Published April 26, 2022
Do you think your music should sound better?
In this episode:
The production mindset
The open and closed mindset
Creativity in music production, and the creative head-state
Mixing tips and tricks
EDM gain staging
James' project: 3rdeye:
James' project: Lost Inventions:
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Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.
Transcript (auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error):
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome to the Production Talk podcast with me, Yarn, of mixartists.com.au. In this podcast series, we celebrate the modern way of producing music. We want to talk about all things related to songwriting, recording at home and music production. So, if you produce your music at home, this is the place to be.
Please subscribe and recommend this podcast to all your friends.
This is the production talk podcast episode 40.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome back to the production talk podcast. Before we continue with part two of the interview with James Lyall, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land that the following interview was recorded on, the Arakwal people of the Bundjalung nation and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Thank you for tuning in again. Today is the second part of the interview with Mr. James Lyall. And, uh, we are changing the subject today, away from all the technical aspects of MIDI. And we are talking about mixing. We're talking about the creative mindset, the obstacles in mindsets, things that make it difficult to overcome with perfectionism, the good and the bad and lots of amazing stuff. You will see there's something in there for everybody. And to me, uh, a lot of it made So much sense and James has got this amazing ability to put it into such simple words. And I just couldn't explain it any better. So I hope you are as excited as I am about the second part of the interview with Mr. James Lyall, let's cut straight to the good stuff here.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Look I'm if that's okay with you, I'd like to change the subject a little bit and talk about mixed down. Look mixed on is my special field. I do a lot of it, but it's mainly with music that has been recorded through microphones, you know, acoustic instruments or sometimes electronic instruments, of course, but.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And what I find is that the traditional linear workflow of first recording at all, and then editing it all and only then you go into mixing and only then you go into master, you know, these separate workflow, uh, steps or milestones, if you want to call it. So they are pretty much still alive in the productions that I usually deal with.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: But in EDM it's quite different, isn't it? Because you know, it mixing happens right. Production stage and the transitions are blended or blurred if I may say so a lot more. What a diff what difference does it make for you? You know, do you do sometimes struggle to focus on one element? Can you really, you know, put on your, your mixing hat and only fix a focus on mixing without going back into editing notes?
James Lyall: So fantastic question. Um, it's it is one that comes up a lot when I'm teaching. So for me, it's one of the struggles of working in the box as an electronic music producer is having to. Constantly all the way throughout the production process switch between one of two modes of operation. Right now we can get quite deep on this, on a psychological level if you want.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Go for it.
James Lyall: So, um, creativity and, um, how the creative brain works is something that has been explored for many, many, many years now. Um, one of my sort of biggest sort of influences on a creative level is John. Uh, both because I'm a massive Monte Python fan from age, whatever, you know, when I started watching that stuff when I was a kid, but also because he released a phenomenal, um, phenomenal, um, it's not like, like an interview.
James Lyall: It was like a workshop that he did for, uh, I think it was a Norwegian management company. It's on YouTube. Again, you can, maybe you can put this in your, in your show notes, but basically it's a, it's a half an hour, sort of 40 minutes sort of discussion of creativity in management. But he really sort of taps into a lot of very, very useful, uh, sort of creative theories or ideas that will benefit anyone that's making anything creative.
James Lyall: Um, so one of the sort of biggest things that he touches on is the fact that how basically when it came to sort of trying to understand. Creativity on a deep, psychological level. People can have gave up trying to do it, uh, or, or trying to work out actually what creativity is because even after years and years and years of studies and research, it's very, very, very difficult to define what creativity is and where it comes from, because it's so unique from person to person.
James Lyall: Um, but one of the biggest concepts that he put across is this concept of working in one of two modes of operation. When you're making things. Now, this could be ideated stuff. It could be, for example, trying to come up with a script for a movie, it could be trying to write a song. It could be producing a techno track in Ableton from start to finish, but basically he states, um, that your brain goes into one of two modes of operation.
James Lyall: All the way throughout this process, depending on what it is you're doing and how you're feeling. And he defines them as open and closed mode. So open mode is what he defines as the sort of creative space that this sort of creative head space, where you're not really pressured by any external factors, like time or, you know, sort of anything that might sort of interfere with that creative process.
James Lyall: You're not feeling stressed out. You're in a, almost like a blissful state of play, you know, almost like childlike is the way that he described.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Brainstorming would be
James Lyall: Yeah, like brainstorming. Yeah. So where you're not really focused on a set objective, you're just more sort of enjoying that process and just exploring and seeing what comes out.
James Lyall: And that's usually me. When I sit down to write a track, irrespective of what genre is, I'm trying to go into a state of mind where. Pressured by anything and the outside world doesn't exist. Okay, cool. So once you're in that little space, you generally find that things start to flow. You need to be sort of free from external distractions.
James Lyall: You know, I live by myself, so that's awesome. Uh, I've got no, no housemates to worry about sort of distracting me at the moment with distractions myself. Um, and really what that means is I'm able to sit a zone in and just focus on, on, on just trying to capture my own imagination and capture a vibe. Of course at some point in the, in the creative process, I'm going to run into something that maybe doesn't sound right.
James Lyall: Okay. And this might happen very early on what I'm still trying to focus on. Just getting ideas down and sort of focusing on capturing some sort of vibe a moment in time. If I start to stress. You know, eating a snare drum or, um, sort of compressing something. Or if I start to get drawn down some sort of technical rabbit hole, what CLIs hypothesizes is that that actually pools your brain of that mode of operation and starts to actually activate a different part of the brain that works very, very differently.
James Lyall: And he calls this closed. So after years of teaching and after years of exploring my own, really messed up creative brain, which I still don't fully understand, but I'm getting better at it. I've really sort of had this greater awareness of how important it is to be able to control that switch between the sort of playful, um, non-stressed sort of open mode, which is where all your ideas are gonna come from, but being able to switch back and forth between that and the analytical close mode at the touch of a button,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, yeah.
James Lyall: To me is the key of, of, of, of getting into this state of creative flow is being able to decide if something doesn't sound right. Do you leave it and just carry on, focus on, carry on and just focus on getting the ideas down and that sort of create a flow state. Because there's always a danger that if you start to sort of think about that kick drum IQ or whatever too much, that it's actually going to completely pull you out of that creative flow state and you're going to end up becoming stressed out.
James Lyall: And that's another thing that cleans states is that with that closed mode, this is also accompanied by, by various different psychological factors, such as anxiety. Uh, you know, if you've got a pressing deadline, Right. And you've got an essay due at five o'clock and you haven't started it yet. Yeah. The stress of that imp impending deadline is actually going to shut your creative creative drive down because you're stressing because you're, you're in this state of anxiety, it actually forces you into this closed mode state.
James Lyall: Uh, and I definitely find that for me, that having an understanding of that has, has made it easier to get stuff down and not let the technical side interfere with the creative process. Right. But as you say, You mix, as you go in the electronic realm, if you're making, um, sort of, you know, music in the box, you have to get really, really good at being able to do little things that start to address the mixdown early on without getting stuck donor and ETQ, um, and queuing a snare drum rabbit hole, for example.
James Lyall: Does that, does that make
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes, of course. Yes.
James Lyall: so for me, The certain things that I'm always focused on when I sit down and start producing a track, number one, and this is exactly the same as it is for recording the number one key to getting a good mix is the starting ingredients that you've got to work with.
James Lyall: Right. And this unfortunately is the hardest part about getting good at electronic music production, I think, is being able to identify what elements are actually going to work together. Okay. Um, so basically what I mean by that is that. A massively overlooked aspect of electronic music production with producers that are just starting out is the absolute necessity of tuning, kick drum, and snare drum samples effectively.
James Lyall: Right. So that has a massive bearing on how the end result of the mix is going to turn out. Right.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: by tuning you mean the musical pitch to actually assigned a musical note that then falls into the key of the song? Is that what you're
James Lyall: Exactly. Yes. So for example, if I'm writing a key in the key of G G minor, um, hardly ever write a major key. So it is going to be minor keys. If I'm writing in G minor, the fundamental frequency of my baseline. For example, if I'm following that, the sort of root note of the key would be just under 50 Harris.
James Lyall: So if I've got a bass drum, that's obviously sort of, uh, that's tuned to a slightly different frequency that might actually cause, um, musical dissonance between the baseline and the kids. Yeah, exactly. You get this sort of beat frequency sort of strangeness that happens. Now, when I first started writing music, I wasn't really aware of this and it was only ever done by intuition and feel so often I could tell to go on that kick drums, not sitting right.
James Lyall: Just play with a pitch, like just go in and transpose it and see what happens. And then I noticed that at various different pitches, the kick drum would obviously I start to fit in the mix. And then obviously by learning more about music theory and this kind of stuff, I realized that hang on, there's a, there's an inherent relationship.
James Lyall: Yeah. And this is the key for specifically, for things like drama and based production, where you've got such low end management to, to take care of. You want to make sure that your care and your baseline just don't interfere at all. The shooting actually goes a long way into, into ensuring that that, um, sort of, uh, the congruency of the keys of ness of these elements.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. That's good. I love what you just said. That's really, really good stuff. So that's important to consider, you know, I've come across this myself when, uh, when I received mixes where somebody added a sign way. To the kick, you know, which is a typical side chain who gated side chain technique. And if the sine wave is not in key, that's when the kick really becomes tonal.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: But depending on the nature of the kick, if it's a clique-y one, I find that it's, for me, it's really hard to hear a note or a pitch it's the longer sustaining kicks. Would you agree with that? It's
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: the longer notes that now, like an eight or eight that actually have a distinct tail. That's where the pitch develops.
James Lyall: Yeah. You're right though. With, with, with shorter sort of click here, um, kick drum samples or signs, it might be difficult to discern that really good tip to pitch it up an octave because often when you pitch it up or not, so that you can actually, it actually makes you more aware of, of that fundamental frequency.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, and then It's easier
James Lyall: It's easier to pitch it. Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: realize whether it's in pitch or not. I get it. And there will be a Temporary step. So you temporarily pitched up an octave two unit and then drop it in
James Lyall: And then drop it back down and out. So that's, that's a practical step that might come in useful for
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: a great tip. I've never thought about this. That's fantastic.
James Lyall: really well on snare drums as well. So snare drums often would for me be P be tuned to either the fundamental, if it's because obviously your kick drum and your snare, if they arch into the same frequency they inherently do set apart in the frequency spectrum.
James Lyall: So it might not be as much of an issue. Definitely for bass, for bass drums, kick drums, that shooting is, is hugely important. Uh, as well as starting with. The right sample. Yeah, a really good way to think about it is, um, you know, I'm really big into cooking. Uh, and one of my sort of earliest mentors was a Michelin star winning chef and he was my, he was my sort of early one of my earliest bosses.
James Lyall: I used to work in his kitchen and he taught me a lot about perfectionism, actually, maybe that's where I get it from partially. Uh, but we, we used to talk about music production and how similar it was to cooking. And I think this is a really good example of that is that the ingredients that you, that you start off with are all in.
James Lyall: In, in, in how tasty that meal is. You know, if you, if you've got, if you take a Michelin star winning chef, who's going to cook anything really, really well. If you give them a bunch of bud light, sort of low, low quality ingredients and give them a lot of good quality ingredients, you would expect that. You know, the one with the battery units is going to taste nicer.
James Lyall: And I think that's certainly the same for, for mixing and, and, and, and obviously choo choosing an ensemble, um, to, to begin with. So for me that this the source, so, and being able to actually identify as a producer, you know, this kick drum is the right one for the musical context, it's going to fit beautifully with the snare and the baseline.
James Lyall: For example, once it's been churned, I think that's, uh, that's, that's the key to getting a good mix for me.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Got it. So, yay. All right. So I'm very aware that, you know, the arrangement, the musical arrangement is effectively the most powerful element of mixing in some situations. And that actually means it goes all the way down to. At arranging and, and finding the right instruments. And since you work in one DAW, start to finish, even in the mix, if there is an oversight, let's say you can go back and tune that, which is it's an ability that I don't always have when people, when my clients give me their multi-track files to mix that's that's really good.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Excellent. And can you talk about your mixed on work? In a bit more detail. So look, if I use a compressor, there's usually something that makes me want to use it. I hear let's say, let me pick a Snyder more vocal. I hear that it's too loud in some sections and not loud enough and another. And that gives me something to aim For I grab a compressor and then I start working it until it sits better. But with most EDM signals, they're pretty. Very well-produced to start with and often the dynamic range or, you know, the level is pretty steady. So there must be something else on your mind, but, but level changes when you, when you pick a compressor, I assume.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Can, can you shine some light on, on what's going on
James Lyall: Yeah. If you were to look at one of my mixed dine sessions from 2021, for example, and compare that with a mixed iron from say 2009 or 2010, obviously I've learned a lot in that time. Um, you will notice that I'm hardly. Anything in the way of, you know, any sort of severe compression or, or even in things like EKU, you know, um, I, you know, um, recently I sort of showed some people, one of my sessions and Senator said, look, look at what I'm putting on these tracks.
James Lyall: You'll notice that there's, there's not an awful lot of stuff actually going on here. Uh, and that I guess is because I prioritize the starting, the starting sign that starting. Yeah. And I've got better at identifying what that is. Yeah. So it means that I have to eat EKU and compressed stuff less. Yeah.
James Lyall: The biggest thing for me though, and again, I think this is something that I I'm, um, I go on about quite a lot, but for me, the key to the good mix, as well as obviously having the right starting ingredients and shooting them correctly, and this kind of stuff is level. It really is the absolute key. And when I started to get better at that, I realized that I wasn't having to compress any queue things, anybody near as much, because my perception of those elements was, was very different.
James Lyall: Yeah. If you can get the gain staging and the level balancing doing the majority of the mix sort of construction, I guess you will often find that you don't really need an awful lot of, of, of heavy-duty compression and, and, and, and post-processing which, which to me, I wish someone had told me that when I first started out, you know, um, but for me, it's all about level balancing and, and there are certain things that I build into my, my actual compositional workflow.
James Lyall: Right. So when I sit down to write a true. The most important objective is, is getting the ideas down and coming up with something that is musically and aesthetically cohesive. So obviously having the right ingredients and musically, and obviously the arrangement as you've talked about is also integral in getting a good mix.
James Lyall: In fact, that's actually changed the way that I write baselines is, is having an understanding of the fact that often the arrangement. Can create more work for you down the line. Right? For example, if you listen to a lot of early third eye stuff within the dubstep genre, I was working a lot with a lot of elements from techno and house music, for example, like four to the floor kick drums, which you do hear in dubstep every now and again, although it is mainly known for its sort of different beat patterns, like the half-step pattern that you would associate with dubstep.
James Lyall: When I was writing for, for stuff, I was often following the kick drum pattern with my baseline. Which of course is going to create mixed own issues. If, if I've got a 50 Harriet sub-note hitting at the same time as a 50 Hertz kick drum, then of course there's going to be separation frequency, masking, um, issues that occur from that.
James Lyall: So I simply stopped writing my baselines in that way. And I, and I, I stopped, I stopped, um, doing specific drum patterns because I realized actually this was creating more work for me. Um, Than than, than I'd hoped for essentially. So it also changed the way that I worked with different samples as well. So I was starting to work with, um, sort of higher pitch kick drums, and there's going to stop.
James Lyall: So certainly the arrangement is, is, is, is hugely important in this too. But when I construct a track, usually what I will do, um, is just focus on the level balancing. Uh, the key for that for me personally, is getting my bass drum to hit or run about minus 10. Uh, snare drum roughly around about the same resulting in a sort of overall drum level about minus eight DB sub base a little bit below that, and that is, uh, an approach that I follow every single time.
James Lyall: It doesn't really, really change depending on John rhe. So if I'm balancing a metal mix, it will be roughly in the same ballpark. And what that means is by the time I've actually got my elements together. The mix is pretty much there. It's not really going to require an awful lot of corrective treatment provided.
James Lyall: I've got the arrangement, right. Provided the samples that shooting correctly and provided that I've started with the right samples to begin with. Yeah, yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. That's, that's phenomenal. I just saw so many similarities between, you know, the way I work and you work there and had no idea that you were doing very similar things there. And that's, that's quite interesting to see because you know, the work we do is so different in many ways, but also so similar.
James Lyall: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And for me, if you can get that level balance, right. You'll have a, you'll have a greater awareness of what potentially corrective treatments that you do need to apply. Um, and then anything like compression for me, usually compression would be applied in order to shape transient.
James Lyall: So using the compressor to really sort of, um, sort of focus on, on bringing out the punch of things like kicks and snares, which is something that, again, I've really helped a lot of other producers with over the years of working with them as, as, uh, observing what they're doing and giving them some, some tips and stuff on how they could actually sort of use their compressor in a different way to, to, to, to get the results that they.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: To shape the
James Lyall: Yeah, essentially shaping the envelope of, of, of your, of your snare. John's using the compressor as an envelope controller, essentially. Yeah. Kill it, which takes a bit better, better time to get your head around and, uh, and, and really important that you don't set your attack time too fast. There's going to thing, which is, which is a very, very common mistake in, in producers.
James Lyall: A lot of producers that I've observed working in Ableton, when they compress a snare drum, they, they slap the stock Ableton, compress it on there, and don't play with the attack time, um,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: then too
James Lyall: which is then to short.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: on the head to heart.
James Lyall: you're actually making the snare less punchy rather than too punchy, uh, which is the way that I used to do it as well until I started to sort of get my head around, um, that I was going to doing it backwards.
James Lyall: Um, so yeah, so that, that to me is, it's something I think is really important is that if, if you can get that level balancing done, as you go, it means that by the end of the, of the composition process, the track should be more or less, pretty much mixed. Uh, it also leaves room for, for corrective. And creative processing.
James Lyall: That's the way that I usually think about these things is, you know, you know, correct. The stuff is, is usually things for me, like for me, like using high-pass filters to remove frequencies or from things like hi-hats that are just taking up an unnecessary headroom frequencies that you can't even really hear, but are certainly contributing to the overall clarity when it's a cumulative process.
James Lyall: If you've got 10 different high hat tracks or. Uh, as part of your beat, um, if you don't high pass those, you might notice that cumulatively, you get this slightly muddy quality that sort of bleeds into the drum mix. And if you can sort of build in that sort of high-pass filtering, obviously not getting too heavy handed with it, which is something that happened to me over the years.
James Lyall: I actually started to get way too aggressive in. I was sort of cutting off these lower frequencies. You can actually hear it. If you listen to the earlier third eye stuff, a lot more mid range basis, I'm quite thin it's because I was sort of getting a little bit aggressive with the way that I was sort of creating the space with low cuts.
James Lyall: So for me, it's all about just trying to find that happy medium now, and sort of erring on the side of caution and not getting too brutal, you know? A bit of that crossover bleed to, to sort of give you the thickness in the mix. So as part of my sort of competition process to those things are built in high-pass filter is on anything that might need it straight away and level balancing.
James Lyall: And then anything from there is, is usually straightforward, provided that I've got the ingredients, right?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well,
James Lyall: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, it all sounds like you've got a system worked out that makes mixing really easy for you. And you know, if you've got a work flow there and I think that's, that's what I find with all the successful producers that I've talked to, that they all have their own system that works really well.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So you're not fighting an uphill battle when you mix and that's a good hat space to be
James Lyall: It is. Yeah. And again, within, within this sort of field of electronic music that I'm involved in, mainly drum and bass and dubstep, you know, we do talk about these things at parties. You know, we do have these nerdy discussions about, about how you're doing things, and obviously you're hanging out in the studio and you get to see how people work.
James Lyall: And a lot of, for example, drum and bass producers actually do mix very aggressively, right? It's not because they don't under. Dynamics and headroom and, and gain structure, but it's actually does contribute to that extent, to that aesthetic. Right. I'm a dynamic mixer. I've always liked space. And I don't really like have like impressing things.
James Lyall: I definitely have been through phases where I compressed everything way too much. Uh, but these days it's all about for me. So preserving that natural dynamic that exists between the elements, uh, um, When I worked with other producers, often they're pushing things a lot harder. Right. And in certain situations that really works, you know, you can actually, you know, use things like soft clipping and, and, and,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah,
James Lyall: you know, as an effect, I know there's a way of, of, of shaping the aesthetic of the final mix.
James Lyall: Ah, um, Sort of comparison is, is how I work versus again, my friend Sapphire, he pushes things really, really hot. Yeah. But it's a, it's a vital part of his site. It's, you know, he he's he's, he's got this almost like chemical control over, you know, to the point where it really sort of suits is a static. Yeah.
James Lyall: I worked very differently. Um, and it's, there's no right or wrong, as long as it, it works for the sun that you're going for, I guess, you know? Um, but I've always been into dynamics. That's that's my, my thing, I think.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: well, thank you. That's, uh, some amazing wisdom and I'm really fascinated by, you know, tapping into your mind and just starting to understand how you approach music. And I think it's phenomenal.
James Lyall: I've got another one for you, which, which I think it could be beneficial for, again, anyone that's, that's sort of getting, getting into electronic production or anything like that is the five minute. Do you know what that is? All right. So the five minute rule, I can't take credit for this. I got this, um, again from a guy called IL gates, not bill gates, ill gates.
James Lyall: Uh, who's an amazing producer from America. Um, he's actually came over here and he's done a whole bunch of different workshops are all about sort of production mindset. Um, this is going to thing he's quite a big influence on me in terms of his philosophy on production. And he's, he's a very, very, very.
James Lyall: Smart guy. And it was him that introduced me to this concept of the five minute rule. So during that creative process, we've talked about, you want to be in sort of open mode. You want to be in creative flow. You don't want to get, get caught up in the technical things as, as, as much as possible. Right? So this is where the five minute rule comes.
James Lyall: Yeah. Right. And it's often hard to apply this because you get attached to elements within your production. Right? I don't know what causes this, but sometimes maybe it's ego or maybe it's something else. I don't know. You go, this is the kick drum for this track. It has to be that one. Or, you know, this is the baseline for this particular track.
James Lyall: I want this bass line in the tune, right? Sometimes it's not meant to be right sometimes after about five minutes. You find that you're still trying to get something to fit, right. So I'm talking about, for example, choosing the right snare drum for a drum and bass track, right? If after about five minutes of trying to get something to work right in your, in the context of your production, whether that's with EKU or compression or tuning, if after about five minutes, it's not yet working.
James Lyall: This is when to execute the five minute rule. Can you guess what the five minute rule is?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: You either have a break or you move on to something else, your mind needs distraction, I guess.
James Lyall: Delete the sample and try a new one, for example, right. Um, load a different base patch. Yeah. Because if after five minutes something isn't setting, it's usually a sign that it just wasn't meant to be. Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I see.
James Lyall: If that makes sense.
James Lyall: Yeah. I guess this goes back to selecting your, your ingredients.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: it keeps you from digging too deep into a narrow element that in the end might not make a big difference. It keeps you in a good productive flow, moving forwards and keeps you, Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I've explained this before, as you know, zooming in and out, whether this be. Uh, DAW session or a PDF document doesn't matter, but it's the same mental state where you can, you know, zoom in so far that you completely lose the entire perspective.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And that's not a good place to be in for too long, at least. And the, you know, that's where the five minute rule it makes perfect sense to get you back out and to see the big picture again.
James Lyall: It's easier to apply that rule if, if you're producing in the box rather than recording a band. Because, you know, for example, if a drummer is, um, snare drum, isn't the right sign for the, for the, for the recording, they're going to have to go and get a new snare drum from somewhere and you're going to have to rerecord all the drums or tune it or whatever.
James Lyall: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: or whatever.
James Lyall: When you're working with samples and things like base patches
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: It's really quick.
James Lyall: can just literally switch out. And usually that's the answer rather than sitting there for five hours and going, oh, this snare drum, you know, I'm going to saturate it. Molly banker, press it,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah.
James Lyall: pitch up all this stuff. Usually that you'll get a better result just by just deleting it and trying a new sample.
James Lyall: And often that new sample will fit straight away.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I really like this idea of keeping you on a fast productive workflow. Uh, it, it will, won't allow you to overthink and that's what it really does.
James Lyall: And that's the key for me is don't overthink. Yeah. Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: going, Keep going forward
James Lyall: the more, the more you think, the more you're going to get pulled into that close mode of operation, you're going to start to sweat about things like IQ, and then that pulls you out of that creative mode. And this is where you start hitting the track, for example, or you start to get annoyed, you start to get this at a niggly feeling.
James Lyall: Yeah. Um, so, so that, that to me is, is really helpful. It's just going, yup.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: a lot to take in James that's. that's a really fantastic wisdom that you're sharing here today. So thank you. That is amazing stuff. I need to go over this one more time in slow motion for myself and just, you know, read, ask myself whether I make any mistakes with this, because then I'll have a sudden clarity that I didn't fully have before.
James Lyall: good to hear. That's good to hear. I'm glad that's useful. Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: if, if anybody wants to find out more about you and your projects, People find out about you, have you got a website or social media channels where people can find
James Lyall: No, not really. Um, I'm, I'm kind of stealthy with things like that. Um, I'm very lucky that most of my reach has been very organic and I haven't really done a lot of sort of promotion of things over the years. Uh, the best place to keep up with the third eye project is on SoundCloud. Um, I haven't really released much under that project and for quite a while, but there is definitely some new stuff coming.
James Lyall: Um, Um, for my newer project, the collaborative project with my friend in the UK, I'm not yet allowed to say the name of it, um, that we'll, we'll hopefully have a bit more of a sort of, um, sort of reach and stuff on social media, um, via band camp. So I will eventually have a band camp link for you. Um, and yeah, the best thing is to just sort of follow up, follow the SoundCloud pages for now.
James Lyall: Um, I do have a Facebook page, but I don't really engage with it that much. Um, yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And can people reach out to you and book you as a producer or a mix engineer for their own projects? Is that something you would consider?
James Lyall: Um, at this stage, unfortunately not. Um, and the reason for that is just, I just don't have any time, um, because I've got so much music that I need to finish on my own at the moment and, um, projects that I need to get need to get out there.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I'm sure you would reconsider if it was Madonna or Def punk or, you know, somebody like that.
James Lyall: or something. Yeah, maybe. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Uh, but yeah, you know, I, I, I do, I do, I do occasionally do stuff for clients. I do a bit of mastering here and there for a couple of artists, which is something that I'm just getting into now. Um, yeah. Um, but yeah, not, not, not really mixing stuff.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. I understand. Look, whatever you're happy to share. I would like to add into the show notes so that there's some kind of point of contact where people can listen to your music and find out more about you, um, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your knowledge.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So openly that's eye opening. Shit. I love it. I love it. Thank you so
James Lyall: Thanks for having me on. And as I said, like as one that struggled a lot with, with that overthinking and that sort of getting sucked into the psychological abbess of self-doubt and perfectionism. The tips that I've given, uh, will help other people avoid that, um, that, that sort of, um, that situation, because it can get pretty, uh soul-destroying at times.
James Lyall: Uh, and, and it's, I think someone like myself, who's been through a lot of, a lot of, sort of self-confidence issues and, uh, really to an extent, and is allowed in the hard way. Um, I think that's one of the reasons why I love sharing this stuff is because hopefully it will, um, you know, I give people a bit more confidence to keep pushing through and, and, and just realize that things like self-doubt and perfectionism that totally normal, everyone gets it.
James Lyall: know, if you, if you were to speak to your, your, your top top producers and ask them, you know,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: go through pasta episodes of this
James Lyall: well, there you go.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: shares it as their own little slice of that.
James Lyall: There you go. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: We all have that in
James Lyall: That's it.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Thank you. I really appreciate that.
James Lyall: Awesome. Thanks Yan.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. And as we get into the outro of this episode, uh, you probably noticed that I've changed the background music of my podcast today. Uh, what you're listening to is some royalty free music that, uh, James slyly, uh, released, uh, under his artists name third eye. And he was so kind to supply us with some way fights, which I'm now applying in the background. So enjoy James, his work in the ultra of this episode. Thank you so much, James. I really appreciate what you shared with us today. This is absolute gold. And I want all of your listeners to please recommend this episode to all your friends. Just think about it. I'm sure you know, somebody or probably many people who would benefit from what James shared with us today.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So please pass it on, share the wisdom and pass this podcast episode on to your friends. If you would like to reach out to me directly, you can do so via my website, a mix artist.com dot a U. If you need any help finishing your projects, then it's definitely worth reaching out and having a chat about it.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And you can also meet me in the production talk podcast, community, Facebook page, uh, hang out there every week and you can meet like-minded people. Okay. There was a lot of taken today. Let it sink in, share the love, share the wisdom. And, uh, I hope to speak to you again next week. So tune back in for another episode till then.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Bye. For now.