Photo credit: Marie Staggat What began as a challenge to fight creative stagnation, soon grew…
AFFKT’s album ‘The Big Picture’ brings together all the best feelings and elements of the Spanish producer’s creativity into one cohesive release. This will be his most expansive and multifaceted electronic-driven album to date – bringing new concepts and styles after a forced pause.
In the first single, ‘Let it Burn’, AFFKT joins forces and creativity once again with Sutja Gutierrez (The Fruhstucks) as a vocal guest. The release includes a dub version plus a remix of the single by Santiago Garcia, and it will be out on June 16th via Mobilee.
Based on his musical experience, today AFFKT shares 5 useful tips to apply in the studio.
1. Use a paper notebook for your ideas
Perhaps you might think it is an old-fashioned idea, having a paper notebook at hand, where you can write your ideas and all kinds of feelings that come to your mind, is really useful. First, because when you are back in the studio it is easy to go back and remember the great idea you had. For example, during lunch. Not only that but also you find that when you write things on paper you are normally being more aware of your own thoughts. I normally use a couple of pages for every song I write.
2. Practice some sports before going to the studio
Doing sports is good for everything, not just for music, and I have realized that the best songs come after practicing sports. It helps me to feel relaxed and get the right mood to dive into my musical world. From my point of view, it is better to have 2 inspirational hours rather than 5 without getting in the disposition. I personally really enjoy practicing yoga, which is probably the best exercise you could practice before doing music.
3. Properly select the ingredients of your songs, and bring them to the next level
When I work mixing other people’s music at Pobla Studio, many times I have the feeling that tracks that could be conceptually interesting are sometimes not well ‘performed’ or produced as their sounds/ingredients are not properly selected. To tune the kick with the bass is a good example of this. A quality song is the sum of great sounds, so spending the right time to choose and work on them until you get the very best of every individual element will make a difference.
4. Start building your track from the main break (which I personally like to call the ‘Onion Building Technique’)
In the past, my way of work was to start building the track from the beginning to the end. Once I was sure I had a nice loop, I was slowly building it and adding elements, taking out some of them, etc. I sometimes realized while I was working on the main break and drop that the song needed a more interesting leitmotif, which meant that I had to rethink the song from the beginning; otherwise, the first part would be a bit empty. What I do now is to first work on a good loop and an interesting idea, and then build the main break with some of the elements of the loop, so that it has some continuity and coherence. Then I build the drop right after the main break, and I start building to the sides completing the track to the end on the right and to the beginning on the left side.
5. Let your music breathe
Like the good wine, your music will get better if you leave it to mature for a while. Don’t listen to it for a week or so, and then try to listen to it with fresh ears. Listening with an objective point of view, like if the song were not yours.
On the other hand, try to listen to your work with as many different speakers and places as possible, including headphones, and use your paper notebook to write your thoughts. I usually find it very hard to be satisfied with my own music, but this way I naturally reach a point where I feel it’s time to stop working on the song.
‘Let It Burn’, the first single taken from AFFKT’s upcoming album ‘The Big Picture’, will be out on June 16th via Mobilee Records. Grab your copy here.