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Creating tension in music

Electronic music—oriented for dance-floors—mainly relies on the use of tension to create excitement. I was recently asked how I personally approach tension-building in my work. In this post I'd like to share my point of view on the subject, but before writing this I also spent some time reading articles...

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Workflow Suggestions for Music Collaborations

One of the most underestimated approaches to electronic music is collaboration. It seems to me that because of electronic music's DIY approach people believe they need to do absolutely everything themselves. However, almost every time I've collaborated with others I hear them say "wow, I can't believe I haven't done...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Is sampling wrong?

Sampling in electronic music involves two main types: using another person's idea (e.g. using a harpist's melody for your deep techno song, or sampling electronic music that isn't yours) and using prefabricated samples for making your song. As time goes on, I read and hear about more and more debates regarding...

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Tips and recommendations for compression (Pt. 1)

After two important posts on EQs, it's time to start discussing how to use compression, as these two work so well hand-in-hand, and I'll offer my own recommendations on some of the best compression VST plugins. Your own selection of VSTs should always start with a few of these two...

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The best EQ plugins and various EQ’ing tips (Pt. II)

In my previous post regarding the best EQ plugins, I covered some of my favorite EQs and some of their uses. After receiving many compliments about that post, I've decided to continue with a part two. In the following post, I'll share a few tricks with you that you can...

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Alternative music arranging techniques

Music arranging techniques are a topic I've been asked about most in the last few weeks. For many people, this is the part of music-making that causes issues. And rightfully so; arranging is all about storytelling. In past posts, I've said that even though your sound and production might be...

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Adding life to sounds: movement in electronic music

Creating movement in electronic music One of the most misunderstood concepts in electronic music is movement. By movement, I am referring to the way that each sound constantly evolves throughout a song. I was once talking with someone who is very into modular synthesizers and he was saying that he cannot...

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Free Ableton Live Mixing Template

I've put together a free Ableton template after receiving feedback that it was very helpful for many people I've worked with. The template available on this page is aimed specifically at mixing. I've noticed that many aspects of mixing are often misunderstood; I've assembled a starting template that has bundled...

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My tracks always have the same song structure

(Cover Photo by Luca Bravo) One of the common things I often see and also struggle with myself is that sometimes I feel like my songs are always arranged in the same way; my song structure is often the same. While there's nothing inherently wrong with following a regular song structure,...

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Intuition for decisions in music production

In a sense, musical intuition is what defines someone who can bring a bit of creative magic into something, in comparison to someone who sticks to truly technical application of software. I've often had the chance to watch experienced producers make music, either while I was visiting one's studio or on...

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The next big thing?

During a conference I was recently invited to talk at, I was speaking with a group of people @ College Du Montreal and was asked a question I couldn’t answer quickly. The question that came up was what I’d consider “next level”, which I responded by saying “chances are, you're...

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