A beginners Guide!
Musicproductionsinfo is THE adress for you if you want to get creative making music. It doesn’t matter what genre you like to produce! Look at this page as a guide who leads you through your first steps. With me you can be sure to choose the right hard and software for your musical career!
This page will explain the first steps involved when making music and help you organize the process from start to end.
The making of a song:
Beginners often struggle with the right plan when it comes to producing their first song. So here we go and guide you with topics that you should adress before you start. Making a song starts even before you plug in your gear. It starts in your head. Best things first: When you are making music, the only rule is there are no rules. You can record whatever you want and use it as a sample. You can automate effects in ways never imagined by someone before. Go ahead and chop these vocals like crazy. Go beserk on your drums. Mix your hythms and genres to create beats no one could has ever imagined before you!
Yes, The possibilities are endless. That is what makes music so charming, yet so myterious. Nevertheless, just because you can do anything in music doesn’t mean you should. There are simple rules which succeded through history when it comes to creating a banger. Regardless of the genre type of music you are makeing, you want it to be good music. You want you listeners to enjoy your tracks, to hear the single layers clearly and you don’t want to be distracted by a bad recording or even weak mixing. Important is that you understand your DAW, the process and plugins you will be using, so it will be easier to deliver a quality track that transports your message and vibes as you intended in the first place. Therefore it is important to follow common steps when starting to work on a new song.
Let’s start by chopping these steps of music production by separating them it into five different stages. I call them the steps of:
- Songwriting And The Main Idea
- Arranging The Patterns
- Editing Your Patterns
- Final Mastering
None of these steps is more or less important than the other and you should spend some time into looking into each process to archieve your intented goal.
SONGWRITING AND MAIN IDEA
You hear it everywhere: Songwriting. But what is this mysterious thing all about? To put it short, songwriting is the process of putting musical ideas from your head into your song. Those ideas should form a larger structure. This structure contains melody, harmony and rhythm. Find a main idea. An emotion or a theme you want ot adress in your song. The first process is brainstorming ideas that results in a beginning, middle and end of a song. What instruments will you need? What emotion shall the song transfer to your listener?
And now we got to the point where we ask us: What makes a song a good song? Let me try to explain it, it is easyer than you think. The naked truth is that a good banger will always depend on the listener and what they’re drawn into. It’s totally subjective as different people connect different memories and ideas with your song. No two persons will listen to the same song completely the same. And thats a good thing! However, a good song in terms of producing can be identified more objectively. As allready mentioned a good song will have all the elements listed above (i.e. melody, harmony, rhythm and a structure). All those elements will be put together in a way that are recognizable while still being creative through its playing. Your song should carry a unique and recognizable style which will be your brandmark.
Let’s be crystal clear here: You have to get the interest of your listener. Therefore a good song develop as it goes along. Transfer these vibes! You musics purpose is to taking us on a path filled with surprises along the way. Little changes in your patterns will make sure we’re still listening. A repetetive song becomes boring and will never catch a bigger audience. Don’t forget the keep the unity of your song. The melody (the part that the singer sings) will go along with the harmony (e.g. what the guitars, bass and synths play) in a way that’s pleasing to the ear. But how do we archieve that? The answer is that we use slighty differences in repetetive and catchy patterns. You as a producer use these repetitions to help the listener get used to the chord progression and playing before transitioning to the next part of your song where you will use a different set of chords and a slitly different pattern of notes.
Last but not least a good song will also have a good and sticky rhythm. PLay with different drums and drum patterns. Reach out to other genres and mix untypical drum patterns with etablished ones. A catchy rythm should make your foot tap with the groove, whether you’re a professional drummer or not. Do you know that feeling when you are listening to your favorite song and can’t controll yourself while tapping and bouncing with your feets? This is what we want to archieve. Therefore ask yourself the following questions: Are the melody and harmony catchy enough to stay in your head? And does the track keep your attention with new ideas as it goes along? Get this answers right from the start and the rest will roll out on it’s own.
ARRANGING THE PATTERNS
Let’s imagine you spent hours on creating differents patterns with a great lead, vocals, a catchy sax and a bouncy rythm. Anyway your song sounds kinda lame. Know this feeling? Why is it like that? The answer is that when a song has a good beat and melody but gets too repetitive after a while, you have usually a problem with your pattern arrangement. The arrangement of a song refers to the selection of instruments playing in each pattern. It’s the placing of patterns that makes a song interesting and flowing. Arranging alone can change so much for your song, so always play with different patterns and where you place them. You have to get an idea on how the sections themselves are arranged within the timeline of your song.
Lets pretend you’ve added another verse and chorus to your song. If you just play them over and over again your track becomes boring. There needs to be a buildup and evolving of some sort. For example, the 1st verse only has lead-sax and the vocal in it, while the 2nd verse adds the bass and drums, and the 1st chorus then surprisingly adds the synths and vocal again.
Also just because you placed an instrument in a certain pattern doesn’t mean it should stay there the whole time. Sometimes you only change a certain instrument from pattern to pattern. Sometimes you add or take away instruments. Keep it moving. For example pitch that lead one octave up. Remember that even subtle additions can add a lot of interest for the listener. The possibilities are endless.
In todays world, with million of available plugins for sound editing, the possibilities of digital editing are endless. When it comes to editing, you should remmber some tips. First things first, you don’t want to be editing while you’re recording. If you do you will lose the groove and feeling each time you stop to correct something. Leave the editing to a later stage. And more important: Don’t overdo it with editing or your song will begin to sound too “muddy”. People can hear if your song is “over-edited”. If it sounds good, then it doesn’t need editing. Remember, the aim of this stage is to get the instrument sound as good as possible, nothing more, nothing less.
Mixing your song means to re-arrange your instruments in volume and stereo sound. It means to combine all your instruments to one song. Without mixing everything wants to be loud and muddy. Lets say you’ve written your song, recorded the parts, and now it’s time to mix your tracklines. We are now turning your song into a masterpiece. Knowing how to mix well is an art form that takes years of learning and practice. But don’t let this stop you from doing it, and you should feel free to dive right into it. Learning by doing, just start right off. Mixing is the process of combining all the instruments you’ve recorded into a stereo 2-track mix. You archieved a good mix when you hear all the instruments clearly and with detail. Mixing is a world unto its own and the final mix has an enormous impact on the way your song will be interpreted by your listeners.
What does Mastering mean? Mastering comes form a time when musicians producer their songs in different studios, therefore having little “unequal details” in it. Mastering is the process of making all of your used songs sound coherent and part of the same album. A good sound engineer has impeccable ears and equipment. We do not have that as a beginner. But don’t worry. While Mastering you will correct any minor deficiencies in the mix that you might have missed due prior to mixing. Mastering also means to raise the level of all your tracks so they’re even in volume. There are many software tools that allow you to master your own tracks e.g. iZotopes Ozone. As with anything, a professional is always going to do the job best. But you can “fake it” with a good chain of plugins and experiences.
Music production is simply the process of making music. It should always bring you fun and it should come from the heart. The more comfortable you are with the process, the easier it will be for you to make the music, and to make it sound good. Don’t force anything, good things will happen to those who practise!
Let’s keep you updated with the recent trends, newest Plugins and common information about music production! Feel free to stumble over our different sections where we will show you some basic equipment and Plugins.