Fresh from landing a stunning new four-track EP on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul, Spanish journeyman Dosem shares five invaluable production tips to help you progress in the studio.
1. Learn to unlearn: When I start the creation process, I try to focus on conveying the message I have in mind, without overthinking the mix or the final result. The most important thing is the music itself and the general sensations of that rhythm or melody. Learn to unlearn and to be much more impulsive and enjoy improvisation. After many years of making music, it can be challenging to get out of preconceived routines or thoughts. But many of the songs I’m most proud of came out almost by accident and pure improvisation.
2. Find the right sound environment: When it comes to mixing, it is essential to have a very reliable reference system and headphones that you know well. Studying and learning to modify your workspace to achieve optimal acoustics is the key. For me, a definitive game-changer was the Sonarworks Reference system. I like to master my songs, which is why before I send them to the label, I listen to them in as many different places as possible. Another element that I control a lot is the volume while I am producing. It is crucial to avoid ear depletion and take a break every once in a while. If a song already sounds good at low volume, it is a good sign.
3. When it comes to mixing, less is more: A proper equalization can save a mix with many sounds, but the key is to work with fewer elements and learn how to position them in the sound space. I like to use EQ and Compression creatively and experiment with the Mono / Stereo to provide a presence to aspects of the song that would otherwise sound very muted. I also work a lot with different distortion plugins to give synths and drums more character. I always leave the work on the kick drum at the end, since its sound properties can change a lot during the whole mixing process.
4. Focus on the tools you already have: Something that I have learned over the years is to avoid the accumulation of plugins I barely use. As I travel regularly, I have a reduced version of my studio workflow on the laptop to create quick ideas. Having fewer resources allows me to focus on researching and learning the tools with more depth. Later I listen to them after a while, and I can choose with many more criteria what ideas I think have more potential and inspire me for a complete song. I transfer them to my main computer and finish them there in more detail. When I’m not inspired for a new track, I just create my own sound libraries to use it later.
5. Dosen’s favorite tools: Some favorite tools of mine at the moment: NI Maschine, Monark, Driver, Guitar Rig, Replika XT, Omnisphere, Spire, M1, Arturia Jupiter-8, Fabfilter Pro- L, UAD Massive Passive, Bax EQ, Moog Multimode Filter, Fairchild 660/670…
Dosem’s ‘Evidence’ EP is out now on Truesoul. Stream and buy here.