This week on Bass Camp, I break down the dense 2 hour Master Class from none other than JAUZ. He dropped a ton of knowledge in the lecture, and would definitely recommend watching it end to end here:
I tried to boil down the lecture to a list of digestible takeaways I got from the lecture and I tried to divide them into sections. But the fact remains that he covers a whole lot more in the full lecture and goes on a few tangents so forgive me if I missed something, mis-categorized a tip or failed to go chronologically.
PS: If the WATCH links don't take you to the correct position in the video, try right clicking and open them in a new tab or new window.
Here are the 20+ tips and takeaways:
INDUSTRY TIPS & GETTING STARTED
1) You have to get told no enough times to realize the problem is yourself @ 8:00 [WATCH]
Early stage producers tend to have a chip on their shoulder and blame external factors such as a corrupt music industry for their failures. Jauz suggest that failing a lot will wake you up to the fact that the failures are YOUR fault and the only thing you need to do to stop failing is improving your skills and keeping up the hustle to constantly improve. You will eventually achieve success with this mindset
2) No shortcuts shortcut @ 10:33 [WATCH]
Jauz notes that his peers that made it in the industry (NGHTMRE, Kayzo, Slander) are the ones who really make it are the ones fully dove in and were grinding at ICON every single day. He mentions he only slept 2 hours a day during this period and was working every other waking moment possible at getting better at his craft. His advice to up and coming producers is "work harder than everyone around you" and that the straightest path toward your goals is not taking shortcuts and working your ass off.
2.5) The birth of the JAUZ Brand / Finding your Brand @ 17:21 [WATCH]
3) The most dangerous thing is worrying about writing a song that will be your next big single @ 22:31 [WATCH]
Jauz had 25 finished songs before he ever launched the Jauz project. He released a song every two weeks from this bank of tracks to avoid being stressed out while writing new tracks. This doesn't mean you need to take this approach, especially if you are still in the learning stages of production and aren't at fast turning out tracks, but it highlights the importance of finding a way to relieve pressure to release in order to create better music (whatever that may look like for you).
4) After releasing "Feel The Volume", he was advised to not to play ANY shows for 8 months to build hype @ 24:39 [WATCH]
Jauz took this advice, and when he started playing again attendance at his live shows skyrocketed and his project grew even faster.
5) Don't seek out your team (manager, agent, etc), especially if you don't need them yet @ 26:04 [WATCH]
Jauz didn't search for any members of his team, they were either his friends who were grinding their asses off alongside him from the get go or they came to him with something to offer once his project showed promise. He suggests that you put out music on your own and manage yourself until you can't possibly handle the load anymore. When the day come that you need extra help, the right people will seeking you out and you can pick the ones that feel the most natural.
6) Don't judge yourself against ANYONE (bigger OR smaller than you) @ 29:12 [WATCH]
He highlights the importance of staying in your lane and doing what feels right to you with your project. This doesn't mean don't aim to outwork your peers, as he does also suggest that you should "work harder than everyone around you". But it does mean you should not be getting down on yourself because you aren't as successful as that producer over there, and also shouldn't get hyped because you are bigger and farther along than that other producer over there. Stay in your lane, work hard, and focus on your own vision. He mentions that the class "Art of Flow" at ICON is what helped him open up to this ideal artist mentality.
7) You don't need fancy gear and software to be successful @ 44:43 [WATCH]
Jauz personal studio consists of 4 inch monitors, no sub (mixes the sub in headphones), a couple of midi keyboards, an AKG mic (most expensive piece of equipment in his studio), and a soundcard. He mentions he feels comfortable in his own studio and that is the most important thing for him.
8) Create more human feeling midi clips without tweaking velocity (in Ableton) @ 1:07:17 [WATCH]
He used a cool Midi Effect in Ableton called "Add Some Random". Can be found here: Midi Effects-> Velocity -> Add some random
9) Why FabFilter ProQ3 is his go to dynamic EQ @ 1:13:11 [WATCH]
Jauz explains how he uses it on his Bass Synths and gives a somewhat indepth breakdown of the plugin's function.
10) Mixing / Mastering Tips:
- Referencing older versions of his track against new changes to insure constant improvement. He doesn't say he does this explicitly, but if you watch from the timestamp and you will see he has a couple of versions of the track file in his project for reference. This is a great way to ensure you don't ever head to far in the wrong direction in the final mixing/mastering stages of a track. Find this @ 1:18:13 [WATCH]
- Jauz doesn't use analysis charts or any fancy metering plugins. Mixing can be a lot simpler than many people make it. Its mostly just volume battling between channels. He goes off of feel and trusts his ears. Find this @ 1:18:45 [WATCH]
- Everything in mixing is mid-range, its where everything lives and its where you have to start making decisions [See Bass Synth Layering Section Linked Below]
11) BACK UP YOUR SHIT! @ 1:20:41 [WATCH]
Jauz tells of a day he woke up and his new computer wouldn't turn on and he lost everything.
12) Kick Processing @ 1:23:36 [WATCH]
Jauz finds the fundamental freq of the kick and with that the "note" of the kick, then tunes it to the key of the track. He mentions that pitching down a kick removes high freq information, so you'll need to process some back in. Its up to you to decide if a kick needs to just punch or also needs sub information (based on how you write your drop). He also goes over multiband transient shaping (tweak until it feels right).
13) Bass Synth Layering and Processing @ 1:32:37 [WATCH]
- In his track, he lets the "lower volume" layers have all the high end, let the "higher volume" layers have all the mid range
- Make a simple original sound into something much more lively and full with post processing. Jauz says he uses the same preset as a source between multiple songs, but post-processes it differently @ 1:35:32 [WATCH]
- Mentions he uses Bass Master Plugin for the sound he is showing
- Uses a big tight reverb on the entire Bass Group to gel the whole drop together @ 1:42:12 [WATCH]
- Uses large subtractive cuts at the end of his Bass Group with a dynamic EQ (the key to making your stuff sound way better) @ 1:43:01 [WATCH]
14) Erosion is your best friend if you work in Ableton @ 1:38:06 [WATCH]
Makes things that don't have high end have high end, you'll see the best results used on sounds that are very heavy in the lows and mids but don't have any or very little high end
15) Jauz's go to Saturators @ 1:40:23 [WATCH]
- Ableton's Erosion
- Trash -> Fuzz -> Smooth Positive or Negative
- Ableton's Amp, dials in the dry/wet to taste
- Ableton's Overdrive (uses to compliment Amp, and more for coloring than saturating)
16) Vocal Processing @ 1:46:27 [WATCH]
Uses Vitamin (by Waves) one of his best friends for Vocals (Lead Vocal1 or Lead Vocal2 Presets). Brings life into any vocal he throws it at
- Uses ANIMATE (by MasteringTheMix) to add a little more sauce to the mix
17) Creating a Send Rack on a single track @ 1:51:22 [WATCH]
Add reverb via a "Bus" on the channel using Ableton Racks. This is the same as sending to a return track, it just lives on an individual channel. Jauz says he likes to do it this way so you can get more creative with the effects (sidechaining, for example, which is tough to do on a return track if you have multiple elements being sent to it).
18) Mixing in Ableton @ 1:56:36 [WATCH]
Don't worry about the Master output level as long as you're not clipping like crazy. You can clip the individual channels as much as you want in Ableton, as long as you slap a utility (or something else to turn the level down) on your master to turn everything down before it hits the final output.
19) Invest in yourself and believe in your vision @ 2:02:43 [WATCH]
20) Work hard and push through it in the beginning. You are learning how to be fluent in another language @ 2:07:01 [WATCH]
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