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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Learning From Other Producers

This week's article is written by a friend of mine, Ryan, who has contributed to my blog beforehand. Ryan is interested in electronic music production, having recently completed a Certificate 3 in Music Industry (Technical Production) and he also plays the guitar. You can listen to his work here. Thanks for your article Ryan.

Learning from Different Producers

When collaborating with other producers, we do more than just share ideas.

We share our styles and approaches to the production process.

Just like our interactions with others help shape who we are as people, they can also help shape who we are as producers.
Gaining exposure to a variety of production styles has really helped to shape my own approach to the production process.

Here are my findings:

Work with someone who takes the opposite approach to you and who produces in a different genre.

Example 1: Niwun

Niwun is very organised and structured in his approach to making music whilst also being very patient with his selection of samples, instruments etc.

He is very critical & analytical of his work & is determined to do things in the best way possible.

However, Niwun is also quite flexible and does enjoy novelty and experimentation.

He produces a brand of Drum & Bass that is on the heavier side of the spectrum.

I, on the other hand, am not organised, lack a structured approach and am quite impatient.

I like to “throw caution to the wind” and grab at the first couple of ideas that come into my head, sorting out any issues later.

I am not very critical but am analytical of my work and heavily enjoy novelty and experimentation.

I tend to produce a more liquid/chilled brand of drum and bass.

Collaborating with Niwun over the course of two productions has really opened my eyes to the “other end of the spectrum”, so to speak.

I have learned the value of having a more structured approach to making music and it’s benefits for workflow and overall quality.

Patience is another valuable lesson as it allows you to capture the best ideas, sounds & concepts possible for your tune.

Working with Niwun has also allowed my approach and ideas to be challenged in a constructive way.

Working with criticism is important if you want to grow as a producer.

Work with someone who follows a similar approach to you…even if they produce in a different genre...

Example 2: Mode M

Mode M was a classmate of mine back at SAE and operates out of an awesome studio in Como.

We recently started collaborating on a Drum & Bass tune with a happier and less moody vibe.

I don’t generally produce happy music, so this was also a valuable learning experience for me.

I find Mode M is more like me when it comes to his approach.

We are more focused on capturing the first ideas that come out and worrying about the more technical stuff later.

We are not too critical with our selection of samples and instruments as long as we get an idea/arrangement down.

From him, I have learnt that it is also important to work with more like-minded producers as it also has benefits for workflow.

The combining of our creative energy allowed us to put down an arrangement and song structure very quickly.

Now we just have to make incremental changes and then mix the tune down.

This makes for a quicker turnaround without necessarily trading off quality.

Try different forms of collaboration...

Example 3: Moorziey

Moorziey was another classmate of mine at SAE Institute who shared my liking for the more chilled sounds, but advocated for a more online based approach.

This collaboration taught me that non face to face collaborating is still beneficial and achievable.

Over the collaboration period, we ping-ponged back and forth building on each other’s ideas and sharing our thoughts online.

Then, once we were happy with the basic arrangement we met to mix the tune down and make incremental changes.

This approach had benefits for flexibility and creativity as you could put down an idea in your own time, when you were feeling creative.

So there we go…

I hope my findings have added some value to how you think about approaching production.

They certainly were valuable experiences for me.

Go forth and collaborate!

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