Top 10 Music tips

How to Add to Library in Apple Music

Liked a song or a curated playlist on Apple Music? You can easily add it to your library by tapping on the + icon next to the song that’s playing. Tapping on that will only add the song and not the entire playlist. To add the entire playlist to your library, tap on the Add button with the + icon on it at the top of the playlist. That’s where you can see more details about the playlist itself. Whether it is a song or a playlist, if it is already added to your library, you will see a cloud icon with a downward-facing arrow. Tapping on that will now begin the download.

Make any bass under 130Hz monophonic

This is done for three reasons:

  1. to avoid phase cancellation in the bass frequencies (see number 12).
  2. Because club and venue sound-systems have the bass in mono anyway.
  3. Because sub bass is omni-directional, meaning you can’t really determine where it’s coming from anyway.

How to Add Family in Apple Music

You will need an Apple ID and an Apple Music family subscription before you can add family members to Apple Music. That’s because Apple Music is tied in deeply with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. Tap on your profile name or iCloud settings in the Settings app to find Set Up Family Sharing option. Follow the on-screen instructions after that to set it up. Once the family sharing has been set up, open it again and this time, tap on Add a new family member. Follow on-screen instructions after that and you are done.

How to Fast Forward in Apple Music

There are two ways to rewind and fast forward songs in Apple Music. Open the Now playing area where you can view song playing, album art, and other options. One way is to use the slider to move forward or rewind a song quickly. Another way is to tap and hold one of the two arrow buttons there. The right arrow will fast forward while the left one will rewind. Tap on it once to change songs in the playlist.

Create a radio edit in the same DAW project

This is a pro tip for those who need to provide two mix-lengths of a track (e.g. a 5 minute version for club DJs, and a 3 minute version for radio). If you have two separate sessions, tweaking the main mix in one means you then have to open the radio edit project and manually repeat the same changes. Keeping the radio edit in the same project as the club mix (just further along the timeline) means that any mix tweaks are automatically applied to both versions.

Make use of grouping and bussing

Try grouping (or bussing) similar tracks together and processing them as one channel, e.g. group all the drums into one channel, then apply compression and EQ to that whole group to get a cohesive “gelled” sound.

Keep a copy of your arrangement session before starting the mix down

You’ll naturally mix anyway as you compose and arrange, and once or twice my dedicated mix down hasn’t sounded as good as when I was arranging! In these cases, you can always open the original session and work out what was better.

Highpass filter "almost" everything

This is because bass frequencies take up a lot of headroom in the mix, and can very easily make a mix “muddy”. Most recorded sounds have some bass information - even hi-hats and claps. If you add a high-pass filter to pretty much every channel, you can raise the EQ frequency threshold until only the information you want remains. Quite often, rogue bass information won’t be audible, but it DOES effect the final mix (a good way to check is to use a spectrum analyser).

Look out the window for a really long time

The small room that I make music in has a skylight in it. The view is quite limited—just a small blue square with the occasional cloud, bird or airplane. But I think I’ve learned more about my own process from that small blue square than any guide, walkthrough, or manual could ever teach me. It lets me think clearly. It doesn’t even need to be a window either. Just something silent to stare at. Like a tropical aquarium, or a nice piece of art. These days you have to actually rip yourself out of the hyper-fast distractions that are constantly there (computer, cellphone, etc.) to find some quite silent time.

Once you do you’ll get into a way better space to write some songs.

Do you think Brian Wilson composed ‘Good Vibrations’ while he was replying to an email, ordering an Uber, checking his plays on SoundCloud and tweeting about the weather at the same time? I don’t think so.

Use Siri as a HomePod translator

Wondering how to say something in another language? Wonder no more – Siri can translate English to French, German, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin. Simply ask, "Hey Siri, how do you say [word] in [language]?" to expand your vocabulary.