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Starsky's Top 5 Production Tips
Posted By : Laura Holness
|
Posted Date : September 30th, 2020
Following the recent announcement that YouTube personality Starsky Carr will be hosting a weekly show dedicated to music production on Clubbing TV, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to ask Starsky to share his top five tips for someone who is thinking of taking the plunge into the world of production. Take a read...

1. Understand your equipment and software inside out
Don't get too distracted by new kit or plugins. You'd be surprised what can be achieved with only stock plugins that come bundled with your DAW, or how flexible a groovebox alone can be. DAWs all have great synths, drum machines and samplers that can cover most of your needs. This will save you a lot of money and also help you to become really efficient - finishing tracks rather than working out how best to use your new software. Lots of third party software is great for recreating vintage synths, which are great for enthusiasts and really great value considering the cost of vintage equipment. But nobody listening knows what you used, and you can normally get results just as good with stock plugins. But if a genre can benefit from a certain bit of kit, I'm thinking of softsynths like Serum and Massive X, get it and drill down deep into it so you can make your own sounds or tweak presets to fit your mix perfectly.

2. When starting out, it's important to concentrate on the mixing essentials
Understand how different sounds fit together, how basslines work with kick drums, guitars with keyboards, how vocals sit in the mix. Know how and when to use the basic effects like reverbs and delays, and how leaving space in a mix can actually make things sound larger. Typical mistakes are muddying your bass with clashing kickdrums and basslines or trying to make things sound interesting by layering too many parts, cluttering the mid-range, or throwing loads of reverb onto everything. A really good way to research this is through YouTube videos, there are loads of really good examples and tutorials showing how to EQ a kick and bass to clear up the bass end, or how to use effects and tips and tricks for recording great vocals.

3. Once you've got the basics down, start to get your tracks out there by networking with real people
There are so many people making quality tracks it's harder than ever to get noticed so make sure you're as visible as possible. Social media is OK but nobody has really become successful on social media alone - normally there's a real world contact who's given confidence in your ability and popularity by numbers of followers, but it's the real world contact that makes things happen. Get in touch with local bands or singers and ask to record and produce for them, for free at first. Gain some experience and create a track record of producing quality material. If you have a local scene, become an integral part of it, build a name for yourself. Because that's what you'll need if you want someone to pay you. If you don't have a local scene, try online. There are so many ways to start now. Singers from across the world will have their own studios to send decent enough takes for you to remix, or send them your own tracks to perform on. Be creative, put down the sample CDs and Splice vocals and work with real artists. The more people you're working with, the more likely something will happen.

4. Be honest with yourself
Deep down you'll know if a track is working, or if you're trying to force something to work in a mix which isn't inspiring. This will happen time and time again, and sometimes it's better to forget it and start again, or approach things from a different angle. But never play something as a finished product when you know it could be better, or you're not happy with it yourself. Have a professional attitude - would your favourite artist be happy to release it in that state? If not, then why should you? That's who you're trying to compete with, and that's who you'll be compared to. Why would you play something you know isn't the standard you're reaching for? They wouldn't!

5. Enjoy it
Music should be something you enjoy and the primary reason for creating it is because you love it. Don't get too caught up in chasing numbers, or trying to be something you're not. Make music you enjoy, stuff you and your friends would listen to, and then not only are you enjoying yourself, but you'll understand the nuances of the genre and be a better producer.

To check out Starsky's show on Clubbing TV click here!
www.clubbingtv.com

 

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