Uncommon Ways To Make Your Mix Stand Out with Randomization
Sometimes the best sounds are the ones you can’t predict
Predictability is a plague in music. It’s not uncommon to listen to 50 songs these days and each one just blends into the next.
You can’t remember which is which anymore. They all sound the same and you see every new element coming from a mile away.
Sure, DAW software has made it easy to lay down a track in no time. But a DAW can cause some pretty predictable patterns and often puts tracks into a rigid, boring box if you’re not careful.
The best way to save your mixes from a bottomless pit of predictability is to add a random element.
Un-predictability is what makes good music stand out from all the generic tracks out there cluttering up the feed.
Some of these tips may seem a bit strange to some producers. But music never shines unless you take a few risks—try everything once right?
Here’s 8 best ways to make your mix stand out with randomization.
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TURN UP THE RANDOM KNOB
Even though computer music can seem like the least random thing you can do, there are actually tons of ways to get some interesting random effects ‘inside the box.’
Try randomizing an LFO by choosing the random waveform shape in your DAW. Or grab some free VST plugins with randomization features.
There are also tons of great little tools out there for generating random elements. Like Illuminated Sound’s Random7 MIDI note generator or the Autchords chord randomizer.
Seeking out the random element at every step of your process will help your tracks to sound more organic and engaging to the listener. So wherever there is room to randomize, try it out.
But what may seem like a major screw up can actually be the element your song is missing. In fact, lots of famous records have mistakes in them on purpose.
All it takes is a keen ear and an open-minded approach to your workflow to find the gold. Listen to every “mistake” multiple times and ask yourself: Is there something here worth keeping?
Sometimes the element your song is missing is lurking in your subconscious. Mistakes are often that subconscious trying to get out. Without listening to your mistakes you’ll never be able to unlock it.
So pepper in a few mistakes here and there and sooner than later you’ll realize that there’s no such things as mistakes—a fact that will improve all your productions by miles.
FIELDING THE WORLD
Unless you’re some kind of wizard that can see the future or control minds there’s nothing more random than the world around you.
Field recordings are a perfect way to add a nice random layer to your tracks.
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