What Would You Like To Improve?

Hello guys,

hope you have a great week so far!

Would like to know from you, which one thing you would pick, which you would like to improve…Of course there are tons of things which we could always improve, but for now let’s stick to only one…(can be anything related to composition, production, recording, mixing, etc.)

As for me, I would love to improve my overall “musical-pitch” hearing. Although I am doing music for a long time, I always catch myself that I hear and focus on pitches poorly. As an example: I hear a clear melody (intermediate), but can’t reproduce it on the piano without mistakes (figuring out the intervals quickly). If I just play without thinking of intervals or chords, I find everything quickly, but only because I try. But my inner ear is not great at all, however my “musical-taste” ear is well developed.
Started to take like 15 min a day to train my inner ear, and really start to sing notes properly. Unfortunately there is no short-cut.


I’m not sure about that one thing… Getting back to vocals? Playing cello and/or violin well enough for recordings? Playing and transposing all sorts of chords on the keyboard? I don’t know… I need to work on everything, but OTOH, there are no major showstoppers.

Well, maybe there is one thing, although not very specific: EDM/pop. That’s where I started out, pretty much, but I still can’t really seem to get my head around it anymore. It no longer makes much musical sense to me, so I just get lost and run out of ideas. :frowning:

As for ear training, I’ve never actively focused on that, but I think playing the violin and cello is helping there. Since intonation on these instruments is not an exact science (fingertips are soft, strings are different and sometimes uneven, bowing bends the pitch etc), the only way you can realistically play in tune is to “hear” the exact frequency of each note you’re going to play ahead of time, and rely on training and subconscious motor skills to actually make it happen. If you “hear” the wrong pitch, you play the wrong pitch.


I think the one thing I would like to improve, and which I am constantly working on, are my arrangement skills. This is not just selecting instrumentation, which I feel is okay, but fleshing out a single idea into the whole entity of a track.

I tend to get all comfy and safe once I have an idea and follow tried and tested arrangements that have worked well for me in the past. Even though using templates helps to some extent when that block of where to go next comes up, the safe option nags in my head.

I am getting better and slowly more adventurous and it is the old adage of the more you do the better and easier it will become.

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I want to get better with virtual instruments as a whole. I’ve been in music for 30 years but virtual instruments about a year and I will admit that I am struggling.

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What part of virtual instruments do you struggle with? Adding expression, emotion, modulation, articulations? Or recording the parts with your MIDI Keyboard or writing notes in the sequencer?

I struggle the most with recording midi with my keyboard using Logic Pro and making it sound good using modulation , expression, and articulations. For example, most of my music is for concert band. Therefore, if I am trying to record a flute part I want it to sound like a flute part. I may be overthinking this midi thing Mike. I have watched so many YouTube videos that I think I have confused myself.

Another thing that I struggle with is mixing techniques. For example, I can’t listen to music (a midi track) and know that it needs a certain EQ here, or compression there, or delay, or a multi-band compressor would be best here. Again, I have watched a lot of videos on the subject. But I can’t wrap my brain around when to use what production tool.

Hi @jonnelson1988,

I would suggest that you don’t overthink the production process. The music industry is completely different today as it was back then in the analog world. You were either a musician, a recordist, a mixer, etc. the people were doing only one thing, and they were great at what they were doing (they had focus). Today as technology became much cheaper, people can do anything they want (and call themselves whatever they want). However, this is what people forget, that you need to invest a lot of time, to learn a new topic to become comfortable at it. So at the end of the day, too many processes are in your head, and the consequence can be the wrong focus.

The most important rule is: you need always find a way which will serve your music. If you hear your track, and you feel it’s done, then it’s done and you move on. You don’t need an EQ on all your tracks. You don’t need to compress everything. Sometimes you think you have to, but actually the music won’t benefit from it at all.

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:

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I believe that you are absolutely correct. That is what I did not do- spend time to learn. I spend too much time watching videos and not enough time making and recording and learning my DAW and virtual instruments. I have decided to change this philosophy.


Yeah, at some point you need to do it, practice it and explore yourself rather than looking another “how to video”, which you already know. You need to find a good balance for yourself. This is important, as you can really fall into kind of “depression”, why certain things doesn’t work as you like. Most likely it’s because you watched too many videos rather than practice the most important things: why do I need to eq, why I need to compress, why I need to make this automation move, and so forth. It’s completely irrelevant in the beginning to ask: “Why is this guy using a 1176 and not a 610-Limiter”…

Focus on the most important things: Balance, EQ, Compression, Automation. Everything else is just “sweeties” on top of the cake. I saw a masterclass in mixing, and it was really about “mixing”, so balancing, EQing, and not using weird effects because it’s “cool”…

It’s crucial to understand what you really need, and what is 2nd row…

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