Make It With What You’ve Got
Lack of money and gear can be a barrier to would-be producers; many think they need every plug in, loads of outboard gear and high spec speakers to produce quality tracks, but that just isn’t true.
Whist having a £1m studio packed to the rafters with analog gear and vintage synths is every producers wet dream, you shouldn’t wait until you have all the gear to start producing and getting tracks out there.
Digital Audio Workstations
Logic or Ableton? FL Studio or Cubase? There will be loyal followers of each program but when it comes to the crunch, all DAW’s do the same; they sequence audio. When you listen to a track, you can’t tell which DAW it was produced on. (If you can you are probably a superhuman producer nerd!) So if Logic is out of your price range and FL Studio is all you can afford, no one hearing your tracks will know.
Whilst the endless Windows/Mac war rages on, when it comes to music production you cannot tell the difference between one made on a Mac and one made on a PC. As long as your machine – laptop or desktop – has decent enough processing power to run your DAW you won’t be hindered by not having the swankiest laptop on the market.
“Stock plug-ins” are not dirty words. If the likes of Eric Prydz and Skrillex can make chart smashing tracks with Logic and Abelton’s stock plug-ins, what’s stopping you? You do not need every flashy new plug-in that promises to make your track sound “massive”. And throwing every compressor at your track will not make it sound better. Take a minimalist approach; master a few essential synths, EQ’s and compressors and exploit them to their fullest.
You might dream about having a pair of Genelec monitor speakers but if you haven’t got the right room, the speakers will be useless. We’ve all seen the likes of Avicii and Axwell creating tracks on their private jets and in their penthouse suites, all without high end studio equipment. Get yourself some good quality headphones, such as AKG (or if you have cash to splash, get some Audeze headphones!) and the need for monitors is greatly diminished. The bonus is that, if you have a poor mixing environment (more on that in a later post), headphones take the room out the equation.
In summary, don’t let lack of cash or equipment stop you or stall your creativity.
Just start producing.
Coming up on Monongon Records….
“Shake It” – Less Distorted released worldwide on Beatport on Monday 10th August.