It’s time for the ultimate advice on music production: how to produce a track, from start to finish! We have top tips from the pros and advice to get you inspired, composing, mixing, arranging and mastering your music
The art of music production can, like most processes, be broken down into several stages – some creative, some perhaps more scientific than others. For this special feature on producing a complete track, we’ve explored the best advice ever assembled on the art of music production and broken it down into five main areas: starting a track, arranging it, mixing it, finishing it and mastering it.
We’ll start with the best ways and practices to help you to get moving, to get creative and to make the most of inspirational thoughts when they strike; to capture the moment… fast! We’ll tell you how to avoid using other people’s ideas, and also (confusingly) when to use other people’s ideas!
Then there’s the all-important stage of turning those ideas or simple loops into complete works. This is often the stage you get caught up in. Like us, your hard drive might be full of great ideas which will become incredible killer tunes… one day. But for now, they are one, two, five or six sounds and melodies that might work together, but nothing more. This part of our feature will help you turn them into complete tunes.
Then we move onto the art of mixing: checking levels, checking pan positions, adjusting EQ not only to enhance certain frequency ranges, but also to prevent elements clashing – the art of mix ‘breathing’, and adding space to enable your main song elements to shine.
In our penultimate feature, we bring you essential advice on making the ultimate move in composition: finishing! Here, we also team up with Novation to bring you insight into the ways certain top-name producers complete their songwriting process.
Finally, it’s time to tackle the mastering process, with top advice on how add a professional sheen. We’ll suggest ways to add that elusive sprinkling of sophistication and magic dust to your tunes, to make them sound as good as your reference material – the track that you initially admired, which inspired you to go full circle, back to the start of your music making in the first place.
Without dwelling on the clichéd ‘journey’ analogy, it’s true that music production is a process that can be massively enjoyable, but also have the odd stumbling block or creative frustration along the way. With our feature, we’re hoping to make your process smoother and your songwriting experience more fulfilling.
As ever, send us links to your resulting tunes at firstname.lastname@example.org.