The 10 Best Pieces Of Music Production & DJing Advice, according to High Contrast

Welsh-born electronic musician, DJ and producer Lincoln Barrett – better known as High Contrast– has been one of the drum ‘n’ bass scene’s biggest trailblazers for nearly two decades now. Following a slew of remix singles from heavyweight drum ‘n’ bass figures such as Camo & Krooked, Mefjus, and Pola & Bryson, High Contrast’s highly-anticipated remix album celebrating the 20th anniversary of his iconic 2002 breakthrough project ‘True Colours’ has finally arrived.”

To celebrate the release of the new project, we got the electronic music maverick to reveal his best pieces of advice for producers and DJs across the board. Whether you’re just starting out in music, or simply looking for ways to improve your workflow, this professional masterclass has everything you need to take your music to the next level.

  1. Every track should have something wrong in it

“This is a classic bit of studio production / engineering advice that goes back to at least the 70s. It’s the idea that perfection is not the ultimate goal of a mix, and is in fact impossible. And that sometimes beauty lies within the imperfections.”

  1. Protect your initial burst of creativity

“One of the many great things I learnt from working with Underworld was that the most precious part of the creative process is your initial attempt at a track idea and that you need to protect that, often from your own meddling.”

  1. Never throw out an idea

“I am just constantly generating ideas for tracks and have done for the last 25 years or so. And I’ve never thrown any of these sketches out.”

  1. No piece of gear is a magic bullet

“The temptation of music producers is to think ‘if I just get THIS particular bit of hardware / software, THEN my tracks will sound great’. But the fact is, no one piece of equipment will suddenly make your music great.”

  1. Keep it simple

“Try to do the most you can with the least amount of elements. ‘Simplicity’ is the hardest thing to do well but should be the ultimate goal of every artist.”

  1. Nothing is sacred

“You want to do a bootleg remix of a classic track? You want to sample an uncool pop song? Do it, if you feel truly inspired to do so. If it’s bad it will be forgotten, if it’s good then people will be happy you took the risk. (Not legal advice haha.)”

  1. Put emotion into your work

“The emotional vibe of your track is far, far more important than the technical proficiency of your track.”

  1. Only play records you love 

“It sounds obvious but a good bit of DJing advice I heard from John B was only ‘only play good records in your sets’.” 

  1. Learn your craft on budget equipment 

“Learn to DJ on the crappest equipment you can and on as many different setups as you can.”

  1. Play to an audience 

“When you start out as a bedroom DJ, try to get out and DJing in clubs or at least house parties as soon as possible.”

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