I’ve been publishing random daily tips on my Facebook page lately, then aggregating them into a blog post at the end of the week. There’s no rhyme or reason to them, just interesting musings that occur to me each day that I feel are valuable to pass on and hopefully inspire some discussion. In case you missed them, here’s this weeks tid bits and randomness from my brain to yours!
Power Time: Find when your “power time” is. Power time is when you find yourself at the peak of inspiration, it’s when you are able to achieve the most focus, when you feel the most “on” and “in the zone”. During your power time music flows easily and effortlessly. Every person will be different with respect to when that time is and under what conditions it occurs. My power time is in the morning. Right after I wake up, have my green juice and do some yoga…when I hit the studio then, I get more accomplished in 2 hours then if I spent 8 hours at night. Find your power time :)
Off Time: Be aware of your “off time”. Off time is when you feel uninspired. It’s times that you find yourself with lower energy, less focus, and you generall feel “off”. For me, it’s the late afternoon and evening. During your off time, you can still be effective in the studio. Just dont try and produce during this time. Use it, instead, for things that support your effectiveness when you’re in your power time. Things like organizing your tracks and samples. Doing sound design. Watching tutorials and learning new software. Keeping up with social media comments on your music. Making new connections with other producers and labels. Setting up collaborations. There is so much you can do in this time, yet many people waste it in front of the TV or mindlessly browsing the internet. The successful producers in the world are masters of utilizing off time.
Haters: If you’re putting yourself out there, putting your music online, playing gigs, or pursuing your passion in any way, shape or form, you will attract haters. Don’t let haters get to you down. Haters are a actually sign you’re becoming successful. Nobody kicks a dead dog. See, haters are just confused fans. They could be hating on anyone…but they’re hating on you. Take it as a compliment. They’re spending their precious hate time focused on little old you. Why? 95% of the time it’s that they wish they could be like you, have accomplished what you have, do what you do. But, sadly, they have fallen short. They are frustrated with their lives and instead of focusing that energy on improving themselves, they see fit to use it to try to cut you down a peg or two so they don’t feel so inferior. Once you realize this, they won’t feel like such a big deal. In fact, you may even develop some sympathy and compassion for these confused souls and wish them a better day.
Dealing with Haters: Some practical tips for how to handle them. When you have someone hating on you, your first instinct will likely be to defend yourself, or to strike back in some way. I urge you to restrain yourself from that. See, when you react and lash back at a hater, you’re just throwing fuel on the fire. You’re feeding them energy, validating them, giving them more ammunition. What you focus on expands. The best route to take is to not respond at all. This is also the most difficult, as it requires you to step away from your ego. It’s the ego that feels threatened, the ego that needs to defend itself. If you can let the ego be diminished, and just sit with that, you are steping towards the high road; the road of enlightenment. The cool thing about this place is that when you derive your satisfaction from internal sources, versus external sources, haters can never shake you. Your self esteem will cease to be swayed by compliments or criticisms, and will instead be internally funded by your own self love.
Ableton Compressor tip: The Lookahead parameter. What is it? What does it do? When a hardware analog compressor reacts to an audio input, it’s always a little bit behind. It takes time to react. Digital software compressors have the upper hand though. By delaying the input signal slightly, they can “pre-read” the audio coming into them and react more quickly. It’s kind of like anti-skip technology that CD players use. They do this with the Lookahead parameter. The Ableton Compressor has 3 Lookahead modes, 0 ms, 1 ms, and 10 ms. 0 ms would simulate the reaction of an analog compressor, whereas 1 ms and 10 ms scan ahead and allow the Compressor to react more quickly. Each mode will have a different characteristic, so make sure you try them out and see which one fits best for your music.
Ableton Compressor tip: Model types. The Compressor has three Model types, FF1, FF2, and FB. FF1 and 2 are feed forward models based on the legacy Compressor 1 and 2 devices from past versions. FF2 lets more bass through than FF1, and I find that FF1 is superior for sidechaining bass and sub bass material as it produces less clicks and pops. FB is a feedback Model that analyses the output signal of the Compressor versus the input signal like the other two. It looks at the output signal after gain reduction and optimizes based on that information. It tends to sound more smooth and produce less artifacts, but yields less overall gain reduction. Many sought after analog compressors from pro studios are feedback models. Also keep in mind that Lookahead and Sidechain are disabled in FB, as they require reading an input signal.