The 7 Most Important Music Production Tips

Hi everyone and welcome back! I’m specially exited To let you know, that this sensei series is sponsored by Skillshare – an online learning community with over 15k classes on a massive verity of subjects Including, you guest it, music production Which of course is the subject of today’s video I’m gonna share with you what i believe to be the 7 most music important production tips. Rather you working at your home studio or you book some time at Electric Ladyland all these tips will apply. Links on individual points down to description. It’s gonna be a good one. Let’s dive into it!

Number 1 – Spend the bulk of your time in pre-production. You should be spending significally more hours preparing to your recording than the actual recording itself. Session time is expensive and other peoples time is valuable. Do not waste that time fixing something that could’ve been fixed beforehand. First and foremost you wanna take care of the musical aspect.

The band should be well-rehearsed if you are recording a live band. The arrangement should be worked out and everyone should know what is expected of them. One of this things that I would recommend is recording raw demos of your rehearsal. You can analyse them as a band, pinpointing the things you need to work on and you also can share them with the producer or engineer so they know how to prepare for your recording. If you have a producer on board discuss with them your goals and your inspiration This will make sure everyone on the same page And will help plan out a course of action There also a number of small decisions you need to make Will your album been done live off the floor or will it be multi track, will you playing with a click? All this decisions will influence how you prepare Scheduling should also be done in this Pre-Production phase Write up a plan budgeting time for each part of the recording process I found we often underestimate the time that goes into tracking So plan on delays and synthesize extra time for creative noodling Everything will feel better when nobody is stressed out about a clock.

Now even when it’s not quite the same the idea of Pre-Production still applies if you working at your home studio I’ll try to have as clear over vision as possible when I go to press Record That way I won’t find myself recording track after track Only had realized that I wanna go to a deferent direction and have to redo everything The more organized and prepared you are the more fun you gonna have and fun often leads to good music

Number 2 – Understand the tools rather you’ll be a producer of your own music, a session musician, a sound engineer, or what ever. The more knowledge you have of a tools around you, the less of a barrier there is between your musical vision and the end product. Acknowledging music is power. Understanding how your software works. Understanding how different microphones works and how it influences their sound. Understanding plug-ins Understanding the role of everything in the studio. All these things are highly valuable tools and I understand how this could seem overwhelming because many of us have a thought about these things in our musical journey It’s impossible for me to go over all the little details here.

Number 3 – I imagine a soundscape when I’m recording. I like to imagine a visual representation of the instruments playing to me. It helps me organize and arrange the sounds. Even if you are using sounds than can never be played by physical instrument this concept will still apply. I find myself asking what kind of feeling am I going for in this recording. If it is a sense of intimacy, then I use less reverb and maybe try to make it sound like its in a small room with the band and singer right in front of my face. If I have two instruments fulfilling the same role, say it’s a guitar and a piano both playing arpeggiated chords, maybe I put the guitar close to the left of me and piano will be way back to the distance creating a sense of space. And I make for the bass guitar upfront to the middle because its role to anchor down the song One of my favorite examples of this is Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream Yes, you heard me right.

Number 4 – Focus on your arrangement. We can spend all the time in the world getting guitar sounds, but if the arrangement isn’t happening, its all in vain.  The parts are written beautifully, not just thrown on top of each other for the sake of adding more instruments.  Every note we play should be placed with care and it should be there for a reason. And above all it should support the song. This is the craft that could be practiced and honed.

Number 5 – Train your musical instincts. For me, this come with listening and analyses.  Put on your favorite records and purposefully analyze them. This works best when you have a solid set of speakers. Even a good pair of headphones won’t convey the depth as well. Listen to each individual instrument. Listen to how the instruments interact with other sound sources. Where the instrument is  placed in the soundscape? How loud is it? What kind of effects does it have on it? The bigger more important questions are: Why do you think these decisions were made and how does it make you feel? The more you studying and thinking about this stuff,  the more you can pick up the elements you like or dislike. You can then add those things to your music or make sure you avoid the things you don’t like.

Number 6 – Seek feedback from an objective ear. When we are making music, we are way too far in our own heads to be thinking objectively. This outside ear doesn’t necessary have to be a musician. In fact some of the best feedback I’ve gotten is from non musicians. After all, the untrained ear is gonna make up the majority of people who listen to your songs.

Number 7 –  A seventh and final tip is remove creative distractions. This comes in a number of different forms but basically we wanna remove the things that get us away from our creative flow. The general atmosphere of a workspace is important. You should wanna spend time in there, it should feel comfortable. Organization goes a long way. I like to keep my little dojo clean and ready to go.  Another example of this is your software. The quicker and better you are in it, the more time you can spend making music. Learning the shortcuts and inner working of Studio One. What ever you’re working with will lead to a smooth and seamless workflow.

Alright, that’s all for today.