How to learn general production concepts

I’m pretty well set gear wise, but really feel that I could benefit from learning general music production concepts so I can properly utilize my gear and start making the music that I want :slight_smile:

I would love to get an introduction to things like sidechaining, EQ-ing your mixes to get rid of mud, mastering, compression, etc.
I don’t mind if it costs, maybe something like an online seminar or something like that might work.

The only thing that I’ve heard of is Point Blank Music School.

I have Ableton Live, and don’t mind using that as the platform to learn. Even though I prefer Elektron gear when I’m producing.

What would you guys say was the best and fastest way to update my knowledge in this field?

Oh and btw I’m mostly into ambient, IDM and techno.

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I did an online course with Dubspot some years ago. Music theory. Thoroughly enjoyed it, great course. Used ableton as the learning platform. I think i just absorbed production knowledge by osmosis as I went over the last 10 years or so. I already had a basic understanding from when I played in bands years ago.

Theres tons of stuff available free out there, but trawling through the crap is no fun at all.

It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Ask yourself how you learn most effectively, that will help you on your path. Enjoy!

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That’s the thing. There’s TONs of stuff on YouTube and all around the internet. But I’ve got the feeling that a more focused approach than randomly gathering bits and pieces is deemed to work faster and more effectively.

And since I’ve spent thousands of dollars investing in gear it just sounds logical to me that it shouldn’t hurt to pay for some quality training :slight_smile:

Thanks for the hint on dubspot, I’ll check that out for sure!

This covers a lot of ground:

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I just bought a couple of books. Mixing secrets and recording secrets from Mike Senior. Seems very good so far.

There is a ton of free stuff on forums and youtube. But i think alot of the tips shared is often recycled tips taken somewhat out of context from other places. And often repackaged as bold statements and rules. So thats the reason i bought the books. I will learn something new, and get more context around things i already do.

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A few friends of mine have started giving private lessons as there aren’t any gigs atm.

They are well established producers and are cheaper than Point Blank. dm me if you want intros

I’m into IDM/braindance too, also acid and generative stuff and you can learn anything really fast by just watching videos on youtube. But i cant right now recall a specific tutorial videos or videos about fundamental/technical concepts on specific channel.

interesting video about generative side of music:

if you are interested in reading, you can check these books.






https://makingmusic.ableton.com/
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This comes as a surprise, all the book recommendations :slight_smile:

I would have guessed that training in the form of video lectures would be much more efficient, but I’m totally up for going the book-way if that seems to be working for other people.

These were the best videos that helped me learn. Really in depth and focused on a specific subject.

https://www.dancemusicproduction.com

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Here are a few resources that you might find useful:

Kadenze: Sound Production in Ableton Live for Musicians and Artists

Udemy: The Complete Mixing Masterclass

Seed to Stage

Making Sound

Best advice for mixing : put a highpass eq on everything. Except if you really need the bass.

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This is a good start. Where’s your cut point, generally?

30, 45, 60, 75, 100 hz

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100Hz or so.

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Yeah, the Mike Senior book is a great reference for general mixing advice. It’s not electronica-specific, but I think that’s better in some ways. Otherwise it’s ‘tell me how to make a track like ___’, which doesn’t have so much long-term value.

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My personal General rules of thumb.
Nothing on the master bus. Ever.

Depending on the genre, mutli tracking/single take, and what kind of vibe I am after:
If doesnt have bass frequency, cut at least 300hz.
Everything under 150 hz in mono.
Small scoop around the 500 hz on bass sounds, drum sounds. Thats the mud area.
Everything above 3000hz be careful, too much highs are exhausting to listen to and sound clashy when compressed. If it sounds clashy, just turn them down, never underestimate the power of track faders.
If using send return fx, low cut them at 300hz.

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you mean like no compression or tone shaping on the master?

Correct! Nothing on the master. You cant get a accurate reading if you have stuff on the master.

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This is the opposite to what I thought was standard practice to most people :slight_smile: But I’m open for everything that works.

So what’s your reasoning behind this?

One thing I can see to support this is fx when I have a compressor on the master, then the quieter elements of the track can become to prominent when the bass element is cut out.

So is your philosophy to fix and shape every element on its own instead of fixing everything as a whole once on the master bus?

Correct. Any mastering engineer, mix engineer will tell you the same thing.
Every producer I ever chatted with had the same approach. I had some private lessons with a guy that teaches production for a living, he had the same advice. Nothing on your Master.
Your mixing skills will improve, you will learn how to use compressors properly, your ears will become more sensitive and therefor more accurate. Basically, your music will sound better.

Think about it, lets say you have your drum track solo’d and are trying to eq it, how can you do that accurately if it is passing through devices on the master?

Anyway, try it out for yourself, listen to the results, what do your ears tell you?

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Watch people make entire tracks and mix them on YouTube is the best thing to do.

By far the best courses are from Producer Tech in my opinion. I have been pretty disappointed by the content from other sources.

And don’t listen to people’s ‘rules’ on forums.

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