Author Topic: What are the top three tips that you'd give to a producer with less experience?  (Read 18220 times)

cryophonik

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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.  ;)
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Bertie South

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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.
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toughenough6

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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.

Mussar

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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.

Kinetiik

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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.
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ZAU

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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! :)

greatwhitegravity

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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.   

greatwhitegravity

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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.

JayRox

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- 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! :-)

 
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track7

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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.