (basically a pumping effect if you use it as an effect). But it can be a VERY useful mixing tool if you use it to sidechain the electric guitars to the vocal, so the vocal will always be on top of the electric guitars, makes it really POP out of the mix Very Happy
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