Fresh Beats: Music Production Blogs Digest – Oct 13, 2023

Welcome to a new edition of Fresh Beats!

Every week, we gather the most interesting articles from music production blogs all around. We hunt down everything from the latest production techniques, new trends in the industry, informative interviews, to detailed gear reviews. So let’s jump right in and see what’s been going on this week.

Music Production

Mastering the art of vocal layering: a step-by-step guide

By: Arthur Kody,

The blog post is a comprehensive guide on mastering the art of vocal layering in music production. Written by a seasoned top line producer, it discusses the significance of thought process and detail in creating a balanced, emotionally impactful vocal stack. The post breaks down the vocal layering process into six main steps: starting with a high-quality lead vocal, creating vocal doubles for width, adding harmonies for depth, layering in background vocals for texture, applying effects like reverb intentionally, and finally mixing these layers to fit with other instruments. It emphasizes the need for experimentation and highlights various tools like iZotope RX for cleaning vocals, iZotope’s Vocal Doubler plugin, and Vocal Colors Kontakt instrument for creative sampling. The post also integrates sound samples for demonstration and recommends best practices for a well-balanced mix. Read more

Effectrix2 – A Massive Upgrade For Sugar Bytes’ Real-Time Audio Manipulation Tool

By: Fab,

Sugar Bytes has released Effectrix2, a substantial update to its original Effectrix real-time audio manipulation plugin. The new version features a 32-step effect sequencer with swing and dynamic length, 14 advanced effects, and up to 12 complete setups within a single preset. Notably, Effectrix2 allows for flexible modulation per step and has intelligent randomization options with varying intensity levels. Users can also reorder the signal flow of the effects. The Looper effects come with new capabilities such as swing, pitch changes, and decay. The plugin is priced at $129/129€ and is compatible with macOS 10.13 or higher and Windows 7 or higher. Read more

Breaking writer’s block: A producer’s guide to sparking inspiration

By: Joshua Jacobs,

The blog post offers comprehensive advice for music producers grappling with writer’s block, exploring both psychological and technical remedies. Written by experienced producer Joshua Jacobs, the piece breaks down the issue of creative stagnation into various forms and causes, emphasizing that solutions are individualized. It offers five main categories of advice: 1) Use different starting points like altering a work-in-progress or using samples. 2) Deconstruct something familiar as a way to inspire new work. 3) Have a backup plan like organizing your sample library or creating track templates. 4) Write your track in chunks, allowing for more manageable, modular creativity. 5) Try the obvious yet overlooked tasks, such as setting a consistent routine and removing distractions. Jacobs complements these tips with his own methods and links to further tutorials.. Read more

Finding Your Sound: Strategies for Developing a Unique and Memorable Style as a Producer

By: Tom Frampton,

The blog post emphasizes the importance of developing a unique and memorable style for music producers in a saturated market. It advises against using generic plug-in presets, stock synth patches, and popular commercial sample libraries, urging producers to customize their settings, create their own synth patches and samples, and experiment freely. The post also advocates for the reuse of successful signal chains and effects from old songs to create a signature sound. While it suggests learning from established producers, it stresses the importance of putting one’s own spin on their techniques. Overall, the article underscores that audio production is a limitless creative art, and encourages producers to forge their own path for long-lasting success. Read more

What is Looping in Music? 9 Tips For Using Loops, Loop Recording and More 🎙️🔴

By: Simon Haven,

The blog post delves into the concept of looping in music production. Looping refers to the repetition of a segment of audio, a technique commonly used in modern music. The post provides a comprehensive guide on various aspects of looping, including its definitions, how to create loops in popular software like Ableton Live and FL Studio, and advanced techniques for editing and manipulating loops. It also covers live looping and overdub recording. The post stresses the importance of not merely inserting pre-made loops into a project but rather taking the time to edit and manipulate them for a unique sound. Simon encourages readers to go beyond the basics to develop their own sound identity and creativity. Read more

Cymatics Releases Deja Vu FREE Time-Warping Effect Plugin

By: James Nugent,

Cymatics has released Deja Vu, a free time-warping effect plugin compatible with Windows and macOS digital audio workstations. The plugin offers three time-stretching modes—1.5X, 2X, and 4X—that are particularly useful for creating breakdowns in genres like Pop and Hip Hop. Users have control over Loop settings with nine unique time divisions and can adjust Fade In/Out durations and sound mix with Smooth and Mix controls. The plugin is versatile, suitable for various genres, and particularly effective for creating cinematic effects. It allows for targeted processing within a song and offers an easy way to maintain tempo while altering an element’s speed. Read more

GForce Introduces Oberheim OB-X — Limited Launch Sale!


GForce Software has introduced the Oberheim OB-X, a plugin that emulates the iconic 1979 synth used by renowned artists like Queen, Prince, and Paul McCartney. While retaining the classic hardware tones, the plugin expands the original’s capabilities significantly, offering up to 16 voices in various modes, a host of new modulation options, and over 400 production-ready presets from multiple sound designers. The plugin features a powerful preset browser for efficient workflow, and it includes advanced options like X-Modifiers, a vintage control for analog imperfections, and multiple built-in effects. Suited for a variety of genres, the Oberheim OB-X offers a modern twist on a classic instrument. Read more

Minimal Audio’s Current is a powerful soft synth – but producers bemoan subscription-only option

By: Emma Wilkes,

Minimal Audio has faced backlash for its decision to offer its new synth, Current, solely through a subscription model costing $15 a month or $10 a month with a yearly upfront payment. Touted as a “unified sound design ecosystem,” Current features five sound engines, numerous modulation options, and expressive MIDI effects. Despite its impressive capabilities, users on social media and forums have criticized the subscription-only approach, citing high long-term costs and competition in the market. Some have called for an alternative permanent license option, drawing parallels with Waves, a company that reverted to plugin sales after negative feedback on a similar subscription model.Read more

Groove Synthesis released 3rd Wave desktop

By: Noizefield,

Groove Synthesis has launched 3rd Wave desktop, a robust wavetable synthesizer featuring 24-voice polyphony and 4-part multi-timbral capabilities, essentially providing the power of four independent synths. It offers three types of oscillators per voice: classic PPG-era wavetables, high-resolution complex wavetables, and analog-modeled waveforms. Users can also create up to 64 custom wavetables through its built-in Wavemaker and even convert samples to wavetables. The unit is priced at approximately 3,999 €. Read more


Top 5 DJ Hacks w/DJ Ravine and Ben Bristow

By: Greta Flores-Trevino,

Ben Bristow and DJ Ravine team up to discuss essential hacks for elevating DJ performances, addressing issues like equipment failure or forgotten cables. The hacks include: 1) BPM Entry Technique, which improves tempo setting on the mixer; 2) Roll & Sample Technique, allowing for mixing with a single deck; 3) Digital Out & In, enhancing sound quality with a single RCA cable; 4) Cue Button Workaround, an alternative for setting cue points; and 5) Instant Doubles, which allows for quick track duplication. These hacks aim to make DJs more resilient and effective, irrespective of their experience level. The post concludes by promoting Point Blank’s courses in Music Production and DJ Performance.Read more

The 6 Types Of Gigs Musicians Can Expect To Play

By: Bobby Owsinski,

The blog post categorizes gigs musicians can expect into six types: Local Shows, One-Offs, Fly Dates, Mini-Tours, Full Tours, and Corporate Gigs. Local Shows are convenient, hometown gigs often used as warm-ups for tours. One-Offs are single shows involving some travel time, while Fly Dates are high-end one-offs that usually include flights and short stays. Mini-Tours last from two dates to a week and are inefficient but desirable for their short duration. Full Tours extend beyond a week and can last up to several years, especially for major acts. Corporate Gigs are lucrative private events for companies, increasingly accepted in the industry for their financial benefits. Read more

YouTube Music DOES Use Loudness Normalization… but not much ! (Yet)

By: Ian Shepherd,

The blog post discusses the loudness normalization on YouTube Music compared to the main YouTube video platform. While many believe that YouTube Music doesn’t use loudness normalization, the blog clarifies that it does but to a lesser extent. Specifically, YouTube Music reduces the loudness of songs only if they exceed -7 LUFS, compared to a more stringent -14 LUFS level used by other platforms like Spotify. The post posits that this could be YouTube’s approach to maintain song-to-song loudness relationships, as YouTube platforms don’t support “albums.” The writer advises musicians to master their music at levels that sound best to them, rather than aiming for specific LUFS targets, as standards may change over time. Read more

Take It Easy

By: Recording Connection,

In Bloomington, Indiana, community radio DJ Amanda Hutchins hosts the Reggae Children show on WFHB, highlighting the importance of local journalism and community radio. Hutchins found her passion for radio in grad school and loves curating thematic music sets, particularly in the reggae genre. WFHB operates as a nonprofit, funded by grants, sponsors, and community donations, allowing a wide range of musical freedom and authentic voice. Hutchins believes that community radio serves as a vital support network, promoting local businesses and creating a sense of community legacy. Despite some locals yearning for a larger, more diverse setting, Hutchins finds Bloomington’s music scene deeply enriching. Read more

HAAi Picks Her Top Tracks

By: ericadmin,

HAAi, the popular tastemaker, producer, and DJ, shares her top tracks in an interview at CRSSD Festival. She discusses her favorite records, including recommendations from Chapter One Records and her friend VTSS. She also mentions her personal connection to Neneh Cherry and Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories.’ Check out the full interview to discover HAAi’s eclectic taste in dance music. Read more

Female artists and AV blockbusters at Tehran Contemporary Sounds

By: Peter Kirn,

Discover the Tehran Contemporary Sounds festival in Berlin, featuring female composers and electronic artists from Iran. The festival aims to showcase an alternative reality where Tehran is an open capital like Berlin. The lineup includes a diverse range of artists who communicate through their music, transcending language barriers. With a largely female lineup, the festival presents a vision of a freer Iran and region, as well as a freer Germany and Europe. Explore the festival’s Instagram page for more information and to listen to the sounds of the participating artists. Read more


Hope you’ve found these articles insightful and inspiring, sparking new ideas for your own music production journey. Be sure to tune in next week for another round of fascinating posts from the music production blogosphere!

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