Production brick wall

Hi guys,

I hope you are well and that you’ve had a cracking weekend! Firstly let me say a huge thank you to all the team at S.A. for creating this amazing site and for allowing a complete novice like myself gather more info in 9mths than I could have EVER done if I’d tried to go it alone… :smiley:

Okay, so I’ve been working on this track over the last couple of weeks and I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. I think it sounds okay arrangement wise but I just need some advice on how to make it sound more polished!

I’ve tried looking at the bass, compression and reverb tuts, but my head is crammed so full of all this amazing knowledge from the other vids that it just doesnt seem to sink in! :crazy:

So I was wondering if you guys could have a listen and try and advise me on what you think it needs…

Anyway I hope you like it and look forward to chatting with some of you!

It’s called Rhombus and “should” be on my signature at the bottom of this post :slight_smile:

Put more variation in the drum patterns along with more percussion. Your bass notes are to long, put more variation of notes and bass pattern on your bass.

Start small



Down size


Over all good idea for track, just work on it.

yo dude, great stuff for 9 months!! Solid arrangement and i like the use of vocal samples.

i’ll echo what Chernob said but in addition:

  • Run that bass through some LFO rate automation - has some dubsteppy-like potential
  • perhaps layer the bass with a further synth to add some more texture to it. then split it at 200 Hz or so and add some amp distortion/saturation/overdrive to the part above 200Hz - will bring it to life.
  • also a bit more panning of instruments and in general, bring out more top end on most bits.
  • Some stereo width would go a long way to fattening out the overall sound

    Hope it helps!

Cheers for the feedback guys!!

I’m still new to all of this so my head goes fuzzy when you start talking about LFO and splitting it at 200hz though. :blink:

I’m using Sylenth for the basslines, what sort of settings would I need to use to create the effect you are talking about???

Also when you talk about bringing out more top end are you talking about EQ’ing the highs more?

ok in terms of LFO’s and EQ’s…

Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO) is something you can use to augment a sound. basically its a very low frequency sine (or other type of) wave, around 20Hz that is applied to your sound. Since it’s around 20Hz, the human ear doesnt hear it directly but instead you hear the effect it has on the sound its being applied to. Its actually a form of frequency modulation.

A major example of where it is used is in Dubstep (but you also hear it less directly on almost every genre of electronic music). You know that wobble sound that goes up and down in a dubstep bassline, that’s an LFO. So basically as the sine wave is being applied to the main sound, the main sound moves up and down with the pulse and structure of the low frequency sine wave that’s being applied to it. make sense?

using Sylenth1 specifically, i think there are 2 LFO sections to it. basically the setup is to choose the wave type, choose the destination parameter (the thing that you want to make “wobble” - typically filter frequency but experiment with modulating everything) and the LFO rate (how fast or slow the sine wave moves) and gain (the amount of LFO being applied)

The bit about splitting at 200Hz - that’s to separate the low end of your bassline (which you dont want to effect too much and you want to be mono) from the rest (which you add sparkle and effects that create stereo width such as delays).

In terms of adding top end, yes i am referring to either giving the higher frequencies of the sound more oomph or adding further harmonics to the higher range. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • An EQ for sure - ideally you REMOVE frequencies around the point that you want to “expose” - this enhances the brightness of that region OR you can directly increase the region that needs more high end energy. Bear in mind that increasing EQ actually increases the noise floor of the sound but definitely experiment with both! In Sylenth specifically on that centre panel there is an EQ effect, just tick that and play with the settings till you hear something nice. Also try using the EQ that is bundled with your DAW externally to Sylenth1, compare the two.

  • Add harmonics by adding distortion, overdrive or amp simulation effects. On the bassline specifically, try adding these to that 200Hz+ range. Again sylenthhas options as does your DAW for this.

    Hope this helps!

Thanks for the detailed explanation Dorond, I almost made sense of what you were talking about! :wink:

I’ll give that a go later on and let you know how it goes…

Oh by the way, I had a listen to the tracks you have on Soundcloud and am very impressed. Maybe one day I’ll be able to make something that flows as smoothly as that.

How long have you been producing for, is it a hobby or do you have some sort or musical engineering background?

thanks dude! It just takes time, trial-and-error and lots of research.

I highly recommend (in addition to Sonic Academy), (buy all of their books and DVD’s, you wont regret it!) and

i been doing it as an amateur for ~2 years, definitely hope it becomes a career!

Up till now its just been self-learning and experimentation.