Dutch-bred and now Aruba-based EDM machine Maarten Vorwerk is well-known behind the scenes for being involved with a lot of Beatport chart-toppers. His jump-style/hard-style roots come through in the festival bangers he’s been creating which led Laidback Luke to name him as his favorite producer of 2013. Here are Maarten Vorwerk’s five production tips to give you faster workflow in the studio!
CPU LOAD + SAVE YOUR PLUGIN CHAINS AND SIGNATURE SOUND
If you experience hard disk clipping during your production process:
Make an archive of your audio samples in your project folder. This is an option most DAW’s have. After that it’s gone!
Make sure you save the individual mix settings on the sounds you love or bounce them as audio so you can use them again in future tracks. This helps you to keep improving your mixing since you will always be starting where the last track ended. This also helps to create your own signature style.
WORKFLOW + ALWAYS DO SOMETHING NEW
I always get a lot of questions about workflow. I can only speak from my point of view about this subject. And actually I guess it works differently for everybody else. Anyways, I don’t have a standard way of adressing a new track. They are always different. Mostly cause of the fact that I have and want to produce in different styles.
Always try to do something you have never tried before in each track you make no matter how small it is. It keeps you evolving and learning at the same time. The creative process can be extremely annoying as well as rewarding. To project something that is in your head into your DAW can be very difficult and time consuming. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff out. See what happens if you make two of the weirdest insert chains and link them together.
SET UP COLOR-CODED ARRANGEMENT FIRST FOR FAST WORKFLOW
First try to set a logical arrangement for the track.
Then try to fit everything altogether sounding like a complete track.
After that It’s all about
– Cutting stuff away (less = More). So don’t keep adding things!!!
– Mixing, mixing, mixing
– Make automation for a more natural feel and more control.
– Making effects to mask poor transitions
– Making your track Tight.
– Cut off the tails of effects and sounds which blur to much with other stuff.
– After that Check, Recheck, Check and Recheck again and again.
– Test it in your car , headphone, club, homestereo etc…
Set an arrangement for the track. I always use color-coded blocks that tell me at which part I am in the song. That way you can easily shift between the parts in your track. You won’t have to waste time looking where you put your build-up or bridge etc. Also if the record company wants a different arrangement of the track it’s much easier navigating this way.
Making music is like cooking. It’s all about the chef and not the kitchen. No matter where you live or how poor you are. It’s still posible to make that one hit in your bedroom. All you need is a good idea which will define you and make you stand out against others. The rest will follow automatically!
See what triggers your inspiration. A beat, a melody, a sound, a drop, a vocal. Take the first thing that inspires you and always work around that and try to make that as finished as possible. Usually the rest will follow automatically. The track I’m working on now started with the break. I made the layers. Bass, synths and top end. Arranged it properly so that it has a nice start and build up to the drop. I didn’t had any ideas for the drop so I first made some beats which I thought fit the breaks well.
While making the beats you’ll form an idea if this is becoming a harder or more progressive type style track. So that narrows the type of drop you are going to make as well. If you finished the drop then you’ll have a whole track in essence. During the making of the sounds and beats you already start to mix a bit cause that gives you a better idea if it will work or not.
As of now the total idea of the track has to be solid and should already be playable in the clubs more or less. But, after this the hard part starts. This is like the last 10% of the track but takes up the most skill and time.
Be sure you have enough inspiration before entering the studio. The biggest hits are always laid down in a couple of hours and are always created in some kind of zombie flow (you know what I am talking about). If you don’t feel inspired do something else. Go to the movies, play sports, take a walk, have sex, whatever.
MUSIC BUSINESS PRO TIPS
Whenever someone tells you “This is our standard contract” you know you have options! Do business with common sense. And make music with compassion. Never mix one with the other!Photo above is a Maarten Vorwerk interview for ADE/EF magazine Aruba. Which can be found here here
You can read how to speed up your workflow over here