Fresh Beats: Music Production Blogs Digest – Sep 29, 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.

4 Iconic Drum Sounds And How They Changed Music Production

By: Luke O Kelley,

Throughout music history, iconic drum sounds have shaped production techniques. The 60s introduced the Big Roomy Rock sound, exemplified by Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham and later echoed in Foo Fighters’ tracks. Concurrently, Ringo Starr’s Muffled/Dead drums technique, which later influenced the disco era, has been revived in contemporary songs like those by Little Yachty. The 70s Tight & Funky sound, propelled by James Brown’s “Funky Drummer”, can be heard in modern hits like Bruno Mars’ “Perm”. The 80s brought the Gated Reverb sound, pioneered by Phil Collins, a technique still prominent in tracks like Kid Cudi’s “Erase Me”. These influential drum sounds offer invaluable insights for modern producers seeking to craft distinct drum tones. Read more

How to make a lo-fi hip hop beat

By: Arthur Kody,

Lo-fi hip hop, characterized by its relaxed and nostalgic tone, has surged in popularity as the perfect backdrop for relaxation, study, and work. In his detailed guide, Arthur Kody breaks down the creation process of a lo-fi hip hop beat. The steps include: crafting a laid-back drum pattern, devising soothing chords and melodies, adding a mellow bass line, selecting vintage-sounding samples, and arranging the track. Final mastering gives the track a polished finish. Tools like Battery 4, Homage Play Series Kontakt instrument, Drift Theory Expansion, and iZotope Ozone are recommended to achieve the iconic lo-fi sound. Experimentation and personal touch are encouraged to produce unique beats. Read more

How to Make Synthwave? 7 Need-To-Know Techniques 🎵

By: Simon Haven,

Simon Haven’s guide on creating Synthwave dives deep into the intricacies of the genre, a musical style that reverberates with 1980s nostalgia. Synthwave draws its essence from the 80s movies and video games and saw a resurgence after being prominently featured in the movie “Drive.” To craft an authentic Synthwave track, one must focus on elements like choosing the appropriate sub-genre, mastering the 80s drum sound, writing nostalgic chord progressions, integrating arpeggios, and perfecting the arrangement. The tutorial emphasizes the importance of sound selection, especially the use of 80s synths, and offers tips on achieving an organic feel by incorporating live performances. The guide also provides insights into structuring the track based on classic arrangements, while also leaving room for individual creativity. Read more

Ken Scott with John Webber – Conversation about mastering at Air Studios

By: Mike Banks,

In late September 2023, renowned record producer Ken Scott met with mastering expert John Webber at Air Studios Mastering to discuss the intricacies of half-speed vinyl mastering, focusing on the Bowie catalogue. The meeting drew an audience of fellow professionals eager to hear about their experiences and challenges. Scott began his career at Abbey Road Studios, where mastering was an integral part of training for budding engineers, ensuring only quality recordings were forwarded. Scott’s impressive portfolio includes work with The Beatles, Elton John, and Pink Floyd, among others. Webber, known for his extensive mastering work, especially with David Bowie, has also collaborated with artists like Duran Duran, Hozier, and many more. The event was a testament to the evolving art of mastering and the commitment of industry stalwarts to the craft. Read more

Making Max for Live Devices work on Push and Push 3 standalone

By: Peter Kirn,

Peter Kirn’s blog post on CDM delves into the capabilities of Ableton Push 3, specifically its ability to operate Max for Live devices without the need for a computer interface. This advancement is not only applicable to Push 3 but is also useful for Push and Push 2. The key component to this is “live.banks”, which allows users to interface with the Push display. Techniques for Push encoders and display are applicable across all versions of Push hardware. This blog post is part one of a guide series, which will also tackle how to start with Max for Live. Isotonik Studios has collaborated to provide video demos, and they have verified several devices compatible with Push in standalone mode. Read more

How To Get A Super-clean Bass Sound When Mastering

By: Tom Frampton,

In a detailed post, “Mastering The Mix” explains the challenges of mastering low-end frequencies, an aspect many mastering engineers find difficult. The article emphasizes the importance of having a properly acoustically treated studio environment and highlights the role of standing waves in distorting frequency perception, suggesting the use of bass traps to counteract this. Accurate monitoring, the significance of maintaining proper headroom, and the appropriate use of EQ, especially in the low-frequency range, are also discussed. A central part of the article introduces BASSROOM, a plugin optimized for low-frequency sound shaping, providing intelligent EQ suggestions unique to the user’s music, ensuring transparency, punch, and clarity. The article concludes by stressing the universality of low-end mastering challenges and encourages continued learning. Read more

Would You Buy Mastering From a Man Like This?

By: Resound,

The author recounts an incident where content from their website was plagiarized by another mastering engineer. While initially frustrated, the author chose to view the situation from a growth perspective, understanding that plagiarism is a byproduct of making a significant impact in the creative field. They emphasized the importance of trust, reputation, and integrity in the mastering business and shared an anecdote of past exploitation involving a big label. The author advises fellow creators to expect such challenges, suggesting that facing exploitation or plagiarism is a testament to their work’s significance. The post ends with a promotion for the author’s trustworthy mastering services, acknowledging Patreon supporters for their content. Read more

Lunacy Audio’s CUBE Review: A New Shape of Vector Synthesis

By: Kallie Marie,

This review delves into the 3D virtual instrument with a sample-morphing engine. CUBE is built on the concept of Vector Synthesis, introduced in 1986, allowing sounds to move through a combination of crossfades. This tool allows for the crossfading of eight sounds in a 3D space, enabling users to experiment with sound movement patterns and even load their own samples. CUBE offers over 500 presets crafted by top composers and producers, motion presets, and the capability to design unique “orbits”. It also features 13 FX modules and a randomize algorithm. Visually, it uses an OpenGL graphics engine for sound visualization. While CUBE offers a plethora of possibilities and expansion packs, the user interface has areas that may be non-intuitive, particularly around loading personal samples. Despite these minor setbacks, CUBE presents itself as a robust tool for composers and sound designers across all budgets. Read more

Blueprint: Electric Keys Is a New Free Kontakt Player Instrument

By: Producer Feed,

Fracture Sounds has released Blueprint: Electric Keys, a free electric piano instrument for the free NI Kontakt Player. Electric Keys offers the chance to experience the detailed sampling of an original Fender Rhodes Mark 1, combining the iconic sound of this instrument with Fracture Sounds’ well-established modern sampling techniques and atmospheric effects. This is the first instrument in the Blueprint series: an ever-growing collection of free sample libraries for Kontakt Player. Read more

IK Multimedia Releases Pianoverse


IK Multimedia has launched “Pianoverse,” a cutting-edge virtual piano instrument that offers a fusion of world-class piano realism and innovative cinematic effects. Suitable for diverse applications from classical concerts to movie soundtracks, Pianoverse provides users with a vast sonic range, from authentic acoustic piano sounds to atmospheric and creative textures. To ensure unmatched realism, IK’s team meticulously sourced and sampled treasured pianos using a custom-built robotic system that mimics human finger actions. The software also boasts a powerful new engine, customizable performance controls, studio processing tools, unique creative effects, and generative spaces like otherworldly cinematic environments. Initially, Pianoverse features eight pianos, with individual models available for an introductory price of $/€99.99. Read more

Variety Of Sound releases free epicPLATE mkII

By: Carl,

Variety Of Sound has launched “epicPLATE mkII,” a modern rendition of the classic plate reverb. The software successfully captures the fast and consistent build-up of reverb and the distinct tonality associated with plate reverberation, making it an excellent choice for vocals, drums, and pairing with various delay effects. The mkII version boasts an improved user interface, VST3 support, and enhanced processing quality. It’s available as a free download for Windows in both VST and VST3 formats. 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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