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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jul-16 > Tips To Improve Your Productions Right Now!

Tips To Improve Your Productions Right Now!

Whether you’re just getting started making music, or you’re a long-time super producer, there are some things that everyone should know. Matthew Mann gives us 20 tips that should help you increase your productivity, or even take your tracks to the next level
Try tuning drums to help them fit in your composition

01 IF YOUR DRUMS AREN’T WORKING,TRY TUNING THEM A BIT

Sometimes, when drums aren’t sitting well, it might be worth changing the pitch. For example, a kick drum tuned up a little may sit better with a bass. A kick tuned down can add much more weight and can even sound similar to a subby bass drum (think 808). Toms can be tuned to the key of a song and this will go a long way toward supporting the musicality of the track. For something really arresting, experiment with tuning snares and hi-hats up several tones or semi-tones until you have something interesting.

02 CREATE A SONGWRITING TEMPLATE

You may find that you return time and again to the same virtual instruments and/or effects plug-ins. Setting up a session that includes those instruments and effects and then saving it as a template greatly speeds up your songwriting/ recording/mixing workflows. You can even save favourite‘starter’ patches for your instrument, compressor, EQ, reverb and other plugin settings. In most DAWs, it is simply a matter of opening your template, renaming it to describe your new project, and then saving as that new name. This keeps your original template intact and establishes a great housekeeping and workflow habit.

03 COLOUR CODE AND LABEL YOUR TRACKS

Getting organised is another way to speed up your workflow. Colour similar instrument tracks, MIDI tracks, and Aux tracks. After they’re properly coloured, name the tracks. Most DAWs create region names based on the track names when recording audio and MIDI. It takes much more time to go back and rename your tracks after recording, than to name them ahead of time. Make sure all track names are meaningful, too, or your exported stems could read: Track 1, Track 2… Track 36, etc. This makes it very difficult to know what’s what when you return to the track later on.

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