Music Production Tips and Tricks

Anyone who has ever been in a band knows the struggle of making your music more marketable. If you want to be successful, you need to know how to take all those hours spent on studio time and make them worth it. We’ll go over 5 tips for producing better-sounding tracks that will help get your music heard by a larger audience.

Make Friends with Your Room

About half of the battle in achieving great sound is acoustics. How you treat your room will have a huge impact on how tracks turn out. If you’re recording at home, this might be more difficult than just working off basic monitors or headphones that aren’t dedicated to mixing/monitoring purposes. If you have the ability to use acoustic treatment and bass traps, this is a huge plus. These two tools will do wonders for your low-end response as well as overall clarity of sound.

Work to a Reference

One of the best ways to make sure your tracks sound good is by having a reference track. If you’re not familiar with this term, it simply means that if you have a song or album from another artist who sounds similar to what you are going for in terms of feel and production quality, use it as an example when you’re mixing.

Use Instruments with Personality

Not every instrument will sound good when layered. The key is to use instruments that already have a unique character and personality instead of getting it out of something generic. For example, if you need a violin but don’t want the hassle of learning how to play one, look into pre-recorded sampled string libraries or virtual instruments.

Use Subtractive EQ

This is a basic mixing technique that will help you get the most out of each track. The idea behind it is to make your tracks sound great individually before adding them together in the mix. With subtractive EQ, you are simply removing frequencies from certain sounds until they fit well with one another and can stand up to other instruments in the mix.

Keep a Separate “Production” Folder

Keeping all your different projects in one folder can get messy. Make sure you have separate folders for each project and label them accordingly so that it’s easy to find what you need! This also goes hand-in-hand with backing up files on an external hard drive or cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.net

Equipment for the Beginner DJ

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.net

When looking for starter equipment to begin DJing, it’s important to determine what you’re looking to use the equipment for. Are you looking to become involved in more casual DJing at house parties? If so, you can get away without an intensive arsenal of equipment and instead focus on putting your efforts into finding respectable computer and controller setups. Looking to pursue a DJ career where you’ll be performing at clubs and more high-profile venues? You’ll want to consider spending more money on equipment such as turntables and mixers to offer high-quality audio and gain practical and professional experience.

Below is a guide on what DJ equipment you’ll want to look into before getting started.

Computers and Interfaces

In terms of computers, you are free to use your own laptop if you already have one. With free software like Virtual DJ, you can use your computer to choose from libraries of digital music online. If you have a larger budget, you can look into software packages that come with DJ hardware or purchase professional DJ software separately.

Even if you’re using your own computer, you might want to consider investing in audio interfaces. Interfaces such as Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are able to convert recordings into digital audio and also send digital audio to your venue’s sound system.

Controllers

While it’s possible to perform crossfading and other matches on your laptop’s keyboard, if you want more tactile control with knobs and faders, consider looking into controllers. The Traktor Kontrol S2 is a portable controller that’s compatible with Mac and PC and includes DJ software.

Turntables and CDJs

Turntables offer tactile control over audio files with scratches and other effects. Tables like Numark TT250USBs offer professional options for direct-drive turntables and also offer the option for converting analog records to digital files via computer USB connections. While turntables are tactile, some prove impractical to tote around and limit music selection due to their use of vinyls.

An alternative to a turntable is a CDJ setup. CDJs are digital decks similar to vinyl, but use CDs or a USB stick to provide easy navigation in accessing digital files with the same tactile control as turntables. Setups like Gemini CDJ-700 offer tactile control for audio along with easy-to-navigate touch-screen displays and additional customizable functions.

Mixers

Mixers provide control over audio sound and effects. The DJM-350 is an entry-level mixer that provides customizable controls and offers USB storage for optimal set organization and navigation.

Headphones

DJ headphones are crucial as they isolate and replicate audio sounds like you would be hearing them in the club. Headphones like Pioneer HDJ-2000MK2 isolate sound and separate deep bass and crisp treble frequencies to appropriately monitor feedback in clubs.