Melbourne-based producer Jebu decided to do a production Q&A for his Facebook fans yesterday. There are some great take aways for upcoming producers that you can implement in your productions right away!
You should know Jebu from his collaborations with fellow Ozzie Ivan Gough. They released tunes on labels like Steve Angello’s legendary Size Records and Vicious Records. They also did a remix of Rudimental, NAS and Emeli Sande’s hit-record Free.
With support from a lot of scene heavy-weights there seems to be nothing that could stop him from becoming a house music super star in the near future himself.
The content in this article is copied directly from his Facebook Q&A which you can find here.
I copied the questions and answers to this topic so it’s accesible to more people and easier to read. Make sure to thank him for this content with a Facebook like.
1. What’s the best way of compressing in the mixdown?
Personally I don’t compress (except live recordings), I feel like you should pick good sounds to begin so you don’t need too!
2. What about mastering compression?
Compression is just to ‘glue’ your track together at the end. I try and do it by ear, If it sounds good, it is good.
2. How do you get your kicks sounding so fat?
I’ve got a bank of kicks I have collected over the years so I can usually find the right kick for my track! I hardly ever EQ or compress my kicks.
3. When did you start producing and when did you gain some traction?
Began Music production in 2008 -I felt my music began to get decent in 2012 -In 2012 Hardwell support my remix of ‘Slagsmakglubben’ – I had my first release in 2010 I believe.
4. How do you go about mixdown and mastering?
I sort of subconsciously mix now. It’s normal for me to finish a track and the mix is 90% because of picking the right sounds along the way. I master myself unless I’m working with Ivan Gough, In that case, he does the mastering!
5. Where do you start with the mixdown and mastering?
I start with the Kick, then the bass, then the lead and everything else! I like T-racks for mastering. The suite is really handy and quick.
6. What volumes do you use on the kick and bass to achieve -6db master headroom?
I generally try to get my kick at -8db and bass at -10db which equals -6db.
7. Do you have any tips for someone who’s just starting out?
Spend as much time as you can working on production and learning the craft! A good start is to learn the basic functions of a DAW. Try look up some YouTube tutorials.
8. How do you go about the low-end in your mixdowns?
I try to have less bottom end, It makes it easier to control. Also I like to low-cut my sub bass above my kick so usually around 80hz.
9. Which plug-ins are you using for violin parts?
Nexus and samples.
10. How do you usually start a track?
With the drop! Without a drop there is no track.
11. People told me to ‘bring out the lead drop synth’ in my track, which is a synth shot without adding frequencies or screwing up the sound. How could I bring it out more?
Turn everything else down. Remove frequencies taking up the particular sounds space in the mix.
12. Do you have any tips for writing melodies?
Hum a melody and try to re-create it in your DAW. I’m not musically trained so I don’t have too many pointers.
13. What’s your favorite plug-in for bass sounds?
14. What’s a EQ and compression plug-in you can recommend?
FabFilter Pro-Q and T-racks Classic Compressor
15. A lot of tracks have some kind of rising synths, to give the drop more energy. How do you make them?
A simple detuned saw with a bit of reverb will do the trick.
16. How do you get DJ gigs?
In this day and age you really need records to get gigs. Make really hot tracks and you will see yourself start to get booked!
17. Which are your favorite synth- and effect plug-ins?
I really like working in audio and sampling, I like to see the waveform and what is going on as apposed to a midi bar. Izotope Trash is one I really like at the moment, Its a distortion plugin.
18. How important are good monitors?
Pretty important but more important is how well your room is treated.
19. Do you think producers should focus on there sound design to reduce layering in there productions so you can achieve a cleaner mix or do you believe it limits your productions capability?
Sound design is a great tool to have. I think you shouldn’t try and limit yourself in anyway. Layer if you need too! Just make sure you do it right.
20. How long did it take you to learn how to produce and which software can you recommend for beginners?
It took me about 4 years before I could make a decent track. I really like how FL Studio works but really there is no ‘One DAW fits all’. Try a few until you find one that suits your workflow and creativity!
21. How to make my white noise sound good?
For white noise I lowcut to about 1k and give the high freqs a bit of a shelf.
22. What are your favorite producers at this moment?
23. What does your mastering chain look like?
Usually is something like: Lowcut, EQ, Compressor, Limiter, Clipper.
23. Do you have any tips on stereo imaging?
I would recommend panning before stereo imaging but if you want to stereo image try to keep more to the high mids and high freqs to avoid too much phasing otherwise you can lose your sound in mono if you stereo image bass and low mid.
24. What’s key to creating your own sound?
It’s quite difficult to create a sound, you need to be consistent. It has taken my years and it still developing. I think my sound comes from the sounds I select and my own mixing style. I think the key is to use a few ‘signature sounds’ over and over in a key tracks. Listen to Tommy Trash for example.
25. When producing how many synths do you layer usually?
I usually only have one top synth and a subbass. Try to make it sound big with the least sounds possible is my theory.
26. How do you get your kick sound so deep and low?
It’s about picking the right kick and making sure it doesn’t clash with your subbass. EQ your subbass above you kick and you should be able to get your track nice and loud!
27. How did you make the bass in Noxu?
Was a patch from sylenth with ALOT of processing, Distortion, Saturation, EQ and so forth.
28. How did you make the drop in Kukatu?
It’s a percussion sound pitched down. Then I duplicated it and stereo widened it as a second layer, Added some reverb a bit of EQ. Really changed the characteristics of the original sound.
29. What do you to do prevent the mastering limiter to compress the track too much?
Use something that really light. I like to use the T-racks Clipper and have it really softly clipper or not at all. Turn down the track if it’s too loud. It shouldn’t affect quality too much!
The following questions are answered by Ivan Gough:
30. How did you get connections to Size Records?
I know Steve quite well from the last few years working with Axwell.
31. What’s your favorite reverb plug-in?
IK Classik Reverbs
32. Do you get your samples from sample packs like Vengeance or get one and play around with it?
Both. We have been grabbing some old and some new samples. Layering sometimes.
Disclaimer: I changed some questions and answers slightly.