Choosing a genre for your music

Every now and then I encounter people I work with who have trouble choosing a genre to produce in because they like a wide variety of different genres and have too many ideas. I've also experienced this myself in my early years of DJing, and it was a bit of...

Pigments by Arturia

Synthesizer Basics

I've realized that using synths is a bit of an esoteric process for many (for me it definitely was for a while), so I'd like to share with you some synth basics. I used to read things online in-depth about synths, but didn't feel like it was really helping me...

mixing audio, fabfilter pro q3

Balancing a Mix

Balancing a mix is simple "mixing 101" theory; it's usually fast and simple to do. I could go into a lot of detail about mix balancing, but the point here is to provide you with some quick information that you easily can put to practice to get quick results yourself....

Common mindsets of musicians who have writer’s block and how to solve them

We've recently restarted group coaching after a few month hiatus. The initial idea for group coaching is to explore the participant's current intentions and obstacles in their work, including overcoming writer's block in music-making. Passionate producers spend a lot of time music-making; it's a central part of their lifestyle, which...

Social Media for Musicians

I'd like to reiterate what many have been saying lately: social media for musicians can be a curse. Most people are aware that platforms like Facebook have become more controversial than ever before; Attack Magazine, for example, has written about how difficult it has been lately. I've been asked to...

Learning how to make melodies

One of most difficult things for a self-taught musician to get the hang of is writing melodies. Even for a trained musician I believe melody is still a challenge; using theoretical knowledge to come up with the right melodic vocabulary to really express what one wants to express can be...

A Guide to Percussion

If you're into energetic music production, you know that percussion is one of the most central parts of your work; having solid percussion will be what will makes or breaks your song. For a veteran producer, there are some very obvious things to avoid or to do when it comes...

Making a hit

The title of this article might be misleading: if you came here in hopes of learning how to make a hit step-by-step, you're going to be disappointed. The good news though is, I can shed some light on how – based my experience – a track becomes a hit. I frequently...

Self-Sabotaging Your Music Career

"I was working on a track and it was going so well; people were leaving me a lot of great comments. I continued working on it for a while but started hating it. I deleted it and blew myself up...I often do." In many past posts I've mentioned that many people...

More tips about working with samples in Ableton

Recently I was doing some mixing and I came across multiple projects in a row that had some major issues with regards to working with samples in Ableton. One of them is a personal issue: taking a loop from a sample bank and using it as is, but there's no...

Creating organic sounding music with mixing

I'm always a bit reluctant to discuss mixing on this blog. The biggest mistake people make in mixing is to apply all the advice they can find online to their own work. This approach might not work, mostly because there are so many factors that can change how you approach...

Becoming a professional musician

Back in 2002, I received a government grant for a European tour. For me, this was the beginning of the process of becoming a professional musician. A lot of Canadian arts and music are funded by the government; if you're organized and a resourceful, you can get funding. I was...

Music experiments: creating your own inspiration

In this post, I discuss using music experiments in your workflow and inspiration in general. I don't know if it's just me, but lately I've noticed how software companies have been using "inspiration" as the key work to sell anything and everything. I'm seeing this in other fields too, not...

Design Thinking for Music Production

If you work in a field concerned with visual design, you probably have been reading a lot about Design Thinking. In this post, I will describe how I use design thinking for music. If you haven't heard about design thinking before, here's a definition: "Design Thinking is a design methodology that...

Finding a record label: is it worth it anymore?

Over the last 6 months, in talking with many people I work with and based on my own personal experience, I'm starting to notice that many of us (us, being musicians) feel that we haven't "made it" if we haven't signed something to a label. 20 years ago this may...

Avoid setting music goals and work on your system instead

Early each year, I hear about people setting music goals. We tend to see the action of setting goals as something that keeps us driving towards a precise destination. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I've done goal-setting for years, but I realize now that years where I was the...

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