The Berlin based live techno artist Hybrasil gives us his top 5 studio tips for every new producer. To learn more, be sure to check out Hybrasil’s Ableton Crash Course here.
1. Learn Smart
Generally when people are starting out or looking to take their production skills to the next level they will begin looking at training courses. Be sure to do your research before committing to anything financially. See if you can get in contact with anyone who has done the course you are looking at, did they get what they wanted from it? Be clear on what your goals are and be certain that the program you are considering will deliver on them.
2. Start Simple
When you begin your journey, start with one DAW(Digital Audio Workstation), learn that and go from there. Don’t get caught in the trap of buying the latest hardware or software plugins before fully understanding how to make music in your host DAW. Reason and Ableton are extremely intuitive and offer a lot of power in the box. Maschine standalone also comes with a hardware controller, giving you that hands on experience and an extensive sound library. Everything you need is in those products.
3. Don’t Crack
A production career built on cracks is a house built on sand. If you are serious about making music invest in one product and learn it inside out. You will get updates, affordable upgrades, you will have customer support and the software won’t let you down. Over the years I’ve seen so many people fall into this trap, they might have cracks of every plugin under the sun but their productivity is no better. Don’t take from the industry and invest nothing back in. Be a mindful participant in the electronic music community, take yourself seriously as an artist and pay for what you are using. This ultimately creates jobs.
4. Don’t fall into the gear trap
Once you have gotten a hold of the basics, it can be fun to start adding some external hardware to your set up. At the moment there are lots of amazing independent manufacturers creating really interesting drum machines and synthesisers. There is a lot to choose from, especially in the world of modular synths. What can happen over time (speaking from experience) is that you actually end up buying too much and it can feel like the walls are caving in on you when you sit in the studio. When you buy a piece of hardware be sure to learn that inside out before getting the next thing. Spending more time learning about your machine, advanced synthesis or drum programming will serve you better than having multiple machines doing the same thing.
5. Goal Setting & Planning
It is really important to set goals for yourself and work off some sort of road map, otherwise the months and years can slip by and you haven’t made the progress you hoped. Goals should be short, medium and long term (weekly/monthly/yearly). Get yourself a copy book and write everything down. Keep a record of your progress and also take note of ideas you have along the way, like an EP/album concept or a label/club night.
Figure out how much time you need to allocate on a weekly basis towards achieving your long term goals. If you break your roadmap down into several small or reachable targets, before you know it you will have made some serious progress, by simply sticking to a plan and giving yourself the time to do it. If you find you need to allocate more time to your plan consider getting up at 6am every day and doing 2 hours before your day starts. Or if you go clubbing every weekend maybe just go out once a month. You will be healthier, you will sleep better, you will be more creative and you will save money which you can reinvest into your studio. There is no success without sacrifice, no great art without struggle.
Hybrasil plays Ireland’s Electric Picnic 2nd September alongside Saoirse, New Jackson and more.
Insider Insight is a music industry focused series brought to you by When We Dip & Dip Artist Management.