Tips & News

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On luck, trusting your creative voice, and the music industry

After a few (very blessed) years in the music industry, I’ve realized this: 1) The success or failure of a song depends on factors way, way, bigger than my talent and input. Sure, the product has to be of a certain quality level, and I have to work to make that so, but after that,…

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#TipOfTheDay on Vocal Reverb and Delay

Making the correct effect choices with reverb and delay can mean the difference between an amateurish mess and a killer mix. Here are some of my thoughts… 1) Setting vocal reverb levels – for most modern mixes where the reverb on vocals should be felt but not overtly present, I like to bring the level…

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Our 32nd Top 10 single!

Proud to announce our 32nd Top 10 single worldwide! T2 client and dear friend 王梓軒 Jonathan Wong Chee-hynn flies up 3 spots to #9 on the Hong Kong charts this week with #Invincible, which I arranged and mixed! This is also my 15th Top 10 single with Jonathan since we started working together – a…

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#TipOfTheDay on Vocal Recording

As a vocal producer, I would say that the #1 challenge of recording great studio vocals is conveying character and personality. Advances in transparent tuning technology and the ability to do unlimited retakes have completely changed the process, but sanitized, scrubbed vocals can often come across as soulless, and we don’t have the visuals of…

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#TipOfTheDay on Co-songwriting, Creators and Curators

In collaborative songwriting, there are broadly two roles in the room – writers that burst forth with a fountain of ideas (Creators), and writers that make sense of all the material, choose the best ideas, reorganize them if necessary, and put them in the best place in the song (Curators). Like Yin and Yang, both…

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#TipOfTheDay on how Success is about more than talent

Today’s #TipOfTheDay is not technical, but arguably just as important as the tech stuff: Remember that talented and successful people always have a choice of who they want to work with. Beyond your musical gifts, they’ll naturally gravitate towards people that they feel good working with – that elusive “chemistry”. Things like reliability, honesty, humility,…

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#TipOfTheDay on optimal volume levels for mixing

Happy Sunday! Here’s my production #TipOfTheDay on listening levels: Monitor at different volume levels, because the ears perceive frequency balance differently at different levels. Blast the mix occasionally, to check for sibilance and harshness. But most of the time, turn it way down – why? For the sake of your hearing (hearing loss is permanent),…

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#TipOfTheDay on Equalizing

Here are pound-for-pound the most effective EQ tricks I use daily! 1) Cuts are often more effective than boosts. Also, cuts on one track will affect the sound of all the other tracks, due to the removal of masking. 2) Highpass EVERYTHING. The 100-300hz region is mud, and you don’t need more than the bare…

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#TipOfTheDay on arranging a hit song

The instrumentals for hit songs are often shockingly simple, with no more than 5-6 distinct parts even at the climax. The vocal will sell the song and it must be the focal point. Declutter till it is. And if you can’t make enough of an impact with 5-6 distinct parts, reexamine what the parts are…

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#TipOfTheDay on writer’s block and reordering

Reordering is a powerful tool when you get stuck. Not feeling the 2nd verse? Make it the 1st verse and write a new 2nd! Stuck on trying to find a rhyming word for the next line? Try changing the order, and writing a line before the current line instead!

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