I feel like I’ve noticed a pattern concerning people and instruments. Generally, they either like playing guitar but don’t like drums, or they like bass but they can’t play piano. It’s some variation of being able to play a lead or rhythm instrument and not being able to wrap your head around the other.
I have a guitar, and I can’t understand how to play the thing. But I messed around with Ableton a bit and learned that I could make hip-hop beats really quickly and easily. Once I figured out that I was one of these people, I bought my beautiful Akai MPK25 and committed to producing. I make my own leads, too. It’s a lot harder, but I can manage it.
Beats and rhythms come pretty intuitively. But listening to music doesn’t make everything easier. Mixing is something that’s always come with difficulties, which I realized in my DJ mix when I finally juxtaposed a track I’d created with some professionally produced tracks.
I’m finalizing my upcoming EP, and trying to flesh out some of the tracks differently. I really wasn’t happy with my opener, Everything, so I tried to create what I’d always imagined. After that didn’t pan out and I accidentally saved over my work, I created something else entirely. It’s still not as long as I would’ve wanted, as I was planning on a dance track, but I liked the result a lot.
Then I had to do some mixing. After evening out the levels by ear, I threw a compressor on the whole thing (and retroactively on the kicks and bass when I realized I hadn’t done it in the first place), and then some multiband dynamics to make my highs shine through more in the mix. That plugin was actually extremely effective helpful, as I’ve had some comments in the past that my sound isn’t full and I need some more highs. That’s the only reason this track really has synth stabs in the first place. Finally, I added a limiter, which wasn’t really needed, since I monitor my levels throughout the creation process. Afterwards, I reworked my interlude a little bit, moving some tracks around and adding some effects. The mixing tools weren’t very useful here, but that’s mainly because the interlude track is really weird.
Now I only really have half of the EP left to mix, and I don’t plan on recreating the other tracks. Hopefully, I’ll have my EP ready for everyone very soon.