Making your own music isn’t easy. There is a lot to consider. Though, there are differently differing opinions on the matter. Some people are content with recording their own tracks using a simple set up while others are more interested in improving their music producer skills.
Below, you will find 7 essential music production tips for beginners. If you want to learn how to make music, start with these suggestions.
#1 – You Need the Right Gear
The very first step in music production is getting the right gear. So, what gear do you need? This depends on the type of music that you plan on making.
If you want to jump right in and start making beats, then you just need a digital audio workstation (DAW). This is computer software that allows you to combine elements and put songs together. But, you’ll need additional equipment if you plan on doing any live recording.
So, along with a DAW, you should consider investing in the following basic gear:
- Audio interface
- Quality headphones or studio monitors
- MIDI keyboard
The first piece of equipment is an audio interface. These boxes are how you connect microphones so that you can record live sound. Technically, you could use the sound card built into your computer with a cheap microphone, but you will not come close to a professional sound.
A decent audio interface will cost at least $150. You may be able to find a better deal if you shop around. Just make sure that it is compatible with your computer.
Along with an audio interface, you need a microphone. This is needed for recording vocals or live instruments. Again, you’ll spend around $150 for a good microphone. But, you can go cheaper.
Studio monitors are high-quality speakers that deliver clear, crisp sound. This gives you the best indication as to how your song sounds. Though, you need to have them set up properly. Also, you’ll spend about $150 or more for a cheap set of studio monitors.
Another option is to purchase a quality set of headphones. This will not be as effective as using studio monitors. But, if you’re strapped for cash, it’s better than nothing.
A MIDI keyboard is useful for controlling, composing, and playing virtual instruments. Unless you plan on recording live drums, guitar, bass, and other instruments, this could be an essential piece of equipment. Luckily, you can find a cheap keyboard for less than $100.
#2 – Setting Up Your Home Studio
Once you’ve gathered all your equipment, you can start setting up your home studio. First and foremost, you need a quiet room. You want a room that will minimize or eliminate outside noises while helping to remove any reverberation.
Generally, you won’t have a lot of options in your house. So, choose a carpeted room with few windows. You can use blankets, padding, and other material to help isolate sounds.
If you have studio monitors, they should be placed next to your computer monitor. The angle of these monitors is essential. Place them at a 45-degree angle, facing toward your seat. Point them directly to your ears. Though, you may need to adjust the positioning a little, by playing music and listening to the sound.
#3 – Start Recording Your Own Music
After you’ve got everything set up, you can begin recording your own music. You should play around with your software and your setup. Become familiar with the options in your DAW software. Look for virtual instruments or plugins that you can install.
Play around with your equipment and software and have fun putting together basic songs. You don’t need to create a professional track right away. You just need to get a feel for how the software works.
#4 – Remember That Less is More
As you start mixing tracks together, it’s important to remember that less is more. It’s tempting to add more sounds and instruments. But, if you’re not careful, you will end up taking away from your original song.
These bells and whistles will drown out the actual song. Keep it simple. Focus on the actual groove and not dozens of additional tracks.
#5 – Frequently Save Your Work
You should save your work all the time. Whenever you take a break and sit back in your chair, save your work. Whenever you get up to go to the bathroom, save your work. You don’t want to lose all your hard work.
Depending on the quality of your computer, you can expect it to crash occasionally. While DAW software doesn’t require as much memory as a video production program, it still requires a lot of processing power. This could result in computer crashes. So, save yourself the trouble and remember to save frequently.
#6 – Watch Music Production Videos
As you begin experimenting with music production, you should watch music production videos. There are thousands of tutorials available on YouTube. Listen to what professional music producers say about how to make music. For example, check out the following tutorial for a few tidbits of advice on choosing the best music production software:
#7 – Take Regular Breaks
Every so often, you should walk away from your studio. Take regular breaks and then come back. After hours sitting in front of your computer, you’ll fry your brain. You’ll have trouble making the right decisions.
You need to take a step back occasionally. This is a tip used in almost any creative field. Painters regularly take a step back from their paintings to examine it from afar. You should do the same with your music. Take a step back and then return with a fresh set of ears.
Start using these tips to improve your music production skills. Whether you want to make it as a music producer or you simply want to produce your own original music, these suggestions will help you create a more professional sound.
Once you start creating great songs, the next step is to sell your own music. This can be achieved by working with a music production company or promoting your own original music. We’ve got an upcoming webinar that will give insight into the steps needed to get your music heard and sell your albums. Click here to learn more about this upcoming webinar for indie musicians.