Studio Diaries – “MHB” – Part 4: Answering the Production Question

Remember in english class how you were told to keep your essays on-topic?  They said to come up with a thesis, and everything in the essay had to somehow support or build up to it.  You weren’t supposed to put in lots of “padding” or go off on a tangent.  Well, believe it or not, the same concept applies to music production.

Like a strong essay, your song should grab people from the beginning and make them want to stick with it until the end to see how you resolve the “question.”  The intensity of the song has to be constantly increasing through contrast and changes in instrumentation, tone, and dynamics.

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Studio Diaries – “MHB,” Part 3: Sleeplessness and Logic’s Super Tool

It was 1:00 AM.  Like a typical teenage musician, I didn’t feel the least bit tired.  The rest of my family had already gone to bed, so I couldn’t play or really mix.  What did I decide to do?  Why, I added some key commands in Logic, of course!

I hit option-K and opened up the long list of assignable shortcuts.  I’d already made key commands for most of the tasks that I did routinely, but I wanted to add more to save even more time.

One thing that has continued to irk me about Logic has been the lack of the Super Tool (aka, the Smart Tool) that ProTools has.  After working in ProTools at GRAMMY Camp this summer, I took the SuperTool for granted.  I could clean and edit audio tracks so fast with it.  When I came back home and discovered that I had to assign a key command to switch to the fade tool in Logic to clean tracks, I was pretty frustrated. Continue reading “Studio Diaries – “MHB,” Part 3: Sleeplessness and Logic’s Super Tool”

Oscillators Are Your Friend – Adding Low-end to Your Kick

When it comes to mixing, few things are more frustrating than knowing how you want your mix to be, versus how it actually is and the feeling that you’ve tried everything you can to get there, but it just won’t get there.

One thing that has especially continued to elude me is how to get the kick drum to sound strong and present in the mix without too much amplitude accumulation at the low frequencies.  I’ve tried boosting and cutting the kick at certain frequencies and then boosting and cutting the opposite frequencies in the bass.  It helps, but it’s still not enough.

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