Tips for Improving Your Production During Quarantine
Hey guys, XLNTSOUND here, and if you are reading this in March or April of 2020 then you are probably locked in your home for the time being with nothing to do. Since you have all this spare time, you might as well use it to get better at production and make some awesome music.
Or maybe you just have a little extra time on your hands and are looking for new ways to work on production. Either way here are 5 tips I came up with to work on production while stuck at home
1. Look Over Old Projects
I know we all have hundreds of old projects from weeks, months, even years ago, just sitting there in the abyss of our laptops hard drive. Now that you have a little time on your hands, this may be a good time to look through some of those. You never know what might spark an idea for a new track, or maybe you’ll find that the project was better than you remember and with fresh ears and the knowledge that you’ve gained since starting the project you may want to finish it.
A cool thing to do with that mountain of unfinished ideas and projects is to go through and bounce out any loops, samples, sounds that you think you may be able to use in future projects. That way you’re sitting on a pile of useful song starters instead of old projects that will ultimately amount to nothing. You can even make your own sample and preset packs out of your old projects!
2. Make Your Own Sample Pack
All producers know the struggle of sitting down in an empty session and not knowing where to begin. A cool way to mix things up and learn new tricks is to give yourself some constraints. If you give yourself a goal like “make 10 drum loops” and “make 15 pads” you’ll find yourself pushing the envelope with your production and finding not just the way to make one pad that fits your project, but 15 pads that you can choose from.
I highly recommend this strategy for all producers who are in a rut or feel like they need to up their production chops.
You can even constrain yourself further for an extra challenge! Ex: “Dubstep basses only using audio” “Drum samples only using Serum” Etc. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to pick up new tricks!
3. Watch Youtube Tutorials
A great way to gain knowledge and get out of the same old routine is watching YouTube Tutorials. Of course, you should already be subscribed to the greatest Youtube production channel and watch every single video… IF by some chance you're not, go check us out XLNTSOUND on YouTube where we do weekly videos. We do tons of remake videos showing you how to sound design like your favorite artist but we also have tons of other spicy videos on general production tips as well as special guests. Definitely go check us out now for tons of dope knowledge.
You won’t go binge-watch a bunch of XLNT tutorials right now…
If you’ve already watched all the XLNT tutorials out there then these are other channels and creators that we support and love:
4. Song a Day Challenge
Ah yes, the old faithful challenge. Can you produce a full track in one day?
This is a great exercise to grind your production chops. This challenge is especially great for those producers who struggle to finish a track. I know there are lots of you out there. Working on those same projects for months at a time. This is a great way to get out of that habit and force yourself to make decisions.
A lot of times the reason why producers struggle to finish track is that they refuse to make decisions. They go back and forth on useless minute details that make no difference to the listener. Even if spending 10 hours picking what snare to use leads to you finding the best snare, the truth is you're denying yourself the opportunity to learn by making mistakes. You will make mistakes as you produce and the sooner you make them the sooner you will get over them.
So by forcing yourself to make a track in a day you will be forced to act quickly and you may find that this will even yield better results! Give it a try!
Don’t forget to save time for mixing and mastering at the end! And don’t burn yourself out by spending too many hours! Take breaks!
5. Pick Up a New Sample Pack
Now I know what you’re thinking, wow great self-promo. Well true, but also this is a great way to mix things up and level up your production. Adding new resources to your library may be just what you need to get the juices flowing and make that insane banger that you’ve been trying so hard to create! It doesn’t have to be ours or it can be a collection of free samples you find online.
Also with more time on your hands, this may be a good time to go through an organize those 2 TBs of kick samples and throw away the ones you don’t want. Try making a custom folder with samples that you actually like/use!
But if you are in the market for a new sample pack, we highly suggest you check out our new sample pack “Mid Temps.” Our Mid Tempo pack with tons of awesome content that is sure to bring your production to the highest level. Also included is the project file for our original track “Put em Up” which people have been absolutely raving over. Grab the pack here.
Our sympathies to anyone who has been or knows someone affected by the Corona Virus and we hope that you use all this free time to make some amazing art and bring up the awesome music scene that we all love so much. Happy producing!