Quantize or No Quantize (Groove Theory pt. 2)

Welcome yall to the second installment of the groove theory series where we explore ways to get more groove and bop from your tracks. If you haven’t checked it out already, you can read the first installment of the series here. Full disclaimer, this article may not be as useful to the advanced producers out there, but if you are a beginner, or maybe even intermediate, this article is worth a read. In the world of modern music making, you’ve most likely crossed paths with a process a process called quantization. You’ve also probably pondered the age old question, “to quantize or not to quantize?”. There is a lot of stigma surrounding this process. Some people think you should avoid quantization at all costs, while others utilize it to help add a certain character to to their groove. Others view it as a necessary step to help express themselves when their current musicianship doesn’t allow for it. No matter your preference or situation, quantization is a tool that when utilized with intention and control, can render powerful results. With my productions I prefer a hybrid approach and use quantization to not only achieve movement I couldn’t obtain otherwise, but also to speed up my creative process to strike while my inspiration is hot. I’ll be going over a few little tips and tricks that I like to use and hopefully offer some insight for your future beat makings. So lets jump in to the second topic of our groove theory series, quantization!

Read More

9 Free VSTs That Are Actually Good

9 Free VSTs that are actually good: We all love free stuff, but unfortunately in the music world, free is rarely synonymous with quality. In fact, we usually have to spend quite a bit in order to get quality sounds and tools into our music production arsenal.  More often than not you get what you pay for, and while the price tag can hurt, it is usually worth it.  This is not to say there aren't cheaper or even free alternatives, actually there are almost endless numbers of cheaper and free alternatives; the problem is that they are rarely good. Do a quick search for free VSTs and you will find all sorts of plug ins that of do their job to a degree, but lack that professional luster we all long for.  With that said, if you dig deep enough you will find that there are indeed quite a few gems to be found. So lets do this! Here are 9 free VSTs that are actually good. I'll also share how I incorporate these tools into my beats so you can get an idea for how they work and weather or not they are worth your download.

Read More

5 Ways to Add Variation to Your Music Productions

When I first started making beats I found that I was continuously falling into the same trap. I would create an 8 bar loop, duplicate it, add or remove parts to make a verse, an intro, and hook and call it a day. It wasn't until I started exploring the world of electronic music that I realized I was missing one very important element in my music, the B section. Variation is a key component when it comes to being able to successfully deliver a musical thought.  It keeps the listener's attention, and gives the creator more control over the momentum and progression of their song.  If you're anything like me, once you get one musical thought out of your head, and arranged and mixed, you just want to keep it moving and get on to the next musical idea. The B section is a powerful (and quick too! as we are about to learn) way to add variation to your arrangement, and what's even better is you can create one relatively quickly and easily. 

Read More

3 Creative Audio Post-Production Tricks to Elevate your Sound

Ever hit that point where all of your melodies and chords sound a little sterile and lifeless? Or maybe you feel like you just keep making the same track over and over again, or that your music doesn't sound unique enough? Either way, I think we have all been there, and while It's no quite writers block, it's still an inspirational dip. Well, this post is all about how to supercharge your music production with a few creative post production audio techniques that can help inject new life and movement into your next track.  What's so powerful about these methods is that they can work across every element of your track, whether that be drums, basslines, melodies, or even vocals. We will dive into the power of chopping things up, automating parameters, and even making your software come up with creative ideas for you. It's going to be a post packed with information so lets get this thing moving!

Read More