The BEST tips, techniques, and production secrets on the web

The BEST tips, techniques, and production secrets on the web
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Dubstep Mindset

When it comes to dubstep, a very particular frame of mind is required in order to let your creative juices flow in the most efficient and fruitful way possible. By fruitful, I mean take a handful of fruit, throw it into a blender amidst a grotesque heap of bile, raw sewage and unleaded rocked fuel and slam your fist onto the “PLAY” button. Then drink it straight. This is the optimal way in which the creation of dubstep should be approached. Before you jump to conclusions, (let the voluptuous blonde in the front row with the fishnets take care of any and all jumping), it is best to understand that this article pertains to the overall “bigger picture” of taking on a dubstep production session. It is about the way you need to think in order to get the results you want.

Dubstep, as you are well aware, consists of some of the most bizarre, boundary-pushing sounds that have ever been squeezed, compressed, mangled and puked out of the belly of computer-generated waveforms. It pays to remind yourself of this every once in a while, but preferably upon the beginning of each recording session. Remind yourself of how fucked-up dubstep can be. Remind yourself of how you want people to shit bricks, actual bricks, when they hear your next banger — bricks with which you will build your tower to the top of the Beatport charts. Yea, dubstep is all about the mental images. It keeps the fun alive, and is one of the quickest ways to get the aforementioned juices flowing.

Picture the blonde with the big tits hearing your new song for the first time. Everyone has a quintessential blonde with big tits chilling somewhere in the velvet recesses of their minds. She might not be blonde at all. She might not even have big tits, if you aren’t into big tits, in which case you should quit life. But in all seriousness, think of someone you want to show your skills off to. I will be the first to tell you that doing anything for the sole purpose of impressing someone is as toolish as it is foolish, but when it comes to being productive in a recording session, it pays off, in some really weird but helpful way. She’s an imaginary blonde, but she exists in just the right amount in order to get you motivated when it matters most, i.e. when you get stuck in a creative rut in the middle of a recording session. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think of hot girls dancing to your music. It works wonders.

Don’t worry about everyone else. Don’t dwell on whether or not a rival producer is “better” than you. What is “better” anyway? I’ll tell it to you straight — as straight as the shitshake your mind brewed up before you started your session: “better” is bullshit. It is subjective and a waste of time and energy to agonize over someone else’s skill. Rather, you should commend them for making some dope music and learn all you can from it, even if that means listening to it thousands of times on repeat until you figure out what waveform in Massive they used in order to get that gut-wrenching growl that lasts for two seconds during the first drop. You get what you put out. Give and you shall receive. Enjoy great music for what it is and never be jealous. This is incredibly important, and if you haven’t learned so by now, you will. By taking legitimate enjoyment in listening to your competition, you will be seriously surprised at how drastically your own product will improve. Take my word for it.

Time is no object. Life isn’t a race to the finish, and neither is the road to fame or notoriety. Take pride in what you do and don’t beat yourself up over sub-par production quality when you are racing against the clock to submit your remix into the contest before the deadline. Fuck it, just finish the song and have fun while doing so. It is obvious that you should give yourself enough time to get the mix as close to perfect as you can manage, but don’t drive yourself crazy. The key is to maintain a positive attitude from ‘A’ to the very last second of ‘Z.’ And for the record, keep the positivity flowing all the time, whether you are recording music or not.

On the contrary to busting your ass amidst time constraints (time is an illusion, just so you know), originals that don’t require a specific deadline must be handled with a more laid-back approach, but not too laid-back. For instance, take the extra time to mentally soak in your final product before uploading it to your Soundcloud page. Don’t jump the gun. You will be surprised at how many little things will nag you within the coming days after you have your song online and have heard it a number of times since its completion. (This never goes away, no matter how good of a producer you are!) Take an extra day, or two if you really have the patience, to simply listen to the music objectively. Let the music do the talking (but never the Modern Talking! Yea, yea, yea…). You will hear anything that needs fixing. It will jump out at you on its own so there is no need to nit-pick your work to death.

It is much too easy to go insane by selling your product short when, to potential fans, the song kicks just as much ass as it would even if you did spend another three weeks toiling over mixing. Just get shit done! I repeat: Get. Shit. Done. This is so important I cannot stress it enough. Don’t obsess over one track while a month passes you by, or worse: two months. I myself find this to be my most difficult obstacle. I’m the king of hating my own music. I am my worst critic, and, though it is extremely wise to be critical of your work and to pay attention to detail, it does you no good whatsoever in the long-run to obsess. Obsessing with a mind full of frustration is the worst. Avoid it at all costs. Have fun fucking sounds up. That is the key, and that is what people love most about dubstep.

Never lose sight about what you want to accomplish. When you are stuck at work thinking about how you will spend the rest of the night recording a new song, ask yourself what it is you want the song to do. You already know the answer. You want it to make people shit bricks, and you want hot girls to jiggle their tits to it. Think about this on the drive home. Delve into the fantasy, whatever it may be. Make music magic and your music will be magic. It’s all about the mindset, and if you have the right kind, the “dubstep mind” that consists of a heavy dose of both dedication and exuberance you will produce some really fantastic music.

There is actually a hidden filter in Massive, and it is the secret to making the most incredible dubstep known to mankind. It is called Positivity. Route everything through this.

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