"As a drummer for close to two decades I know a thing or two about syncopation and writing drum patterns for songs, so that’s while I’m telling whoever reads this to please turn off any kind of quantization or “grid snapping” while writing beats, and here’s the reason why. When writing drum patterns (specifically hi hat patterns) turning off any kind of “snap-to-grid” feature will give you drums a much looser and more realistic sound, drummers aren’t robots, we can’t stay 100% on beat all the time. It’s also worth mentioning that this will make your drums sound more unique than most other producers.
Another small piece of advice I can give is to make use of your send and return channels, especially when sidechaining. For instance if you enjoy sound a good sidechain effect gives, try sending everything but the snare to a send channel, put whatever plugin you use for sidechaining on that channel, route it so that your kick activates the sidechain effect, and mess with the knobs on that plugin, this is going to save a lot of CPU as opposed to sidechaining every individual channel. Most importantly have fun, most of my songs are the results of happy accidents, RARELY do I deliberately do something in a DAW (aside from EQing and compressing)."
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