Techniques that everyone loves but meh you out?

What techniques do you not really use that everyone else seems to?

Here are a few of mine:

Compression: rarely use it as effect, rarely on main mix, I tend to use for mainly bass and drums individually.

Sidechaining from kick/pumping: just annoys me, I think it is a cliche that should have died in the 90’s.

Huge reverb/shimmer: messy slush that I rarely like the sound of unless on the very few occasions that it is applied well on ambient stuff.

Random/chance: I mostly find it annoying unless used in a subtle way and mostly on percussive elements rather than melodic stuff.

Arpeggios: when they are obvious sound tedious, I rarely use them as most are a bit crap, they have their use but not a staple for me.

Over warble: nothing against a bit of vibrato or the occasional bit of tape warble to add a bit of character, but overdone sounds too cliche, same for too much noise being added to tracks to add faux vintage vibes.

Obviously highly personal and not applicable all of the time - many songs I like use some of these techniques, but I don’t often use them myself, probably a bunch more that I’m forgetting too, anyway what are yours?

32 Likes

Stutter

12 Likes

I think you just described all my techniques. :sweat_smile:

55 Likes

G-G-G-Good one!

10 Likes

:laughing: So your’e a shimmer ambient, side chaining warble arp fiend who loves a pumping mix! :exploding_head:

27 Likes

All day every day! Hahah

14 Likes

Couldn’t agree more.

I like reverb, I use it on everything.

It’s a bit like salt on your chips.
Without salt, it’s just some hot potatoes, but a sprinkling of salt and suddenly it’s the dining choice of the Gods.
Wouldn’t eat a fucking plate full of salt though, so maybe turn the Strymon off for a bit, yeah.

29 Likes

That salt analogy is spot on.

5 Likes

robotic drum rolls… I don’t even get it

4 Likes

Tape stop and start. Just stop!

7 Likes

Safe diatonic stuff, too much root note, triad chords. Not a Jazz elitist or anything.

Brickwalling. The loudness war was won but the cannons are still firing. Really painful on mediocre stuff that doesn’t compensate controlling transients that probably sounded snappier during the earlier stages, and now they’re all pumped up and sluggish.

Mixwide EQ approach that approximates Bandpassing everything instead of making better sounds, EQing broader strokes and using volume faders.

1/4 timesynced, lined up & quantized everything from claps to delays

8 Likes

1)178bpm
2)The word ambient to describe your music. I wish it was more specific.

11 Likes

Yeah, anything below 180 is shit.

33 Likes

Tape stops are all I did with the OP-1, and now with the Blooper. Hah. I need to up my game.

5 Likes

Took me about 10 years to realize putting a stutter effect on the entire mix doesn’t make you aphex twin :confused:

18 Likes

Recording, such a overrated technique. Why use that all the time?

23 Likes

Using 80s/90s Roland drum sounds. I hate them all. Overdone and don’t even sound that good.

That’s my blasphemy for today.

Edit: And MPE. I like it in theory but I have yet to hear anyone use MPE in a manner that isn’t cheesy and over-expressive, if that make sense.

20 Likes

-Side chain compression. Learn how to mix properly, how to use a compressor properly then you dont need side chain compression.

-Those massive Shimmer reverbs.

-Probability/Chance. (With @darenager on this one, ok for percussive stuff if used sparingly)

-Predictable arps/chord progressions. (Especially if it has an ostinato bass line under it)

-Bit reduction FX.

-Octatrack transition tricks.

5 Likes

My list is very similar to yours @darenager

Sidechaining for kicks/pumping, compression as an effect or mixing tool (I usually use multi band compression when mixing individual recordings instead), arpeggiators (great fun on their own, but rarely makes it into a piece of music), that sort of massive reverb that turns any sound into the call of a whale.

I’ll add velocity and aftertouch keyboard playing. I’ll also add tuning oscillators to 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, etc. In general, the overuse of effects like reverb and delay.

Sometimes it feels like you have to add reverb/delay to everything or you are breaking an unwritten rule. But effects have a way of detracting from the raw sound of whatever instrument you like, be it an 808 snare or a nice oscillator sound, etc.

Another might be some ‘studio rules’ like acoustic treatment, proper monitors, monitor stands, etc. that whole attitude and style of thinking is kind of gross to me. If I was a billionaire, I still would not do any of that out of principle.

Lastly, stereo. I prefer mono mixes all day.

4 Likes

Oh I also forgot, having any more music theory knowledge than a middling guitar player is definitely played out imo.

10 Likes