Ben Rau originally fell in love with house and techno in his late teens losing himself in the music and exploring his deep-seated passion for electronic music through self-expression – namely, raving. He spent many years on dancefloors back home in Germany and in the UK. As time went on he became more involved behind the different scenes, progressing from the dancefloor to the decks and into the studio. With such a strong foundation, an unerring passion for his craft, he continues to garner the attention of tastemakers and clubbers alike onto the global stage.
Ben Rau is about to release a new EP ‘Out There’ on his label INKAL/META. Today he shares 5 useful productions tips when you are in the studio.
1. Leave judgment at the door
When you enter the studio leave judgment at the door, what does that mean? Have you ever noticed how you can work on an idea and you are really excited about it, but the next day you come back and it sounds pretty average? Your own perception of your work can change on an hourly basis from thinking “It’s a hit” to “I’m useless, this is awful”. What does that tell you? It tells you that you are a poor judge of your own work, my rule of thumb is if you were excited about it at some point it’s worth finishing, let others decide if it’s a hit or isn’t. Most artists that are successful will tell you that they never thought that their hit record was going to be the one. So leave judgment at the door when you enter the studio and finish what you started, that’s the way to becoming a great producer.
2. Don’t wait for inspiration, show up every day
A lot of people will tell you that you need to feel creative to go and work on some music and if you don’t feel creative don’t force it. That’s non-sense creativity is triggered by sitting down and starting, show up every day, put in the work and inspiration will strike sometimes early, sometimes late. Once you start more ideas will follow, that is how it works. Pros know this and amateurs wait for inspiration to strike, but the muse will only kiss you when you are worthy of her affections, and that is when you sit down and do the work.
3. Don’t bother going to workshops or watching tutorials
A surefire way never to finish any work is to go to workshops and watch tutorials online, did you ever hear of anyone that does a tutorial channel on Youtube that has gone on to become a successful artist? Neither have I.
Going to workshops feels good, you meet like-minded people and you might learn something new but the danger is that it can be become an emotional crutch, it feels like you are being creative but you could have spent that time finishing a track, the best way to learn is to collaborate and let that shake up your process, everyone works differently so collaborating is an infinite source of learning and you will actually finish some music.
4. Never start from scratch
I never start with a blank slate, why make things so hard for yourself? Pitch the percussion and drums differently, write a new bassline, add a new lead sound and within minutes the old project will be unrecognizable, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel every time and the plus side is you get a recognizable sound. You’ll finish more tracks and actually reuse parts that will most likely stay the same like a 909 Hat or a great Kick sample, focus on adding new stuff that’s actually creative rather than spending hours doing work you already did in the last track.
5. Road test your music and tweak arrangements
The ultimate test of your work is if it does the job, will people dance to it , do they have an emotional reaction , how does the arrangement work , is the break too long what else does the track need? These things can only be tested on the dancefloor. Road test your music and play it for a few months and perfect the track before you send it out to be signed. Chances are that it isn’t as good as it can be yet.
Ben Rau’s ‘Out There’ will be out September 13th. Pre-order your copy here.