Six Fundamental Steps in Music Production



I have been in the music industry for the last two decades. I can say that my experiences in this industry have been vast. Looking back, I was only interested in singing, which meant that I had to skimp many music production aspects. It was not until 2011, when I ventured into music production alongside people who had help from dj finance firms to do the same, that my perception changed. This made me get a broader perspective about what music production entails.

By taking a closer look at the music industry, I have observed that there are no rules. And this means that it is easy for anyone new here to get lost. Record what you feel like, mix genres and rhythms, automate musical effects in unimaginable ways, or create novel categories. Just because the music industry is not limited, this does not mean that there are no rules.

If you are producing music, you have to make sure that it is good music. My advice to you upcoming artists is to emulate good chefs; just because they have a myriad of ingredients, they have to be careful to create a masterpiece. So, when someone comes to me for help, I find it appropriate to help upcoming musicians understand the process of making good music regardless of the style.

For those reading my post who would want to create a track that delivers the intended message, I plan to share some music production fundamentals.

#1 Song Writing

What does writing a song entail? This is a common concern among aspiring musicians, considering that most modern-day music is “wordless.” Song writing is the process of knitting musical ideas together while paying attention to musical features such as rhythm and harmony.

What makes a good song? In terms of content, the quality of a song is entirely subjective. But technically, it should have a good rhythm, and all parts should be in harmony.

#2 Arranging

Arranging is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of music production. If you come across a song that gets repetitive, this usually indicates a problem with the arrangement. Ideally, musical arrangement entails selecting musical instruments used in different parts of the song. You have to be creative with sound and create a build-up of some sort. You do not have to do much; even subtle additions can ignite interest among the listeners. I start by picking up a few elements, preferably one or two, which are essential to the song and keep making restrained adjustments.

#3 Tracking

This is where the gear comes in. Ideally, tracking should be viewed as a separate process from songwriting. The goal here is to capture the song’s performance. Ideally, tracking serves to record various instruments that are used in performing a song. Ideally, each track is recorded separately and given a “track” in the mix. This allows for greater control of pitch and balance.

#4 Editing

Digital editing has created boundless opportunities in music production. I can attest that modern-day artists have plenty of options other than those we had back in the days. When it comes to editing, you will only be polishing the tracks. Use this stage to cut pieces that are not quite there, move around some parts, and polish some of the track parts. Make sure the track sounds good after you are done with this stage.

#5 Mixing

After you are done recording all parts, what remains is to turn your work into a masterpiece. As an artist, you need to know how to mix well or understand what constitutes a good mix. A good mix should have some depth and motion. Moreover, it lets you hear the instruments in detail. I know that mixing requires a lot more than what is captured here but learning the basics should be a good start.

#6 Mastering

Album creation entails using different producers or studios for different songs. Ideally, mastering serves to ensure that all songs in an album are coherent. Unlike mixing, when you focus on balancing instruments to get a good piece, your focus turns to songs in mastering. Several software tools can help you master your album. But I am usually of the opinion that this process should be left to the professionals.

Ideally, music production is just about creating music. If you are comfortable with this process, it becomes a lot easier for you to create music that your fans will love.


 *Guest post. Photo source Pexels 

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