Tips to Make Good Instrumentals

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Advice for US based music producers and composers 8/07
tips to make good instrumentals

1. Don’t give up your music publishing or copyrights without intensive negotiations.
2. If you do a composition off a work for hire you give up your rights to your employer, this should be written in your contract.
3. Show a production company’s contract to a lawyer this copyright could sustain you and your children’s children so don’t play.
4. Use the form correctly:
• Are there going to be co-authors?
• Is the work your employer’s property?
• Is the agreement on this work for your employer even legal?

5. Register copyrights and compositions with the U.S. Library of Congress.
6. If you register a number of songs, be sure to title each one so that if a dispute arises there will be no confusion on that end.
7. Work out an agreement with any other producer that touches your work if you want to retain sole production rights.
8. Even if all they say is “this would sound better like this” and you agree they could end up owning half of the production royalty on your music.
9. Bottom-line: if you want to be the sole producer on your work get this agreement in writing.
10. Please double check these rules with a lawyer. This is the Internet, so this is hearsay. These tips serve as only a common sense guideline. Due diligence is still required.

Tips for Producers/BeatMakers tips to make good instrumentals

1. No Pro Tools sessions without getting money.
2. Your manager talks about money… not you… you’re the cool one wink, wink.
3. Don’t let MCs/DJs (in dancehall) know where you live.
4. Give your CD out to everybody forget the biters.
5. Only work with those MCs and DJs that you like.
6. Forget A&Rs give your music to Artists and Managers.
7. Clear your own samples and negociate your percentage.
8. Don’t tell these artist what sample you used or where you got it from until all paper work is complete. They will have somebody redo your recording and(or) just straight loop the sample themselves.
9. Don’t bite somebody’s stuff on the obvious tip.
10. Don’t let technical stuff get in the way of your creation. Refrain from putting a bunch of machines together unless you love messing with the gear.

Sampling Tips to make good instrumentals

1. If you’re sampling vynil use a very low cut to eliminate the rumble from the needle. Now you can add volume to the sample.
2. Get a the sound as loud as you can without distorting the signal. You won’t have to boost the signal later.
3. Don’t look at the sample’s wave to truncate. Rely on your ears first and then look at the sample to clean it up.
4. Use as little effects as possible, add them later when you mix.
5. Don’t quantize your drums if it already sound good a little off beat.
6. Don’t be afraid to use a lower sample rate. It may add color to your track.
7. Fix instruments through step editing as opposed to re-recording.
8. Through time stretch you can change the tempo of a sample without altering the pitch.
9. Make sure that your drums are locked in the way you want them before you start making your sequences.
10. When you mix, make sure the engineer knows how it sounded coming out of your original equipment.

Tips to Combat Beat Block: tips to make good instrumentals

Beat Block: When a beat originator is out of creative ideas to produce a new beat. This may be due to lack of motivation, procrastination or just being tired of making music in general. More tips to make good instrumentals

1. Listen to the Best: Buy those classics that you may have missed. Ask friends and family which albums they love and acquire those.
2. Go to some Shows: Need we say more… Support some artists that you love
3. Listen to the Radio… yes the radio. There a some shows or college stations that won’t play the same 10 songs all day.
4. Get inspired by your life’s experiences.
5. Go take a trip… refresh your spirit.
6. Stop listening to other people’s music. Your ears will crave a new music. So make a beat to fill that need.
7. Try a different style of production. Build a Cuban type drum loop (or any other type of music you do not usually listen to) or sample a bagpipe gee:)
8. Learn to play an instrument so that you can translate your emotions into music.
9. Hang out… talk to folks… ya know… get a life.
10. Listen to other people’s mistakes and learn from them.

Production Tips to make good instrumentals

1. Don’t be afraid of grime or cheese.
2. EQing and effexts should take a back seat to plain good sounds.
3. Trust your ears on the vocals.
4. Throw all formulas out the door and be creative.
5. Build a big music collection as possible.
6. Sample other genres of interest.
7. Learn a musical software package.
8. Don’t be afraid to not quantize sometimes on some instruments for a live feeling.
9. Don’t rush things. Sometimes you can get a lot more out of a ten minute beat if you spend a little more time on it.
10. Fix drum samples by ear.
11. Reverse a sample every few bars.
12. Layer and add different kick drums.
13. Play the beats on a drum pad or keyboard instead of drawing them.
14. Send your midi notes to a different sampler sound module.
15. Consider music a hobby that can take you places.
16. Go experience life. Get out the studio.
17. Do you really care what people think? Experiment more often.
18. Stop listening to the radio. This is not pop, B! Or is it?
19. Move samples forward and backward a little, who knows?
20. Try removing random percussive hits and see how that sounds.
21. Run your beat through an analogue modeling compressor.
22. Put yourself into the music.. say something... sing.
23. Ignore everything here and just program/play.

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