How to Enhance Your Creative Process Using the Production Pyramid

This is a guest post from Nicholas Di Lorenzo of Panorama Mastering and Cassandra Zko of ZKO Music.  From Sam: Some time ago, I asked the EDMProd Artist Community if they thought that too many producers focus on the technical aspects of a track (mixing, mastering, sonics, etc.) over composition and songwriting.  One answer that stood out […]

7 Resources for Getting a Better EDM Mix

This is a guest post from Dan Comerchero of The Pro Audio Files. Since releasing our in-depth Mixing EDM tutorial, we’ve been putting out a ton of free articles and videos around the topic on The Pro Audio Files and our YouTube channel. I wanted to share some of our most popular articles with you: […]

Stop Using So Much Compression

If you haven’t caught on yet, there’s a lot of bad advice chucked around on the internet. This applies to the electronic music production community as well. In fact, I’ve posted some really bad advice on this website (I’ve deleted A LOT of posts that I wrote earlier on). One common piece of bad advice is […]

The Importance of a Fader-Only Mix (And How to do it)

When mixing, we often think of EQ, compression, reverb, delay, distortion; this plugin and that plugin, this technique and that technique. These are all important, particularly EQ and compression. They’re used to fix problems in the mix, and enhance it. But they’re useless if your mix isn’t balanced. It’s like adding delicious icing to a disgusting cake. You might cover […]

Mastering: Myths, Mindset, and Process

A note from Sam: Last month I sat down with mastering engineer Nicholas Di Lorenzo of Panorama Mastering at a coffee shop in Melbourne. We talked for well over an hour about mastering, me asking the questions, and Nicholas sharing his insight, opinions, and advice. We both agreed that the EDM production community is in need of […]

The Definitive Guide to Automation in Electronic Dance Music

Automation is key to interesting electronic and dance music. Before the software revolution; mix engineers who wanted something to change at some point in the song had to manually move faders and knobs. Nowadays we use automation in modern DAWs. If we want something to change at a given point, or over time, then we can simply draw […]

Habits, Thoughts, and Tips from 12 Highly Skilled Producers


As music producers, we each develop our own set of processes when it comes to creating what we create. We might have developed something unique in terms of workflow, an alternative approach to sound design, or ways to keep the inspiration flowing constantly. Everyone has different thoughts and ideas; thoughts and ideas we can all […]

Mixdown Mastery: Tightening Up Your Mix with ADSR Adjustment


In this video I run through how I like to affect the amplitude of samples in order to clean and tighten up the mix. Although I focus on just a drum section, this technique can and should be used over the whole mix. The odd thing about this trick is that while changing the ADSR […]

Using Saturation as a Compressor in Ableton Live

Compression seems to be a bit of a frightening beast to many people when they first learn about it, and when they first start producing music; it certainly was for me! There are a million guides out there to tell you all about it, but at the end of the day it does one thing […]

50 Practical Mixdown Tips for Improving Your Tracks

50 Mixdown Tips - Featured

Finishing a mixdown feels almost impossible. It can feel like you’re stuck in an endless loop. Why do I even have to do this, you might ask? Well, mixing down a track is just one of the many things required in music production, though more of a ‘technical’ craft – it’s still certainly creative, and […]

Three Different Ways to Compress Drums

Recently we published a post on compression, mainly an introduction to it and the various components of compressors. In this installment of Mixdown Mastery, we’re going to look more closely at the attack and release parameters, and how they can significantly affect our sound. You can watch the video below or read the post (or […]

Reference Tracks: How To Get the Most Out Of Them

“I already know what reference tracks are and have been using them for ages.” This might be you when reading the title of this post. Potentially you might have heard about them before, but never used them. Or, you’ve never heard about them at all until now. Fortunately, I’ve written it for everyone, so you […]

Sidechaining Effects and Adding Atmosphere to a Synth in Ableton Live

One of the most important techniques to learn in music production is sidechain compression. Many people have a love/hate relationship with it due to the fact that it’s often overused, especially by newer producers. Despite this, there’s no denying the fact that it’s a powerful tool to use for being creative and/or improving the mix. […]

5 Tips for Avoiding Ear Fatigue while Mixing

ear fatigue

What is ‘Ear Fatigue?’ Though not a clinically recognized state, ear fatigue generally occurs after listening to or working with audio, especially at high volumes. Some people experience soreness of the ears, but not everyone. The fact of the matter is – mixing with fatigued ears is going to introduce a number of problems. You […]