Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pro Tip #2 Softening Your Beats

After the last post, Strengthening Your Beats, follower Dwei asked an insightful question, "So what do you do if you want [the beats] a bit softer?"

This is a great question that reveals my tendency to make everything somewhat in your face. But there are definitely times when the beat of the music should be softened. This can work for an entire track, or even sections of a track to produce dynamic movement across the track. Hit the read moar button to learn three techniques to soften your beats or check out Electronic Music Production to learn all you ever wanted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pro Tip #1 Strengthening Your Beats

So you've been making some beats, but they are sounding a bit weak.  What to do?  Strengthen those beats!

First off, we need to look at successful beats that just seem to work. You know the one's I'm talking about, the ones where they come on and you just start moving, nodding your head. In these beats you'll find that there is a constant pulse in the music. But pay closer attention and you will discover that it is not necessarily the drums that are producing the pulse.

Drums may comprise a few of beats, but more often than not, other instruments or sounds will come in and hit on the beat to keep that pulse alive.  The beat is not just your drums. The beat is all sounds together pulsing to a tempo.

Knowing that, how can you change the way you create your beats to make them stronger?  Visit Electronic Music Production to find out, or hit the read moar button bellow!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rob Papen Delay *audio samples*

Okay, follow up to Rob Papen's Delay super hype... This delay rocks.  Still haven't dug in, just preset surfing, which is totally fine by me for right now.

So Sub-Rad-Mike asked for some audio samples, and I fully intended to comply with that request.  But I got to busy messing around.  So here you have a sample of the delay potential.  Papen's delay is doing a tun of work here, in this mathewdavid-esq snippet.  My apologies for invoking the name vainly.

I have delays that delay, but this delay is capable of mangling.  Mangling is a major part of my process of Electronic Music Production.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A new day, a new blog

Okay friends, blogrymen, lend me your ears!  I've started a new blog.  I've seen that some of you don't know what the heck I'm talking about with all this music production mumbo jumbo (no I'm not building a time machine [for now]), so I've decided to start a general interest blog.  It is called Chest Kittens, and it focuses on wait for it... chests and kittens, and oddly gold, as I've recently been interested in purchasing some gold from an online retailer.

So, jump over to and enjoy the chests, and the kittens.  I hope to see you there!

Not only Chest Kittens, but I've also been working on

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rob Papen Delay micro review

Hey back in town with solid internet access! Cheaa!!!  Have caught up with my blog reading!

And had a little time to try out Rob Papen's Delay plugin big upped in my prior post.  I think it sounds good.  It sounds like digital trying to be analog, and failing, but I happen to like the sound of that failure.  That is about the extent of my review for now! Cheap huh?!  I didn't really get a chance to work with it so much, but I did slap it on a few channels.  One channel, I just could not get right, the other two worked fine.  I definitely didn't get into it though.  I know there is some whacked out deepness in there (like step sequencing delays) and some reverse mode.  Still think it is a killer deal for $10. I will post up a more definite review when I get a chance to really take it for a spin, so check back  peoplez of america and beyond.

After further reflection on this tool, I think it would make an excellent addition to anyone's arsenal for Electronic Music Production.  I hope to produce a few tutorials on this in the near future as it seems to be somewhat underrepresented.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Super Affordable Delay Plugin

Okay, I occasionally post up about stonkin deals on audio tools.  Well I've got a real special one for you this time.

It is Rob Papen's Delay available from

I've never used this delay, but I know that Papen's Albino remains a very powerful synth used on many many releases, it really does have a special sound.  That alone would be enough to consider it, but for a limited time, it is available for only $10.  An incredible deal.

If you produce contemporary music of any genre, but in particular any electronic or dance related genre, a good delay is a necessity. If you produce any genre that has any relevance to dub, a delay is more than necessity, it is at the heart of what you do (or should be doing ;) )

Follow this link for an incredible deal: ... 526C0.aspx

By the way, would just like to point out that I'm not affiliated with Rob Papen or Audio-Midi in any way.  I just started making music when something like this would be several hundred dollars and you could only use it on one channel at a time.  So a deal like this is extraordinary.  But also, it seems most young producers feel that it is necessary to steal their software, when that is largely not the case.  Incredible deals like this do come along.  Just bide your time and strike when appropriate, and your tool set will be complete in no time, for pennies on the dollar.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Opposite Day

Okay, for today, we've got an art/music production technique.  It is a simple one, but worth mentioning for those that have kind of languished into a rut.

Do everything the opposite of what you  would normally do.

For example, if you normally progress through your tracks from drums, to bass, melody, and finish with pads.  Start with the pads, then melody, then bass, theeeeen drums.

But how and what you choose to inverse is where the creativity can really come in. 

Maybe make the pads out of your drums, and make the drums out of your pads?  Get in there with your sampler and flex that sampling muscle.  To turn a pad into a drum, sample your pad sound.  Into a sampler, shorten the sample, pitch it into the appropriate frequency range, and then start working that adsr envelope for amplitude.  Looking for a very fast attack, a bit of a hold or decay, a short or nonexistent sustain and no release.  But don't stop there.  Consider a pitch envelope as well.  Start with a very high freq with the pad sound, and then pitch down very rapidly into the real range of the target drum sound.

To turn your drums into pads... its not so hard, and again, the sampler is your friend (notice the trend?).  Whack your drum sounds into your sampler.  For this example, assume a kick, stretch the sample out quite long, like four, or eight, or even sixteen bars.  Because the kick likely started with a low frequency, and the stretching, depending on your algorithm, you've likely got an inaudibly low pad.  Now pitch it back up in your sampler (also can use plugins to pitch up, probably introducing different but no less interesting artifacts).  You'll probably be hearing an assortment of artifacts now.  Look on these favorably, as now you have character, and weird things happening in your pads that you likely wouldn't normally have.  And again, don't stop there.  Maybe a really long lfo very slightly modulating the pitch of the sample.  Filters are a powerful sound shaping tool, so don't neglect to use them in your sound design.  Use either high, low, band pass, notch, formant, comb, or any other goofy filter type you can find out there (or any combination of filters), being modulated by an lfo, or even an envelope with an extremely slow attack.

The inversion process can be applied anywhere and everywhere, especially where you have developed rules.  Like never put reverb on your bass or ... whatever the particular rules that you've heard and internalized (maybe without reason) or have actually developed for yourself.

When doing techniques like this, don't forget to be brutal.  Follow the rule, you might find yourself slacking, or falling back into your previous routines (and where did they get you? into the doldrums?).  This exercise is to break those habits.

I'd like to hear some of the silly rules that you follow or have heard, as in art there are many of them, and they often hold the potential for the greatest surprises.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Hey followers!

Miss you guys.  Am on a short trip here, so won't be as fastidious with my posting and reading up on all of your blogs for a few days.  Am in the wilds of America and internet access is hard to come by.

Also, my laptop screen seems to have been smashed during my travels.  Think I might need a new laptop.  Was thinking about picking up a little mac book pro i7 with a dual core 2.7ghz.  If anybody has experience with this or any other recent macbook pro, I'd love to hear it.  Also if anybody is aware of intel's release plans in regards to their 3d transistors, I'd really love to hear it.

Chears peoples.

Ps, feel free to attempt to break into my place.  Have a cadre of security black widows gaurding the entrances to my house.  Think on that a minute.