What I’ve learned in one year of full-time freelance work

One year is a very small milestone, hopefully the first of many, but it was enough to change my perspective on certain aspect of the job. Please don’t mistake this for advice: this isn’t about you, it’s about my personal experience. Also bear in mind that none of the following content refers to anyone or anything in particular, these are just general considerations.

With that being said, allow me to elaborate on my most important findings of the last twelve months…

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Who is The Chemist?

As you might already know, my new album “The Chemist” will be available on all platforms on the 3rd of September 2021. What you probably don’t know however, is the story behind the album and what to expect from it: you have seen the artwork, you have watched the trailer and you wonder “who is that man and why is he so busy making experiments in his lab?…” I asked myself that same question for a long time, so let me reveal something about this gentleman and the music he is going to bring you before the end of the summer…

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Types of Reverb

It’s time to talk about reverbs in detail. We briefly mentioned these wonderful tools when we analysed the mixing template. Reverbs can do a lot for your mixes, and if you produce orchestral music they really are super important. There are two main types of reverb and they usually serve different purposes although we can mix them up and ultimately we can be very creative when using them. It’s also worth mentioning that whilst some plug ins out there (or hardware) can be very expensive, you can achieve great results with inexpensive or free reverbs, so if you are budgeting for a good reverb and are unsure which one you should get you can definitely get a lot done with your DAW’s built in ones in the meantime, or check some of the free ones. Let’s find out what the main types of reverb are…

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The Dos and Don’ts of eq

This is going to stir up some controversy, but you can bet that this is not the usual guide on “how to eq”, this article is different.

I won’t be saying “carve out some 6KHz from your strings, cut 250Hz from the snare” and stuff like that. I won’t, not because it’s wrong but because this is never going to teach you how to eq: all those tips are details, snippets of information and even though they can be useful (in the right context) they leave aspiring mixers with all their doubts, second guessing themselves for days, weeks, months…

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Orchestral Mixing

Yes, it is time to talk about how to mix sample based orchestral works (sometimes referred to as MIDI mock-ups). There is a lot of content about this everywhere, yet people seem to struggle finding something that is simple, easy to follow and that works, so this is it!

Most importantly, some libraries promise a good “wet” sound out of the box which is fair enough, but in reality you need to be able to treat the dry signal correctly because: a) some of the best samples out there are actually dry, b) if you’re blending samples from different companies they were recorded in different rooms, therefore their close mics are the minimum common denominator.

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AI Mastering

“Should I use LANDR or not?….” Replace LANDR with any other machine based mastering service and you’ll get one of the most commonly asked questions among music makers in 2020, especially home studio owners.

I wrote a lot about mixing lately, now it’s time to talk about mastering, what it is, and whether artificial intelligence is a legit tool when it comes to mastering your own mixes.

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Mixing with a plan

This is a very simple guide on how to structure a mix. Getting rid of the clutter is possible if you trust the process and keep it simple: all you have to do is follow these four simple steps each time, at least until you’re confident enough and you can hear what needs doing before you even pay close attention.

The guide below is not just for beginners: it’s for anyone who spends weeks mixing something that should be mixed in one day, i.e. most tracks.

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How to buy Stock Music

After reading this article you will have a clear understanding of what stock music is, you will be able to browse stock music content confidently and find what you really need. I have produced stock music for years and I know how frustrating it can be to navigate a catalogue for hours, entering different keywords, listening to hundreds of tracks that sound all the same. Let me share with you a few tips on how you can make your search more productive.

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