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Made By Pete shares 5 tips to step out of the comfort zone

Born and raised in London UK, Made By Pete is an artist who can count mavens of the electronic music scene like Damian Lazarus, Keinemusik, Sasha, Black Coffee, and Pete Tong as big fans of his sound.

Photo Credit: Khali Ackford

 After cementing himself as one of the finest producers and DJs around, his work has been snapped up by taste-making labels such as Crosstown Rebels, Flying Circus, and The Soundgarden to name but a few.

2023 kicked off in style with the critically acclaimed ‘Horizon Red’, featuring the beautiful vocals of Zoe Kypri on Crosstown Rebels, which has garnered huge attention globally from DJs, radio, and fans alike with the live performance video going viral with millions of views.

Having just performed at a fabric London’s Crosstown Rebels show this past May, Made By Pete is now behind his Blue Marlin summer-long Ibiza residency.

To celebrate the release of ‘Horizon Red (Black Coffee Remix)’, Made By Pete shares 5 creative studio tips to step out of your comfort zone in the studio.

1. Don’t be afraid of instruments

I’m not a musician, not even close, but I do own quite a few instruments. Don’t be afraid of things you can’t play. In a studio environment, no one hears the 50 takes that didn’t work. Instruments make sound and sound can be manipulated to become other things. Buy second-hand. If it’s bashed up and sounds a bit off, then even better. Perfection is boring, I’m looking for those little moments in between perfection that have character.

2. Record your own sounds

This follows on from the first point… we all have access to the same sample libraries and VSTs, but making your own unique sounds from scratch can be really rewarding. A good mic is a studio essential but a handheld field recorder or even your smartphone can do a great job too. There’s so much sound out there in the environment waiting to be captured.

3. Get to know your gear

We all love to splash out on new equipment but having hundreds of plugins stored on your computer can be unnecessary and confusing. Dive deep into the tools you have and really get to know them. Once you understand how to use them properly, you’ll get so much more from them. Spend a day focusing on one tool and see how much you can get out of it.

4. Use acapella’s to guide you

I make a lot of vocal records and I will often start with an acapella from a song I really like. I use it to build the melodic framework of my track and work out an arrangement.

Once I’m happy with the demo, I remove the vocal and start sending the instrumental out to vocalists and songwriters that I want to work with. This gives space in the arrangement for a vocal to sit. It might not end up being the final arrangement, but it gives a good starting point.

5. Change your approach

I often have times when I struggle to finish new music. When this happens, I step back and change my approach. Instead of trying to write full tracks, I focus on exploring sound design. I dive deep into a new instrument and really get to know it. I end up building a new library of sounds and pre-sets that I wouldn’t otherwise have found. Naturally, I stumbled across something that inspires me to write a new track. Sometimes that happens quickly and other times not, but that’s okay. The more you explore the more knowledgeable you become, and you end up with an extensive sound pallet that you can draw upon when the time comes.

Made By Pete’s ‘Horizon Red (Black Coffee Remix)’ is out now via Crosstown Rebels. Purchase your copy here.

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