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Reznik & Mikesh share 5 creative production tips

It was pretty much at the end of the last century when Reznik dragged his record boxes into a nightclub for the first time. He was living in Leipzig at the time, and the city’s vibrant and elaborate underground scene for electronic music had a big impact on his mindset.

In 2019, he started a collaborative project with long-time friend and kindred spirit Good Guy Mikesh with key releases on Keinemusik, Permanent Vacation or 2MR. He strives for DJ sets that draw on groove and on soul (not necessarily the musical genre, but the spiritual entity) and go wherever they need to go. Be it the route of (Indie)Disco and Synthwave or the New York- and Chicago-informed contemporary house course. Main thing here is that it moves you.

Now, fast forward a few years, and the Keinemusik crew member once again teams up with Mikesh for the pair’s ‘One More’ EP.

To celebrate the release of  ‘One More’, Reznik & Mikesh share 5 production tips:

1. Listen on a couch

Sometimes it can help not to be distracted by all those technical aspects of a track. To actually listen and review what you’ve done, you don’t have to stare at the playhead of your DAW. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself tweaking that equalizer again and get lost in minor issues while losing the bigger picture.

In the end, it’s music, a steady stream of sound and emotion. You might want to get away from the gear and relax on a couch. Well, our couch is a hammock and it’s swinging nicely to the grooves. And yes, once you got that good swing or hang respectively, you are allowed to get up and change that one thing that you might have missed.

2. Switching between projects

You know THAT situation. Working on a track for hours and listening to the same passage over and over again because you want to get it right. But the longer you stick with it, the more you seem to lose connection with the material. Next time you get the feeling you’re losing momentum with a track, try switching to another project you’re working on. As soon as the flow comes back, switch back again.

3. Try to get rid of the grid

Quantization is an essential tool when it comes to producing club music, no doubt about it. The beats need to be on point, so the DJ can do his/her thing and elements within a tune need to be in order somehow so that you won’t lay down a six-minute-long sonic trainwreck. But still, perfection can also be boring to a certain extent, and incorporating minor rhythmic flaws or arrangement fuck ups bears creative potential and can make a track sound more human and vivid.

4. Don’t force it

The process of making music is not like coloring by numbers or doing your taxes, it does not follow a rigid course of action that you just can work off. Creativity depends on so many factors, that, sometimes, it’s beyond your control. Mood, inspiration, or even luck and chance. If the muse won’t show in the studio, don’t wait for her. Just clear your head and maybe when you come back to the desk, she’s already waiting for you. We usually go for a combination of getting a coffee and some table tennis to take our minds off things.

5. Mid/Side magic

To exactly explain how it works would go beyond scope here, but you should definitely have a look into Mid/Side techniques. Mid/Side enables you to manipulate audio in its mono and stereo parts independently and gives you enhanced control over your mix. Especially when it comes to equalizing, this can be very neat and you’ll probably end up with a tighter mix. This also works with compressors or reverbs. You will need a plugin that supports it though, but Mid/Side features can be seen more often in DAWs and plugins lately.

Reznik + Mikesh’s ‘One More’ EP is out now via Keinemusik. Purchase your copy here.

Follow Reznik: Facebook | SoundCloud | Instagram | Spotify
Follow Mikesh: Facebook | SoundCloud | Instagram | Spotify

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