You know what? I’ve been producing Drum n bass for about 6 or 7 years now and I’m still amazed at the quality of it all. I mean it just seems to be getting better and better and better. Young new producers like Ulterior Motive, Rockwell, Noisia, Phace & Misanthrop and S.P.Y set the benchmark that little bit higher with every tune they release. I love it! Bring on the challenge I say because if it were to easy then the rewards wouldn’t be worth it at all!
I haven’t been strapped to my production seat for 14+ hours in the last few months. I know some of you would remember that I’ve been on my Honeymoon and started a new job of sorts. Which has ultimately left me with NO time for drum n bass production. However, when ever I do get a few minutes I get on the beats and the great news I’m getting better!
How can this be?
First step is to be super organized, if you can. Try it out, for me. Please. Just put your drums some where and put your bass some where else and put your fx sounds some where etc etc. This way when you need a sound. You know where it is. Don’t spend too long on this as the real goal here remember is to write tunes not be a super neat freak! Believe me, I’ve fallen into that trap before. It ain’t pretty! You get a whole computer of organized files but absolutely NO tunes finished. BAD BAD BAD!
Next step is get used to bouncing down your stuff. Whole tracks, breaks, bass, hi hat loops etc. Just bounce that shit out. Keep them in a folder called bounces and organize them by months. Why bouncing? Because It helps you when it comes to arranging and it’s much easier to hear how something sounds later on, as well as when you compare it to different versions. Lastly its great for recycling old loops and ideas which is awesome for when your stuck for any.
Another tip is to have more breaks. (NOT have more breaks samples! Actually physical breaks!) Its quite easy to get really involved in tune making and forget about such trivial things such as eating, showering, sleeping and other things not to be mentioned. However, by having consistent breaks it gives your ears that much needed rest and allows you to have a more bird eye view of your track/break/bass etc. This is so critical because it can get you back on course if indeed you had strayed.
All in all having some time away from the studio is because it can give you that space your head needs to relax and take in all that you have learnt. Ideas and concepts you couldn’t quite work out suddenly make sense and the whole picture suddenly is in more focus. The time you get when you get a few minutes is really appreciated and utilized in its fullest.
Well anyways, hope these little bits of advice help you become more productive in the studio.
See you on the dancefloor.