How to master a song in Ableton Live

Getting your tracks ready for playing to the public is something we all need to do from time to time. Liam O’Mullane shares his tips on making the best-sounding master possible in this Ableton Live tutorial 

 Love it or hate it, but in the world of club music it’s a necessity to give tracks a certain degree of loudness. For many, professional mastering isn’t an option as you may not be signed to a label yet, but if you want to get exposure, you still need to get your tracks to club and radio DJs for a possible lucky break. This month we’ll show you how to use specific mastering techniques on your mix buss to get a polished, loud track for promotional use.

You can also apply these to pre-mixed audio files, but working while the mix is still live can be an education in how your mix changes when mastered and how it can be shaped to work better with your mastering chain. But before any processing begins, let’s look at using reference material to help keep you on track.  Continue reading

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How to build a music production studio for under $1.000

So you know how to produce but you now want to get started in your own studio, on a fairly low budget. How do you do that? 

Michael Walsh’s home studio

One question we often get asked is, “How much do I need to spend to build a decent home studio?”This is a tricky question because for the audio enthusiasts amongst us, there is never enough sound or enough gear. Creating a home studio can be a wallet-draining hobby. But it can also be a streamlined affair if you know exactly what you want to get done.  All you really need is a MIDI controller of some sort (to play your keys and your beats) and a decent pair of headphones or speakers. If you want to record live sounds such as vocals or guitar, you’ll also need an audio interface and a microphone to get those sounds into the computer.

Speakers vs Studio Monitors

Do you need high-end studio speakers? Not necessarily. I remember visiting a producer friend once and noticed that he was mixing tracks (that were getting published on the regular) with a pair of $20 computer speakers. He could do this because he knew from experience how to EQ his sounds and master his track to rumble a club sound system, so he didn’t need to hear the bass on his home system to know what was happening to the sound. For those of us who don’t have that skill (yet), it is probably wise to invest in a set of speakers that will give you a good idea of what you are creating. This is where the term “studio monitor” comes into our conversation. Studio Monitors are speakers that are made to give an accurate, transparent representation of the sound you are making. Where a pair of home theater or bookshelf speakers may “color” the sound to make it sound more appealing to the ear, studio monitors are made to sound accurate and therefore very flat. At first they may not sound as exciting as your other speakers. This is because you are hearing an honest representation of the music. Continue reading

10 inspirational tips for music production

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Source: “Diesellaws.com”

1. Loosen The Grip On Your Mind

If you occasionally beat yourself up for not coming up with something the way it sounded in your head, you’re not alone. The way we hear things in our mind and the way we interpret that thought into our music are nearly always going to be different. This IS a good thing. Allow your inspiration to come through your music in a way you weren’t expecting. It keeps it interesting, fresh and can spark a lot more inspiration.

2. Start Before You Think

Often referred to as “on the fly”, being spontaneous can sometimes kick-start your imagination in a big way. Dropping in a random loop, off beat percussion or quick melody and building a track around that regularly leads to something worth saving. Sometimes, getting stuck with a particular sound, VST or genre can quickly demotivate you in making another track.

3. Remix

Remixes (and bootleg remixes) are great ways for producers to gain some attention. They are also great for breaking free from the ‘freak out’ that can come from seeing a blank canvas. By challenging yourself to remix you will inevitably fuel your inspiration and at the same time learn how other producers construct their songs.

4. Humour Yourself

Got Cheese? Humour is a great way to break up an uninspiring production. Open a new project, lay down some random samples and add some humour either in the form of funny recorded vocals or cheesy sounding synths. Sure it may not be a track you ever show anyone else, but it might just be the kick* you need to jump into the next project with a clear mind. *Pun intended

5. Lay It Out

Some producers may struggle with melodies, while others may struggle with the layout of a track. Whatever your hurdle, laying out a track from another artist you admire may just help you overcome that obstacle. While I don’t recommend copying another artists work, I do recommend gaining inspiration from the way in which they have crafted their sounds, started their breakdowns, changed the riffs and fleshed out their layers; Which may help you get past those technical issues that can block creativity.

6. Enjoy Your Production Space

Most artists will tend to have one main space to which their productions are born. Allow this space to be a place that inspires you and invites you back each time. Some will find the addition of the Internet to this workspace to be a freeing move which can help break up studio time comfortably, especially in the track rendering down-time.  Other additions may be open window lighting, controlled darkness, sound-wall padding, plants, supporting chair and (monitored) alcoholic beverages.

7. Don’t Do Anything

How often have you forced yourself to create something even when you haven’t been in the mood? Producing is a very complex process and can occasionally be slowed to a halt with forced creativity. If you don’t feel like making any music, then don’t. While there are moments when you may need to push on through regardless of mood due to project time constraints (#Tip 2), creating a track when your mind isn’t there can often do more harm then good; Leaving you frustrated and annoyed which can alter your positive perception of your production space and musical abilities.

8. Time Constraints Are Good

If you have managed to gain a project with time constraints, think of yourself as a lucky one. Many producers ( usually including yourself at an early point in your career) would love to have the opportunity to be asked by labels and other producers to create original and remix productions for them. Essentially, it’s the next step up from producing tracks and sending them to labels in the hope that they listen to them, let alone sign them. If the time constraints are really eating at you, it might be best to go back to Tip #1 or #2 or contact the label/producer and coming to an alternative arrangement.

9. Allow Yourself The Freedom To Change

Most people do a variety of different projects at any one time in their lives. The same goes for producers, who often pick up the ‘cousin’ craft of DJing. Participating in another activity that occupies your mind for long periods of time can often alter how you produce; Sometimes making it harder to create new tracks. This situation is perfectly normal and may just mean that you are putting inspiration into your other activity and it may take a little while to get back into the mind space needed for new productions. To counter act this situation, you may just need to play out Tip #2 or even #7 until you decide which path should take precedence.

10. Listen, Watch and Attend

Listening to new music, Watching music videos and Attending gigs, concerts and festivals should be a must for every producer. Opening your mind to ‘research’ via the Internet, or in the physical world will impact directly on your productions. As humans, we often emulate what we hear and see, and as most productions fit to a certain style based on genre (Kick, Snare, Perc, Instrument, FX) the visual and aural learning can only benefit your mind and concepts. Add to that the rapid rise of the digital producer taking his productions to a LIVE show purposely blurring the lines from bedroom producer to live act.

Labelnot welcomes music lovers!

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Hello music producers, bands, solo artists! Labelnot welcomes you to a whole new concept in music buisness, where you get a more protagonist and free role. We give you the opportunity to sell music and get yourself out in the market without being signed by any label. Though, we do have some “standard quality rules” in order to offer the best music to clients.

* In order to have a deeper view in how it works, please visit “How it work?” section.

** Labelnot.com is not currently available, because is under construction, so you will not be able to sign up, but please subscribe with your e-mail and preferences to recieve all the news.

Have you ever thought you could really make some money selling music online? One of the most frustrating thing selling music through other portals is the share you get for your sales: for example, you get only the 50% of the 50% that the label gets from the portal who sells your music, if you are lucky. Some artist struggle so much to get better deals with label companies that do not get to good terms because, of course, you are not know yet, just yet. Labelnot offers to be your partner in this businnes, going 50/50, with no intermediares, sweet right?

At this time we are working hard in order to lunch our store as soon as we can, meanwhile, we want you to subscribe to this project to mantain you updated on the news. Apart from this, first people who suscribe Labelnot will have some awesome benefits when this project gets running, which I assume you would not want to stay out!

Thanks for your time and keep always doing what you love, music!

PD: Please do not forget to subscribe!

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