A lot of new artistes email or message me and ask how they can get signed in our record company or any other record companies. Well, the answer is pretty simple and short. Be Unique.
As a producer weekly I receive about 4 or 5 serious demos from independent artistes and bands who want to get signed or they ask for tips for improving their music career. But there is one common problem in most demos. “they all sound the same”. These days a lot of songwriters hear something on the radio or online play lists and think “oh this song is like this and that and became a mainstream, so I must do the same” but the reality is different, if you make the same song, it won’t be at mainstream anymore because that song already exists!
Recently Lya Ng 黄扬策's new music video "The Sea 海响" had been released and I was the producer of the song, and I found the releasing of the video as a good reason to talk a bit about the production process of this track.
This song was the first official collaboration between us and Lya. We had done some demos together for other artistes in the past but this song was the starter of putting Lya in front as the final vocalist and I must say I'm pretty happy we had made such a decision.
The whole idea of the song started with the strings! Initially I put some strings pad together and layered the same pad with some horns and again the same thing with some different horns and then another set of strings and this process was going on for a while! The pads are being played on a very soft leveling but there's a lot going on down there which gives that full yet not noisy feel to the song. I was making this Orchestra-like kind of feel but I wanted the song to be more laid towards the trip hop mood. Best thing to convert anything into trip hop? Shuffled, hard chopped, distorted drums loop!
1. Watch out those guitars
You got your vocals mixed very well but it doesn’t fit into your mix? Maybe that can be because of the guitar line. Always be careful when you have any guitar line(s) in your track as vocal and guitar frequencies (mostly between 1-3 kHz) can crash on each other and usually the guitar wins! There are quite a number of ways to avoid this problem.
One of the most common solutions is side-chaining the guitar as either the the frequencies between 1 to 3 kHz get heavily compressed when the vocal frequency is activated or set the side-chaining setting with an EQ to remove or minimize the same frequencies when the vocal tracks are sending signals to the chain.
Do NOT try just to keep your vocal louder or/and your guitar line softer just by playing with the volume faders! That doesn’t help at all and would just make your mix sound messy!