Having been exposed to music ever since I could remember, and growing up around every type you can think of, it would only be natural for me to be inclined to go out and attempt to create my own form of music producing. I’m no Timbaland or Ryan Tedder; I’m no musical genius, but I have come an extremely long way since the beginning. I used to always see up and coming people struggle to get their ideas out, just like I used to. Well, this is my attempt to pass my experience on with 6 tips.
6) Know the difference! – If you’re like I was, you probably thought a producer did everything; make the beat, edit it, clean it up, market it and sell it. No? Maybe I was the only fool, but be that as it may there is a difference. Music engineers are usually the ones that edit a track after the beat and vocals have been laid down. A producer on the other hand is usually just responsible for the beat. In this day and age, all you have to do is upload it to sites like Soundclick, and have someone purchase it. No further work needed.
5) Find your style – If you’re going to go into this, find your own unique style is key. Incorporate your personality into the track. Make the keys sing and the guitar hum over the track as the kick and snare hit ever so smoothly. Knowing if you’re more of a pop person or more of an R&B person helps too, but being able to handle both helps tenfold.
4) Love what you make! – One thing about when you first start; you’re going to probably suck. What you’re producing a few years from now will tower over anything you can conceivably think of making now. That’s just the way it goes! This is why it’s key to love what you make, no matter what anyone says because, yes, you will have haters. People will tell you to just quit and try another form of art, such as doodling or oil pastels or humming. No, again? Well, I digress anyway. Stick to it and love every single project you come up with, finished or unfinished and don’t let any words deter you from making the music YOU love!
3) YouTube is your best friend – Back when I started, YouTube was in its infant stage. Not many videos were being uploaded explaining how to make or produce beats. The closest I got was listening to other producers already finished products and picking up on exactly how they got the sound they did. Nowadays, we’re lucky. YouTube has become TV. You can watch anything you want on there. Including videos on how to get up and running in whichever software you use. And that brings me to my next point.
2) Pick a program, stick with it – I can’t speak for everyone but for me, it’s hard to bounce around from DAW to DAW (which stands for Digital Audio Workstation). Each one has a different interface and set up and learning how to chop a note, pitch a note down or add custom kicks and snares over and over again can become tedious. It’s much easier to struggle with one program at first then struggle with 4 at the same time at first. Once you think you’ve mastered one, then by all means go out and explore the world my child! But until then, even a slight change in wording could throw you off if you decide “Hey, Cubase has more VSTs than FL Studio!”
1) Practice, Practice, Practice – I can’t stress this enough! Just like anything in life, practice makes perfect. This is especially true for music production. Make mistakes, play a chord with bad notes, add a random flute in an otherwise good beat, drown the beat out with too much bass, forget to sidechain and have the beat jump in and out! Do these things and I promise you, you’ll correct them and master them.
Those are just a few tips I can give from personal experience. A lot can go wrong when you’re producing music, but a lot can also go right. Masterpieces can very well be created by accident. Just give it your all and never give up just because you can’t get a sound you want. Use your resources and actively seek the solution to your problem. Even the best producers and production gurus have producers block or make the occasional off beat. Learn from it and grow into the engineer you want to be!