Old drums

Last year I was accused of making a song with drums that sounded “too old.”

This is tricky stuff for me. I know that the answer is to reference the tracks I’m working on vs. current songs on the radio. The idea is to load up a song, zero in on just the snare hit for example, and play that against my own snare. And adjust my snare until it’s in the right ballpark.

Then repeat that process with the kick, the hats, etc.

This is kind of where the Supatheef name comes from. Plus I’ll also “borrow” arrangements and chord progressions from other songs.

It gets trickier with the synths because I don’t actually want my lead to sound exactly like someone else’s. Fortunately there’s no chance of that at the moment because I’m not good enough yet to completely replicate someone else’s sound (which is why I’m starting my synth programming lessons soon).

Saturation (judicious use of distortion) is also a big part of this game, and Danny points out that the pros are doing a ton of it.

I was reading somewhere that a lot of what makes things sound old or new is the combination of sounds. Most sounds have been used before, but there are new trends in how to mix and match them popping up all the time.

But sometimes I hear things in my head and I just go for it. And then I get accused of having “old drums.” I wish producing were easier, that it required less work. But then everyone would be doing it well lol.

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I’m bummed I missed Jamie Jones at WMC. I definitely want to catch his live set sometime.

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