And you guys game through with some awesome replies! I decided to tally up the most common ideas and put them in a tip and trick tutorial video to share with the rest of the community.
Some of your tips and tricks were even brand new concepts for me!
There are way too many great posts to write up or include in the video individually, but here are some of our favorites!
The ESW community has some really talented producers, artists, and DJ's!
After making literally hundreds of videos where I offer up a tip or a trick, I wanted to do something a little bit different for this video. I wanted to get YOUR top 3 production tip and tricks.
We ran a quick post on Facebook simply asking...
USE HIGH QUALITY SOUNDS
Choose your sounds wisely and use good samples. We might be a little biased, but using high quality samples and sounds can take your production to the next level.
This tip and trick came up over 10 times in your guys' comments.
If you start with a great, mix ready kick for example (notice it's not called "no mix needed kick"), when you do start mixing that sample with EQ, compression, saturation etc., your kick will sound that much better.
This idea applies to any sound or sample.
USE SIDECHAIN COMPRESSION
Side chain compression is a fancy term that basically means a compressor is controlled by another source/sound in your mix, other then the track it is on.
Lets say you put a compressor on a bass track and you tell that compressor to only be active via the SC input when your kick plays. You do that by making the compressor a slave to your kick track.
Side chain compression can do so much more than just help you mix your track, it's also a great creative tool often creating movement and depth.
SATURATION IS KEY
There are many types of saturation. FET, Tube, Tape etc., but all of them have a place in the mix.
I use saturation on all my instrument group busses once I've mixed most of the track. It helps add warmth (I know it's a cliche but it is true) and it also can help add some loudness to your track.
If you don't use saturation, definitely start messing around with it.
Some popular saturation plugins are FabFilter Saturn, Izotope Trash, Soundtoys Decapitator.
CREATIVITY OVER TECHNICAL
I love this. It's way to easy to get in our own head, and critique our music, our productions, and our mixes from a technical perspective. I know I do this all the time.
I can almost guarantee the listener doesn't know or care what compressor you use, what synth is creating the bass line or what DAW you made your track in.
The listener cares more about the creative side of your track. The vibe, the emotion and the meaning.
AUTOMATE STEREO IMAGE
This is a great technique if you are struggling to make your drop or your chorus sound bigger than your breakdown or pre chorus.
Basically, just make the section before a little more narrow in the stereo field and automate it back to full stereo when the drop/chorus hits. I think it's a little bit easier to do this on groups as opposed to individual tracks.
I use this plugin which is free!