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. **
The year is winding down and as we look forward to 2020, I want to look back at what an incredible year 2019 has been.
The 10-year challenge went viral back in January, the Game of Thrones final season disappointed, the US women’s team won the world cup, for better or for worse the ‘Bottle Cap Challenge’ happened, ‘The Joker’ became the first R-rated movie to pass $1 billion at the box office, oh and the US president got impeached. What a year to be alive.
And while all that was happening, our team has been hard at work. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
1. We ran the Hyperbits Masterclass 2x. Every April & October, we head to the frontlines of music production education and connect directly with hungry, talented, up & coming producers. This year we worked closely with more producers than ever before. And while this isn’t technically new, we take extreme pride in working so closely with you guys.
2. We completely revamped & updated the Hyperbits Masterclass. All in, this took over 10 months, but we got her done! The entire curriculum of the Masterclass is now updated with material applicable to 2020 and beyond. I’m not going to lie, this was a massive undertaking but it feels amazing to have the most up to date course on the internet. Plus, we updated the aesthetic for those of you who like looking at pretty stuff.
3. We built and launched two new courses/products. The Songwriting Matrix came out in June, after nearly 3 months of late nights and short deadlines. I can confidently say we built the most extensive, helpful songwriting course for producers on the internet. The Hyperbits Creative Suite came out in late August, after working with world renown sound designers, composers, musicians, and producers to create (in our eyes) the best collection of royalty-free sounds we could possibly have wanted. The response to both courses was larger than we expected, so thank you to everyone who decided to try them.
4. We kept the Hyperbits blog going strong. When it comes to the article on our blog, we shoot for quality over quantity, but we still managed to write 20+ new articles this year 20+ new articles this year and were named the #2 music production blog on the internet by Feedspot.
5. We kept the Hypertips series going strong on Twitter. Personally, I took a social media detox & hiatus for most of 2019, aside from Twitter, where we delivered a quick production tip 5x per week, a series called #HyperTips (…I know, we’re so clever). Speaking of which…
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 165: Whereas your chords and your bass will likely move together, your lead melodies can be more separated from your chords. Try playing out lead melody ideas on your keyboard by looping your chord progression and jamming away.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) January 1, 2019
#Hypertips 169: Use reference tracks, but be mindful when you’re using them. Sure, take inspiration from another song, but don’t copy exactly what has already been done. Wait until later in the production process to reference to avoid losing your own creativity early on.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) January 8, 2019
#Hypertips 174: Playing the Ultra main stage won't bring you happiness/meaning in life. It just won't. Family, friends, your health + creativity – these things will bring you joy. Don't predicate happiness on music success – the pot of gold is empty at the end of that rainbow.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) January 17, 2019
#Hypertips 192: Use the make up gain feature in your plugins. For example, dial in distortion w/ Decapitator, then adjust the makeup gain so there is no net volume boost. A/B before and after distortion at the exact same volume so you can hear ONLY the effect of the distortion.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) February 18, 2019
#Hypertips 198: Mid-Side Multiband Sidechain – what on earth is that? Use FF's Pro-MB, create a band to sidechain, flip to EXT and the "Mid" slider to 100% Mid. Now, you only sidechain the middle frequencies of a certain band – use on instruments that are covering up a vocal.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) February 28, 2019
#Hypertips 201: Less is more! This isn't the first time we've tweeted about this. Your mix probably sounds cluttered because there is too much going on. Delete unnecessary sounds, use less reverb, more reductive EQ – that is how you will get clarity in your mix.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) March 5, 2019
#Hypertips 210: Study the arrangements of your favorite tracks. Make a spreadsheet with each column being a bar of the track, and each row being an instrument in the track, and fill in the boxes of when certain sounds are in the song. Use this template to arrange your own songs.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) March 21, 2019
#Hypertips 221: On your productions: fewer tracks, more quality. When you break down some of the best dance records, many of them are SO simple, but every sound is intentional and has a purpose.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) April 9, 2019
#Hypertips 229: For dirty/thick backing vocals – add Soundtoys Decapitator to the end of your chain, click "Punish" and adjust to taste, set mix to around 20-40% wet. Maybe include HPF after to catch extreme low end.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) April 23, 2019
#Hypertips 234: WOW! Just realized we've done #Hypertips for over a year now. Hopefully you've gained some new knowledge along the way. I've said it before, but the best tip I can give you is to stay healthy and remember to HAVE FUN! We make music because we love it, after all.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 2, 2019
#Hypertips 243: If you have a day job, invest every dollar you make from music back into your artist project. Make a few hundred bucks at a gig? Great! Buy a new plugin, a new educational course, or get some professional photos taken.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 17, 2019
#Hypertips 255: The key to getting pro-level sound design? Get a good sound bank, find a cool preset, tweak a couple things, now it's yours. Done. Sound design from scratch is overrated.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 7, 2019
#Hypertips 260: If you are mixing your own music: 1) Bounce stems of your production file and mix in a separate project, 2) Take at least a day off from listening to the song before you start to mix, 3) Save your favorite sounds from the mixed project for future songs.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 17, 2019
#Hypertips 271: Need to get something to stand out in your mix more? Don't immediately add/boost – see if there is something you can reduce to create room instead.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 5, 2019
#Hypertips 280: Music production is not a competition. Period. Nobody is "taking" shows from you. Nobody is "stealing" release dates on labels from you. We're all on the same team – be supportive of each other and help others grow. Collective growth with those around you is key.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 22, 2019
#Hypertips 291: Plugin recommendation – it's no secret that Valhalla reverbs are some of the best on the market. But at only $50/plugin, there are arguably the best value. If you're looking to step up your reverb game on a budget, this is where to start. pic.twitter.com/fsZMvC39r2
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) August 9, 2019
#Hypertips 294: There is no "right" way to do anything in music production, only strategies that will likely give you a desired result. Don't just do things because you're "supposed" to do them, ask WHY you do them. When you don't have an answer, experiment with a new process.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) August 15, 2019
#Hypertips 305: There is no such thing as "making it" (ask any big producer). There will always be some new goal/milestone to reach. Instead, find your gratification in the process itself, the people you decide to work/spend time with, and the small moments along the way.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) September 3, 2019
#Hypertips 313: You never know until you try. Not sure if your song is good enough to send to THAT label? Send it anyways. Not sure if a production tutorial on your Instagram story will get any engagement? Only one way to find out… Try. Fail. Learn. Try again.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) September 19, 2019
#Hypertips 324: You're never too old to try anything. Claude von Stroke didn't start Dirtybird until he was 34, and Dirtybird didn't win the IDMA for Underground Label of the Year until he was 42. Today, he's 48.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 8, 2019
#Hypertips 337: Delete, delete, delete… frequencies you don't need, instruments you don't need, FX you don't need, those three clap layers that are basically doing nothing, etc etc. Less is more, stop making things so complicated!
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 31, 2019
#Hypertips 342: Try to finish a song this weekend. Pick something you've already started, make a list of all the things you want to change and make better, and then get after it. Try to have it done by Sunday night.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) November 8, 2019
#Hypertips 348: You will get rejected a lot. Labels won't respond to your demos, you'll have releases that won't get picked up by Spotify playlists, etc. But, all it takes is one track or one big release to move things along. Don't worry about rejection, keep going.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) November 21, 2019
#Hypertips 358: Possibly the most important part of vocal processing is manual leveling before you use any plugins. Manually draw in volume automations or use clip gain to smooth out the dynamics of your performance. You'll end up with a stronger, more consistent final sound.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) December 6, 2019
#Hypertips 361: Do a studio session with a friend. You don't need to try to finish a collab, but maybe spend 1-2 hours working together on each others songs. A fresh perspective is invaluable, and you'll almost certainly learn something new.
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) December 12, 2019
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:
"Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it." – Salvador Dali
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) January 23, 2019
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) February 6, 2019
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) March 6, 2019
“The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.” – Pablo Picasso
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) April 3, 2019
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) May 22, 2019
"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." -Steve Jobs pic.twitter.com/0G1VF8Gh5L
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) June 5, 2019
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) July 10, 2019
"The great artist is the simplifier." -Vincent Van Gogh
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) August 14, 2019
"Art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something." -Rainbow Rowell
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) September 11, 2019
"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize." -Robert Hughes
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) October 9, 2019
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." -Edwin Land
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) November 6, 2019
"The more time you spend on an old idea, the more energy you invest in it, the more solid it becomes, and the more it will exclude new ideas." -Brian Eno
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) November 13, 2019
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” -Napoleon Hill
— Hyperbits (@Hyperbits) December 18, 2019
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!