On producers and tumblr...

There were times I pondered why I kept this outdated blog and didn't just move all my shit to tumblr. Then I would visit tumblr, see all the mindless reblogging at work, and wonder why I didn't delete my tumblr and get back to meaningful, deep-thought blogging. I'm pretty sure the fulfillment of writing one serious blog (with actual paragraphs!) exceeds that of 20 micro-blogs.

Le sigh. Now I feel like I'm living example of Nick Carr's newest thesis . . .


Anyway, I'm doing the radical and DELETING MY TUMBLR. Only a handful of my followers were people I actually knew anyway - not that I mind random people following me - I just think that blogging should warrant thought that produces actual comments (not just high-fives and reblogs) and I don't see tumblr being that. In other words, "scratch the surface, and you get more surface." In my six months blogging on tumblr, only 4 entries were worth reposting here. It's depressing how much non-self-reflective time I've wasted.

That said, I don't think micro-blogging is completely useless since we live in such a nanosecond obsessed, link-nested culture. I think there's a benefit in mixing the two, which I'll try to do here. But the real reason I got to thinking about this "deep-blogging" business is because I wanted to write thoughtfully (and long-windedly) about music production and came to the conclusion that tumblr was totally the wrong medium. Which to me is ironic, because few things should feel off-topic when blogging.

But I'm still avoiding the point.

Music production. Producers. Composers. Great ones. Electronic DIYers. It's becoming more obvious to me how to distinguish the good from the great just by listening. This is a useful skill for DJs because we live and die by our track selection as much as we do our mixing chops. It took me a while to realize that good dance music is more than just banging, predictable melodies and beats. It's also about good musical synergy - and I'm not talking about mashups (although mashups deserve a dedicated blog in themselves) - I'm talking about the effort that goes into mastering and producing a track before it ever smashes the dance floor. All the sidechaining, ducking, filtering, and EQing that makes certain tracks "pump" and "drop" harder than others . . . these are not just niceties, they reflect the difference in how much the crowd goes all-out because our brains notice and outwardly respond to them.

Still, if you've read any of my previous blogs you probably predicted this post coming, considering my lovesick, gaga over producers. But oddly enough, it was because of my increased appreciation for dubstep and drum & bass that I really started paying attention to production at the level of compression and mastering that I've described above. I guess when you're hearing other-worldly squelching noises and all that sub bass, you're forced to think about music production differently.

One producer who continually impresses me with his genre range and production technique is English dnb kickstarter Sub Focus. Maybe it's because he draws from so many influences, but his tracks, both arrangement and productionwise, are frighteningly good. The clarity at which you can hear any one individual music stem at any one time is jaw-dropping. There are a lot of amateur and practiced producers that don't do layering and ducking as well as Sub Focus, and you can hear it, albeit subtly, in the EQ competition. Even his remix of Rusko's dubby "Hold On" has that elemental clarity that makes each instrument sound ridiculously crisp.

With all these bedroom producers on the electronic horizon, I think sound production techniques are going to get better and better, where the big-wig oldtime producers are soon going to be learning from these young, up-and-comers. To me, that's really exciting.

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Meet the Author

Hi, I am Julie.
Sometimes Jules Juke.
This is where I ramble, reflect, and refocus.