Quick music production tip: A/B/X comparison
The visual nature of writing music on a computer means that sometimes we can fool our ears because of what our eyes are telling us. By tweaking a parameter, we feel like we’re doing something useful. But does it actually sound better? Here’s how you can remove the subjectivity.
When running an effect for mixing that you don’t want to overdo (like compression, limiting, EQ, etc) you can set it up so that you can remove your inherent bias thinking it’s better because you added something.
- Have your levels so that when the effect is on and off the output audio is comparably the same
- This is your perceived loudness. RMS or VU meters are ultimately less important than your ears.
- Map a MIDI or keyboard shortcut to allow you to toggle that effect on & off.
- Close your eyes
- Mash that key rapidly until you’ve lost track until how many times you pushed it
- You need to forget whether it’s an odd/even number of times to remove your preconceptions and be more objective.
- Keeping your eyes closed, play it on one and then the other setting until you’ve decided which sounds better.
- If you must open your eyes, try to arrange your windows so that you cannot see which way it is set.
- Accept your judgement, open your eyes and commit which ever way.
- Don’t be afraid to delete!
This will be of use for anyone using a DAW, whether or not you’re writing techno, house, EDM, pop, indie, drum & bass, glitch hop or postmodern polkacore.
We’ve got a facebook group setup for electronic musicians to create a little community. So if you’re looking for another place to hear about news and articles about the production process and interesting new technology, come say hi: https://www.facebook.com/groups/145582323022/
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