9 Hacks To Improve Music Production Skills- No Expensive Gear!
Music production is an art by itself. It requires you to be creative, come up with ideas and also combine your art with technology.
Learning how to produce music is a skill that takes time and practice to master.
There’s no single shortcut to become a good producer, but there are some ways you can improve your skills faster than others.
To become a great producer, you don’t need expensive music production software or the latest equipment.
Here are some useful hacks on how you can hone those production skills without breaking the bank.
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Know your tools
Before you can start producing music, you have to know your tools.
You have to know what your DAW can and cannot do, what all the FXs do, how every plug-in works, how to use different types of EQs and compressors, how to set up your tracks for optimum sound quality and so on.
This will help you save time by avoiding mistakes and help you learn new techniques faster.
You don’t have to become a sound engineering expert, but knowing the basics is crucial to your creative process.
It will also save you a lot of time and frustration when you start producing.
Watch and listen to more music
The more music you listen to, the more new ideas you’ll get.
You’ll get to hear new techniques, new ways of mixing, new sounds, and you’ll also get inspired by other producers.
You don’t have to listen to music only related to your genre. You can also listen to other types of music like rock, hip-hop, etc. to get new ideas.
Read: 31 Tips For Mastering
Watch people mix and produce their tracks on YouTube. These are great learning resources.
You’ll not only get new ideas, but you’ll also learn tips and tricks from experts.
You can even find tutorials on how to improve your music production skills without any experience.
Follow the fundamentals
The best producers in the world follow the same music production fundamentals.
They understand that these rules don’t change, even if the software or hardware changes.
The fundamentals include good sound quality, proper mixing, creative arrangement, and an interesting composition.
A good sound quality means that you’re using the right tools to achieve the right sound.
It means that you have a good pair of headphones, studio monitors, and a good audio interface.
It also means that you’re not clipping your audio and your levels are at an appropriate level.
Good mixing means that your track has the right amount of frequency space, it doesn’t sound muddy or too harsh, there’s a proper balance between the different instruments in your track, there’s good stereo imaging, and no instrument is drowning out the other.
Learn by doing
The best way to learn anything is by doing. The best way to improve your music production skills is by actually producing music.
Start small and aim for an achievable goal. Set a goal for yourself where you can make a complete track from scratch.
It doesn’t matter if it’s terrible at first. You can always improve on it later on. Making music is a process.
You can’t make a great track in a day or even a week. It’s a journey that requires patience, time, and hard work.
There are tons of free resources online where you can learn music production. There are also many online courses that you can learn from.
Learning by reading is good, but nothing can replace actually doing.
When you’re actually creating a track, you’re going through the whole creative process.
You’re experiencing it first-hand and you’re making mistakes and learning from them.
Start with the drum track first
Although this is subjective, but I will advice it. The drum track is the backbone of any track.
It defines the kind of track you’re making and it also sets the mood of the track.
It’s the first thing that people hear in any track. So, making the drum track first is a good idea.
It will help you set the tempo and also set the mood of the track.
When you’re making a track from scratch, it’s very easy to get lost in all the different things that you have to do.
Having a clear plan on what to do next will help you stay focused on the track.
It will also help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Many people have a fear of making mistakes.
They think that they have to make a perfect track the first time they try their hands on music production.
This fear will only hinder your creativity. Don’t get me wrong.
You have to make sure that your track has a good sound quality. But there’s no such thing as a perfect track.
There’s always room for improvement. There are some techniques and tricks that you can try out.
You can use parallel processing and sidechaining, you can use dissonance, polyrhythms, etc.
These techniques will help you create a unique and interesting track.
Experimenting will also help you discover new techniques and approaches.
Identify what you’re excellent at
You might not be good at everything, but you can always improve on your skills.
Identify the things that you’re excellent at and focus on them.
If you’re good at coming up with melodies, focus on melody creation.
If you’re good at sound designing, focus on designing sounds for your track.
Using your strengths to help you produce a better track is a great way to improve your skills.
You’ll find that the track is getting done faster than usual. You’ll be able to use your strengths to their fullest potential.
Shortcuts don’t exist – use the mouse less
Some people think that shortcuts are the only way to become a better music producer.
Shortcuts are good but they won’t make you a better producer overnight. In fact, shortcuts might hinder your progress.
They might make you lazy and they might make you less creative.
Instead of going for shortcuts, focus on improving your workflow.
It might sound boring, but it’s actually important. You don’t have to make any drastic changes in your setup.
All you have to do is to focus on improving the way you do things. This will help you become a better producer over time.
This doesn’t mean that you have to learn how to use every single feature of your DAW. You just have to focus on improving your workflow.
For example, you might be spending too much time in the track arrangement. You might also be spending too much time processing your audio.
Music production is a skill that requires creativity and hard work.
It’s a skill that can be learned but it requires patience.
You have to understand that becoming a good producer takes time and effort.
It’s not something that you can just pick up overnight.
There’s no single shortcut to become a good producer. It takes time and effort.
However, you can improve your skills faster by following these 10 hacks.