Q/A with Signal..

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  • Author
    • #24337
      ,GENIE HQ

      So Collider made a great suggestion that we run a Q&A session with Signal so you can ask any specific questions about his recent tutorials on arrangement and sound design.

      We’ll do the usual thing and collect some q’s first and then get Jon over the give you some personal replies.

      So write your questions to signal below 😀

      P.S Please leave one question each…

    • #24343

      All of your tracks seem to have a really distinct vibe/atmosphere to them– It’s one of the reasons I like your music so much. How exactly do you go about creating and defining an atmosphere? Thanks!

      • #25630

        That’s very hard to answer, it’s just what I do and I don’t really think about it :p

    • #24359

      Stereo imaging. Was listening to your track “dusk” and wondering why the one cymbal noise is always hitting to the left but nothing else was. Slightly bothered me. Love the track but curious about little details such as panning a sound. Suppose just looking for insight on the thought process.

      • #25622

        Just a mistake we left in I guess :p

    • #24388

      Hey do you make basslines in the track project? Or make random basslines in another, bounce and use at a later date?

      • #25621

        I do both 🙂

    • #24395

      Do you have a method for levels of your main elements in your tunes?. Do you tend to send them to the master loud(pre saturated/limited) or have them quiet then bring up the levels with a limiter?
      I find when working with tighter minimal drum sounds for instance its very easy to suppress them and they lose their punch when trying to get a tune to an acceptable loudness. Your tune no control is an awesome example as the drums are right in front of the mix jumping out and nice and punchy. Any tips on this?

      Big ups Jon, keep killing it!

      • #25631

        I don’t really like the method where you turn down everything by 6 db or something because for me that makes it harder to mix the track down. In another comment here I explain how the headroom in FL works 🙂

    • #24398

      Touching on the subject of collaborating and bouncing stems:

      How to you resample/bounce your stems in FL ?
      When you collaborate, do you agree on using only one DAW and use a project file, or do you export/import your stems and resample them everytime ? if so, how do you workout stems levels/automations etc… to make sure your collaborator gets the sounds in the exact same state that you left them ?

      do you group elements and use as little stems as possible or do you export every single sound ?

      Cheers !

      • #25623

        “Split Mixer Tracks” in FL to export stems. I never use project files to collaborate.

    • #24642
      ,Target Audience

      How did you get your music out there and how did you gain listeners to your music in the beginning of your music career?


      • #25629

        Join some groups and forums and talk to the right people 🙂

    • #25181

      1. Do you design drum samples in a separate project? what type of processing/layering are you doing to them?

      2. Any tips on making atmospheres and complex pad sounds?

      3. Do you work with a limiter on the master while you work on a track?

      4. Do you do any ‘mastering’ yourself?

      5. One thing (production related) you couldn’t live without?

      Thanks mate
      Really enjoyed the tutorials 🙂

      • #25628

        1 Nothing outside the usual, just compression distortion transient shaping and eq.
        2 Most of it is just messing around with envelopes on random parameters tbh
        3 Depends on how far I’m into the track. I’ll put some stuff on the master once I’ve got some of the drop sorted.
        4 Yes, sometimes I release selfmasters when I prefer them over the mastering engineer’s work.
        5 Vocodex

    • #25268

      Hey Jon,
      When I am designing sounds and arranging a track I am always confused about using different reverbs. So here are my questions:
      Do you use reverb on sounds before resampling them?
      Should reverb always be after distortion?
      How many different reverbs do you use in a track?
      How do you keep them all together, that they are not fighting with each other?
      Do you have any rule of thumb what reverbs you use in a drop or in a breakdown?

      Thanks for this Q&A oportunity

      • #25627

        1 Sometimes
        2 No
        3 1 or 2, but try keeping it down as much as possible
        4 ?
        5 No

    • #25315
      ,GENIE HQ

      Q: What’s the longest you have spent on a track and then what is the shortest?

      • #25632

        I think I made Ennair in a day or two, while Ritual took over a year (5 people so 5 opinions :P)

    • #25362

      Do you abandon a lot of ideas ? (Or is everything you produced gold ? :D)
      Lets say if you have a whole track that doesn’t really stand up to your standards, do you keep working on it until it works or would you consider just throwing it away (salvaging a few samples maybe), and starting a whole new idea from scratch ?

      Thanks for taking the time to answer the Q&A.

      • #25624

        I have like 15 projects I scrap for every project I sorta do something with. If there’s anything useful in there I’ll save some of it.

    • #25394

      Whats the coolest thing you learned from DLR in terms of producing and sound design? 😀

    • #25478

      I asked the same for the state of mind q&a so hopefully this is okay to ask again.

      It’s mainly so i can see how multiple producers work

      so my question is..


      I’d love to know where you generally keep all your stem levels at when producing a track? for instance do you start off on say -15db to give plenty of headroom for various elements to avoid clipping.

      I’m always a little confused what a good level is to sart with, i don’t want my tracks to sound like there’s a limiter just cutting it off, same time i don’t want to have it quiet.

      I’ve tried various levels that people suggest but another problem is that eventually when enough elements are added into the tracks they end up going above the -3 to -5 db limit that i set myself, i’d have to continuously keep lowering all my track levels to fit below this limit.

      I’m told to give a few db headroom for mastering engineers to work with.

      so that in turn always leaves me in a dilemma part way through a track of not knowing how loud or quiet all my stems should be, especially once plug ins etc are applied, the levels start spiking or dropping.

      it’s quite demotivating so far, i haven’t been able to properly finish a track because of it.

      any advise or info would be appreciated, i literally never see any info on this anywhere else.


      thanks Signal.

      • #25625

        I’m not sure how it works in other DAWs, but in FL the mixer tracks basically have infinite headroom, and as long as you compensate on the master it’s fine. For example to export a premaster I can just take the master volume down until it’s below -3 or -6 (as long as there’s no fx on there).

    • #25565

      Do you ever look at LUFS, dBFS and or RMS levels?

      If so, can you explain a bit about it and also give an idea of what levels work good for you?



      • #25626

        No, not really.

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