In a time where the year 2020 seems to have very few bright spots, there has been a boatload of new music to help power us through these uncertain times with Man Cub’s stellar debut album Impressions being one of the true standouts so far.
Calling Enhanced Music its home, the Albuquerque-based talent’s 13 track offering is an emotionally-rich musical journey that showcases his transformation as a multi-faceted producer and is sure to make a lasting impression on the electronic dance music community for anyone just getting introduced to his name.
“This album was an exploration of what I could do musically by embracing my influences rather than fighting them, and trying to develop myself as an artist in the process. Many of these songs are genuinely very personal, so it’s also a small snapshot into this time of my life. Hopefully, my music resonates with some people out there.” Man Cub explains.
Fresh off the release of his biggest accomplishment as an artist to date, Man Cub has taken the time to share a few of his essential production tips!
Check out Impressions in its entirety and his list of production tips below.
1 – Limit your sample and synth choices. Curate only your favorite packs/samples into one organized folder and stick with them for a while. This will also help you develop your own unique sound as you begin to save original sounds & sounds you’ve modified. Limitation and simplicity is huge for creativity – at least for me. When my options are limited I make quicker decisions and allow myself to be creative. The same goes for synths and synth patches. Find the ones you like, make a folder of them, and stick to your favorites – modify as you go. Infinite options only complicate things and lead to overthinking.
2 – A) Music-wise, quarantine has been a really good thing for aspiring producers. There’s a handful of great artists/producers that have live-streamed a production session or done feedback sessions. Go learn everything you can from them on Youtube/Twitch – techniques, workflow, plugins, etc. B) I’ve watched Avicii’s in the studio session a million times and it never made me any better. I think the best way to learn is through practice. Tips and tricks are important but eventually, you just have to take the training wheels off and find your own way. You’ll learn more and you’ll train your ears to hear what needs to be fixed. It takes a lot of hours making music to get really good at it – no two ways about that.
3 – Listen to other genres, including classical music and jazz – it’s good for your musical brain. Watch a movie, or a show and listen to the score. You’ll likely hear a theme or progression or groove that you’re not used to hearing. That could be the starting point for your next song. Especially chord progressions. It doesn’t have to be jazz, just something outside the realm of what you normally consume or produce. If you’re constantly drawing from the same wells of inspiration, things will always sound the same. Don’t plagiarize, but inspiration doesn’t come from anywhere.
4 – Produce in multiple genres and learn to play an instrument. There’s no replacement for the musical knowledge that comes from playing instruments. I’m not great, but being able to grab my guitar or sit at my keyboard and play around does something different for my creativity. I don’t always need to use them, but it can help. Producing in multiple genres will teach you a lot – both musically and technically. Kudos to you if you’re the best one-trick pony in the game, but eventually you’ll get bored, and so will your fans. And if you’re like me, you love all types of music, so it’s fun to do anyway.
5- Alright I’m gonna shotgun whatever else comes to mind. Reference your tracks against your favorite producer’s tracks until the cows come home. Learn the frequency spectrum really well so you know where to cut/boost to get the sound you want. If you’re making dance music, it’s all about the drums. They have to sit right in the mix and need to sound great. I’m still trying to find my own lane in the music world and create music in my own space that’s uniquely me. That’s way better than being the next whoever. But also much harder to do.
To check out more production tips, click here.
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