12 Tips on How to Become a Better Producer
1. Master What You Have
Too many times producers think they are not able to achieve Pro standards due to limitations of DAW, Drum Library and lack of VST plugins. This is simply not true; you can become a master with what you already own. Know your DAW inside out, know its strengths and identify its weaknesses, know your Drum library inside out. Many of the top producers in the industry create hit records by recycling the same drums they have used for countless hit records. Eq, compress and filter in creative ways. In the end, a tool is only as good as the individual who wields it.
2. Don’t Try To “Fix It” In The Mix
Many producers try to toss tracks together without considering the quality of sounds they started with. A house is only as strong as its foundation, USE QUALITY SOUNDS when making your music. If you don’t have access to quality sounds yet, get to work. Find a small part-time gig and invest in yourself. Purchase quality sounds that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
There are many websites selling terrible products; please BE VERY SELECTIVE ABOUT WHO YOU PURCHASE FROM !!! DEMO EVERYTHING!!! For beginners, I would recommend starting with Fruity Loops. It has been an excellent tool for creating classic records. It has a vast drum library and stock VST’s that goes a long way. Start with an excellent sounding source, and you will see the results translate in the mix. USE QUALITY SOUNDS. Don’t sell yourself Short.
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3. Collaborate With Other Musicians
Collaboration is KEY to inspiring new ideas and music. Too many people take the lone wolf approach. History and time have taught us that the most significant achievements in life have come from people working together. A one-man band is not always your best option. Find people that share your vision for music and life. Allow like-minded people to connect with your creative process.
4. Take Time To Break
Many times, the production process is a vital step away from the song, beat, and score. Take small breaks in between your production process to clear your ears. Sometimes listening to the song on repeat for many hours can kill the vibe of creativity. Let the song come to you, don’t force it. If you find yourself in the zone and have no production block, then finish the song, but like many of us, we just need a break in-between the countless hours of the looped sample and redundant choruses. Stay back, breath and go at it with a fresh perspective.
5. Do Not Over Produce
Many times, less is more. Trying so hard to make the song sound full just by adding sounds, FX, and samples. This cardinal sin that I have been guilty of countless times. Now there will be times where the song calls for a very complicated arrangement, so go wild, other times we as producers tend to focus too much on the beat instead of the entire song as a whole, we throw all kinds of sounds, drums, and FX into our tracks wondering why people are not drawn to it. Keep it simple.
Let the track breathe. When moments of complexity are needed goes Nuts.
6. Listen To Constructive Criticism
Do not become so attached to what you create that you lose sight of the people who consume your music. Now with this tip, I would say be mindful of who you allow to give you feedback on your music. We all know this industry is filled with haters. Therefore, you must be careful which comments about your production you entertain. True constructive criticism will make you a better producer; you must have at least one person in your corner who will always tell you the truth about what you produce no matter what. Be open to taking it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s ok to trash beats and ideas that don’t work.
YOU’RE A PRODUCER JUST MAKE ANOTHER SONG !!!YOU WILL LIVE!!! LIFE WILL NOT END, AND THE WORLD WILL NOT EXPLODE!
7. Be Open To Experiment
BECOME FEARLESS IN PRODUCTION. Try new things. Be bold and take risks with what you make. Too many producers are playing it safe. Create the music you want to listen to. Experiment with genres, tones, bands, singers and new instruments. Don’t be afraid to make what you love. Step outside the box of what is popular in today’s Culture.
8. Be True To Yourself
In an age of copycats, original music is becoming rarer. There will never be another you on this planet. THAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ADVANTAGE. BE YOU AND DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THOSE WHO HATE WHAT YOU DO. Create a place of originality.
9. Practice Daily
Practice and create daily. It will pay off in the long run. Now for some this may not apply. Some people are just naturally talented and never practice, but for others, I mean the 95% of us remaining, practice does make perfect. Find time in your day to practice your craft. Play your guitar, beat your drums, bang your MPC UNTIL YOU PASS OUT, then get up the next day and do it again. You will only get out of this what you put in. If you want to be great, begin to create great habits.
10. Find a Production Mentor
Music mentors will be a great asset to your growth as a producer and as a professional within this industry. Learn from someone who is creating at a far better level. Humility will take you a long way. Never be ashamed, afraid, or self-conscience about wanting to become great at what you do.
11. Learn to Mix Your Tracks
MIXING IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOLS A PRODUCER CAN HAVE IN HIS/HERS ARSENAL. When creating music and sending out tracks for placements many of us fall short when it comes to mixing. Mixing is a colossal task. Take your time. Learn what techniques work with your style of music and then master them. This will set you apart from a lot of the competition.
12. Learn About The Music Business
As the backbone of the music industry, every DIY and Pro producer should know some of the basics of the music business. Know your right as a producer. Don’t sign any contract that you have not had a lawyer look over. Take some online classes on publishing rights, copyrights, master recording rights, composition rights, and percentage points for commercial production gigs. Do not be caught in a great opportunity with no knowledge of what you are stepping into. Labels will not get out of their way to make sure you get a great deal; they are about their company and their artists. Many producers have mishandled this portion of their production career, but I promise it is vital to your success and longevity within this industry.