Arrows Of Attention: 20 Production Prompts

Make a beat with a generic-sounding kit then add effects until it sounds enchanting.

Make an effects rack that turns any tuned sound into ambience.

Truncate percussive sounds until they are tiny slivers, all attack.

Make a huge template with every instrument you enjoy using.

Design/finesse the sound to the point where it’s irresistibly playable.

Work with the first sound that makes you go, hmm.

Be parsimonious: if one track uses three effects,
those are the all the effects the entire piece will use.

EQ before drastic volume changes.

First commit to 3-5 distinct yet complimentary sounds.

Once you have a few tracks, re-sample each one. (Now you have a few more.)

Make the loop point seamless.

Find alternatives to fidelity. (And alternatives to lo-fi.)

Is quantization necessarily stiff if there’s looseness somewhere else?

Try alternatives to bass lines. (Or bring a bass up an octave.)

Long tones let pointillistic percussion show through.

Scale up what you improvised–there’s a lot there!

Move onto the second part only once the first part is emotionally moving.

Three ways of transforming what you already have:
additive transformation, subtractive transformation,
and dimensional transformation.

Play the right rhythm now, fix its notes into the right pitches later.

The perfect chord is often a semitone away, so don’t be afraid to edit. 

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