Music production has experienced a phenomenal boom in recent years. Thanks to the development of sophisticated tools, techniques, and dedicated music software, anyone can take up music production as a hobby or even pursue it as a career. Now, regardless of their preferred genre or knowledge of music theory, both amateurs and seasoned artists continuously look for ways to stand out, perfect their style, and improve the quality of their production. In that spirit, we’ve compiled some of our best recommendations to create professional-grade music for the greatest pleasure of your audience, and your own ears, too!
Cover Your Basis
Music production has a pretty steep learning curve. Even for those with years of experience in the industry, every turn is an opportunity to learn new production skills and techniques. Without proper setup, you’re limiting your ability to create technically flawless and musically pleasing tracks. Now, here’s what your dedicated music setup should comprise:
- A Computer — Both laptops and desktops are suitable for the job, provided they’re powerful enough to multitask and run complex software. Choose a computer with a performance processor (quad-core or more), at least 8 or 16GB of RAM, and a high storage capacity (512G should do the job, and you can add an external drive). For the operating system, you can go with either Windows or macOS depending on your preference.
- A Microphone — To get that crisp sound quality that’s so characteristic of professional records, bet on a superior mic to record your music. Depending on which genre you favor, it’s best to conduct some research to select a model that’s best suited for your type of project.
- An Audio/MIDI Interface — You’ll also need an interface to control the input and output of your recording. This comes in especially handy when handling large volumes of recordings and music files.
- Sound Monitors and Headphones — Equip your workstation with loudspeakers and headphones to get a pitch-perfect rendering of your music and mixing production. Head to your local store to try out and find the perfect equipment.
Invest in a Professional Music Software
Also known as a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a music recording software is an absolute must for aspiring and seasoned producers alike. These platforms allow you to create, assemble, edit, and adjust various musical components to put together your next track. With a DAW, you’ll have infinite possibilities for artistic creation. The music aficionados over at Samplified also recommend building a well-stocked sample library with sounds, beats, presets, loops, etc. Regardless of which software you’re using, this will enable you to unlock your full creative potential and make your music truly stand out.
There are dozens of DAWS available out there, some free or cheap, some very expensive, for both PC and Mac users. Popular ones include GarageBand and LogicPro (MacOS exclusive), Ableton, Propellerhead Reason, and FL Studio (Windows exclusive). In any case, it’s best to do some research to find a program that’s best suited to your level.
As with any art or craft, practice makes perfect. If you’re still finding your marks and building your identity as a music producer, your best shot at improving your skills is through pure experimentation. Once you’ve got your hardware and software all set up, fire up your computer, and let your creativity guide you. Use various instruments, vocals, beats, tempos, and try to cross genres. Invariably, practice will enable you to get familiar with how to structure a song or track and help you develop a unique musical identity. It won’t always work out as you intend, but that is part of the process. In no way should you ever give up simply because you’re dissatisfied with your current production.
Study the Music Business
Lastly, but most importantly, you’ll never be able to produce great music without inspiration. Follow your favorite artists and bands on social media, Spotify, or Last.fm, and stay up to date with their latest releases. Aside from perseverance, hard work, and a great dose of enthusiasm, producing music is also a matter of knowing what works, and what appeals to the public. While you might be in awe with your latest audio creation, it won’t prove successful if it doesn’t resonate with your audience.
All in all, music production is one of those fields that allow you to create your artistic universe. It all starts with your inherent passion and coupled with a full-rounded music setup, you’ll encounter no obstacles in producing unique music that, hopefully, will leave a mark on the music industry!