Sometimes we can get into a production rut, everything starts sounding the same or they just don’t have any real personality. Here are 5 simple things you should try on tracks that aren’t really cutting it, you might be surprised what happens.
1. Swap Out A Plug-in or Effect
We all have go-to plug-ins and effects, however if we are not careful we get lazy and keep reaching for the same compressor or synth. Why not find every instance of that on the mix you have and swap it for something else.
2. Re-Arrange The Instrumentation
Some very cool songs found their mojo my mistake - in other words the MIDI synth started playing a flute sound instead of a bass synth, or strings become a dirty guitar and lo-and-behold a cool sound was created.
3. Break The Rules
Time-after-time producers tell us that there are no rules, so how about really taking some risks and putting a vocal through a guitar simulator, or auto-panning a kick drum. It’s a case of thinking of the most absurd thing you can do - you never know, in experimenting you may find the next big production trend.
4. Be A Time Lord
When did you last do a tempo or meter change in a track? Some great tracks have done just that and surprised us all. Most recently the track ‘We Are Young’ or Sting’s ‘Englishman In New York’ that goes from a polka/reggae style rhythm with light kit to a power drum rock part in the centre and then back again.
5. Remove Some Tracks
You might have a huge monster power ballard with 40 guitars and a whole orchestra, but then what would it sound like with just a voice and guitar? With music, less is often more.
So there you are, 5 ways to think about breathing new life into tracks that may not have yet delivered as you would hope - sometimes our competence is the thing getting in the way of a masterpiece, so try being like a big kid and pressing a few buttons to see what happens… remember the rules? There are no rules. What do you do when you get stuck? Do share your 'break out' tips in the comments below.