Top 25 #Hypertips Round Up from Twitter
Five days per week on Twitter, I share production tips, workflow hacks and my favorite creativity and productivity quotes I’ve come across in a series called #Hypertips. This is a collection of some of the highlights from this past year.
That said, I’ve never been into New Year’s resolutions. I’ve always believed that if I want to change something about myself, I’m just as likely to do it on a random Tuesday in April as I am on January 1st. In truth, there’s nothing wrong with everything that a new year represents, like a clean slate or a chance for something new.
But at the risk of going against the common ground, what does life look like if we don’t reach for something new? What happens if we keep our head down and keep working on the craft we already know and love?
If I’m being honest, everything I’ve ever accomplished in life worth anything has been because of persistence. The best things in life take time. If I had only spent 1 year, 2 years, or even 4-5 years in music and stopped, I wouldn’t have gotten too far.
So here’s to the journey. Whatever you’re doing. Stick with it. Keep at it. The only way you can fail is if you stop.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to hand pick the top 25 music production tips from my #Hypertips series on Twitter, where I highlight some personal thoughts, tips, techniques, and tricks inside of music production 4 days a week, every week 🙂
#Hypertips 4: I’m pretty sick of people talking about talent. Talent isn’t given, it’s earned. No one was born great. If you want to be great at something, get to work (it takes time).
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) March 26, 2018
#Hypertips 16: Despite all the productivity porn we love to absorb, sometimes, making music is just fucking hard. If things aren’t clicking on a given day, don’t stress about it and try it again tomorrow. Optional: get outside or maybe, drink a beer.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) April 16, 2018
#Hypertips 28: To get your sounds to gel better and pump together, try using slight bus compression on all your groups. ~30ms attack, fast release, 2:1 ratio, and about 2-3 dBs of gain reduction generally works pretty well.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 7, 2018
#Hypertips 37: I’m a big fan of writing music solely with piano. But, when I used to only do this, I was losing out on tons of other possible melodies. A distorted bass will have different tones, energy, etc – the melody you write WILL reflect that. pic.twitter.com/1EoP0WmVj6
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 22, 2018
#Hypertips 38: Try using the same room reverb on almost every element in the mix except your kick and sub. This will help glue the mix together and place it in a real space. Keep it light! Room reverb should be used very sparingly in your mix (no more than -18dB send amounts).
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 24, 2018
#Hypertips 40: Reverb on vocals is super important, but can sometimes also drown out the vocal. Try sidechaining the reverb to the vocal so that the reverbed signal dips when the vocal is playing. Try long reverbs here for truly beautiful, dynamic responses. pic.twitter.com/nDNOM96n8k
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 28, 2018
#Hypertips 44: Don’t forget about silence. Silence is an instrument. Even some of the most aggressive and energetic music I listen to uses silence to create impact. It’s the removal of frequency space that makes the return to a full-frequency section so special (ie. the drop).
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 4, 2018
#Hypertips 46: The ‘Mono Build Trick’ is still my favorite tip ever. Automate your build up towards mono, only to shoot the entire mix back to full stereo in the drop. A really cool and easy effect to increase the impact of your drop: https://t.co/H5AsdWsYjT pic.twitter.com/jmHd9TqPuK
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 7, 2018
#Hypertips 48: Stay healthy. It’s so easy to get obsessed with music and forget to take care of yourself. Break a sweat. Move your body. Your mind (and creativity will reward you). Never underestimate the power of a day outside, spent with friends. pic.twitter.com/oENP4NQHc9
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 11, 2018
#Hypertips 49: Check your ego. Be nice to everyone. Disliking pop music doesn’t make you cool, it makes you short-sighted. Every style, every genre has something worth learning from. If you can’t eventually grasp that, find a different pursuit.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 12, 2018
#Hypertips 51: If your kick-sub relationship still isn’t right, try manually implementing fades on your sub instead of traditional sidechain. You can sculpt exactly how long you want the sub to be ducking. This gives you a level of control you simply don’t have with plugins.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 15, 2018
#Hypertips 57: Guitarists, bassists, pianists, etc. don’t try to reinvent the tone and timbre of their instruments for every song, so why do you think you need to use different synth patches in every song? Help define your sound by repeating synths across several songs. pic.twitter.com/bxqp92PROQ
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 26, 2018
#Hypertips 60: If you're in a creative slump, try changing the circumstances under which you're producing. Produce in the morning instead of at night, go to a coffee shop and produce there, start a new song after a workout. Sometimes you just need a little change of scenery.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 2, 2018
#Hypertips 69: If you're too tired/unmotivated to produce after getting home from work, try going to bed early and waking up an hour early in the morning to produce. Nobody else will be awake to distract you, so it's a good way to get in a high-quality hour of producing.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 17, 2018
#Hypertips 74: Spend separate sessions learning sound design. I will have whole days where all I do is make cool sounds. Save them and bring them into future productions. This is a great use of your time if you aren't in the mood for creative composition. pic.twitter.com/jkIYuhdpAf
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 26, 2018
#Hypertips 77: Hey! If you're reading this, chances are you make music, and that's awesome! Kudos to you for finding something unique that you enjoy. Never forget that in the end, we all produce because it's FUN. Keep up the hard work, and always allow yourself to have some fun. pic.twitter.com/gVhKv9g2QE
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 31, 2018
#Hypertips 84: Reduce, reduce, reduce. Reductive EQ is your best friend. Very rarely does your mix need "more" of something. More often than not, it just needs less of the stuff that doesn't sound great.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) August 13, 2018
#Hypertips 103: Develop a routine to mentally prepare to be creative. Take 15-20 minutes before a production session to go for a walk, read a book, light a candle, write in a journal – clearing your head works wonders on your creativity. pic.twitter.com/IEAT9ZVPlw
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) September 14, 2018
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 5, 2018
#Hypertips 117: Release music. Too many people think their quality "isn't good enough to release". That doesn't matter, all that matters is that you did your best. Finish a song, release it, then make a new one. Most times, your next song will be better than your last.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 9, 2018
#Hypertips 118: You don’t need to write brand new chords for every song! If you hear a progression in a song you like, copy it, transpose it to a different key, and change the timing of the chords (or change one of the chords). Voilà! You now have your own progression. pic.twitter.com/e6BERBGuFR
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 11, 2018
#Hypertips 119: Don't quit your day job (yet). You want to be in a position to make decisions for your music based on what is best for your music, not what is going to make you money in the short term. Have a job to pay your bills, and invest as much as possible into your music.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 12, 2018
#Hypertips 124: In general, don't work for free. Someone who offers you "exposure" for your work is probably trying to take advantage of you. Don't DJ for free, don't do a remix for free (take a % of the backend if they don't offer a fee) – your time/talents are valuable.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 22, 2018
#Hypertips 127: Your music production journey will take time. There are rarely any shortcuts, and the "overnight successes" have been putting in years and years of work. It took @kaskade 15 years before he ever had a track in the Billboard charts. Don't worry, be patient 🙂
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 26, 2018
#Hypertips 143: Quantity of quality will always win in music production. Write tons of ideas, finish songs, don't obsess over perfectionism – the more tracks you create, the better you'll get. Fine tuning that one idea from 6 months ago won't accelerate your production journey.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) November 23, 2018
And as a little bonus, here are a handful of my absolute favorite quotes about creativity, musicianship and productivity that I discovered (or re-discovered) in the past year:
“When you combine two or more fields that you love, you can be average at both but be the best in the world at their intersection” – Ramit Seth
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) March 6, 2018
"What separates the superstars from the average? They seek criticism, and actually listen to it…" – Alex Alvarez
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) March 21, 2018
“Start copying. Copy, copy, copy, copy. And at the end of the copy, you’ll find yourself.” – Yohji Yamamoto
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) April 18, 2018
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it – they just saw something.” – Steve Jobs
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 9, 2018
“If you have on person you’re influenced by, everyone will say you’re the next whoever. But if you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re so original…" – Gary Panter
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 6, 2018
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight real.” – Steve Furtick
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 12, 2018
“The piano keys are black and white, but they sound like a million colors in your mind.” – Maria Cristina Mena pic.twitter.com/Dbcna3heNf
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 20, 2018
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else. ” – Pablo Picasso
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 25, 2018
“I make art because the process of making art makes me happy. Being successful with it and doing it for personal fulfillment are separate ideas.” – Emily Barletta
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) August 15, 2018
"You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." – Maya Angelou
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) September 12, 2018
"Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." – Andy Warhol
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 31, 2018
I truly hope that everyone that’s part of the Hyperbits fam has a happy, healthy and productive year ahead. Here’s to crushing our goals together. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for new tips five days per week!