Producing Your Own Music – Beginner’s Guide

A photo of a person in a green t-shirt playing a white and black audio mixer: Producing Your Own Music
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If you have an interest in music production and would like to become a music producer, chances are, you don’t know where to start. Don’t fret; every top music producer today once felt like you. If you are excited about producing your own music but clueless about where to begin, you’re not alone. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed about it all or figure out where to start learning. However, that’s why we’re writing this article which means you’re in the right spot. This quick article is the ultimate beginner’s guide to producing your own music. It is a blueprint to music production and will have you producing excellent songs in no time. 

Producing Your Own Music

Now that we both agree that you are ready to start producing your music let’s check out the steps you need to create your first song successfully.

Listen to More Music 

Before even setting up a digital audio workstation, the first step to producing your own music is listening to more music. When you start thinking about producing your own music, you must already know what kind of music you want to create. You could choose to go with hip hop, jazz, EDM, or any other interest you have. The best part about digital music production is that your options are endless. That’s why having an idea of the kind of music you would be producing is vital. Once you choose, it’s time to spend some quality time listening to those tracks in the same line. This aspect is essential to producing your own music because it gives you an idea about creating professional-quality sounds.

Whatever kind of music you want to produce, take time to listen to variety in that field carefully. Take note of the different structures and placement of each sound. When you spend quality time doing this, you will have a significant headstart when producing your own music. It saves you the essential time you could spend aimlessly adding in sounds that sound terrible at the end. 

Learn your Chosen DAW

A digital audio workstation is crucial to producing music, and there are many options that you could explore. The next step in producing your own music is finding the right DAW, downloading it, and learning how it works. The different digital workstations come with tools for producing your own music. After download, there’s always the temptation to start producing music immediately after setting up your DAW. However, that always ends in confusion and frustration, which is why you should bypass it.

One way to quickly catch up on how your DAW works is through the manual. However, if you’re someone who gets bored quickly reading, try YouTube. The best part about YouTube is that there’s always something for you, no matter the DAW you choose. Watch the tutorials to become acquainted with its essential functions and save you time figuring it out on your own. To give you a better idea, below are some of the best DAWs you can choose from.

Ableton

If you spend time around producers, then chances are you have heard about Ableton. This digital audio workstation is unique for a lot of reasons. Initially, it was designed for use as a live performance instrument. Over the years, there have been upgrades, and now it is a complete audio recording package. The interface is intuitive, and it has a fantastic session and arrangement view. As a beginner who wants to produce music, Ableton makes the process easier. 

FL Studio

Formerly known as Fruity Loops, this workstation is a popular choice in the market. It is ideal for producing your music professionally or for fun. The interface is simple, and it is famous for being cost-effective. The best part is that you can always boost it with third-party plug-ins. 

Pro Tools

This Pro Tools by Avid is an industry standard. This digital audio workstation comes with top-notch recording tools. Top music production houses use the pro tools, and it is featured in several recording studios. There’s relatively little you can’t achieve in music production with Pro Tools.

Reason

If you’re looking for something unique, Reason Rack is the way to go about it. It looks like an actual recording studio. In addition, it allows you to connect and plug in hardware emulations like you would in reality. It also comes with a user-friendly design and doesn’t require many lessons to figure out. It also supports third-party plug-ins if you want to take your DAW to the next level.

Cubase

This digital workstation is another popular option in the industry. It offers a powerful engine through solid processing power. It is an excellent choice for beginners when you’re learning the art of producing your own music. In addition, it also features an intuitive interface to get you set up in no time.

Producing Your Own Music: Learn Music Theories

Many people believe that successfully producing your music doesn’t require learning music theories. Although some successful music producers don’t know music theories, it will make the process easier for you. You can start with the fundamentals and then build on that as you advance your music career. Although traditional music and electronic music differ in production, chords and melodies still feature. Therefore, both types of music still use the same fundamental music theories. If you want to start producing your own music and doing it successfully, learn music theories.

Experiment and Practice

At this point, you must understand how your DAW work, and you’re already catching up on music theory basics. From this point, the fun of producing your own music begins. Another step in producing your own music is to experiment and practice. Open your DAW, and whether you have a song in mind or not, just experiment. Practice by recreating different songs you like. Doing this will help you better understand what producing those songs entail. The more practice and experimentation you do, the better and more knowledgeable you become. You can then use this knowledge in producing your own music. When experimenting, avoid simply sticking to a single genre. The best way to grow in music production is to diversify. 

Start Making Music

Now that you’ve done some experimentation and built on your knowledge, it’s wise to get to producing your own music. It doesn’t matter whether it turns out perfect; it’s just a vital step in becoming a better music producer. Don’t focus on perfection because it can get you caught up; you lose focus on other things. Not only will you start the first song, but you will also have to finish it. We’ll be breaking down the process for you; let’s take a look.

The melody comes first.

Although every music producer has their preferred starting point in a song, you can start with an instrument. You could go with classical piano or whatever your preference is. Simply create a melody; it doesn’t have to be complicated. The ideal way to start is with something simple. Next, add drums around the melody. You can experiment with the best process for you by choosing to start with the drums first. When you experiment, it gives you a better idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. Add accompanying sounds and instruments that you want to build your melody. When you like what you hear and feel you have a good loop going, you can move on to the structure.

Producing Your Own Music: Figure out the structure and proper arrangement

Now that you have the melody down, you have to move on to the next step, arranging your song in the ideal structure. It doesn’t matter the genre of music you’re using; the structure and arrangement are usually predictable. A hip-hop beat usually starts with an intro, 16-bar verse, 8-bar hook, another 16-bar verse, the hook, and then an outro. To pick up the fundamental parts of structure and arrangement, simply listen to songs you like. You can also take the process a step further by pulling the song into your DAW and tearing it apart to discover what makes it up. When producing your music, your ears are an essential instrument. You don’t have to stick to the norm. Whatever structure or arrangement you like will work if you do it right.

Get to mixing

This part signifies you’re close to the end of producing your own music for the first time. You have your melody down and your arrangement. However, without proper missing, no one would want to hear your song. That’s why learning how to mix correctly is an essential step in producing your own music. Mixing means taking the tracks you have and then blending them to create a smooth sound. It involves the process of adjusting levels using various processors and many others. 

If you have the levels right, the next part of mixing is usually the compression, Equalizer, and reverb. Once you have these three areas in a perfect state, your mix will fall right into place. An equalizer is a tool you use in adjusting your frequencies balance in your signal. You can watch more videos on YouTube about the various processing tools in your digital audio workstation. 

Every sound signal is made up of frequencies, and EQ means cutting, boosting, and balancing those frequencies to get your ideal sound. Compression is then the process of keeping the audio signal within your preferred audio range. You can use it to make the loud sound softer and minimize the dynamic range. Finally, the last part of mixing is reverb which is the reflection of a sound. When you first make a record, it usually sounds dull, but your instrument gains space with reverb.

Master your songs

Now that you’ve created your melody, figured out the structure and arrangement, and appropriately mixed your song, the next step is mastering the song. This step includes balancing the mix element and optimize it. This part is where you prepare the song for play on all your systems. Mastering is usually complicated, and you might have to take time learning it through YouTube or online courses. However, this is the last part of producing your own music. You can leave that for the final stages of your music career but following these steps successfully is how you produce your own music. 

Final Thoughts

As a beginner, the process of producing your own music can seem scary. However, this is the ultimate beginner’s guide and will have you producing quality music in no time. You mustn’t stop practicing and experiment. Also, ensure you have fun while doing it without falling into the perfection trap. As a beginner, your focus should be on finishing every new track instead of making masterpieces. Doing this will improve your music production skills and make you a professional in no time. 

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