We asked twelve of our favourite Irish producers to give us some tips on production as we go into new year.
Production is a fine art and it takes an abundance of time to master and even still, producers are continuously growing and learning, irrespective of their production experience’s.
We thought it would be a good idea to ask some Irish producers we admire for some advice and tips going into new year.
Alt8: “To be a successful Producer takes time. It can takes years before you get tracks signed to reputable labels which is why a lot of people give up too soon. Work hard, make producing part of your weekly routine or even daily if you have the time. For me it’s a non negotiable.”
Cailín: “Clean your studio/work space! I heard before that a cluttered room is a cluttered mind and its so true. The mind needs to be relaxed to be creative and having a nice tidy environment to work in really helps that. Keeping your wires in order is probably the most important if u work with machines, for me anyway. I get distracted if theres cables everywhere and I don’t realise how much so until after Ive tidied them.”
Dart: “Make music for yourself first and foremost. Don’t put too much focus into trying to make stuff that ‘suits’ certain labels or even genres. Once you’re creating, you’re going in the right direction. Everything else will follow once you’re enjoying the process. On a side note – don’t force it either. I know a lot of people watch other artists success around them and think they themselves aren’t doing enough. It will all come into place. Keep creating, learning and most enjoying it.”
Ellll: “So my hot tip for 2022, which is something i should’ve implemented more ruthlessly years ago but never did properly. Group your effects / plugins and save them as instruments. This works especially well if you use simpler or sampler a lot on Ableton. It means that even on a day where you feel very blocked or like you’re getting nowhere, you’ve got a jumping off point. This is also great if you’re creative with the names, so when you’re searching for a particular vibe, you can pull up a custom instrument that fits. Eg. Tense sad synth etc….It’s kind of like tagging tracks in Rekordbox. It’s extremely useful for people who sample a lot but it works in other scenarios too.”
George Feely: “Definitely aim to not panic produce. Its something I’ve been guilty of in the past myself, particularly over lockdown. I felt I had to make a load of tunes to have for a load of labels and try lock in a load of releases. It just doesn’t work, and you end up with something that you may not even like. Be patient, make the music that you genuinely love, and the labels and release plans will all follow.”
Glimmerman: “Definitely trying to shift my workflow this year! Looking to spend less time on half baked ideas so I’ve adopted a pretty extreme torch and burn policy. If it doesn’t hit in the first 15-20 mins it’s gone! No “fhhddkf.als” save as file or MP3 bounce just straight into a new project. This obviously has it’s drawbacks as sometimes you do visit and old dodgy composition and can on occasion flip it into something useable but more often than not I’ve found this new approach leads to more finished tracks and less trash pile Ableton files.”
Ngoni Egan: “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, try enjoy the process of making music and learning new techniques if you can, pressure can lead to frustration. There’s a lot of time to make things happen.”
Oneyra: “Times have been hard for creativity. It’s difficult to find inspiration when the world is being suffocated by global disasters. So it’s really a time to take it easy on yourself if writer’s block is what you’re experiencing right now. Don’t force things to happen, if you are pushing it into existence then give it time. There is no right or wrong when it comes to producing – yes, maybe “good” or “bad” but that’s all subjective. Try to be as free as possible when creating, continue learning the craft & experimenting with sound to create something new. Following instructions or using a template is not creativity. Let’s move away from telling ourselves we’re not good enough or “I’ll be ready when..” Start to trust in your own intuition & move forward without outside validation. It is your own expression you are putting into a piece of music. Don’t be a backseat passenger to your ego – it will always plant the seed of doubt & steer you off course. Tap into your authentic self and create with passion, individuality & do it for the love of it. A few small tips to push your work to the next stage:”
● “Be a critical and analytical thinker – get curious about how other producers are creating sounds & and try to replicate with your own process.”
● “Master sound design – this is where your productions become unique and your own.”
● “Persevere – producing is a lifelong skill to develop.”
● “Be consistent & make time.”
Pagan: “I try to put aside a few hours every week, just searching for samples and creating new presets. I started doing this after I hit some bad writers block during the first lockdown, and realised that keeping the sounds I’m using fresh really helped me stay motivated and inspired for longer periods. I’ll schedule in a few hours of just going through splice, or making new custom presets in whatever soft synth I’m big into that week. Then when I’ve got a burst of energy, I’ve got loads of new sounds and samples to work with.”
Prozak: “I normally try and have an idea or vision in my head before I jump on the laptop and start producing. Whether that is a vocal sample, a drum pattern, a synth sound, etc. Don’t force yourself to make music 24/7, but also try and get the ideas out as quickly as possible when they come. Inspiration exists but it has to find you working.”
R Kitt: “Test your tracks – whether it be playing it at a gig, on the radio, sending it to friends or contemporaries, or even just uploading it to Soundcloud or putting it on Bandcamp, putting a track out there for others to listen is the greatest way to learn and hear things about your music that you can’t possibly understand if you’re just listening to the music on your own. We are relational creatures! Our music is meant to be relational too! A track is only going to work if others are able to hear it, and understanding how they hear it is the first step in that process.”
Rustal: “Make it as convenient as possible to allow yourself to be creative and always, always press record.”