When “too much” is desirable – go over the limit with your music

When you make music, you want to have the best songs and the best possible performances to end up on the recording. Sometimes though, that’s just not enough. Sometimes it just turns out very polite, dull and uninspired, despite your best intentions. It’s because you’re not following the rule of “way too much”.

Dirty little bold tricks

VU meter goes into red - too much bullshitWhat does that mean – you may ask. Well, my inquiring friend, it’s one of the secret keys for creating excitement. You need to go over the limit with at least one element – be it an amp turned up one louder than possible. Or a compressor set to maximum (threshold, input gain and/or ratio). Or an EQ with the high-shelf boost all the way up. Or a vocal track getting saturated, or downright distorted into burning hell. Or a sustaining synth sound that keeps increasing in level, slipping over the snare and the vocal track in the most unexpected moment. Or a track of squealing train wheels, dialed in at a just audible level. Or a moment of complete hush. Or a sudden measure of excessive tape noise, amplifier hum or bee buzz. Or a millisecond of people yelling, children crying or cats meowing, added in shamelessly loud. Any of those dirty little tricks, executed in the right moment, will do wonders. You need to go over the fukken limit, at least once per song. You have to be bold and self-assured. You have to be able to keep coming up with new tricks all the time to surprise the living shit out of the listener.

The listener doesn’t have to know

Chances are he won’t even know what’s just happened. The sound going right into his poor, flippy-floppy cock slapping ears, that made him wet his goddamned pants, he doesn’t know it. It just makes him feel better in a primal way, better than anything he’s heard before. A miraculously rich sound that makes him forget about the outside world, until the song lasts. You have to have the balls to pull it off though, man. Remember, it can be just one little moment, yet it’s gonna make your hyper-perfected, over-polished, incredible dull and boring shit come alive.

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