6 Ways You Can Improve the Producer in You
Sometimes as music producers we can lack the tools necessary to really make the most out of our passion. We can’t get motivated, can’t seem to get “that” sound and our productivity is dying as we lay in a pit of despair and self-loathing. I’ve rounded up some tips that can be the key to exciting possibilities in the trade of music production.
1. Cater to Your Inner Genius
Sometimes roadblocks can stop us from “feeling it” when producing. Other times we can’t find the inspiration that we carried just minutes ago. So where did it go you ask? We rely on our creativity and energy when producing music. We don’t necessarily lose creativity nor can we control it, we control our energy. There are many tips on how to boost your energy or how to get inspired to write and produce music. Sitting at home all day watching Netflix in your room with no sunlight trying to get motivated will not get you far. Get out and try something new, look at an art display downtown, or just get out and get coffee. Here is an article that I have found helpful to increase energy and motivation.
2. Don’t be Afraid of Music Theory
As a classically trained musician and someone who went to college for music production, this one is a big one. Music theory might seem like a daunting term and might cause people to get nervous. It takes some training and studying but it isn’t hard. Music theory opens up the door to more possibilities than just minor and major keys. It tells us what sounds good and how to achieve the results that we are hearing in our head and what we hear in other music. There are plenty of resources out there but here is the one that I use the most to figure out how to produce in any key (if I’m working with a singer), and the note order of any mode if I produce in any other except major and minor.
3. Organize Your Sample Library
Every producer has a sample library, no matter how big or small. This can be a big productivity killer if we have to consistently search a folder with 1,500 samples, loops, and MIDI files all mixed together in random folders. This means though, that we can have several “Kick 01”s in our library and it will just take some time to separate and rename all of them. If I want to search for Foley one-shot FX I know how to find them. This increases workflow and productivity a ton!
4. Educate Yourself
I went to college for music production but many before me have grown more and made better music than me without a degree. There are endless resources out there that will give you more knowledge than any college if you know where to find it and you have the drive to get where you need to be. This knowledge will give you the edge that you need to increase your craft. Don’t wait for the knowledge to come to you and don’t wait for anything to be handed to you. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Here is a great tool that helps with mixing instruments together and making compositional choices.
5. Tighten up Your Machine/DAW
Often times our machines can be bogged down simply by massive projects so it’s worth your time to regularly do things that will help your machine run better. When it comes down to machines, there are best practices in storing sample libraries, what should be running when you are producing, and how to clean storage. Again, the resources are extensive on this subject and some of it is common sense. Here is an article on how to help run FL Studio better posted by Image line.
6. Be Original
As a producer, we can look at certain artists and see the plus to “selling out” or simply being unoriginal and just doing what everyone else is doing. This simply doesn’t work, as time has proven over and over again, originality is key and one will only make it in the industry if they are offering a different product than all the other competitors in the market. In an interview with the CTO and CEO of Bandzoogle, a website builder for artists and bands, Chris Vinson the CTO stated, “Yeah that’s definitely the biggest challenge. How do you differentiate yourself, rise above the noise, and grab the fans’ attention.” No one wants to hear the same record over and over with a few different notes.
Change the game.
What tips did you find the most helpful? Have any of your own? Share them in the comments!
Kalebh has been producing music for side and solo projects since childhood. He graduated from Full Sail University with a Bachelors in Music Production.