MusicDon’t Rip Off BUT Do Reference

Don’t Rip Off BUT Do Reference

Reference Points by Rob Wills @robsnoise


I was always told to surround myself with 5 people who will challenge you and better you in your career. Reference points when making music, imaging, programmes, podcasts and multimedia content is no different! 


Now let’s be clear, I am not talking about ripping off ideas! I am talking about listening to other people’s work and trying to understand how and why they did it the way they did.


For me I spend over an hour a week listening to music, imaging, demos, voiceover artists etc…anything I can get my hands on to see what others are doing and ultimately….to learn from it. 


If you were a footballer, you would be training for hours every week. If you are a teacher, you would go on courses to better yourself and develop! We need to do the same!


I’ll listen to sound design, mastering, look at the FX and plugins people have used on their production to see if my work could benefit from that too. I’ll listen out for different treatments, different ideas, different ways of doing things. 


When I am making music I often drag a song that I love from a similar genre/sound and put that on another track and route it out of a different master bus so I can do a like-for-like A-B exercise to see how my track is sounding. Using that as a benchmark basically. Sometimes I will look at structures I like too to understand the flow of tracks too. Try it! It will totally transform the way you worl!


Think about doing that when you are making audio. Find things you like, don’t rip it…….but think about how the techniques or the sound could influence your work. Reference it! 


Find more from Rob on socials by searching @robsnoise – Rob is the Owner of 4ud.io and Loaded Production Music whilst also being the Head of Broadcast at kmfm in Kent.

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