5 Music Production Tips I Wish I Knew Sooner
Heyo! I wanted to share a bunch of random tips that have helped me over the years!
Sometimes it just takes one little trick or insight to spawn your next creative breakthrough.
If I were able to tell my 18-year-old self music production tips, they would be:
1. Choose your samples and instruments wisely.
Source sounds will have the single most influence on a mixdown, period. I can’t express how important having intentionality and attention to detail at the beginning phases of the process really is.
Find sounds that work well together right off the bat, and make sure to capture awesome tones and incredible performances.
Whether it’s spending the extra time to really tweak your mic placement, making sure your instruments are set up properly and remain in tune, or recording smaller takes of performance, make sure you put the work in upfront.
Don’t be afraid to audition many different samples, snares, and play around with a variety of tones, and experiment before committing your sounds.
Taking the time to visualize the final product and find the right sounds that naturally work together will save you so much time and struggle in the mixing phase.
You’ll thank me later!
2. Focus on songwriting first and foremost.
It can be super easy to switch over to engineer mode while creating a song but remember, most people won’t notice those tiny details we obsess about.
They’ll mostly be focused on how it makes them feel. Instrumentation, melody, and vocals are all a means to an end to impact the listener. There’s no point in getting a perfect mix if your song doesn’t take people on a musical journey.
If you think about it.. how much music have you heard that sounds awesome but is just plain boring and forgettable?
Way too much.
On the flip side, how many amazing songs might not have had the “best” production but have stood the test of time?
How is this possible?
Because songwriting and performance > production and mixing. ALWAYS.
Think about it this way, If you were sending your music to a label and they were listening to your music, what would be the unique quality that makes it stand out?
The music, songwriting, and innovative melding of genres.
Don’t get me wrong, mixing is an important part of the process, but if a label was considering a song that had a subpar mix, they could simply hire a mixing engineer.
However, they CAN’T outsource your unique artistic creativity.
Typically if there are plenty of people you can just hire to do a job, it’s not the most important part of the process,
3. The fastest way to improve is to write a ton of music.
Constantly consuming information will NOT get you where you want to be. I’ve been very guilty of this.
That’s not to say tutorials, tips, and tricks aren’t useful. They certainly are, but you need to put what you learn from them into practice.
If you have 2 hours of free time, I would suggest using 1:45 working on music and 15 minutes learning something. Taking action will create the clarity you need.
The more you take massive action, the quicker you’ll find the things you have to learn as your run into obstacles.
At that point, you’re in the best position to learn something new because you’re motivated to immediately put it into action.
There is no replacement for extracting meaning and knowledge from your own experience. It’s uniquely yours.
To get better at music production, you have to get good at every part of the process.
The best way to do so is to commit to consistently completing the cycle!
4. First impressions are important
Make sure your intro captures the listener and hooks them in right away.
With the sheer amount of music out there and short attention spans, this is so important!
What can you do to hook your listener? How can you make your music more interesting? If you stumbled upon your own song in a Spotify playlist, would you want to skip it?
A useful perspective to approach making your music more interesting is to think of it as telling a story with sound.
Think of the various parts of your song as different sonic characters. How do they get introduced over time? How do they interact? How does the narrative influence their character development?
The idea of a narrative, starting somewhere and navigating through various situations of tension and release, is one of the most fundamental parts of how we as humans can communicate relatable stories!
5. It’s important to have fun.
You will learn the most when you are in a creative flow and enjoying yourself.
In our high-speed culture, it can be very easy to get caught up in the “rat race” and get the joy sucked out of something you truly love doing.
If you catch yourself not having fun… stop. Take a pause and try to reflect on what got you into music. The pure bliss of listening to amazing art and expressing and discovering yourself through your craft.
Always keep that as your north star.
However, even if you might not always feel as inspired to work on your projects. In that case, you can focus on something that really excites you, whether it’s learning a new skill like sampling, sound design, or learning an instrument.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out my ►► 7 Simple Steps To Take Your Songs From Start To Finish. Download Your FREE Pro Producer Roadmap PDF: https://www.metamindmusic.com/workflow
My name is Alex, and I help musicians produce themselves by developing their mindset, expanding their creativity, and connecting to their inner artist in a deeper way.
Audio Production, Keeping Track