New Year, New Sound.

As creative people, we’re constantly striving to improve ourselves and be at the top of our musical game. Each year, we set new resolutions and goals, sometimes — let’s face it — in vain. So for this first blogpost for the year, I wanted to share some handy practical tips that can help us be better producers and musicians in 2017

1. Clean your computer

 Your computer is your instrument, so treat it like one. Make sure it’s well taken care of. Upgrade your drives/RAM at the start of the year, and get a diagnostic check done to prevent any future failings. Clear out the junk that’s weighing it down. Delete presets you hardly use, archive old projects, and free up disk space on my system drive. (As a rule of thumb, I always have at least 30GB free of space on my system drive.) I’m a big fan of Hazel, a utility app that helps take care of my mac’s housekeeping automatically.

2. Customize your keyboard shortcuts 

Key to my personal production workflow is custom keyboard shortcuts. I’ve created all kinds of custom Logic shortcuts, from creating and renaming markers to zooming to toggling between snap modes. You can check out my five favorite custom Logic shortcuts here, but I also encourage you to think about what actions you do most often and create your own personal shortcuts.

3. Have a backup system in place 

I backup my projects daily to ensure I have minimal downtime in the event of a crash. I use Splice Studio to backup all my projects for safekeeping as well. Additionally, I have a 4TB hard drive that I use to backup my laptop weekly.

4. Collaborate more

Most of us producers work alone, but collaborating with another musician can lead to amazing things. Seek out a producer who’s adept in a genre you aren’t or at an instrument you don’t play. The Splice Community is a great place to start looking for a collaborating. Search by DAW or Genre and pick a project that you’d like to work on.

5. Play around with some new toys

Instead of using your usual go-to plug ins, how about try new ones to color your sound in a new way? New toys don’t have to break the bank. Our plugin store has a whole host of free plugins. Or, if you’re willing to spend a little money, check out Xfer Record’s versatile synth, Serum, which you can buy for just $9.99 a month.