So you might have gotten some pretty cool toys to play with. Maybe some new samples, a new guitar, or a new microphone.
For the next few days, you might be making some amazing music. Everything sounds fresh and new. Whatever you record turns to gold.
But a week later, maybe a month later, maybe even a year later – if you’re lucky – things start to sound old again. You fall into a rut and start making mediocre music again. So you go looking for the next tool to make your productions shine again.
I like to call this period the “honeymoon” phase – the time where everything sounds great. But don’t be too quick to move on from your “old” gear – learn the secret to making your new tools stay in the honeymoon phase for much, much longer.
The secret to extending your honeymoon phase and making great productions for much longer periods of time after purchasing some new tools is this: learn what the knobs, features, buttons, and tools really do. If you’re getting a virtual instrument, don’t jump straight for the presets – learn what each of the controls really does so that you can create as many sounds as you can imagine.
If you’re getting a mic, try it in a bunch of different rooms on a ton of instruments and voices to learn what it really sounds like. This way, you’ll be exposed to a lot more sounds than if you jump straight for the presets and standard applications.
And in the long run, you’ll be happy you did this. Presets are limited, but the combinations you can achieve by actually creating your own patches is seemingly unlimited (not really, but there are a lot of combination possibilities).
So try to extend the life of your honeymoon phase and make better productions with your new toys!