Video: Bass Producer ill.Gates Drops His 5 Best Music Productivity Hacks

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San Francisco producer/DJ ill.Gates recently put out his Terminally Ill album, but this bona fide hustler pulls double- or triple-duty as a music production educator and entrepreneur. His ill.Methodology seminars, videos, and Ableton Live templates made him a guru to budding producers, and he has given that love back with projects like The Class of 808, a compilation on his label that brings together some of the best bass tracks from members of his production club.

Entry into that production club happens on a rolling basis and costs a bit of coin. Currently, enrollment is closed, but you can access all the free workshops, Ableton Live-based sound packs and templates of the ProducerDJ Club by signing up for the email list at

However, one of the most helpful 15-minute videos I’ve ever seen on music production was part of the video series that ill.Gates used recently to promote his production club, and you don’t need to sign up for anything to see it.

The unique thing about this video is that it does not contain any highly technical tips on mixing, programming, sound designing, etc. It has wonderful advice on building, arranging, and finishing a track, but besides that, it’s all about how to organize a productive day, setup your studio for a good workflow, and “box” your time to create a recipe for success.

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If you think that sounds boring, it’s not. If you think you have all that stuff completely handled already, consider the possibility that you don’t. If you’ve never finished 3-4 tracks in a day, help ill.Gates help you and give this a watch.

Was that not ill enough for you? This second video is a bit old, but still informative and entertaining. In a wide-ranging interview, ill.Gates talks about his early beginnings in electronic music, his musical influences, being one of the first people to sell Ableton Live performance and production templates, and even his feelings on the spiritual and healing powers of music.

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Mostly, however, it’s about performing live - with Ableton Live.