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Rodriguez Jr. shares 5 tips to be productive in the studio

Photo Credit: Rebekah Dobbins

Whilst some follow trends, others set them. Award-winning music producer and live performer Rodriquez Jr. also known as Olivier Mateu has spent 20 years in the industry, with his vast experience of all genres of electronic music making him the visionary of melodic house and techno he is today.

Adding to his impressive discography, Rodriguez Jr. now presents his remix for Harry Romero & Jessica Eve’s ‘It Hurts’ which is out now via Crosstown Rebels. Today, he shares some of his most important creative tips for music production:

1. Time in the studio is never wasted time

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Go into the studio no matter what and begin. Inspiration comes while working. As you work you learn and this opens up your ideas. Time spent in the studio is never wasted time.  The most important thing I’ve learned in 25 years is that hard work always pays off.

2. Commit 

It’s important to commit and make decisions while working on a track. You should not be afraid to print ideas, effects, EQs … and take decisions, constantly creating a new base for the following steps. The decisions you make are the backbone of your production. There are so many possibilities in the studio, a million plug-ins, so many options that you easily find yourself overwhelmed and lost. You must make choices, define a palette and incorporate your decisions into the creative process. Otherwise, you risk the ‘never finished’ scenario which is so discouraging.

3. Know Your Gear

You must be fully familiar with the DNA of your equipment, go to bed with your manuals, and read them carefully. We have all seen and admired the pictures on the internet of studios stacked to the ceiling with equipment, however, I really believe it is better to have a few machines which you know inside out like an extension of yourself than to be surrounded by gadgets which are just taking up space and mental energy.

4. Hardware vs Software 

As a result of the above 3 tips, I have come to the conclusion that I work much faster with hardware samplers than with software samplers. Hardware samplers force me to define my sound signature. They are very limited, you can’t browse endlessly through sound libraries, you have to carefully select a sound and commit to it. It’s a much more intuitive way of working. Also, they have a lot of sonic character, especially when you push them beyond their limits: old hardware samplers really give flavor and create great accidents.

5. Structures 

Try to begin your project with a melodic element, texture, or chord structure (unless you’re making a rhythm-based creation) this will allow you to define a kind of sonic story to tell, and then each element will find its place and you will know when something doesn’t fit. It’s limiting to just begin with a kick drum, open up your field of possibilities before the kick drum comes in.

‘Harry Romero feat. Jessica Eve – ‘It Hurts’ (Rodriguez Jr. Remix)’ is out now via Crosstown Rebels. Stream and buy here.

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