Author Topic: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?  (Read 16707 times)

noahnorrod

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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!  :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 01:18:14 pm by noahnorrod »
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Joseph

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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
"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal."
-Picasso

"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel."
-Steve Furtick

932843200

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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.

Mussar

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1. Read the manual!

2. Read the manual!

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

poisonstings

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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. :)

justin

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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.
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RUDE

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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
life.

Ysbryd

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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

FOXSKY

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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....

Dubya

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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.

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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
Fuck Genres, Make Music.

polardubbear97

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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
Fuck Genres, Make Music.

Miles Dominic

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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.

BorderCity

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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 :)