Djebali – Top 5 Production Tips


A club kid in Paris in the early 00s (christ we feel old now) and inspired by the likes of Ivan Smagghe and Villalobos (we know them), Djebali cut his teeth at some of the finest hangouts in Paris, holding a residency at the Freak n’Chic Batofar parties alongside playing black discs at Bar25, DC10, Vertigo Costa Rica, Gipsy Moscow and many others. 

Below he talks us through his Top 5 Production tips…

1. Control the acoustic

Acoustics of your room should be your first consideration : especially in the small home studio. Due to parallel wallw and corners without a proper sound treatment, you are gonna have a really bad response of frequencies and make mistakes on your sounds while choosing and mixing (whatever amazing monitors you own). Doing a proper acoustic treatment is quite expensive but there are cheaper solutions that work pretty well, you can buy different panels like absorbers, diffractors etc… the difference between before treatment and after will truly make you discover your mixes in the right way! 

2. Trust your ears

If it sounds good to you then trust your ears… A lot of producers are focused on their screen and want – for example – to quantize everything… This is a groove killer !! Just listen and feel if the groove is good, don’t hesitate to move your sample or record some parts “live” to inject more life into the groove… 

3. Less is more

Always better to use a few elements (hardware or plugs) that you know really well than a lot of gears that you don’t really know how to control. When I bought my first MPC I spent 3 months doing tracks only with this, trying hard until I got the result I wanted… It made me get to know the gear properly so that now I can get everything I want from the beast! 

4. Shape your sounds with the basics

To shape your sounds you should always try to use the basics before adding fx. In my 1st mpc, I had to shape my sound with only Attack, Release, a Pitch and a filter with resonance…

You are gonna be impressed by how many possibilities you have to shape your sounds just with those few parameters. And when you’re closer to what you want, you will see that all the fx you will add are gonna sound much better ! 

5. References are the key while mixing

When you arrive at the final part of mixing, always try to compare with music in the same “style” and that you know well. You will see you more clearly your mistakes on a mix. But don’t forget that your references are mastered and your mix is not, so don’t compare the RMS and don’t try to have the same volume. Never forget, mastering engineers are not magicians, so clean your mixes and get closer to what you want : you will avoid a lot of deception 🙂 

Djebalidi plays Holic this weekend.

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