DA Studios: Chus & Ceballos’ Top 5 Tips for Improving Your SoundChus Ceballos 8 DJ

DA Studios: Chus & Ceballos’ Top 5 Tips for Improving Your Sound

Chus & Ceballos' Top 5 Tips for Improving Your Sound

For the latest edition of Dancing Astronaut Studios, we shift our attention outside of North America for some international production tips from Chus & Ceballos. The Spanish duo are known for their classic Iberican sound, with prominent techno and house releases on such venerated labels as Toolroom Records, Defected and more. Between the two of them, Chus & Ceballos offer five fantastic tips for burgeoning producers on how to improve your overall sound.

Check out our previous editions from Henry Fong, DallasK, Sandro Silva, and Chris Lake for more production tips.

1. Keep it fresh

“It’s very important to finish your tracks as soon as possible.  When you spend too many hours or days working and listening to the same track, you lose the sense of what you’re doing and you get tired of the original elements that made it good. With that same philosophy in mind it’s very important to write the track and pick your sounds at the first stage, don’t burn your ears doing any mixing or mastering at the beginning.  Keep all of that for later, do the most important creative part when your ideas and your ears are fresh. On a similar note, the first listening of the day is crucial.  Take notes of what´s wrong and fix it.  Never master or finish a track after a long session, wait to give it the final touch the next day when your ears are fresh.”

2. Humanize your beats

“In order to have interesting beats, try to make them more human.  Program your own drums live, use the takes you like the most and then don’t quantize things 100%.  Between 50% and 80% should be enough, and sometimes try to not even quantize. Try to use live percussion samples or record them if you have the chance to work with a percussionist.  There’s nothing like the real thing to bring your drums to life. Some DAWS and samplers have randomize parameters, use it smartly on the timing and you will see that your drums get more interesting and less boring. Try to move things out of place with the delay parameters (except the kick).  Perfection in the groove is boring, if your hips move, leave it out of place :)”

3. Keep it simple

“Today it’s very easy to add tracks and tracks to your arrangements, but if you analyze your favorite music most of it’s very simple and uses very few elements. Less is more.  When you have too many tracks the message gets confused, the mix gets messy, it’s difficult to understand on the first listen and you have less dynamic range and worse mastering. Try to use as few elements as possible and try to make those elements as interesting as possible. Regarding plugins: it’s very easy to get lost with hundreds of new plugins. That’s a mistake; you’ll get better results when you know and perfectly master ten plugins than using too many.”

4. Collaborate with other people

“Music is sharing. The best way to grow as a producer and to learn new tricks and different ways to work your DAW is to collaborate with other people. Music is a never-ending learning experience. You can always learn new stuff from other people, even from the ones you least expect.”

5. Invest in the acoustics of your room

“We’re sure that most of the producers have talked about how important it is to have good monitor systems, but it’s even more important to have good acoustics in your room. You will have better results on your mixes if you spend some of your budget on getting proper acoustic treatment by a professional than if you spend all your money on the most expensive monitors or an extra hardware unit. Acoustics and monitors first, the rest after.”

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