Mark Hill's Production Secrets - Videos | The Songwriting Academy

Mark Hill (AKA Artfill) Production Secrets

Watch the legendary Mark Hill in action as he takes you through his production techniques and secrets — exclusive to The Songwriting Academy

In the first video, Mark spends time looking at how he approaches production as part of the songwriting process and shows you the importance of listening to a song to understand how each section works as a part of a finished record. Mark then focuses on breaking down the rhythms of different songs to see how they work and how you can build your own.

Mark continues to show his rhythm building techniques in this video. He uses a variety of quantising and MIDI tricks to give a built drum line more groove and swing, helping to add that extra level of polish to your track.

Mark takes a break from the keyboard to give some pointers on how to listen to your music objectively. Pulling yourself away from the song for a while can be a great way to hear mistakes or areas for improvement and Mark gives you a run-down on why this is so important for your song. He then continues to show creative ways you can reshuffle your rhythms to give your song a completely new feel.

Mark and Tom carry on building up the song’s drum beats, adding a mixture of samples and MIDI drums to add more life and colour to the track. You’ll also see Mark adjust small elements of the beat to completely transform the feel of the song, without changing much at all.

Mark looks at MIDI automation to draw in crescendos and add other effects to a song to give it another layer of depth. He also looks at the different types of loops that you can include in your song, including pre-recorded and pre-built MIDI tracks which you can edit later on.

In this video, Mark moves on from building drum beats to look at a fully-built song and pull apart individual tracks. You’ll see how he used a basic piano and drum beat as a base to work from, used a delay effect as a drum beat and much more!

Mark now looks at vocal takes. Vocal fatigue, tiredness and other problems can make it difficult to get a good vocal track in one go. Mark looks at the ways you can get a “perfect” take by chopping up and using the best parts from multiple attempts.

Mark looks at effects that can be put on top of a vocal to give it a better, warmer overall sound, as well as a variety of other creative sound tricks to help the song sound smoother. He then answers a variety of questions from our course members.

Mark looks at one of his previous remixes and gives a breakdown of what he did to make it sound as good as it does. He shows you one of the key Artful Dodger techniques of using a vocal part as a rhythm instrument, as well as continuing to work on the bass and drum lines.

In this video, you’ll look at a variety of extra techniques that Mark uses to fill the sound of the track with. From using a specific plugin that reduces the cold, robotic sound of digital instruments, to limiters that help remove clipping and distortion, you’ll learn it here.

In the last video, Mark and Tom speak more about their experiences as producers, how they got noticed and how they continue to work in the industry. They also answer a variety of questions from our course members.

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