The Producer's Forum

Production Talk => Inspiration/Creativity/Motivation => Topic started by: noahnorrod on January 07, 2016, 03:40:45 am

Title: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: noahnorrod on January 07, 2016, 03:40:45 am
I'm relatively inexperienced with music production, but I have started devoting more time than ever into music, and I think there are a lot of people on here with some very good knowledge that could be useful to others, even if it isn't useful to me. Experience level doesn't really matter, because we can all learn from each other!

I think this thread could live on, staying useful for a while, so here's they way this should work:

1. The first and most useful tip you have for any producer, new or experienced. If it's specific to a DAW or a VST plugin, be sure to make note of that. If it requires any other prior knowledge, mention that, too.

2. Any other tips you might have! Don't feel restricted by the "top three" in the title, that's just a recommendation!

3. You know what I value more than materialistic things? Knowledge.

I'd like to hear what general tips you have for me, and for everyone else on this forum!

Thanks,
- Noah

EDIT: I'm really glad this thread took off, both in it's original location in Sound Design, and it's current location! I've seen replies from producers I've followed and respected in the past, and I've read even more from some of you who I'm interested in, now! I'll have to start another thread in this format and see what else you guys know! I might make a video or something (once this thread eventually dies down) to collect some of the best advice you've given here! I've been checking back frequently and I've read some tips in particular that really struck with me. Thanks again for making this thread such a success, and for both of the times it's been pinned! We're currently almost at 50 replies, all of which contain useful input!  :)
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Joseph on January 07, 2016, 03:50:19 am
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)

2. Limit yourself, don't go out there and get 20 different plugins, fully learn one and then buy another.

3. You don't need good gear when you're starting out
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: 932843200 on January 07, 2016, 03:53:41 am
1. Learn your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Your DAW is what makes your music.
2. Utilize free VST plugins, instead of worrying about purchasing Massive or Sylenth.
3. Learn subtractive synthesis.
4. Learn basic music theory.
5. Learn how to do basic mixing (Panning, EQ, FX, etc.)

And the most important, don't give up. You will probably run into times where you want to quit because you are not producing great music. Being good at something takes practice and time.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Mussar on January 07, 2016, 03:54:05 am
1. Read the manual!

2. Read the manual!

3. I don't care if you watched a youtube video, READ THE MANUAL!!!
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: poisonstings on January 07, 2016, 03:59:58 am
1. Don't be afraid just to play around. You aren't gonna learn by sitting there and doing nothing, so turn knobs and push buttons and do things that you don't know the outcome of. Experimentation is a great way of learning.

2. Watch videos. Whether they are tutorials, or tracks from scratches, or masterclasses. Just watch a bunch of videos. But don't just watch them, apply what you've learned, and try it out yourself. Application makes it stick in your brain.

3. Don't expect to be amazing. It takes years for people to get good. Heck, I'm only ~9-10 months in, and I know my songs are pretty bad. Don't get discouraged. Don't give up just because you don't think it sounds anything close to good. Just keep going, because at the end of the day it will help you learn.


EDIT: btw great thread idea OP. :)
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: justin on January 07, 2016, 04:03:41 am
I've been doing this for almost 3 years. Here's the best advice I can give to people starting out that truly want to learn.

You can, and should strive to, be better.
This is my Golden Rule of everything I do in life that matters to me -- from production, to relationships, to medical school, to anything I care about. Becoming content with what you're doing or your skill level leads to stagnation. There's no finish line in this, only stepping stone goals you set along the way if you choose so. Want to get better? Admit you can improve and figure out how to.

Connect with people
Forums and reddit are great but I improved the most when I joined a group chat of people who, like me, wanted to improve. These are people I've talked to every day for the last 2 years and are pretty good friends. Don't be afraid to reach out to people on soundcloud/twitter/Facebook. Like a sound from a track? Message the artist. Is deadmau5 going to tell you how he did something? Most likely not, but who knows? He could. I reached out to a very well known artist (he's on this forum) several months ago and said I was going to be in the same city as he was and wanted to meet up and talk production. He agreed to meet up for a half hour or so. We ended up sitting in a Starbucks for nearly 4 hours talking about music/production/the industry. That's an experience you want to have and the only way you're going to get it is by connecting with people. Guess what he said was the most valuable experience he's had? Reaching out to an artist he looked up to.

Listen
The obvious, not-so-obvious, broad-spectrum piece of advice. Listen to fans. Listen to haters. Listen to what your friends and family have to say about your music. Listen to yourself. Try sitting down with one other person and play one of your songs for them. If you're not cringing, you're not being self-critical enough. Listen to music you love. Why do you love it? Figure that out. Listen to music you hate. Why do you hate it? Listen to people who are better than you. What makes them better? Listen to people who are worse than you. There's stuff you can learn from everyone, regardless of skill -- even if it's how not to do something. Listen to your sounds. Listen to your sample selections. Listen to your progressions. Listen to your arrangement. Listen to your melodies. Listen to everything. Fucking Listen.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: RUDE on January 07, 2016, 04:05:06 am
I've been doing this for almost 3 years. Here's the best advice I can give to people starting out that truly want to learn.

You can, and should strive to, be better.
This is my Golden Rule of everything I do in life that matters to me -- from production, to relationships, to medical school, to anything I care about. Becoming content with what you're doing or your skill level leads to stagnation. There's no finish line in this, only stepping stone goals you set along the way if you choose so. Want to get better? Admit you can improve and figure out how to.

Connect with people
Forums and reddit are great but I improved the most when I joined a group chat of people who, like me, wanted to improve. These are people I've talked to every day for the last 2 years and are pretty good friends. Don't be afraid to reach out to people on soundcloud/twitter/Facebook. Like a sound from a track? Message the artist. Is deadmau5 going to tell you how he did something? Most likely not, but who knows? He could. I reached out to a very well known artist (he's on this forum) several months ago and said I was going to be in the same city as he was and wanted to meet up and talk production. He agreed to meet up for a half hour or so. We ended up sitting in a Starbucks for nearly 4 hours talking about music/production/the industry. That's an experience you want to have and the only way you're going to get it is by connecting with people. Guess what he said was the most valuable experience he's had? Reaching out to an artist he looked up to.

Listen
The obvious, not-so-obvious, broad-spectrum piece of advice. Listen to fans. Listen to haters. Listen to what your friends and family have to say about your music. Listen to yourself. Try sitting down with one other person and play one of your songs for them. If you're not cringing, you're not being self-critical enough. Listen to music you love. Why do you love it? Figure that out. Listen to music you hate. Why do you hate it? Listen to people who are better than you. What makes them better? Listen to people who are worse than you. There's stuff you can learn from everyone, regardless of skill -- even if it's how not to do something. Listen to your sounds. Listen to your sample selections. Listen to your progressions. Listen to your arrangement. Listen to your melodies. Listen to everything. Fucking Listen.
Best advice one could ever get right here
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Ysbryd on January 07, 2016, 04:18:38 am
Honestly, just have fun. You don't need to be a certain skill level for however long you have been producing, you don't have to be original, you don't have to be unoriginal.

Make the music you want to make and have fun with it

Also, chances are, no matter how long you are producing, you will hate almost everything you make. It's not because it's bad, but you're hearing the same thing over and over for hours and hours; it's bound to happen.

Personally, I disagree with a lot of the advice in this thread and in most threads where someone asks how to get better or ask for tips. That is not to say they don't work, but that is just not how I enjoy making my music and putting myself to the standards and sounds of other people drove me insane.

As I said before, just do what makes you happy and the good people and the good times and all the good vibes will come around too
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: FOXSKY on January 07, 2016, 04:24:12 am
1. don't compromise your ideas because youre worried about getting signed or getting DJ support, dont pander. worry less about getting bigger as a musician and more about learning more about yourself and what you like to make

2. accept and listen to criticism/comments but dont bend and apply anything you have doubts about, be confident

3. produce as much as you possibly can and dont be afraid to try creative things that dont "make sense" or that are unconventional. there arent any rules to expression , you should create your own trail rather than follow someone else's

btw, totally disagree with some points in the previous post here by "joseph"... i wouldnt steal or copy anything intentionally....
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Dubya on January 07, 2016, 04:49:02 am
1.  Get comfortable with your DAW.  Know it inside and out.
2.  Focus on just a couple of plug-ins.  It can be intimidating when you are trying to learn how to use 5-10 different plug-ins at once.  Really focus on a main one or two and understand how they work and what they're full capabilities are.
3.  Don't be so focused on sounding "original" at first.  Start with trying to figure out how to make a similar sound. You may discover some really cool stuff along the way!
4. Just have fun.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Holder on January 07, 2016, 07:44:07 am
1. Experiment with stuff. Try making something horrible sound good. Do something you'd never think of doing. This way you will find new ways to approach making sounds and it can really spice up your sound design.

2. Try new genres to learn more about producing outside your comfort zone. That way you will become a better overall producer rather than just being a really good for example dubstep producer. New genres also can give you some really unique and fresh ideas for new songs.

3. Don't compare yourself to others too much.
It's good to look at your stuff and compare it to something else in terms of improving your sound but being too self critical can really eat your motivation. It's good to focus on being an individual. Just focus on your own stuff and you'll create your own sound.

oh and to add one more

4. HAVE FUN. Don't make it too serious. Just have fun with it. This way it won't eat up all your motivation and it will be way more interesting over time.

I hope these helped =D
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: polardubbear97 on January 07, 2016, 07:46:10 am
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Holder on January 07, 2016, 07:47:35 am
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)

2. Limit yourself, don't go out there and get 20 different plugins, fully learn one and then buy another.

3. You don't need good gear when you're starting out

That first one isn't something I'd recommend doing. Imo you should just make music and not be afraid of sounding like something else that is already out there.
Straight up stealing just sounds like Caked Up lmao
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Miles Dominic on January 07, 2016, 08:49:32 am
1. Keep practicing, experimenting, reading and watching tutorials
2. Learn 1 or 2 synths by heart. Bests are sylenth, serum, massive and harmor.
3. Pick up playing an instrument.
4. Talk to other producers who are more experienced and ask for proper feedback.
5. Don't limit yourself, try to make weird stuff, try to use weird sounds, chords etc.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: BorderCity on January 07, 2016, 08:56:06 am
3. You know what I value more than materialistic things? Knowledge.

Here in my garaaaaaage ;D ;D ;D

Seriously though...
1. Learn your software/hardware. If you don't know what a button or dial does, work it out or read up about it. It's so much more valuable to have 2-3 pieces of software you KNOW than like 20 pieces of software you only use for one preset cus you don't know how they work.

2. This sounds odd, but take a while to copy others. Obviously eventually you'll want to find your own style, but I think the best way to learn the technical side of music is to copy/imitate and try to recreate a song or style. That way when it comes to developing your own style you aren't held back by your lack of KNOWLEDGE (and Lamborghinis)

3. Make a lot of stuff and finish a lot of stuff. You don't have to release it, just finish it at least. Why? Because if you keep starting songs and never finish them, you become better at not finishing songs. So even if you have lost hope in them, at least try to arrange them into a full track. You don't need to spend hours on it or polish it off, just finish the idea.

Hope I helped :)
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Snow on January 07, 2016, 09:14:13 am
- Add grid to your sounds by sending the same source to a different channel with a very rough effect like a distortion and put the volume very low so you don't notice it but when you take it away it isn't there.

- Layering!!!!

- Use the stereofield

- Layering!!!!
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: VOIID on January 07, 2016, 11:08:35 am
-Fuck presets, start making your own sounds. It might be hard at the beginning but it's 100% worth.
-Try different DAWs, maybe you'll find one that fits you better. This might be unpopular but after 4-5 years using FL Studio I just found out how much I like Bitwig.
-Don't be afraid to experiment with different genres: you'll learn a lot.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: PlainSimple on January 07, 2016, 12:09:41 pm
1. Read the manual!

2. Read the manual!

3. I don't care if you watched a youtube video, READ THE MANUAL!!!

This
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Scribit on January 07, 2016, 12:39:34 pm
1. Buy FL Studios
2. Buy Vengeance Loops
3. Stack random loops together
4. ???
5. Profit
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Voia on January 07, 2016, 05:10:28 pm
Compose/arrange first, produce second.

Alternatively, dedicate separate time to sound design/mixing than you do when writing
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: shagia on January 07, 2016, 05:44:08 pm
I've been doing this for almost 3 years. Here's the best advice I can give to people starting out that truly want to learn.

You can, and should strive to, be better.
This is my Golden Rule of everything I do in life that matters to me -- from production, to relationships, to medical school, to anything I care about. Becoming content with what you're doing or your skill level leads to stagnation. There's no finish line in this, only stepping stone goals you set along the way if you choose so. Want to get better? Admit you can improve and figure out how to.

Connect with people
Forums and reddit are great but I improved the most when I joined a group chat of people who, like me, wanted to improve. These are people I've talked to every day for the last 2 years and are pretty good friends. Don't be afraid to reach out to people on soundcloud/twitter/Facebook. Like a sound from a track? Message the artist. Is deadmau5 going to tell you how he did something? Most likely not, but who knows? He could. I reached out to a very well known artist (he's on this forum) several months ago and said I was going to be in the same city as he was and wanted to meet up and talk production. He agreed to meet up for a half hour or so. We ended up sitting in a Starbucks for nearly 4 hours talking about music/production/the industry. That's an experience you want to have and the only way you're going to get it is by connecting with people. Guess what he said was the most valuable experience he's had? Reaching out to an artist he looked up to.

Listen
The obvious, not-so-obvious, broad-spectrum piece of advice. Listen to fans. Listen to haters. Listen to what your friends and family have to say about your music. Listen to yourself. Try sitting down with one other person and play one of your songs for them. If you're not cringing, you're not being self-critical enough. Listen to music you love. Why do you love it? Figure that out. Listen to music you hate. Why do you hate it? Listen to people who are better than you. What makes them better? Listen to people who are worse than you. There's stuff you can learn from everyone, regardless of skill -- even if it's how not to do something. Listen to your sounds. Listen to your sample selections. Listen to your progressions. Listen to your arrangement. Listen to your melodies. Listen to everything. Fucking Listen.

absolutely underrated post, especially:

There's stuff you can learn from everyone, regardless of skill -- even if it's how not to do something. Fucking Listen.

thank you for this.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: BrienWithAnE on January 07, 2016, 05:54:15 pm
Experiment, and produce as much as you can
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: heyitsguh on January 07, 2016, 05:59:16 pm
1. Don't worry about getting as many plugins as you can, instead find one or two for each aspect of production and master them. Only move on once full mastery has been achieved.

2. The internet is your friend. For every question you may have, there will already be 54835483975 other people who would have had it already. In addition, there are incredibly helpful information out there. Whenever you don't feel like producing, read. No matter how much you think you know, there's always more.

3. Learn to move on. Sometimes you are trying to fix a sound, a song, and you spend so much time on fixing it that you lose track of where you want to go. Do not be afraid to delete things, or to start over. A blank page, although daunting, can be very inspiring.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Mat_Zo on January 07, 2016, 06:08:23 pm
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)



This! I'd even go as far to say, try and recreate other people's tracks entirely. It will teach you a lot more than trying to come up with original ideas. Just make sure you don't carry on doing it like some people *coughzombycough*
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Ninth Parallel on January 07, 2016, 06:13:16 pm
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)



This! I'd even go as far to say, try and recreate other people's tracks entirely. It will teach you a lot more than trying to come up with original ideas. Just make sure you don't carry on doing it like some people *coughzombycough*

I definitely agree with this, remaking full songs is great practice, and it's a method I have used periodically to learn very quickly! It's a good challenge to take up. Pushing yourself to figure out how to get something sounding a certain way makes you innovate and develop your own techniques. Even if you didn't nail the sound, you're still getting closer and learning more through experimentation  ;)
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Babasmas on January 07, 2016, 06:49:56 pm
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)



This! I'd even go as far to say, try and recreate other people's tracks entirely. It will teach you a lot more than trying to come up with original ideas. Just make sure you don't carry on doing it like some people *coughzombycough*

I definitely agree with this, remaking full songs is great practice, and it's a method I have used periodically to learn very quickly! It's a good challenge to take up. Pushing yourself to figure out how to get something sounding a certain way makes you innovate and develop your own techniques. Even if you didn't nail the sound, you're still getting closer and learning more through experimentation  ;)
I do agree, remixes/bootlegs are really interesting to see if you can add something to a track you actually love. To learn sound design/mix it's better to experiment on remix
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: 404indirect on January 07, 2016, 06:53:09 pm
1. Read the manual!

2. Read the manual!

3. I don't care if you watched a youtube video, READ THE MANUAL!!!

I tell people to do this alot. although i have never read it. Good advice though
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: FarleyCZ on January 07, 2016, 06:58:03 pm
Imma be specific.

1 - Don't underestimate filter keytracking setting.
2 - Real sounds are not mathematically perfect. Synth sounds are unless you make them not to.
3 - If you just can't mix the sound in the track, turn off all the EQ's and Comps and check if it's not somehow messed up from the beginning.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: SeamlessR on January 07, 2016, 08:23:03 pm
1: Learn what all the basic filter types and wavforms sound like in combination with each other.

So many questions I get about sounds end up being the simplest things just because a person didn't experiment enough to know what a square wave sounds like with a bandpass on it.

2: Learn what everything sounds like with distortion.

So many questions I get about sounds end up being the simplest things just because a person didn't experiment enough to know what a square wave sounds like with a bandpass on it that was then distorted.

3: Learn every combination of every setting that makes a super saw.

High pitch spread, low spread, high phase spread, low phase spread, distorted, not distorted, a chord, an octave, an octave and a third. From my own observations, 70% of all sound design is just super saws. Learn that, and you're 70% of the way to learning everything.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Yens on January 07, 2016, 08:36:06 pm
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)



This! I'd even go as far to say, try and recreate other people's tracks entirely. It will teach you a lot more than trying to come up with original ideas. Just make sure you don't carry on doing it like some people *coughzombycough*

It's fucking Zomboy... uh Skrillex

Tbh i like the Zomboy version more, although it's stolen.

I used to try and recreate tracks, but now i just want to do an attempt to make my own music, something i can be proud of.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Babasmas on January 07, 2016, 09:36:31 pm
1: Learn what all the basic filter types and wavforms sound like in combination with each other.

So many questions I get about sounds end up being the simplest things just because a person didn't experiment enough to know what a square wave sounds like with a bandpass on it.

2: Learn what everything sounds like with distortion.

So many questions I get about sounds end up being the simplest things just because a person didn't experiment enough to know what a square wave sounds like with a bandpass on it that was then distorted.

3: Learn every combination of every setting that makes a super saw.

High pitch spread, low spread, high phase spread, low phase spread, distorted, not distorted, a chord, an octave, an octave and a third. From my own observations, 70% of all sound design is just super saws. Learn that, and you're 70% of the way to learning everything.
Why am i not surprised about the second one ? :p
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Shew on January 07, 2016, 09:38:29 pm
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)



This! I'd even go as far to say, try and recreate other people's tracks entirely. It will teach you a lot more than trying to come up with original ideas. Just make sure you don't carry on doing it like some people *coughzombycough*

I definitely agree with this, remaking full songs is great practice, and it's a method I have used periodically to learn very quickly! It's a good challenge to take up. Pushing yourself to figure out how to get something sounding a certain way makes you innovate and develop your own techniques. Even if you didn't nail the sound, you're still getting closer and learning more through experimentation  ;)

I love doing remakes, I think they are so critical to learning new techniques on your own like you said.  Because of this I usually have 2 production processes, one being remakes and one being producing my own music.  If i'm not feeling creative I'll just do a remake that day
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Yens on January 07, 2016, 09:41:19 pm
1. Don't try to be original + Don't be afraid to steal good ideas from your favorite tracks (Good artists copy, while Great artists Steal)



This! I'd even go as far to say, try and recreate other people's tracks entirely. It will teach you a lot more than trying to come up with original ideas. Just make sure you don't carry on doing it like some people *coughzombycough*

I definitely agree with this, remaking full songs is great practice, and it's a method I have used periodically to learn very quickly! It's a good challenge to take up. Pushing yourself to figure out how to get something sounding a certain way makes you innovate and develop your own techniques. Even if you didn't nail the sound, you're still getting closer and learning more through experimentation  ;)

I love doing remakes, I think they are so critical to learning new techniques on your own like you said.  Because of this I usually have 2 production processes, one being remakes and one being producing my own music.  If i'm not feeling creative I'll just do a remake that day

I never actually thought about it that way. The struggle with coming up with something new is really hard, and if have a blank mind i just keep staring at my screen (or facebook and stuff) and do nothing productive. I will try the remake thing when nothing comes in mind.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: hotels // keajn from darklit on January 08, 2016, 01:43:20 am
I've been doing this for almost 3 years. Here's the best advice I can give to people starting out that truly want to learn.

You can, and should strive to, be better.
This is my Golden Rule of everything I do in life that matters to me -- from production, to relationships, to medical school, to anything I care about. Becoming content with what you're doing or your skill level leads to stagnation. There's no finish line in this, only stepping stone goals you set along the way if you choose so. Want to get better? Admit you can improve and figure out how to.

Connect with people
Forums and reddit are great but I improved the most when I joined a group chat of people who, like me, wanted to improve. These are people I've talked to every day for the last 2 years and are pretty good friends. Don't be afraid to reach out to people on soundcloud/twitter/Facebook. Like a sound from a track? Message the artist. Is deadmau5 going to tell you how he did something? Most likely not, but who knows? He could. I reached out to a very well known artist (he's on this forum) several months ago and said I was going to be in the same city as he was and wanted to meet up and talk production. He agreed to meet up for a half hour or so. We ended up sitting in a Starbucks for nearly 4 hours talking about music/production/the industry. That's an experience you want to have and the only way you're going to get it is by connecting with people. Guess what he said was the most valuable experience he's had? Reaching out to an artist he looked up to.

Listen
The obvious, not-so-obvious, broad-spectrum piece of advice. Listen to fans. Listen to haters. Listen to what your friends and family have to say about your music. Listen to yourself. Try sitting down with one other person and play one of your songs for them. If you're not cringing, you're not being self-critical enough. Listen to music you love. Why do you love it? Figure that out. Listen to music you hate. Why do you hate it? Listen to people who are better than you. What makes them better? Listen to people who are worse than you. There's stuff you can learn from everyone, regardless of skill -- even if it's how not to do something. Listen to your sounds. Listen to your sample selections. Listen to your progressions. Listen to your arrangement. Listen to your melodies. Listen to everything. Fucking Listen.

I was going to write my own list, but this covers everything I had in mind lmao. Everything listed here is fundamental and incredibly helpful!
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Kidswaste on January 08, 2016, 01:58:40 am
1. You should focus on making music more than fixing mistakes

As a beginner I always thought that working more and more on a track to make it sound perfect was a good idea 'cause then I wouldn't have to feel bad about some mistakes in the track. Truth is, you always do mistakes at the beginning and you should let it be into your process. Time fixes stuff, and people can help you fix that aswell. But more importantly you've got the time to do it. In my opinion, it's better to do 10 tracks with a lot of mistakes in them but with shit tons of different sick ideas than 3 tracks that don't have that much flaws but finally didn't teach you a lot of stuff.

This is the kind of stuff that works in the first months (or on a year depending on the time you take to produce). You'll know when it's time to focus on what's wrong (if its still there!)

2. Connections, How to do it and why it is important

Like maybe a lot of us now, you're a kid doing music on Soundcloud like millions of others. You're probably wondering 'why does this guy encountered succes without a lot of followers', or 'how did he collab with XXX'. Well it's mostly by talking, reaching people that would seem unreachable.
Of course you don't have to rush it, and more importantly you shouldn't spam your links around or ask for feedback to anyone you meet. Rule 1; don't be a dick. Just try to be social, and actually care about what the other is saying to you, or what you'll say to him. By building a relationship it'll be easier for you to ask for favors or even to give favors (which is probably the most awesome part of that kind of relation!) (and being honest is even better, a lot of ppl do it by interest and I guess that's easier to see when its the case. Try to care!)

3. Mixdown

Something I wish we would have told me when I begun : Loud =/= good. Actually, the lower your mix is, the better it'll be. It'll sound way more clean, you'll have more space, you'll be more precise, it'll be funnier. You can exercise yourself by trying to do a track that won't go over -6 RMS for exemple, or lower every tracks in one of your old tracks that you don't need anymore. It takes some practise, but once you've got it, oh man, music will be so much easier!

Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Matthew wesney on January 08, 2016, 03:14:29 am
1) practice 2) practice 3) practice
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Drainpuppet on January 08, 2016, 05:16:17 am
1. A/B! it's the fastest and easiest way to make your mix better, especially if you don't have the ear training to hear what's wrong with your mix by itself

2. Finish your tracks! As many as you can! Even if you're just copy and pasting a bunch and then calling it done, that's better than not having a finished chune to reflect on. I know so many newbie producers who just don't finish anything so they don't get any better.

3. Don't start releasing music until you're sure about it. You might regret it later lol.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: MatisseV on January 08, 2016, 06:29:51 am
The best tips I could give to you, would be to practice, and practice... If you feel that you can do it, keep trying, to be as good as people you hear on the radio, or your favorite ones, you have to dedicate big part of your time, so never give up if you feel that power to keep forward, if you don't feel that kind of energy to be better, you won't get to far, so, if you really want to do it, learn and practice, and never quit, never give up.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Technicolor Type on January 08, 2016, 06:31:18 am
Hmmm, I think a good tip is to take things you learn on the internet with a grain of salt. There's alot of misinformation out there and you should always try and figure out why exactly you're doing something you saw online instead of following it blindly.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: VOIID on January 08, 2016, 09:52:06 am
2. Finish your tracks! As many as you can! Even if you're just copy and pasting a bunch and then calling it done, that's better than not having a finished chune to reflect on. I know so many newbie producers who just don't finish anything so they don't get any better.
I'm not exactly a newbie but finishing tracks is still a problem for me xD sometimes I feel like some tracks are not worht being finished or I just can't come up with some parts of it and end up starting a new project. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Lunatic Expert on January 08, 2016, 11:15:49 am
I'm printing this page! I'll hang this on my bedroom wall. Amazing topic.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: MifzanHerawan on January 08, 2016, 01:28:01 pm
1. be persistent and consistent with your goal and idea (for a song/project)
2. always learn. there are more things you don't know than you do
3. i only got two
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: MifzanHerawan on January 08, 2016, 01:29:25 pm
1. Read the manual!

2. Read the manual!

3. I don't care if you watched a youtube video, READ THE MANUAL!!!

ahahahahaha the ultimate tips~
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: OliverHandsome on January 08, 2016, 03:31:28 pm
1. Learn your tools.

2. Learn the rules.

3. Break the tools and rules.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: ERLAND on January 08, 2016, 04:38:12 pm
1. Don't use too much time trying to make up your own style/sound, it will come eventually. Just make what you feel sounds good.
2. Presents are fine, don't feel too guilty if you use them. Just use them in a way that makes it sound unique and like yours. Also don't use too much time trying to learn each and every vst by reading the manual, instead try endlessly tweaking presents until you know what the fuck is going on and you can make that sound from scratch.
3. Most importantly, don't stop doing it. Keep on making music, its fucking amazing.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: VOIID on January 08, 2016, 06:54:46 pm
2. Presents are fine
Of course presents are fine
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: ANDRAViDA on January 08, 2016, 06:58:26 pm
1. Be yourself and be the best producer that you can be

- There's nothing wrong with learning from other producers but straight up comparing yourself to already established producers will leave you discouraged

2. Learn what works for YOU

- Your workflow is yours and understanding what type of environment you work well in is important

3. BE ORGANIZED

- Starting out this might not seem like something that you need to do but if you are organized now (with your projects, samples etc.) it will save you so much time during the creative process when you are looking for samples etc. and it's hard to put a value on that
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Mushroomizer on January 08, 2016, 07:23:40 pm
Well.. A lot of awesome advice has been posted so far.. But may as well give it a go!

Basically, just never stop doing stuff. Need a fancier way of wording it, but basically just never stop working towards your goal. If you have a spare hour or two, make stuff! Just filling up the little gaps in your day with music making can make you improve so much faster.

Aside from that, also don't worry about trying to make your own style. Your own style will come just from making stuff that you like and combining it all in your own way. It just happens naturally, you don't need to force it
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Four Leaf Clever on January 08, 2016, 08:07:02 pm
don't think so much
walk a lot
dance a lot
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Mussar on January 08, 2016, 08:46:11 pm
dance a lot

I think this is especially important because so many of us are dance music producers, but we often are not listening to it on a dance floor. The dance-ability of your track can only be measured by someone dancing to it. That first test subject is you!
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: flashsapphire on January 09, 2016, 02:10:04 am
1. Learn your DAW, learn how to use the plugins, manipulate them, etc
2. Learn sound design...watch as many tutorials as you can on youtube, or if you want really good tutorials, pay for a subscription to adsr (I currently do this, it really helps)
3. Spend time trying to make your music reflect your emotions. Emotional music is very powerful and helps you grow as a person.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: vinceasot on January 09, 2016, 11:35:57 am
when i first started i sucked shit i couldnt even program a 4 by 4 kick drum lol

im not a professional but my music has taken a next level, I feel the music inside me but i dont have the knowledge yet to transfer it completely to a DAW, this is what i am stuck on atm

1. PRACTICE, you have to look and read everything, you have to be hungry for knowledge, I found that my skills increased when i put in more hours and watched how the professionals created their music. Practice everything, from arranging, creating a different snare build up, sidechain techniques, mixing.. re-creating a track you like, etc.
2. First you have to know the rules, then you can break them, that means that you have to copy some of the producers out there first, and then bend it to make it your own.
2. Learn Music theory, this is a must, because you have to write a catchy melody , i found that my favourite tracks were written in the minor chords
3. Limit yourself with plug ins, sylenth, massive and vengeance samples are what i enjoy using.
4. stay motivated by watching your favourite DJ, listen to their music, interviews, radio shows etc.
5. Producing is more valuable that djing, but also try to be a DJ also, its good to meet people, try play at a friend's party or something, and then try get a club gig, producing is much more important than djing remember!
6. Take breaks, its important to take time off the screen or you'll go crazy, go and play playstation, get some food, go and read something, exercise, etc and then come back.
7. Focus! you have to cut off distractions, dont go on social media too much and dont waste time by doing useless stuff, keep your eyes on the DAW 
8. Remember just have fun and be a sponge, soak in all the knowledge you can     
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: aspenfox on January 09, 2016, 07:26:05 pm
Some things that haven't been said yet, and I feel are important...

1) Don't be afraid to nerd out while you're learning. Take notes, write down your ideas. Mix things up - don't just watch tutorial videos - reading helps too! If you're not sure where to start with reading material, googling something like "best books on [insert specific subject here]" or searching for books on Amazon and making decisions based on reviews/ratings usually does the trick for me. Apps are something else that I feel are over-looked, but also worth considering, especially if you're on the go a lot - Apple's app store has some pretty good ones on music theory and ear training. Value your time teaching yourself, be an explorer, be relentless. Don't feel too cool to take on the seemingly mundane, little tasks that make you roll your eyes every once in a while.

2) Keep it minimal. Try not to second guess yourself so much - your first idea is usually your best. If an idea seems to flow out naturally and effortlessly - it's probably a winner and shouldn't need an ungodly amount of tweaking. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away and over clutter a song with unnecessary tracks.

3) In life as in music - rests are just as important as the notes around them. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Long, dedicated grinds are awesome but your ears get tired, and become accustomed to sound fast. Work in increments - and if it works for you, don't be afraid to jump around between projects. Keep your mind sharp and your ears fresh!
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Red X on January 09, 2016, 09:47:59 pm
1. Fast decisions
2. Limit your distractions
3. Goals

I find it easy for me to get distracted if I spend so much time trying to find the "perfect" sound that I eventually check my facebook then get lost in seeing all the funny videos my friends/family liked which is also why I suggest fast decisions focus more on the creative part and come back when you are done with the track a lot of people don't even finish a song.
I set goals like learning to mix I'd spend a day learning about panning and applying panning to my tracks what ever my track lacks in is the goal I'd set. Track muddy in the low end? learn why do research then apply

Don't spend your life on one track, keep digging for gold.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: sammatla on January 10, 2016, 05:53:40 am
1. Be consistent

It's tempting to do all-nighters and act like a hero, but you truly progress when you make music day in and day out. Produce in a consistent manner, even if it's just for an hour per day.

2. Deconstruct

Professional writers deconstruct novels and articles. Professional painters deconstruct and analyze art. Music producers should deconstruct professionally made music: study the arrangement, listen to what sounds are being used and how they interact with each other, etc.

3. Read more

A lot of music producers are averse to reading books. I believe this is a product of the age we're living in.

YouTube tutorials are fantastic, but books give you a deep understanding of concepts and help you think. Read books on technical aspects of production like music theory and mixing as well as books on creativity and psychology.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: deathy on January 10, 2016, 12:12:20 pm
YouTube tutorials are fantastic, but books give you a deep understanding of concepts and help you think. Read books on technical aspects of production like music theory and mixing as well as books on creativity and psychology.


Oh, man, I would kill for more text tutorials these days, everybody wants to get that sweet YouTube royalty check, but most of the time, I would rather read how to do the thing I am trying to learn.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: InnerPhase on January 10, 2016, 06:03:05 pm
Some fantastic advice on here that has definitely been apart of my work flow over the years. Although my tips are a little "strange", so here it goes.

1. Get fucking crazy with it. When I hit a wall, sometimes I will slap so many gates,delays,verbs,glitches that it totally morphs the sound into something I never expected. Thus sparking an idea or a moment of "OH MAN! That right there, if I just did (this or that)" *gushy feelings and excitement ensue*

2. There are no rules... Yes there are guidelines but that's all they are. It has been said many times before. LISTEN! If it sounds good I don't care what order my chain or busses are in.

3. If your having a hard time putting an idea from your head into your computer think about singing/beatboxing/humming a recording. Michael Jackson and MANY other very successful and creative individuals did this. Later you can go in and make the correct sounds and start layering. This has helped me and my clients immensely as I am instrument challenged... I have good ears not good dexterity... 

Well, I hope my wacky tips have helped some of you budding producers out there :D
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Still_Thrills on January 10, 2016, 06:36:11 pm
Bounce a lot, especially if you're running on a toaster
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: UsernamesGiveMeAnxiety on January 10, 2016, 07:15:56 pm
1: Learn what all the basic filter types and wavforms sound like in combination with each other.

So many questions I get about sounds end up being the simplest things just because a person didn't experiment enough to know what a square wave sounds like with a bandpass on it.

2: Learn what everything sounds like with distortion.

So many questions I get about sounds end up being the simplest things just because a person didn't experiment enough to know what a square wave sounds like with a bandpass on it that was then distorted.

3: Learn every combination of every setting that makes a super saw.

High pitch spread, low spread, high phase spread, low phase spread, distorted, not distorted, a chord, an octave, an octave and a third. From my own observations, 70% of all sound design is just super saws. Learn that, and you're 70% of the way to learning everything.

This is great advice, thank you! I know I've fallen into the trap of thinking things are WAY more complicated than they actually ended up being.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Bertie South on January 13, 2016, 07:11:55 pm
1. You shouldn't necessarily be afraid of being formulaic or 'unoriginal'. Some formulas are important, and changing something just so it's not formulaic isn't a good idea. Besides which nothing is truly new, and every person who creates is ultimately recombining things that already exist, in one form or another. Sometimes you'll think you've come up with something great by yourself, only to later discover that it's already been done or that it came from something you heard before. It doesn't matter.

2. A track can feel like it's missing something because the quality of the sounds you're using isn't good enough, or they're not interesting enough, rather than because there's not enough going on in your track. If you add several more elements to a track that seemed to be missing something and it still feels that way, this is probably what's up.

3. After trying mindfulness for a while, I found that I noticed new things in music that I'd listened to dozens of times before. There's not definitely a link, but never assume that your awareness of things is as acute as it could be, and find ways to improve it.

4. The key to just about everything: focus, patience, persistence.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: cryophonik on January 20, 2016, 07:02:45 pm
1) Learn an instrument - you'll find that it's far more satisfying, more efficient to get ideas down, and easier to come up with great musical ideas when you're playing them
2) Be patient - nobody learns this overnight and, the more you learn, the more you'll realize how much you don't know, so take it in stride and have fun with it.
3) Read and follow every other suggestion in this thread.  ;)
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Bertie South on January 29, 2016, 06:05:49 pm

A couple of things I've noticed after listening to a lot of WIPs:


1. A lot of the difference between amateur and pro productions is that beginners will try things that are bad in isolation, rather than not working because of a lack of processing, or not enough knowledge of composition etc. In particular this applies to poor initial choice of sounds.


2. When you can tell your production is lacking something but you haven't learned enough to figure out what, in trying to fix the problem you tend to stick to just the things you know how to change (beat patterns, chord progressions, adding new elements etc.) This means you are still stuck with problem 1.


3. As a result of 1 and 2: adding things can take away from your mix, and vice versa.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: toughenough6 on January 29, 2016, 06:12:42 pm
When you're first starting out, steal everything. Use presets, copy tutorials, copy your favorite song's structure, all that stuff. You can't come up with something better than that yet, and that's okay. You'll learn. It takes a long time though. When you've copied a whole ton of other people's stuff you'll realize what makes it work and you can start utilizing that knowledge in your own original ideas, no longer stealing.

Basically don't try to be all high and mighty and design all your own sounds from scratch and all that, you're just reinventing the wheel.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Mussar on January 29, 2016, 07:03:41 pm
you're just reinventing the wheel.

I think this is one of the hardest things for people to realize, especially if they just start rushing into the rabbit hole of sound design. When you're just starting out, you haven't fully developed your taste yet. Stick to the simpler stuff - samples, presets, and basic waveforms (Saw/Square/Sine/Triangle) going through basic filters (low pass/high pass) - and you will naturally start deviating away from certain sounds and towards others. That's gonna be the best time to start honing in on what you as an individual artist will become.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: Kinetiik on February 12, 2016, 11:13:21 pm
1. People hate on the idea but don't worry about being 100% original when you start out. I tried that for the first few months and nearly drove myself mad. I had absolutely no idea where to start. A good place to start is to find sounds / songs that inspire you and try and recreate pieces of them. Not so you can release it and call it yours, but for the sake of practice.

2. Listen to the work you have done outside of your studio and listen on many different sources: iPhone speakers, on ear headphones, over ear headphones, your buddies s#@$y car speakers, anywhere. Doing this will give you a fresh perspective on your projects and help clear your mind which will allow you to realize what you want/need to do next.

3. Finish a song as often as possible. I started writing a new song every week or so and it has helped immensely. If i work on one project for too long, I get bored, my ears get fatigued, and I start to hate it. Artists like Madeon have spent 200+ hours on a single track. But he's been doing this for like 10 years. If you're new, don't worry if you didn't spend 200 hours on a track. Just try to finish as many songs/ideas as possible.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: ZAU on February 14, 2016, 04:16:36 am
My top 3 based on what has had the greatest impact in my personal journey so far. I'll break this up into production/workflow and mindset based tips, because there are just too many good tips out there.

Production:
1. Finish your tracks. Always. Don't take too much time finishing tracks if you have not finished that many tracks (less than 50/100). Finish them and move on.
2. Use reference tracks a lot. 
3. Work in smaller chunks of time (10/15/25/30/60/90 minutes). Take breaks in between. The Pareto Principle and the  30/30 methods work wonders :)

Mindsets:
1. Have a sense of humor, laugh at yourself and your mistakes. Don't beat yourself up and don't take yourself or your work too seriously.
2. Be true to yourself and really go to know yourself and your habits. Keep the good, change the bad.
3. You don't have to be directly working on your computer to improve on it. Get outside and listen to music, analyze tracks.. stuff like that. Read a book about mixing/your synth's manual/good poetry at the park. It's good to get away from the computer and technology sometimes.

This thread is killer! A lot of really advice already on here so far and I'm really glad to see tips from Mat Zo, SeamlessR and Sam Matla too, thanks so much for sharing guys! :)
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: greatwhitegravity on February 24, 2016, 05:39:58 pm
1. Sample. Sample sample sample sample. Make your own samples. Go to freesound.org and be creative. Download sample packs. Make sample packs. Think outside the box. I know someone who sampled the sound of the wood of a violin cracking. I have an entire sample pack of hailstorms and another one of ASMR percussive sounds. Doors closing, alarm sounds, phone ringing, vox samples, drinking sounds, cars, etc. Samples are a great way to diversify your percussive sounds and to make really interesting textures, and once you involve sound design and FX you can create some crazy textures. Sampling is so important, probably the most important thing imo

2. Experiment/Tutorials/Music Theory. At least 75% of what I've learned, production wise I've learned from just opening up Ableton and fucking around. Tutorials are great if you want to understand the interface and if you want to learn a very specific thing, or if you are learning MAXmsp or some crazy. Experimentation is vital for finding your own sound, whereas tutorials can hone and refine your craft. Music theory goes into this as well. It is vital. It's not the rules of music, it's more the guidelines. This will help you drive home the emotions you want to convey. Experimenting + tutorials + music theory = you learn music. Experimentation also applies to music theory, learn the tenants and learn about chords and notes and key signatures and time signatures and all of that. That will propel your music so far forward. Even knowing something simple like how key signatures work will make music so much easier.


3. Think about what you want your music to convey. You are probably naturally doing this, but I'd like to stress that it is important to think about your music a lot, listen to it a lot as you are making it, think about what kind of concepts or genres you are trying to push.

1. People hate on the idea but don't worry about being 100% original when you start out. I tried that for the first few months and nearly drove myself mad. I had absolutely no idea where to start. A good place to start is to find sounds / songs that inspire you and try and recreate pieces of them. Not so you can release it and call it yours, but for the sake of practice.

this personally worked for me but I get your point, like my music came from a really abstract place initially and I've had to work to refine it into something discernible but it's not something that you should necessarily worry about. It doesn't really matter.   
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: greatwhitegravity on February 24, 2016, 05:43:46 pm
When you're first starting out, steal everything. Use presets, copy tutorials, copy your favorite song's structure, all that stuff. You can't come up with something better than that yet, and that's okay. You'll learn. It takes a long time though. When you've copied a whole ton of other people's stuff you'll realize what makes it work and you can start utilizing that knowledge in your own original ideas, no longer stealing.

Basically don't try to be all high and mighty and design all your own sounds from scratch and all that, you're just reinventing the wheel.

This is really good advice. The only reason EVER to synthesize a sound, unless you just enjoy synthesizing sounds, is because you want a sound that you can't find, or if you want to dig deep into experimentation. Straight up synthesis is very advanced programming shit.
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: JayRox on February 27, 2016, 09:55:30 pm
- Trust your gut (and dare to be vulnerable). Make what feels right to you (without any , often externally motivated, limitations).

- Make lots of flight hours. There are so many reasons to support this. Some of them: Practice makes perfect, you get to know your DAW and your plugins, "happy accidents" will occur, and your own sound will develop.

- Have fun! You will hear it in your music.

- Stay positive! :-)

 
Title: Re: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?
Post by: track7 on March 02, 2016, 12:19:39 am
1. Turn it down - turn down your music to volumes which would normally be a bit too quiet, see how your music sounds at those volumes compared to other tracks; preserve your ears in the process.

2. Grow as a person and set goals - figure out where you stand and figure out what you want to do with your music. Be honest with yourself and others.

3. Don't be afraid to get second opinions before you release things, and don't be afraid to collaborate. There is much to learn from other artists' processes (as they will always differ to yours) and there's a lot to learn from the way your friends will hear/percieve your music.