8 Music Production Tips That Will Make Your Songs Sound Better.
Making music is a lot of fun, but it can be really tough at times too. Figuring out what to do to get the sound that you want is hard, and then there is mixing and mastering your tracks, not to mention all of the other things that need to get done...
This article will cover 8 tips for music production. We'll talk about how you can get high quality sounds without any expensive gear, and why you should always use a reference track in your mixes. If you're looking for some quick and easy ways to improve your music production skills, keep reading!
Get High Quality Sounds Without Expensive Gear
One of the biggest barriers for beginner producers is figuring out how to get high quality sounds without any expensive gear. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get high quality sounds without spending big bucks on gear. Here are some inexpensive ways:
- Use the reverbs, delays, compressors, distortions, EQs and filters you already have in your DAW to mangle regular sounds (like footsteps, hand claps, vocalizations, burps etc.) into interesting sonic creations. Don't be shy and never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do! If it sounds good, it sounds good - so go crazy.
- Subscribe to Splice.com for top-shelf, exclusive royalty-free sample packs in every gernre imaginable. It's almost like cheating, except it's not - everybody uses it, because it helps you create great sounding music super fast.
Use Reference Tracks in Your Mixes
If you are currently working on a mix, or you are looking to improve your skills in this area, one of the most important things that you can do is use reference tracks.
Reference tracks are recordings of songs that sound similar to the track that you're working on.
The purpose of using reference tracks is to compare your work with other music out there.
Reference tracks are an excellent way to make sure that your composition and mix isn't too far-off from what people are used to listening to. They are also an effective way to make sure that each element in your song is consistently mixed well with one another - by brutal comparison, for instance: How loud is my snare compared to the reference track? How bright are my guitar tracks compared to the reference etc. Mixing each element that way helps create a cohesive sound — something which can be challenging without the use of reference tracks.
Maintain Creative Energy
Often, the hardest thing about making music is maintaining creative energy and staying in the zone - staying in flow state. When you're producing a song, you may find yourself getting stuck and not knowing how to keep going. This can happen for a variety of reasons: maybe your muse left you for an other songwriter, or you're just creatively drained and in need of a break. If that's the case, try taking a walk or doing another activity that provides some form of relief from the pressure. Find something to do to clear your mind and come back to your work refreshed - 10-15 minutes can be more than enough.
Sometimes a change of scenery can spark new ideas. Do you have a laptop? Try working in a café.
Another person in the room with you is often enough to change your own perception of your music. Invite a buddy over and you just might get some stank grooves goin'.
Don't Overwork Yourself
It's easy to overwork yourself when you're in the middle of making a song. You're excited about your ideas, and you want to keep going until you get everything done, in one seating.
But this is one of the most dangerous things that you can do. Keep going if you are in perfect flow state, but If you go too long without taking a break, it'll be easy for your quality to suffer. This is because your brain becomes overwhelmed with information and your ears get tired. Your thoughts will slow down and it'll be hard to focus on the task at hand. Plus, when your energy levels are low, it'll be harder for you to come up with creative solutions.
To avoid these consequences, try taking breaks every couple hours or so. Get up from your desk, stretch your muscles, grab a snack, and take a few deep breaths before getting back to work.
Take It One Song at a Time
One of the most common problems in music production is that people try to tackle everything at once. They're not sure where to start, so they do a little bit of work on this, a little bit of work on that, and before you know it they haven't done anything well.
It's much better to take it one song at a time and finish it! This way, when you finish one song, you'll have a much clearer idea about what you need for the next one. You can then plan out your time more effectively because you will be able to budget the necessary time for each task ahead of time. It's much easier to stay motivated when you're working on one project for an extended period of time—instead of getting bored with all the little tasks involved in music production.
Get Feedback Early and Often
A lot of new producers think that they're good at music production when they're not. This can lead to frustration and low quality tracks, which is something you want to avoid.
There are two ways to get some feedback on your mix:
1. Ask someone for feedback on your mix.
2. Use a reference track in your mix so you can compare it to the one you created. You already know why, if you read this far.
Always Keep Learning
The beauty of music is that it allows for pretty much endless exploration. There are always new sounds, styles and new techniques to try out. Don't get complacent with the skills that you already have.. Make a commitment to learning more about production, or at least one new thing each day. You'll not only improve your skills, but you'll also be able to listen and learn from other producers with different styles and methods than your own. Keeping up with the newest trends in production will also help you stay ahead of the curve and build your brand as a professional producer. If there's one takeaway we want you to remember from this article, let it be this: keep learning!
Be Systematic in your Work Process
We all know that creativity and perfectionism don't always mix—especially when it comes to music production. But, if you want to be able to keep up your productivity and quality, then you'll need to find a way to be systematic in your work process.
One of the best ways to do this is by having everything ready for your next step before you begin working on it.
For instance, if you're making a track, make sure that the recording is done before you start mixing tracks. Making sure that every step is taken care of beforehand will help you save time and make better decisions as you go along.
Now that you have all the tips to make your music production sound better, what are you waiting for? Get to work and you'll be making better sounding music in no time. If you want to take your production skills to the next level, don't forget the importance of learning new techniques. And don't be afraid to ask for feedback from your peers — it's extremely valuable when it comes to understanding what's working and what's not. Creativity is key in this industry, so don't let that creativity fade away. If you need a break from it all, go ahead and take one! The most important thing is that you remain systematic in your work process. It will make the whole thing a lot more manageable.